Each year hundreds of restaurants start and fail. It takes dedication and consistency to build a sustainable dining business. While some of the newcomers have unique menu offerings, we believe that tried and true eateries have developed a taste that appeals to a wide range of diners. Springfield, Illinois is home to a variety of delectable dining options, and our first meal certainly would set the culinary tone for our visit. With this in mind, we chose Maldaner’s Restaurant, which is a local landmark on 6th Street. This green thumb eatery uses locally grown ingredients and harvest honey from their rooftop hives.
We want to thank Visit Springfield and Maldaner’s Restaurant for their hospitality. Rest assured all opinions are our own.
Early, Early Days
Maldaner’s Restaurant didn’t start at 222 South 6th Street, because this building didn’t exist in 1884. They actually began a couple doors down at 216 South 6th Street. Yeah, they’ve been around for 135 years, so they have surely seen a lot of changes to the world around them. The restaurant is located on Route 66, but of course that highway designation came along more than 40 years later. As the hostess led us to our table, we took in the historic feel of the space. The business began as an ice cream shop, but soon transformed into a full-fledged eatery. As we sat and reviewed the lunch menu, we imagined some of the famous visitors that must have dined in this same room over the decades.
Count on Monte Cristo
As I perused the menu, I happened upon a dish that I have only had once. Maldaner’s restaurant offers up a classic version of the Monte Cristo Sandwich, but does toss in a little twist. Piles of ham and turkey are bonded together with melted Swiss cheese. This combination is stuffed between two slices of bread that are battered and cooked. (Think of a thin French Toast) A slather of jalapeno jelly adds a light kick, and the powdered sugar tosses in some sweet. It’s a ton of flavors that work well together. A side of their homemade potato chips rounded out my meal.
Salad with a Twist
Crystal’s order actually out did me for plate presentation. Her Teriyaki Chicken Salad was an intriguing combination that made an eye catching dish. A bed of fresh mixed greens makes a good base. Add in a sliced chicken breast that has been grilled with Teriyaki marinade. Coat this with loads of cashews and a serving of Mango Relish to add extra color and flavor. Even though the flavors of our meals were amazing, both dishes were too large for either of us to finish.
Always Room for Dessert
During the meal, it got to the point that we both had to push back from the table. We had clearly thrown in the towel and were aware of the need to walk off some of this meal. What would happen, but our server would show up and tempt us with an amazing dessert. Although common sense would say to pass, her description of the Lemon Cheesecake was too tempting. In no time, she was back with a delightfully decorated dish. The yellow disc of cheesecake was topped with a dollop of whipped cream. The raspberry sauce added the perfect accent to the sweet treat, which soon disappeared.
A Mother Road Classic
We finally dropped our forks and called it quits. It was time for us to roll out the door and start exploring downtown Springfield, Illinois. The downtown area screams of history and we wondered how many times Abraham Lincoln had traversed this same pathway. This was clearly going to be an amazing visit and we were eager to get going. We realized that Maldaner’s Restaurant may not have been around in Lincoln’s days, but were sure he would have enjoyed lunch at this local landmark. Doesn’t this place look like a great dining option?