Belgian Village Inn in Moline: Home of the Giant Reuben Sandwich

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VandeRueben at Belgian Village Inn

Photo of VandeRueben submitted by Belgian Village Inn

Moline’s Belgian Village Inn serves quite possibly the biggest reuben sandwich you’ve ever seen.

“It’s 10 or 12 inches long and about six inches wide – it fills a whole plate,” says Shawn Manning, who owns the Belgian Village Inn with his wife, Karen. “The reuben is by far our best seller and our biggest sandwich.”

So distinct is the restaurant’s trademark sandwich, its name is a registered trademark: the VandeRueben. It’s one of the Belgian Village Inn’s many homemade sandwiches served on bread baked fresh on the premises.

“We bake between 70 and 200 loaves of bread every day in three varieties – mild rye, raisin and wheat – and we sell them by the loaf and slice them for our sandwiches,” Manning says. “Everything we serve is made from scratch, including our soups, coleslaw, potato salad, salad dressings and desserts.”

If You Go

Hours: Open Thursdays from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Location: 560 17th Ave. in Moline
Order online at belgianvillagetogo.com

Opened in 1977 by Karen’s Belgian parents, Loretta and Denis Ceurvorst, the Belgian Village Inn has become a landmark dining destination on 17th Avenue. The Mannings bought it from the Ceurvorsts in 1997, though the original owners continue to work there part-time.

“They followed their American dream to open a restaurant and tavern,” Manning says of his in-laws. “This area had a large population of Belgian immigrants at one time. The first restaurant took off so quickly, we had to open a second location three blocks away.”

Customers love the Belgian Village Inn for its oversized portions and Old World charm. Then there’s the coconut cream pie, topped with real meringue, though Manning admits few customers order dessert because they are so full from eating such a big entrée.

In addition to the VandeRueben, popular sandwiches include the Belgian club, a turkey and bacon club with Swiss cheese, and the VandeRaisin, a ham and swiss sandwich served on fresh raisin bread. Soups include clam chowder (a staple on Fridays and Saturdays), ham and beans, cream of spinach, chicken noodle, broccoli potato and vegetable beef.

“We love what we do because we’re carrying on a family tradition,” Manning says. “So many restaurants don’t do well with second-generation owners. But we love our customers, and we’re keeping it rolling.”

6 Comments

  1. BETTY GILDERSLEEVE

    January 28, 2012 at 8:39 am

    YESTERDAY, 1/27/12, WE WERE ENJOYING ANOTHER WONDERFUL RUEBEN SANDWICH. AGAIN, I DECIDED TO HAVE A CUP OF YOUR DELICIOUS
    CLAM CHOWDER. IT IS FANTASTIC !!!!!
    WOULD YOU PLEASE SHARE YOUR RECIPE ? WE WILL STILL COME BACK MANY TIMES OVER , BUT WOULD LOVE TO “TRY” TO MAKE THIS MYSELF.
    THANKS & NEVER CHANGE.!!
    BETTY G.

  2. Christi Elliott

    August 8, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I would like to apply for a job here – since I noticed that there was a help wanted sign on the Belgium Village on 18th Avenue in Rock Island. But there’s no link to apply on your website. Do I need to go there in person? I would totally love to be part of the team at Belgium Village. Let me know about how to apply for a job at your restaurant. Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.

    • Rachel Bertone

      August 9, 2013 at 8:16 am

      Hi Christi,
      Thanks for your comment! We suggest calling Belgian Village Inn directly at (309) 764-9222. Hope this helps!

      Rachel Bertone
      Editor

  3. Brad DeBo

    February 11, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Coming to moline this week for a few days. Would you have raisin bread available?

  4. Brad DeBo

    February 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Will you have raisin bread available later this week?

    • Jessy Yancey

      February 26, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      Hi Brad, I’m sure it’s too late, but I hope you were able to reach out to Belgian Village Inn. For future reference, you can contact them at belgianvillagetogo.com. Hope this helps!

      Jessy Yancey
      editor, Illinois Partners magazine

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