You gotta eat Alwan and Son's

By WEEK Producer

June 21, 2012 Updated Jun 21, 2012 at 7:43 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- A local business fires up the grill to lure in customers.

News 25's Joe Bennett took us to Alwan and Son's Meat Company to get a taste of the outdoor grill for himself.

Alwan and Son's Meat Company in Peoria Heights consolidated their two store locations to one store in 2006, with a lunch hour grill-out in mind.

"We use all of our seasonings that we sell inside and put on our sandwiches out here. We cook on charcoal, which gives it that nice charcoal flavor," said Brian Alwan.

Two custom made grills cook enough meat to accommodate the long lines on nice days. Nicholas Martin is new to Peoria, but he's already a regular at the grill-out.

"Dog, a regular dog. Really good. A nice crunchy skin, and that's what you like," said Martin.

Jason Arends and his grandmother come here too, continuing their own family tradition of supporting the Alwans. And what do they like about the grilling?

"Just about everything. The texture of the meat and the way they cook it, and it's just all-around good," Arends said.

Customers that have been wanting to try some meats in the store can also get a taste of what they are like on the grill.

"It kind of introduces some items that we sell inside and people are able to get a little bit of a variety of change from a traditional fast food restaurant," said Brian Alwan.

The quick service is where the similarity to fast food ends. If you're looking for more than a burger, you've come to the right place. Butterfly pork chop, home-made bratwurst, hot polish sausage, hot dogs, ribeye sandwich, chicken breast and pulled pork all grace the menu.

Photographer Jake Schultz made his You Gotta Eat debut with the hot polish sausage - emphasis on hot. Though the spice caught him off guard, he said it was delicious.

I was recommended the pork chop, and I have no regrets. Especially topped with the Alwans' own original thick and sweet barbecue sauce and spiced with their own in-store products. I'll be back to try the ribeye.

Our meals with chips came to a mere $7 and one cent, although we did pay $1.50 for vending machine drinks. Still, you'd spend the same amount for a value meal at a fast food chain as we spent for two meals.

Alwan and Son's Outdoor Grill Out is at their store on 703 East War Memorial Drive in Peoria Heights. They barbecue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday, but they'll stay open longer if the line demands more.

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