- 2607 Beaver Ave., Des Moines, IA, 50310
- Overall User Rating:
- (4 ratings)
- Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-2:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Dinner: 4:30-9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Closed Monday through Wednesday evenings and all day Sunday
The Rice Bowl is a small brick eatery along Beaver Avenue, set amongst a strip mall and a clothing store. The restaurant isn't noticeable by any means - in fact, I drove right past it. The inside is about as unassuming as the exterior. With wood-paneled tan walls, a tan tiled floor, tan marble tables and bright red plastic booths, it's a look that's not extremely pleasing on the eyes. However, we were greeted with a friendly waitress.
The small restaurant - with room for only about 40 - was half-full on a recent weekday lunch hour. Christmas music played in the background as customers went in and out.
ON THE MENU
There's everything a typical Chinese restaurant would offer, like sweet and sour pork, fried rice and chicken chow mein. But the menu also boasts more authentic Cantonese dishes, such as mushroom egg goo young (a sort of Cantonese omelet), beef tenderloin with oyster sauce, and even shrimp subgum chop suey.
Lunch is reasonable, between $5-$7 for a meal, while dinner is a bit more pricey at $8-$11. Outside of the entrees, there's a plethora of soups, appetizers and sides.
WHAT WE ORDERED
After perusing the numerous options, my guest and I settled on the almond gai ding chow mein and an order of sweet and sour chicken. We also ordered a bowl of egg drop soup, which the restaurant is known for, and two egg rolls. The soup was more adventurous than other restaurants' versions, looking like scrambled eggs in a watery broth. It was quite good, with a slight chicken flavor. The egg rolls were large, with a thick, crispy outer layer.
Both the entrees were piled high, and heavy on meat. The sweet and sour dish came with large chunks of chicken in an orange sweet and sour sauce, and the breading remained crispy throughout the meal. The chow mein was stacked with chicken, celery, mushrooms and bamboo shoots on a bed of rice. Although it didn't look fantastic, it was tasty.
GOOD IF YOU WANT ...
A solid meal that delivers on taste, served in a modest setting.