The cold fresh tomato & cheese 'sauce' and cream pesto are very good & of course the beer cheese my guys love. Salad bar plates are too small. Service is pretty good - have been there 3 times in the last two months.
When I go to the Spaghetti Works the decor always tricks me into thinking this is a better restaurant than it is. The service is pleasant enough but the food is thoroughly mediocre. Save your money and open a can of Franco American at home. That's about the quality here. On the upside the bathroom is nice and, like I said, the decor looks fun and inviting. Too bad the food is so subpar. Fix the food and this could be a winner.
I used to be employeed at the DesMoines Spaghetti Works as well. I would agree with the previous review that the management team there is something to be desired. I to hate the place and will never return to eat or work. I will give them the bad mouth to mouth review that they deserve. The management team is belittling and condescending to its employees. They do not care about the employees and don't support a team environment. It was the most stressful place I have ever worked. The management commonly sits it the office surfing the web or hangs out at the hostess stand. The servers can be running around crazy without any management support. The management team has left the servers without a bartender due to the way they treat them. They have also recently lost some of their best veteran servers due to the way they treat people. The current management team is the beginning of the end for that place. The general manager has run down many restaurants in the Des Moines area. He has ruined several well known places, resulting in the closing of the establishment. Spaghetti Works had the reputation of the DIRTY DINER and they just don't care. The problem I have is that I did care and so do several employees. These unfortunately are the ones they are looking to get rid of. The entire staff is unhappy.
as an old employee i wont even eat there and i prepared the food. the management was horrible and they werent very nice. when u work somewhere you should feel that you are part of a team or a family, and they made you feel like \you were in the days where you were chained to a rock and couldnt move. i will never even walk down the road its on, i hate it that bad.
I am a born and raised DSM area resident and have been going to The Spaghetti Works for many more years then I can recall. Yes, in recent years it has needed a face lift to perhaps compete with the brandnew restaurants popping up in the downtown area. As another poster mentioned it is currently being remodeled and will hopefully make the atmosphere what it once was. I always loved the truck salad bar, but the last time I was there in December 2006 it was a bathtub, which did not have the same effect as the truck. I agree that this is a place where you have your favorites, like the Beer Sauce, Hot Naked Sauce and the salad bar... good quality food for the price, which is cheaper then the high end Italian restaurants like the Latin King. This is a family restaurant that has options on the menu for the whole family and it is not marketed for a special romantic night out. I have been extremely happy with the service on some visits and on others disappointed, but for the price and atmosphere... sometimes you get what you pay for. I do look forward to my next visit after the remodeling has been completed. BEER SAUCE RULES!
I agree with the comment: "It is what it is." You have to go in knowing what to expect. It is a "nice alternative" to the other every-day italian joints.
Overall, I would rate spaghetti works by the following:
Atmosphere: fun, relaxing.
Service: honestly, more often than not, below average. If you work downtown and dine there for lunch, plan on at least an hour and a half on most days.
Food: Very average and nothing special. Though the salad bar is wonderful and they do have my favorite egg-plant parmesean in town. Plus it's fun trying different sauces.
Price: I think the price is fair. You get what you pay for.
I agree that some of the previous postings are a bit harsh. You can't rate a place only on one experience. I probably go to Spaghetti Works at least once per month, and my rating reflects that.
Overall: very average; but there is something there that keeps us going.
This place is great. Plus right now they are closed for 6 weeks doing renovations. new everything. bathrooms were already done the last time i was there in december and they were brand new!
yes its simple food... but its good and two can dine for next to nothing. kids eat free on mondays! beer cheese sauce is soooo good. salad bar is great, but needs an update. garlic bread... cant get any better anywhere else.
True…if you're going to the Court Ave area and you want tasty Italian, you go to Trattoria.
However, I've had numerous good, inexpensive meals at Spaghetti Works over the years. I don’t go in with any false notions of being blown away and I've always gotten exactly what I expected. Inexpensive Italian food with an eclectic atmosphere in a historical building in downtown Des Moines.
I can assure you that if there were cleanliness concerns on the level of some of the reviewer here, the place would have been shut down long ago by the health inspector. The extreme comments here make me question if we have a disgruntled former employee or two posting reviews. A place does not last 15 years or so and continue to attract be crowds if it has the issues that a couple people here have described.
Good location. Good for families with small children. Thhings are a little sticky. Salad bar is nothing special. Pasta is nothing special. Young, inexperienced servers, but it's an "Italian" alternative if you don't have reservations at the Trattoria before Civic Center events.
I heard they had closed down for a while, but I was surprised they re-opened. Very, very dirty with cockroaches, mice and the like. I'll never eat there, and I don't know why they are busy when there's something downtown.
Trust me, I've had terrible service here and for a restaurant to be shut down for health code violations, it's not worth a visit.
this place should be burned to the ground. food is terrible - unless all you want is noodles with tomato sauce --- i would say just buy a can of chef boyardee. the atmosphere is what you would expect from an old tacky restaurant. the service here is the absolute worst in town. not to mention the multiple times the health department has shut this place down. i would never eat here again.
It is what it is, a spaghetti place. Its not fancy or delicious, rather mediocre, but a good place to take your kids, and any place that offers a salad bar will get at least 2.5 stars from me.
I ate there once because a friend insisted. I have had better spaghetti out of a can, and I am not lying. The service was horrible too considering we went there after a Civic Center aftenoon performance and were one of 4 tables. We waited over 10 minutes to get our drinks, and then she didn't come back for another 10 to take our order. Never again!!
I have eaten at Spaghetti Works in Lincoln, Ralston, and Des Moines. The Chicken Parmesean is wonderful! Plus, the salad bar and garlic bread are awesome as well. Try it out when you have the chance, you will really enjoy it!
I can honestly say I have only had 3 absolutely awful dining experiences - One was at Spaghetti Works in Omaha, another was at Spaghetti Works in Des Moines. Never again.
The service was absolutely horrible! I would not recommend this restraunt unless you like not having waitstaff around when needed, waiting forever for your food, and a rather unpleasant atmosphere.
Oh, the beer cheese sauce is so good!
is it just me or do the workers here hate their jobs?
Get an Italian Soda with your meal for a tasty addition.
Build your own pasta for free refills. Easily the best meal/deal