Riley’s By The River

Reuben Menu Description

Reuben ($12.99): Corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing on rye.

Included Side Items: French fries

Reuben Sandwich Metadata

Presentation: The sandwich was cut diagonally with one half stacked jauntily on the other half, and served on a square china plate next to the side item. The Reuben was constructed with Swiss cheese against both layers of marbled rye, followed by sauerkraut, then the corned beef and the Thousand Island dressing between the slices of cheese.

Reuben Sandwich at Riley's By The River, Alexandria Bay, NY

Delivery Time: 14 minutes

Dimensions: 816 cm³ (17 cm x 12 cm x 4 cm)

Bulk to Cost Ratio: 62 cm³/dollar

Review Date:



  • Overall: A (4.5/5)
  • Value: B+ (4/5)
  • Atmosphere: B+ (4/5)
  • Service: A+ (5/5)
  • Taste: A+ (5/5)
  • Presentation: A+ (5/5)

Here we were in the Thousand Islands region of New York—the fabled home of one of the most common Reuben sandwich ingredients, Thousand Island dressing. So I was determined to try a Reuben while we were here to see how a Reuben with Thousand Island dressing would taste in the Thousand Islands—would it stand out in any particular way? Would the dressing steal the show?

Riley’s By The River was pretty busy the night that we came. We ended up putting our name on a list and they told us to come back in 25 minutes. So we wandered a little bit up and down the street there in Alexandria Bay, and then came back and waited more in the entry area.

This restaurant is on the second floor of the building. As soon as you come in the front door, you walk up a staircase where you are suddenly in the bar area and the check-in stand is right there. The main dining area is through a door that has windows facing the harbor.

The bar area at the top of the stairs after entering Riley's By The River.
The bar area at the top of the stairs after entering Riley's By The River.

The Reuben sandwich was delivered 14 minutes after we ordered. Instead of the normal fries, I had them substitute poutine, which is a favorite of mine. I was excited to see poutine available as a side item, and it came with thick fries, good brown gravy and tasty cheese curds.

The first thing I noticed while diving into the Reuben was that the corned beef tasted like it was of a pretty high quality. The rye bread was marbled and on the thinner side of the spectrum. There was just enough tangy sauerkraut under the beef, and the Thousand Island dressing was spread onto the top of the corned beef and nestled into the folds of the meat. I was a little surprised that the dressing was so mild; I had hoped that it might stand out in some way since here I was in the Thousand Islands area—but it did its job well, although they could have put just a little more of it onto the sandwich.

Chris at Riley's By The River, Alexandria Bay, NY

The Swiss cheese could actually be tasted on this Reuben (often it fades into the background against the other flavors) and the cheese had a deep flavor to it.

Overall, the sandwich was not super juicy—there was just enough for an excellent taste. The taste of this sandwich overall was excellent and I had to give it full credit for that. It doesn’t win any awards for size or for originality, but it was a good, solid, tasty Reuben.

Another pleasant thing is that Riley’s has non-alcoholic root beer on tap. If you’ve ever had root beer from a tap, you know that it’s nothing like the varieties that are canned or bottled. It was delicious.

I recommend the Reuben at Riley’s By The River. What better place to enjoy a Reuben with Thousand Island than in the Thousand Islands area itself.