Dec 12, 2016

A commoner dines at McLintock’s Saloon & Steakhouse, Standard City, Ill.

(Editor's Note:  As of Feb. 9, 2020, McLintock's Saloon & Steakhouse has closed for business.  On behalf of this blog and all of its faithful followers, thanks for the memories!)  

If it seems like it’s been a long time since I posted a new blog entry, that’s because it has – nearly two months to be more precise.  As I tend to say, life happens and the past couple of months have been full of work-, family- and occasional fun-related items to force my blogging to the back burner.  Hopefully, with things more settled down in December, I can catch up, and hopefully my few faithful followers will feel rewarded for their patience. 

With that in mind, I’d like to start with a true hidden gem – McLintock’s Saloon & Steakhouse just outside of Standard City, Ill.  

McLintock’s had been a local legend of sorts for me and Punky to seek out for some time.  After all, how often do you hear about a highly acclaimed (by word of mouth, at least) steakhouse and bar in a small Illinois town so off the beaten path, it’s not even remotely near a numbered state or federal highway.  I had even driven through Standard City previously just to see if McLintock’s really existed only to miss it entirely. 

Still, our friend Danielle assured us McLintock’s was real and worth the trip, so we made it a destination on a summer Saturday bar crawl down Illinois Route 4 from Springfield toward Carlinville.  Unfortunately for my readers, much of that trip will remain untold at the request of those who lived it, but I will say the detour to the biker club in Nilwood and being welcomed with open arms by the members of the Iron Sleds will not be an experience I will soon forget (thanks again for making us stop, Danielle!). 

As you may imagine, after several Stag beers and a few cage dances in Nilwood, we were ready to venture off on the rural routes toward Standard City to find McLintock’s.

This time, I did not miss the sign as we neared the northern edge of town. It helped that the parking lot was packed full … in the middle of the afternoon!  This was obviously a good sign.

Maybe I missed seeing McLintock’s before because I was looking for something more … rustic? Barn-like?  McLintock’s was neither.  In fact, the large brick exterior and long wooden porch look relatively new, even a little out of place for Illinois farm country.  The inside does feel a little more barn-like, if only because of the high-beamed wooden ceilings and the spacious seating for groups and families. 

And, in keeping with the tradition of what you’d expect from a saloon, a long bar stretches across the back wall.  With seats ready for the taking at the end of the bar, we sat down and deliberated about dinner over another round of Stags. Yes, we had a very well stocked bar in front of us, but why mess with what got us to this point already?  

Much to Punky’s delight, McLintock’s had prime rib on special, so her decision was an easy one.  After all, what better way to judge a steakhouse than by its prime rib? 

As you can probably guess by the picture, McLintock’s preparation passed with flying colors.  Seriously, that knife is for show.  Her prime rib was so tender and perfectly prepared (a nice medium to medium rare), you could pull it apart with the fork alone. 

I’m a sucker for any menu item that sounds unusual, so I chose the Standard City Squeal for the menu’s regular dinner specials section.  They’re just marinated pork medallions, but they are so good you really will be squealing with happiness.  The horseradish dipping sauce is also an excellent complement to the meat (or, in my case, an extra-large baked potato).

In the end, finding McLintock’s Saloon & Steakhouse was definitely worth the effort to find. The food was outstanding, the service was more than adequate, considering how crowded the place was, and the staff were very inviting. Standard City may be the very definition of the middle of nowhere in Central Illinois, but if you want to satisfy a carnivore’s craving, take your posse out McLintock’s. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That prime looked good!

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...