Restaurants Across Iowa Blog
Discovering Iowa's Best Hospitality Establishments
The single greatest perk of serving as the President of the Iowa Restaurant Association is having the opportunity to experience firsthand Iowa's many and varied eating and drinking establishments as I travel the state. I hope you find my observations insightful and take the time to enjoy the best Iowa's hospitality industry has to offer.
-- Jessica Dunker, IRA President and CEO
Posted on Apr 4, 2012
at 3:06 PM
In the last two months, I have had reason to lunch in the East Village of Des Moines. There are many great restaurants to choose from in this part of the city—including one the area’s newest establishments Luna Bistro & Catering. Chef owner Kris Van Tuyl dubs himself a ‘working...
Posted on Sep 30, 2011
at 4:12 PM
Twice now I’ve had to be in Cedar Falls and twice I have stopped in to myVerona in historic downtown Cedar Falls. This restaurant is home to the Iowa Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Employee of the Year Mike Beecher –but his propensity for hospitality is not a solo effort. Everyone here...
Posted on Aug 6, 2011
at 9:21 PM
It was Friday night and we were in the mood to go out with friends. My husband and I spent a great evening with another couple at Centro. The restaurant appeared to be completely full when we arrived at about 6:45 p.m., but they were able to squeeze us in...
Posted on Jul 29, 2011
at 2:28 PM
Heading home on Interstate 80 the other day and I couldn’t resist a side trip to the Amana Colonies – the area has long been a favorite celebration spot for my extended family. I popped in to the Ox Yoke Inn to see Owner Bill Leichsenring and team. I had...
Posted on Jul 27, 2011
at 2:45 PM
Comfort Food! That’s the first thing I think of when I walk into Huntington’s Restaurant in Marion, Iowa. It’s one of those wonderful local places where the staff truly does know your name and you can still get favorites such as Cod Fillets, Walleye, Corned Beef Hash, Broasted Chicken and...
Posted on Jul 22, 2011
at 3:49 PM
Last week I had the chance to head to Cedar Falls and meet with the good folks of Barmuda. They own many of my favorite Cedar Valley area restaurants including my lunch stop that day—SOHO Sushi Bar and Deli on Main Street in the historic downtown of Cedar Falls. I...
Posted on Jul 8, 2011
at 9:09 PM
Twice this week I had the good fortune to be in the neighborhood of Gateway Market. I always regret not having more time to simply “hang out” when I go in there. As expected, the Café and grocery store were bustling and I appreciated people watching the eclectic patrons Gateway...
Posted on Jul 4, 2011
at 10:25 AM
Saturday night was celebration night. My husband and I were joined by friends celebrating their 16th wedding anniversary. We headed to downtown Des Moines for an evening at 801 Chophouse. New Asst. General Manager Paul Ellis and team took great care of us. We decided to make it an “event”...
Posted on Jul 3, 2011
at 1:29 PM
On Friday night, I had to meet my parents “halfway” between Mason City and Des Moines. Hickory Park was an easy choice (yes, I’m well aware that my parents had to drive more than half way—but no one minds when we’re landing at one of Ames’ true “destination restaurants.” )...
Posted on Jul 2, 2011
at 7:22 AM
First day on the job and I celebrated at lunch with IRA VP of Education and Development May Schaben at one of downtown Des Moines’ newest restaurants—Americana Restaurant & Lounge. What a great (and eclectic) crowd! They are obviously drawing from the business community and beyond. Sitting directly across from...
Posted on Jul 2, 2011
at 6:34 AM
The day before I officially started in my new position as IRA President and CEO, I catered a lunch in to one of my favorite consulting clients –Dealer Impact Systems. Cosi Cucina in Clive made it easy. I especially liked their online ordering which made it possible for me to...