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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lincoln-Douglas Cafe: A short review [updated]

Update October 18, 2009: SJ-R A la carte:

The front door of LINCOLN-DOUGLAS CAFE, 312 E. Monroe St., has been locked for several weeks. The A la carte column isn’t sure yet what is going on there. The cafe opened one year ago.

I just sent an email to the owner at the address she gave when she left a comment back in May to find out what's going on, but it came back, "Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently..."

End of update.

Originally posted on January 8, 2009:

The Lincoln-Douglas Cafe is a fairly new eating establishment in Springfield, Illinois. It's located on Monroe between the Third Street tracks and Fourth Street, almost across from Two Brothers.

My daughter and I phoned ahead and carried out from there at 3:00 in the morning one Friday night a couple weeks ago. She had the grilled cheese and pasta salad, and I had the Chicago dog and fries. We already had Cokes at home.

While I can tell you they had the authentic Chicago hot dog toppings, I had to ask for mustard as it was not listed on the menu. The meat part was not what I expected based on memories of Chicago dogs past. The meat was like a foot-long hot dog on a regular size bun. This alarmed me. We don't usually see footlongs around here, except at the state fair. Also, the hot dog was a little wrinkled. You know what I mean? And a little chewy. But, hey, this is Springfield, so what are you going to do. Sitting here a few weeks later, I can't honestly remember if it had a poppy seed bun. The fries were your basic frozen Ore-Ida crinkle cuts. We expect better fries in a restaurant.

From the SJ-R: "Lincoln-Douglas Cafe is in the space formerly occupied by HONEST ABE’S CAFE. Hours are from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 24 hours Friday through Sunday. Phone: 523-7867. Catering is available." (Emphasis added.)

Despite the wrinkled hot dog and frozen fries, I'd give it a 3-1/2 out of 5 stars. Anytime you can get food at 3:00 in the morning without having to go to Denny's is a major plus in my book.

Scanned menu (jpg): Front and Back. (I hope those are readable. If not, let me know.)

Posted by Marie at October 18, 2009 7:06 PM


Hey Marie,

I plan on opening my wireless store right next door at A Beautiful Lady (we are in the process of converting it). Look forward to you doing a review of it when it opens :) And by review, I mean a positive review ;)

Posted by: Blevins at January 8, 2009 11:27 PM

Marie - based on a comment you made a couple weeks ago, I stopped by there on a Saturday to pick up a menu. I am always looking for a Sunday lunch place. The menu looked good. I went the next day with a family crew at around 1PM and it was closed. Huh? I'll try again, but call ahead. I want locals to succeed.

Posted by: mattpenning at January 9, 2009 12:04 AM

Blevins, I didn't know you were opening a downtown business. Congratulations and good luck.

Matt, The place has only been open two months, so that is not a good sign. Let me know when you go back and what you get. I too want locals to succeed.

Posted by: Marie at January 9, 2009 12:34 AM

If the toppings were truly "authentic", I certainly hope they didn't include ketchup. That would be utter blasphemy.

Posted by: Pete at January 9, 2009 9:39 AM

I just miss the Rib Shack and Breadstretchers. I am sour grapes on all these new businesses. Bah!

Posted by: Gish at January 9, 2009 10:16 AM

Pete, we may eat bad hotdogs, but we would never stoop so low as to put ketchup on them. How undignified!

Gish, the new places had nothing to do with the old places going out of business. Other than that, I don't know what to say.

Posted by: Marie at January 9, 2009 12:00 PM

We opened a Beautiful Lady last spring and it did decent, but thought the space would be better suited for something else.
Hopefully the new business will be up and running in a couple months. Thanks :)

Posted by: Marie at January 9, 2009 9:27 PM

The fastest way for a new business to kill itself is to have inconsistent hours. A hot dog at 3AM? Penance?

Posted by: Rob Author Profile Page at January 12, 2009 5:02 PM

The blue cheese and bacon burger was great, and the onion rings were outstanding. I will definitely return.

Posted by: Mike at March 2, 2009 10:24 PM

I went for dinner Saturday, looking forward to a good burger and they were closed. I read they had 24 hours open on the weekend.
Very disappointing.

Posted by: Beth at March 15, 2009 9:35 PM

I am an owner of the Lincoln Douglas Cafe. I just wanted to let everyone know we have expanded our menu and ironed out any kinks we had in the beginning. Everything i use is fresh and homemade. Being the one who does most of the cooking i always check with the guest and check on their opinion. I have recieved rave reviews on the pasta salad, coleslaw, cheesesauce,and and omlets. Our food is good no debate! we are open 10a.m.-6p.m. mon-thur 10am-5a.m. fri. Saturday after closing at5a.m. we reopen from 10 to 3 unless there are happings then we play it by ear. we reopen at 10pm-5am. Sorry I need Sunday to sleep. Thanks to all who have supported us.

Posted by: mona at May 23, 2009 2:10 PM

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