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 Itty Bitty Restaurant, located at 512 East Chain of Rocks Road in Granite City. I liked the fun ambiance, great service and the perfect onion rings.
Traveling down a busy road, my steady dining companion and I turned into the parking lot of a restaurant where we had dined before. The large, long dining room was tastefully decorated with paintings, and both booths and tables were available. The servers wore T-shirts with the restaurant name on the front and pithy facts on the back, such as, “Happy Wife, Happy Life” and “Don’t Grow Up, It’s A Trap.” While we perused the menus, I heard something I had never heard before: the servers were discussing a different restaurant. I picked up a couple of ideas about other places to visit from their conversation.
Our server was very nice and brought menus and the ubiquitous flatware-in-a-napkin almost as soon as we sat down. There was an all-you-can-eat pork chop special available, in both grilled and fried versions. Knowing that we would not have room for re-orders, I ordered fried, with a salad, and my companion ordered grilled, with cole slaw as well as chicken and dumpling soup. I saw another order being delivered to a table nearby and the fries looked so delicious that I added them to my order.
The salad and soup arrived with extra napkins, a big basket of crackers and real butter. The soup was in one of those tiny little half-cup bowls, but my companion enjoyed it. The salad was simply iceberg lettuce, one small slice of tomato, a small slice of cucumber and poppy seed dressing. It was good but not special.
The large pork chops arrived, three to a plate. I tried and liked them both. I honestly can’t say if I preferred the fried ones or the grilled ones. I don’t see how anyone could eat more than three at one sitting. My eyes had not deceived me; the french fries were very good.
I was very full but really wanted some dessert. No sugar-free selections were on hand, but I ordered banana creme pie for my friend and carrot cake for myself. My cake came with a spoon. I had to request a fork. The portions were generous and close-your-eyes good.
The restrooms were large but bare. I let the hot water run for nearly five minutes without experiencing any warmth at all.
One pays at the counter after eating and toothpicks are available there.
- Cleanliness – three and a half stars
- Attentiveness of wait staff – four stars
- Food – four stars
- Overall – four 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