Did you figure out the restaurant I reviewed last time? It was Fire-N-Smoke Wood Fired Kitchen at 914 Edwardsville Road in Troy. The atmosphere was restful and the food was served in an unusual manner but quite delicious!
• • •
This next review was suggested by a reader, so I know that there is at least one person out there who will guess it immediately! My companion and I drove north from home base and pulled into the large gravel parking lot. A ramp led to the porch, where chairs and toys invited one to sit and play awhile. I noticed a Boba Fett helmet, a smoker for a beekeeper, wooden toys and several other homey odds and ends. As we entered, we waited to be seated, as a sign instructed. I noticed the square tables appeared to be made by hand, and a couple of round wooden tables looked like antiques. Two small rooms to the left were stuffed full of decorative items for sale. Across the main room was a counter with desserts and a cash register. The kitchen was through a doorway behind the counter. A smaller dining room was to the left of the main room. The flooring was made of wooden boards and looked like it had been made by hand from real trees, not wood-like tile bought from a store.
We were greeted and seated by a lovely woman, who gave us flatware-in-a-napkin and menus. She asked what we wanted to drink and pointed out that there were flavors that could be added to any beverage. I ordered a Sprite with strawberry flavor, which was very good, and my friend requested a root beer. The knives and forks in the napkins did not match, which was just another detail that added to the comfy ambiance.
There were many yummy-looking choices on the menu, and I had a hard time deciding what to order. Our server told us that there was a half and half choice, so that one could pair half of any soup, sandwich or salad with any other soup, sandwich or salad. That was just my style! I asked for half of the apple pecan salad and half of the sweet ham and cheese sandwich. My companion had half a grilled Reuben and a cup of the soup de jour, chicken pot pie soup. Each combo was $8.89 and the drinks were $2.25.
While we waited for our orders, there was plenty to look at. The curtains at each window were made of gingham in various styles. There were narrow cabinets and what my grandmother would have called “what-not shelves” with knickknacks for sale on them. Each table had a different holiday-themed pair of salt and pepper shakers on a cloth mat, along with coffee cream and sweeteners in small cups or bowls. Holly was draped on the ceiling of each room. There was no television in sight and no music playing, and that was just right. Little plaques had pithy sayings printed on them, some of which made me laugh out loud.
Our smiling server came back with our food and offered to refill our drinks. My salad was beautiful, consisting of dandelion and spinach leaves, diced Granny Smith apples, dried cranberries, fresh blueberries, Mandarin orange segments, chopped pecans and feta cheese crumbles. I had asked for the housemade poppyseed dressing, but saw no poppyseeds in it. It was good anyway. The sandwich was made with H & B ham and melted Colby Jack cheese on a toasted onion roll. It was delicious but the ham was a little salty. All our food was on plates with holly or other holiday-themed decorations printed thereon.
My friend was pleased with the Reuben and the chicken pot pie soup, noting that the carrots in the soup were not peeled. This adds more vitamins than naked carrots would have.
We still had a little room left, so I asked about desserts. We ordered praline pumpkin pie, which was served warm, with chilled whipped cream and spice on top. Oh, my stars, it was good! It was $4.25 for each slice.
I made a restroom visit afterward. The two restrooms were clean and well-equipped, with soap and lotion in old-fashioned dispensers and brown paper towels in a basket. My only complaint was that the water coming out of the tap marked “hot” was freezing!
After my restroom visit I shopped a little, purchasing an article of clothing for a young relative, a plaque and an ornament for my Christmas tree. I went to pay at the counter, where we were both invited to enter the weekly drawing for a free dinner. I didn’t see toothpicks, but there was a basket with free books for children near the floor.
Overall – 5 stars
Service – 5 stars
Cleanliness – 5 stars
Food – 5 stars
Are you able to guess what restaurant this is? It shouldn’t be too hard! Check out the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are correct!
Do you have a restaurant in mind you would like to see reviewed by the Secret Diner? Send us an email at email@example.com; include “Secret Diner” in the message.