Lunch in the Alley…Since 1927

You know how every town has a place… hole in the wall, local dive, comfort comeback.  That special little place that you went when you were a kid and now your kids eat there too!  And when company comes to town well you have to experience it??  Well on our recent trip to Ottumwa Iowa, we did just that!  The place ….Canteen….since 1927…now thats cool…

Here is the outside of this little joint tucked under a parking lot. My cousins told us some years back the city was going to tear down this little well known gem because it was in the way of the new parking lot well the town folk didn’t take to well to that thought protested that the Canteen was a little landmark that they had to keep.  And every now and then the people win…and so the Canteen remains and as you can see progress so to speak was built around it.   A great solution!  Well come on in i’ll show you around next photo please…

all bar stools set in a horseshoe like shape, people come in stand against the wall and wait their turn . While these little ladies cook it up.  What is the big draw?  Well you see the metal like rectangle this lady is stirring it up in?  Well that is the famous Canteen like stove.  The ground beef is cooked up into a crumbly juicy perfection!  Here’s how it works order your drink then how you want your sandwich, cheese, pickles, and mustard for me.  But you can get it how you want it here.

Then in less than 2 minutes you are handed your sandwich wrapped in wax paper, with a spoon to eat the ground meat that falls into the bottom of the waxed paper of course!  You won’t find fries here but you can get a bag of chips.  Or just eat your sandwich and split another one with your hubby… oh but who does that… hee hee…

And to help wash it down a malt… strawberry was my choice.  Served in an old fashioned original tin with a paper cup then the malt is in the silver mixer tin and you get the whole thing!!  Uh yum or something… So if you find yourself in the little town of Ottumwa or a near by town make the drive… pull up a barstool and order it up!  When you are done sign the guest book and stick a pin in the map to show them where you are from believe it or not Plano already had a pin!  Hey people from Plano know were to find good food!

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About Michele Busch

Jewelry Designer
This entry was posted in Food Fabulous Food, Personal Happenings and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Lunch in the Alley…Since 1927

  1. Marcy Valdez says:

    My aunt Marilyn will love this blog! When she was a teenager she worked in the once bustling downtown Ottumwa, and would eat at the Canteen EVERY DAY. Now she lives in the Chicago area and when she comes back to town she drives straight to the Canteen! I am sure most former “Ottumwans” do the same thing! Who can blame them?

  2. I sure can’t, we know where you will be taking us when we come back for a visit!

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