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Riverview Restaurant keeps Bellevue, Iowa, well fed

At the Riverview Restaurant, the good old days live on, plate after plate.

Bellevue, Iowa, population about 2,200, is a small town with a big heart along the Mississippi River.

"It's a pleasant place to work and live," said Chad Rentz.

And there's a view that can really make you hungry.

"How do you wake up in the morning and not have a little smile on your face when you look outside on the river?" he asked.

This mom-and-pop spot at 100 South Riverview Drive takes you back to the days of the Wild West. Signs say it offers a saloon, rooms and food.

Welcome to the Riverview Hotel and Restaurant in Bellevue.

"It reminds me of Mayberry," said customer Jackie Dagitz.

That's where you'll find owner Rentz plating lunch favorites.

"The hot beef and gravy," he said. "It's a big one."

This is home cooking at fast food prices.

"It is absolutely hot," said customer John Hoff. "It is more flavorful than I expected. It's just wonderful."

If these walls could talk, you would hear a lot of history.  This photo captured Riverview Drive in 1860. The Rentz' bought the place in 2000.  He's been making customers smile ever since.

"It's a very friendly atmosphere," said customer Jim Budde.

"For the money, it's really very good," added his wife, Barb Budde.

In Bellevue, history and home cooking make the Riverview Restaurant a special place. It's like coming home.

There's quite a cast of characters including locals who show up most days and, on the day we visited, newbies that just moved from Rhode Island.

"Small communities need a gathering place like this," said Hoff.

"It's close-knit," Dagitz said. "Everybody knows your business, you know?"

Home cooking and generous portions, it sounds like a good plan.

"I hope they leave full, satisfied and thought they got a great value for the money," Rentz concluded.

"To me, it's what our country is all about," added Jim Budde.

At the Riverview Restaurant, the good old days live on, plate after plate.

"I love the food," Dagitz said.

It's definitely a room with a view in Bellevue, Iowa.

The Riverview Restaurant is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.  They also serve dinners Thursday through Saturday.

Check out more of our “Hidden Gems” restaurants – click here.