Thanks to everyone who responded to my request for information on "great local food" in the Quad Cities area.
It was rough going, though this was undoubtedly due in part to the fact that I spent half of my time there with relatives over the age of 80 (the "Old Country Buffet" in Rock Island is sheer cruelty).
For those headed that way:
Jim's Rib Haven and Whitey's Ice Cream (both in Rock Island) are quite good. Jim's ribs are big and meaty and very smoky and tasty; his cole slaw and beans stink; fries are ok; and service was extremely nice (not overbearing, though). Whitey's was a pleasure - all white inside with rows of polished steel milkshake mixers built into the wall, lots of interesting flavors, good service and ice cream that stands up very well.
The Belgian Village Inn (recommended by a couple of respondents to my post) is - in my opinion - outstandingly yucky. The storied Vandereuben sandwich is a startling solid square foot of grease-infused grilled bread, packed with cheap boiled ham, watery saurkraut, fakey cheese and some other stuff I couldn't identify. The draft rootbeer was good, though.
I didn't get to try any of the more upscale places in the area - in the past I've had good food from Figaro in Rock Island, and Trattoria Tiramisu in Davenport certainly sounds promising. If I'd had a kitchen I certainly would've gotten the takeout italian at D'Allesandro's - we passed the store which was intriguingly homey looking.
That's all for now.