Live, from Peoria Heights, it’s Saturday Night, starring this week’s host, 12 Bar Lounge with special guests, Shane and Heather! This week we’re presenting a special performance with the unseen MBIP Ready For Prime Beef Players entitled, “Three Cocktails and a Cheeseburger!”
Now, please welcome, all the way from restaurant row in Peoria Heights, the 12 Bar Lounge!
I started the weekly series, “Saturday Night Cheeseburger” nine years ago when I was doing my 365 bars blog. I hated going to bars on Saturday night in New York because it’s just a shit-show on that night. So I had the idea of going somewhere early in the evening and getting a cheeseburger along with a few beers. Here’s a link to the inaugural Saturday Night Cheeseburger from the Stoned Crow in NYC back on April 4, 2010.
I did a Peoria version when I started MBIP, but after a while I ran out of places to go and just shortened this series to “Saturday Night,” and made the focus a Saturday night meal.
Well, when I heard about 12 Bar Lounge opening up and saw a cheeseburger on their small plates menu I thought it would be fun to revive the Saturday Night Cheeseburger experience for this week.
And since they specialize in unique high-quality craft cocktails, I thought I’d sample a trio of those as well, so let’s start this Saturday night episode of, “Three Cocktails and a Cheeseburger!”
Three Cocktails and a Cheeseburger!
Here we are at our Saturday Night Cheeseburger destination! The 12 Bar Lounge is located on the third floor of the same building on Prospect that houses Edge, which makes sense because it’s owned by Edge Chef, Dustin Allen.
The easiest way to get there is to walk down the sidewalk to the back of the building, hop on the elevator, press the third floor and…
Whoomp, here we are at the 12 Bar Lounge! Let’s walk in and see what’s happening in here.
The bar looks nice and there’s a quartet of people at the end, so I walked down to the other end and snared a chair. As you can see, they have a large list of wine and beers (see the whole cocktail and wine menu here) but I wanted to sample the cocktails. I found one, ordered it and...
Like magic, here it is delivered by the 12 Bar Lounge’s highly skilled Mixologist, Shane!
The first cocktail is a Thyme Lavender Lemon Drop and it’s made with Tito’s Vodka with dashes and drops of Thyme, Lavender and Lemon. It’s a sweet treat and a very refreshing summer drink to start the evening. Cheers!
The inventory for the craft cocktails are perched on these shelving units behind the bar.
There’s a comfortable and swanky lounge area behind the bar with tables, chairs, couches and wall to wall windows overlooking Peoria Heights. The view up here at night is stunning!
In addition to the fabulous atmosphere in here, the 12 Bar Lounge has weekly live music. Check out some of the upcoming artists performing here in June and July.
Hey, DJ juanGoblin is spinning funk on June 21, very cool!
There’s a party room you can rent in the back, which is what eleven people had done on that evening. In my travels I ran into Heather, who I always see when I dine at Edge, which is down on the ground floor. Always a pleasure to see her pretty, smiling face!
Meanwhile, back at the bar…
Shane’s firing things up for the next cocktail…
Which is a Burnt Cinnamon Old Fashioned. You can see a video of Shane mixing the drink here, it’s delicious by the way!
Now it’s time for our Saturday Night Cheeseburger! Here’s Shane serving it up, in addition to the 12 Bar Burger, I also got an order of the Wisconsin Cheese Curds.
They both look fantastic!
I thought I’d sample the Wisconsin Cheese Curds first. These are not your average cheese curds at all!
They’re big deep-fried nuggets and I took one for a swim in the dipping sauce and it was incredible! It’s covered in a crisp, salty and spicy crust which is a nice compliment to the rich and creamy melted cheese inside.
These could be a meal unto themselves!
Shane told me the cheeseburger was phenomenal and it certainly looks like it lives up to that description.
The giganzo burger is garnished with pickled onion, lettuce and white cheddar. The most interesting garnish is the tomato jam, which is made in-house, like everything else here.
Okay, let’s see if I can fit this into my big mouth!
Wow, wow and wow! This is an amazing cheeseburger!
The burger is juicy and flavorful and the brioche bun is bakery fresh. The tomato jam adds a slight layer of sweetness to the mix and this is definitely one of the very best cheeseburgers I’ve ever eaten!
It was delicious times ten…no make that twelve!
For the third cocktail, Shane made me an off-the menu drink and he named it…
The Marty! He told me the ingredients, but I didn’t write them down, but this is one sweet and tasty cocktail! If you’d like to try one, Shane said all you have to do is go there and order The Marty! Cheers!
Thanks to Shane and everyone at the 12 Bar Lounge for a trio of wonderful craft cocktails and for the off the chart cheeseburger!
SN Rating: Four Galloping Gourmets—If you want a four star, two course dinner, go to 12 Bar Lounge and get the Wisconsin Cheese Curds and the 12 Bar Burger, you will love it! And wash it all down with a Marty cocktail!
4500 N. Prospect Road (Third Floor)
Open Wednesday through Saturday