Time flies when you’re eating sandwiches every week! It seems like only yesterday that we took off with my friends, Artie and Sandra for a road trip to Picco’s Pit Barbecue and Steakhouse. Well, unbelievably, that was 19 weeks ago and it was August back then. Artie recently got hold of me and said that he discovered that Clay, who owns the Country Club BBQ on Farmington Road recently opened up a sister bar in Bellevue, Illinois called the Bellevue Tap. Artie and Sandra did some advance work and said it would be a perfect spot for us to get together again for another sandwich road trip, and so...
Here we go! Artie’s just pulled up in the somewhat frozen MBIP World Headquarters and he’s looking festive in his Santa hat! There’s Sandra in the back looking pretty as ever and it’s off we go into freezing cold blue yonder!
It’s a fairly quick trip to Bellevue and if you look closely at the third picture from the top, you’ll see one of my all time favorite unplanned obligatory mirror shots in the cars mirror, that’s a first! And here we are, I told you this was a quick trip! Great job of driving by Artie!
I love the outside of this place, it’s got a nice rustic, log cabin feel and it’s really got a welcoming feel to it! So let let’s follow Artie and Sandra in because I’m freezing my ass off out here! Yikes!
Whew, it’s nice and warm in here and Artie and Sandra found us some seats at the end of the bar. There’s a shot I took from my perch at the bar.
Des and Chris were seated next to us and after I took their photo, they turned the tables on us and took our photo at the bar! Turnabout is fair play!
Here’s a couple guys that have been imported to Bellevue from The Country Club, that’s Robbie behind the bar and Mick, who’s the Executive Chef at Country Club BBQ and he’s in charge of the kitchen and food here as well! He showed us a special sandwich on the menu and so that’s what I ordered. Sandra also got a sandwich and Artie ordered a full Sunday meal, you can see all the orders if you just keep on scrolling, scrolling, scrolling!
Mick pointed out that both the bar and the back cabinets and sink were custom-made for the new bar, very nice! And there’s the quartet of taps behind the bar.
There’s tables opposite the bar and behind them is a gaming room for discreet gambling if you’re so inclined.
There’s a dining room in the back and check out the sign for the Sunday Fried Chicken dinner special. If you’re curious about that, you’ll soon be able to check it out, as it’s one of our orders coming up shortly. As I took a shot of the bar from the back dining room, I was called by Mick into the kitchen for some behind the scenes photos!
And here we are behind the scenes back in the kitchen. I told you that one of us ordered the Sunday Fried Chicken Dinner and here’s Mick getting the chicken ready to be fried up just like Syd Barret’s brain back in the ‘60’s. The bird is dredged through several food prep stations and then plopped into the fryers. Okay, all this is making me starving just like you know who, so...
Let’s get back to the bar and see if anything has been served yet...
Yes, the appetizers have arrived! We got an order of the Battered Sweet Corn Nuggets and the Portabella Fries. The Corn Nuggets were delicious, but the Portabella Fries were really a unique and tasty appetizer. Large strips of Portabella mushrooms are breaded and seasoned and then deep-fried and they are so good. They’re crispy on the outside and juicy and hot as you bite into the mushroom. A great winter snack!
Alright, here’s Mick and Robbie with our main courses!
Artie got the Fried Chicken Dinner special and that’s enough for the entire bar! You get four pieces of friend chicken, two sides and a roll, wow, I hope Artie doesn’t drift into a food coma after eating all of that! Sandra got the Adult Grilled Cheese, which is a grilled cheese sandwich made with fresh sourdough Texas Toast, cheese (of course), tomato and thick cuts of Raber’s smoky bacon. Both of those look so good, but let’s turn our attention to the sandwich of the week...
Here it is! Mick suggested I try the Raber's Jalapeno Cheddar and Bacon Brat Burger, so that’s what I got. While I am staying away from traditional burgers on this year of sandwiches tour, this was enough of a twist on a burger to let it slide. Plus this is the only place that this sandwich/burger is served. Raber makes it special for The Bellevue Tap and nowhere else, so this is an exclusive sandwich that you can’t get anywhere else in the world! Raber’s took their brats, made a patty out of them and then added jalapeno, cheddar cheese and bacon to it. It looks and smells so good, but first I tried the cole slaw and that was quite the surprise. I expected a side of generic cole slaw to show up with the sandwich and instead I got freshly homemade cole slaw. Mick makes this every day and it was crispy and really tangy and tasty! Now onto the sandwich...
Oh my god! This sandwich is unbelievable! There’s such a nice variety of flavors within this sandwich! The patty is savory and spicy and that’s the first flavor you get, then the cheese and smoky bacon hit your taste buds and after the first bite, the subtle heat from the jalapenos shows up! The taste kind of reminded me of a kicked-up, gourmet version of a fried bologna sandwich! And the bun was buttered, toasted and so fresh. Mick told me all of their breads are shipped over every day from Morton’s Alpha Breads. I’ve always said the bun or bread on a sandwich can make it or break it and this bun definitely makes this sandwich. And note that you don’t need to add any condiments to this, all of the taste is within that magical bratwurst patty! It was so delicious!
As you can see Sandra’s enjoying the Adult Grilled Cheese and it looks like Artie has drifted off into that fried chicken coma! We better go revive him now! Thanks to Mick and Robbie for a great day and sandwich at Bellevue Tap and to Artie and Sandra for driving, hanging out and suggesting the place! We’ll have to do this again sooner than 19 weeks this time! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
Four Dagwood Bumstead’s—This sandwich won the award at The Taste of Peoria and for good reason, it’s such a tasty and satisfying sandwich. It’s only available at The Bellevue Tap and it’s worth the short drive to try it out!
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