With Cinco de Mayo falling on a Monday, it seemed a perfect time to check out the new addition at 422 Riverside Drive in East Peoria, Lorena's Mexican Restaurant.
StfRon was planning to meet me there fairly early, right after work. I walked through the restaurant and didn't see him, so I stepped through the arched doorway decorated with painted stone accents and found him sitting at the bar having a cerveza.
I joined him and ordered a margarita, which, due to the projected large (or crazy) crowd, was served in a plastic cup rimmed with salt.
We visited for a while and played some festive tunes on the digital jukebox, then decided to just have our dinner at the bar.
We asked for some menus and found them chock full of offerings. Our lovely bar maid/maiden also brought us some chips and salsa. The chips were not salty, like some offerings I've had.
Being a green sauce junkie, I went with the enchilada zuisas, three cheese enchiladas topped with roasted pork and green salsa.
StfRon selected a beef chimichanga.
Our food arrived pretty quickly, but not so fast that we didn't enjoy our drinks and chips and salsa.
My meal was good, not spicy at all, and had a heftier amount of pork on it than I've been served at some places. StfRon's chimichanga was good, too, buried under lots of guacamole, beans and more, and he said it did have some spice to it.
Most of the entrées on the menu were priced at $7.75.
By the time we left around 6:30 or so, they were not yet packed and we were wishing we'd arrived a bit later so we could hear the band that was set to play starting at 8 p.m. But we did notice that they have a live mariachi band every Thursday starting at 6 p.m.
There are also three large TVs over the bar, for the sports enthusiasts.
The next time you're in downtown Peoria and are thinking about making a run for the border, take the short jaunt over the river and check out Lorena's.