Friday, April 07, 2006

Riverwalk Cafe
Des Moines Botanical Center
Open for Lunch


Perhaps the best lunch secret in Des Moines. The Riverwalk Cafe is located inside the Des Moines Botanical Center and it is a wonderful place to have lunch looking out over the lush tropical collection of trees, plants, ferns and orchids. On the interior wall is a glass mural of the Des Moines skyline taken in the early 2oth Century. The decor and the furnishings are elegant. This is a whole new creation replacing the old 'cafeteria' that used to be there.

The Riverwalk Cafe is operted by a long-time Des Moines restaurateur and he has created a jewel of a place for lunch. Open for dinner only for special events, it is the exciting and varied daily lunch menu and quality of food that put this treasure on the map.

Creative sandwiches and salads feature prominently on the menu, but full luncheon entrees are offered along with daily features. This is one of the few restaurants where a blanket endorsement of the dishes can be made with no reservations: everything is excellent. Fresh ingredients and hand-preparation of each dish as an individual event are the hallmarks. A selection of wines and beer is available. Prices are very reasonable.

Service is superb. The wait staff are professionals with experience, not kids. They know the dishes and they care about their customers. We watched them work a full restaurant with a bus tour group and everyone was given thorough, courteous and good service.

If lunch and a tropical escape sound good, you can't do better than Riverwalk Cafe and the Botanical Center. For a business lunch, or for an office group lunch--even a board meeting--the Riverwalk Cafe is different, high quality, great atmosphere, good service, and reasonable. Treat yourself to something fresh and different, and support the Botanical Center at the same time.

Overall Rating: 4
Quality: 4
Service: 4
Value: 4
Recommended: Absolutely!

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