East St. Louis
I figured I better weigh in here being an east side resident. I too have frequented Sandy's a number of times and found it to be okay. Other than that, it's pretty slim pickings. One alternative is Koke's in Fairmont City which is just up the road. Good authentic Mexican and good drinks. I don't know if this your thing but some of the clubs in Sauget do a pretty good businessman's lunch, particularly the Platinum Club. I've had some pretty decent pasts and red meat there. Hopefully my rep as a serious chowhound won't be marred by that suggestion. I love the Shrine soup and salad lunch. 10 or so all you can eat soups and great salad.
I used to work in East St. Louis. The question I have to ask the scary posters is : Have you ever been to East St. Louis?
There was a soul food place right by the train stop on Missouri Ave. Sandy's BBQ is down the other direction. If you can transportation , try the steak, potato, and peas restaurant with the white table cloth at the stockyards.
East St. Louis: good people, good food, and don't do anything stupid.