Thursday, August 30, 2007

Cecil's Cafe

A small cafe, located on old highway 30, Cecil's looks to be a favorite stop for truckers. The highway may have moved, but Cecil's is still there, still delivering grease and goodness. Could such a tiny roadside cafe satisfy such a hungry man?

The Looks:

Old school dinner. They even have pie under glass on the counter. The chairs and tables are small. Not made for modern obese Americans, like myself. Old newspaper articles and the like hang on the walls, giving you a feel of Marshalltown history. The clientele are, well, hopefully they have their last will and testament made up.

The Cost:
Pretty reasonable. Most sandwiches and burgers are $2 to $4. Fries and onion rings are an additional $2. Sodas are a buck.

The Grub:
I had a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and fries. The fries where made from scratch, cut from the potato and bathed in grease. The soda glass was so small, it was probably less then a can, and refills were slow. It was like I had to savor the drink, because there wasn't much of it. The sandwich was tasty, if small. Next time I go, I'll get two sandwiches.

Cecil's Café

13 Iowa Avenue East, 641-753-9796
Breakfast, Lunch
Dinner on Wed. and Fri. only

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

La Carreta

Hidden away on Iowa Ave. (old highway 30) is a gem of a Mexican restaurant known as La Carrara (or "The Cart" for you gringos). A Mexican Restaurant in Marshalltown you say? I know! I'm as surprised as you. But more hungry.

The Looks:
Holy crap, is this place a pizza hut?! It seems it used to be. They've done a good job of Mexicanizing it however. Nothing too fancy, just cheap decorations on the well. The service is fast and friendly.

The Cost:
They've got a lunch menu with several meals as low as $5. Everything else is very reasonable. There's nothing on the menu much more then $10. There are additional specials every day.

The Grub:
First the chips and salsa. Best. Chips. Ever. Same with the salsa. I had the lunch enchiladas and they were divine. I think the ranchero sauce does the trick. The beans and rice are average. And all the usual Mexican selections exist of course such as fajitas, combination platters, desserts, and margaritas.

La Carreta
308 East Iowa Avenue, 641-754-1700
Lunch, Dinner - 7 days a week

Monday, August 13, 2007


Head out of town on Lincoln Way, and you'll unknowingly pass Memories Banquet and Reception Hall. It's a nondescript white building where people apparently have wedding receptions and the like. Boo weddings. Hooray food.

The Looks:
Feels like you're eating lunch at a wedding reception. Probably because people do that here. Probably accounts for the sweet looking, well stocked bar. And the crappy folding tables.

The Cost:
The buffet will run you around $6.50 (drink not included) and most of the menu items could be had for under $7. Not a bad value.

The Grub:
Memories has a simple all you can eat lunch buffet. Or if you wish, the menu contains simple lunch items, such as burgers, chicken, soups and salad. I ordered the club sandwich with fries. The sandwich was passable, but the generic crinkle cut fries were blah. The onion rings looked to be the better choice. In general, I left somewhat unsatisfied, but will return.

Memories Banquet and Reception Hall
1010 West Lincoln Way, 641-753-4693
Lunch (Mon.-Fri. 11-2 p.m.)
Dinner (Fri. 5-10 p.m.)