Two years ago I went on an ice cream drink tour around Peoria with my friends, Amber and Joe. I thought it would be fun to do this again as part of our ten week ice cream journey and so it’s off we go for chilly ice cream drink tour! Amber and Joe are going to be the judges for the tour, so let’s go meet up with them right now!
Amber and Joe
Amber and Joe are going to be the judge’s for this ice cream drink tour. They have notebooks, pens and a lip smacker frozen drink thingy. They’ll be judging on the bartender, the presentation and the drink itself.
And we’re off!
First Stop: Jonah’s 2601 Oyster Bar
Jonah’s is a rustic seafood restaurant in East Peoria and the Oyster Bar is attached to it. As you can see, this is a popular place, but luckily there was a few seats for us at the end of the bar.
This was a pleasant surprise, it’s Andrew, who was bartending when we did the first Big Chill ice cream tour in 2015! He’s a really nice guy and it was great to see and chat with him. We decided to order something to eat before trying all of these ice cream drinks tonight.
We ordered the Mushroom Flatbread and it was so delicious! The flatbread is a thin, crisp cracker crust and it’s topped with a generous portion of melted Provolone cheese, caramelized onions and three types of fresh mushrooms: Shitake, Portabella and Oyster. The crust is crisp and cracker thin and the mushrooms were really tasty and mixed so nice with the rich melted Provolone and the caramelized onions added a nice sharpness to the dish. I’m definitely getting this again the next time I come here! What a tasty treat! Now on to the first ice cream drink of the tour!
We’re letting the bartenders choose the drink and Andrew decided to whip up a Milk Chocolate Martini. It’s topped with whipped cream and shaved cinnamon!
Both Amber and Joe loved this and it looks like we’re off to a great start!
The final score for the Milk Chocolate Martini is an eight, a perfect score! Looks like we might have a winner right out of the gate, but we have three more stops and you never know what’s going to happen. So it’s off to...
Second Stop: Sky Harbor Steak House
Here’s the friendly and always wonderful hosts of Sky Harbor: Mrs. K. and Daryl! Always love to see both of them!
I love the atmosphere in Sky Harbor. It’s like walking back in time and if you’ve never experienced this charming restaurant and piano bar, you need to stop in and check it out! It's definitely a Peoria treasure!
It’s time for drink number two and this one is an ice cream drink that was invented by Daryl! It’s called The Polar Vortex and some of the key ingredients are Prairie Farms vanilla ice cream, Fireball whiskey and Rum Chata. That’s Russ who’s been bartending here for many years skillfully mixing and blending the drink behind the bar.
This one really went over big! Amber and Joe said the drink had an unique and really delicious flavor to it.
This is going to be a rough one to top. Amber liked it so much she went over the four point scoring system and gave it a five! The total score for The Polar Vortex is nine, which is really going to be tough to beat, but let’s keep moving along here, two more to go!
Third Stop: The Lariat Steakhouse
The Lariat Steakhouse is one of Peoria’s oldest restaurants and it’s iconic P-town restaurant and bar. They have the darkest dining room in Peoria and the bar is always lit-up and festive. Tonight there were three friendly folks at the bar and after talking with them it turns out they know both of my uncles and my dad! Time to cue this up before we go any further!
Okay, it’s time for a sad moment here on this ice cream drink tour. My personal favorite ice cream drink in Peoria is the Brandy Alexander that’s served up right here in The Lariat. Matt the friendly bartender looked a little pained when we told him what we were doing and he woefully told us that the soft-serve ice cream machine used to make the ice cream drinks was broken and they weren’t able to make them that night. Wow, what a let-down! Matt is a trooper though and he made up a frozen drink called the Miami Vice. Amber and Joe dutifully rated it, but I’m going to exert my power as the Blogmaster here and disqualify it because there’s no ice cream in it. I think Amber’s rating says it all and plus the drink made me think of this. Sorry Lariat, but maybe you want to invest in a gallon of vanilla ice cream and stick it in the freezer for a back-up next time!
Fourth And Final Stop: The Fish House
If you’re a regular reader of MBIP, you know that The Fish House is one of my favorite places and a regular stop here on the blog. The atmosphere is welcoming and old school and it’s got the darkest bar in all of Peoria. And standing behind that bar is..
Paul! A personal friend and a veteran bartender here in Peoria. We told Paul what we were up to and he went to work on a new recipe he’s been developing and sometime in the course of the evening it was decided that it would have the title of, St. Paul! Perfect!
Lots of flavors and ingredients are being mixed and blended expertly by Paul. There he is serving up the finished product!
Amber and Joe enjoyed the final drink of the tour!
The St. Paul got a decent score of six ice cream cones. And that means that the winner is...oh Ringo, can you give us a drum roll?
Goddammit, will you get out of here, Don Johnson! We’ve had enough Miami Vice to last a lifetime today! Are you out there, Ringo?
That’s better, thanks, Ringo! Okay the winner is...
Sky Harbor with The Polar Vortex! Thanks to everyone for playing along and thanks to Amber and Joe for being great judges and fun company for the evening! Congratulations to Sky Harbor for winning the best ice cream drink in Peoria! It’s still warm out this week, so stop in and treat yourself to a Polar Vortex before winter starts to rear its ugly head! We’ll see you all tomorrow!