First Dinner in Cedar Rapids*

*OK, really it was Marion.

 

We came up to Cedar Rapids in December looking for a place to live. February was fast approaching and we still didn’t have a rental property secured. Getting into the Linn-Mar school district was my first choice so we ended our day in Marion after looking at a few neighborhoods.

The downtown area is very nice. Our first choice for dinner had an hour long wait.  So we walked over a block and ended up at Louie’s Scoreboard Sports Bar and Grill. From the outside it looked rather sketchy, dark windows and an unmarked windowless door. However, once inside it proved to be quite nice. A nice bar large bar in the center with seating in open rooms on each side. Plenty of requisite TVs for sports viewing. I think it was seat yourself and we chose a round high top by the front window.

Service was a little slow at first. I fault the “seat yourself” model for this. It always seems like it takes a while for the servers to even notice you’ve sat at a table. Our waitress didn’t have the warmest personality but she wasn’t rude or indifferent either. Most importantly, she was attentive.

For me, the menu looked amazing. I need to buffer that statement by reminding you that I’ve been living in a town of 850 people for eight years and the nearest city to my house was 1600 people. Most of the restaurants between those two places had more or less the same menu choices. Not a lot of variety to say the least.

For an appetizer we went with the White Cheddar Curds. While cheese can be found in Appalachia, cheese curds are unheard of. Not to me though, I used to live in Wisconsin. I’m sure these were some food service frozen prepackaged appetizer and not freshly breaded back in the kitchen, but they were amazing. Lightly breaded, soft and melty, and they even squeaked! The side of ranch for dipping was superfluous, but none of us like ranch dressing anyway. The three of us could have eaten a second batch.

My wife ordered the Combo Pizza, my daughter ordered a Cheese Pizza. I ordered The Mayor stuffed burger. I didn’t try the combo pizza, zero interest and it had green peppers, blech. The cheese pizza was fabulous. Heavy on the cheese, all the way to the edge of the crust, which was not too thin, not too thick. A nice blend of cheese too.

The fries were meh. I ate maybe five. I loved the burger. It’s a unique,to me, approach to making a burger by putting ingredients inside. I’m guessing they use some type of press that makes a hollow that can be filled. For The Mayor, the burger is filled with pulled pork, Gouda cheese and caramelized onions. It works.

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The Mayor stuffed with pulled pork, Gouda cheese and caramelized onions
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Not the prettiest picture, but the caramelized onions are clearly seen in the middle of the burger.
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