Located in Council Bluffs, Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs is on a river and convenient to Lauritzen Gardens and Mid-America Center. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Bluffs Run Greyhound Park and Henry Doorly Zoo.
Make yourself at home in one of the 160 air-conditioned rooms featuring refrigerators and plasma televisions. 42-inch high-definition televisions with cable programming provide entertainment, while complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected. Bathrooms have shower/tub combinations and hair dryers. Conveniences include safes and wake-up calls, as well as phones with free local calls and voice mail.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Head straight for the casino, or wait for that lucky feeling while you enjoy one of the other recreational opportunities, such as a casino and an indoor pool. Additional features include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and babysitting/childcare (surcharge).
Grab a bite to eat at the hotel's restaurant, which features a bar, or stay in and take advantage of room service (during limited hours).
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include currency exchange, dry cleaning/laundry services, and a 24-hour front desk. Event facilities at this hotel consist of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom. A roundtrip airport shuttle is complimentary (available 24 hours).
Fresh from the oven every time, the insanely-cheesy slices at Pizza King have visitors hooked on five-star reviews.
Pizza King is a local eatery that serves up both gluten-free and low-fat dishes.
The bar at this pizzeria is fully stocked, so pair your meal with a glass of wine or beer.
Bring your whole brood to this pizzeria, where families can dig in to tasty and kid-friendly fare together.
Pizza King offers a free wifi hot spot — perfect for surfing the web or getting a little work done.
Pizza King is a fine restaurant for those with large and small parties.
Keep it casual at Pizza King — the pizzeria is laid-back and patrons dress accordingly.
With food this good, you'll be running into this pizzeria to pick it up yourself.
Love the food so much you want to serve it at your next soiree? No problem — Pizza King offers catering.
Street and lot parking is simple near Pizza King.
Bike parking is also available outside the pizzeria.
At Pizza King, you can ease your appetite and please your pocketbook
the menu offers a selection of mid-priced, budget-friendly meals.
For a quick and easy payment solution at Pizza King, pay by major credit card.
Some people say that if you've had one pizza, you've had them all. Diners who've tried Pizza King's pizza say it is the absolute best.
Next time you're looking to indulge in America's favorite dish, call the team at Pizza King to help you out.
Dough Boyz Pizza and Philly's is a fantastic spot to grab a quick slice.
Calling all gluten-free and low-fat diners! Dough Boyz Pizza and Philly's has a multitude of dishes right up your alley that are freshly-prepared and taste amazing.
You won't need to get a sitter before heading to this pizzeria — kids are more than welcome at this family-friendly establishment.
At Dough Boyz Pizza and Philly's, you can dine with your immediate family and your extended family due to the easy seating for large parties.
Dough Boyz Pizza and Philly's is completely informal — dress as you see fit (and are most comfortable).
The pizzeria also offers catering if you want to bring the flavors of Dough Boyz Pizza and Philly's to your next party or event.
Delivery and carryout are easy options for those interested in staying home.
Drivers will be happy to know that Dough Boyz Pizza and Philly's is located near many street and lot parking options.
Dough Boyz Pizza and Philly's knows how to put a smile on your face
the fairly-priced fare is easy on your taste buds as well as your wallet.
So kick back, relax, and indulge in one of the tasty signature pizzas that Dough Boyz Pizza and Philly's has to offer.
For a pizza that is out of the world, call or make a visit to Dough Boyz Pizza and Philly's.
Come to Hooters to grab an American classic with a side of fries.
Drinks all around! Pair your dinner with a beverage from this restaurant's full bar.
Bring the whole clan to this restaurant — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here.
Head on over to Hooters for weekday and weekend happy hour.
Bring your laptop here and tap into the complimentary wifi.
Gather up your group of friends and head to Hooters, a local restaurant that has room for large groups.
At Hooters, the prime seating is on the patio. Come check out what all the buzz is about.
Love the food so much you want to serve it at your next soiree? No problem — Hooters offers catering.
Don't be afraid to enjoy your food on the go — this restaurant offers takeout for your busy schedule.
Drivers can park in the neighboring lot.
Hooters provides ample space for bikers to store their bikes.
Most items on the menu are reasonably priced, so expect to spend around $30 per person at Hooters.
If you're short on cash, take care of business with one of many major credit cards.
Stop what you're doing and pay a visit to Hooters' restaurant today.
When you're in need of a casual night out, head to Hooters and enjoy some great American classics.
Adrie Groeneweg was 19 when he decided he was tired of leaving his hometown of Hull, Iowa, every time he wanted pizza. Armed with six pizza recipes from his mother, Groeneweg opened the first Pizza Ranch in 1981, delighting travel-weary pie lovers with dough and sauce made fresh every day. At more than 170 locations in 11 states, a bevy of signature pizzas form the backbone of the sprawling menu, with such options as the bacon- and beef-covered Bronco and the Tuscan Roma's delicate assemblage of spinach, tomatoes, and alfredo sauce. A wide variety of such specialty pies lines the buffet table, but diners who don't see their favorite combo can make a special request to the pizza chefs—who will not only bake it and add it to the buffet but also hand deliver the first slice to the table. Alongside the disks of mozzarella and pepperoni are trays of the Ranch's other specialty, crispy broasted chicken that's seasoned with a house blend of spices and then broasted so that its crunchy coating conceals ultramoist meat and the occasional winning lottery ticket.
Ginger-infused entrees and chili-based sauces flood the menu at China Hut, where the Chinese fare is applauded as top-of-the-line and diners dish out star reviews.
If you're avoiding fat or gluten, you can still eat great at China Hut, which offers a number of low-fat and gluten-free choices.
At China Hut, you won't have to wait for your large or small group to be seated.
Enjoy the vibe here with a business casual dress code.
A catering menu is also available if you're looking to dazzle the guests at your next shindig.
No delivery needed. In and out for carryout.
Diners that drive to dinner will find street parking readily available at China Hut's Chestnut St address.
If cycling is more your speed, you'll find plenty of space to stash your bike outside the restaurant.
Deep pockets not required! China Hut takes pride in its over-the-top flavor and just-right prices.
Early risers and night owls alike can enjoy China Hut since it offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
So for an upscale meal, come indulge in the Chinese food at China Hut.
So when you're in the mood for some good fortune and great Chinese fare, make your way to China Hut.
Siu mai: small pork dumplings. Each has a thin wrapper that needs to be delicately pleated by hand. Easily, they’re one of the most labor-intensive items at Phoenix Restaurant in Chicago, where each weekend this Chinese restaurant serves 80 different varieties of classic dim sum snacks.
This little fact about the siu mai is one of many surprising stories I learn from Eddy, the chef at Phoenix, where he also handles a million other tasks to keep the restaurant running smoothly. When I first came in, he was waving at a group of regulars while on the phone haggling with a seafood vendor.
“What we are serving in this restaurant is what we are eating in Hong Kong. ... It’s very typical,” Eddy says.
In 1996, Phoenix was one of the first restaurants to introduce dim sum to Chicago. Its customer base has grown over the years, and today, even with other dim sum restaurants up and down the block, you’ll find long lines winding out the door on any given Sunday.
Sound intimidating? It doesn't have to be.
Here's our guide to dim-sum dining, with a few tips from Eddy.
On the weekend: order dim sum off a cart
On weekends and special holidays, the wait staff winds traditional dim sum carts around tables, lifting lids off stacked steamer baskets to reveal the enticing contents. Should you see something you like, they leave the basket on your table and put a checkmark on your bill (it’s tallied at the end).
Phoenix is one of the only dim-sum restaurants in Chicago that still uses these carts. When I ask Eddy why they keep them, he says “tradition.” Not only to impress the tourists who come in, but also to let Chinese-American customers share this bit of culture with their kids.
Hot tip: if you want to experience the pushcarts without the crowds, head over on a Saturday, which tends to be less busy than Sundays, Eddy says.
On a weekday: order dim sum off the menu
Cartless weekdays offer a quiet, more peaceful atmosphere for ordering off the paper menu, which you can find near the hostess stand. Don't be intimidated—the menu has pictures; it has numbers; it has names written in both Chinese and English. And best of all, you need only point to what you want to have it brought out from the kitchen.
So what should you get?
“Everyone has their favorites,” Eddy says. The most popular dishes with Westerners are ha gao (shrimp dumplings) and siu mai (pork dumplings mentioned above). Kids gravitate toward the crunchy, easy-to-grip shrimp rolls and sweeter fare, from mango pudding (pictured above) to custard rolls.
Foreign travelers, especially those from Latin America, and adventurous eaters alike seem to love the chicken feet (pictured at bottom-right of top photo), a more exotic dish consisting of skin and tendons. While all these dishes are traditional, the chefs can tweak the recipes to accommodate for special diets or food allergies.
When diners are new to dim sum, Eddy encourages them to experiment. He’ll point out a few of the more popular dishes; if there’s something they don’t end up liking, it can easily be swapped out for something else. This way, by the second or third visit, diners will have a better idea of what they like.
And don't forget the tea
At dim sum, the tea is equally important to the food. Phoenix serves three different types: green tea, white tea, and brown tea. “Each one has its own usage,” Eddy says. While we talk, we drink jasmine tea, which is good for getting rid of toxins.
You can show your dim sum know-how by obeying proper tea etiquette. When your teapot is out of water, prop the lid off to the side. This signals to the wait staff that you need more hot water.
Eddy pours more tea and tells me to tap my fingers lightly against the table when the cup is nearly full. “When your friend or host fills your tea, this means ‘thank you’,” he says. “It’s part of the custom.”
Photos by Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon
I had no idea what to expect upon arriving at Elizabeth, the Michelin Star winner from Chef Iliana Regan. But an unmarked, unremarkable storefront between a tire shop and a sporting-goods store certainly wasn’t it. With few exceptions (Schwa, most notably), Chicago’s upper-echelon restaurants boast exteriors that match their illustrious River North and Restaurant Row addresses.
But as it turns out, Regan has no taste for that sort of superficial flash. She dons no chef’s whites. She displays no awards. She does not raise her voice to the Gordon Ramsay–level roar or even the Rachael Ray-ish rollick that TV cameras eat up.
Instead, this northwest Indiana native quietly built her reputation as someone who hunts for frogs and spears them herself. Someone who has suffered tick bites and poison-ivy rashes foraging for wild flora. Someone who has penned an essay on intensity for Lucky Peach and once themed an Elizabeth tasting menu after those violent and visceral A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
So yeah, I was kinda terrified to eat her food.
I’d never done a tasting menu before. And I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a picky eater, but I’m not a particularly adventurous one either, particularly when it comes to meat. (I can barely look at plated octopus without shivering.) I’d heard that Regan once served edible ants. Which are, like, bugs.
My nerves were calmed upon walking into Elizabeth, though. Austere yet charming, the whitewashed space was accented by light fixtures made from bare tree branches; dining chairs draped with faux-fur slipcovers; a chef’s counter armed with Elder Scrolls and Vikings Funko Pop! dolls. It was all in support of the season’s menu theme: vikings.
There were two options: land or sea. Or, as the first in a delightful succession of servers explained it, “Imagine a viking ship has reached the shore. One group goes on land to look for food, the other into the sea.” My friend Erin and I opted to order one of each to share and, despite my trepidation of certain meats, placed no restrictions on what we would eat. (You can arrange for some allergies and dietary needs in advance.) We wanted to go all in.
After the amuse-bouche—a surprisingly complex roasted whey carrot dressed with goat’s-milk cheese and edible flowers—came our first courses. The land dish was … a bowl of rocks. The server assured me the top “rock” was actually a baked potato coated in edible clay. But it was very convincing as a rock, so I bit in with trepidation. As Erin ate the rest, dipping it into the cheese and butter puddings it was served with, I forked into her langoustine with lingonberries. (Pro tip: don’t try to tear off the claw without looking. You will stab your finger on a spine.) So far, so very good.
As the servers continued to weave their culinary narrative, I realized there was an unmentioned character in their tale—Elizabeth itself. The restaurant is small, seating about 16 or so, and the kitchen is wide open. It was impossible not to get caught up in what was happening back there, particularly when sous chefs were wielding brûlée torches and “plating” on gorgeous pieces of handmade pottery. And the line between front and back of house was practically nonexistent. One moment, you’d see someone in the kitchen stirring and slicing; the next they’d be presenting your next course or clearing your table. (Chef Regan included.)
This created an unexpected intimacy, one that removed any hesitation when asking about a particular dish. It’s clear the teammates take a deep yet quiet pride in their collective work. They spoke warmly about where ingredients came from, excitedly about the preparation techniques used. They always used “we” or “our,” never “me” or “Chef Regan.” (Again, Chef Regan included.)
Over the next few courses, there were so many charms. An herb-rolled, soft-boiled quail egg served in an actual nest; impossibly chewy seaweed bread darkened by squid ink; a cauliflower-mushroom soup that Erin about died over. I was particularly fond of a course called Barnyard: headcheese dusted with beet powder, paired with a collage of root vegetables and flavored puddings reminiscent of something out of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing.
And that’s the thing. Never in my life would I have thought that I’d be fond of headcheese. I would have probably never eaten it if it weren’t for this meal. But it was fun to break out of my culinary comfort zone.
The other surprising thing? How full we were, considering it was a tasting menu. By the time we were served the entree courses—rare lamb medallions wrapped in swiss chard and pickled fish in a sauce of its own bones—we were taking deep breaths between bites. I’m pretty sure they were the only two plates we didn’t completely clean.
We managed to buck up for our “one-and-a-half” dessert courses, as the server put it. (The “half” was a palate-cleansing sorbet.) Our favorite was Under the Sea, a spongy coral-seaweed cake so realistic looking it prompted me to ask the server just how much of it we could eat. “All of it,” she said. We complied.
Maybe, as a writer, I’m just a sucker for a good story. But I was enchanted by Elizabeth, both in backstory and in not knowing what was coming next throughout the culinary adventure. And while I probably won’t be buying headcheese any time soon, I’m excited to see what Chef Regan has up her non-chef’s-whites sleeves next season.
Shop Chef Iliana Regan's tasting-menu experience at Elizabeth Restaurant:
Watch her explain her approach to fine dining:
As useful as WD40 and much more edible, coconut oil is a powerhouse. In fact, just one jar of the stuff can replace several household staples, from kitchen ingredients to baby wipes. Here’s how to substitute it for 16 total items in 3 rooms of the home:
1. Coffee: Coconut oil is a reputed energy booster. Swallowing a spoonful or two in the afternoon can be a healthful alternative to a cuppa.2. Coffee creamer: Emulsified and poured into coffee, it’s much tastier than (and probably just as nutritious as) that bulletproof stuff.3. Butter or oil (when sautéing): Coconut oil’s high smoke point makes it great for cooking on the stovetop, especially at high heat. Try swapping it in when making stir-fries, scrambled eggs, or pancakes, especially if you like a very mild coconut flavor.4. Oil (when baking): The oil imparts a delicious je ne sais quoi to baked goods—even boxed ones. Use it to give from-the-box brownies an upgrade, and you’ll dream about them for days.5. Condiments: Drop it into quinoa or oatmeal for added nutrients and healthy fats. You can also put it on top of sweet potatoes instead of butter!
6. Moisturizer: It works on your body and your face. It’s naturally SPF 4, so it offers a bit of protection from UV rays, too.7. Leave-in conditioner and anti-static agent: Rub a small amount between your hands and smooth them over your hair to control flyaways.8. Lip balm: It soothes sore, chapped lips, and other skin irritations.9. Eye-makeup remover: Rub it between your fingers until it liquefies, smear it on your lids, and wipe it off with a cotton pad.10. Face wash: Add a little water and rub it in your hands until it foams.11. Hand and foot cream: Massage it into cracked knuckles, or slather it onto your soles and stick them into socks for an overnight soak.12. Shaving cream: It’ll give you a smooth shave, plus additional moisture for your skin.
13. Ouchie ointment: Dab it on cuts and scrapes, which will benefit from its antimicrobial properties.14. Anti-itch cream: Coconut oil reduces itching from bug bites, and helps to calm sunburn, eczema, and cradle cap.15. Diaper cream: A layer on baby’s bottom guards against (and soothes) diaper rash flare-ups.16. Baby wipes: Simply mix it with hot water and pour it over a stack of paper towels that you’ve cut in half. Keep the towels in an airtight container so they stay moist.
Check out more coconut-oil coverage:
Oil Pulling Whitens Your Teeth and (Maybe) Makes You Invincible
The Five Best Uses for Coconut Oil You’ve Never Heard Of