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Scott Allen’s passion for good food can now be found at his Tama Cafe

January 8, 2012
By John Speer - Editor , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Ingredients "are all fresh - never frozen" - the food served up is all "home cooking" - that's what Scott Allen says patrons can expect at his Tama Cafe in downtown Tama.

Allen took over operations of the cafe on Dec. 1 and has put his 20-plus years experience in the restaurant business to work. He says customers can expect all the meat and produce he serves will be top quality.

You can get made-from-scratch breakfast served all day. What is a very popular French toast along with omelets and biscuits and gravy are already among the favorites, Allen says.

Article Photos

Chef Scott Allen pauses in the modern kitchen of his downtown Tama Cafe on Thursday, Dec. 29. Allen brings more than 20 years experience in food preparation to the operation he took over on Dec. 1.
News-Herald photos/John Speer

Each day there's a homemade lunch special served beginning at 11:30 a.m. Among those is broasted chicken each Monday. On other days you can find meatloaf and chicken and noodles as well as sandwiches. Cream pies and cinnamon rolls round out the offerings.

Something everyone should try, especially with the pro football season now featured, are the special hot wings offered at the Tama Cafe, Allen says. they come with a variety of homemade sauces.

The Tama Cafe has seating for 42 guests in the brightly lit and modern location at 109 West 3rd St. Some early photos of Tama decorate the walls including scenes of its rich railroad heritage which are very much in keeping with Tama's observance of its Sesquicentennial in 2012.

Fact Box


Tama Cafe

109 W. 3rd St.

Downtown Tama

Open Mon-Fri

7 a.m -2 p.m.

Eat-in, carry-out

Ph. 641-484-6457


Allen is no stranger to Tama. He lived here and attended South Tama Schools from the 3rd-10th grade.

He got his start in fast food and was an assistant manager of a Hardee's Restaurant. He also served as general manager of pizza restaurants before deciding to take the next step.

That was to attend Culinary School at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.

After that, it was off to the city- he moved to Las Vegas, Nev. where he worked as a chef at the Palms and Excaliber hotel-casinos. He also worked as a food and beverage manager before making his way back to Iowa.

As his business grows here, Allen said he would like to expand into some evening hours.



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