Monday, February 23, 2009

Lariat Steakhouse

For Valentine's Day, StfRon had called the Fish House weeks ahead to make reservations, only to be told that for parties of two they were not accepting reservations. We decided to take our chances anyway, but when we showed up we were told that the wait was two hours.
Considering the group of people leaning against the walls in the narrow hallway and the beginnings of a growling stomach, we decided to try someplace else.
Since we were so close, we decided to check in at the Lariat Steakhouse, 2232 W. Glen Avenue in Peoria. We had not had dinner there in ages, although I did attend a lunchtime banquet there last year.
At the podium just inside the door we were told the wait would be about an hour and 15 minutes. The lobby and lounge area was not uncomfortably crowded, nor was it loud, so we decided to put our name on the list.
Within five or 10 minutes, we were able to find seats at a table in the lounge to continue our wait. The carpet in the room must help a lot with soundproofing, because I expected it to be a lot more noisy than it was. As we waited, we admired the rustic barn style beams throughout the lounge.
I'm not sure if we ended up waiting the entire hour and 15 before being seated. If we did, it was a pleasant wait before we were called and whisked back to one of the banquet rooms in the back of the restaurant. The atmosphere was fairly light and bright in the party room, and several people joked as they were brought in that they felt like they were at a wedding reception.
No worries, though. Our server was apologetic, although she didn't have any need to be; the huge prime rib was great quality, despite probably being cranked out in large quantities all night; my petite filet was great and served just as I had ordered it; my sweet potato was superbly done and about the size of a football; my French onion soup was good; the bread was doughy and delicious; our wine was quite decent and we had a fun time. StfRon ordered the au gratin potatoes, and they were fine, but he prefers the sweeter version some other restaurants serve.
I'm actually in the process of reading a novel right now set in 1949 where the main character just took his date to the Lariat Steakhouse for a date. The place certainly knows their steaks and has obviously been doing a lot of things right for a lot of years.
For an unplanned stop, our night out more than met our expectations. We won't stay away for so long this time!


Floyd said...

Ditto exactly on the Fish House. Never have been there, may not ever go at this rate!

What book?

And I've been hit-and-miss with the steaks at the Lariat. Ohhh, how I miss Uncle Al's in Sunnyland, by far my favorite steak house ever (in this area)!!!

Peoria Peepers said...

My husband used to work at Uncle Al's. Unfortunately, I never got to try the place.

I do love the Fish House, but not enough to stand in a hallway for two hours, I guess!

The book is called The Itinerant: A Heartland Story, by James Nowlan. It has lots of central Illinois history mentioned, from the old theaters in Peoria to the Hub ballroom, to some restaurant called Maple Shade. I'm getting a kick out of reading about some places I remember, and some I've never heard of.
Starke County is heavily featured, plus some trips to Peoria, Springfield and Champaign so far.

BTW, did you make it to Country Diner to have some ham? Checked your blog in case you posted any new reviews...

Floyd said...

Never got in to eat up there yet. One day last week I drove up there for lunch, and all 11 parking spots were taken!!

And I'm not really doing the blogging anymore. I think that you and my wife were the only readers!!!