The wine bar and doughnut shop I visited last week was Donut & More, aka Wood River Donut Shop, at 102 West Edwardsville Road in Wood River. No, that is not a typo; the sign actually says, Donut & More. Everyone I have spoken to says the food is really good. I know that what my companion and I ate was yummy.
As a side note, I returned to Village Inn Pancake House in Alton this week, and found that it had improved mightily since the last time I was there. If I had been there to write a review, and not to simply assuage the pangs of hunger, I would have given it five stars!
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We went to a nearby town to check out a new place we had not been in before. There was plenty of off-street parking. The brick wall facing the parking lot was decorated with the eatery’s name. I noticed that the same local artist that painted Mini Corral did the sign. A cold wind blew us through the door, and a lighted beer sign squeaked above our heads on a tall pole.
The interior was bright and roomy, even though it was not an enormously big room. A round table was in each front corner, with a table seating six in front of each one. There were many square tables, a high table for two, and three or four long, high tables. High padded seats were also at the bar, which was made of corrugated metal and wood. We counted four flat-screen televisions, and a electronic scoreboard graced the wall opposite the bar. A colorful banner celebrating the local high school team was on another wall. There were some St. Patrick’s Day decorations here and there, but they were not overdone.
We were greeted immediately and invited to sit anywhere. Our server came to get our drink orders and provided menus. We ordered lemonade, mainly because I am trying to avoid drinking carbonated soda. Good lemonade is delightful, a combination of sweet and tart that dances on the palate. Bad lemonade is miserable, either watery, sour or chalky. This lemonade was good. The specials of the day were listed on a large chalkboard on a wall at the end of the bar. We evidently had come on Mexican food day. We both ordered loaded nachos. My companion wanted jalapeños; I did not.
I went to the restrooms. There was no sign, but a doorway near the menu board led to a short hallway. That had to be it, I thought. I was startled when I reached the hallway and found an open door on the left leading down a flight of stairs. The restrooms were a little further down the hall.
The room for women was clean, well-lit and lovingly decorated. I was charmed by a basket on a red table held hairspray, deodorant and hand lotion. The room for men was not as decorative, but was clean and had everything needed.
When I returned, our nachos were on our table, along with flatware-in-a-napkin. Those were the only napkins we had, one each. The nachos consisted of colorful corn chips in red, black and yellow, refried beans, lettuce, diced tomatoes, large chunks of white onions, a tube of sour cream, a small tub of salsa, and — horrors — cheese sauce! I had not even considered that the dish would not have shredded cheese. My companion definitely enjoyed every bite of the nachos, including the jalapeños, and told me I am too picky. My friend may be right.
Since the nachos were the special of the day, they were $6.95 each and the lemonade was $1.99 each. The entire meal was $19. Desserts are not usually available, but our server said that sometimes there is cheesecake.
Overall – 4 stars
Service – 5 stars
Cleanliness – 3 ½ stars
Food – 4 stars
Do you think you can figure out this restaurant and lounge? Check out the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are correct!
The Secret Diner