The restaurant reviewed last week was Chico’s Bar & Grill, also known as Chico’s Lounge, located at 575 South Sixth Street in Wood River. Large portions and friendly service!
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My regular dining companion and I went out of town to see a movie. We noticed that a restaurant where we had dined before had been remodeled and had a different name. We had plenty of time, so we stopped in for a bite.
As soon as we entered, we saw a cold case of delicious-looking desserts, and a white board advertising the fish specials of the day. Another, smaller white board listed drink specials. We were greeted and led to a booth in a large, square dining room. There were two other rooms as well, but only the one we were in was in use. The hostess gave us menus and flatware-in-a-napkin, and said our server would be over directly.
Each table had a cocktail list, sweeteners, and a stylish salt and pepper grinder combination. The booths were along one wall and there were many wooden table sets for four people, but the room was not crowded. There were two flat-screen TVs in the room we were in, and another TV in the smaller dining room. The rooms were well-lit and tastefully decorated.
I had noticed that the whiteboard had fish dinners priced a dollar less for seniors. I figured, “Why not?” Any money I saved on the food could be added to the tip. So, I ordered cod with steak fries and a salad. My companion ordered buffalo, steak fries and clam chowder. Still searching for a perfect glass of lemonade, I ordered that as a beverage and my friend had water with lemon.
Our soup and salad were served very quickly, along with a basket of crackers, two white dinner rolls and both whipped butter and margarine. Call it my upbringing, but I always like to have bread when fish is served (in case of bones. It’s a Southern Illinois thing.) My companion enjoyed the clam chowder, but my salad was disappointing. The iceberg lettuce was very pale with rusty spots. I had two grape tomatoes and a thick slice of cucumber. Red onions were arranged on top. I removed the onions and drowned the salad in poppy seed dressing so I didn’t have to look at it.
When our fish came out, I was disappointed again. My cod was small, the breading on it was salty, and it was overcooked. I had maybe a dozen steak fries and whole kernel corn with a few pimentos on a lettuce leaf. The lettuce on the plate looked fresher than what had been in the salad! My companion had a good-sized piece of buffalo, with steak fries and corn.
I did get a nice surprise when our server told us that ice cream or sherbet was included with the meal. My companion had chocolate ice cream and I had raspberry sherbet. They came in little foam cups with a spoon. Of course, after that, I had to pass up the decadent-looking desserts we saw as we came in.
The restrooms were clean, modern and spacious. A cold case was being stocked with tender-looking cuts of beef and pork as we were getting ready to leave. I paid at the cashier’s counter, where toothpicks and mints were offered. Each special was $7.99 and my lemonade was $2.09.
I had not realized that senior meals cost less because the portions are smaller! Catch me ordering a senior meal again! But, regardless of the size of the meal, dry fish and a salad that is less than fresh does not make for a pleasant dining experience.
Overall – 4 stars
Service – 5 stars
Cleanliness – 5 stars
Food – 3 stars
Can you figure out the name and location of this restaurant? Check out the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are correct!
The Secret Diner