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.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kelly's Tavern Bleu Burger

I went to Kelly's Tavern for my first critique. Not too crowded a little before noon. I was seated at a booth right away. Donna was my waitress, she has been there as long as I can remember. I knew the service would be as good as it gets.
I ordered the Bleu Burger and an ice tea. The waitress asked how I would like it cooked? Medium was my choice today. I like them well done too. 
The burger didn't take long to come to the table. Donna had already filled my ice tea. I didn't even have to ask.
Ok on to the reason I started this blog...the pursuit of great food. The burger was done to order and tasted fine. It is not something that I would crave or rave about.The Bleu cheese on top of the burger is some sort of sauce made up of Bleu cheese and maybe sour cream? The thickness of the burger was decent but the overall size is, well I guess adequate. Let's just say you won't leave feeling like you ate too much. The bun it was served on was nothing special, an over processed white burger bun with sesame seeds on top. Never understood the whole sesame seed thing on a burger bun thing.
The pricing was reasonable for a sit down restaurant, the burger was $5.99. The iced tea on the other hand, as with all drinks from a restaurant, I feel was overpriced at $1.79. I believe that the owners of the place know the drinks are overpriced. So much so that they don't even list the beverages on the menu anymore. You know out of sight out of mind. I always tell myself just to order water when I go out to eat, but I rarely do.
The total bill with tax was 8.38,when I added the tip I was over the $10 mark. Is that too much for an okay burger, of okay size?
 I like Kelly's and the service is great and the place is always exceptionally clean.
However, I would rate the Bleu Burger as very average.