‘Tip toe’ to Vickie’s Place

Jim and Nancy do not disclose the fact that they will review a restaurant before they attend, ensuring their reviews are unbiased and uninfluenced by their position with the Sun Day.

Herbert Buckingham Khaury wrote us from the great beyond with a tip about his favorite eatery. You may remember him as Tiny Tim who “Tip Toed Through the Tulips” and married his Miss Vicki in 1969 on the Johnny Carson Show. He told us about Vickie’s Place in McHenry. Now do you get it? We know it’s a stretch, but it’s the best we could come up with.

Vickie’s Place

1211 N. River Road
McHenry 60051
(815) 385-2014

Directions: Take Rte. 47 North to 176 East to Rte. 31 North to Rte. 120 East to River Road & North to restaurant.

Estimated Travel Time: 35 minutes

My genius husband, aka wrong way Jim, looked at a map and declared it was too far to go for a review. Since we both needed a mental health day, we decided to go for a ride in the country and have lunch at Vickie’s Place anyway. We thought we were about halfway there as we were crossing the Fox River. I suddenly glanced down and saw a huge sign on a building that said, “Vickie’s Place.” I looked at the moron sitting beside me and said, “if you were on the Mayflower, we wouldn’t be eating turkey!”

Just walking up to the restaurant, you know this place is a summertime gem. They have 28 tables outside on the pier overlooking the Fox River. The outdoor seating is clearly the attraction of this restaurant.

While perusing the menu, it’s fun to munch on the free popcorn and feed it to the wildlife swimming by. It can get breezy being on the river and Nancy fed not only the wildlife, but also the surrounding tables. They did say “thank you” to her…

On to the appetizer. We both spotted the twisted cheese sticks (4) for $8.99 and had to order them. They were about seven inches long filled with both mozzarella and cheddar cheese and wrapped in a wonton, deep fried, and served with marinara sauce. Nancy asked for Ranch dressing on the side and thought it was a better dip than the marinara. These sticks were unusual and out of this world delicious.

For a refreshing summer lunch Nancy decided on the Taco Salad ($10.99). This was a crisp flour tortilla shell filled with fresh lettuce, seasoned taco meat, nacho cheese, diced tomatoes, onions, black olives, jalapeno peppers, and shredded cheddar cheese served with sour cream and salsa on the side. This huge salad was jam packed with all these ingredients and was one of the best taco salads she has ever had. CAUTION: The fresh jalapeno slices are spicy and I thought I saw Nancy developing her own sweat head meter. When I questioned her, she said, “I don’t sweat, I shine.”

Jim wanted to sink his teeth into a nice juicy burger, so he went with the Land Shark Burger ($10.95). This was a half-pound of hand formed ground beef served with cheddar, Swiss, sautéed mushrooms, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and Baja sauce. All burgers come with a pickle wedge, onion straws, and French fries. They normally cook their burgers to medium well and Jim said his was a delicious “2 napkin” burger.

Nancy says she never eats dessert, and I’m ashamed of myself, because I couldn’t eat one either. The Chocolate Nachos on the dessert menu did sound enticing; maybe next time.

This restaurant is a relaxing summertime treat. You watch the boats go by, the fish swimming in the water, the ducks paddling by, and the seagulls squawking up above, all this while eating great food.

FYI: Handicap accessible and prices may vary from their website.

The price for our afternoon waterfront lunch was $39.60, relaxation, priceless.

Jim’s take: The cheese sticks were a great idea and the winner today. My burger was juicy and delicious.

Nancy’s take: My taco salad actually had too much meat, and I prefer more lettuce. I have to agree with Jim, the cheese sticks were terrific!

Addendum regarding Ruth’s Chris Restaurant

Here is a little secret about Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. A loyal reader, Jeannie, wrote and told us about their Happy Hour $9 Specials (food & drinks) Sunday through Friday from 4:30-6 p.m. in the bar. You may be sitting in the bar area, but you get the white tablecloth experience.

Have comments or restaurant suggestions for the Dining Duo? Send them an email at thediningduo@gmail.com.

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