One thing that is sure to bring people together is a love of great food. Beginning on February 17, residents of the Joliet area have been able to enjoy special discounts at various restaurants in Joliet and surrounding towns. Sponsored by the Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), the 10-day event includes 18 different restaurants in Joliet, Bolingbrook, Wilmington, Lockport, Shorewood, Morris and Plainfield.
During this past week, I was lucky enough to satisfy my taste buds at Tin Roof in downtown Joliet, one of the restaurants participating in the event. I was joined for dinner by Kate Meehan, Tourism Manager at Heritage Corridor CVB.
We arrived at the quiet restaurant around 5 p.m., just before the dinner rush. With the discounts offered through the Joliet Area Restaurant Week, we were able to pick out an appetizer, free of charge with the purchase of an entrée. Kate and I agreed on the tablet – a salami and cheese tray. After beginning our discussion of how this week came about, our appetizer arrived.
“We are hoping to promote the area and we wanted to encourage both visitors and residents to go out in the community and experience all these great restaurants available,” Kate explained to me.
Shortly after, the waiter took the order for our meals. Unable to speak for a few moments due to the delicious salami and cheese tray, our discussion was put on hold. We resumed our conversation and I asked Kate a few more questions about her work as a tourism manager.
“Tourism is an integral part of economic development,” she said while talking about the benefits of bringing in new visitors to the Joliet area.
The Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is located along the I&M Canal, has been open since 1986. The non-profit organization works to “promote the communities along the I&M Canal, as well as a portion of Route 66 and the Starved Rock area.” The historic Heritage Corridor CVB also offers many different accommodations including hotels, camping, outside attractions, shopping, outdoor recreation and events.
With our salami and cheese tray still going strong, our entrées arrived and we had to pause our discussion yet again to gratify our taste buds. Kate chose the east side wrap, which includes tropical rubbed chicken, mango Pico de Gallo, chipotle chutney, and queso fresco; while I went for the O Hector’s steak, a skirt steak sandwich with Chihuahua cheese, red peppers and tomatoes. Both finger friendly meals came with a side of fries seasoned to perfection.
Although the steak in my sandwich was slightly chewy, I loved the pesto paired with the cheese, red peppers, and tomatoes. Kate enjoyed the east side wrap as well, agreeing that we would visit Tin Roof again. As we finished our dinner, the Thursday night crowd began to grow. We left just as the rain started, with full, satisfied stomachs.
Joliet Area Restaurant week ends on February 26, but these great restaurants and more are still worth checking out.
To see a list of all restaurants involved in the event please visit jolietrestaurantweek.com for more information.