MAINTO, Ill -- The Ironstone Room restaurant is in Manito, inside what used to be the town's bank building.
In fact, the bank's old vault door remains a part of the decor.
The Ironstone Room is part of a complex of businesses which take up a good part of a small town city block.
The menu aims towards both quality and quantity... Chef Kevin Roecker says "We have what we call our Ironstone burger, We grind fresh bottom round steak and cook them on a char-grill. They're topped with smoked Gouda cheese & served on a Brioche bun, Our Ruben sandwich has sliced corned beef, Swiss cheese, with an apple laced slaw and horseradish mustard on dark pumpernickel".
So, that's what photographer Larry Foulk and I ordered.
While our sandwiches were being prepared, we took a look around.
The Ironstone is part of the Willet's Winery complex.
Next door, in a new building, is a banquet room which can seat 180. The winery vats dominate one wall. The floor...came from the Fireman High school Gym, resanded to a gleam. Next door to the banquet room is Willet's Winery, housed inside what was once a harness shop build in 1893. Opened by the late Dan Willet and his wife Chris in 2005, the company produces thousands of bottles of locally produced wines yearly.
History lesson finished, Larry and I settled down to lunch.
This is the kind of burger other burgers should be judged against...Juicy and done right. I would never have thought of Gouda cheese as a burger topping. Now I will. This is a big sandwich and I ate it all. The heck with the diet. I also had the bacon-cheddar potato salad, which was very good.
Larry said he loved his Ruben...and we are both members of the clean plate club.
Our bill, with iced tea and a soft drink came to $21.14 plus tip.
The Ironstone Room opens daily at 11 for lunch and early dinner.
Check out their website for the menu and weekend specials.