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“Fantastic Food, Fun Entertainment”

Ragin Cajun Piano Bar
Ranked #31 of 102 Restaurants in Alton
Dining options: After-hours
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours
Reviewed 4 September 2012

My wife and I used a Groupon to dine at Ragin' Cajun Piano Bar in downtown Alton over the weekend. The weather was harsh since Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaac had made its way north, and they were having a slight issue with flooding in the downstairs restrooms, but they seemed to have a decent way of cleaning it up. Otherwise, everything about our visit was fantastic.

The entertainment usually starts between 9 and 10pm, and we arrived around 8, so there weren't a lot of people there yet, and our service was top-notch. Sally, our waitress, was very friendly and helpful, and our food was brought out in very decent time. I ordered the mussels appetizer, which was MUCH larger than I expected, and is made to share; I had it with the white wine sauce (red sauce is also available), and the mussels were large and tender. The garlic bread was tasty and toasted just right. My wife ordered the Bourbon Glazed Steak, which was large and tender, full of flavor. I had the Voodoo Burger, which was one of the best burgers I've had in a very long time -- thick and seasoned well, with mozarella cheese, jalapeno bacon, and a spicy voodoo sauce that had a nice sweetness to it. I almost couldn't finish it (but I love a challenge). Our sides were great, too; hush puppies for my wife, and sweet potato waffle fries with a honey mustard dipping sauce (great combo, BTW). We also enjoyed the house-made bread pudding, which is reminiscent of a funnel cake without being heavy with grease, and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top. Fantastic.

This place is halfway between a dive bar and charming restaurant with its own unique character; seriously, right smack in the middle. The kitchen stays open late, and the later the night, the larger and crazier the crowd. There's a great view of the stage from pretty much anywhere inside, with seating on the ground floor and in the balcony, and the piano players do a great job of working the crowd and getting everyone involved -- having worked in improv comedy myself, I can tell you that if you really don't want to be called on, don't sit near the stage. They do all they can to get the crowd to participate, but they don't get obnoxious about it, which is a great way to get everyone to enjoy the show. The decor was somewhat forgettable, if you don't count the section of airplane in the dining room, which is pretty cool, and the mini leg lamps on the pianos.

HUGE selection of drinks, so there's no shortage of variety, and with the quality of the food, you really can't go wrong at this place.

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1  Thank DJZackAttack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (49)
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39 - 43 of 49 reviews

Reviewed 25 July 2012

interesting menu! bread pudding is amazing even if you don't like this dish, you will like theirs! Great food overall and cool place with lots of interesting things to look at like stuffed crocodile, and a big piece of a real airplane which you can sit in!

Thank julie h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2012

The food was aweful!!! The gumbo was terrible and the service was slow:(

Thank Amy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2012

Having never been to Alton before, we were walking around the downtown area to visit and look for a restaurant t eat at. We stopped in a couple other places and had a drink, and just asked about the area. The bartenders were friendly and talked to us, but the bartender and the owner at the Ragin Cajon were very friendly and talked to us the whole time we were there. It was a very pleasant experience. We had the burgers and they were just HUGE, and were done the way we like them. We were given way too many great tasty fries and could not eat them all. Oh... and they gave us a sample of their dessert for free... If they had not given us such a huge meal we would have defiantly got dessert. I would return again.

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Thank DreamingOfTravel55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2012

This place is favorite of ours. Great ambmiance. It seems like you are in New Orleans. It's an Alton version of Pat O'Brians when you experience the dueling pianos. Add to that a great menu, and outstanding specials, and you know you have found a great place. I like the etouffee, which is a very spicy mix of ingedients on a bed of rice. If you like spice and flavor, try this one. My wife like the specials, in the past a great salmon entree, and this itme the blackened pork special. (See the pictures) If you are looking for a quiet dinner for two, and dark romantic surroundings, this is not the place. But if you like great food, and enjoy piano renditions of 70's and 80's hits, and as a plus seeing people really have a great time, then the Ragin Cajun is the place for you!

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Thank ra4fda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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