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May 26, 2011 08:49 PM

Cedar Rapids

One would think a small city this size would have a number of good places to eat but alas the number is way too few. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated. I take clients out to dinner some times and I want good places to take them. So tell me what you think. Thanks, RubyBluebird

Just had dinner at Taste of India on Boyson Rd. in Hiawatha. Very good. Nice hole-in-the-wall type place, cozy and intimate. I had some very simple stuff: Chicken and vegetables in Basmahti rice along with Naan and raita. Pretty spicy for me but overall very good.

Other ideas?
Thanks, Susan

Taste of India
1195 Boyson Rd, Hiawatha, IA 52233

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  1. To me, this is more of a lunch place, but Aladdin is very good. I have been there twice ( I travel to CR on business a couple of times a year) - the first time was wonderful, the second time just good, but still nice to have Middle Eastern food as a choice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SFLisa

      Thanks Lisa, I love Alladin and try to go there often. I just love their salad with parsley and olive oil. One of my favorites. I also like Thai Moon which is in the same strip mall. They do an excellent lunch service and my favorite is curried prawns.They also do sushi but I have other favorite places for sushi. Pops my cork! Thanks for your response, Lisa.

      Thai Moon Restaurant
      4362 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

    2. There are plenty of good restaurants in Cedar Rapids. To me Sushi House is the best place to pick up some sushi or noodles. Taste of India is defintely good, I'd even recommend the lunch buffet and I usually avoid buffetts. El Perico in Marion is a fantastic hole in the wall kind of place, and I especially recommend their shrimp ceviche. You can get a great meal for about $5 dollars there! If you are looking for great seafood or lamb, Daniel Arthur's is the way to go and although that is a bit pricer, it's well worth it.

      Daniel Arthur's
      821 3rd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403

      Taste of India
      1195 Boyson Rd, Hiawatha, IA 52233

      2 Replies
      1. re: cjackisu

        My DA experiences have been highly variable, and usually feature acceptable food but poor service. We don't go there any more, because of the service combined with the New York prices.

        Cedar Rapids lacks good expense account-type places. Zin's, corner of 2nd Ave & 3rd St. SE, is the best. The Lincoln Cafe in Mt. Vernon always has interesting entrees, and the best burgers in eastern Iowa if your clients want to try something familiar. Augusta, 30 mins. south in Oxford, is very good but call ahead. Iowa City offers a wide variety: Motley Cow, Linn St. Cafe, Devotay, Beroncini, 126, Atlas World Grill ...

        1. re: tlackner

          Agree with Daniel Arthur's assessment. I have not seen them handle a table or more than 2 people without significant service issues.

      2. Vino's on 1st Ave has great authentic Italian and recently I've seen them have some creative specials. Also, their attached bar RG Books is a nice relaxed place to get a drink.

        1. Good, unique, high-end non-chain places are hard to find in Cedar Rapids. When I think of great food, I think more of greasy-spoons and pub fare.

          Tomaso's makes great pizza, as does Zoey's. Xavier's has a pretty nice atmosphere (and, again, good pizza) and is relatively close to downtown.

          1. A few relatively new favorites in Cedar Rapids, all of which would be great places to take clients:
            White Star Ale House (dinner only), Jamb√°yz Island Grill (lunch only), and the Class Act Restaurant in the Hotel at Kirkwood. (

            Croissant du Jour is an old favorite too, but it's not open for dinner.

            White Star Ale House
            305 2nd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

            2 Replies
            1. re: akinia

              Re The Class Act, I've eaten there several times, and always come away with the same impression: for culinary arts students, the food is pretty good. But the service is execrable. Servers are slow to take orders, the food is slow (and I don't mean local) and often cold on arrival, and the service is generally indifferent at best. Worst of all, there is no way to report this to the alleged instructors. None of the instructors wander the dining room to take comments or observe, and there are no comment cards. My wife and I won't be back, just because of the bad service.

              Re the White Star Ale House, we ate there for the first time a couple of nights ago. It's the usual Greg White place: imaginative menu but the service isn't all that great (the waiter couldn't tell us what a Chicago roast beef sandwich was), they don't take reservations for pre-theatre dinners even though the web site says they do, they don't answer the telephone until some time after 4. The beer list is extensive, but it turns out many aren't actually available. When my wife ordered a salad, the server assumed she wanted to substitute that for the menu-proferred sides, instead of asking her if she would like a side as well. Fortunately, my cheese potato side was large enough to share. We liked our dinners well enough, but we aren't excited enough to hurry back. Just across the street, Zin's has generally better food, better prices, and they do take reservations and guarantee to have you out in time for the curtain at the theatre just down the street.

              1. re: tlackner

                I just had lunch at the Class Act on Saturday and my experience was nothing like this review. The food was delish and great presentation. I had the rib-eye steak sandwich with butternut and black bean soup. The service was attentive and prompt, they even had three servers to bring out all three of our entrees at the same time. A compete 4-star experience. And yes, our bill came with a comment card. I would highly recommend the Class Act for entertaining guests/clients or a special night out.