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 Round Table Family Restaurant, located at 5407 B Godfrey Road in Godfrey. Both dining rooms have decorations placed around the walls, and the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. My dining companion and I enjoyed pot roast over noodles and cream of spinach soup. I recommend Round Table and awarded it a four-star rating, which is very good!
Traveling out away from home, my dining companion and I decided to try a restaurant tucked away near the grounds of a very large business. Walking in, we saw a desk with no one there, a large chalkboard advertising the specials of the day and a private dining room. We followed a hallway past a huge refrigerator stuffed with many, many bottles of beer, most of which I had never heard of. Entering a large L-shaped room, we were greeted by a server who seemed to be in eight places at once. She said to sit anywhere, so we chose a small booth near a window. We could see there was outside seating as well. The room was decorated with large black-and-white photographs and neon beer signs. There was an enormous projection television on one wall, with a small flat-screen on the opposite wall. Both were tuned to the same sports match. The tables were topped with an attractive black leather-look cover. The server took our drink orders and gave us menus. When I asked, she said that she was the only one working and could use a couple of extra arms.
My dining companion ordered a burger with everything and steak fries. I ordered Alaskan whitefish on rye and a cup of the soup of the day, creamy chicken and rice.
When the soup arrived, I was disappointed to find that my “cup” of soup held barely four ounces! However, that was before I tasted it. It was the most amazing soup I had ever eaten! It was delicious, savory, wonderful. I am salivating now just from the memory.
My companion said the burger was very good, but I noticed that the meat was black and overcooked. The burger was large, and it and the steak fries covered the entire plate. My three whitefish fillets would not all fit on the marble rye, so I ate one plain. The whitefish was very tasty and cooked perfectly. The fish on the bread was just as good.
For dessert, my companion ordered a slice of cheesecake and I requested blackberry cobbler with ice cream, which was on special. My companion loved the cheesecake, but the cobbler did not match my expectations. The cobbler slice was thin, and it was cold instead of being warmed. No flatware came with the dessert, meaning the ice cream did not come with a spoon. No napkins or extra flatware were offered and our server was too busy to flag down, so I attempted to enjoy my dessert with the same fork I had eaten my dinner with. This was difficult, especially while eating the ice cream. I wished for my soup spoon back, but it had been taken away with the tiny soup bowl.
The restrooms were big and plain, with no décor to speak of. Toothpicks were available at the unmanned desk.
I will probably go to this restaurant again, because the food was so good. I award it four stars out of five.
Cleanliness – five stars
Attentiveness of wait staff – three and a half stars
Food – four-and-a-half stars
Price – $7.49 for a large burger and steak fries; $8.99 for Alaskan whitefish and soup
Suggested improvements – At these prices, the soup bowls could be a little bigger. The server should ask how the customer wants a burger cooked, not just letting the cook assume it should be well done. Extra napkins should be provided with the entrée. A second course, such as dessert, should always come with clean flatware. Mainly, enough staff should be available to adequately serve the guests.
Can you guess the name and location of this restaurant? Look for the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are correct!
The Secret Diner