As reported by the DesMoinesRegister.com, Pickett's pub could be carved from the timber of an enormous tree, with stacked log walls, a fireplace, and a menagerie of mounted moose heads. Though moderately unobtrusive from the road, diners are greeted to pool tables, video games, darts, and a large horseshoe-shaped bar where mixologists sling beers as well as concoctions of mixers and fruity schnapps. Pickett's also grills up juicy full-pound burgers and daily specials such as jumbo shrimp and full-pound top sirloin steaks.
It's a cozy family restaurant, but The Garden Grill serves up contemporary, elegantly plated dishes that rival those of any fine-dining establishment. The menu of upscale casual cuisine draws on global inspirations: Old-World italian pastas, including an italian-sausage rigatoni; Mexican classics, such as fish tacos; and hand-cut steaks. Pizzas sport both traditional and creative toppings, such as the Pacific pizza's mascarpone-cheese sauce, shrimp, scallops, mushrooms, green onions, and mozzarella. Because the menu runs the gamut from filet mignon to sandwiches, The Garden Grill is an ideal backdrop for all sorts of occasions—be it a romantic dinner date with a special someone or a casual business lunch with the puppet you've been hired to voice.
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.
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.
Planet Sub sidesteps the flavorless land mines of days-old bread, opting for filling-packed subs and sandwiched meaty delights. The menu offers signature subs to sate hungering masses, such as the bacon-bolstered mega roast beef ($5.49/$8.99) and the Planet BBQ, a saucy concoction stacked with ham, turkey, and roast beef ($4.49/$7.99). Vegetarian options abound, so meat abstainers can try the spicy cheese sub ($4.79/$8.19) or the Pesto Bello, which is loaded with portobello mushrooms, red peppers, and a tomato-garlic pesto as smooth and suave as an Italian R & B crooner ($5.19/$8.79).