And so we begin yet another food tour here on MBIP and it’s the longest one we’ve ever started: 13 months of chicken. This will be all kinds of chicken: Baked chicken, chicken sandwiches, chicken pasta, chicken casseroles, chicken soup, chicken pizza and of course, fried chicken! For the first stop, I wanted to pick an historic place in Peoria for fried chicken: Agatucci’s. Let that sink in for a minute: “Agatucci’s...historic Peoria place for fried chicken.”
Most people don’t know this but Agatucci’s has been serving the same family fried chicken recipe longer than any other restaurant in Peoria. When Agatucci’s made the transition from a family grocery store to a restaurant in the 1930's, they first started serving spaghetti and traditional Italian fare, then sometime in 1945 they developed a fried chicken recipe and they’ve been serving that recipe ever since. Most people associate Agatucci’s with pizza, but they were frying up chicken before a pizza was ever put into an oven in there.
So while there’s no answer to the age-old question: “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” We do know that in Agatucci’s, the chicken came before the pizza, so let’s go start the first week of chicken at Agatucci’s!
Here we are at Agatucci’s, one of my favorite Peoria dining spots. This is the fourteenth MBIP post for those of you keeping score! Let’s go in and get a seat at the bar and start week number one of 13 months of chicken dinners!
I sat down and saw that both Tony and Dan Agatucci were too busy to pose for the MBIP Camera, but that’s okay because moments after I sat down, the evening was interrupted by...
The Invasion Of The Borhos!
And it was quite a pleasant interruption and surprise! My friends, Lisa and Jim Borho (Lisa’s last name is different now due to a marriage situation, but I didn’t write it down, so we’ll just continue to call her Lisa Borho). I don’t think I’ve seen Jim since the first MBIP Bowling Party and I haven’t seen Lisa in over 30 years! Two amazing things happened with this invasion: Jim is awake past 5:30PM for the first time since 1997 and Lisa hasn’t changed in over 30 years! Two words to take from this Borho reunion: Beauty sleep! Great to see them and in the photo below are more of the Borho clan, it’s Lisa’s two daughters and her granddaughter. What a beautiful family! Okay, back to our post, already in progress!
Whoops, Tony and Dan are still busy! Well, let’s take a trio of obligatory Agatucci’s photos while we wait for them to become unbusy.
A Trio Of Obligatory Agatucci Photos
Three of my favorite things in here are the Michelob stained glass chandelier hanging over the bar, the neon St. Louis Cardinals clock and of course the classic backwards Agatucci’s clock! Meanwhile, back at the bar...
Tony and Dan: Still busy! Well, sometimes you have to take control of a situation!
Taking Control Of The Situation
I went back to the kitchen and just ordered the fried chicken dinner myself! And there it is being breaded with their secret flour and seasonings that they’ve been using since 1945! Okay, let’s go back while that’s cooking and see if we can finally get our Tony and Dan picture for the evening...
Wow, Tony and Dan are still busy! These guys need to take a break! You know while looking at the bar, I thought of something, the one place in Agatucci’s I’ve never taken photos of is behind the bar and there’s a treasure trove of goodies back there. So you know what this means, it’s time for...
Behind The Agatucci’s Bar!
There’s so much stuff back here I could spend the whole evening snooping around! There’s the official MBIP art from the Twelve Timer’s Club evening, Jerry and Jim are pictured from 1941, antique bottles, bobbleheads, hanging lamps, beer openers, the classic Hamm’s Beer sign, t-shirts and several obligatory bar mirror shots, oh my!
As I reached the end of the bar, I realized that Tony and Dan were gone, where the hell are they?
They’re right here, serving up the very first fried chicken dinner of the 13 month tour! I love these guys so clucking much! Now let’s check out this historic fried chicken dinner that they’ve been serving here in the same location in Peoria since 1945!
You have to eat through a pile of French fries to get to the chicken below and they are crispy and delicious!
How beautiful does this fried chicken look? If you’ve never had fried chicken here, the unofficial rule is to poke it with a fork and let it cool for a few minutes. Fork you, chicken!
A Few Minutes Later
This is such tasty and delicious fried chicken. The outside is lightly battered, crispy and seasoned to perfection. Inside is juicy and such a great flavor. No wonder those in the know will sometimes choose fried chicken over the tasty pizza in here! This was a fantastic start to this 13 month tour!
Dan told a customer about the chicken tour and he wrote down some suggestions for us. Are you seeing this, Scott Turley? Looks like we’ve already got some road trips to start scheduling! Thanks to Tony and Dan and everyone at Agatucci’s for the fantastic fried chicken and a wonderful start to this clucked up 13 month chicken tour!
Four Dixie Chickens—If you’ve never had the fried chicken dinner at Agatucci’s you need to try it out! It’s not only historic, it’s delicious fried chicken. Check out this review by Kevin, I usually don’t go by Yelp reviews, but this guy nailed the Agatucci’s fried chcken experience in his review!
2607 N. University Street