Tuesday night we headed to Alexanders Steakhouse, 100 Alexander Street in Peoria in honor of StfRon's nephew's 12th birthday.
At Alexanders, you can cook your own steak over one of their large grill pits, or you can pay an extra $2.49 to have it cooked by a chef.
If you dine with a party of six on your birthday, you can dine for free.
When we arrived around 6:45, the place was packed with Caterpillar employees. There was a line of people waiting for the salad bar and the grill was lined with people, elbow to elbow.
StfRon ordered the ribs, which are not a cook yourself option, and I went with the Santa Maria top sirloin. Priced at $19.99, I love the seasoning on this sirloin. It can be a little salty, but it has great flavor.
Almost everyone else went with a filet, either au natural or teriyaki, but our brother-in-law had a bone-in steak, which could later benefit their dog with an unexpected treat. He and our guest of honor chose to cook their own steaks, while the rest of us languished at the table.
Alexanders has added Boylan's old fashioned sodas to the menu. Our older nephew went with the black cherry variety, while the birthday boy tried the orange cream. Both sounded very good.
One thing I like about Alexanders is that they have one of the last great salad bars in the area. There is a decent variety of vegetables, fruits and salad toppings featured. We enjoyed our salads while waiting for our entrées to arrive.
When our food arrived, we also enjoyed a couple of skillets of their mushrooms, which are buttery and delicious, and a favorite of our guest of honor.
The birthday treatment at Alexanders also includes a skillet cookie topped with ice cream. Our waiter, who had been entertaining and had been checking on us periodically all night, brought us an extra unclaimed cookie, which we managed to scarf down.
Alexanders, owned by Mercedes Restaurants, also has locations in Springfield, Normal and Champaign, and their sister restaurant is Vonachen's Old Place in Junction City in Peoria. Alexanders also provides banquet rooms for special events.
With the good service from our waiter, and some great company, this outing made for an enjoyable break early in our work week.