Live from Peoria, Illinois it’s Saturday Night starring this week’s host, Darling’s Dine & Draft with special guest stars, Nathalie, Amber, Joe, Tim, Angie, Stevan, Jill and Chris and featuring The Ready For Prime Beef Player, Marty Wombacher. And now, please welcome from Heritage Square in Peoria, Heights, Darling’s Dine & Draft!
Darling’s Dine & Draft just opened up a couple of weeks ago, so I thought we’d try it out tonight. As you can see by the neon sign in the window, it’s open, so let’s go inside and have a look at the newest pub in Peoria Heights. Check out the bulletin board in here, since it just opened, there’s only two business cards on it...hmm...you have to wonder who’s such a pathetic attention whore that they had to be the first ones to put their cards up here...
Uhh...never mind. Let’s just go inside!
There’s a good crowd in here but there’s a table front and center and since I’m meeting friends here, I grabbed it before someone else did. There’s the beer menu on the table and if beer isn’t your thing, there’s four buck well drinks on special here on Saturday nights! Our friendly server, Stevan came up to the table and took my drink order. And since I’m early as always, let’s got take a look at the bar in here...I wonder where it is...
Oh, it’s over there. I made my way over, but it was crowded and kind of hard to take pictures of it. It kind of bugged me because I didn’t think these photos were a satisfactory representation of the bar, but what are you going to do? Well, if you’re like me you’ll obsess over it all day until I start working on tomorrow’s post. Ugh.
As I headed back to my table, I ran into the owners of Darling’s Dine & Draft, Jill and Chris. They also own the downtown restaurant of the same name, so they’re pretty busy these days!
Well now, here’s two friends of mine I’ve known for quite some time, Tim and Angie Cassidy! Tim is just the latest in a long line of Cassidy’s featured here on the blog with other members of the Cassidy clan including, Chris, Nancy and Colleen. Angie’s part of the Hobin family and I’ve had other Hobin’s here on MBIP too, including, Andy, Mike and Maggie and my cousin Susie is a regular reader, so this is kind of like a reunion all in one picture! Great to see and chat with Angie and Tim and hope to see you both again soon!
Okay, one look out the front window and it’s back to the table.
And what perfect timing to return to the table, because my friends and special guest stars for the evening have arrived! There’s Nathalie in the top picture and Amber and Joe in the second one. And at the bottom is all three at our table! They all look fantastic and now we can let the evening’s festivities really begin and forget about the fact that the pictures of the bar really kind of sucked. Okay, I’m not going to forget about those anytime soon, but let’s just pretend I’m going to and keep moving along.
Amber and Joe had something to eat earlier and Nathalie had a family party later on, so none of them were ordering a meal, so it’s up to me to order the Saturday Night Dinner tonight. Oh, the pressure! I went to the menu board located on the wall near the front door and my choices have been highlighted by the Photoshop Fairy here at MBIP!
We started out with an appetizer of Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese Bites. It turns out these are so popular, there was only three of them left, so Stevan let us sample the last of them. I’m not sure how they were as I didn’t try one because I was still thinking about those shitty bar photos. Amber, Joe and Nathalie said they were delicious though!
After the appetizer was gone, I wandered over to the open kitchen area opposite the dining area to take a few photos. And as luck would have it, Chris was making up my sandwich, so here’s some action shots of dinner being prepared and served up! Okay, it’s back to the table to look at tonight’s dinner!
Here’s the dinner in all of its glory! I got the Griller sandwich with the homemade potato chips and it came with a pickle slice. It looks so good! Time to dig in!
Amber took a shot of me chowing down and this was such a good sandwich! You can read more about it in the review below, but it’s highly recommended! After dinner, Nathalie had to go to her family party and Amber and Joe took off as they had to get up and go to Chicago for an anniversary party, so I wandered out to...
The patio area and it’s really nice out here. Plus, there’s a great view for the Saturday concerts that Darling's downstairs neighbor, Pour Brother’s Taproom has been putting on. Thanks to everyone at the recently opened up Darling’s Dine & Draft for a fun evening and a wonderful meal and to Nathalie, Amber and Joe for joining me for the evening! Great to see them, as always and now I’m going to go and beat myself up over those stupid, shitty, fucking bar photos. We’ll see you all tomorrow!
Darlings Dine & Draft has a nice pub-styled menu with a large assortment of appetizers, wings, sandwiches and burgers to choose from. I decided to try the Griller sandwich, which is one of seven sandwich selections available on the menu (along with four chicken sandwiches). You have your choice of bread with this selection and I chose rye bread and I wandered back to the kitchen area and saw it being prepared with care by Chris. I got it with the homemade potato chips and it also came with a pickle slice.
The sandwich is a variation of a grilled cheese sandwich and has three cheeses (American, Swiss and Cheddar) melted inside of the toasted sandwich. The Griller was crispy and toasty on the outside and inside the cheeses had melted together into a nice rich and creamy mix. But, as I said, this is a variation on a grilled cheese sandwich and in addition to the trio of cheeses, there’s also smoky bacon, caramelized balsamic onion jam and chipotle mayo swimming inside of the sandwich with the melted cheese. The bacon, onion jam and chipotle mayo added a spicy and savory taste to the rich melty cheese mixture and it was really a delicious sandwich! The potato chips were crispy and seasoned with just the right amount of salt and were a nice crunchy side dish for the sandwich. I didn’t eat the pickle.
Three and a half Galloping Gourmets—The Griller is really a delicious sandwich and I suggest you give it and Darling’s Dine & Draft a try! I’m going to go back in a couple months for my sandwich tour to try out their signature Frankenstein sandwich, so stay tuned for that! I might even eat the pickle on that stop! Who knows?
Darling’s Dine & Draft
4450 N. Prospect (top level in Heritage Square)