Helmed by a pair of Iowa State University graduates, Family Pet Veterinary Center keeps furry friends in good health at three locations across the Des Moines area. A third-generation veterinarian, Dr. Jen Emerson-Mathis joins forces with Dr. Ashley Williams to deliver medical, surgical, and diagnostic services to beloved animals. With their team, doctors Jen and Ashley go the extra mile by making sure clients understand every facet of their pet’s medical condition, and every step of the treatment process. Even more, the Family Pet facilities provide boarding packages, as well as on-site grooming for dogs, cats, and CEOs who need a break from making so many decisions.
Since opening in 2002, the course at Legacy Golf Club has collected a litany of regional and national awards thanks to an ingenious layout envisioned by Jeffrey D. Brauer, who claims a ranking in Golf Inc.’s 2010 list of the world’s highest-value course architects. Each player that tees up on the first hole peers into the abyss of Mr. Brauer’s delicate design, relying on precise control to avoid the Kentucky bluegrass roughs and water hazards that come into play on 14 holes¬—including all 9 on the back side. Those who succeed enjoy luxuriant lies on the bentgrass fairways, and earn the best chance of shooting the par of 72, not counting the illegal practice of using the club as a baseball bat. En route, they must slay the par 4 2nd hole, a downhill screamer with a dramatic approach over a 5-acre lake, as well as the par 3 14th and 17th holes, where matters are complicated by swirling winds. Before hanging up their golf gloves for the day, players must clear a final high hurdle in the 611-yard par 5 18th hole, where a large amphitheater-style green funnels well-placed approaches and echoes shouts of “Fore!”
Class A PGA Professional Rob Randall heads up Legacy Golf Club’s golf school, having claimed much recognition for his instructional prowess. He brings expertise earned over more than 20 years and some 20,000 golf lessons to his lessons at the practice facility, where bentgrass tees, six target greens, and TaylorMade practice balls lend veracity to practicing swings and juggling-based intimidation tactics.
Course at a Glance:
Two Saints Winery holds fast to the belief that wine should be representative of its region. That's why to create its award-winning Iowa wines, Two Saints uses only grapes from its own property or grapes grown by local farmers. Embedded within the rippling countryside of rural Warren County, the facility produces up to 30,000 bottles per year. And instead of using juices retrieved from faraway sources, such as California or the mini refrigerators inside seashells, Two Saints spurns flavor enhancements and lets the natural flavors of Iowa's land emerge by aging bottles for at least a year. Customers, meanwhile, can enjoy those products right at the winery, especially during free tastings and live events held frequently on the property.
From the colorful checkered walls to the menu of hearty comfort food, the owners at Cozy Cafe strive to create a nostalgia-tinged dining experience. The vast menu is marked by homemade entrees, including blue-plate specials of meatloaf, hot roast beef, or hot roast pork, all served with homemade mashed potatoes and green beans. Staff serve up Grounds for Celebration coffee drinks, and for breakfast, chefs flip the traditional array of omelets and pancakes and offer homemade cinnamon rolls as well as biscuits and gravy.
The skilled chefs at Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe whip up burritos, enchiladas, and sizzling fajitas to fill an extensive menu of south-of-the-border cuisine. Diners push aside still-steaming nacho and quesadilla starters as a waiter approaches, arms meticulously stacked with plates of enchiladas and burritos ($8.99–$9.99 each). Chefs slather spinach and mushroom enchiladas in butter garlic sauce, and the burro en fuego specialty burrito befuddles meat detectors by burying contraband shredded beef and spicy chili sauce deep inside a warm flour tortilla. Diners can also look over a gluten-free menu to bite into enchiladas and fajitas prepared on corn tortillas as, in the kitchen, blenders buzz up pomegranate and strawberry frozen margaritas into salt-rimmed glasses for frozen fruit consumption without fear of stuck tongue.
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 chefs at Cheese Castle Pizza hand-hurl dough sky-high, preparing nine specialty pies that headline a menu of cheesy sub sandwiches, house-made baked beans, and piping hot pastas. Classic or thin-crust foundations anchor pizzas slathered in a traditional, spicy, or alfredo sauce and peppered with fresh toppings that include ham, mushroom, and sauerkraut ($5.39+). The taco pizza’s blend of Mexican-spiced ground beef, cheddar, and nacho chips throws sensory fiestas for taste buds ($8.69+), and the ham- and pineapple-flecked hawaiian pizza ($6.49+) evokes a seaside luau without the mandatory dance breaks and sand-filled socks. Alternatively, peruse the menu at BurgerTime and SpeedyTaco, which pairs 100% Angus beef burgers with tacos sheathed in hard, soft, and flour shells. Single- ($3+), double- ($4.25+), and triple-stacked ($5.75+) patties lay a foundation for bacon, mushroom, and swiss architecture alongside chimichanga abodes leased to steak and chicken tenants ($3.75). Today’s deal can be used for dine-in, carryout, or delivery, offering homebound guests an appetizing alternative to the imaginary crumpets served at children’s tea parties.