No, it is not a hard-to-find restaurant, but a 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 guess what establishment was reviewed last time? It was 4204 Main Street Brewing Company at 180 East Center Drive in Alton. Our chatty hostess said 4204 Main Street is the address of their Belleville location, and this is the second restaurant/brewery of that name. The food was wonderful and the ambiance restful.
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I kept hearing about this restaurant and its delicious steaks. I wanted to check it out but had a little trouble getting someone to go with me. I have always hated to eat alone. I finally finagled a friend to accompany me and drove up to the location. There was a deck that seemed to be in the final stages of construction, but it was perfectly safe. A sign on the door read “Bar and Grill.” We entered and checked out an electric wall board with the day’s specials, Reubens and sloppy joes, both with fries for $6.95. There was a huge flat-screen TV near the bar area and two smaller ones, all tuned to a game show. Beer signs were on every wall. There was a billiard table, an electric dart game, an ATM and several video gaming machines toward the rear of the oblong dining area, with plenty of booths and tables. There was also bar seating.
We each were drinking water while we perused the menu. There were 26 appetizer options, ranging in price from slaw at $1.25 to breaded crawfish (sic) at $6.95. Dinners ranged from toasted ravioli at $6.45 to frog legs at $10.99. The famous steaks started at $13.99 for T-bone or New York strip to $15.99 for porterhouse or prime rib. A full slab of ribs was offered for $16.99. Sandwiches and pizza were also offered.
My friend had the sloppy joe special, and I ordered a half-pound cheeseburger with potato puffs instead of fries. The puffs were brown and shaped like small eggs, crispy on the outside and fluffy inside. I also had the option of choosing potato tots. I had German chocolate cake for dessert and my friend had cheesecake.
I did not get an itemized receipt, but both meals, including tax, came to right around $20. My friend said that the sloppy joe was great, and I was quite satisfied with my cheeseburger.
Even though the menu said it was a restaurant and lounge, it really had more of a “bar and grill” feel. I liked the sign that read, “If you are drinking to forget, please pay in advance.”
Do you think you know the name and location of this restaurant/bar/grill/lounge? Check out the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are right!