When Chris and I left Iowa after the closing on our house we found ourselves looking for a place to grab a bite in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Chris is a lover of all things diner related and we always like to find the local haunts when we travel. We found Riley’s on Yelp and off we went.I was driving and as usual I missed seeing the front of the place but fortunately for me there was one single space available in the back of the diner accessed through the alley. Perfect. I felt a little odd walking in the back door through the kitchen but we were not alone in doing that so I guess we were just like the locals in that respect.
The fun part of places like Riley’s is the decor and the unique way that each establishment takes on a personality of its own. The Riley’s we stopped at (I found out there are 3 locations) is close to a medical center and we noticed a lot of medical workers dining there. But the place definitely served a wide range of clientele ranging from business folks dressed for work to people like us who were just trying to find some good food on a road trip.
Fun decor and mugs of all different shapes and sizes delivered to your table filled with steaming hot coffee greeted us and we were amazed at the extensive menu.With over 20 breakfast options served daily we had plenty to choose from. Not only are there breakfast items Riley’s also serves an extensive sandwich and lighter fare menu. I think anyone could find the perfect meal here.Chris and I chose totally different items. I went for a combination of sweet and savory with Chicken and Waffles. I know this is something not everyone can imagine but trust me when I say I am a lover of all things chicken and waffles and Riley’s version was crispy and hot with lovely maple syrup to top it off. Nothing showy or fancy – just plain good cooking.Chris chose an omelette option complete with his beloved goat cheese. He had a choice of a variety of sides and chose black beans which I thought was an interesting breakfast choice but I have to admit I ended up eating a good portion of them myself. He is a very good sharer.It may be just me but I love it when a place gives options. Check out the fabulous basket that was on every table in the place. An amazing choice of jellies and even creamer makes my heart happy every single time. Too often I have encountered the dreaded mixed fruit jelly as the only option. I always feel a bit sorry for the mixed fruit jelly – not quite special enough to be able to boast a single fruit name, relegated to the bottom of the jelly stack time and time again. So thank you to Riley’s for realizing that there are more flavors in the spectrum than just mixed fruit or plain creamer.Service was a bit slow for us but I suspect from the apologies from the waitress there was a small snafu in the kitchen on our order. No worries because they kept our coffee cups filled and it gave us time to chat. Every one we encountered was amazingly friendly and helpful and our food was served piping hot which is just the way I like it.
I love it when we find great places like this in our travels. Have you happened upon any place recently that makes you happy you took the time to stop? Tell me all about it in the comments section. Remember to Comment for a Cause.