No, it is not a hard-to-find restaurant, but a new column for AdVantage News! Each week the Secret Diner will post a review of a River Bend eating establishment. The Secret Diner will not review chain or franchise restaurants, only privately owned ones. About the rating system: zero stars would mean avoid at all costs, one star is pretty bad, two stars is merely fair, three stars is OK, four stars is good, and five stars is perfect! Before posting a negative review, the Secret Diner will give the establishment a second chance at a different time of day. See if you can determine the name and location of the restaurant under review! The answer will appear in next week’s column.
Did you figure out the restaurant that was reviewed last time? It was 6th Street Diner, located at 29 S. Sixth St. (of course!) in Wood River. The food is very good and so are the prices. The three and a half star rating could be raised with a couple of renovations.
There is a little building on a corner in a small town. The parking area is larger than the restaurant and always full. A stranger, looking at the outside, would never guess the pleasures waiting inside!
This tiny gem might attract the stranger by the airbrushed renderings of mugs overflowing with foamy root beer on the windows. Stepping in, more artwork meets the eye. The walls teem with plaques that depict well-known celebrities from comedy routines. The tiny dining room boasts seven tables that are usually filled. An electronic display on the wall mixes trivia questions with ads and answers. The local paper is usually laid out for patrons to use. Classic rock music wafts through the room. The aroma of grilled meat permeates the air.
The variety of menu items is astounding. Nearly broke? Try a mini-cheeseburger with two kinds of cheese and a funnel cake for 99 cents each. A mini-hamburger is only 79 cents. Have a child along? Order the mini-corn dogs; sure to please! Plenty of cash and hungry as a lion? Try a 20-ounce porterhouse with garlic butter, steak fries or baked potato for $17.99 and wash it down with homemade root beer or homemade red cream soda. One could choose toasted ravioli, Caesar salad, jalapeño bites, fried mushrooms, fried onions, steak fries, crinkle fries, fried green beans, shrimp, clams, catfish, Alaskan white fish, chili …
The staff is always friendly and the dining area is always clean. Small orders are handed out at the cashier’s desk, but if one orders a dinner, it is delivered to the table with cutlery. Most patrons bus their own tables, putting food baskets and flatware on a corner of the cashier’s desk closest to the kitchen. The service is cash only and one pays at the time he or she orders.
The restrooms are basic but clean. Straws, go menus and toothpicks are available at the cashier’s desk. There is usually a contest or fundraiser can on the desk.
Suggested Improvements – The wastebasket is too small, but there is no room for a larger one. A little decoration in the restrooms would be nice.
Cleanliness – four and half stars
Attentiveness of wait staff – four stars
Food – four-and-a-half stars
Overall – four and a half stars
Can you guess the name and location of this restaurant? See the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are correct!
The Secret Diner