Quad Cities wrap-up
Machine Shed, Davenport.
On Friday night I enjoyed "The Combine," which includes the Heartland Delight (tenderloin wrapped in bacon) and the tangy tenderloin, as well as a simple but excellent pork loin. The pork loin was the best of these; the tangy tenderloin was fun but the meat didn't need any assistance. The string beans were surprisingly good, too.
I returned for breakfast Monday, and liked the legendary giant cinammon roll, as well as the potato casserole and smoked pork chop.
Breitbach's Country Dining, Balltown.
Very good, but didn't live up to sky-high expectations. It gets a 10 for Americana, an 8.4 for food, and a 6.5 for service. The $8.95 buffet featured very good fried chicken and standard ham, and the roast pork was best in small pieces that soaked up the gravy. The spaghetti soup was excellent (mostly beef and tomato based) and the raspberry pie was great. Can anyone identify the spreads in the salad bar? One was butter plus I'm not sure what, the other was kind of liver-ish.
Regarding the service, this place has been around since 1852, so I'd thought they'd work out the kinks after 1.5 centuries. There was some confusion about where people should line up for tables, and the server seemed overburdened.
The decor is very cool; lots of buckets and other farm equipment, a scenic mural by the bar, etc.
Jim's Rib Haven, Rock Island.
Lots of interesting items on the menu, but I went with the ribs, and the amazing hot sauce. As for the sides, the beans were standard but the potato salad was great (there was egg in there, not sure what else.)
The loose meat sandwich was impressive, the fries were decent.
Schafer's Fisheries, Fulton.
No tables or utensils here, but quite an unusual array of fish. Certainly the $1.99 smoked carp was the cheapest smoked fish I've ever seen. It was tough to work around the bones but worth the effort; there were several different textures to the meat - the best part was the white-ish stuff around the edges.
The buffalo fish reminded me of whitefish. The catfish fillets had a mild flavor on the inside; the exterior had a great wood taste. If I return I would like to try the sturgeon.
I'm not really on board here. I got the Magic Mountain. I liked the cheese sauce best; the beef, hash browns and Texas toast weren't anything special. This was o.k. but no better than Waffle House, in my opinion.
11th St. Bar & Grill, Davenport.
Thanks to Steakfrites for this pick, where I had the stunning grilled tenderloin for the first of my two Monday lunches. Get the fries, too. The iced tea was surprisingly good.
Lagomarcino's, Davenport and Moline.
I went to the Davenport branch for a great ham salad sandwich and an o.k. Green River drink. I didn't realize this wasn't the original site. So, looking for some old-timey ambience, I hit the Moline spot later for some very good vanilla praline ice cream.
Recent Davenport experience:
Trattoria Tiramisu: Guazzetto (seafood stew) outstanding, very reasonable. Left Hand (Colorado) beers available.
Machine Shed: AYCE rib special - ribs had boiled texture, were oversauced. Berry pie tasted like filling out of a can. A/C almost painfully cold in the room I was in. I'd probably go back to try the walleye.
Phoenician Cafe: Shawarma and gyros excellent, as was the cinnamon tea and baklava.
Exotic Thai: Panang curry seemed watery. Maybe worth a second try on another dish.
Pho 99: Good egg rolls, but grilled entree wasn't as good as I hoped.
Mekong: Grilled mussel appetizer excellent, shades of Chez Thuy in Boulder.
Granite City Brewery: Pretty good beer. Pasta dish w/shrimp was workmanlike, but didn't sing, very large portion.
Front Street Brewery: shrimp pasta was ok, beer not so good.
Shogun: Anago Don very tasty.
Breakfast buffet at Raddison: lame.
Hungry Hobo: turkey sandwich featured creepy pressed meat.
Whitey's ice cream: Hello Dolly flavor really nice.
I had a fine meal at Exotic Thai. I wasn't expecting much and it was nothing like good Thai in New York, LA, Hong Kong, but it was good. The Pad Thai was good, the SPicy Basil chicken was good. The Prik King, was OK, but not like any Prik King I have ever had. Although not Thai, the Dumplings were good as well.
I am going to try Shogun soon and also the chinese restaurant in Rock Island, East something, any other chinese or sushi suggestions?