Waterfront Seafood Market – West Des Moines, Iowa

wf collageThere are many reasons why my husband and I enjoy eating at local restaurants vs. a chain restaurant.   You can’t go to a Red Lobster or an Olive Garden and get impeccable service, fresh foods and a friendly ambience and atmosphere. One of our favorite local restaurants is the Waterfront in West Des Moines, Iowa.  Unusually located in a strip mall in West Des Moines hidden between a beauty supply store and a TJMaxx, I think it often gets overlooked.   But if you have lived in the area as long we have, or if you know someone who has, you have probably heard of this place.   

Mark & I stopped in on a recent Friday night around 7:00pm, and were immediately seated in a booth overlooking the seafood market.   Did you know you can stop in and buy fresh seafood anytime?   Beyond the seafood market is their sushi bar.  While we haven’t yet dined in the sushi bar yet, I have ordered takeout from there for lunch.   Probably the best sushi I have ever had.  The contents were fresh and crisp, and rolled perfectly tight.   

So back to dinner.   Let me start off by mentioning that we had the best server.   She was quick, polite and never let our water glasses get more than a quarter empty, before she would probably swing by to fill them.  We started off dinner with their popular peel & eat shrimp, our personal favorite.  It comes with a dish of cocktail sauce for each of us, and a container for the peelings.  The shrimp is always very fresh-tasting and ice cold.  PERFECT!

The 1/2 pound order of Peel & Eat Shrimp
The 1/2 pound order of Peel & Eat Shrimp

The peel & eat shrimp also comes in a 1/4 pound sizes and a full pound, the latter of which is served in a bucket.   Since it was just the two of us, we ordered the 1/2 pound size.

P.S.  I totally could have eaten the bucket size! 🙂

{Bonus: From 11:00am-4:30pm on Saturdays, their peel & eat shrimp is half price!}

Next came our salads.   A generous sized salad for simply being a side order, with a variety of greens.   It was very filling and again– fresh!  Why is it that some restaurants just throw a pile of iceberg lettuce on a plate and call it good?   I ordered my salad with Italian dressing (not sure why it looks a little pink in this picture?) and I love that they put it on the side.  So glad restaurants are moving to that trend now, instead of slathering it all over your salad.  Nothing worse than a salad drowning in thick dressing!

Waterfront Garden Salad

One more awesome thing about our server– that girl knew how to stage a meal.   One of our biggest pet peeves is being in the middle of your salad when the appetizer comes and then before you can even start the appetizer, your dinner is plopped down in front of you– all because the server just turned the whole order in at once. Then you sit and try to figure out how to not waste the food you were already served, but also try to eat your dinner before it gets cold.

This gal was on the ball.   When she dropped off the appetizer, she said she would be back in a few minutes with our salads– and then when she brought the salads, she said “I’ll wait a little bit before putting your dinner order in so you can take your time and finish what you’ve already got here.”  

YES, YES, YES!   Perfect!  I really wish I would have kept track of her name, because we’d love to be seated in her section again!

A little while later, after we had finished our salads and our shrimp,  and after our water glasses had been topped off several times, our dinner arrived.  And it did not disappoint!

Fresh Salmon with cracked peppercorns brushed with natural honey and grilled.
Fresh Salmon with cracked peppercorns brushed with natural honey and grilled. – $22.95

I ordered the Atlantic Style Salmon, which is described as fresh salmon with cracked peppercorns, brushed with honey and then grilled.  I was a little hesitant when it was put down in front of me, because I envisioned that glaze tasting like pancake syrup.  (Seriously, doesn’t it look like pancake syrup??)   But not even close.  It was amazing.  Thin and light with just the slightest taste of honey, it was so good!   The salmon was very moist and flaky, and it just melted in my mouth.  Accompanied by a side order of steamed veggies, it was very filling and extremely tasty.

Halibut in a white wine cream sauce
Halibut in a white wine cream sauce

My husband ordered the Halibut, which came coated in a white wine cream sauce.  I believe his was a similar price to mine, but it must have been a special because it doesn’t appear on their menu. I took a bite of it, and it was SO WONDERFUL!  Instead of steamed vegetables, he ordered the baked potato  (not pictured–He wouldn’t let me take any more photos, because he thought I was being weird!).

The Waterfront Seafood Market & Restaurant offers a different dinner special every Wednesday at both their West Des Moines and Ankeny locations.  On Saturday, besides the peel & eat shrimp special, they also offer half price Oysters on the Half Shell.  Another special night happens on Mondays, where they have fresh catfish arriving every week for Catfish Night!   

They currently have a 4 out of 5 star rating on Yelp, which I consider great.   So many people on Yelp are quick to leave negative reviews, so for a dining establishment to receive an overall positive rating is rare anymore.

yelp review

Some of the greatest #IowaDining around. The Waterfront in West Des Moines & Ankeny. #seafood Click To Tweet

Waterfront Seafood Market & Restaurant is located at 2900 University (Clocktower Square) in West Des Moines. Their second location is located at 2414 SE Tones Drive in Ankeny. Both locations are open Monday-Thursday from 11:00am-10:00pm, and Friday/Saturdays from 11:00am-10:30pm.  The Ankeny location is open on Sundays from 11:00am-8:00pm.

One thought on “Waterfront Seafood Market – West Des Moines, Iowa

  • May 25, 2016 at 9:21 am
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    Sounds great and that special looks like something I would love!! And…T is totally like your husband. He hates when I take so many pictures when we are out and about! LOL!

    Reply

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