Wittmond Hotel Restaurant

108 Main Street
Brussels, 62013
Reviews:
Cold, snowy day in January - perfect for a trip over to Brussels for eagle watching and the Wittmond restaurant. I had only heard about this from my family and when my stepmom decided to pick this location for her birthday dinner. They had visited several times while eagle watching so they wanted us to try it. The only access to Brussels that day as the Winfield ferry so we caravanned up to it and were able to do some eagle watching of our own as we crossed the ice strewn river. After a few more miles, we had finally reached the antique location. We were seated immediately and then the food arrived: rolls with relish tray homemade applesauce sausage links chicken noodle soup chicken & noodle dumplings corn & green beans roast beef mashed potatoes with gravy and the best fried chicken Everything was delish! Its all you can eat so if you run out, don't worry, they will bring more. You don't really see anyone around you while eating, they occasionally check in but you're pretty much on your own to enjoy your meal. A few things to keep in mind - drinks & dessert are not included and you can only pay by cash or check...or do the dishes!
I was incredibly underwhelmed by just about everything at this restaurant - I'm convinced that if they were in a different location and didn't have the history that they do, they would be out of business. We recently had a family dinner here and it's safe to say that we will not be visiting again. First and foremost, the food is terrible - it is utterly flavorless. The price you pay per plate does get you a large AMOUNT of food, so if quantity over quality is your thing, you won't be disappointed. However, I found most of it to be pretty gross - the meat is dry and flavorless, and the side dishes do little to offset. We also found the staff to be incredibly rude. We had set reservations far in advance to have a private room (again, this was a family event with about 10 people) - however, when we arrived, we were told that the room was not available. When we questioned this, our server snapped at us and told us that we had "two options - either to move tables together in the main dining room or to sit at separate tables". The rest of the experience was equally discomforting. One of my cousins went to use the restroom (in a different part of the building) and even overheard the staff talking badly about our party - despite the fact that we had been respectful and willing to be flexible with the options available to us. Needless to say, Brussels is a great place to visit - and it's fun to take the ferry. However, I would avoid the Wittmond at all costs.
I highly recommend this country day trip that has become a favorite annual family Fall drive. Start along the Katy Trail, taking the Golden Eagle Ferry to Brussels for a meal at The Wittmond and a stop at Hagen Family Farm for a large, $1 Pumpkin. Then take the Brussels Ferry to Grafton for a ride down the Great River Road, a jaunt through Pere Marquette and Elsah to see history, eagles and the turning leaves. You really need to map this trip out since some of the country roads have no names. Definitely an adventure worth taking! About the Whittmond: The Whittmond Hotel was built in 1840. That's 173 years of history and while the functions of the front store have changed, much of it remains the same and it's still run by descendants of the Whittmond family. I go for the family style meal in the restaurant every year. It may not be perfect (some of the items aren't homemade and you can taste it), but the value ($13.50 - tax included), the relish tray (it's homemade), the chunky applesauce (made from apples from local orchards), the sausage (made fresh from a local farm and butcher), and the fried chicken (moist and crispy) are well worth it. Homemade or not, the rest of the items are hot and there is a ton of it. Okay, you are served with plastic cafeteria-esque table ware, and have to pay with cash or check (it's in the country, get over it - you're lucky if you get a cell phone signal here). And, the primary waitress may act a bit like the "Soup Nazi" as she YELLS her instructions and questions at you with awkward moments of no eye contact, but the whole flawed experience is worth repeated visits. Especially in the Fall.

(618) 883-2345

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