Restaurant Review: The AMERICANA in Des Moines, IA

My boys are all about getting their protein.  So oftentimes when we go out casually for fun as a family it involves burgers.  Jake actually recommended this restaurant to us. He had been there with friends and had a sandwich with chicken livers on it (my kids have unique taste buds!).  He thought the sandwich was great and that we should go there as a family.  So the next time we were out and about for fun we went to the AMERICANA Restaurant & Lounge in Des Moines, IA.  While we were disappointed to find they didn’t have that particular sandwich on the menu any longer we were able to find some other things to try.  Here is a rundown of our experience.

The AMERICANA focuses on giving the American classics a contemporary twist with their fresh prepared signature dishes and gourmet burgers.

On arrival the brick building stands firmly with a solid historic feel while the streetscape and entry ooze contemporary glamour.  The restaurant is located directly across from the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden.  Even though located downtown there is ample convenient parking in the lot located on the Westside of the building.  On entering and when looking down the street to the East, the view is fantastic with clean well lit safe street with flowers all around.

As we settled in it was clear the AMERICANA has quickly become a favorite for Des Moines as we arrived early and the tables were quickly filling up.  There were large parties taking advantage of the various dining areas upstairs as well as tables of two and families.  The feel is on the upper end of the scale.  The crowd was made up of the typical Des Moines city dweller and all were dressed business casual to conservative casual.

Our server was very attentive and welcomed us as newcomers to the restaurant.  She led us through the menu and broke the news that they no longer feature the sandwich we were hoping for on the menu.  She shared her thoughts on the various dishes and mentioned those that were among her favorites.

The menu was varied and had a great selection of everyday menu items but with a modern mix of added ingredients.  They have a children’s menu.

As always we settled into our plan and each ordered something different so we could sample a variety of dishes.  We ordered…..

  • The Wedge – Iceburg wedge with cherry tomatoes, bacon, red onions and Ranch and holding the Bleu Cheese crumbles
  • Burger Americana – house seasoned burger with tomato jam, Dijon aioli, crispy fried onions, white cheddar and bacon with a side of the Truffle Mac & Cheese which is a house based Mac & cheese, rich white cheese sauce, Truffle oil and Herbed bread crumbs
  • Tiki Burger – teriyaki glazed burger, grilled pineapple, cilantro aioli, apple coleslaw with a side of Fries
  • Roasted Chicken which is an Airline chicken breast, Parmesan cream sauce, cheddar mashed potatoes and garlic sautéed green beans with a side salad.

Before the meal we enjoyed our drinks while taking in the view of the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden.  Our waitress was attentive throughout the meal.  The service was quick.  After eating the main meal we tried…..

  • Key Lime Pie Bites which is a Macadamia coconut key lime pie with strawberry sauce and whipped cream
  • Apple Crisp which is a homemade apple crisp with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce.

The service was very good!  She was attentive and remained so throughout the meal.  Her willingness to review the menu and provide insight into the dishes is always nice when you are going to a restaurant for the first time.

The dishes were presented in an attractive way.  The salads were fresh.  We felt all of the meals were very good.

The favorite dish that after every bite made us all purr “uuummm” was the Tiki Burger! What a unique twist on an American classic!  This one should be rated as the Best Burger in Iowa.  The Chicken dish was our second top pick.  The Truffle Mac & Cheese was also a favorite.  Both desserts were very good with the Key Lime Pie Bites inching out the Apple Cobbler by a slim margin.

Our bill was $75.  There was nothing left over.

Great location, clean contemporary comfortable atmosphere, city dwelling crowd, excellent service, good variety of wine and other adult beverages, unique menu with good selection, great main dish, reasonably priced.  I would go back again and again!  As well I am always on the lookout for great places to take clients for one on one and group meetings.  I never take a client somewhere unless I have been there first.  I can’t wait to take clients to the AMERICANA.

Their website showcases the menus, a Facebook link and an email subscriber signup that they use to send out notices of upcoming specials.  Remember that they focus on fresh prepared dishes so it is possible the items we reviewed may no longer be on the menu.

AMERICANA Restaurant and Lounge
1312 Locust Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
p: 515-283-1312
f: 515-243-1397
Mon – Thu 11am to 11pm
Friday 11am to 2am
Saturday Brunch 10am to 2am
Sunday Brunch 10am to 11pm
Happy Hour Mon-Fri 3pm to 7 pm
Late Night Fri and Sat 11pm to 1 am

Americana on Urbanspoon

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