Monday, October 18, 2010

Mark Allen's American Kitchen

Last Monday, October 11th, was my birthday. I postponed my birthday dinner till the following day, so I could try a restaurant that was opened on Tuesdays-Sundays called, "Mark Allen's American Kitchen". It was well worth the wait.

The restaurant is located in Peru, Illinois. The building is not hard to miss; it's painted a dark maroon. We parked in the back of the building and this is what we saw.

We walked around the building to the front. Here they have outside seating. It was a beautiful day to sit outside, but I wanted to see what the inside looked like.

The entrance into the restaurant:

The inside is just as eclectic as the outside. The walls are filled with colorful artwork from the chef's wife, Ann Maxwell-Weisbrod that can be purchased if you like. Here is the dining area.

Most of the artwork in this area is "hands-on". This was the piece hanging above our table. It had magnet pieces that we could move around and "design" our own art.

Here are some more inter-active art pieces.

I thought this was quite a stunning painting.

Next to our table was the "wishing wall". You write down your wish on a piece of paper, roll it up, and tuck it into the honeycomb wishing wall.

Insert wishes here.

Another interesting piece of art. This is a puzzle hanging on the wall with a few pieces missing.

Underneath this puzzle was a bowl full of puzzle pieces. I guess the idea was to dig in the bowl and find the correct pieces to fit the puzzle!

Let's talk about the food, shall we? There were 5 different salads to choose from, 5 different entrees such as steak fritte, fish tacos, and fish and chips. But they are known for their Wonderburgers. They are 6 ounces of ground chuck mixed with secret ingredients that make your taste buds sing! They come on a Kaiser Roll with lettuce, tomato & onion on the side, and Cole Slaw and Fries. Jim ordered the Blue Cheese Wonder which consisted of crumbled blue cheese, bacon and Swiss cheese for $7.95. I ordered the Holy Moley Bacon Wonderburger which consisted of guacamole, bacon and Swiss cheese, for $7.95. Here is a photo of my burger.

I'm telling you that was one of the best burgers I have eaten in a long time! So tasty! These burgers were so big that neither Jim nor I were able to finish them!

Mark Allen's was running a "the Real Housewives of Peru Flip Your Server" special. What that means is if you were a housewife (check), AND you dined with them on a Tuesday or a Thursday during the month of October (check), rather than "flip your table" like Theresa did on the final episode of Housewives of New Jersey you can "flip your server" for $3 off. You just hand your server the coupon (check), tell her you want to flip. (check) Call heads or tails. (I called heads.)

Heads, I won!

When I asked our waitress, Sharon, if I could "flip" she asked if I was a "desperate housewife".

I said, "Listen, I've been living in 400 square feet for 5 1/2 years; we've been on the road and I've been with this man for 24/7. Is that desperate enough for you?"

She said, "I think that qualifies."

Sharon didn't want to be in any of my pictures, but I see that I caught her in this one of the bar.

Meet Bob the dog. He has a special place up on the bar. Isn't he cute? They are having a special contest for dogs. Customers were urged to bring in a photo of their dog dressed in a Halloween costume. Guests would vote for the best costumed pet; the winner gets a Halloweeen dinner for four with treat bags for the kids.

Another odd thing at Mark Allen's was all these bras hanging in the corner. Women were asked to decorate their unwanted bras and bring them in, along with $5, to honor someone they knew with breast cancer. The money supports the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The bras were going to be joined in with other bras for the Guinness Book of World Records for the most bras strap to strap.

Although we were the only customers there in the middle of the afternoon, I bet this is a hopping place in the evenings and weekends! I would highly recommend this to any of you who are in the area. It's a fun place to visit, and the food was great!


Valerie said...

I imagine your food would get cold while you searched for the right puzzle piece! What a fantastic place. I've never heard of interactive pictures... what fun... and the bra idea was excellent. Hope they made a few dollars with it. Now, could you arrange for the whole place to be shipped over here so I can try the food!

Gail said...

What a wonderful place to celebrate.

Did I tell you happy birthday??

Bonnie said...

happy birthday dear pat!

what a creative restaurant!

becky said...

Pat, it looks like a fun place! It really stands out next to the other buildings in the background. The burger looks great... the fries look like sweet potato fries.
the Wishing Wall is such a cool idea... What did you wish for?

misslynda said...

Sounds like you had a fun birthday dinner. I love the interactive art with the magnetic pieces. They have a lot of interesting stuff there. It's good you had the place to yourself so you had time to look around and also to take pictures - - for us! We know that's why you really went there - - - for us - - - so we could celebrate with you!

Brian Miller said...

this is such a cool all the interactive stuff...neat ideas...i may have to steal a few...glad you had a great birthday dinner

That corgi :) said...

that sounds like a neat place to celebrate your birthday! so many unusual things about it; loved the decor on the walls and the art you could design yourself! very touching too about the bras; such a worthy cause to get involved in. And the food looks delicious! glad you enjoyed your time!


Anonymous said...

such a great place...Im going to have to try this one, thanx for the heads up;)

Anonymous said...

hey Im not far from there, and you know I love food and art....

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Happy Birthday! Sounds like you had a wonderful experience there. I can't remember the last time I went out to eat with my husband. You would think that we would get sick of each other here together 24/7, but he is usually working on something outside while I am stuck inside, then he has to come inside in order for me to go outside. We meet here at dark and wolf down our meal while catching up on the various problems and gossip of the day.

I sound like such a whiner!!! Think I will go get some thing special out for dinner. Candles and fresh flowers, too. You have inspired me!

Mama Zen said...

What a neat place!

Missy said...

I LOVE the magnetic art and the bra idea is awesome!

Eva Gallant said...

That looks like an interesting place, to say the least! And the burgers look tempting!

Ed said...

Looks like a crazy place.

Bossy Betty said...

I would love to visit this place!

Love your new header!!!