My mother loves the VandeRueben from the Belgian Village; it has always been one of her favorite sandwiches in the Quad Cities. She was, of course, heartbroken to hear of their closing a few years back.
We grew up out in Blue Grass, Iowa, where it typically took 20 minutes to get into town, and that was to the west side of Davenport. So it took a lot of dedication to drive all the way over to Moline to get one; and when we did, we would always take at least one to-go with us, so we could enjoy one again soon without the drive.
That’s why we decided to explore a Rueben to-go! When we learned that in April of this year the Belgian Village was reopening, we couldn’t wait to have the sandwich again. I was also delighted to discover that it was a mother-daughter team behind the operation, and it was those two ladies that sold us our sandwiches and told us all about the new venture. It is the previous owner’s daughter, Katie Manning, that is the brains behind the evolution of the Quad Cities classic restaurant, and all is going quite well for them.
You can call in pre-orders for 12 different sandwiches, loaves of bread, salad dressings, and cookie dough, or you can stop in on Thursdays from 11am – 7pm with the hopes that they haven’t run out of what you were craving. They often sell out of their classic sandwich, the Vanderueben, early on Thursdays. All of the sandwiches are packaged and chilled to be prepared at home. Though it’s a bit odd being inside the near empty restaurant, it’s nice to know that they’re doing well.
I took my home and tried it out. There are instructions included with each item to aid in preparation and also provides the ingredients list. It is not at all intimidating; it is just like making a huge grilled cheese. (I did put mine into the toaster oven for a few minutes afterwards to get the center nice and hot.)
To try out your own Vanderueben at home or get something new and delicious, stop in to original location of the Belgian Village at 560 17th Avenue in Moline. Open Thursdays 11am – 7pm. To pre-order before you go, call 309-373-9522 Monday through Wednesday from 3-6pm. Pre-orders do require a credit/debit card and no-shows are non-refundable