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 week? It was “Doc” Holliday’s Saloon and Eatery, also called “Doc” Holliday’s Saloon and Steakhouse, located at 308 West MacArthur in Cottage Hills. The main dining room was tastefully decorated in a Western theme, with period-looking photographs of the staff on the walls and line drawings of “Doc” Holliday himself. My dining companion and I enjoyed the sirloin and salad bar. My companion had Doc’s Garlic Smashed Potatoes and I had Sweet Potato Fries as side dishes. I highly recommend “Doc” Holliday’s and awarded it a four-and-a-half star rating, which is almost perfect!
On this trip, my dining companion decided to stop in at a restaurant where we had eaten many times. The food has a home-cooked flavor. One thing I especially like about it is the heavy, matched flatware that feels good in the hand. Although the flatware comes wrapped in a single napkin, the servers bring more napkins without being asked. We were given menus and our drink orders were filled very quickly. The specials are written on a whiteboard in each of the two roomy dining rooms. I have trouble reading the board from a distance, so I usually forgo the menu and get closer to the board for a better view.
We decided on pot roast over noodles with cream of spinach soup as the only side. The soup arrived quickly, in real soup plates. My plate had a chip on one edge, and both plates had a little soup slopped over the rim. We had a cracker basket, which usually had packets of both real butter and whipped spread in it, but there was no real butter this time. Soup spoons came with the soup, and we began eating. Previously here, I had been given a soup containing spinach and the stems were not cut off, which made the soup messy to eat. I was happy to see that the cream of spinach soup had no messy stems to deal with. My companion said that the soup was too bland, but I did not agree.
We then received our generous servings of pot roast. The noodles covered the plate, and four thick slices of pot roast were arranged on top. A steak knife was provided, but was unnecessary because the meat was quite tender. My companion said that the dish needed more color, such as tomatoes and green pepper. It is true that the only color came from carrots among the noodles, but I felt that it tasted fine.
Our server was friendly and efficient, keeping our glasses filled without being asked and checking on us frequently. She asked us about dessert, but we were both too full to think about it. Sugar-free desserts are usually available here, as well as regular pies and cakes.
There are two family restrooms available, plus an extra women’s restroom. They are clean and have decorations on the walls. The temperature is well-regulated and one pays at the cashier’s desk. Toothpicks are at the cashier in shakers. The wall near the cashier is covered with crayoned artwork from younger patrons. This is a good restaurant to take the family to without breaking the bank. There is parking in the front and the back. I think it deserves four stars out of five.
Cleanliness – four-and-a-half stars
Attentiveness of wait staff – five stars
Food – four stars
Price – $8.95 for a large serving of pot roast over noodles “on special” and one side.
Suggested improvements: Remove any chipped dinnerware from inventory. The cook or server should wipe off streaks of soup from the plates before presenting it to the guest. Check the cracker baskets to be sure they contain everything they should.
Can you guess the name and location of this restaurant? Read the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are correct!
The Secret Diner