Did you figure out what restaurant was reviewed last time? It was RJ’s Place, located at 418 N. Delmar Ave. in Hartford. Great appetizers and sandwiches!
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I had to take my car in for service and looked for a good place to eat while I was in the neighborhood. The receptionist at the mechanic’s shop suggested this particular restaurant, so I thought I would give it a try. When my companion and I walked in, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that instead of looking like another bar and grill, it had the appearance of an old-fashioned lunch counter. Booths with automobile-style seats and chrome “dinette sets” provided plenty of seating. Even the bar stools were chrome! A gaming station was on one side of the room, up a couple of steps. On the other side, a couple of steps led to more seating. Wide, wooden balustrades set off these areas from the main floor. Then, I looked up.
The ceiling was covered wall to wall with so many things that I lost count. In addition to murals, I saw large, complicated kites; Big Bird in a rickshaw; a 6-foot-long model airplane; an actual plane propeller; kiddie cars and tricycles, mounted upside down; Howdy Doody; Woody from “Toy Story” astride a white horse large enough for a child to ride; a mounted marlin; a wooden model of the Budweiser Clydesdales and I can’t remember what else! There was also a projector and a screen that could be pulled down. Monitors broadcasted trivia about the country music that was playing.
Daily specials were available, but I opted for an Alaskan whitefish dinner and lemonade, and my companion ordered a large serving of chili, a plate of potato skins and water.
When our food arrived, I was delighted with the size of the portions. Imagine an oblong plate with a large slice of sweet white onion and two slices of bread on top of the onion. Add six or seven dill pickle chips, a small cup of creamy cole slaw and fill the rest of the plate with crinkle fries. Then, top it off with five or six pieces of fish until you can’t see anything else on the plate. Every bit of it was delicious, and the slaw was a great balance of sweet and tart, as was the lemonade.
My companion said that the chili was really good and was also pleased with the potato skins, which were loaded with cheese and bacon bits. They came with one’s choice of ranch dressing or sour cream.
The service was excellent. I noticed that the tables were bussed promptly and all customers were greeted with a smile. We paid from the table and left full and happy.
Overall – 4 ½ stars
Service – 5 stars
Cleanliness – 4 stars
Food – 5 stars
Can you figure out name and location of this restaurant? Check out the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you guessed correctly!
The Secret Diner
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