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 discover what restaurant was reviewed last week? It was Bluff City Grill Restaurant and Bar, at 102 West Ninth St., Suite 106, in Alton. It was a lovely dining experience, and I can’t wait for a revisit!
Today’s review is about an icon in the town where it is located. I can’t remember when it did not exist. Established in 1937, it used to be rather isolated, but the town has grown to meet it.
It boasts a full bar, private meeting rooms, outdoor seating and plenty of space in the main dining room. The restrooms are clean and functional with no décor to speak of.
I took a family member with me to celebrate a special occasion. We were greeted and seated in minutes, and given water without having to ask. The large dining room began to fill up quickly, but our server did not appear rushed. We were given plenty of time to peruse the menu.
My family member chose a small chef’s salad and I decided on the “famous” chicken, with a side of broccoli. I was not disappointed. The chicken was fried perfectly, and the broccoli was all florets, not a stalk in sight. Not that I have anything against broccoli stalks, mind you, but having all florets just felt special. My family member enjoyed the salad, and the noise level from other diners was never uncomfortable. There were no televisions or other distractions. The “small” salad was a good-size serving. I have no idea how big the “large” size could be. The food was so delicious, we each ordered cannoli for dessert. Heaven!
One person seemed to be employed only to fill up water glasses. We never had to ask for a refill even once, and a bowl of lemon slices was given us as soon as I mentioned that I liked lemon in my water.
The chef’s salad was $7.49, the four-piece white chicken dinner and broccoli was $13.99, and two cannoli were $5.98.
Cleanliness – four stars
Food – five stars
Wait staff – five stars
Overall – four and a half stars
Are you able to recognize this restaurant? Check the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are correct!
The Secret Diner