Last week’s restaurant was Geno’s 140 Club, located at 120 West Bethalto Blvd. in Bethalto, of course. The special Italian dish was stromboli, which comes in three sizes, according to the diner’s appetite. I am going to try something milder the next time I visit.
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My dining companion and I had business at a specialty crafting shop in a nearby town and decided on breakfast at a small eatery a few doors down. The walls were brick and wood, with a red tile floor. There was a scratch-off lottery vending machine in one corner with an ATM next to it. A long table was in the middle of the room with a festive St. Patrick’s Day table runner and “good luck” coins sprinkled on it. A display case held a plentiful assortment of pastries and doughnuts, with a menu board above it. In an alcove, there were five video gaming machines and more booths. The surprising thing, to me, were signs advertising beer and wine. One sign stated that on Wine Wednesdays wine was $2 a glass. Doughnuts and wine? There’s a different dunking opportunity for you!
We went to the cashier’s table to start. The server advised us to select our beverage and have a seat. I selected a bottle of orange juice and my friend took a can of root beer from a refrigerated case. We chose a window booth. It held a sugar dispenser and a napkin dispenser, as did the other tables and booths in the room. She brought menus to us there. There were plenty of menu choices, including sloppy Joes, a variety of other sandwiches, soups and breakfast items. I chose pancakes and sausage, and my dining companion opted for a full order of biscuits and gravy.
Our server brought a saucer with four tiny tubs of whipped spread, salt, pepper and syrup. The menu stated my order would consist of four pancakes and three sausage links. I love pancakes, but I was concerned four pancakes would be too much. I shouldn’t have worried. When they arrived, they were larger than silver dollar pancakes but smaller than a regular-sized pancake. Four of these would probably be equal to three regular ones. The sausage was mild, just the way I like it. My companion finished up the biscuits and gravy with obvious enjoyment.
Our server began mopping the floor, and I had to walk over it to get to the restrooms, which were past the gaming machines. I hate to walk on a freshly mopped floor and mess up someone’s work, but she did not seem perturbed at all, just cautioned me not to slip.
The restrooms were both reasonably clean, but the overhead vents and behind the stools were dusty.
When I returned, my friend had purchased doughnuts to go. Our full meal; a 10-ounce bottle of orange juice, a 12-ounce can of root beer, a full order of biscuits and white gravy, four smallish pancakes and three mild sausage links, all came to less than $10. We paid at the cashier’s station. Our server was the only employee I saw. I don’t know if she also did the cooking, but everything was good.
Overall – 4 ½ stars
Service – 5 stars
Cleanliness – 4 ½ stars
Food – 4 ½ starsDo you think you can puzzle out this unique doughnut shop and wine bar? Check out the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are correct!
The Secret Diner