Posts Tagged ‘Council Bluffs’

Apple Barrel, Council Bluffs, IA

20 November 2014

Apple Barrel on Urbanspoon

This place is in the Sapp Brothers Travel Center, which was remodeled a couple months ago. Not spectacular, but not bad.

My friend Ron and I hit Apple Barrel for dinner last night as it is very near the hotel we were staying at. They bread their own CFS there, and so that’s what I got. It was pretty good, about an 8 out of 10. It was a thin piece of meat and tenderized, and was fork-tender all the way. It was a touch on the over-cooked side, and had been pan-fried instead of deep-fried. It came with a decent sausage gravy and very good mashers. They have a small salad bar that comes with the meal as well; it has cottage cheese and peaches, which I really liked.

We finished off with dessert; Ron got a HUGE slice of cocoanut cream pie, and I got a HUGE slice of pumpkin, both very good.

Ron got a chicken tenders salad and liked it.

The iced tea was excellent, and service was fast and very friendly. My check was $18.48. It was fast, pleasant, and a decent amount of food. I would not at all mind going back.

Texas Roadhouse, Council Bluffs, IA

19 May 2014

Texas Roadhouse on Urbanspoon

I went here for dinner this evening with my friends Clark and Brad. I had had a steak for lunch, so decided on something different. I got the pulled pork. It wasn’t very good. It was tough and didn’t have much flavor. The fries and corn were OK.

Both Clark (a bacon burger) and Brad (a medium well sirloin) reported their meals as overcooked.

Service, OTOH, was outstanding, as was the iced tea. My check was $13.25. I am of mixed feelings about this location. The two in OKC are consistently good. Maybe this one was having an off night; it was pretty busy.

Hog Stop BBQ, Council Bluffs, IA

1 May 2014

Hog Stop BBQ on Urbanspoon

After work yesterday, I decided to go for a drive to find dinner. I drove into the Bluffs and this place was on the corner off of I-29. I’m a sucker for BBQ, so…

It was a mixed bag. They have a buffet, but I didn’t like the looks of it (in my experience, most BBQ buffets are the cheap pieces, burnt ends and the like). I got a two meat of light chicken and shaved pork. It came with two sides; I chose BBQ beans and smoked mac and cheese.

None of this was terribly good. The smoked mac and cheese was standard mac and cheese with red and green stuff in it, and it didn’t taste very good. The beans were decent. While the shaved pork was tender, it had zero flavor. The chicken was a good start, with good smoky flavor and moist, but most of it was dry and overcooked. The meal came with cornbread, that was different in that it had actual corn kernels, but it also had small red and green things in it.

Cornbread should be cornbread, butter, and maybe honey. Nothing else.

Service was very friendly. My check was $17.12. I won’t be back.

Longhorn Steakhouse, Council Bluffs, IA

1 May 2014

Longhorn Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

I had dinner here Monday evening. I got there around 1715 and the place was empty, and left about an hour later, and then went and ran/walked along the Missouri River.

I got my usual meal: a ribeye (medium), a baked potato, and a bowl of potato soup. Except for the nasty-looking 1 cm square eye in the potato (which a little careful surgery removed), the meal was perfect. The steak was tender and flavorful, just what I expect in a steak.

The iced tea was excellent and so was the service. By the time I left the place was pretty much full. My check was $25.22. Recommended.

Longhorn Steakhouse, Council Bluffs, IA

20 July 2013

Longhorn Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

After a longish day at work that included skipping lunch, I was hot and tired, and wanted a quick and known meal. I headed for the Longhorn near my hotel. The meal was completely as expected.

I got a porterhouse; it was HUGE. It was delivered a little undercooked (I had asked for it medium, it came medium rare), but I let it rest and it got closer to medium. The baked potato soup was great, as was the bread. The baked potato was pretty much perfect. The steak – tender, tasty, and no burned parts.

The iced tea was great and kept refilled. Service was outstanding. My check was $31.75 (that porterhouse was big!). Great stuff.

Qdoba Mexican Grill, Council Bluffs, IA

19 July 2013

Qdoba Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

I had a quick takeaway dinner here after I had recovered from a fun tennis match with my friend Brad.

I got the naked burrito, which is a bowl.  I had chicken, a mix of black and pinto beans, queso, some salsa Rojas (hot), and some grated cheese.  A perfect mix of flavors, and just the right amount after tennis.  I had a big cup of *excellent* iced tea.  Service was fast, my check was around $10.00.  Consistent, good meal.

Railway Inn, Council Bluffs, IA

16 May 2013

Railway Inn on Urbanspoon

This place looked decent, and it was near my hotel, so I checked it out this evening. It has potential.

My server recommended the broasted chicken. It was very good, four pieces that were cooked pretty much perfectly. So that was good.

On the downside, the iced tea is Nestea or something like that. The Coke was odd tasting; I wondered if it was diet or something. The mashers were OK, but the gravy had a sharp and unpleasant taste. The soup (a chicken noodle) was OK.

Service was pretty good. My check was $11.33.

I looked at a burger at a table near mine, and it looked pretty decent. I might try that if I get the chance to go back.

HuHot Mongolian Grill, Council Bluffs, IA

15 May 2013

HuHot Mongolian Grill on Urbanspoon

I had dinner here last night with a couple work friends. I got the adult dinner, which is a multi-trip visit to the grill. It had the expected meats and veggies and stuff for the hardworking grillers to cook up. I got a combination of pork, beef, and chicken. One thing I would have liked to see was some rice to be fried up, and some curry-based dressings. Regardless, it was good.

Service was outstanding, and the tea was very good. My check was $16.35. A bit more expensive than some places, I think, but it was OK.

Cox Brothers BBQ, Council Bluffs, IA

13 May 2013

Cox Brothers BBQ on Urbanspoon

I noticed this place as I was returning from a trip to the nearby Target. I had dinner here this evening after a fine three sets of tennis at Offutt. I got the two meat dinner, with brisket and pulled pork. The brisket was very good, and the pulled pork was OK. The sides I chose were mac and cheese (which was bland, and not helped by the sprinkling of paprika. Paprika, really?), and smokehouse beans (which were OK, even with the addition of red and green peppers).

It’s kind of my opinion that red and green peppers do not belong in the food category at all. Restaurants put them in too many foods, to include baked or BBQ beans, corn bread, chili (heresy!), on chicken, salads, shepherd’s pie, and other food which do not deserve the bad treatment of using peppers.

I heard some other guests get offered a buffet, which I was not offered.

Service was friendly and prompt. The iced tea was OK (it had kind of an odd taste). My check was $14.74. If someone suggested going here for dinner, I would not object, but I would probably not go again on my own.

Boxer Barbeque Company, Council Bluffs, IA

11 May 2013

Boxer Barbeque Company on Urbanspoon

I had dinner here this evening after work. It was a mixed bag.

I got a three-meat, with brisket, chicken, and spare ribs. The brisket was very good, smoky and tender (it was the smallest amount of meat on the plate). The chicken was a breast and wing. The breast was HUGE. It was also a bit dried out. It was OK, not a lot of flavor (probably due to being a bit dry). The spare ribs were not very good. They were very fatty. One side of the ribs had no meat, and the top side of the ribs had little meat.

The corn on the cob was pretty good. The baked beans were really good, and the potato salad was also. The iced tea was very good, and serve yourself. I was given a single plastic fork. You can get a plastic knife. They need to provide metal utensils.

The meal was $25.83. That three-meat was very expensive at $21+. I don’t know that it was worth the price. The brisket was decent. A single-meat meal would probably be quite a bit less.

Culver’s, Council Bluffs, IA

10 May 2013

Culver's on Urbanspoon

I have had burgers at various Culver’s over the years, and liked them. Last evening, I was driving back to the hotel after a great tennis match with Brad, and decided to get some takeaway.

I had not realized Culver’s had fried chicken on the menu. I like fried chicken, don’t get enough of it, and so decided to try it. I ordered a four-piece, but they only had three pieces, so that’s what I took. The leg and thigh were OK. The breast was WONDERFUL. It was moist (not greasy), and tender and tasty. I think that the smaller pieces were cooked the same amount of time as the bigger piece, and so got a little overcooked. Loved that breast piece, though. The meal came with very good mashers and gravy, and green beans that were not very good. I got iced tea that was excellent.

My meal was $10.45, I think a decent value. Especially now that I know they do fried chicken, pretty well. Service was friendly and prompt.

Sam’s Italian Villa, Council Bluffs, IA

7 May 2013

Sam's Italian Villa on Urbanspoon

I was looking for dinner this evening, and Sam’s came up on Google Maps. But… it said that Sam’s was closed this evening. But I drove by the place, the OPEN sign was on, so I tried it. Pretty good.

I got a NY strip, medium, with spaghetti and hash browns. The steak was very good. There was one place on the edge that was a bit on the tough side. It had decent flavor, was tender, and was cooked medium just like I asked. The hash browns were great, just the right combination of crunchy and good potato. The spaghetti was excellent; the marinara was moderately thick and had great flavor (I’ve said before, I like the combination of steak and spaghetti and tomato sauce).

Service was prompt and very friendly. The tea was very good, and kept refilled. My check was $23.47. I wouldn’t mind eating at Sam’s again.

Great American Grill, Hilton Garden Inn, Council Bluffs, IA

27 March 2013

Great American Grill on Urbanspoon

I’ve stayed in a lot of Hilton Garden Inns, and they are uniformly excellent hotels. Most of them have Great American Grill restaurants, but the quality and service at the Grills is less excellent.

This one is one of the really good ones. I’ve stayed at this HGI at least ten times, and of course I’ve had breakfast most of the days, and a number of dinners. The breakfasts have all been outstanding. I’ve occasionally just had the non-cooked-to-order stuff, and the selection of those items (cereal, oatmeal, breads and muffins) is really nice. I’ve had omelets, eggs scrambled and over easy, pancakes, and waffles, and all were cooked well. Service is also consistently very good (that’s one of the most variable things at GAGs).

Now that I look at that acronym I just typed, I realized it is most unfortunate.

My only down is that the iced tea has never been very good; don’t know why. My checks are usually around $12.00. Good stuff.

La Mesa, Council Bluffs, IA

27 March 2013

La Mesa on Urbanspoon

I had dinner here this evening, as it was very near my hotel. 

I had my usual, which is mixed chicken and beef fajitas.  Excellent, excellent, excellent.  La Mesa has pretty much the best fajitas I’ve had, anywhere.  It is even so at this location.

The iced tea was great, and service was also.  My check was $14.72.  Recommended.

Duncan’s Cafe, Council Bluffs, IA

17 November 2011

Duncan's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Great meal this evening. I hit Duncan’s at about 1830 (they close at 1900); it was almost empty. I got a jumbo bacon cheeseburger, and it was a very, very good burger, great flavor and a huge mass of bacon (that’s my third meal of the day with bacon, not too shabby!). I choose chips as the side instead of fries.

The iced tea was excellent! Far better than the China Mist I had for lunch.

Service was fast, and very friendly. My check was 9.36. I will gladly go back to Duncan’s (they bread their own CFS, how can I resist that?).

Pizza King, Council Bluffs, IA

16 November 2011

Pizza King on Urbanspoon

I drove past this place looking for something to eat last night in the Bluffs. The banner underneath the sign read “Pizza, Steaks, Chicken, Italian” or something like that, so I decided to give it a try.

I ordered a ribeye, medium. The steak was very, very good. It was right at an inch thick, little fat on it, and no charring. The meat was tender, fork tender in some places (in spite of being so thick), was cooked a perfect medium, and had a lot of flavor. No extraneous pepper or other spices on or needed.

The meal came with a plain salad (I had ranch dressing, decent), hash browns (yum), and spaghetti (I got it with meat sauce, which was not to my taste).

The tea was odd, like a mix. I only had two glasses (for me, not much at all).

Service was excellent. My check was $21.35. I would happily eat here again.

Some More Cool Things From The Air

31 January 2010

I went up to Omaha in early January, and I saw some cool things on the trip up and back.

Flying OKC-DFW, we went a bit west. This is Girl Scout Camp E-Ko-Wah, east of Marlow, OK. Erin and Raegan have been to camp here.

Flying into Eppley, we came in over the train yards in Council Bluffs, IA. There was a train turntable.

I do not know what the tall structure is in the right lower center of the picture. It looks like a train could come in under it. A coal loading building?

Coming back from Omaha, we came right down I-35. This is my neighborhood.

The longish lake in the lower left quadrant of the photo is along Air Depot; the right side of the lake is Hefner Road. My neighborhood Apple Valley is the upper right quadrant of the intersection. There is still a lot of snow from the 24 Dec 2009 blizzard.

This is Tinker Air Force Base and Lake Draper. You can see the Northrop Grumman and Boeing buildings on the right side of the picture.

This is downtown Oklahoma City from just northwest. You can see the Ford Center, the Myriad Convention Center, and the National Memorial.

This is Moore, OK.

I almost missed this, since I was focused on looking out the left side of the airplane. Lake Overholser in western Oklahoma City was on the right side of the airplane, and it had ice on it! I barely got a decent shot.

That’s the western part of the Kilpatrick Turnpike in the picture.

After we overflew OKC, I got a better shot of E-Ko-Wah camp.

That’s it!

Quaker Steak and Lube, Council Bluffs, IA

21 October 2009

Quaker Steak & Lube on Urbanspoon

These places are scattered over the eastern half of the United States. I have been to the location in Clearwater, FL a couple times, and I’ve seen the Council Bluffs location in the distance from I-29.

When I got to Omaha this evening, was was not terribly hungry, and didn’t want a huge meal. The Homewood Suites I was at had cajun-drenched chicken that I could smell all the way to the lobby. I’m not a huge cajun fan. I like BBQ chicken wings every once in a while, and so I thought about the Quaker Steak in the Bluffs.

So I drove all the way to Iowa for dinner. It was a grueling 2.8 miles from my hotel on the north side of downtown Omaha.

The Quaker Steak was playing the Classic Vinyl channel from Sirus/XM; it was loud but not overwhelming.

I ordered a bowl of chili (no cup sizes available) and ten BBQ wings. They use some numeric rating for the spiciness of the wings; my BBQ wings were a 30, with 3000 being the top heat “Atomic” level (they say on the menu that you have to sign a waiver for this level).

The chili arrived and I was prepared to be unhappy. There were a LOT of green peppers in the bowl. I think that chili (as in Texas chili) should be meat, onion, tomato sauce, and spice, mainly red chili power. The green stuff in there made me leery. There were also huge chunks of tomatoes (not so bad). In a happy suprise, the chili was pretty good. The green peppers were not overwhelming (which is the usual problem); I could barely taste them. The huge chunks of tomatoes were a little annoying but not bad. I ate most of the bowl.

The wings were decent. They were large and meaty, and most importantly, even though they were grilled, they were not burned! The BBQ sauce was a little sparse, but was good.

The iced tea was good, and the service was pretty good. The place was about half full when I got there around 1840, and just a little more full when I left at 1920. My check was $15.50.

I’ve had a chicken fried steak (rated about a 7/10) and a ribeye (about an 5/10) at the Quaker Steak in Florida as well.