Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine don't have too much in common, but at Frankiez, both cuisines get the star treatment. Cooks craft made-from-scratch tortillas for Mexican specialties such as steak burritos, tacos, and quesadillas. For Mediterranean platters, they grill kabobs of fresh meats to pair with chopped salads. Sides of lemon rice or rice pilaf round out Mexican and Mediterranean orders, respectively, and freshly homemade organic yogurt smoothies wash them back.
The chefs at Sam's Pizza spend 60 minutes with each Chicago-style pie. They stuff its double crust with mozzarella, fresh toppings, and good intentions before baking it to a golden brown. Toppings for the Chicago-style and thin-crust pies range from the traditional (sausage or mushrooms) to the novel (gyro meat or nacho chips). The chefs at Sam's Pizza also concoct their own marinara sauce, ladling it onto calzones and platefuls of spaghetti.:m]]The chefs at Sam's Pizza spend 60 minutes with each Chicago-style pie. They stuff its double crust with mozzarella, fresh toppings, and good intentions before baking it to a golden brown. Toppings for the Chicago-style and thin-crust pies range from the traditional (sausage or mushrooms) to the novel (gyro meat or nacho chips). The chefs at Sam's Pizza also concoct their own marinara sauce, ladling it onto calzones and platefuls of spaghetti.:m]]
Long John Silver's staff of salty dogs stockpiles baskets with fresh seafood, chicken, and signature hush puppies, all doled out in a fast casual-dining cabin. Exchange Groupons in-store, and receive a punch card valid for five & More Meals. Try a two-piece Alaskan pollock plate anchored by a pair of diamond-filleted fish surrounded by a barricade of miniature igloos (a $5.99 value). Diners can also navigate their nosh-worthy cravings to land, where three, crispy-fried chicken strips await (a $5.99 value). Bountiful tails of butterfly shrimp adorn plates in a 10-part arrangement that lights up mouths with zesty accompaniments of lemon and cocktail sauce (a $6.29 value). All seafood and chicken plates cozy up with sides of tangy coleslaw, fries, and Long John Silver's lauded hush puppies, famous for entertaining diners by chasing silverware around the table.
When guests step inside Zins, they hand their car keys to a greeter who sees that vehicles are steered to a safe spot with the complimentary valet service. Next, they’re whisked to a white-draped table beneath modern chandeliers, where they can consider the menu’s internationally inspired offerings before settling on a perfect combination of small plates or opting for one big one.
Menu headings such as nibble, reminisce, begin, and experience hint at the range of culinary options. Chefs pair local cheeses with a berry reduction and housemade crostini and pan-fry thai crab cakes to dip in peanut sauce. Maple brown butter, sage, pecans, and parmesan coat sweet-potato gnocchi, and classic goulash made with braised Iowa beef zips to tables beside a housemade baguette.
It’s fine-dining cuisine that was almost lost to the community after the June 2008 flood. After the restaurant had been open less than a year, Cedar River overflowed its banks, and Zins was flooded with nearly 4 feet of water. Though the owners were devastated and unsure whether they’d be able to open, a steady stream of volunteers arrived to help them clean up—employees who wouldn’t be able to go back to work, family members, and friends, as well as people the owners had never met before. Moved by the hundreds of volunteers, they vowed to reopen and continue serving their community with renewed vigor. A year after Cedar Rapids had been evacuated, down to the minute, the restaurant opened for the second time.
Arguably, any meal is made even better with a hearty margarita on the side. With several flavors and top-shelf tequilas at the ready, the crew at Cactus Mexican Restaurant & Cantina mixes up their regular and special margaritas to diners' specifications. Back in the kitchen, chefs create their traditional Mexican plates and American-style Mexican dishes, with appetizers that include a trio of dips and a giant piles of nachos. Meals then graduate to big plates of seafood, burritos, or sizzling fajitas before desserts tempt diners into abandoning their enchilada-only diets for something sweeter.
The cooks at Scott's Family Restaurant specialize in home-style food that comforts and satisfies, earning them multiple nods from KCRG's A-List. In the morning, they griddle omelets and load skillets with seasoned potatoes, ham, bacon, and shredded cheese. Hot sandwiches come layered with house-made meatloaf and beef gravy, and hefty cuts of New York strip steaks cover dinner plates. Children can devour kid-friendly portions of popcorn chicken or macaroni and cheese served with wholesome sides such as mashed potatoes.