The ramblings of a woman,
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Russian Roulette Dining (LONG!!)

February 25, 2008 - 11:43 AM

(Josh and I got to spend another weekend sans cuties. We are both really thankful they have all been safe on their adventures apart from us, but wo/man are we glad to have them in our arms again!)

Josh and I love finding dive's that surprise. Sometimes it is a place with amazing seafood, or a good greasy burger, or great ambiance. Our approach to dining is like Josh's approach to ordering coffee. The barista puts it better than I when she says to Josh, "You always get something different every time you are here. I can never figure out your 'regular' drink."

Saturday night we ended up in a small Iowa town at a restaurant solely because of it's name*. Then to seal the deal, the reviews we had read on Google prior to going made the place seem like a lily among thorns AND they had a decent looking website... we were sold.

First, to the high points: We loved our experience, location, the wait staff, in-house bread and wine.

Experience: No matter what else you read from here on out, hear me now and believe me later, we completely enjoyed every minute of our evening. Ups and downs did not spoil a moment and only made the entire event more enjoyable for us. Others may have responded differently, but thankfully for everyone involved Josh and I take these events all smiles. This typifies a great dining experience for us.

Location: Located off the town square, it was typical Iowa town storefront, unappealing and uninviting but in small towns that is not necessarily a bad thing and speaks nothing of the quality on the inside. Inside it was two long and tall halls connected by small openings with no visual barriers inside each hall. The layout did not lend itself to private conversations or small gatherings secluded in a corner. You came there wanting to be found by everyone else in town. The walls were painted light mint green and had old windows for artwork. I have always loved old windows as wall hangings however, over the windows were plastic wreaths or baskets that distracted from the windows. Not saying there is anything wrong with that, because still, we are still in small town Iowa and you cannot judge restaurants by their decors.

Wait Staff: The wait staff were hopping. Our waitress was having the busiest night "in forever" but she remained smiling though she had no time for small talk. And, as you will learn later, when problems arose she dealt with them very graciously and responsibly.

Bread: They did bake their own bread at the restaurant and it was a very nice touch. Their sweet bread was great as served. Not to jump in with a negative too soon, but their regular breads would have been better piping hot, a little lighter and oven-fresh. (i.e. it wasn't made moments before you arrived, maybe early in the morning?)

Wine: They had 6 wine choices, one of which was from a local winery I have never tried. I stayed safe and had a blush and it was wonderful and fruity. I enjoy wine but am not a snob about them so you can take or leave my comment here. I have had other local Iowa wines before and this was a new, pleasant surprise that I would happily try again and would be very interested to try their other varieties.

On the Meal...

On a review we read that the chef had studied culinary arts in other locations and then started this restaurant in his hometown. The menu had an over abundance of items from old fashioned prime rib to pomegranate and molasses pork (displaying his culinary schooling I assume). The menu was long and intensely flavored with words that you wouldn't expect to see in small town IA, like beurre blanc or shitake mushrooms.

We ordered steaks, Josh a sirloin and a ribeye for me. I really wanted to try the pomegranate and molasses pork but I had once seen a show that had this mint chocolate lamb dish and remember how horrid it was said to taste, that I decided to pla

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Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
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