The restaurant featured last week was King Louie’s Drive In, found at 315 S. Sixth St. in Wood River. Good food, fast service and free wifi, too!
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Well, I did it again. I chose a restaurant I had been wanting to try, and I let my eyes get bigger than my stomach! It wasn’t entirely my fault, though. Allow me to explain.
My regular dining companion and I were able to snag a parking place right near the doors of the red-brick building that nearly took up the entire side of the street. I was a beautiful spring day, so we wandered into the open-air dining room with a central bar and tables everywhere. Each table held sweeteners and shakers containing salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and toothpicks! There were so many flat-screen televisions that I had trouble counting them all. I later decided there were at least 26 of them. Satellite radio pumped out pop tunes. We sat at a round table and were greeted by a pleasant server who took our orders for lemonade and gave us menus, flatware-in-a-napkin and extra napkins! Yay!
I had noticed a whiteboard on a stand with specials, so I had decided on clam chowder before I even sat down. I thought our order might take a while, so my eyes were drawn to the appetizers on the menu. Y’all know I love appetizers! I requested a nacho platter to share with my companion. There was a choice of cheese with the nachos, and I chose the one that sounded less spicy.
For the main course, I went for Alaskan whitefish with steak fries and a five-vegetable blend. My companion requested a pulled pork sandwich with steak fries and potato salad.
Then, I noticed the special — a seven-inch, two-topping pizza for $1.99! There was no way I could pass up a great deal like that!
Before I knew it, I had a bowl of fragrant clam chowder in front of me, on a napkin, on a saucer, with a soup spoon. It had sizable chunks of clam, potatoes, corn and bacon and it was delicious! At the same time, the nachos platter arrived, dripping over with tri-color corn chips, ground beef, liquid cheese and sour cream. Jalapenos were in a cup on the side, as I had requested. I rapidly discovered that both varieties of cheese were spicy. Fortunately, I was able to enjoy the nachos, as they were just at the point of being too spicy for me but did not cross over.
We were not finished with the nachos when the rest of our dinner came. I had two long, skinny pieces of whitefish that tasted marvelous! The steak fries were also very long and very tasty. The veggies — Lima beans, cauliflower, carrots, Italian beans and zucchini — were delicious. The potato salad was made in house and was tossed in a dressing I could not place, but won kudos from my companion. The pulled pork was on a cornmeal-dusted bun and came with a choice of sauces. And then there was the pizza, which was extremely good, but my companion nearly had to roll me out the door! I have to quit ordering appetizers!
One must literally walk through the bar in the central room to reach the restrooms, of which there were two. Behind a double wooden door there is another dining room as large as the one we were in, but it was closed at the time of day we were there.
The lemonades were perfect, and cost $2.50 each. The clam chowder was $3.99. The nachos were $7.49. The Alaskan whitefish dinner with two sides was $7.99, the pulled pork platter with two sides was $5.99, and the two-topping pizza was $1.99 on special.
Overall – 4 stars
Service – 4 stars
Cleanliness – 3 stars
Food – 5 stars
If I knew the food was this good, I would have visited this restaurant sooner (but not ordered as much!) Think you know its name and location? Check out the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are correct!
The Secret Diner
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