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Jul 6, 2009 10:25 PM

Restaurants in Ottumwa, Iowa?

I'm looking for a nice restaurant where a large extended family can enjoy a Saturday evening dinner during our reunion in a couple of weeks. The group is likely to be in the ballpark of 25 or 30 people, perhaps as many as 40, and will include tykes to nonagenarians.

I'm not particularly optimistic. About 10 years ago, the banquet room at an old downtown hotel served overcooked meats and canned vegetables. More recently, a place on the north side of town on North Jefferson worked fairly well, but now it seems set up for a rowdier crowd.

Searching this site turned up an earlier question, but no answer to it. One Web search turned up Roe's, but it seems like we would have heard about that before—unless, of course, it's a new addition.

Another Web search turned up quite an interesting result. According to it, the best restaurant in Ottumwa is Taso's Steak House ... which is in Oskaloosa.

We want good food, but we would like to not have to leave Ottumwa to get it. Will we have a choice?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Gosh I wish I could give you a good recommendation. My grandparents lived in Ottumwa their whole lives and it used to be so much better. But so much has closed in recent years. I'm actually related to the owners of the downtown hotel you refer to, and I wouldn't eat there unless I had to.

    I'm not aware of a single restaurant left that meets the specs you're looking for. The last was the Greenbriar, and that closed years ago. I was just in town last week and I had my eye open. Saw nothing like what you want.

    Of course the Canteen is always great eats. But it's also still teeny-tiny and serves pretty much just the greasy (but delicious) loose meat burgers. Not quite what you're looking for.

    You might try calling the Ottumwa Country Club. They have a larger-than-needed restaurant and associated banquet rooms. The food wasn't terrible when I ate their a couple of years back. And I'll bet they could really use the business. That's the only one in town I can think of close to what you're looking for.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dougrw

      Roes is a fairly new place next to the fire station.Tasos openened in Ottumwa a year ago. Those are good choices unless you would consider applebees or chinese buffets I would check if they could handle 30 people.

      1. Roes would probably be the right setting. Unfortunately the food is bland and overpriced. I would never eat there again. Riverside would also fit the bill. The are a homestyle cafe with a backroom area that would suit you perfectly. The food is very good there and very cheap. Tasos is in Ottumwa now, however their current location is quite small. I have the feeling they will eventually move to a larger location as the food is great and the restaurant is popular. For now though I think probably Riverside is your best bet. Unless you want buffet at Sirloin Stockade which would probably have seating for you, also China Star buffet has plenty of room to accomodate.