Riefe's is another Quad-Cities landmark that first opened as a drive-in restaurant in 1946 by Orville and Del Riefe. Like many other places, they are famous for their tenderloin and ice cream desserts. It has been remodeled and expanded a few times, and is now a sit-down family-style restaurant. In the lobby area, there are photographs of how the restaurant used to look, with walk-up windows and carhops.
It's hard to imagine it now, with each room seeming to represent a different decade in the restaurant's existence.
Wood paneling ... is that from the 70s? I wouldn't know, I wasn't there.
Entrance area of the restaurant
70s/80s room? with a hint of German
So anyway... we cozied up in our little booth, buried our toes in the shag carpeting, and perused the menu. They have typical food for a homestyle family restaurant with some leftovers from the drive in era and a few German influenced dishes.
We were given this bread basket with rolls and very yummy sweet bread called Bishop's bread. It's a traditional bread of Germany, usually served around Christmas. Sort of tasted like a light coffee cake.
Then we have Richie's meal, steak hoagie with grilled onions and mushrooms. I like how they snuck an orange wedge on there, like, 'you obviously aren't healthy and we think you might need some vitamin C.'
I really just came for the ice cream... so for a side, I ordered a grilled chicken salad that was pretty awesome. The chicken is actually grilled to order, not taken out of some bag from the fridge and thrown on a bagged salad. That's always nice to see. and taste. The honey mustard was great too.
and here it is in the ethereal glow my camera likes to give everything.
Check out these amazing french fries. Light, crispy breading. They came straight from the fryer in a big delicious clump
And to cap it all off...a butterscotch soda. That's seltzer, vanilla ice cream, butterscotch sauce, and whipped cream. this thing was seriously a foot tall. It's a race to eat the ice cream before it falls off the glass. Old men at the next table were eye-sexing it hardcore.
Richie and I both really liked the vanilla ice cream, not sure what brand they use, but it was very rich and vanilla-y.
Riefe's is a nice place to take your family for a good hearty meal. It won't cost you an arm and leg either. Most of the waitresses have regulars that come in and just plop themselves in their section. Some of the old folk didn't even ask for menus. I find that charming.
I'll leave you with a link to video of interviews done by the Quad-Cities Times. it wouldn't embed. I get a lot of my information from them and from the local history section of our library. source and summarize, don't plagiarize!
HISTORY OF RIEFE'S