Did you figure out that last week’s review was about Bossanova Restaurant and Lounge, 112 W. Third St. in downtown Alton? It has a specialized martini menu, if one is into that, but I loved the pizza!
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Tooling around town with my favorite dining partner, I noticed a sign on the side of a building that stated “king cut sirloin baked potato $8.99.” Wow! I told my companion, “We’re eating here.”
There was a front and a rear door; we entered by the back door because it was close to where we parked on the gravel lot. The building was basically one long room. It took a minute to adjust to the dim inside lighting after the brilliant sunlight outside. We took the closest table, which was set for six. An identical table was next, with four patrons at it, then a round table nearer the front door. These tables were covered with past Cardinals memorabilia, laminated into the table surface. Three high tables for four were between these and the wall on our right. The wall was covered with sports posters and portraits. A karaoke machine was set up ready for use, next to a digital jukebox. Classic rock music was playing over the radio, which made me feel happy and mellow. The long bar was on the other side of the room, with 11 barstools. Five video game machines were arranged near the front door, along with two ATMs and a dart game. There were six flatscreens, five of which were behind the bar and one near the front door. The one directly in our line of sight was broadcasting thoroughbred horse racing, which I love. We could not hear the races, but I enjoyed just watching those beautiful animals run.
There was only one person working, and he came to our table as soon as he had a chance. We both ordered lemonade and “the special,” medium rare. He had our drinks out in a jiffy, along with a fork and large spoon in a paper napkin for each of us. We continued to enjoy the music, races and the atmosphere while we waited for our food. We both took this time to visit the two wheelchair-accessible restrooms, where each had everything necessary for a hygienic visit, except the one I used was out of paper towels.
When I came out, the music had changed to country and our plates were waiting for us. I discovered that “king cut sirloin” was about as large as the palm of my hand. The baked potato was larger than the cut of meat. We had generous portions of sour cream and “buttery spread.” The meat was not cooked medium rare, more like medium well. However, it was tender and tasted good, as evidenced by our sparkling clean plates when we were finished.
The sole employee refilled our drinks and left the bill, and I noticed that he had only charged $6.99 for each plate and $1.50 for each lemonade. Nice surprise! I paid at the bar, mentioned that the paper towels needed refilling, and we exited back into the bright sunshine.
Overall - four and a half stars
Cleanliness - four stars
Service - five stars
Food - four stars
I liked this friendly little bar and will keep an eye on that sign in the future for more specials. Do you think you can guess the name and location of this bar and grill? Check the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are right!
The Secret Diner
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