On a sunny Friday afternoon I decided to venture out to Bettendorf to visit my sister and two nephews. Downtown Bettendorf is a hotbed of dive bars frequented by biker babes, so we opted for the more kid-friendly Waterfront Deli at 1020 State Street. Don't be fooled by the name, it's not reallllly on the water front. It's close and you can kinda see water from the front, so I'll let it slide for now.
There was a bit of a line at the counter, but it moved quickly and I felt overwhelmed trying to make a decision based off the menu board. They have special sandwiches or you can build your own. Of course, they also serve soups and salads. If you've never been there before, you might want to grab a to-go menu and peruse your choices before braving the line.
My sister ordered a roast beef, plain, on sourdough. very exciting. I ordered one of the specials, a ham and dill. It was ham with pickles and dill cream cheese on sourdough. My nephew Noah decided on the fear monger's latest victim- the perilous hot dog. Terrorist of the food world.
They had some potato and pasta salads but, being the mayo-phobes we are, we opted for a side salad and Lay's potato chips.
I also bought a sugar cookie for Brody to gnaw on.
The sandwiches came out quickly, and honestly, they looked good, but the hot dog looked amazing. It also tasted amazing. Noah was nice enough to share, his eating technique seemed to indicate he was mostly after the ketchup anyway. Or maybe he was scared of choking?
The skin had a nice snap to it and the bun was so soft with a nice flavor from the celery seeds.
The sourdough sandwich bread was also palatable, very soft and fresh. Roast beef and ham were both flavorful and spiced well. Pickles were nice and crisp, but I think they were Vlasic. Not that I'm complaining..a pickle is a pickle. The dill cream cheese on my sandwich was a nice creamy addition. Better than the usual plain ol' slice of Swiss.
The decor was somewhat whimsical/historical. They had photographs and art of historic buildings in the Quad-Cities. Much to the delight of Noah, they also had toy fire truck and tractors hanging from the ceiling. I heard "look firetruck!" about a dozen times.
My sister lives maybe a mile away and she kept saying how pissed she was that she had never before eaten there. The bread alone makes the trip worth it.
The Waterfront Deli has been a great lunch destination since 1981, but for how much longer? The new I-74 bridge is set to displace dozens of businesses in downtown Bettendorf including our beloved Ross'. Let's hope they find new homes.