Every once in a while, I'll forget that I've been to a place until I come across some pictures I've loaded onto my computer from previous trips. One Saturday morning not long ago, I was going through a file of pictures and came across a number of shots from a visit I had to Maxie's Restaurant in West Des Moines, IA. I thought, "Holy crap! I forgot all about going to Maxie's!" I don't know how I could have, given that I had one of their famous Maxie Burgers on that visit. Here's my story of going to Maxie's.
As the logo on the left says, Maxie's has been around for 50 years serving steaks, seafood, chops, pasta and sandwiches. Named after patriarch Max Glenn who founded the restaurant, the Glenn family were the longtime owners before Max's son Jim sold Maxie's in 2006. However, the family was forced to take the restaurant back a couple three years later. Jim Glenn continues to run Maxie's today.
It was around 1:30 one afternoon when I got into Maxie's. It's located along Grand Ave. in West Des Moines in a windowless, nondescript brick building that doesn't really look like a restaurant from the outside. (see map) I was met by a young lady at the hostess stand who took me into the dining room and put me into a booth on the step up platform along the wall. She gave me a menu and I ordered a beer while I looked to see what I wanted to eat.
The dining room was kind of nice with soft lighting and pictures of classic cars were highlighted along the wall. It was a mix of young and old in the dining room having lunch that day.
Now, I had eaten at Maxie's before - it was over 20 years ago when I was being interviewed for a sales position with a manufacturer based in West Des Moines. (I was offered the position, but the pay was so low that I didn't take the job.) I don't remember much from that visit other than almost spitting out my sandwich when I was offered the job and told how much the starting pay would be.
I had been told about the Maxieburger by someone a number of years ago and I had been hoping to get in to have one at some point. I pretty much knew I wanted to try a Maxieburger, but I wanted to look through the lunch menu to see what else might catch my eye. The lunch menu at Maxie's is more condensed than the dinner menu, but they have a number of salads, pasta dishes and sandwiches - the Maxie's Italian sausage grinder particularly grabbed my attention. But I decided on getting the Maxieburger.
The Maxieburger starts out with 1/2 pound of blended beef and it comes on a lightly-toasted bun. I got the mushroom and Swiss cheese Maxieburger along with a side of Maxie's famous onion rings. Raw onion slices and dill pickles came with the burger.
The burger was fabulous. It was thick and juicy with a great beef flavor that came through the Swiss cheese and earthy sliced sautéed mushrooms. The bun was light and spongy and held together very well with the juiciness of the burger. The Maxieburger was as good as advertised in my book.
But the highlight of the meal were the onion rings. Named the "Best in Des Moines" for a number of years by a local magazine , the onion rings were more like onion strings with a great batter on the outside. I could have done nothing but eat the onion rings and I would have been more than happy.
It was nice to reconnect with Maxie's after over 20 years and to finally try one of their Maxieburgers. But their onion rings were especially delicious. Maxie's has been a local favorite for 50 years and it continues to offer good food at a fair price with great service. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but you'll be happy with your meal if you head to Maxie's.