Alright, we’re into week number three of MBIP’s A Year In The Life Of A Sandwich food tour! I got a lot of suggestions on facecrack when I posted about this tour and I even had some people invite me to their favorite sandwich places and the first person to do that was Jennifer Cansino Morse who wrote me and said she loves the sandwiches at The Mix Sandwich Works on Knoxville. I have driven by this place many times and for some reason I thought it was a chain restaurant, but Jennifer assured me it wasn’t and said had told the owner we might be coming by and he was excited by that, which is always nice to hear! So let’s head on over to The Mix on Knoxville and start this third week of our year-long sandwich tour!
Here we are at The Mix on Knoxville Avenue. I really like the look of this building, it’s got a nice inviting homestyle appearance to it!
The entrance is over here on the side of the building and as you can see, they have a drive-through window for those of you on the go! I have plenty of time however, so we’ll casually saunter thought the double side doors over here.
There’s the front dining room and directly opposite that up at the front of the resaturant is the front counter where you order your meals. And who just happens to be standing over there but the owner of The Mix, Zach Zahouani! Zach is a super-friendly guy and he assured me this wasn’t a chain and he’s the sole owner of the place. That’s great news and Zach told me that he came to Peoria after growing up in Morocco and then he traveled to Italy and eventually got his citizenship here in the U.S. and ended up in Champaign, Illinois.
Champaign was where Zach and his brother opened their first restaurant and here’s some pictures of the place, Zach and his brother and some customers outside of the building. Zach moved to Peoria a few years ago and started The Mix here on Knoxville and he said business has been very good. He told me each order is cooked as it’s placed, so nothing is cooked ahead of time, that’s the way I like to hear a restaurant is doing business!
Of course I’m over a half an hour early to meet Jennifer and Zach has to get things prepared for the lunch hour business, so I decided to take a look around at the inside of The Mix. There’s the menu’s behind the front counter and there’s a large selection of sandwiches, gyros, hamburgers, wings, subs and various side items as well. There’s dining tables directly opposite the front counter and behind them, booths line the front wall with a nice view of Knoxville Avenue out the window. The bottom photo is the view from the booth I selected for Jennifer and I to sit at.
I love all the black and white photos on the wall in here, especially that last one of Mohammed Ali knocking out Sonny Liston in 1965! I was living in Louisville, Kentucky at that time and we all cheered Ali on back in those days when he was known as Cassius Clay. Ali was from Louisville and it was cool back in the day seeing him around town and cheering on a hometown hero!
There’s the obligatory Phil Luciano PJ Star Dining Out review hanging on the wall!
And here’s the guest star for the day and the person that recommended we go to The Mix, Jennifer, looking very pretty! Jennifer reminded me that we briefly met at the Peoria Wingfest a little over a month ago! Great to see her again and we placed our order and settled in at our booth to relax while the order was being prepared. Jennifer told me she works for the Marquette Group and you can read about them right here. As we were chatting, Jimmy and Melvin were nearby our booth and they told us that they’re both regulars here and that the food is fantastic! Speaking of food, we went up to the counter to check on our order and Zach said we could come back into the kitchen area to take a look!
And so here we go back into the inner sanctum of The Mix, the kitchen area where all the magic happens! There’s the deep fryers and the grills where lunch is prepared and our two sandwiches are there on the food line as is a giant order of onion rings! I think it’s time to try this food out before I start drooling all over myself!
Here’s Jennifer and I back at our booth with our lunch orders. Jennifer got the Maxwell Street Polish sandwich and that comes with grilled onion, sport peppers and a pickle spear and it looks so tasty! Jennifer offered me a bite, but I had to decline as I ordered...
The Philly Steak sandwich and it’ll be a miracle if I can finish half of this whopper of a sandwich! It’s got over five ounces of beef steak slices topped with a mound of melted Mozzarella cheese, grilled onions, mushrooms and banana peppers on a bakery-fresh French bread roll. This was so delicious! The steak is tender and juicy and melts in your mouth and the melted cheese, onions, peppers and mushrooms are the perfect compliment for this sandwich that’s done up in Chicago-style goodness! Zach told me this is the signature sandwich of The Mix and I can see and taste why!
Not that we needed anything else for lunch, but we also got an order of the french fries and onion rings and they came with a melted cheese dipping sauce and both were crispy and flavorful additions to our sandwiches.
And if all that wasn’t enough, Zach surprised us with a dessert that’s also offered on the extensive Mix menu! The desserts here are homemade treats baked daily by Danielle Smith and her business is Danielle’s Sweets. I couldn’t find an online presence for her business, so if you’re out there Danielle, let me know and I’ll put up a link for you! The dessert was so sweet, rich and tasty and the perfect ending to a fantastic lunch!
And of course we both had bags to go from our lunches! This was really a fun and delicious lunch and thanks to Jennifer for not only recommending it, but for meeting me for lunch, it was lots of fun hanging out with her and we’re definitely going to do this again, soon! And thanks to Zach for his wonderful food and his inviting hospitality! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
MBIP Sandwich Rating
Three and a half Dagwood Bumstead’s—The signature sandwich is the The Philly Steak Sandwich and I can highly recommend that but there’s plenty more sandwiches on the menu and I shall return to try more down the road!
The Mix Sandwich Works
2123 N Knoxville Avenue