Tannins & Hops is definitely one of Peoria’s most unique and innovative watering holes and restaurants. It’s the city’s only Speakeasy styled tavern—you have to know the secret password to get inside (it’s, “I hear this plays in Peoria,” but don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret!) and they also have a menu that changes every single month!
As I was perusing July’s menu, I noticed a chicken dish called, Spatchcock Chicken on their seasonal Backyard Grill menu. I’ve never heard of this style of chicken, so I did some research and it sounds interesting and delicious.
So let’s get the cluck over to Tannins & Hops and check it out!
The bar is crowded, but I managed to find a spot to get situated in and Nick served up an ice-cold can of Bud Light.
Sadly the stupid MBIP Camera fuzzed Nick’s shot out. Sometimes I hate the MBIP Camera. Hate hate HATE it!
To make up for Nick’s fuzzed out shot, I’ll put up a plug for a charity that he’s currently a part of. Nick is going on a weeklong bike ride in Iowa to raise money for The Neighborhood House.
I love the wooden ceiling in here and as you can see the bar is well stocked with beer and spirits. Check out all of the craft beers on tap!
And please quit judging me for drinking a Bud Light with all of these other selections!
I placed my order for the Spatchcock chicken and there’s the guys back in the kitchen preparing it! While they’re cooking it up, we’ll take a look around in here.
There’s large communal tables opposite the bar in the dining area. One thing I love is that there’s no TV sets in here. Owner Bryan Harlan said he wanted to make an atmosphere where people talk and socialize and I think that is so cool!
I also love the Prohibition art done by local artist, Devin McGlone.
There’s live music happening tonight and that’s the Nathan Taylor Trio on stage in front of the art display. Nathan also has a full band and you can read more about him and the band here.
Meanwhile, back at the bar…
Our Spatchcock chicken dinner is served up by Executive Chef, Jimmy! It looks amazing!
Wow, this looks absolutely fabulous! It’s an entire chicken that’s been brined, smoked and roasted.
It’s served with two sides and I got cauliflower and carrots. But like the chicken, these aren’t your everyday side dishes…
The cauliflower has a toasty consistency to it and it’s seasoned and spicy and so delicious!
The carrots were a special treat too, Jimmy told me he purposely overcooks them to give them a rustic crunch. He also covers them in a honey glaze and they were so tasty, smoky and sweet!
I would’ve been happy and satisfied with the side dishes, but now let’s move on to the chicken!
This chicken is a true work of culinary art! The back bone is cut out so it can be butterflied.
It’s smoked and roasted and it looks unbelievable! Okay, time to dig in!
Oh my god! This is definitely some of the best chicken I’ve ever had in my life! It’s so tender and juicy and packed with flavor!
Two people could easily split this and if you want to try it, you better get to Tannins & Hops soon, it’s off the menu after July!
Now as if that feast wasn’t enough, owner Bryan Harlan brought me over a Tannins & Hop Dog and two cheesecake bites! The Tannins & Hop Dog is an all beef National Frank on a bakery fresh poppy seed bun topped with house made IPA pickle relish, spicy wildflower mustard and red wine tomato jam.
The cheesecake is made at Tannins & Hops by The Baking Baer.
If I wasn’t so stuffed from the chicken, I’d dive in, but luckily Bryan brought them in to go boxes. I have enough food for the week here!
We can’t leave without getting a cocktail for the road and that cocktail has to be their best selling drink that’s named after Yours Fooly, The Wombacher Sour!
There’s Sally behind the bar mixing it up and looking very pretty all at the same time!
The drink is a variation on the Manhattan and it’s topped off with red wine.
Cheers and thanks to Bryan, Nick, Jimmy, Sally and everyone at Tannins & Hops for an epic stop on this chicken tour!
This was definitely a highlight!
Four Stars Plus!—This was an unbelievable chicken dinner! As I said, you should get over to Tannins & Hops soon, because after July it’s not going to be on the menu anymore!
And tomorrow, check out Good Day Central Illinois, Bryan and myself are going to be on a segment featuring this Spatchcock Chicken Dinner! We’ll be on a little after the 8AM hour, so tune in for the live TV fun!
619 A Southwest Water Street
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