We’re a dozen weeks into our year-long sandwich tour and now it’s time to try a sandwich that up to this point I’ve never tried before in my life—a Reuben sandwich. Sauerkraut is always something that I’ve shied away from. I’ve never liked the smell of it or the taste of it and so anything that has this cabbage side dish in or around, I’ve pretty much avoided like it’s chili with beans. One man has decided to try to come between me and my sauerkraut phobia and that man is none other than Sean Kenny, the owner and host of Kenny’s Westside Pub!
Kenny’s has always been a stop on these food tours and so far Sean and his crew have never let me down. We had a great tenderloin here during that tour, the Cheesy Marty Pizza was a highlight in our year of pizza posts and who could ever forget the peanut butter chicken wings in our twelve week chicken wing tour? So when Sean suggested I try the Reuben sandwich at Kenny’s for this year-long sandwich tour I hesitated because one of the ingredients in a Reuben sandwich is sauerkraut. Sean assured me that the way they prepare the sandwich, the sauerkraut blends in with the other ingredients in the grilled sandwich and takes on a flavor that would be most agreeable with my taste buds. I’ve always trusted Sean before and so now it’s time to take the Reuben challenge at Kenny’s Westside Pub, here on our 12th week in A Year In The Life Of A Sandwich!
The flags are flying high at Kenny's Westside Pub as we begin week number 12 in our year-long sandwich tour!
It’s a nice night out and people are hanging out on the front beer/smoking patio and a familiar face down there at the end table, it’s Bart Grawey (on the right) with his girlfriend, Katie and another Grawey on the far left, Alex! Great to see all of them and now let’s step inside...
To Kenny’s Westside Pub! Kyle is the bartender on duty and he’s quick with a bottle of beer to start the evening off on a perfect note! I placed my sandwich order and while that’s being prepared let’s wander around a little inside of this familiar MBIP haunt!
There’s a shot from the end of the bar and the colorful bottles lit up behind it. The wooden barmaid is standing tall next to the classic Hamm’s clock where the time is always 4:20 on the dot! And the last shot is a numerical riddle, which if you can solve it while Kyle is bartending, he’ll give you a free drink!
Booths line the wooden walls opposite the bar and there’s a nod to the original owner of this place, Bill King! Love the Grateful Dead artwork by Bob Whitaker and the last two shots are the five beers on tap with one of the most ornate and elegant taps in town!
As I made my way to the other side of the bar I spied two people chatting there at the end of it and it’s none other than Kenny’s owner, Sean Kenny and he’s talking business with another esteemed Peoria bar owner, Chris Herold, the owner of Champ’s West! Chris told me that the kitchen at Champ’s will be opening soon, so stay tuned for a post about that in the not so far distant future! But enough about Champ’s West for now, this is a Kenny’s post and I think it’s just about...
Sandwich time! Kyle is serving up sandwich number twelve, the Kenny’s Westside Pub Reuben with a side order of beer-battered onion rings. The sandwich and onion rings look exceptional and so far I don’t smell any sauerkraut, so let’s dive into this meal!
Sean told me that the sauce is Kenny’s own spicy Irish dressing and you’re supposed to dip the sandwich into it so I did and took a large bite and it was a big surprise! I didn’t really notice the sauerkraut at all, just like Sean said. It kind of blended in with the other tastes and this is one delicious sandwich! The corned beef is piled high and it’s from Raber’s. The meat is savory, just a little salty and has mustard seeds ingrained into it and it mixes so well with the rich, melted Swiss cheese! The marble rye is bakery fresh and grilled to perfection. The sandwich would be great on it’s own, but when you dip it into the spicy Irish dressing it really takes it up to perfection! The sauerkraut didn’t faze me at all, just like Sean promised and this is one fabulous and tasty sandwich and a highlight of this sandwich tour so far. In fact, I’d say it rivals Jim’s Steakhouse...do I see a sandwich showdown coming up months down the road? Only time will tell!
The onion rings were also a nice surprise, I’ve never had them here and they were crispy, golden brown and delicious and I dipped them into the spicy Irish sauce and it made them even tastier!
If you haven’t tried the Reuben at Kenny’s I suggest you try it out today! They’re open for lunch, so what are you waiting for?
After the sandwich, i looked out the window at Farmington Road and then...
Through the magic of the interwebs, we’ve been magically transported to 112 SW Jefferson Avenue in downtown Peoria. Most of you have heard the news, but in case you haven’t, Kenny’s Westside Pub is moving to this location the first weekend in October! This is exciting news and Sean said he’d give us a little preview of the new place, which they’re working on around the clock right now to get ready for the grand opening. So now, here’s some exclusive preview photos of the brand new, Kenny’s Westside Pub!
There’s two rooms to this place and one side will be a bar/dining space and the other will be a room for music, bands, parties and receptions. These classic sliding wooden doors with the Kenny’s logo on them slide open to reveal the music room. This place is twice the size of the original Kenny’s, but both rooms will contain the cozy, clubhouse vibe that the original had.
Remember, these are just teaser shots and in October the entire place will be revealed to the public! Here’s a longshot of the bar rail.
The wooden moulding behind the bar gives the place a classic look.
The lights on the ceiling are on and in about six weeks it’ll be opening time for the new Kenny’s Westside Pub in downtown Peoria!
Check out the new state of the art kitchen in the back! It’s huge and Sean told me that in the beginning, the menu and pretty much everything is going to remain the same at the new Kenny’s Westside Pub. While the new location is in downtown Peoria, it’s actually only a five minute drive from the original Kenny’s and this is going to be great for Peoria’s downtown nightlife scene. Sean’s always been a huge supporter of local bands and live music and this venue has it’s own room for shows and I predict that the new Kenny’s Westside Pub will be a new chapter for downtown Peoria, just the way the original one was for Farmington Road! The venue moves onward and upward, but the song will remain the same! Thanks to Sean and everyone at Kenny’s for a great Reuben sandwich and for all the fun these last few years, I’m looking forward to more good times at this new location! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
Four Dagwood Bumsteads—This is one exceptional sandwich with tasty, fresh, locally-sourced corned beef from Raber’s and I love that spicy Irish sauce!
Kenny’s Westside Pub
2016 W. Farmington Rd
Kenny’s Westside Pub
New Location (Opening the first weekend in October)
112 SW Jefferson Avenue
Related Posts: A Year In The Life Of A Sandwich @ No Wake Zone, Picco’s Pit Bar-B-Que And Steakhouse, The Fox Pub, Leonardo’s/La Gondola, Castle’s Patio Inn, Kuchie’s On The Water, The 50’s Diner, Donnelly’s Pub, The Mix Sandwich Works, Nacho Mama’s and Jim's Steakhouse.