No, it is not a hard-to-find restaurant, but a 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.
Did you guess what eatery was reviewed last time? It was Old Bakery Beer Company at 400 Landmarks Ave. in Alton. Housed in the historic Colonial Bakery building, it is an organic craft brewery with an ever-changing menu. Definitely worth a visit!
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My regular companion and I went to a neighboring small town to check out this place that I had heard about. We walked into a long, cool, dark room with a long, dark bar, six flat-screen televisions, Tiffany-style glass lampshades featuring brand names of beer, neon beer signs, several small tables, one long table, a popcorn machine and several video game machines in a cordoned-off “game area.” Up a few stairs were two large round tables, two padded benches, a pool table and the kitchen. The floors were well-worn and a few of the seats needed some radical duct-tape therapy, but the overall effect was comfortable and lived-in.
We took seats upstairs and were greeted by the friendly server-bartender, who informed us of the appetizer half-price specials. I love appetizers! There was also a plethora of sandwiches from which to choose, some with strange names that gave no hint about what they were made of. Daily dinner specials were also available.
I decided on a fried chicken sandwich for $5 and my friend ordered a sloppy joe for $6. We chose eight mini corn dogs, eight mini tacos and six mac and cheese bites for a total of $5. Each type of appetizer came with two condiments in a basket. The sandwiches did not come with sides, but with all the appetizers we did not miss them. The food arrived quickly and we ate it all slowly, savoring each bite. I drank lemonade and my friend had root beer. The drinks were sold by the can at $1 each.
The restrooms were very clean and appeared to have all-new fixtures. The was a smoking area available and some outdoor seating.
Overall – 4 ½ stars
Service – 4 ½ stars
Cleanliness – 4 ½ stars
Food – 4 stars
Can you figure out name and location of this eatery and bar? Check out the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you guessed correctly!
Do you have a restaurant in mind you would like to see reviewed by the Secret Diner? Send us an email at email@example.com; include "Secret Diner" in the message.