Did you guess the restaurant I reviewed last time? It was Nick’s Pancake House at 891 S. State St. in Jerseyville. We enjoyed very generous portions of delicious food, but our attentive waiter was the only reason it received four stars for service!
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My companion and I drove south, searching for a little sandwich shop I had visited years ago. We didn’t find it, but got turned around and wound up somewhere I had never seen before. We decided to quit searching and went in.
The first thing we noticed was a wonderful aroma of smoked meat. There were Christmas songs in the air and a decorated Christmas tree in the dining room. A partition of cut wooden stove lengths separated the main dining room from the ordering line. There had to be at least 10 cords of wood in this wall! It led us to a room-long counter, with the entire menu written artistically in colored chalk above it. We ordered and paid at the counter before finding our seats. My companion and I each ordered half a smoked chicken with a cranberry glaze for $10 each. I had corn pudding and tater tots as my sides, and my friend chose coleslaw along with mac and cheese. A large variety of craft beer and specialty soda was available. I had a sour cherry soda, which tasted exactly like the sour cherry balls that are sold in a little bag, and my friend had a diet root beer. We took our soda with us and chose a table.
The main dining room was long, with three televisions set to a sports channel. Another dining room was set off by sliding barn doors, and the TV in there was on a cooking channel. Everywhere was wood or corrugated steel, providing a rustic, rural ambiance.
Our food arrived on baking sheets, with a piece of brown paper lining each sheet. The chicken and a blob of margarine, along with two slices of yummy white bakery bread, sat directly on the paper. The sides were in small disposable aluminum bowls. I was a little surprised that my half-chicken looked so small, but it was half of a chicken. A small chicken. However, everything was very tasty and I was full when I finished.
Customers bus their own tables. The restrooms are roomy, well-designed and clean. Soup, salads, burgers, kids’ meals, vegetarian meals and catering are available. A 10 percent discount for military, firefighters, police, etc. is standard every day. The restaurant advertises that the chicken and beef are all-natural and hormone-free. It was an enjoyable experience, and I will visit again.
Overall – 4 ½ stars
Service – 3 stars
Cleanliness – 4 ½ stars
Food – 5 stars
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