PEORIA — When you want to get your Aussie on around here, there's always Khaki Jack's.
The Australian-themed restaurant/bar at 7221 N. Allen Road has come under new management but you'll still find Aussie fries on the menu along with sandwiches like Canberra and Melbourne.
We stopped by recently for lunch. The place looks pretty much like it always has since it opened in 1995 with one exception: no more peanuts.
That's not a big loss to me since I wind up eating the darn things when I don't even want to.
As for an Australian theme, that's almost become a stereotype by now. The whole Australian image these days usually features a heavily-accented announcer with emphasis on huge steaks or shrimp "on the barbie," a giant can of Foster's beer plus some reference to either a kangaroo, wallaby or shark.
Khaki Jack's doesn't overdo it however, unlike my luncheon companion Marty Wombacher, the man behind the "Meanwhile Back in Peoria" blog who writes a lot about area restaurants.
On this day, Marty was raving about the portabella mushroom they serve here. To make the point further, he wound up ordering the trail blazer sandwich ($7.75) which adds lettuce, tomato, spinach, onion and sauce to the mushroom on a bun.
He went on and on about its fascinating flavor and I have to admit, my small sample tasted pretty good, too.
Because Marty can be pretty persistent, before the main course, we went with an appetizer called the bugalug ($5.50). That's a grilled portabella mushroom cap with onions and green peppers topped with mozzarella cheese.
Not only was the bugalug tasty but it's the right kind of appetizer: providing plenty of flavor but it won't weigh you down.
I was tempted by the array of burger selections with names like the Matilda ($6.75), a cheeseburger, and Bundaburg ($7.75), a burger with jalapeno bacon and Monterey Jack cheese, but opted for a chicken sandwich instead.
I went with the bleu flyer ($8.75), a chicken sandwich with blue cheese and grilled onions. The chicken was tender and the flavor was enlivened by the stated accompaniments. Frankly, you can add blue cheese and onions to any sandwich served to me and I won't complain.
We both drank glasses of iced tea ($2) which our friendly server kept replenished.
We didn't leave room for dessert this day but they offer a chocolate cobbler ($5) that might have to be sampled on another day.
In summation, you'd do well to check out Khaki Jack's, even without the peanuts.