Second Street Cafe

107 2nd St E, Ottumwa, IA 52501 USA


Category: American

Price: $$$

Overall:B(3.5/5.0 stars)
Value:B+(4.0/5.0 stars)
Atmosphere:B(3.5/5.0 stars)
Service:A(4.5/5.0 stars)
Taste:B-(3.2/5.0 stars)
Presentation:B-(3.2/5.0 stars)
Hotel Ottumwa, Ottumwa, IA

Reuben Details

Sandwich Name: Reuben ($10.00)

Menu Description: Stacks of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and thousand island dressing, served on grilled marble rye

Included Side Items: Choice of French fries, potato salad, potato chips, cottage cheese, green beans, coleslaw, mashed potatoes and gravy.

Second Street Cafe, Ottumwa, IA 02

Presentation: The Reuben was constructed with grilled marble rye bread that had Swiss cheese against the bottom slice of bread, followed by Thousand Island dressing and sauerkraut. This was topped with slices of corned beef. There was nothing between the corned beef and the top slice of bread. The sandwich was cut diagonally and served on a plate with the side item.

Dimensions: 624 cm3 (13 cm x 12 cm x 4 cm)

Bulk-to-Cost Ratio: 62 cm3/dollar

Review -

Review Date: Apr 25, 2021, 6:05 PM

Liked: corned beef flavor, homemade chips

Disliked: runny Thousand Island dressing

Overall:B(3.5/5.0 stars)
Value:B+(4.0/5.0 stars)
Atmosphere:B(3.5/5.0 stars)
Service:A(4.5/5.0 stars)
Taste:B-(3.2/5.0 stars)
Presentation:B-(3.2/5.0 stars)

The Second Street Cafe is inside of the Hotel Ottumwa, but has its own entrance off of the street. There are booths and tables inside of the restaurant. The tables were spaced somewhat far apart due to COVID-19, which made it look strangely sparse. You could tell that they have attempted to make the place look elegant, but it kind of came across to me as that “fake elegance” look that you will often see at a Chinese buffet restaurant. But things were clean (with little signs that said “sanitized” on each table), and things were in good repair.

They had old photos on the walls of the buildings in town. Since the restaurant is located within the Hotel Ottumwa, I’m sure there is a lot of interest in the history of this Iowa town.

My server, Nick, seemed to be the one in charge of the dining room, and he was quick and attentive. I was amazed that the Reuben only took 7 minutes after my order to arrive at my table. So in fewer than 10 minutes after I walked into the restaurant, I was eating my Reuben.

Second Street Cafe, Ottumwa, IA

When the Reuben arrived, the bottom slice of bread was already beginning to get soggy, so I flipped the sandwich over right away.

The Reuben itself mostly tasted of corned beef and bread. The deli style corned beef slices that they used were pretty tasty. The Thousand Island and the sauerkraut were blended and added a hint of tang to the meat. Perhaps a little more of the sauerkraut and dressing would help to balance the flavors a little more.

The marbled rye was supposedly grilled, although it seemed to taste to me as though it had been toasted rather than grilled because the firmness to the bread seemed to be throughout each slice instead of just on the outside of the sandwich.

The sandwich was not very messy at all, other than a little Thousand Island dripping out here and there because it was a little runny and not thick enough to adhere to the ingredients within the sandwich.

I ordered the potato chips and they appeared to be the homemade variety, and were very good. They were nice and crispy around the edges with an occasional softer part in the middle of each chip, which I kind of enjoy.

Overall this was a good place to stop for a quick dinner. I was on the road, so I appreciated being able to spend fewer than 30 minutes in the restaurant from the time I walked in until I was walking out, having settled my bill at the cash register. It’s not an amazing sandwich in any way, but it shouldn't disappoint if you are passing through Ottumwa and craving a Reuben.