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DAY TRIP: Now they’re cookin’! Dozens of diners serve up a week’s worth of specials

Too many cooks may not be good for the broth, but they’re great for Quad Cities Restaurant Week, when more than 2 dozen restaurants offer up some specials of the days in the QC area.

The week-long feast is a great way to spend a day – or 2 or 3 or more – spicing things up while taking a break from winter’s boredom. Shoveling snow, contending with the cold, our energy zapped … we all could use a break, and something to recharge our batteries, like food. Better yet, some Midwest cuisine. So set aside those shovels and snow boots and see what’s cooking’ for the sixth annual food fest sponsored by the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau’s. It begins Feb. 26 and keeps cooking until March 4.

Coffeehouses and cafes, pubs with pizza, bistros and bars, restaurants on the river – they’re all on the menu, offering lunch specials for $7 to $10 and suppers from $15 to $30.

Visit to see a list of the restaurants and the specials they’ll offer. If you don’t have a computer, head over to your local library and use theirs. You won’t be the only one doing it.

“Last year the website had over 108,000 page views,” Jessica Waytenick, the bureau’s public relations and marketing manager, said in a press release.

“Quad Cities Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to rediscover a long-time favorite or experience one of the area’s new eateries,” she said.

And don’t worry, there’s no coupons to clip or cards to punch – just a little planning. Map out your meal sites, hop in the car and pull up a chair. Then simply ask for the Restaurant Week menu and you’re on your way to some marvelous meals. It may be a good idea to call ahead and check to see if reservations are encouraged.

I went to the website and noticed some “old friends,” like The Machine Shed in Davenport, Iowa. I know from experience their food is good and you’ll get plenty of it. The restaurant will offer an $8 lunch – pork tenderloin sandwich, beef brisket, chicken bacon dijon, reuben or turkey reuben, with fries – and a $15 per person, two-course dinner, with nine selections, including turkey and dressing or cattleman’s sirloin tips. The website suggests we finish with a homemade apple dumpling. Will we have room?

I’ve also traveled to Miss Mamie’s Seafood & Steaks in Moline. For her Restaurant Week lunch, Miss Mamie will serve up an $8 half-sandwich and soup or a $10 burger du jour with fruit or fries. For dinner, which includes a choice of salad and a dessert, she’ll have two $15 meals (catfish fillet and shrimp and grits) and a $20 Caribbean steak and shrimp. Dessert here is a mini cheesecake.

Over at Thunder Bay Grille in Davenport, lunch is $10 with a salmon BLT, all-American burger or crispy buttermilk chicken sandwich; dinner is $20 with a salad, entree – drunken sirloin trips, chicken marsala ravioli or chicken tchoupitoulas – and dessert. The dessert is a chocolate lava cake.

That’s three places, so that leaves 27 more to sample, and a whole week in which to do it. Tuggers in Port Byron? Lavender Crest Winery in Colona? Or Bix Bistro at Hotel Blackhawk in Davenport? It’s a mouth-watering dilemma: which ones to choose?

If you’re still hungry for more, you can stop by Chef Battle Quad Cities, where local chefs compete to see who can create the best dish in 1 hour. The food fight runs from
6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 22 at Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center, 2021 State St., Bettendorf, Iowa. Visitors can sample the food and vote for a crowd favorite. Children are welcome, but strollers aren’t. Tickets, ranging from $15 to $35, can be purchased at

If you’re looking for a hot meal on a cold day, Restaurant Week is just the meal ticket. Plenty of choices and plenty of time to sample them. Bon appetit!


What: Quad Cities Restaurant Week

Where: Thirty dining sites

When: Feb. 26 to March 4

Distance from Dixon: About 70 miles

Cost: Varied

Information: Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-747-7800 or or

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