Igloo

Diner | Hamburgers | Sandwich Shop | Small Town Café
Memorable
One of the best
Save

Rich and Chris Decker took over the Igloo in 2010 from the Mazzorana family, who started it in 1937. The brothers vowed to keep it what it’s always been: the town’s favorite destination diner for burgers and chili, tenderloins and brats, hand-cut French fries, and from-scratch shakes and malts. Nearly everyone who eats here is a regular customer. One veteran waitress gives me a motherly smile when I sit at the counter, telling me I look just like good old Dr. Schott, who recently died and who was a big fan of Igloo chili.

After only a few minutes in this place, it is apparent that both Rich and Chris relish their roles as owner, host, ringmaster. When one waitress starts needling Chris about spending too much time kibbitzing with the clientele and not enough running the diner, he turns away from her and announces loud enough for all around to hear: “This is my back. And this is you off it!”

Order a tenderloin (here known simply as “a pork”) and its standard complements are onion, pickle, and – are you ready? – ketchup. At first I was skeptical, considering mustard to be the de rigueur condiment, but I very much enjoyed the interplay of sweet and tangy. The loin itself is wavy, crisp, and quite thin, with enough meat to be juicy once you crunch through the crust.

Root beer is served in a frosty mug, but if you like milk shakes, that’s the drink to get. “I guarantee that this is the best chocolate malt I have made all day,” says Chris Decker when I order one at 11:30am. I reassure him that it is the best one I’ve drunk all day. In fact, it was the best I drank during a weeklong trip through the Illinois River Valley.

What to Eat
Igloo, Double Tenderloin
Double Tenderloin
Must-Try
What an opulent sandwich! Two crisp-fried pork tenderloin cutlets and all the trimmings is a crunchfest that really does double the pleasure of a single.
Igloo, Tenderloin
Tenderloin
When you want a tenderloin at the Igloo, you order 'a pork' (or a double pork). In this place, the preferred configuration includes crisp onion slices, pickle chips, and ketchup.
Igloo, French Fries
French Fries
Delicate, hand-cut French fries arrive just slightly crisp and go limp mid-meal, but that's quite alright because their fresh, spuddy flavor endures.
Igloo, Milk Shake
Milk Shake
Only modestly chocolaty, Igloo's milk shake is thick enough to clog a straw.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday10:30am - 10pm
Monday10:30am - 10pm
TuesdayCLOSED
Wednesday10:30am - 10pm
Thursday10:30am - 10pm
Friday10:30am - 10pm
Saturday10:30am - 10pm
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
No
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No
Website

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Green Gables

    Hudson, Illinois

    Green Gables is a middle-of-nowhere tavern / grocery store / restaurant serving central Illinois’ scrumptious smashed crispyburgers.

  • Verucchi’s

    Spring Valley, Illinois

    Verucchi’s is an Illinois River Valley supper club serving Italian-American classics as well as fine Italian fried chicken with the local-favorite pasta, ravs.

  • Serena Cafe

    Serena, Illinois

    Serena Cafe is a gathering spot for local farmers to dig into large plates of biscuits & gravy or scrambles for breakfast and tenderloins and burgers for lunch.

  • Smitty’s Tap

    Tonica, Illinois

    In the crossroads town of Leonore, Illinois, Smitty’s Tap is the place locals go for gigantic tenderloin sandwiches, broasted chicken, and $2 cans of beer.

  • Wedron Office

    Ottawa, Illinois

    A remote Illinois tavern surrounded by corn fields, Wedron Office serves excellent fried chicken and bluegill. Entertainment is provided by overhead TV sets.

  • Rip’s

    Ladd, Illinois

    Rip’s is the best fried-chicken destination in the chicken-rich Illinois River Valley. Crunchies — bits of insanely yummy fried skin and batter — are a bonus.