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Archie's Waeside

224 4th Ave. NE, Le Mars, IA - (712) 546-7011
Posted By Mike Coan on 9/10/2005 10:29:00 PM
Since hearing about Archie's a couple years ago on Splendid Table, I've wanted to get to this place. Today I left work early for a late summer drive from Sioux Falls down the Big Sioux River, 96 miles to Archie's Waeside. Hostess and wait-persons were all cheerily friendly, and said they were glad to have me (a single >hungry< man) show up before the real crowds begin at 6PM.

No appetizer, beyond a bottle of iced Sam Adams, promply followed by a quart-sized bowl of very fresh salad (about 1/4 head of iceburg lettuce, with diced onion, sliced red cabbage, and julienned carrot), accompanied by a slice of corned beef (dutifully crumbled into the bowl), a separate side dish of crispy dill pickles, two cubes of mild cheddar cheese, two stalks of celery, at least one complete carrot cut in sticks, and a roll and cracker basket, with a separate dish of real butter.

Main course was a thick sirloin/shrimp combo: this turned out to be three lightly battered, skillfully fried, tempura-like butterfly-cut king prawns (much more than just another "deepfried" Iowa shrimp - each one made four mouthfuls!) with an ample amount of cocktail sauce. The sirloin was a good inch-and-a-quarter. I asked for it cooked medium and what I got was maybe medium-well to well. The meat had a lightly charred exterior and a delicious freshly grilled flavor, with absolutely no fat or gristle. No need for Heinz 57 or A-1. A large foil-wrapped baked potato came in a bowl. I put the butter left over from the fresh roll on the steaming potato, and went to work. Unpretentious, exceptionally tasty American food. I ate every bite...

Finished and paid by 6:00PM. Total was $30. By then the place was packed with groups of oldsters escorted to their favorite tables, young couples with kids, and apparently everybody else in town. The line started to head out the door and the parking lot was full. I'm not a small town type person, but this place almost made me wish I lived here.

Would I go again? Yes! I have to see how their T-bones compare to those at the Tea Steakhouse.

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Scorecard

The prettiest and tastiest pound-plus hunk of filet mignon we've ever eased a knife through
"The prettiest and tastiest pound-plus hunk of filet mignon we've ever eased a knife through"
Michael Stern





A popular appetizer in this region, reminiscent of the northland's cheese curds: deep-fried globs of cheese, with or without jalapeno peppers inside.
"A popular appetizer in this region, reminiscent of the northland's cheese curds: deep-fried globs of cheese, with or without jalapeno peppers inside."
Michael Stern


In a cold room behind the kitchen, Archie's dry-ages primal cuts of beef until they develop a powerful rich flavor.
"In a cold room behind the kitchen, Archie's dry-ages primal cuts of beef until they develop a powerful rich flavor. "
Michael Stern


Big booths, low light, and a collection of cheerful china nick-nacks: Archie's is a true heartland supper club.
"Big booths, low light, and a collection of cheerful china nick-nacks: Archie's is a true heartland supper club."
Michael Stern


The cattle business has dispersed since Sioux City had America's largest stock yards, but Archie's continues the region's devotion to beef.
"The cattle business has dispersed since Sioux City had America's largest stock yards, but Archie's continues the region's devotion to beef. "
Michael Stern


Although Archie's is best known for its beef steaks, it is a true Iowa restaurant; and therefore its pork chops are superb.
"Although Archie's is best known for its beef steaks, it is a true Iowa restaurant; and therefore its pork chops are superb."
Michael Stern



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