The restaurant reviewed last week was Chubby’s Bar & Grill, sometimes called Chubby’s Warehouse Bar & Grill, at 1022 E. Broadway in Alton. If you go, look for the beer tray on the wall advertising Busch Bavarian Beer. That took me back a ways!
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I went to visit a friend in the hospital a few miles away, and while I was there, I looked around for any new restaurants I had not been to yet. I saw a new place that looked like a mixture between a McDonald’s and a Hit ‘n’ Run. There was a drive-up window and plenty of parking. I went in and noticed it was one large room, with five gaming machines and an ATM behind a set of four black-and white screens, ten cold cases with every beverage imaginable, and a serve-yourself beverage bar with cappuccino, coffee, tea and both Pepsi and Coke fountains. Eight wire tables, each seating two, were pushed together to make four square tables in the middle of the floor. Each table had mustard and catsup bottles on it. The cashier’s counter was surrounded by Lotto and scratch-off tickets. The kitchen area stretched across the front of the restaurant, blocked off by an ordering counter with slushie fountains and with a large menu board suspended from the ceiling.
I made a quick visit to the restroom because I had been driving for a while. There was one for men and one for women, both very clean and with everything needed for a restful visit. I had a little trouble with one of the paper towel dispensers, but it seemed to be a temporary problem.
Back at the ordering counter, I looked over my options. There were maybe 20 combo meals, including fries and a drink, with prices ranging from $6.75 to $8.95. I chose a gyro, with the fries and drink for $6.75, and a medium-size black cherry fro-yo for $1.90. I paid right away, and requested the frozen yogurt while my gyro was being made. It was delivered immediately, and I couldn’t believe how pretty it was! It looked like a television ad for the perfect ice-cream cone. It was white, with a ribbon of black cherry outlining each curve, and it tasted as good as it looked.
When my gyro arrived, I was in for more surprises. On the menu board, the fries looked like ordinary shoestring fries in a cup, like McDonald’s. What I received, in a basket, was a generous serving of battered fries, so tasty that no catsup was needed. The gyro was too hot to pick up, but I had five or six slices of savory meat in a soft pita, with chopped onions, tomatoes, dill pickle slices, black olive slices, two banana peppers and tzatziki sauce in a little cup. It was marvelous!
I imagined a family, traveling in a station wagon, the kids tired and fretful, arriving at this little oasis. After restroom breaks and washed hands, the family could sit down and enjoy a good meal, while the parents relaxed in the sudden quiet of children eating and not talking. I took a lot of long car rides with my parents when I was a kid, and somewhere like this would have been heaven.
One odd thing — I noticed the cook had a T-shirt with the name of a different restaurant on it. It turns out that this simple restaurant is an offshoot of the other, fancier restaurant in the same town.
Overall – 5 stars
Service – 5 stars
Cleanliness – 5 stars
Food – 5 stars
Can you decide the name and location of this little place? See the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are correct!
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