by Nicole Watts
We took a look at 4 very unique burger places. Depending on where you are and what you’re looking for, I don’t think you can go wrong with Burger Barge, Ulrich’s Rebellion Room, or Kaydee Kats.
1401 N. Main St., East Peoria, Illinois 61611
Burger Barge is an East Peoria classic with an extensive specialty burger menu. As I pulled in to park, I noticed that there were no spots available in their actual parking lot, so I took a spot along the frontage road. For a Saturday afternoon at 2, they seemed to be packed, but they were able to accommodate our party, which started out as 10, then 12, then 14.
One of the neighboring tables, offered to move so we could push more tables together. There’s a feeling of community at Burger Barge. The décor is what you would expect from a riverfront shanty, but the wait staff is friendly and attentive.
The Kraken mesmerized me. It is described as “Our most Monstrous Burger Yet... Our Burger topped with Golden, Crisp O-Rings, Lettuce, Tomato, Cheese Sauce and Dock Sauce. Sandwiched between 2 BACON Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with American & Swiss Cheeses.” When no one else at the table was willing to order it, I decided to take the challenge. It did not disappoint and it sent down surprisingly easy. The Illinois Burger and the Captain’s Burger also received rave reviews.
Ulrich’s Rebellion Room
631 Main St, Peoria, Illinois 61602
I was a bit skeptical when Ulrich’s Rebellion Room was added to list of burger joint favorites, but was pleasantly surprised. The Horseshoe Burger intrigued me, though it was tough to decide between it and the Ultimate Hickory Burger. The Horseshoe is “Open-faced Black Angus burger on Texas toast, buried in fries and smothered in cheese sauce”. Yum!
Everyone loved their burgers, though there was a bit of a wait. Next time I’m definitely going for the Hickory Burger. If you want a burger in a bar, this is the place to go.
They do run a Monday special for $3.50 half-pound burgers.
Kaydee Kats Gourmet Pizza & Burgers
4109 N Prospect Rd. Peoria Heights, Illinois
Kaydee Kats is one of my favorites. They have an amazing chopped salad, but we’ll save that for another time. The service is great, the menu is extensive, and the atmosphere is awesome.
They offer their signature burgers as well as a “Burgers by Design” menu. The standard bun is Ciabatta, but they have a multi-grain option as well as a gluten free bun.
I have gotten hooked on their Bleu Burger and have never strayed from that. I’ve heard that the BBQ Burger and the Hawaiian Burger are both great. I’ve never heard that any of their burgers are anything less than exceptional.
The décor is an upscale UTBAPH (Used to Be a Pizza Hut). If you want a quiet, friendly place that is more of a restaurant than bar or burger joint, this is your place.
4614 N. Prospect Rd., Peoria, Illinois 61614
Publik House has Build A Burger Night on Tuesdays where you can order a custom burger starting at $5 and get any beer (except for one) for $3. The menu offered a lot of great toppings and choices, but don’t get your heart set on your dream burger until you double check that they have everything available.
After mulling over the menu while waiting, I got myself psyched up for a blue cheese burger on a pretzel bun, but when I told the waitress what I wanted, she told me that they were out pretzel buns. I quickly changed my mind and got a burger with Swiss cheese, avocado, and whatever sauce the chef recommended – I couldn’t taste any discernible sauce on my burger, so I don’t know if that happened. My medium burger was undercooked, whereas Job’s medium burger was just right, and Alex’s burger was overcooked. Also, the add-ons are all priced separate, so your $5 burger could end up being a $10 burger without a lot of effort. They did seem understaffed and it was very busy, so we waited for a long time.
The atmosphere was very much that of a bar, which makes sense because it is a bar. The décor is nice, but the overall ambiance depends on which crowd is in.