Mystery Diner: Hop aboard Bull Moose in Sandwich for good eats and atmosphere

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Those looking for a good sandwich should consider hopping on the train.

A few friends and I visited Bull Moose Bar & Grille, which rests at the southeast corner of Main Street and U.S. 34 in Sandwich, for a quick dinner before exploring what the rest of the downtown had to offer.

The restaurant catches the eye as it's built onto the side of a 19th-century train dining car. They also feature a U-shaped bar and dining area inside, but for the full experience we asked to be seated in the train car and snagged the last open table. Despite being busy, it felt cozy rather than cramped.

A quick trip to the restaurant's website while we waited for drinks revealed that the rail car was built in 1893 and named "Isabella." It was later used by the 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, on the campaign trail. The restaurant's name comes from the Bull Moose Party based on a statement Roosevelt made about being as strong as a bull moose following an assassination attempt during the campaign.

I imagine some stop in for the unique atmosphere that the train car provides but likely return for the food.

My friends and I ordered some delicious cheese stick appetizers and marinara sauce, that led to a rock-paper-scissors game to determine who got the last one, while we pored over the menu for the best selections. Eventually, we turned to our server for the top recommendations.

They said diners typically walk away satisfied with one of their many burger options, but the Caramel Apple ($11.99) is the favorite of most and did not disappoint. The burger was juicy and sweet with the caramel sauce and apple combination pairing perfectly with bacon burger.

Another in our group ordered a more simple BMBH Cheeseburger ($9.50) and doubled their mozzarella intake for the day by adding it on top. They were also impressed with the quality of the burger, which our server said was acquired from a premier meat market in Yorkville rather than frozen.

Our third friend ordered the Cajun chicken wrap ($9.99) made with Muenster cheese and chipotle mayo, bringing just a little heat to a classic dish.

We all left satisfied with our meals but also planning what flavors another visit may reward us with, such as the BLT Burger ($11.99) or Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich ($9.99).

We definitely plan to return as this is a train stop worth traveling to see.

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


WHAT: Bull Moose Bar & Grille

WHERE: 202 S. Main St., Sandwich

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight Sundays. Food served daily until 10 p.m.

INFORMATION: Call 815-786-8002 or go to