The other day while driving down Knoxville, I noticed a large building near the corner of Pioneer Park and Knoxville and it had Van Fleet Law Office on the front of it. I had driven by this building probably hundreds of times since moving back here four years ago, but I never really took notice of it till the other day. And for some reason I kept thinking about it and I really wondered what kind of lunch room they have in there—yes, this is how I while away my time, I think about lunch rooms. Well, there’s only one thing to do now, let’s go and see if we can eat our lunch in this place! But first, we need to get some lunch, so let’s go to...
Chicago Grill! I’ve had people tell me I should come here for a blog, so I thought I’d try it out today but it didn’t really go so well once I got inside. There was a guy behind the counter, probably in his early 40’s and he had the demeanor of The Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. I walked in, he was standing in front of the cash register and as I soon as I looked upwards at the menu he barked out, “Come on, what do you want,” in a somewhat clipped accent that I couldn’t place. I looked at the menu as he impatiently shifted back and forth on his feet and I ordered an Italian Beef sandwich with an order of French Fries. Then I showed him my MBIP card, told him I do a local blog and asked if I could take his picture and he looked kind of disgusted and said/shouted, “No!” Then after a slight pause he said, “Thank you!” in a somewhat sarcastic tone. This really bugged me, I mean I don’t mind people not wanting their picture taken, but you don’t have to be rude or condescending about it and this guy was both! Plus, I’m a customer in here! Well, happily he walked away and the woman who served me the to-go lunch was very nice and I was on my way. I had a bad feeling after that though, that this “Can I Eat My Lunch” episode might be doomed. But I’ve come this far and I can’t turn back now, so let’s just keep moving forward. Before we do though, what really bugged me was the sarcastic, “Thank you,” he threw in after he said, “No.” You had to be there, but it really bothered me. Oh and let me just add this: Chicago Dogs suck monkey lungs on moldy bread! That’s why I got the Italian Beef, I don’t really need a goddamned hot dog with a fucking whoop-dee-do salad on top of it...Thank you! Alright, let’s move along before I get nuts here!
Okay, we’re here at today’s “Can I Eat My Lunch In Here” destination. One of the reasons I chose Chicago Grill is that it’s right down the street. I have to admit being confused though, when I drove by the other day I noticed it said, “Van Fleet Law” on the outside, but today I see there’s a sign saying, “James Kelly Law Firm.” But as I walked around to the other side of the building, I see Van Fleet Law above the door, hmm...is there two law firms in here? Well, there’s only one way to find out, let’s go in and see who’s building this is and then see if I can eat my lunch in here. Right about now my stomach starts going into knots, because more often than not, this is a real exercise in awkwardness, so here we go!
Wow, it’s really nice in here! Check out the high ceilings and the fancy decor! I really have my doubts that they’re going to let me just barge in and eat my lunch in here, but we’ve come this far, so let’s keep moving along! I think the reception desk is over there in the corner, so let’s go and get some information on who’s in this building and then we’ll hit them with the whole, can I eat my lunch in here thingy.
I approached the reception desk and this friendly woman was behind the desk and told me her name was Sharon. I asked about the different names outside on the building and she explained that the Van Fleet Law Firm is now located downtown and The James Kelly Law Firm had just moved in this week. She told me that James Kelly’s dad, William also has his law firm in here and she’s his secretary and was filling in for the receptionist. She was super nice and friendly, so I hit her with the fact that I do a local blog and asked if I could eat my lunch in here and she told me she knew who I was and that one of her friends is the receptionist at the Quinn-Johnston Law Offices. Well, my stomach immediately went back into a knot, because that episode didn’t go so well and I felt bad for that receptionist because it was a day where it really went awkward, you can see that post and read about it here. Well my fears vanished shortly after because Sharon said her friend felt bad that she turned me away, but they had had some security problems back then and I had just came at the wrong time. Then she told me that I could eat my lunch in here and called for someone to come out to meet me and that someone turned out to be...
Julie, who I know from Oliver’s Pizza & Pub in Peoria Heights and Willow Knolls Drive! I asked what she was doing here and it turns out that James Kelly, who has the law firm here also owns the Oliver’s Pizza & Pubs and Julie is the Director of Operations for Oliver’s and for the law firm! She said I was more than welcome to have lunch in the new offices here and then called out to James Kelly to come over and meet me.
And here he is, James Kelly! James was really nice and welcomed me to the law offices and said I was more than welcome to have lunch in the lunch room! Well, this is certainly turning out way better than i had anticipated! Julie said she’d take me to the lunch room and so, let’s go eat our lunch in the James Kelly Law Firm lunch room! I’m so excited! I love it when things work out like this, especially when I was expecting the worst!
Julie told me that the lunch room was in the basement and she led us down the stairs to the lunch room and it’s a very nice lunch room, all white and shiny and spic and span! Kim was eating at the table and I asked if I could join her and she told me I could. We then realized that we’ve met before at some of the West Peoria taverns including the Owl’s Nest and we have some friends in common! I took a picture of Kim’s lunch which was a homemade turkey sandwich with some Wheat Thins. The sandwich was very impressive and I thought she had just the right amount of Wheat Thins alongside of it. Nice lunch making, Kim!
And now onto my lunch from the Chicago Grill. I have to confess, after that guy was rude to me and hit me with that answer of, “No...Thank you!” I kind of wanted to hate their lunch, but it actually looks very good! I got the Italian Beef with cheese and sweet peppers and it smells amazing! The fries look really good too!
It comes with a cup of au jus for the sandwich, so I poured that on and it was really a tasty Italian Beef sandwich! And the fries were really good too, they had the skin on them and I really like them that way. I have to admit, this was a delicious lunch and maybe I’ll have to go back and see if I can take pictures in there and try something else...maybe I’ll even go there and get a Chicago Dog! Now I’m kind of obsessing over this idea, so stay tuned for my return visit there, it should be interesting!
Julie had stepped out while I ate my lunch, but she just returned and offered to give me a little tour of the new offices. That’s so nice and this is turning out to be the best “Can I Eat My Lunch” episode ever! It’s even better because I really thought it would go badly! We started off the tour by looking at both of the refrigerators in here. I love that it’s mainly filled with liquid items, just like the refrigerator at MBIP World Headquarters!
The tour continued up in Julie’s office where she had an “I Love Pizza” sign on her desk, obviously a tribute to Oliver’s Pizza & Pub! And I love the little sandwich and hamburger in front of it! But check out that horse over there! Holy creeping moley! That thing sends a chill down my spine! Julie said it’s a rotating Christmas gift at the office and she got it this year. I’m really transfixed by this thing, it’s kind of a cross between Liberace, Howdy Doody and Mr. Ed! It’s kind of a trifecta of creepiness! Okay, let’s just slowly walk away from this thing...
Yikes, I can’t stop looking at this horse puppet thing! I swear I stared at it for about an hour last night! It’s one of those things that’s really hard to stop looking at, kind of like watching a leper pick a scab while eating a Chicago Dog. Aaahhhh!
Okay, I’m all better now! Julie took me over to the elevator to take a look at some of the offices upstairs and this is a first, we’ve never been on an elevator on a “Can I Eat My Lunch In Here?” episode! This just gets better and better! Wow, check it out up here, I love the columns an lights. And the aerial view from up here is making me just a little dizzy! Which isn't necessarily a bad thing!
Julie took me to Kim’s office. Kim’s a paralegal here and from the paperwork on her desk, she’s got her work cut out for her today! We went down the corridor and met Patrick and Alex in their offices and they were both really nice guys! The tour ended up at James’ corner office! James and Julie told me that they recently opened up an Oliver’s in Toluca, Illinois and said all of the restaurants are doing great. If you’ve never been to Oliver’s you should definitely go and try the pizza and other tasty items on the menu. I’ve done several posts from Oliver’s and you can check out a couple of them here and here!
Julie told me to take a look at the sign outside of the building and I did and that’s a nice message up there for James and everyone here at the James Kelly Law Firm! Thanks to Sharon, Julie, Kim and James for a really fun afternoon! This was the best “Can I Eat My Lunch In Here” episode yet, so thanks for the hospitality and fun! We’ll see you all tomorrow!