Fat Randi's Bar & Grill, a casual gathering spot where cooks grill burgers and bartenders tap brews, has a claim to fame: its hand-breaded tenderloins were ranked as one of the state's top five Best Breaded Pork Tenderloins by the Iowa Pork Producers Association. That ranking inspired Des Loines—a blog entirely dedicated to pork-tenderloin sandwiches—to review Fat Randi’s version, describing it as "nice, thick and juicy" with a "nice golden brown color,” and noted that its wealth of toppings caused it to lean to the side. The staff of Fat Randi’s hosts events regularly, such as a steak fry, Daytona 500 party, and a New Year's Day brunch.
Within the lounge-style bar 515 Ultra Lounge, bartenders sling drinks to a raucous crowd dancing to ambient house-music beats. Each night, live DJs churn out thumping house music amid the club's sleek black walls accented by neon pink, green, and purple lighting effects. Posh couches lure partiers to ease into their sleek leather cushions or to push them together to build a dance-floor fort while sipping on vodka-and-Red Bulls ($6–$8.50) or rum-and-cokes ($4–$5). Visitors can relax at private tables as servers visit them throughout the night with bottle service, armed with 750 milliliters of Captain Morgan, Smirnoff, Absolut, or other comparably priced libations, so patrons need not fight their way through throngs of humans and cyborgs disguised as humans to snag cocktails.
Ranked in Golfweek's Best Courses You Can Play in Indiana, the course at Prairie View Golf Club is situated on 206 acres of environmentally protected land along the White River with scenic prairieland and five lakes. The Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design features natural wetlands with a rushing stream that comes into play on four holes, forcing players to demonstrate deft control or gilled golf bags. On the front nine, the prairie setting invites harsh winds to blow across bentgrass fairways, often knocking shots off course. As players make the turn onto the back nine, they notice a marked difference in the environment, as open prairies give way to tall sycamore, oak, beech, and cottonwood trees lying just beyond the Kentucky bluegrass rough. Across the river lies Conner Prairie, a historical re-enactment village whose elegant, 1830s-era style was adopted for the design of the course's 15,000-square-foot clubhouse.
Course at a Glance:
Owner Ryan Cooper has successfully maintained his restaurant's classy ambiance and feel through renovations. High-arched windows provide backlight for diners as well as views of the historic Valley Junction location, and an Old World wood bar showcases carved bearded faces so intricate they can fool gullible barbers. The updates harmonize with the chef's modern vision for traditional American dishes, which he calls "classy comfort food." The chef outfits spinach-and-artichoke dip with fresh crabmeat and grills bourbon-glazed burgers. He even smokes gouda and prepares kielbasa for mac ‘n' cheese to put an adult twist on a classic part of childhood, like equipping a tree fort with an ATM. The contemporary cuisine also complements more than 50 beer varieties such as Vanilla Porter and Strongbow, more than 16 wines, and full liquor selection.
Funny Bone Comedy Club's horseshoe-shaped stage braces itself for an oncoming whirlwind of hilarity delivered by a well-traveled cast of accomplished comics. The wildly expressive Greg Morton (April 25–29) uses his deep voice and malleable face to perform frighteningly accurate impersonations of Star Wars characters and to convey personal observations on various subjects, such as the obvious generation gap. Paul Mecurio (May 2–6), who won an Emmy as a writer for The Daily Show, turns up the volume with his raucous investigation of cultural disparities, fearlessly taking on issues of race and what he perceives as oversensitivity. Meanwhile, the suspender-clad Sandman the Hypnotist (May 23–27) transforms audience volunteers into the stars of the show during his hypnotism routines, which reach their comedic peaks with an impromptu Jerry Springer show and the frightening disappearance of reproductive body parts.