I have to be honest I had never heard of Taste Buds when my boss jokingly called it his corporate kitchen during his recommendation for lunch last week. I typically don’t need my arm twisted when considering a new restaurant so going there really had nothing to do with the fact that he was the boss. Really.
Doug and Linda Slycord have owned Taste Buds since 1996, they offer the finest in café dining, specialty foods, and quality catering. I have to admit I was expecting a small sandwich shop yet I was shocked when we walked in because the restaurant is huge. They have a space that is fit for an appliance store, not a restaurant, yet they make it work very well. There are few tables up front, but my eyes were immediately drawn to the racks that ran all along the left side of the restaurant where, I later found out, they house their Specialty products. Their Specialty products are available for purchase and include items like gourmet coffees, soup mixes, dipping oils, quality teas, chocolates, and pastas. While their Specialty items line the left wall the right side of the restaurant is the open-faced kitchen with cooler counter and register where orders are taken. Then, in the back they still have more tables for diners to sit comfortably.
I decided to go with the Northwest Turkey sandwich and a cup of their home-made Chicken Noodle soup, which was one of the three soups they make daily. The Northwest included smoked turkey, Provolone cheese, apple butter, Granny Smith apple slices and lettuce. I really enjoyed the apple butter but unfortunately they were not very giving with that product as their swipe on the top piece of bread did not cover it entirly, which if it had this sandwich would have been one of the very best. That said, even the parts of the sandwich without the apple butter were very good and filling. Their home-made chicken noodle soup was an amazing rendition of the classic. I am not sure if it because I knew it was home-made and not frozen and reheated, but it was a perfect component to go with the sandwich.
Taste Buds is the epitome of a local restaurant, one that you could see on the corner of a small Iowa town. They are located on 100th Street in Urbandale, between Douglas and Hickman, on the West side of the road. The fact that they are in a strip-mall means you can easily miss them if you are driving by on 100th Street and not looking for them, so be sure to look over and check them out on your next trip.
After all, why would you want to eat at a chain restaurant when you can eat at Taste Buds?