There's a reason why the sandwiches at Keller's Deli and Cafe have brought local customers and food critics back for seconds and thirds. Owner and head baker Cameron Keller studied artisan and sourdough baking at the French Culinary Institute in New York City, learning the ins and outs of classic European recipes. He begins his bordalais bread with a 100-year-old German sourdough starter to impart maximum flavor, and he tops the hot, chewy bread with deli meats. Of the house-brined corned-beef brisket, Cityview Food Dude Jim Duncan says, "No other corned beef in town compares for tenderness and flavor." And after biting into the thick slices of it on the reuben sandwich, the author of the Distilled Opinion food blog remarked, "I was amazed because I’d never had corned beef quite like this." Other sandwiches of note include the handcrafted meatloaf, which boasts ground beef and an apple-cider-vinegar tomato sauce. The outdoor patio is an ideal spot to read a book or construct a sun visor out of a baguette.
Midwest Black Angus beef, free of hormones or antibiotics, joins with creative ingredients such as A.1. sauce and chipotle aioli to create more than 15 unique burgers at Legends American Grill. These burgers embody a variety and thirst for excitement that radiates throughout each of the grill's central-Iowa locations. There, nestled amid deep-umber booths or brick walls, diners watch sports flicker across flat-screen televisions, rooting on their team and showing disdain for the ref’s decision to wear white pants after Labor Day. But if the score is disheartening, fans can dig into the menu to cheer themselves up. Hand-cut Creekstone Farms steaks offset surf entrees such as salmon in béarnaise sauce or grilled mahi-mahi in a sweet-and-spicy thai sauce. Comfort-food favorites such as meatloaf and fried chicken also make an appearance, pairing with cocktails and beers served by the bottle and pint.
Since 1964, Blimpie has filled patrons' bellies with submarines packed with freshly sliced meats and quality toppings. Each of the coast-to-coast franchise's locations offers an assortment of bread-based eats ranging from classic deli subs to paninis served between warm ciabatta buns festooned with grill stripes or uneven tan lines. Subsmiths roll up fresh wraps and keep waistlines in check with Lighter Stuff, a health-conscious selection of menu items with less than 400 calories and 6 grams of fat. Kids' meals satiate the appetites of youngsters 12 years old and younger or adults with fake IDs.
In a world that changes by the minute, Zimm's Food and Spirits remains a comforting constant. That's because the restaurant, which celebrates its 20th anniversary on October 19, 2013, remains open 365 days a year rain or shine, weekday or weekend, Christmas, or bring-your-dog-to-work day. Although happy hour only happens on weekday afternoons (from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.), and on weekends (from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.), the $2 Long Islands, half-price apps, free popcorn, and other specials should be enough to make up for it. Plus, steak and French Dip sandwiches, as well as salads and burgers, are always an option, as are games of pool, shuffleboard and darts.
From the outside, Capital Pub and Hot Dog Co. looks like the house of the coolest people you know. Recline with a draft beer and enjoy a char-grilled specialty hot dog on the deck while soaking up sun or relaxing in the shade of a giant umbrella. Every night features a rotating selection of specials such as the Mac Attack—a hot dog topped with creamy mac and cheese and crumbled bacon. On weekends, stop by to build a hangover cure with a variety of fixins from the bloody mary bar and chow on po' boys, wings, or the popular platter of mini hot dogs.
A family-friendly eatery, Tacos Andreas dishes up Mexican favorites in a laid-back atmosphere. The massive menu options range from tamales to seafood enchiladas, with burritos, tacos, and quesadillas also served à la carte for mixing and matching favorite dishes. A large outdoor patio area and bar make for plenty of options to keep the dining experience interesting.