PEORIA, Ill. -- You might get a whiff of barbecue while visiting the Peoria Riverfront. A new restaurant there, in an historic spot, already has customers fired up.
Blue Duck BBQ Tavern opened last April in the old River Station building on Water Street. Owner Kavan Shay, a Peoria native, scooped up the location as soon as he learned it was available.
"I have very fond memories myself of coming down here with my family and having brunch at the River Station or having a nice meal," said Shay.
Now Shay's hoping to create new memories with his old school style of barbecue. The restaurant's smoker was custom made in one of the barbecue capitals of America, Mesquite, Texas.
"We want to take barbecue back to its roots in that sense of 100-percent wood-fired barbecue. And the smoker is on 24 hours a day and we are constantly cooking so everything that you're eating here is a fresh product made that day," he said.
And the aroma hits you as soon as you walk through the door. Shay calls the response from the public overwhelming. He says his biggest sellers here are the brisket, ribs, wings and something called an Asian Taco.
After watching several customers enjoy some, I ordered the Brisket Plate for $13.95. It comes with two sides -- mine were mac-and-cheese and a grilled bacon potato salad.
Everything was hot and delicious and complimented each other perfectly.
I topped my meal off with a slice of their homemade key lime pie.
With a soft drink, my bill was $21.88 before tip.
Blue Duck BBQ Tavern is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
It's a fantastic dining experience and the staff is friendly and eager to please. I highly recommend it.
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