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 restaurant I visited last time? It was Magnums Bar and Grill at 407 E. Main St. in Wood River. Every bar should have food this good!
• • •
This time, I went to a little place directly on the highway. Even though it is small, there is both counter and table seating in one part, and many more tables in the adjoining room. The tables and chairs are pleasing dark wood. The walls are painted red and white, and decorated with 1950s motifs, such as music notes, records, classic cars and guitars. Each table had a small painted jukebox that held up a menu card. A life-size picture of a jukebox was on one wall.
There is one small restroom with a mirror or a framed flower print on each wall. There is a flower arrangement on the tank and both solid and aerosol air fresheners. The sink boasts two types of hand soap.
In the dining area, everywhere I looked I saw cards advertising different specials. On our first visit, I had “country-fried” steak and salad, and my friend enjoyed Polish sausage and sauerkraut with mashed potatoes. I chose pecan pie for dessert and my partner had cheesecake. The next time we came, I had the breakfast special with French toast, eggs, sausage and bacon. My friend chose biscuits and gravy with American fries. We each had coconut cream pie to finish off our meal. I love the taste of the water in this town, so that was our beverage, both times.
The servers are very friendly and eager to please. The food is served quickly and piping hot. It always seems to be very busy. My only suggestions are that the mashed potatoes were tasty but a little lumpy, the clock had stopped, and cream pie needs to be kept and served very cold.
This is a comfortable place to relax and have a good meal at a very reasonable price. Our first visit cost $20.26 for two entrees and desserts, and the second visit cost $13.62 for two breakfasts and desserts. Breakfast is served all day, and chocolates are given away at check-out instead of mints!
Overall – 4 stars
Service – 4 stars
Cleanliness – 4 stars
Food – 3 1/2 stars
Do you think you know the name and location of this little gem? Check out the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are right!