The time is here! It’s the day that we start our new MBIP food tour, A Year In The LIfe Of A Sandwich, where I’ll be traveling in and around Peoria sampling signature sandwiches at bars and restaurants for 52 weeks! I got a ton of suggestions on facecrack and I appreciate all of you chiming in and I’m going to try to hit as many of those as I can! I heard of a lot of new places I can’t wait to try, but for this inaugural sandwich post I wanted to go to a classic Peoria restaurant to start it all off and it doesn’t get much more classic and Peoria-centric than Jim’s Steak House in downtown Peoria! Jim’s has been in business here in Peoria since 1960 and I thought getting a steak sandwich at this iconic Peoria restaurant would be the perfect start to this year-long food tour, so it’s off to Jim’s we go!
Alright, we’ve parked and here we are walking down Jefferson Street to Jim’s Steak House. I spend a lot of time hating on the MBIP Camera, but I have to say, sometimes it takes a great photo! I don’t know much about photography, I just point and click and hope for the best and sometimes the MBIP takes a beautiful photo like this one! Love the MBIP camera! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!
And here we are at Jim’s Steak House, I’ve been here many times for the MBIP blog and have had so many great meals here, but I’ve never had their signature New York Strip Sandwich! All that changes tonight!
We’ll go in though the fancy, schmancy double doors to the golden elevator (and please note the unplanned obligatory elevator door mirror shot!) to the elegant foyer that you walk out to as the elevator opens up to Jim’s Steak House!
They’ve started some special nights here at Jim’s in the last few weeks: Thursday is a Girls Night with lots of specials for the ladies and Friday is Date Night for couples of two or more with a five course meal and a bottle of wine for each couple! Check out their facecrack page for more details and daily specials at Jim’s Steak House!
One thing I love here is the celebrity photos on the walls of Jim’s and here’s a sampling of some of them. At the top is Elton John, then Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys, below him is Hal Holbrook, then there’s a still from Goodfellas with a signature from Ray LIotta, who’s married to a woman from Peoria and below him is hometown boy made good, Dan Fogelberg and at the bottom is my favorite photo of all, Warren Zevon! All the photos are autographed and it’s so much fun to look at them and see what they wrote on the photos. Here’s a list of all the celebrities who have eaten at Jim’s through the years.
Alright, let’s go inside of Jim’s and see what’s happening!
I love the bar in here! It’s really old school and it reminds me of an old time steakhouse bar in New York. There’s Karen behind the bar and I think she’s been pictured on every Jim’s post through the years here on MBIP, always great to see her! There’s the back of the bar with the mirror flanked by two autographed guitars. Below that is the quartet of beers on tap and a side shot of the classic bar!
They have a piano bar in here and it gets lively around it as you can see! Ben& Kate were the musicians at the piano bar this evening and they sounded great and it was wonderful to meet them! Check out their facecrack page right here!
Usually I would eat at the bar, but since this is the start of The MBIP Year Of The Sandwich food tour, I thought we’d get a table in the dining room. Plus, we have a special guest joining us tonight. Who is this guest that’s so special? Well, keep on scrolling to find out! Here’s Elise at the hostess station looking cute as all get out and she guided me to our candlelit table, nice! The bottom photo is my view of the elegant, chandelier lit dining room from our tables point of view. I like the dark and warm vibe and ambiance in the dining room here!
I was early, as always so I was waiting at the table for the esteemed guest of honor when Mo stopped by to say hi. Mo is the sister of legendary Peoria bar owner, Mike “Sully” Sullivan and we have a mutual friend in Roxy Baker. I met Mo at last summer’s Heart of Illinois BBQ & Bluegrass Festival. Great to see Mo again and after we chatted at the table I traveled over to her table to get a photo of her group having great food and fun at Jim’s! Hello, Mo’s group!
Meanwhile, back at my table, Jim’s owner, Tim Comfort stopped by to say hi. Always nice to see Tim and he pointed out that the table behind me was having a Date Night dinner here at Jim’s and they were just getting ready to have their table-side Cherries Jubilee and Tim invited me to take some pictures of this table-side event, so here we go!
There’s the goup of couples out on their Friday Date Night at Jim’s and Matt is getting ready to whip up the Cherries Jubilee! As you can see it’s quite the process and fun to watch and it ends up in an explosive flame from the pan and luckily I didn’t get my eyebrows singed! At the bottom is Susan who’s going to serve up this classic dessert to the couples at their table. Speaking of tables...
Look who finally showed up at our table, our special Guest of Honor, the one and only Matt Buedel! Matt’s a writer and photographer and he’s written for the PJ Star for over 15 years now. If you missed his front page story that was three years in the making last Sunday, you should really take some time (after you first read this post of course!) and read this story by clicking here. Great investigative journalism by Matt! And here’s a wonderful feature story by Matt with beautiful photos he took from spending a week alone at Canyonlands National Park. Great to see Matt again and I think he arrived at the perfect time, because I think it’s just about sandwich time!
I was right! Here’s Elise with our steak sandwiches and I think I’m in love! And the sandwiches look really good too!
Wow, this sandwich just looks and smells unbelievable! It’s a New York Strip sandwich and we ordered them with fried onions and they are piled so high on the sandwich that I had to take some of them off so you could see the choice piece of steak sitting on top of two buttery toasted slices of garlic bread. It’s really a beautiful sight and we got an order of the Cottage Fries topped with more fried onions and I’m glad we got just one order! This is a crazy amount of food, so it’s time to dig in!
Everything about this meal is beyond the beyond! The New York Strip Steak is really tender, juicy and so full of savory flavor! It’s cooked perfectly, seared on the outside and nice and tender on the inside and ti just melts in your mouth! The garlic bread is the perfect bread for the sandwich, but after adding the au jus, I had to eat the sandwich with a knife and fork. The fried onions were flaky, light and a tasty and slightly salty side dish for the sandwich as were the Cottage Fries. This was a superb way to start this sandwich tour!
And in this photo, Matt shows off yet another skill in addition to writing and photography, he’s also a master impressionist and he can do this while eating his dinner, talk about your multi-tasking! Have you figured out who he’s imitating here? Well, scroll down to find out..
It’s the Banjo Boy from Deliverance! Nice table side show by Matt, almost as impressive as the Cherries Jubliee!
As if all this food wasn’t enough, Chef Todd sent out this complimentary slice of Prime Rib to us from the kitchen! Check out the birds-eye-view of our table and just like the New York Steak Sandwich, the Prime Rib was so delicious and tender, it literally melts in your mouth like bovine butter!
After dinner, Mary stopped by our table and here she is with Matt! I met Mary on one of my first posts here at Jim’s way back in December of 2012! Great to see her again!
And here’s the man responsible for tonight’s feast and a wonderful start to the MBIP A Year In The Life Of a Sandwich food tour, Chef Todd! This steak sandwich is usually served at lunch only, but Chef Todd said that if you order it at dinner time and mention MBIP, he’ll happily serve it up to you! Chef Todd never fails to disappoint and I want to thank him for yet another out-of-this world meal at Jim’s Steak House! JIm’s has been a real Peoria tradition for over five decades and thanks to everyone for the great food, service and hospitality! And thanks to our special guest star, Matt Buedel, always great to hang out with him! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
MBIP Sandwich Rating
Four Dagwood Bumsteads (out of four)—If you’ve never had the New York Strip Sandwich at Jim’s Steak House, try it at lunch or now you can have it at dinner time, you won’t be disappointed, I promise you! And get it topped with the fried onions!
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