Wow, we’ve already hit month number one in our year-long sandwich tour, time flies when you’re having sandwiches...delicious and wonderful sandwiches! One place that I’ve had quite a few suggestions to go to for on this tour is an iconic Peoria restaurant and pub: Donnelly’s Irish Pub. Terry and Molly Donnelly first opened up the Shamrock bar back in 1971 and now that memory and spirit lives on in Donnelly’s Irish Pub, which is now operated by Terry and Molly’s son, Ryan. I’ve had lots of meals in here and we visited here on the MBIP tenderloin tour and now I think it’s time to try a sandwich at Donnelly’s Irish Pub...to the MBIP Mobile!
Drive-by shot of Donnelly’s Irish Pub! Let’s park and start week number four in our year-long sandwich tour!
Here we are at Donnelly’s Irish Pub! As you can see, the beer garden is open for business, but since it’s scorching hot out, everyone’s inside. Let’s go in and check out the afternoon action in Donnelly’s today!
Check out the chalkboard, I have no idea how these places know that we’re going to be here! There’s also some PJ Star articles through the years—maybe one of these days they’ll print out and frame an MBIP story from this blog! Okay, let’s go inside and see who’s minding the store today...
It’s Ryan Donnelly! Ryan’s taken over the day to day operations here and it’s always great to see him! He said business has been good and steered me to this booth! He also made a suggestion regarding our sandwich selection of the day and that suggestion will be revealed soon, keep on scrolling!
Once I settled in to the booth, I scanned the menu and as you can see, there’s a large selection of sandwiches and they’re all made fresh here in the kitchen every single day. The selections range from a Rueben to Grilled Chicken to Roast Beef and a Pork Chop Sandwich, but what Ryan suggested is at the top of the sandwich list: The Irish Sausage Sandwich. Ryan told me that it’s the signature sandwich at Donnelly’s and I’ve never had it in my life! How did that happen? Time to change all of that today! Just as I made that decision, our pretty waitress, Sami came by and took our order. And if you’ve noticed, I’m speaking in plurals now, because we have a special guest joining us today, but just as I was ready to take a photo of us at our booth, he went to the bathroom! Well, let’s take a look around while our sandwiches are being prepared and maybe he’ll be seated when we return!
Here’s a shot from the back of the dining room and one of my favorite tables in here with the deer overlooking it! I love the Christmas lights that are strewn below the ceiling and cover the whole perimeter of the bar and restaurant. It really gives the place a festive feel to it!
Up in the front is the bar area and the marble topped bar is quite impressive as is the number of taps behind the bar, there’s 14 total! All in all, Donnelly’s has over 100 craft beers on tap, in cans and in bottles. There’s booths opposite the bar and there’s a corner table that looks outside...I think they should put a shade over the windows there, but that’s just me and any other vampire that wanders in here!
Here’s Molly Donnelly, who founded the Shamrock with her husband Terry back in 1971! Molly hates to hear this, but I started going to the Shamrock my junior year in high school, armed with a fake I.D! I’ve been a regular ever since! Always a treat to see Molly and she’s looking great these days!
Bob got the hot ham and cheese on Texas Toast and it’s got lettuce, tomato and stacks of sliced ham and melted cheese and it looks really tasty, but it’s no match for...
The Famous Donnelly’s Irish Sausage Sandwich! What a monster of a sandwich, it’s huge! You have your choice of cheese but they recommend the Pepper Cheese and it looks and smells delightful, time to dig in and try out our fourth sandwich in so many weeks...
Wow, this sandwich is so delicious! The sausage is savory and specially seasoned and it’s just a little on the spicy side and a hint of sweetness also comes through. In addition to the melted and rich layer of Pepper Cheese there’s grilled onions and the combination of the onions, rich and sharp cheese and the seasoned Irish sausage is really a great combination of flavors that compliment each other so well. The French roll it’s served on is bakery fresh and flaky and holds the sandwich ingredients together nicely! This is a really tasty and unique sandwich that can only be had at Donnelly’s and I suggest you stop in and try it out, if you haven't already!
On the way out I noticed two framed photos that brought back some nice memories, at the top is Terry Donnelly, who founded and created the Shamrock with his wife Molly back in 1971. And below him is the Shamrock from that original bar that has now turned into Donnelly’s pub and has been handed down to the next Donnelly generation. Cheers to the Donnelly family for creating and keeping such a great and lively Peoria Irish tradition alive and well through the years!
MBIP Sandwich Rating
Three and three quarters Dagwood Bumstead’s—The sausage sandwich has been a signature item at Donnelly’s dating back to the Shamrock bar and it’s definitely aged well through the years! A tasty and delicious sausage sandwich that you can only find at Donnelly’s Irish Pub, stop in and try one soon!