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Jun 7, 2006 09:44 PM

Collinsville, IL

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Any good restaurants in this vicinity? I'm going to be there for 4 days at the end of July.

I found the previous recommendations on the board, but they are more than a year old, so I thought I'd ask for updates.



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  1. I get to Collinsville every year, but haven't found anyplace that I would really go out of my way for.

    Zapata's Mexican Restaurant is decent.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Keith

      There's a new place greek italian by Walgreens and 159. Very large portions, great prices. For a great meal Neruda's in Edwardsville. Easy to get to from Collinsville and very nice place. Also, for more casual a little past Neruda's in a newer strip mall there's, Bully's. It's a step above BBQ places, has a porksteak that you don't need a knife, it just falls apart and their beef brisket is awesome. A Japanese Sushi place right there, too. Very good cheaper at lunch than dinner by about $10.

      1. re: Jules

        Don't know anything about the Greek-Italian place, but skip Neruda's (way too pricy and VERY hit and miss -- plus the smoke from the bar bathes the entire restaurant in a charming, stale patina -- very 1980's). For BBQ, try Smokin Al's on Hampton in STL.

    2. Help me out w/ some more info and I will be glad to help...
      Staying in a hotel?
      Willing to travel? How far?
      Fav cuisines?
      Answer these things and I and I'm sure other STL foodies will help me.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Big D

        I am staying in a Holiday Inn, and will have access to a car. It is for a family reunion, so because of the family activities, I'd have to say no more than a 30 min drive from Collinsville.

        Any type of cuisine except seafood. I love Italian, all types of Asian, so far, I haven't met much food I haven't liked.

        If there is some particular speciality of the region I should try that isn't available elsewhere, please let me know.


        1. re: LisaN

          You've got a good start w/ Porters at the Holiday. The pepperloin is their star entree...nice sized tenderloin in crushed blk pepper w/a demi-glace. I would actually save this place for Sunday brunch though. It's my fav in the area and runs about $12-$14.95 for tons of nice extras like oysters on the half, superb desserts, etc.
          For the Italian, I'm going to send you to my fav top end spot and then give you my #2. Tratttoria Marcella is a dynamite Italian place in St. Louis w/ the best service I've found. I recommend the flash fried spinach and calamari as appies and then go wild w/ anything on the menu. Here is a link to the restauarant and a map link below:

          My second choice for very reasonable Italian is Cunetto House of Pasta. My rec's are split a house salad, order Melanzini Fritti (fried eggplant) for an appie, and the strip steak that is breaded, grilled, and topped w/ a white wine, mushroom sauce w/ provel. Following is a link:

          A very fine steakhouse is Andrias in Edwardsville or the original place on the edge of Fairview Heights. Super large steaks, particularly the prime rib which is a truly a roast in size. Their steak marinade is a soy based fav and is the only marinade I would ever use on a good pice of meat. For me it's seasonings, Andria's or nothing. Here's a link for them:

          My fam are fans of Old Peking which isn't too far from your hotel at 604 W. Main in Collinsville for reasonable Chinese: 618-345-0804
          Another pretty decent spot for Mexican is Ramon's El Dorado which is just a bit south of your hotel on Rte 157 located at 1711 Saint Louis Rd Collinsville, IL
          (618) 344-6435. I hope this helps and if you get to town and need more variety, shoot me an email. Bon Appetit'


          1. re: Big D

            Awesome! i'll let you know where I ended up getting to go to when I get back!

            Thanks so much everyone!

            1. re: Big D

              Ditto Ramon's, small carnita and guacamole burrito... I've been eating there since it was an old gas station with 6 tables and 50 cent tacos.

              1. re: Big D

                Tratorria Marcella, Andrias and Ramons, yes. And Andrias for steak only; nothing -- and I mean nothing -- else. For Ramons, you may need to suspend some of your notions about hygiene in public spaces, but a couple of those peyote-margeritas will make it all seem OK. Porters, Cunettos and Old Peking simply cannot be recommended. Porters is bland and cheesy (think Applebees run by hoosiers). Cunettos represents everything that is bad about "The Hill's" Italian food and Old Peking represents everything bad about greasy, fry-everything Chinese food. You'll find much better alternatives in St. Louis: try Niche on Sidney Street in the Soulard neighborhood, Bahn Mi So on South Grand for the best Vietnamese west of Saigon (kicking it old school), and La Tropicana on Lindenwood in the SouthWest City neighborhood for a killer Cuban sandwich or Mexican Torta -- go on a weekend afternoon, when a couple of Cuban muscians are playing, and its like taking a quick trip to Miami...

                Eat well!

                1. re: Big D

                  I agree about Old Peking, they were the best. Unfortunately they retired over a year ago. Lots of people love Thip's, a Thai place in O'Fallon and Belleville. I've had it a few times and really enjoyed the Pork Pad Thai and Fried Tofu.

              1. re: JoeyH

                Also, not too far away, in Edwardsville, is Bella Milano.



                1. re: JoeyH

                  I wouldn't recommend Bella Milano -- especially not for someone visiting the area and with only a few opportunities for dining out in the area. See my comments above on Porters and Cunettos -- throw them all together and you've got Bella Milano.

                2. re: JoeyH

                  The food was good at Porters, but I have had bad service experiences, twice.


                3. What do you guys think of Bandanas Barbq? Is it a viable barbecue option?

                  Thanks for all the tips, I greatly appreciate it.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: LisaN

                    I end up staying at a motel within walking distance of Bandanas about one weekend a year. It is good enough that I visit every 2nd or 3rd year, but I wouldn't travel any distance to go there.


                    1. re: LisaN

                      Can't recommend it to a visitor. Drive to Smokin Al's on Hampton in STL. Much better example of local BBQ.

                    2. A year later, same question. DC Hound staying at the Holiday Inn in Collinsville for the weekend, and looking for places to eat without having to drive too far.

                      Apart from the obvious Porter's in the hotel (which it sounds like has gone to crap with the hotel in receivership), what else is within a short drive that's worth eating at?

                      Neruda's looks interesting for one meal, but we probably want more casual choices for most meals. We'll be in St. Louis proper later, so not looking for things that far away (in this post!)


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: DanielK

                        I'm going to recco Ramon's El Dorado again. It's S on 157 then veer right toward the race track on Collinsville Road. It sits in the "y" just before the roads merge. It's not "authentic" but IMO it's one of the best meals in C'ville.