Chuck's Italian-American Restaurant

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by jim ochs

I do two art fairs a year in Des Moines and
it makes it so much more pleasureable to do the fairs after being taken care of and eating great food at Chuck's.

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by Beaverdale Resident

We are regulars at Chuck's and will be the rest of our lives. If there happens to be an issue (which rarely occurs), Linda (the owner) will go above her means to ensure the best possible outcome. The staff is very friendly and appreciative of your service and the food is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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by Jill Olson

Our family has never had such good service at a restuarant before. Our server new everything on the menu. We were seated immediately. Our meal came 25 min. later

The antipasta was the best I have ever had.

Every dish was cooked to perfection! I would highly recommend this place to any one that doesn't have a lot of time and wants good old school Italian!

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by jesse

Gave Chuck's another try, had a friend that wanted to eat there. This time the food was good and it was hot-not luke warm. Must have made some changes some place. Service still needs a little work, but I was much happier this time.

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by Mike and Chris Garvey

Chuck's is an old land mark in Des Moines. We have been going to Chucks since we started dating 41 years ago. Moved from Des Moines 35 years ago, and ALWAYS go to Chucks when in town each year. We find the quality and quantity of food excellent for the money. We like the thinner crust of the pizza. If we wanted THICK we'd order fast food----always has lots of cheese, and sausage, and muchrooms on ours. As for the service, Jane is one food server who has been there for years. She is so attentive and nice, we always ask for her to be our server. Linda, the owner is always there, so if there were ever a problem I'd have no problem telling her. I always order bottles of Italian salad dressing to take back to Vegas, and when family come out they always know what to bring--more dressing. It's too bad that some of the people who live in Des Moines didn't like Chucks. We love it, and will continue to go there as long as we come to Des Moines. See you in September!!!!! Salute!!!!

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by Bill & Rogene Hausafus

Everything wonderful has already been said for this legendary restaurant. We had great food, a very cozy atmosphere and a wait staff that was so good, we never had to ask for a thing. They were personable, professional and very efficient. Wonderful, wonderful. This was our first time, but will not be our last. Many other restaurants could take lessons from Chuck's.

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by Randy Kong

Chucks is the place !!! Been dining there since I was 5 years ols. Could go to fancier places and perhaps even spend less but I go to this modest place because nobody does pizza , onrings and sausage sandwhiches like Chuck's. I have a number of freinds and family who have moved that say the only thing they miss about Des Moines is Chucks, and they all make a beeline for it when they visit. If you haven't tried the place - You Got to Go !!!

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by jesse

Roberta must know someone at Chuck's in order to get above standard service. I would say it is 50-50. A couple servers I have had are good, about 75% of them are fair to poor. My experience is that regular customers go there for the for the food not the service. The pizza is good but sparse on toppings.

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by roberta

I can hardly believe the other reviews. I have eaten at Chuck's many times and rarely have been disappointed. I am known as a Sally type and am pleased with the food at Chucks.
Standout is the pizza-never have I been served a miserly pizza there!! The salad dressings are almost all made on the property and are delicious, especially the Italian. Terry's special is a good deal for an Italian Sausage Sandwich, accompanied by a side of spaghetti and a salad. The meatballs are very good and the hand made mozzerella sticks are fantastic! I suggest ordering the above items, maybe some onion rings also. The service is usually above average.........

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by Tony

This place came with good recommendations. It shouldn't have. Bad service, dated and ugly setting, and mediocre food. Good for the usuals I guess. Some may have fond memories, but hard to imagine that any are recent.

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by A and D

Chuck’s Italian American Restaurant
3610 Sixth Avenue
Des Moines, IA
Phone: 515-244-4104
Hours: 4:30 – midnight, Monday through Thursday
4:30 till 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday

Chuck’s Italian American Restaurant is one that enjoys icon status in Des Moines but we’re not quite sure why. The arrangement of the restaurant is like a rat maze which some probably feel is part of its funky charm. There are some areas of the place where there is an odor in the air that is akin to a musty basement.

The pizza kitchen is in a window area off the alleged non-smoking section. Wait staff places orders for pizza there and pick it up to be served – more about that later. Perhaps it is due to the Topsy-like environment at the restaurant but the smell of cigarette smoke is pervasive, including the non-smoking area.

The evening we ate at Chuck’s, the dinner hour was just beginning and the one server in our area seemed flustered and overwhelmed that three tables were seated almost simultaneously. We were given menus to review but requests for iced tea went unanswered until a third request was made. The menu is huge – everything you might want from steaks and chicken to pasta and pizza.

“A” ordered Chuck’s famous pan fried chicken and, while the chicken is nicely prepared, the inclusion of the back of the chicken remains somewhat of a mystery. If it is just so it looks like more than you get somewhere else, for the measly bit of meat on the piece they would be better off to throw it into the stock pot and use it to make soup. “D” ordered a sausage and pepper dish from the appetizer men which arrived swimming in oil. Dinner salads are laughable. Iceberg lettuce is served on what passes for a bread plate in most restaurants. The salad tastes as though it has been sitting too long in a refrigerator that has something bad in it. French fries that came with the chicken were unremarkable and unmemorable.

About the pizza – the crust is very thin – so thin you could probably read a book through it. The application of tomato sauce is miserly with cheese and other additions falling in to the adequate but not generous arena. What we noticed throughout the evening was the number of pizza’s that came out of the oven with badly scorched crust. We saw several tables that had ordered pizza ate most of it but left the badly scorched pieces on the plate, declining a take home box for the burnt remains.

The other issue with the pizza window is its proximity to other diners. During our visit, several of the wait staff languished in the area while waiting for pizza’s to come out of the oven. Servers visited with the pizza cook about everything from their marital problems to who wasn’t pulling their fair share on that particular shift. Perhaps some would say it adds to the quirky “flavor” of Chuck’s but we found it an intrusive and unwelcome element of our dining experience.
To sum up our review of Chuck’s based on our own experience compared with the recommendations of others, it is a restaurant that is like lamb meat; you either love it or you hate it with nothing in between. Unfortunately, we would have to say our visit fell into the “hated it” arena. This establishment may well be one that has rested on its laurels for too long. Serious consideration should be given to what can be done to bring it back to what people expect from a place run by a family with such a distinguished name in the Des Moines restaurant world as Bisignano.

Rating; 1
Value: Low
Quality: Poor
Service: Bad
Recommended: No
Best Alternative: just about any other Italian Restaurant in Des Moines

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