Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winking's Market

On the corner of 4th and Maiden Lane in Quincy, you can take a step back in time...  An old school, family owned, corner grocery store.  While the surrounding houses have gradually disappeared, Winking's stays the same.  Dick Winking owned the neighborhood market since 1948.  He recently passed away, in April 2010, but the market carries on.  A Winking Market Facebook page was started at that time, you can check that out here

Besides covering all your basic grocery needs, this gem of the Gem City has your lunch needs taken care of as well.  One of Quincy's best kept secrets, this is a great little stop for lunch.  You can order something from the deli counter, but the best bet might be the soup.  

Tastes like home made too, because it is.  There's the vegetable beef, chicken noodle soup, chili, it just depends on the week, but it's usually unchanged.  Hot soup, and they'll hook you up with the crackers and all the fixins.

If you're really hungry, the soup will do... but you can also get a roast beef sandwich.  hot or cold, BBQ or regular.  All of it is good.  I eat mine with a fork, otherwise it can get a little bit messy.  But it's all delicious. There's a variety of things to pick up on the lunch menu, but don't forget you're in a grocery store - so you can pick up anything you want for a snack.  Drinks, chips, candy or cakes...  All at a very reasonable price, and sure to fill your belly, served with a personal touch.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Riverside Smoke House & Grill

The Riverside Smoke House & Grill is nestled away in the quaint metal warehouse district of Canton, Missouri.  On a cold and gray Autumn day in early November, the cozy confines of the Smoke House was a great getaway for some great BBQ.  Cozy being the key word, because the booths were pretty small.  Not really that big if a deal, unless you bring three of your grown-up friends.  In that case, just sit at a table, or at the bar.    

I'm a big fan of BBQ, in particular Memphis style, and in recent months I've sampled great brisket from Beale Street all the way to east coast... So when I heard there was some good BBQ right here in my back yard, I hit the road, mading the quick trip up Highway 61.

Right off the bat, there are great daily specials, including appetizers.  So we kicked it off with some potato skins.  If you like potato skins, you're in luck.  If you like bacon, you've hit the jackpot.  It's a cheesy bacon boat.  Good stuff.  The salad is great too.  All a sinister plot to fill you up before getting to the delicious BBQ.  Well, maybe not a sinister plot, but it does make for a filling meal.  

The BBQ brisket sandwich was good.  A great BBQ sauce makes for a great BBQ sandwich, and the Riverside Smoke House gives you a variety of sauces right there at the table.  The sauce that comes on the sandwich is decent, with a sweet taste.  It didn't really stand out like some sauces I've tasted but it wasn't bad.  I didn't try any of the 5 different sauces on the table, so I suppose this review isn't as all-encompassing as it could or should be.  What stood out to me was the smoky flavor of the meat.  With my belly full of appetizers, I had difficultly tearing through the large version of the sandwich, so I did what any good carnivore would do, and went around the bun.  

The BBQ chicken sandwich looked tender and delicious.  From what I heard, it tasted just as good.  I was also told that the Three BIG Pigs sandwich - constructed from copious amounts of bacon, smoked pork, and grilled ham - was known to cause temporary chest pains in the fittest of man - - but in a good way. 

Oh, and the fries are good too.  Always good to have good fries to compliment a meal.  

Looking at the menu, there are all kinds of great deals depending on the day.  Check out the menu at the Smoke House's home page.   Besides being a good place to eat, it's a good place to hang out.  The bar was filled with guys from up the on hill at Culver-Stockton College, in to watch the game. 

Any cold and gray day sucks, but it made Canton seemed a little bit like a zombie movie on the day I went.  At least on the side of  town east of 4th Street, I'm not saying anything about the rest of Canton, it's fine I'n sure.  The Riverside Smoke House was a nice afternoon getaway.  The eats were good.  It's hard for me to compare because I'm subconsciously comparing it to Memphis BBQ. That goes for most BBQ I eat.  But it's nice to have something like this so close to home.  I've heard a rumor of an expansion to Quincy, but I've heard the same rumor shot down, because it would draw business away from the spot in Canton.  So make the drive.

See the menu, daily specials, events, directions, and contact info at Riverside's web site.  HERE

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Coach House

The Coach House a long time Quincy staple has been doing business at the same location for at least 50 years. That in and of itself says something. Don't go into this place expecting a gourmet meal. Do expect to get a home-cooked meal.

Do expect to pay too much for a soft drink, sodas are $2. However it's hard to find anything on the menu over $10, generally a good value.

So, I ordered a Club Sandwich $7.95. Now this is not your normal club sandwich, It is a good sized chicken breast (menu says 6 ounces) with bacon on a bun, the lettuce came on the side along with the tomato. The lettuce was the kind that is meant as a garnish and the tomato, while still in season, was the typical waxy, orangey tomato. When I pay eight bucks for a sandwich I expect more. The chicken was tough, I didn't feel like a I had mouth full of shoe leather but you could tell it was the old over frozen  boneless breast and it had little if any seasoning. The bacon while thick was a bit burnt and had been under the press for a little too long a little closer to the shoe leather for the bacon. So much so I almost took it off of the sandwich. The sandwich all in all was as dry a as a joke from Letterman's monologue and just kind of blah. It's not something that I will order again.

The lattice fries were not hot but a good sized portion. I think there might be a little lack of pride in the kitchen or in the recipes. More of a "get it out quick" mentality instead of a "get it out great" mentality. The waitress that we had was friendly but her service was lacking. She made only one trip by during the meal.

I don't believe they take debit cards but they do take checks. Try it for yourself and see what you think. You can leave your critique in the comments or you can email it to us and we will put it up as a normal blog entry.

The Coach House Restaurant

2431 Broadway, Quincy, IL

(217) 223-8040 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Scoreboard

I went to The Scoreboard tonight after we had our first reader comment on the blog.  
 Clinton said...
Someone should review the new cheeseburger at the Scoreboard. They used to have the best one in town, but now they're under new ownership and it's obviously not the same. Maybe our standards are unrealistically high, but some things just shouldn't change. Maybe if we get a ground-swell together they will be forced to hire back the old cook.

The Scoreboard, once thought of as the Holy Grail of cheeseburgers is, I am sad to report, no longer what it used to be. This was THE cheeseburger; it WAS just the right amount of juicy, greasy goodness. It WAS perfection and will be remembered and revered like the  81 Blue Devil basketball season.
I had noticed over the past six months or so that the bedraggled, nearly condemned quality of the exterior of our beloved eatery had been given a face lift. But when I entered The Scoreboard, the interior had not changed much at all. The framed posters on Hondo, Hank Aaron's 715 off Al Downing and Secretariet still adorn the walls. So I was feeling right at home.

 I expected to write about some flaws in the service but I can't. They had only one person working but she was quite the work horse. She was tending bar, waiting tables and she was the cook too. She brought refills without me asking and the food was served quickly. A+. The pricing was a bit high for the size at $4.25, fries $2.50 and iced tea $1.50 so with a tip we are over $10. That is too much for just average food. Now more bad news, while I believe the burger was handmade, the size was somewhat of a letdown. It wasn't the, over the bun sized burger, that made the place famous. It was just the run of the mill cheeseburger in size and quality. The typical white bread bun was very lightly grilled. The fries were as good as they get, and right out of the fryer. mmmm good! But I left the place with a saddened heart for the cheeseburger that I had remembered so fondly was no longer.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Pink Tavern

1010 E State Route 96

Lomax, IL 61454

(217) 449-9723

The Pink Tavern or sometimes referred to just as “The Pink” is located in Lomax, Illinois. Lomax is a small town north of Nauvoo right on the Mississippi River in Northern Hancock County.
We got there in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday. The place was not crowded and we decided to sit at the bar.
The seating area was very clean and the owners must love their wild life art. They probably had, and this is no exaggeration, over 100 Terry Redlin signed and framed prints hanging on the walls. The bathroom was small and average on the cleanliness scale.
The wait staff is friendly but don’t expect them to be ahead of the game. If you need something you better ask.  And that includes flatware. Maybe I expect too much but if someone is going to eat you should bring them a fork. If they order fries you should ask if they need ketchup.
On to the FOOD. We both ordered cheeseburgers and fries. We had a bag of Sterzing’s Chips too;  A, because I can’t resist ‘em and B, because the tasty potato crisps are made right across the river in Burlington, Iowa.
The burgers came in quick enough time, but with only one order of fries. (Again the wait staff) That seemed kind of silly because the reasonable price of $4.95 includes fries. The bun was the typical white bread bun and was toasted but not buttered. The burger was handmade and they were both irregular in shape. That odd shape let you know that it was a handmade burger not the frozen preformed type. The burger also came with iceberg lettuce hand torn not the shredded type.
I would have to rate the cheeseburger as just average but the homemade touches give it a slightly above average feel. The fries were hot and crispy and while the portion was plenty the size of the fries were a bit skinny for my liking.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hard Times II Camp Point Illinois

Hard Times II Bar & Grill

305 S Ohio StCamp PointIL 62320 

We went to Hard Times II; I was told that they have the best pork tenderloin sandwich in the area, so I had to try one. First of all, if you don't know where this place is you will probably drive right by. It sets just off the main drag that runs through Camp Point. A small metal building with a gravel parking lot, it is a bar but as the place mats say kids are welcome. The wait staff was very friendly, if you want a refill you will probably have to walk up to the bar and ask. We got there right about 5pm on a Saturday the place was not very busy so we sat right down and were waited on immediately. I ordered the tenderloin and she had the chicken sandwich fries and onion rings. 
So this tenderloin that people were raving about was huge but it was not the typical pork t that is pounded out so thin that you can read a newspaper through it. This tenderloin was still nice and thick. The breading was tasty and did not peel off of the meat. It was served on a regular white bread bun but the bun was buttered and grilled. The price was right if not downright cheap at $4.75 and fries are $2.50 and a good sized serving`. I don't remember how much the onion rings were but it was a good sized serving too.
Iced tea or soda are priced $1.50.
The sandwich was not a disappointment. I would say it was worth the trip and it ranks right up there as being one of the best tenderloins in the area.