Did you find out where we dined last week? It was Maeva’s Coffee, 1320 Milton Road in Alton, inside the old Milton Schoolhouse. If you want to sit at a handcrafted table, playing chess and sipping a Sub Rosa, while eating something delicious off a glass plate with an actual silver fork, this is the place for you. You might even take a prism or a box of sugar skulls home with you.
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While driving south, my regular dining companion and I saw a place that advertised itself as “the best bar in town!” It had a parking space right in front, so we glided in to check it out. In the foyer was a large sign that listed all the rules for entrance. I read through it quickly and figured we both were acceptable, so we went in.
The first thing I saw was a large, square bar. There were eight flat-screen televisions, including the ones on the patio, all tuned to CNN or ESPN. Mellow rock music filled the air. There was seating at the bar, tall round tables and regular square tables. It was a pretty day with a mild breeze, so the front door and an open portal to the patio were wide open. A large opening looked into the kitchen, and two cooks kept this window filled with golden brown fries and home-cooked chips. A chalked square next to this window advertised the day’s specials.
We were invited to sit anywhere, so I chose one of the square tables. All the tables, including the wrought-iron ones outside, had a plastic carrier that held catsup, mustard, steak sauce, several laminated menu cards, salt, pepper and sweeteners. Our server gave us flatware-in-a-napkin and extra napkins, (hooray) took our drink orders, (lemonade) and left us to peruse the menu.
There were many mouth-watering choices, and it took me a while to decide. I finally requested potato skins as an appetizer and a grilled chicken breast on French bread. My friend ordered a sloppy Joe. Both came with homemade chips.
The chips were very crispy, but salty. Some people like them that way. The potato skins were steaming hot with cheese, bacon and scallions covering them. My companion said that it was not the best sloppy Joe ever, but it certainly was a big one, with filling falling out all over the plate. My chicken sandwich was large and juicy, but it was only chicken and toasted French bread. It would have been great with the addition of tomato, lettuce and just a dab of Miracle Whip. Since the menus stayed on the table, I looked it up, and it had been delivered exactly as it said on the menu. I had no one to blame but myself.
All in all, the food was good, the atmosphere was bright, and the service was excellent. We paid from the table, so I saw no toothpicks. I have started carrying my own.
There are special prices after 5 p.m., but we were early. The stuffed potato skins were $6.50, the lemonades were $2 each, and my sandwich and the sloppy Joe were $7 each.
Overall – 4 stars
Service – 5 stars
Cleanliness – 3 stars
Food – 4 stars
Do you think you can find out what the name and location of this bar and grill? Check out the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are correct!
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