Live, from Peoria, Illinois, it’s Saturday Night starring this week’s host, Castle’s Patio Inn with special guest stars, Amber, Joe, Alex, Kevin, Jon, Mae and Hannah! And now please welcome this week’s host, a real Peoria landmark famous for their one-of-a-kind homemade cheese, over on Loucks Avenue, Castle’s Patio Inn!
Okay, it’s Saturday night and it is freezing out here! It’s colder than a manager at Avanti’s telling me I can’t take pictures in there! For some reason the lights are all streaking out here every time I try and take a photo of the outside of the building. I don’t know if it’s the cold or the MBIP Camera pissed off that it had to come off of vacation and get back to work, but I can’t stand it out here anymore, so this is as good as it gets! Let’s pretend like I wanted to shoot the photos this way...yeah, I kind of wanted this artsy sort of streaked look...that’s the ticket!
Let’s get inside and warm up in the Cheesiest Place in Town, Castle’s Patio Inn!
Ahh, nice and toasty warm in here and I spy a familiar and friendly face over there behind the bar, it’s veteran bartender Alex with an ice-cold Budweiser! Always great to see Alex and that’s a cool Tommy Bolin shirt he’s got on! Make sure you ask Alex about the Tommy Bolin grave story next time you’re in here, it’s a doozy! Just one of the many great stories that Alex has!
I love it in here, I’ve been coming here since the ‘70’s back when it was Ray’s Patio Inn and it always feels like being in a nice familiar place from the past in here. There’s a shot behind the bar, the dining area and the corner table which is my favorite place to sit when we have a crowd in here. That’s a nice couple there at the end of the bar and they told me that their son reads the blog. Here’s the bad thing I have to admit now, I forgot to write their names down and I’m totally relying on my memory here, which is never a good thing, but I think their names are Tim and Laurie. If they or anyone knows any differently, please let me know and i”ll correct it later. Looks like the MBIP Camera isn’t the only thing rusty tonight! And check out the last photo here in this string, it’s two of my favorite friends and guest stars here on MBIP! And speaking of MBIP, this post is going to be divided into three handy-dandy sections today and in honor of these two, the first section is going to be called...
It’s Amber and Joe, two of the more frequent and favorite guest stars here on MBIP! Always great to see them and hang out and a perfect way to start MBIP back up here in 2017! Alex brought us some cheese, we had a nice chat and before you know it...
We had more guest stars and all of a sudden we were seated in my favorite corner table here in Castle’s Patio Inn! I love it when this happens, what a magical evening! Our other friends that joined are (from left): Hannah, Mae and Jon! Now that we’re all here, this can only mean one thing...time for another section of tonight’s blog...
There’s the executive chef in here, Kevin, back in the kitchen and tonight he’s going to prepare a special off-the-menu pizza in celebration of the return of the blog. And yeah, I know it’s just been two weeks that we’ve been off, but what the hell, might as well get all dramatic here, everybody else on the interwebs does! Let’s go back in the kitchen and I’ll tell you more about this special pizza we’re going to have tonight!
I gave Kevin a challenge and asked him to make a special pizza I’m going to call a “Castle’s Patio Pizza.” My idea was to take some of the items that Castle’s is known for and make a pizza with these toppings. And no, I wasn’t high when I thought of this, but thanks for asking (he said to no one in particular.) Kevin accepted and here he is making the pie. He’s starting off with a layer of fresh mozzarella and then he added the famous Castle’s slow-cooked prime beef and then some grilled onions and another layer of mozzarella cheese on top of that. It looks good just like this, but there’s more to come! Kevin told me he needs to bake this off for a few minutes, so we’ll take a little MBIP station break and be right back after this important announcement.
Okay, we’re back, the pizza has been baking in the oven and now it’s time for the crucial final topping on this specially-made pizza. Kevin filled a pastry bag with Castle’s homemade cheese and is putting a layer of that on top of the pie! I can’t wait to try this! He said that it would be ready soon and so...
It’s back to the table to wait for the pizza to arrive!
Well, that didn’t take long! Here’s Kevin with the pizza and a side order of pickles, just in case anyone’s pregnant. Pregnant...hmm...why is that word bugging me more than usual...well, let’s forget about that and check out this pizza!
Oh my god! It looks so good! The cheese has browned nicely on top and it smells heavenly...not that I know what heaven actually smells like, but I bet they’ve got some really top-notch air fresheners up there, so...well, whatever, let’s eat dig into this pizza pie!
I let it cool for a minute or so and couldn’t resist biting into a piece and it is so delicious and tasty! You can read more about it in the review below, but it was such a great mix of flavors on a pizza and the flavors definitely brought together the famous Castle Crown Prime Beef sandwich and the cheese and crackers all in one scrumptious pizza pie that we’re calling, "The Castle Crown Patio Pizza!" We all agreed it was a first-class job by Kevin especially considering the last minute challenge to make this pie! And in case you were wondering about the pickles, that was because the Castle Crown Prime Beef sandwich comes with pickles, but it still makes me think about pregnancy and that brings us to our third and final section of today’s post and that section is...
One thing at Castle’s Patio Inn that I’ve never taken a photo of is the vintage condom machines in the men’s bathroom. I don’t have proof of this, but I’m pretty sure that these are the two oldest condom machines in Peoria. Alex told us that these are from the ‘70’s and they’re attached to the wall in such a way that they can’t remove them without knocking down the wall, so they remain here. He said the guy who stocked the machines died over 15 years ago and they haven’t been re-stocked since! I love the copy and photos on these machines, very cool and a nice slice of Peoria birth control history here in Castle’s Patio Inn!
But the condom machines aren’t exclusive to the men’s bathroom, Mae went and checked out the women’s bathroom and there was one in there too! Even though Alex told us these haven’t been stocked for over 15 years, Mae decided to put four quarters in and try her luck and she spun the dial and—baboom, out came a condom! It’s an MBIP miracle! Let’s go back to the table before people start talking about Mae and I being in the bathroom too long together!
Well, the box is in good shape for being 15-years-old! Mae took the condom out and we were amused that it looked like there were little sunglasses in the package rather than a condom! They made us think of the glasses Peter Fonda wore in the movie, Easy Rider! I’d like to see him model these...oh Peter...are you out there...
Check it out! It’s a perfect fit and after all, wouldn’t “Easy Rider,” be a wonderful name for a condom? Thanks Peter! And thanks to Amber, Joe, Alex, Kevin, Jon, Mae and Hannah for hanging out for the evening! It was a ton of fun and a nice way to start off MBIP in 2017! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
I challenged Kevin, the chef at Castle’s to make a special pizza for us utilizing some of the unique flavors only to be found at Castle’s Patio Inn and he certainly rose to the occasion!
He used a base of fresh mozzarella on the crust and then added juicy slices of the slow-cooked Castle’s prime beef to that along with some grilled onions and then more mozzarella and baked that off. The real crown jewel on the pizza was a generous drizzling of the famous homemade Castle’s Patio Inn cheese spread on top of the pizza! The crust was cracker thin and crunchy and it was like eating the Castle Crown Prime Beef Sandwich and the cheese and crackers all in one delicious pizza! Thanks to Kevin for stellar work on this, we really enjoyed it and appreciate the ingenuity behind it!
Four Galloping Gourmets—While this pizza is not on the menu and was kind of done special for us, we all encouraged them to add it to the menu! I can’t guranatee that you can get this at Castle’s Patio Inn, but if you tell Kevin you saw it on the blog and ask real nice, he might just make you one. And if he does enjoy every bite of it, we sure did!
Castle’s Patio Inn
802 W. Loucks Avenue
Happy Birthday To Caylin!
It’s another year and there’s more birthday wishes here at MBIP! Last night my family celebrated my niece Caylin’s birthday with a dinner at Weaver Ridge and then ice cream and cake back at my parents house.
That’s all of us (minus Phil who was in the bathroom, I think he was looking for a condom machine, but I’ll never tell) at the table at Weaver Ridge and they did a great job of serving us and the food was great! Caylin’s cake came from Trefzger’s (no extra frosting, sorry Chuck!), and there’s the birthday girl opening up my presents. I got her a Cat’s Are Weird book and some temporary cat tattoos. Happy birthday, Caylin!