No, it is not a hard-to-find restaurant, but a new column for AdVantage News! Each week the Secret Diner will post a review of a River Bend eating establishment. The Secret Diner will not review chain or franchise restaurants, only privately owned ones. About the rating system: zero stars would mean avoid at all costs, one star is pretty bad, two stars is merely fair, three stars is OK, four stars is good, and five stars is perfect! Before posting a negative review, the Secret Diner will give the establishment a second chance at a different time of day. See if you can determine the name and location of the restaurant under review! The answer will appear in next week’s column.
Were you able to figure out what restaurant was reviewed last time? It was Joe K’s Family Restaurant at 2530 State Street in Alton. It has very good food at reasonable prices.
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My companion and I next decided to try a relatively new place in a strip mall. Through the large window in the front of the restaurant, I saw five tables covered with white tablecloths. Each table had salt, pepper, and a bright red decoration. A large flat screen was tuned to a Disney movie. The walls were yellow with the restaurant logo prominently painted on two of them.
We were greeted immediately and told to choose a table. We were given menus and our drink orders taken by a friendly person who seemed to do everything except the actual cooking. I had lemonade and my companion had water.
I decided to try the pulled pork sandwich with sweet potatoes and greens. My companion chose catfish, slaw and macaroni and cheese. While we waited for our food, we were entertained by the young grandson of the proprietor, who had a green rubber pig that he squeezed so that it produced a like-like oink! I used the unisex restroom while we waited, and found it clean and well-stocked.
Our food came on square white plates with the sides in bowls. My pulled pork was on a bun and was very good. The sweet potatoes were far too sweet, however, and the collards were so spicy I could not eat them. My companion fared better than I, finishing everything (plus my greens) with evident satisfaction. I ordered peach cobbler with ice cream to cool my palate, and was given a large, delicious serving.
Our meals were each $8.00 with two sides, with $2.00 for the lemonade and $4.50 for my dessert. Seven bargain selections were available for $3.50 each, including fries or chips and a drink in the price.
Do you think you know the name of this establishment? Check out the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you got it right!
The Secret Diner