Burgers & Beer – Kutchies on the Water in Creve Coeur

The dining tour of Tazewell County Illinois continues with a little gem sitting on the water.

This episode focuses on a riverside bar that Groucho has known for over two decades.  Years ago we joked on the show that Groucho worked at “Riverside Motors”.  While that may have been a cover name to protect the innocent…  It was aptly named for its location near the Illinois River.  Riverside Motors is very near a small bar that used to be called “Fitzpatricks” and later called “Captain Ron’s”

The newest iteration of this location along the Illinois River is called “Kutchies on the Water”.  Friend of the show, Mike Walters, recommended this location after Groucho reached out for an ideal location to meet up for a burger and beer.  You see, Mike works for Left Hand  Brewing Company and it would not be fair to have Mike on the show without talking a little bit about his company and journey over the “Eons” we have known each other.   Left Hand beers are at Kutchies.

Kutchies is unique in Central Illinois and certainly Tazewell County.  Very few restaurants can boast riverside dining or boat parking for those arriving on the water.  The atmosphere matches any seaside or lakeside restaurant you might remember from years ago.  A large wood deck sits near the water and a small inside dining area and bar are there just in case the weather is not ideal for sitting outside.  Just like Florida, Louisiana, or Lake of the Ozarks, you go to restaurants like this to enjoy the outside and socialize on the deck.   Food and drinks are secondary…  If they are “good”, or on the rare occasion “great”, that’s a bonus!

Fortunately, years of experience at Kutchies meant that there would be no surprises.  Usually, a trip to Kutchies for lunch is in order a few times during the summer.  Catch some sun rays and watch the folks off work boating, It’s a great way to spend a distract lunch hour before the second half of the day at work.  The food at Kutchies has always been solid.  While they have a full menu of your normal bar/pub offerings, they have become famous for their gigantic oversized bloody marys.  You know the ones with a fried chicken thigh sticking out of the drinking glass topped off with vegetables.  You will beat that hangover with more booze or brunch.  Pick your poison!

Mike and I sat down and talked about being beer nerds back in the early 2000s and watching the members of the “cult of craft beer” come and go.  Are we old enough to be considered survivors?  We also talk about the origin of Left Hand Brewing Nitro Milk Stout while enjoying some Left Hand Beers offered at Kutchies.

I ordered the Kutchie Burger… Because that is what I am going to do when you have a “house” burger.  True to the theme…  The Kutchie burger tastes like a trip to the tropics with teriyaki, pineapple, and swiss cheese served on a ciabatta roll.  I opted for the homemade coleslaw and was quite satisfied for 9 bucks.  Mike went with a straightforward cheeseburger with tots.  As usual, he’s like a giant kid!

On your dining tour of Tazewell County…  Make sure Kutchies is on your list of places to stop.  Riverside dining near the floodplain is shockingly rare in this day and age.  It’s a welcome change of pace from eateries inside strip malls or standalone fast-food joints shoved in a parking lot near a big box store.  (If that’s your jam…  It’s time to step up your game!)

Dining Notes:  Lunch is usually pretty quick and easy for those on a time crunch.  Get there a little earlier than the lunch crowd who may not be in as big of a hurry as you.  Weekend dinner on a pretty midwestern night can leave you waiting for a table.  Be prepared to grab a beer at the bar and wait for a table.

Sound Note:  Sorry, nerd alert.  Groucho is playing with some dual lapel microphones for the interview at the table.  It was going well until Margaret called in and tried to interrupt the show.  This MAY have upset the microphone plugged into the iPhone 11.  Next time… Airplane mode.  Groucho compensated Mike’s law audio after the interruption, so you might hear some ups and downs in the production.

Feedback or ideas?  Send your emails to groucho@thebeerreport.com or @thebeerreport on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok  (I don’t follow the Tiktok, so don’t leave a message there unless you don’t want to get a response for months!)

Thanks for listening!






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