I’ve known Terry Grawey since the ‘70’s when we both went to high school at Bergan, which is now called Notre Dame. I lost contact with Terry for decades and then just last year ran into him and his family at Thanh Linh restaurant on Main Street and we caught up, rekindled our friendship and then he hypnotized me!
When I first saw Terry after years of no contact, I asked him what he was up to these days and his answer to me was: “You’re not going to believe me!” So I was intrigued and I found out that Terry had become a certified hypnotist and that he had a stage act that incorporates humor and hypnotism and I told him I’d love to see the act. Well, Terry upped the ante and before I knew it, I was part of the act! Terry had a show last January and invited me to come onstage and be hypnotized and of course I couldn’t turn down an offer like that, so I went and you can read all about that evening by clicking right here: A Hypnotic Night @ The Lariat Steakhouse.
The show was a lot of fun and Terry has another one coming up this Friday at Peoria Pizza Works, so I decided to meet him for a buffet lunch at Pizza Works and talk about his upcoming show and check out the luncheon buffet there as well, since I don’t think I’ve ever been there in the daytime. And so, it’s off we go to...
Peoria Pizza Works!
Okay, let’s go in...but first, let’s take a look at those signs on the side of the patio over there. Wednesday’s are Trivia Nights here with a Happy Hour from 7-9PM and look at the second one, it’s a sign for Terry’s show this Friday night! Doors open for this at 5PM and the show starts at 7PM. Tickets are 10 bucks a person and 15 dollars per couple. Believe me, that’s a bargain for the fun that Terry’s shows are, especially if you volunteer to be hypnotized! Here’s a short video from my time on stage with Terry! I was the star of the show! I really was!
There’s outdoor seating on the patio for drinking and dining outside, nice! And as I got ready to go inside I noticed a poster to the side of the door...It’s Terry! This guy knows how to promote his shows and I respect that!
Here we are inside of Peoria Pizza Works in the daytime. As I mentioned in the introduction, I don’t think I’ve ever been in here in the daytime! As usual I’m early, so I’ll pick out the booth to sit at and then like magic, our pretty waitress, Melissa arrives with a large glass of unsweetened iced tea! What an angel of mercy! Okay, as usual, I’m early, so let’s take a look around in here during daytime hours!
There’s booths lining the far wall that lead up to the copper-topped bar and there’s the owner of Peoria Pizza Works, Gary standing behind the bar in front of the taps. And it’s a large selection of beers on tap as you can see! and there’s the Indian statue that’s been in here forever and always gives me a Seinfeld flashback!
Let’s go and check out the back rooms in here. The first room is all dark until Gary turned on the lights and there’s the room with the vintage shuffleboard table that’s been in here forever! And in the bottom photo, there’s Gary at the door that leads to...
The room where they have Open Stage Nights here every Thursday, hosted by local musicians, Aaron Miller, Bob Kelly and Roy Ponce. There’s another open stage night every second Tuesday in here hosted by Russ and Aaron Miller. And in between there’s all kinds of entertainment going on in here, including Terry’s show this Friday night! And speaking of Terry, let’s go back in the main dining room, I bet he’s here by now...
Yep, here he is, today’s special luncheon guest of honor, Terry Grawey, the Hypno-Humorist! I asked Terry how he got into doing hypnotism and he said he wanted to do it for as long as he could remember. He also told me that back in the day, hypnotists on the entertainment circuit weren’t so quick to share information and that left Terry checking out books at the library and wondering how he would ever break into the world of being a Hypno-Humorist. Well, a chance meeting with renowned Hypnotist, William Mitchell led to Terry getting certified and starting his own Hypnosis stage show that has an emphasis on humor. Terry does his own shows and you can read more about that right here: Terry Grawey—Hypno-Humorist. He’s also part of William Mitchell’s Clean Hypnosis Shows ensemble and you can check that out right here. And now...let’s get some lunch!
On the way to the pizza lunch buffet, we ran into Bill, who’s a member of The Thrift Store Pickles improv comedy group! They’ve been putting on shows here at Pizza Works and I’m hoping to catch them live one of these nights, so stay tuned for that. You can keep up with their shows here at their facecrack page. Okay, now let’s go get lunch! I’m starvin’ like you know who over here!
Terry and I decided to start out at the salad bar and I love the silhouette shot of Terry there plating up his salad! Here’s we are back at the table and I took a photo of Terry’s salad and he’s covered it in...Ranch dressing. I’m not a big fan of Ranch dressing...no need to get into that now! To each their own and I’m sure to Terry covering his salad in Ranch makes perfect sense, I just don’t understand that choice, but I’m not going to obsess over it and let it ruin our lunch! I’ll just show you my salad that’s topped off with French dressing and it sure looks like a nice sane salad as opposed to...well, never mind! Don’t get me started! Maybe we should just move on to the pizza portion of our fine lunch together before I get carried away!
The pizza buffet here is really great, there’s a nice selection of pizza from their signature deep dish to thin crust with various toppings and they even have dessert pizza for those of you with a sweet tooth!
Here’s my plate, I chose a couple different styles of pizza and put a little hot sauce on them and some ground pepper. Perfectly sane toppings for a perfectly sane plate of food! I also got a couple of the cottage fries and they were delicious!
And now let’s take a look at what Terry chose for his lunch...first off, notice the somewhat smug look on his face and then look at his plate. At first I was mystified over what that white blob was on his plate intermingling with his pizza slices and when I asked what that was, Terry casually informed me: “It’s Ranch to dip the pizza in. At this point if you don’t want to read my thoughts about Ranch dressing, please skip down to the “Food For Thoughts” section, because I will confess, it might get a little intense for some people and I might use language and thoughts that some consider, “crude” and “gross.”
Okay, now that that disclaimer is out of the way, I can’t understand why people put Ranch dressing on salad, much less on any other kind of food. I’ve never eaten the stuff and never will. So you may be thinking: “Well how do you know that it’s horrible if you’ve never tried it?” Well, for starters it’s called, “Ranch.” And what “Ranch” makes me think of is piles of dirt, horse shit and Hoss from Bonanza. And singularly, none of those are too appetizing, but when you put them all together in a trifecta of thought about putting something like that in my mouth, it makes me want to spray vomit all over myself like a hyperactive firehose gone horribly awry.
The other thing about Ranch is the way it looks (and once again, if you are averse to what some may call “vulgar” language and crude thoughts, please stop reading now!) Okay, here goes, Ranch dressing looks like sperm. Plain and simple and I don’t like sperm, even though I’ve produced enough of the stuff to fill many dry river banks in my lifetime. It’s sticky and snot-like and I’ve never been fond of it, but without getting too graphic, it’s something I have to deal with, so when it rears its ugly head I just hand it to myself and get rid of it as quickly as I can! But I refuse to put some sperm-alike substance to be put on any food that I’m going to eat. That’s just me and any other sane food eater. Okay, that’s enough of that, let’s just have Melissa take a photo of Terry and myself at our booth and keep moving along and try to forget about all of this!
Every picture and thought balloon tells a story! Thanks to Terry for hanging out for lunch and to Melissa, Gary and everyone at Peoria Pizza Works for a great luncheon buffet! Just get rid of the Ranch next time, please and thank you!
Thoughts For Food With Terry Grawey
Okay, every time we have lunch with someone here at MBIP, we ask them variations on the same Peoria food questions we ask everyone and so here we go with Terry!
Favorite pizza in Peoria (or nearby, this applies to all questions): Pizza Works/Kady Kats.
Recommendation for the MBIP Saturday Night Dinner: Hearth.
If you could take a trip back in time, where would you eat a meal in Peoria? Hunts.
Favorite local sandwich: Mushroom and Swiss burger at Spotted Cow.
Even though you should try to eat local, the one chain restaurant in Peoria I would recommend is: Chick-fil-A.
Best little out of the way joint I know is: Is Smileys still open? Best ribs!
Someplace that has really good pub grub is: Kenny’s West Side Tap. Great Cheese Soup!
My favorite spot for breakfast is: At my desk with a Home made smoothie and banana walnut granola with almond milk.
And my favorite spot to have lunch at is: Hearth.
If you had to choose a last meal in Peoria, what would it be (feel free to use items from different restaurants): HyVee Has really good Clam Chowder, and then I’d choose The Fish House for the main course.
And finally, if you could hypnotize anyone into having lunch or dinner with you, who would it be and what kind of post-hypnotic suggestion would you give to this person? I’d have dinner with my wife and kids and their spouses and the post-hypnotic suggestion would be that they pick up the check!
Be sure to check out Terry and his entertaining Hypno-Humorist Show tomorrow, Friday, June 10th at Peoria Pizza Works!