Comfort in the country

This latest spot can easily get overlooked in northwestern Madison County and that’s a shame, because it’s good stuff.

Located in an unassuming old building at an intersection on the outskirts of this community, this diner offers a big menu for breakfast and lunch and serves every day from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

On the outside, it’s in need of a facelift, with an old light green brick front and green-shingled awning, but inside it’s got a homey, country feel with updated decor and a clean dining area. The diner’s name is on the front door, but it’s small and not very noticeable from a distance.

A short wall is featured right when you enter, with specials listed on a dry erase board. To the left is a short hallway leading to the restrooms, while in front of you they get right to the point with a display case featuring doughnuts and pies. 

That display case sits on a classic diner counter, with coffee pots behind it and a window peering into the kitchen. Waitresses are standing, ready to serve. The register is located here, as well as a few stools for patrons who’d like to pony up to the counter.

Tons of square tables and chairs are strewn throughout the dining area. The open dining room in front of the counter features teal-and-white checkered tile floors, but continue past the counter and carpet begins with more tables for visitors. The dining area turns to the left at the end of the counter with a small nook and more tables and more privacy. The walls are decorated in country and homey decor and painted white, green and orange. 

Once you get your mitts on a menu, you see what this joint is all about. The monster menu features daily specials and tons of breakfast and lunch options. They also have hand-dipped shakes and floats, along with pies and desserts.

I decided to mix and match my dessert wants with my breakfast needs by selecting the grilled glazed doughnut sandwich with a large milk and side of hashbrowns. You get your choice of meat between ham, bacon and sausage and can add cheese if you want, which I did.

My finished bad boy product was four large strips of bacon, one scrambled egg, a melted slice of American cheese in the middle and all housed under a toasty glazed donut. The flavor on this monstrosity was unreal. It was a welcomed battle between the salty bacon and sweet glaze of the donut for my palate. The creamy cheese and earthiness of the egg rounded out this sandwich. Every ingredient had its moment to shine. If you like sweet and salty, I recommend this mad creation.

Like the waitress noted, though, it should be accompanied by wet wipes. It gets pretty messy with the melted glaze from the grilling process.

As for the hashbrowns, they were served in the classic shredded style with that classic taste and extremely tender. They made for a good companion to the sandwich.

My friend ordered a beef patty melt and fries from the lunch portion of the menu. The fries were of the crinkle-cut variety, while the sandwich was served on rye bread, featuring large slices of onion, and he added pickles. He was extremely pleased.

Other cool and quirky options here include all-you-can-eat ham and beans and cornbread on Thursdays, the corned beef and egg platter, the spicy black bean omelet, the gyro omelet, the French toast sandwich, a couple of monster burgers called The Big Arnold and Boss Burger, the N.Y. strip steak sandwich and the catfish curls, among many more options.

There’s a common theme of cheap here, too. It shouldn’t be hard to get a good meal for under $10 for an individual here. 

Overall - four stars

Cleanliness - four stars

Service - four stars

Food - four stars

Price - $

Any idea of the name of this diner, bake shop and comfort food mecca in northwestern Madison County? Scroll down to see if you’re correct.

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ANSWER: R&R Clifton Country Inn & Bake Shop, 3015 W. Delmar Ave. in Godfrey

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