Live from Peoria, Illinois, it’s Saturday Night BBQ starring this week’s host, Heart of Illinois BBQ & Bluegrass Festival and featuring the Ready for Prime Beef Player, Marty Wombacher. And now, directly from Expo Gardens, please welcome this week’s host, Heart of Illinois BBQ & Bluegrass Festival!
Here we are, how cool to be welcomed on the main sign!
This post is going to be divided into three sections, food, music and...BEER!
Baboom, there's our beer! How easy was that? Okay, on to the food portion.
The first stop is The Dinner Bell where owner and Executive Chef, Shamon Bell is cutting us up some rib tips. They look so good! We got a box to go and then it's time to move on down the road to...
The Eat Dawn's Taco food truck. This is one cool and fancily decked out food truck, very impressive and I like my taco fresh too!
I love their logo! Nothing like a woman flying around with a giant taco between her legs to make your heart go pitter-patter!
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, Mrs. and Mr. Taco! It's Dawn herself and her husband who's name I didn't write down because I forgot my pen. We'll just call him Mr. Taco, then collect up a friend taco and be on our way. Great to meet both of them, really nice people!
I stopped at the Hick'ry Catering truck and got a beef brisket sandwich that looked really tasty.
The guys from the Henn House BBQ in Oneida, Illinois gave us a friendly welcome to their stand.
I got a Junkyard Dog from them which is a hot dog with brisket and melted cheese piled on top. It looks absolutely decadent. I added some of their homemade BBQ sauce and their sauce is unbelievable! Really tasty!
I started walking away and then spied a familiar face at their stand...
It's MBIP pal and owner of Moxie's ReSale Boutique, Mollee! I invited her to come along and sample some of the food I had bought on the trail of BBQ at the festival. She agreed, but said I had to make one more stop...
To the Melted food stand. That's Uncle Red behind the counter and he's serving up...
Fancy Grilled Cheese sandwiches! Sounds great to me! I got one with Horseradish Cheddar on Texas Toast to go.
On the way to the picnic table Mollee and I ran into Roxy and Greg. Roxy's pretty much in charge of this event and has really done a great job with the festival. I'm hoping this becomes an annual event in Peoria at Expo Gardens.
This is Lydia, who's in town from Chicago to work the event as a hospitality coordinator. Roxy told me she was "killing it" at the job, so I kept her far away from the plastic knives. Hey, I want to live to hear the music portion of this post!
On the way back to the picnic table we ran back into Shamon from The Dinner Bell and he offered up a fish dinner on the house, very nice and check it out...
How great does that look? We had to add it to our buffet of food to be spread out on the picnic table and sampled.
There's the spread, let's dig in!
I thought we'd start with the rib tips from the Dinner Bell, what a great looking basket of food!
Holy freaking moley, these are so good! The sauce is a nice blend of sweet and smoky and the rib tips are tasty, succulent and tender! What a great start to the sampling!
I couldn't wait to eat Dawn's Taco (I sure hope Mr. Taco doesn't take offense to that!) and it did not disappoint! It's deep fried so the shell is extra crunchy and the meat is really tasty and spicy and the cool lettuce sour cream and cheese are a nice counter-balance to the deep fried taco.
This is the fancy grilled cheese from Uncle Red's Melted food stand and it's not only fancy, it's probably the best grilled cheese I've ever had. Uncle Red said he's thinking about putting together a Melted Grilled Cheese restaurant and if he does, I'll be the first in line.
Greg took my camera and took a shot of me devouring the Junkyard Dog form the Henn House. Remember how good it looked? It tasted even better! The Brisket sandwich from Hick'ry Catering was great as was the fish dinner that Shamon from The Dinner Bell generously donated to our dinner, but as good as everything was, my favorite of the evening was...drumroll please...
The Rib Tips from The Dinner Bell. So very good and tasty! If there's a festival next year, I pray these are featured again. I may have to hire his truck to come to my apartment parking lot! What a great spread of food! Thanks to all the vendors for some tasty treats! And now it's time for...
Dessert, which comes in a liquid form and Roxy and Greg gave me this HOIBBQ beer koozie! Very cool!
And now we move onwards and upwards to the music section of this post!
The bands play over here in the Main Show Arena, let's go!
Oh look, there's a beer wagon sitting right at the entrance, how handy!
And there's our pal, Greg, who's quick with a beer! What a lifesaver! And now on to the music!
There's a good crowd in here, let's go see who the band is...
As you can see, I'm not the only one taking photos in the crowd.
I think she's taking a selfie with the band as the background. I bet it ended up on facecrack!
Here's a photo of Roxie taking a photo of the band.
This is the set list on stage.
What a great show! I'm hoping to see Comatose Catfish again.
Uh oh, the light's have dimmed on the Eat Dawn's Taco food truck...
And the grounds have emptied out, looks like it's time to call it a night. Thanks to Roxie, Greg, Mollee and Lydia for hanging out and to the vendors for the wonderful food and finally to Comatose Catfish for a great show. We'll see you all tomorrow!
Check out more highlights from the Heart of Illinois BBQ & Bluegrass Festival here at their facecrack page.
Bonus Art From Jaws the Cabbie!
The Eat Dawn’s Taco food truck reminded Jaws the Cabbie of Dawn Wells who played Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island and he sent in this artwork to accompany his comment today. Ha! I’m a Mary Ann man myself! Thanks Jaws!