Mystery Diner: Mendota’s Main Street Station a hub for good food, atmosphere

Blackened seasoning was a hit with rib-eye, shrimp

Main Street Station Bar and Grill

Dinnertime on a Saturday night at the Main Street Station Bar & Grill in Mendota draws a crowd.

From date nights to diners having a girls night out, and plenty of regulars passing through, the downtown bar and grill has a comforting, casual atmosphere. It not only appeals to someone stopping in for a drink and catching the game on one of the big-screen TVs, but also creates the feel of a special night out for diners.

That ability probably has a lot to do with the food. It’s good stuff.

Main Street Station steak

I’ll dive right into the entrees. I ordered a 14-ounce rib-eye ($24.95), adding three shrimp ($5.95), opting to blacken both of them, which covered them in spices. The seasoning gave both meats a perfect kick. The steak came with a choice of potato (which meant crinkle-cut fries for me) and choice of soup or salad.

Main Street Station chili

My companion ordered the Kentucky bourbon-glazed salmon ($17.95). She said the slathered-on sauce had a great taste. She added it dominated the flavor profile of the salmon for those looking for a lighter touch on the seafood. Her fish also was served with a choice of potato and soup or salad.

She noted her salad had fresh ingredients and different varieties of vegetables, including red onion. Both the soup and salad were served with a slice of bread and butter.

Main Street Station main course

To try out as many appetizers as we could, we ordered the three-appetizer combo ($9.50) of cheese balls, onion rings and deep-fried corn nuggets – which each were good, our favorite was the cheese balls.

The bar and grill also features fried chicken, pasta, pork chops, ribs and seafood among an array of dishes. The lunch menu is filled with sandwiches.

Main Street Station salad

Main Street Station is a fitting name.

Train traffic is a big part of Mendota’s history, and it was front and center here, with the establishment across from the rail yard. Outside the restaurant, we could hear the hum of the train engines. “Mendota Gold,” a 70-foot-tall mural on the grain silo, also can be seen from the entrance.

Dining tables run in a line against the wall alongside the bar, and there are more tables beyond the bar and at the front of the restaurant. There’s also another dining room attached to the building, accommodating special occasions and bigger crowds.

Main Street Station food

I’m excited to make a return visit, and encourage anyone who likes their meat a little on the spicy side to go with the blackened seasoning. I can’t wait to try it next time on some pork chops.

Good food has a way of making everyone feel comfortable, making it easy to see why different crowds fit in so well here.

Main Street Station

The Mystery Diner is an employee at Shaw Media. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a different restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a story.


WHAT: Main Street Station Bar & Grill

WHERE: 714 Main St., Mendota

PHONE: 815-539-7011