Julie Motherway wears a lot of hats in when it comes to her career. She’s the Executive/Personal Assistant to James Kelly at the James Kelly Law Firm. Julie is also the Property Manager for Kelly Properties, LLC and, most importantly for this post, she’s also the Director of Operations and Human Resources for all three locations of Oliver’s Pizza & Pub, which is also owned by James Kelly. Julie last appeared on the MBIP blog back in January when I had my lunch at the James Kelly Law Firm. That was a blast and recently I ran into Julie at Oliver’s in the Heights (where else would she be?) and she told me that they have a great line-up of sandwiches at Oliver’s Pizza & Pub North on Willow Knolls Road. I think you know where this is going, yep, time for the 50th sandwich at Oliver’s North! Luckily it’s about two minutes from the MBIP World Headquarters, hold on because...
Here we are at Oliver’s Pizza & Pub North! I love this place because it looks like a southern mansion with the huge porch out front. Julie’s going to meet us here and join us for our weekly sandwich. I’m early, as always, so let’s go in and see if she’s inside.
Up the stairs we go and here we are inside of Oliver’s North. There’s a sign with beer specials on it and the spacious and comfortable dining room is just off to the left. Right as I stepped in I got a text from Julie that she’d be here in about a half an hour. That’s perfect because that will allow us time for some photos before she gets here. So let’s start where I always love to begin a post at...
The bar! Stan and Frank are the two friendly bartenders on duty here. That’s Jered enjoying a beer at the bar and it turns out he plays bass in the band, Shadows Inc, you can check out their facecrack page right here. There’s Frank with an ice-cold bottle of Budweiser, which is fitting because previous to this bartending gig, he worked over thirty years for Anheuser-Busch. Frank’s a wonderful, old-school bartender and he’s a great conversationalist, which I always enjoy. There’s also one fact about Frank that’s really pertinent to today’s post and that will be revealed soon!
There’s a nice, relaxing beer garden outside with tables, chairs and bags boards if you’re into that game. They also have live music out here and it’s just a delightful oasis! Okay, let’s go back inside for a few more bar pictures before Julie gets here.
That candle is being guarded by the salt and pepper shakers standing attention on either side and there’s Stan and Frank busy serving up drinks to thirsty patrons in here. As you can see, there’s a very large selection of beers on tap and they have a wide range of cans and bottles as well (check out the beer and drink menu here). I love the Pulp Fiction art in here, especially the one on the bottom! Okay, hold on to your socks if you’re wearing any, because...
It’s time for the arrival of our special guest star for the evening, Julie! Great to see her and she’s looking very pretty tonight! And she’s brought a gift, how nice! We’ll open that up soon, but first...
We have to have a picture of Julie and Frank, because that fact about Frank I alluded to earlier is that Frank is Julie’s father! Look at their identical smiles, I love it!
We decided to sit at a table in the dining room and I opened up Julie’s gift and she gave me two Oliver’s t-shirts! The back says, “I’m A Regular,” and it’s part of a campaign Julie is running where they’re encouraging everyone who stops in at Oliver’s to come back and become a regular. That’s so nice, thanks, Julie, I’ll wear it with pride!
That’s Julie with our waitress for the evening, Ashley! In addition to being a server at Oliver’s North, Ashley also bartends at the newest Oliver’s location in Toluca, Illinois. Ashley’s husband manages that Oliver’s, as you can see, it’s kind of a family affair when it comes to the employees at Oliver’s! No wonder everyone is so friendly! Ashley took our order and Julie showed me some of the art and photos on the walls in this front dining area.
I love that New York pizza parlor photo! The second is a painting of the Oliver’s North building back in the day when none of this area was built up. That’s two of Jim Kelly’s children is the third photo and Jim’s foot can be seen directly to the right. I think my favorite photo is the last one, Oliver S North. Ha, that’s genius!
Okay, we’re back at our table and dinner is served up by Ashley! Julie got the Atomic Burger, which is a half a pound burger that’s crusted in seasoning and topped with pickled Serrano peppers, pepperjack cheese, lettuce, pickles and tomato. It looks amazing!
Here’s sandwich number 50! It’s a sandwich named The GFF. This sandwich is made with thinly-sliced sirloin steak, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms with a house-made buffalo sauce. It’s topped with a layer of melted jack cheese and it’s housed in a a buttered and toasted Olivilotti-Pisanelli roll. There’s a story behind this sandwich and Julie told it to me and here it is in her own words:
“The GFF is "Girlfriend's Favorite." Chris Aldrich, part-owner/founder of Aleman Brewing, was someone who knew someone who was executive chef of a restaurant at which I worked from 2007-2010. He worked in an old school butcher shoppe in Chicago, and we contracted him to curate our menu when we opened Oliver's North. In the trial stage, he made us a steak sandwich with his own Buffalo sauce and veggies, and he offhandedly stated that it was his girlfriend's favorite. When we said we wanted that on the menu, he gave us a prototype for a menu including the "buffalo steak sandwich," but having remembered how he presented it initially (stovetop at Peoria Heights Oliver's) we renamed it the GFF--girlfriend's favorite. Chris is now married to the G (Tiz Aldrich) They have a beautiful baby girl now too!”
Thanks, Julie, great story! Now let’s try out this unique and delicious looking sandwich!
There’s Julie and I enjoying our meals and this sandwich is so tasty and satisfying! The steak is tender and juicy and the vegetables add a nice flavor and crunch to the sandwich. I really like the house-made buffalo sauce and it gives the sandwich a nice spicy flavor that’s offset nicely with the creamy, rich, melted jack cheese. The Olivilotti-Pisanelli roll it’s served on is buttered and toasted and is bakery fresh. This is a real original and delicious sandwich! And the fries here are so good! Crispy and salty and they taste even better when they’re slathered in the house-made JK dipping sauce! Great sandwich and fries!
After dinner Karaoke was happening at the bar with the host, Eric Lytle. We first met Eric when we did a pizza post from Oliver’s in the Heights. There’s Frank belting out, “Mac The Knife!” Below he’s pictured with one of his fans, Kim, who was a former server here and Julie said she was a rockstar in the place!
This was a great evening and I loved the sandwich! Thanks to Julie for hanging out and being our host at Oliver’s for the evening! I had a blast! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
Four Dagwood Bumsteads—I guarantee you, there’s not another sandwich in town like The GFF! It’s delicious and unique and you should go and try it out right now!
3300 W. Willow Knolls Dr
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