The restaurant reviewed last week was Grab N Go Frozen Custard and Convenience Store, 3901 Pontoon Road in Granite City. Its parent restaurant is Uncle Linny’s, which has been previously reviewed. Nice place!
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The Riverbend is celebrating Restaurant Week, which gives diners the chance to sample a few places that might not have been visited before. My regular dining companion and I took advantage of a specially priced lunch at an upscale restaurant in our hometown.
It had been nearly 13 years since I had been there. The name was changed, the décor was different, a wall had been removed, and renovations were still going on. The floor was now smooth concrete. Some of the wall panels were composed of 2-inch squares of wood, providing a patchwork effect. The tables were wooden, either drawn up to booths or surrounded by metal chairs with padding on the seats. In the large dining area, I saw one flat-screen television that was not turned on. In the bar area, there were two televisions behind the bar and one facing the bar. These were on. I saw three large, interesting wall decorations with back lighting. Speaking of lighting, the overhead lights were stylish but unobtrusive.
We were greeted and led to our seats, given a menu on a board, and a matching knife, fork and spoon in a large napkin of black cloth. A beverage came with the meal; we had water and lemonade, which both came with lemon slices.
For $10 we each had the following choices. There were two salads to choose between; the wedge salad consisted of iceberg lettuce, bacon, egg, tomato, pickled onions and chunky blue cheese dressing. My friend ordered that one. I had the house salad with mixed greens, roasted beet slices, artichoke hearts, tomato, Gorgonzola cheese, peppered walnuts and an herb vinaigrette dressing. I was afraid the peppered walnuts would be too spicy for me, so I gave them to my companion, who agreed that they were spicy but ate them all. I was delighted with my salad. My friend wanted more dressing, but I thought it was just right.
There was a choice of four entrées. I requested the 9-inch artisan spinach and goat cheese pizza. I was able to eat seven of the eight slices before I became too full to continue. My friend ordered a half classic Reuben with French fries as a side. The sandwich was spilling over with corned beef and Swiss cheese, and the fries came in a steel cup. Both meals came out too hot to eat right away. My friend had to use the napkin to dump the fries onto the plate, because that steel cup really held the heat! As a garnish, there was curly parsley and something that was dark red, chewy and very slightly sweet. When we asked, our server said it was deep-fried beet. She said the chef wanted everything on the plate to be edible. And it was, except for the steel fry cup!
A word about our server. She handled seven tables and 16 diners quickly and efficiently. She was never still a minute! We both felt that for $10 apiece, we really got our money’s worth.
The restrooms were in another part of the building and not really a part of the restaurant, but were spacious, clean and well-equipped.
Overall – 5 stars
Service – 5 stars
Cleanliness – 5 stars
Food – 5 stars
Can you decide the name and location of this Riverbend gem? See the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are correct!
The Secret Diner