Live, from Peoria, Illinois, it's Saturday Night Cheeseburger, starring this week's host, Mango Fondue & Lounge and featuring The Ready For Prime Beef Player, Marty Wombacher. And now, please welcome a restaurant that's fairly new to the area, Mango Fondue & Lounge!
Last year I got lost going to the Burger Barge and ended up at The Locker Room on Jefferson. So, since we’re going back to the same place we went to last year, we’ll bypass the getting lost part and head straight over to The Locker Room.
The place is just a few blocks from where I work and here we are!
What the hell, all the lights are off in there...
And the door’s locked. It’s closed. Okay time to improvise...
I’m just going make like the Cars and drive until I devise some sort of new plan for the evening.
I had a different idea going on in my mind until I saw Mango Fondue & Lounge over here. I’ve been meaning to stop in here since they opened last year. Let’s park and check it out.
It really looks nice from this vantage point in the parking lot, now I’m dying to check it out, let’s hope there’s still time...
Well now, there’s something that looks appealing...
The bar! And I was told that there’s time to order dinner! Yes, once again things have turned around here on MBIP! Let’s snag a seat and get settled in for tonight’s adventure.
Things are definitely getting better every minute. Here’s the pretty bartender for the evening, Beatrice, serving up the first beer of the night. Cheers!
Here’s my view of the bar as the first sip is being gulped down. The Locker Room is now just a dim memory and I think tonight holds great promise for a fun night on the town.
These three had just gotten off duty and were hanging out at the bar. From left: Anthony, Relyn and Austin. Relyn told me she reads the blog on a regular basis and I always love to hear that. Austin was very helpful in showing me the menu and suggesting a few items. This is one of the friendliest places I’ve ever been to!
And they let me in on a little secret, Beatrice is a little more than just the bartender tonight, she’s the co-owner along with Don pictured here on her right The two of them have a real vision for this restaurant, of course they want to serve up good food but they both said that they wanted to have a place where people would come and connect with each other. Fondue is communal food and it’s really conducive to engaging talk with each other as you eat as opposed to eating a sandwich and staring at your cell phone. They just started working on putting in a stage at the front of the lounge that will feature live music and local artwork. They have a real enthusiasm and it’s great to see this kind of attitude going into a local business.
Okay, I’ve ordered my selection for dinner, now let’s take a look around in here. First stop, a shot of the taps for Spike and all of you beer aficionados out there. They have a large selection of craft bottled beer in here too, check out their menu online.
Tables are lined up behind the bar here in the lounge area.
Booths line the walls back here and all the way around the entire restaurant.
Here’s the spacious main dining room. It’s close to closing time so it’s pretty well cleared out in here.
There’s more booths up here by the front windows.
There’s some great artwork and paintings on the walls.
Meanwhile, back at the bar...
It’s dinner time! Wow, this is quite a production going on here!
I got sirloin steak tips, mixed vegetables...
and fresh cubed sausage for my dipping items.
There's several styles of fondue to choose from and I thought I'd try the Buffalo Chicken Cheese fondue. It looks and smells fantastic. I think it’s time to take a dip!
The steak really plays well with the fondue and it’s tender as a Jackson Browne song.
The salami is equally tasty. The savory taste of the salami takes a back seat to the spicy fondue at first bite and then comes through in the second wave. There’s also chunks of chicken in the fondue adding to the flavor and texture.
The real surprise was the vegetables, they almost outdid the meat selections when it comes to taste. You can read more about them in the review below but this meal was so good. If you haven’t been here, you really need to and try it out. They also have a whole section of the menu devoted to non-fondue items, so there’s something for everyone here.
And if you think you won’t get filled up at a fondue restaurant, guess again, I’m stuffed like a taxidermy experiment over here.
Don brought out the people back in the kitchen responsible for this fine dining, from left: Ashley, Victor and Travis, who’s the kitchen manager and created the Buffalo Chicken Cheese recipe. We had a nice chat before I left, this was such a great night that started out so wrong! Thanks to Beatrice, Don and everybody at Mango, I had a great meal and lots of fun, I will definitely be back! See you all tomorrow!
If you’ve never been to a fondue restaurant and are a little skittish that you’re not sure how to order or what to do, have no fear at Mango. They have a wonderful and knowledgeable staff that seems to really enjoy telling you how to order and recommending favorites from the menu.
In the last four years that I’ve been doing blogs, I’ve eaten at hundreds of restaurants, bars, diners and even gas stations, so I thought I had seen it all, but one thing I love about doing an interractive blog is that you never know what’s around the corner. I had one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had at Mango and I wasn’t even on planning on going there! The atmosphere is really welcoming inside, booths line the walls and there’s a decent sized dining room with tables for parties over four. The lounge area is a nice, comfortable area with a full bar and lots of craft beers on tap and in bottles.
For my meal I got the Buffalo Chicken Cheese fondue. This is a fondue made with mozzarella and Parmesan, cheese, hot sauce and ground chicken blended with white wine. I selected sirloin steak tips, mixed vegetables and salami cubes as my items to dip into the fondue. The dinner arrived and it was presented very nicely and looked great so I started dipping away. The Buffalo Chicken Cheese fondue is savory and tangy with just a little kick to it and a perfect compliment for the meats I chose. The real surprise of the evening though, was the mixed vegetables. I kind of ordered them as an afterthought so I wouldn’t look like the total meathead I really am and I was so surprised at how wonderful they were with the fondue! The cold and crispy vegetables were the perfect foil for the warm and rich fondue. Equal parts crunchy vegetable and smooth savory fondue made for a taste sensation.
And for those of you who think that you’re not going to get full at a fondue restaurant, trust me, this is some wonderfully filling food. I couldn’t even make room for the chocolate fondue selections they have here for dessert. Just as well, it’s a good excuse for me to come back.
Four Galloping Gourmets—If you haven’t been to Mango Fondue and Lounge, go soon and try one of Peoria’s most unique restaurants. There’s also a number of non-fondue foods to sample on the menu as well so there’s no excuse not to try this restaurant which lives up to it’s slogan: "Something Good. Something Different."
Mango Fondue and Lounge
1818 W War Memorial Dr
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