LV Recommends: Sing-A-Long Bar & Grill

  • 133

Fried chicken sliders from Sing-A-Long Bar & Grill, 100 1st St E, Mount Vernon. — Helaina Thompson/Little Village

Chick-fil-A is at it again: donating millions to anti-LGBTQ groups and, just last month, referring to it as part of their “higher calling.” My search for a good fried chicken sandwich that doesn’t discriminate brought me to the Sing-A-Long Bar and Grill in Mount Vernon.

The Sing-A-Long Bar is a comfort food pub at the crossing of Highway 1 and Mount Vernon’s main street. A 1910 player piano is the first thing you see when you walk in. On busy evenings, pub-goers gather around the piano as rolls of paper dotted with little holes tell the piano what notes to play. Patrons can pick a roll from the shelf and ask staff to play a song by request. Singing is strongly encouraged, and the signature drink menu will help with that.

“Thank you for being here” reads the food menu’s front cover, which flips open to reveal dishes that will make you feel right at home: fried pickles, a BLT, blackened chicken Caesar salad and the Philly cheese steak with caramelized fennel, peppers and onions.

I ordered two fried chicken sliders for $12 and a side of macaroni and cheese, because comfort food is a verb, and I know how to comfort food. The flakey, crispy fillets of fried chicken were sandwiched between toasted, buttery buns with two slices of maple bacon each. It was all loosely held together by a thick dollop of house-made barbecue sauce, which I ordered an extra side of for dipping generously. The macaroni and cheese was a dreamy mixture of creamy cheese sauce, curly cavatappi pasta, sharp cheddar cheese and toasted breadcrumbs.

Fried chicken sliders with homemade barbecue sauce and macaroni and cheese from Sing-A-Long Bar & Grill, 100 1st St E, Mount Vernon. — Helaina Thompson/Little Village

The Sing-A-Long Bar and Grill calls itself a “yes” kitchen, meaning its lovely staff and amazing chefs, Nanette and Sarah, will do their best to accommodate dietary preferences and needs. For vegetarians and vegans, there is a colorful salad bar with romaine lettuce, house-made dressings and an assortment of toppings like pickled beets, cabbage, watermelon, nuts and seeds, cheeses and raw chopped vegetables. The menu also always features a seasonal, rotating vegetarian special.

I was raised in a home with a vintage player piano, so admittedly, I have a special place in my heart for the player piano’s plunky charm. Together, my dad and I would croon to “Bye Bye Blackbird” as our piano’s ghost keys played into the afternoon. But one does not need to have a weakness for these old instruments to enjoy the Sing-A-Long Bar and Grill: Only a weakness for good food and inclusive atmosphere is necessary.

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 265.

  • 133
Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »



Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

Don’t let other people’s opinions win.

Vote for your favorite people, places and events in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids area! In a time when local businesses need our support more than ever, your vote will send a little love to the places that make our community special. And don’t forget to tell us why—the best comments will be published in our December Best of the CRANDIC 2021 issue! Voting ends September 30.

Read the Best of the CRANDIC issue, on stands now

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.