A giant American flag subtly waves hello to patrons from its post high above a fleet of tables, and farming tools plant themselves firmly on a wall inside JoDean's Steakhouse and Lounge. The patriotic theme extends to the kitchen, where chefs grill, fry, and steam USDA Certified Choice steaks, fresh seafood, and sandwiches. More than 50 feet of covered islands emit puffs of steam during daily buffets, including everything from sirloin tips and all-you-can-eat crab legs to Sunday-morning ham-and-cheese omelets. Inside the dining room, framed prints by Bob Byerley adorn the wall, and the lounge boasts a hearty wooden bar where dates can enjoy libations and small talk about acid rain. A number of banquet rooms are available for parties of up to 250 people, and the parking lot can watch buses, RVs, and small aircraft as owners dine.
Cherry Street Grille specializes in omelets, with 101 different varieties flipping from frying pans seven days a week and 24 hours a day on Fridays and Saturdays. Each omelet contains four eggs with flavor combinations that range from the classic denver to a chili, cheese, and onion concoction. Sweeter options include an omelet with bananas, chocolate, and peanut butter. Gravy-slathered biscuits constitute an alternative breakfast, as do massive pancakes the size of a typical medium pizza, dubbed “Mancakes” based on their macho size rather than their ability to sprout five o’clock shadows. Burgers and fried chicken sandwiches complement breakfast fare, as do succulent 10- and 14-ounce slabs of prime rib.
The towering street-side sign at The Roadhouse shines like a beacon onto a full bar and restaurant with a menu that plays off comfort-fare conventions and spice-steeped Cajun traditions. Drinks leave cool circles on tables as patrons circulate during special events such as ladies' night, and LCD televisions broadcast big games.
Orange City may be located in Iowa, but its heart and soul belong to the Low Countries. Named after Prince William of Orange, the town was founded in the 1870s; in the decades since, it has retained its unique ties to the Netherlands. These ties are evident in the tulip fields, in the Dutch-inspired architecture, and especially in the food at Nederlander's Grill. The restaurant's menu combines Dutch and American influences in its fried steaks, pea soup, and seasoned pork and rice dishes. Of course, some of the dishes are Dutch in name only. Take, for example, the Big Dutch burger: this third-pound behemoth features 100% Angus beef smothered with pepper jack and american cheeses on a grilled ciabatta bun.
The lure of specialty coffee drinks and fresh sandwiches may lure customers into Butlers Coffee & Cafe, but it's what they find inside that makes them stick around. Cozy seating surrounds a crackling fireplace, and all around the room, bookshelves hold up more than 500 tomes waiting to be picked up and perused. Picked up and perused one-handed, that is, since the other will be occupied by one of the café's cappuccinos or smoothies or a crispy panini stuffed with cranberry and turkey or roast beef and swiss. If you need some added incentive to stay past dinner, the cafe also offers up a delectable variety of baked goods, including fruit pies and cupcakes, perfect for ending the day on a sweet note.