Thursday, May 27, 2010

Stacker's Mexican Grill

There is a hidden gem in the deep recess of NorthPark Mall in Davenport. Stacker's Mexican Grill is in the midst of Sears, the random junk Dollar store, and the old Sam Goody that now houses a sports souvenir shop. Not an ideal location, but they make do.

Stacker's opened just over a year ago in what used to be a shady Chinese take out restaurant errr window? Stacker's is basically what you see here. A rainbow Lucido font sign, counter, and menu board. In the middle of the mall hallway are a bunch of tables for your dining pleasure.

The menu includes typical Mexican takeout staples. And then there's a bottle of ketchup just hanging out. Enjoying the view.

Apparently "Big-ass Burrito" is their specialty.

All that styrofoam makes me cringe. Not because of it's inability to biodegrade, but because of the terrible squeak it produces.

I think they stuffed everything they could find into the flour tortilla. Rice, salsa, beef, beans, and veggies. Congrats burrito! That makes this is the healthiest food he ate all week.

Richie very much enjoyed this burrito and it kept him full the rest of the day. He said the ingredients were fresh and tasty. At only $4, I'd say that is quite the bargain. Also, the restaurant is very clean and service is fast.

At least they didn't waste money on sombreros and ugly burro statues

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Return to Burger Barge and Fat Sandwich

Richie was lucky enough to be able to return to a couple of greasy joints we have featured in the past, Burger Barge in Peoria, IL and Fat Sandwich Company in Champaign, IL.

It was a nice day, so the front deck at Burger Barge was open and they had a nice view of the Illinois River.

Not one to deviate from positive past performance, Richie once again ordered the Tavern Burger.

As you probably don't remember, the half pound Tavern burger is topped with ham, onions, cheese, bacon, and a fried egg. A true carnivore's delight. $7 bucks for just the burger...but saying just the burger doesn't really do it justice. That's a combo breakfast and lunch.

Burger from our first visit to the Barge.

And his 2nd visit...

Gotta love those crispy onion rings. looks like a whole onion was used. These will put you back another $5.

And back to good ol' Fat. Fat Sandwich Co. is the place with insanely filled and ridiculously named sandwiches. Last time, Richard got the Fat Magnum. This time he got to know a 'Fat Lush.' The lovely Lush is an 8 inch roll filled with cheesesteak, chicken fingers, Mozzarella cheese sticks, fries, and BBQ sauce.

You can pretend to act disgusted like I do, but you and I both know how delicious that looks.

All of their Fat sandwiches come with the fries in it. If you a true glutton for grease, you can order some on the side as well.

So both these places delivered once again and are highly recommended by Fat Richard with two fat thumbs up.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sneaky Pete's

LeClaire, Iowa: A quaint river town with it's claim to fame being the birthplace of Buffalo Bill Cody. Of course the town must honor the gunslinging showman with a down and dirty saloon. I suppose Sneaky Pete's (est. 1975) fits "the Bill."

Who is Pete and what is he so sneaky about?

Sneaky Pete's is located on Cody Road, the main street right on the river. It's housed in an old strip mall of sorts with history dating back to 1866. The building housed various businesses through the years including hotels and general stores. The area has seen it's fair share of fires, but now if you smell something burning, chances are that it's Sneaky Pete's wood fire grill.

They only fire up the grill for dinner.

Though the food is top-notch, the atmosphere is casual. However, their rules about remaining casual are strictly enforced. When they say 'No ties allowed' they mean 'NO TIES ALLOWED'

The dining room is comprised of picnic tables draped with tablecloths and one wall papered with business cards.

I had been itching to sample buffalo meat for awhile now and, of course, Buffalo Bill's hometown was just the place to try it. I ordered a 1/4 lb buffalo burger with a side salad. It was light and lean and *majestic*, much like the buffalo that still roam Bill's homestead. Not Richie's cup of... meat, but definitely mine.

In a surprise move, Richie chose the steak sandwich and slaw. The steak was rare and he cleaned his plate, leaving only a small pool of bloody juices.

Our guests elected to try the barbeque pork and Sneaky burger. Pork was flavorful but could have used some sauce.

hope that burger didnt sneak up on him later

Head down to Sneaky Pete's for a root tootin good time and delicious food. Bring a business card. Just be sure to leave your tie at home.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bier stube- LeClaire

Strap on your lederhosen! It's time to visit the Bier Stube, a German restaurant. Oh vhat fun!
Vhat does Bier Stube mean, I vonder? Bier= beer. Stube= room. This particular beer room is one of three located in the QCA. The first opened in the historic Boyler's Iron building in the Village of East Davenport. The second, which features a biergarten, is in Moline. We were uber excited to visit the new LeClaire location.

The Bier Stube is located in a new strip mall on Canal Shore Drive. It shares a building with SNAP 24 hour Fitness. After stuffing yourself with sausage you can waddle over and attempt to elliptical your guilt away.
Speaking of sausage, the restaurant gets their meat from Haun's, a German butcher in Dubuque that the Bier Stube's proprieter, Dieter Rebitzer, also owns. They have a handy little guide to all things wiener.

Not only are they wienermeisters, but they also have uber amounts of ale.

IN his quest to transform into Mayor McCheese, Richie found the perfect menu item, the Hindenburger. But a burger named after a doomed zeppelin wasn't enough. Oh no, he had to get a double order of onion rings to complete the disaster about to explode in his stomach.

An all beef airship fueled by two half pound patties, 3 slices of bacon, one fried egg, and cheese, crashed onto browned and buttered Texas toast.


"All the folks agree that this is terrible. This is one of the worst catastrophes in the world!"

After witnessing the terrible destruction of the Hindenburger, I quickly recovered and lifted the tables' spirits with my wit.

On the Eastern side of the iron curtain sat our guests, the Youngs. Here's a glimpse at how the bourgeoisie eat.. Ein Paar Frankfurters with a potato pancake, potato salad, and spatzle.

Portabella veggie melt. An ubersandwich of fungi adorned with cucumbers and sauteed onions and peppers.

As you can see, the menu is loaded with German food, but there are also some choices for democratic stomachs. Try an old west burger or an ultimate grilled cheese. Desserts are also German fare... strudel, nutella pretzels, and black forest cake.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Giorraíonn beirt bóthar

DeKalb is located about 2 hours from Davenport, just off the tollway to Chicago. Why go to DeKalb? Richie met up with a friend to see the band Clutch play at the club Otto's. After aimlessly wandering through the downtown area, they arrived at 5 to pick up their tickets, but apparently DeKalb is in a Twilight Time zone, as 5 p.m. will-call turned into 8 p.m. With some free time on their hands, they pulled a Toucan Sam and followed their noses to O'Leary's Irish Pub and Grill (260 E Lincoln Hwy).

Supposedly the smell of the grill lured them in, but I think Richie's Irish ginger compass lead them to this mildly Irish restaurant.

Upon entering, he experienced some trepidation, as it looked like a typical 'shit on the wall' restaurant like your local Applebee's or Friday's. *Note to Applebee's- Muggsy Bogues posters are no longer relevant to your dining crowd.*

The brick building that houses O'Leary's used to be a JC Penney store in it's heyday. Nonetheless, as they say in Ireland, "A cabin with plenty of food is better than a hungry castle."

The menu includes traditional Celtic fare such as Baja Chicken Quesadillas and Jamaican Jerk Salad. Just like the leprechauns eat! You'll find typical bar food here, but with a few spicy twists.

Copper Top Young ordered the BBQ Ranch Burger with sweet potato fries...that look like bars of gooooold.

Enough and no waste is as good as a feast.

Well, he was pleasantly surprised by the burger, as it was tastier than your local Bennigan's offerings-- slightly more original in it's construction and made from superior meat. The burger was adorned with cheddar cheese, bbq sauce, chipotle mayo, onion strings, smoked bacon, lettuce, and tomato. No pot o' gold, but more of a pot o' fat.

The innards of the blessed burger.

The sweet potato fries were crispy, salty, and sweet, all adjectives that describe only the finer things in life.

Do not be deterred by the generic look and feel of the place and menu. Irish jig your arse on down to O'Leary's for some good bar food and drink.

And then see a sweet band like Clutch...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Bread Garden Market

Begot from the Bread Garden Bakery and Cafe, the Market opened in Iowa City on South Linn st. in 2008. It's conveniently located right next to the City Library. The Bakery/Cafe expanded it's concept of selling fresh homemade food into offering gourmet and specialty groceries.

Walking in, it has sort of a mod warehouse feel. Kind of like an IKEA for food. There are tables and registers right up front for diners. To the left is the bakery section with goodies and breads. Walking further back will take you into the produce, meat, and groceries.

Adjacent to the dining section is the salad bar and deli. The freshness of the offerings in the salad bar was enticing, so we paused there for a quickie.

An empty plate...patina rasa... oh the things I will do to you.

Step one: Prepare a lovely bed of greens.

Step two: Create a romantic atmosphere. Scatter fragrant blossoms across the bed.

Step three: Tease with cheese and bring the meat

Step four: You know what to doooo.

Step five: Fresh, fast, and cheap... Leave satisfied.

In all seriousness, I would've made sweet music with that salad if I could have. I give myself partial credit for creating the masterpiece with spinach, tortellini, chickpeas, green olives, beans, and feta. You can also get various sides as part of the salad bar, so I snagged some of my sister's mac n cheese. It was the best I've ever had. Like it was made by Paula Deen, goddess of butter and cheese. Unfortunately, it was not all-you-can eat, so I couldn't go back for more. It was, however, very cheap at 6.50/lb. My salad weighed in at almost 1/2 lb, so I got a filling lunch for 3.25.

For more on their bakery and deli menus click here