Waveland Cafe | Midwest Living

Waveland Cafe

4708 University Ave.
Des Moines  Iowa  50311
United States
(515) 279-4341
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Midwest Living Review

Kendra L. Williams
The definition of a neighborhood diner, Waveland offers good food, homey atmosphere and friendly servers but at prices that seem a touch high.

The name? A nod to one of the streets bordering Chicago's Wrigley Field. And a fixture in Des Moines for years, Waveland is a nothin-fancy but comfortable kind of place to grab good breakfast dishes (and watery coffee). Patrons seat themselves at the counter or in booths lining the storefront windows and walls partially covered with taped-on photos from longtime customers—lots of babies, cops, soldiers and Christmas cards. A few wood tables in the middle of the room squeeze every ounce of available space out of the place.

The menu is about what you'd find at any neighborhood diner: skillets, omelets, plate-size pancakes, French toast and all the sides, plus burgers, sandwiches, and soups for lunch and dinner. We tried the puffy pancakes with blueberries—you can order a single pancake or two—that are literally the size of a dinner plate and thicker than your average pancake. The batter has a welcome sweetness to it, and the pancakes arrived perfectly cooked. The crispy bacon arrived just so also. We'd heard about the hash browns, and a full order fills a salad plate. You can get them plain or loaded with cheese and veggies; we opted for plain, and though they needed a little salt, they also were cooked well—crispy golden on the outside, cooked through on the inside. The breakfast would've been perfect had it not been for the watered-down coffee that came with it.

Our server was friendly but busy (as in, moving away before you're done talking to her), and our bill charged us for food we didn't order. But she was quick to set it right, and overall, we were glad we stopped in. Would we travel across town to eat here? No. The prices aren't cheap: It cost $23 plus tip for two of us to eat pancakes, toast, coffee, one glass of juice, toast and hash browns. But we can understand why folks in the neighborhood like it.

December 9, 2012

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