EAST PEORIA, Ill -- If you're confused by the name of The 5th Quarter, look at this way; go for the food, stay for the game and stick around for a drink at The 5th Quarter.
"Originally, it was just a straight Chicago bar, which a lot of people like, but you also alienate the other sports teams," according to Co-owner Brandon Hurckes.
When it comes to food for sport fans, Hurckes says The 5th Quarter raises the bar.
"At your typical bar, it's just your greasy fried food. We do just about 99 percent of our food fresh."
Even the sandwiches are Chicago-centric. Vienna beef, as you may know, is my litmus test for a Windy City-themed restaurant.
"It's good," says Jesse Bartz as tries the
tenderloin. "There's a lot of food here. It's delicious."
"The owner here tells me he makes them fresh," Robert Culp says. "You can tell it's a fresh, home-made tenderloin."
Photographer Doug Smith and I started with Garlic Nuggets as an appetizer.
It's better than a pizza roll, and you get plenty for a good price.
For lunch, Doug had the 8-ounce pork chop sandwich and onion rings for an extra buck.
He said the sandwich was good with a smoky-tasting barbeque sauce.
I tested the Chicago theme with sweet peppers and grilled onions on an Italian Beef sandwich.
The onions were sweet, the thinly-sliced beef was tender and not too salty, served with au jus sauce.
The meal was well-beyond the bounds of bar-food.
Our lunches with two drinks and an appetizer, $25.50 plus tip.
Whether you're coming in for lunch or a late-night game, The 5th Quarter aims to please.
The 5th Quarter is at 1110 North Main Street in East Peoria.
They are open Sunday through Thursday from 10:30 AM to midnight.
They stay open until 2 a.m. on weekends.