Live, from East Peoria, it’s Saturday Night starring this week’s host, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse with special guest star, Ben Lowrey A.K.A. B Löwd and featuring The Ready For Prime Vegetables Comedy/Singing Duo, Martin and Martin. And now please welcome this week’s host, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse!
I’m down at the foot of Main Street waiting for my ride to tonight’s Saturday night dinner and I took a picture because the light from the evening has brought a nice skyline image.
Just as I snapped the photo my ride has magically appeared! It’s my friend Ben Lowrey who is my co-host on our Saturday night vegetarian meal journeys. We’re doing twelve of these and this is our ninth outing. Then on number thirteen Ben is going to eat meat! Ben is a DJ who’s known as B Löwd and you can hear his music by clicking here. He also hosts a weekly radio show on Urban Soundz Radio that you can hear at 9PM every Thursday night. And if you’re out and about on September 27th, B Löwd is hosting this event at Rail II. Okay, now that we’ve reviewed B Löwd’s schedule it’s off to our next vegetarian meal, which is going to happen at...
Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse! Yeah, I know a steakhouse seems like a weird place to go to for a vegetarian meal, but Johnny’s has a lot of vegetarian options in addition to the steak and meat entrees. Let’s go in and you’ll soon see how to eat meat free in Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse.
That’s Jackie doing hostess duty for the evening and she seated us at this nice booth. Time to let the evening begin!
Our waitress, Amy is not only quick to deliver the evening’s beverages, she’s also Jackie’s mom and she’s married to C.J. Summers, who did the popular Peoria blog, Peoria Chronicle. Okay, we’ve ordered our appetizer selection and while Ben peruses the menu for his main course entree, I’m going to take a look around in here.
Hey look, there’s another entertainer over there by the bar, it’s Dean Martin! I thought he was dead so it’s nice to see him alive and smiling here at Johnny’s! He’s talking to some people at a table, so we’ll say hi later.
I love the bar here, it’s circular and bathed in a spectacular cyan hue.
There’s banquettes behind it for seating and I was pleasantly surprised to see Marty and Amber seated at one of the banquettes. They’re the other Amber and Marty here in Central Illinois and you can read all about that here. They were celebrating their second anniversary here and I was going to buy them a drink, but when I went back to their table they had disappeared! Where did you go Amber and Marty? Oh well, this is a good excuse to meet up for the anniversary drink I owe you!
Hey Frank, Dino’s over at the other side of the bar!
Meanwhile, back at our booth our meatless appetizers have arrived and they look fantastic! We got the Toasted Ravioli and Iron Skillet Potatoes. Both of the appetizers were really tasty and I really loved the potatoes! You can read more about them in the review below, but they were crispy on the outside and were so rich and cheesy creamy on the inside! This could’ve really been enough for dinner, but keep on scrolling because there’s more to come!
Chris is one of the Director of Operations here at Johnny’s and he stopped by the table to say hi. He said business has been good and was happy that we’re showcasing the vegetarian options at Johnny’s. And speaking of vegetarian options...
Here’s Amy with our main courses!
Ben got the spinach and artichoke pasta and I got the Tortellini Portabella. Both of the dishes were expertly prepared and were rich and tasty. There’s Ben digging into his entree. As you can see the portions are generous and I didn’t really think I could eat another bite when I had finished my meal. But then...
Amy appeared with a dessert tray! How amazing do these dessert items look? There was Creme Brulee, Warm Chocolate Cake, Limoncello Cake, Roasted Banana Cheesecake, Tiramisu Cake and Turtle Cheesecake. Ben and I decided to split one of these and I let Ben pick it because I couldn’t decide! Ben chose...
The Turtle Cheesecake. As good as the picture looks it tasted about twenty times better! A sweet treat to finalize a delicious meat-free dinner in a steakhouse!
On the way out I shared a special moment with Dino. It’s the new comedy/singing duo of Martin and Martin! Thanks to everyone at Johnny’s for a wonderful meal and fun evening and thanks to Ben for driving and hanging out for the evening! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
We started out the meal with dueling appetizers. The Toasted Ravioli was very tasty but it took second place to the Iron Skillet Potatoes. These are hash brown styled potatoes seared in an iron skillet that are crispy on the outside and smooth, creamy and loaded with cheese when you dig in to them. They’re really rich and delicious and served with a marinara sauce that compliments them nicely.
For our main courses we chose from the pasta section of the menu which has a lot of selections. If you’re going the vegetarian route, most of the meat and seafood in the pastas can be taken out. Ben got the Spinach and Artichoke pasta and I got the Tortellini Portabella. This dish is a nice combination of sautéed portabella mushrooms, broccoli, red peppers and cheese tortellini in a Parmesan cream sauce. It was a nice combination of flavors and the sauce was really creamy, rich and delicious.
After the appetizers and main courses we were stuffed but after seeing the impressive dessert tray we sampled the Turtle Cheesecake and it was a sweet ending to a wonderful dinner. All the desserts are made in-house and when you go to Johnnhy’s make sure to leave room to sample at least one of these sweet treats!
Four Galloping Gourmets—A steakhouse is an unlikely selection for a vegetarian meal, but at Johnny’s you can have a great dinner with none of the items ever uttering a moo in their past life! Of course if you do want to go the meat route, there’s a great selection of steaks and seafood available here!
Related Posts: Saturday Night Vegetarian Dinners: Hacienda El Mirador, Rizzi’s, Khoury’s Cuisine, Alexander’s Steakhouse, Last Chance Bar & Grill, Oliver’s Pizza & Pub North, Novu Sushi, PV II and Po-Boys On Frostwood.