Despite the address being on Glenwood, the restaurant is actually closer to Hollybridge Dr. in the Oak Park shopping center. There’s not much parking directly to the front or side of the restaurant, so many people just park along the edge of the parking lot near the restaurant. This sort of haphazard parking around the restaurant can make the place seem less classy.
Inside, it’s dark and quiet, with wood paneling and Sinatra playing, giving it a nice Godfather vibe. We were seated immediately when we arrived at 5:05pm on a Saturday night, and about 1/4 the seating was filled already. By the time we left at 6:40pm there was quite a wait, and unfortunately I don’t believe they take reservations for small parties.
I ordered the petit filet mignon, and my husband ordered the larger filet mignon. We were given a choice of potato, rice or steamed veggies, and we both picked the steam veggies. My son ordered the kid’s chicken tenders with fries. All entrees come with the salad bar.
The salad bar was disappointing considering the atmosphere at the restaurant. It was mostly oversized cuts of iceberg with some finer stuff thrown in for show, and then various buckets of cut veggies and other salad toppings. I wasn’t expecting a Brasa-type buffet, but a few other options like potato salad or cole slaw would have been nice to see, as well as some fruit. Additionally, not all toppings can be reached from one side, so you have to switch sides to get everything you want and that’s just awkward with other people trying to get at the salad bar too.
The food came out after about a 20 minute wait or so. The plates were not hot, and I could see right away the myoglobin leaking out all over the plate probably meant that my filet was not cooked medium as I had asked. I cut it in half and it was quite red, and I doubt it was cooked past medium-rare in the middle. However the outside was very well done, so I didn’t want to send it back to be overcooked. I think the problem was the grilling method used for the filet. I think they could have done better with a method that involved putting it into a hot oven for 5-10 minutes, then searing it. Bacon on the outside could have kept it from getting dried out as well. Either that or they could have butterfly cut it, but this never looks very appealing with a filet mignon.
My husband’s steak, being slightly larger, was even more rare in the middle and even more well-done on the outside. He was very disappointed in the way it turned out.
The steamed vegetables served with the steaks were mostly broccoli, with a small amount of cauliflower and carrots underneath. The vegetables had no butter or seasoning, so they were incredibly plain.
My son actually liked his meal pretty well. The chicken tenders were served with honey mustard, but he just used ketchup, and he was able to finish off two of them, as well as some fries.
Despite our disappointment with the steaks, I really wanted to get some dessert. It took a long time to get our waitress to bring us a dessert menu, and even longer for her to come back and take my order. By that time my husband just wanted to leave, but I wanted to order the chocolate lava cake. It was $6, which is borderline for me, but it ended up being really big and really good. It had a delicious chocolate cake on the outside, warm chocolate lava on the inside, and was served with huge portions of ice cream and whipped cream. It was big enough to share, but I had the good fortune of being able to eat it all myself.
At over an hour and a half, we spent a lot longer at The Peddler than we intended to. I like a nice leisurely dinner, but anytime over an hour and I start feeling bored. I think if I ever come back, I’ll order dessert at the time I order my meal, and request the bill halfway through my meal.
I think the fundamental problem is we ordered filet mignon at a restaurant that wasn’t prepared to cook it to medium without burning the outside. But maybe they shouldn’t put it on their menu if they can’t do it correctly. For a $30 steak, they really need to do better. If I ever come back, I would instead go for a rib eye or prime rib, but I would definitely not get the filet mignon ever again. If I get in a filet mignon mood again, I think I’ll head to Brasa, since they wrap it in bacon the way I like it.