Inspired by trips to the state's northwestern lakes, Okoboji Grill conjures the wayfaring spirit of summer vacation with hearty American comfort food. Chefs marinate chicken strips in beer before hand-breading them in a secret blend of spices, crown crispy onion strings with Iowa-raised pork chops, and stack thin-sliced meats into towering club sandwiches and edible replicas of the Chrysler Building. Okoboji Grill also culls recipes from international cuisines, adding an American take to greek gyros, housemade tzatziki sauce, and italian bruschetta and pastas.
The Alohana Hawaiian Grill revolves around the plate lunch, a staple of Hawaiian cuisine that consists of an entree, a scoop of macaroni salad, and a scoop of steamed rice. In the restaurant’s entrees, you can see the American and Asian influences that converge in Hawaiian cuisine: spam musubi, for instance, features a slice of grilled spam atop a block of rice and cinched with nori seaweed. In another dish, strips of deep-fried chicken come with bowls of katsu dipping sauce. Diners can also sample a variety of ramen-noodle bowls as well as piquant barbecued pork and beef dishes.
Smashburger's cooks grill each burger ($4.99 for the classic) on the menu to order in addition to crafting grilled and crispy chicken sandwiches ($5.99+), salads ($4.99–$6.99), and sides such as rosemary- and garlic-tossed fries ($1.99+). The Smashburger pairs 100% Angus beef with veggies and cheeses on an artisan bun, and Häagen-Dazs shakes ($3.99–$4.29) keep mouths grounded, cool, and smiley. Add-ons such as applewood-smoked bacon ($1.50) or fried egg ($1) add additional zest to spicy baja burgers overflowing with chipotle mayo ($5.99+) or further personalize regional burgers unique to different cities and states.
The culinary fusionists at Yanni's Grill & Vineyards meld vivacious flavors of Greek and Italian cuisine in cozy rooms adorned with murals and sparkly white lights. Peruse a bilingual dinner menu, and untangle hunger pains over uncomplicated plates of buttery garlic knots ($3.95/10 pieces). Sip carafes of wine while servers engage in culinary pyrotechnics with flaming plates of signature saganaki ($5.95). Yanni's signature penne careens down throat canals, gliding along thanks to a tomato-cream sauce and accompanied by sidecars of sweet peas, mushrooms, and ham ($12.95). The chef's coastal lineup of fresh fish ($15.95–$17.95) tempts seafaring folks, who may jump back on shore at the sight of the signature steak Deburgo and its 10-ounce crown of beef medallions bejeweled in wine, mushroom, and basil sauce.
China Moon's culinary artisans transform fresh ingredients into Chinese dinner entrees, lunch meals, and chef’s specialties. Diners share platefuls of steamed dumplings ($4.95) before tying cardboard wings onto forks and flying them into a spicy amalgamation of kung pao shrimp and chicken ($11.95). The family meal for two pairs mongolian-beef and garlic-chicken entrees with egg rolls, crab rangoon, soup, rice and either wine or soda ($23.90). Lunchtime offerings quiet afternoon stomach yodeling with entrees such as sesame pork nestled on a bed of rice ($5.95). Meanwhile, mouths can break from gaping at the moon to sip beer or mixed drinks such as the Little Panda, a blend of peach schnapps, crème de coconut, and fruit juice ($4.25).
It was a long, 18-month process rehabbing the historic Ankeny landmark. Finally, on October 16th, 2012, local couple Matt and Jessie Sims’ cut the ribbon on their very own Number 7 brewpub. The menu had everything they’d hope for––house-made beer and slow-smoked barbeque. It also had farm-fresh ingredients, sourced from local Iowa family plots. While dining on brisket or smoked spare ribs, diners may even catch Matt and Jessie gabbing about their long but worthwhile journey renovating one of the oldest buildings in town.