Trattoria Fresco

One of the newest additions to downtown Sioux City (though not the Siouxland area) is Trattoria Fresco. Before coming to Sioux City, the restaurant was located in South Sioux City, but the new location offers a more central location for all of Siouxland. The owner also has a branch of the restaurant in Chicago. This is a classic family owned restaurant. The owner was flitting around from table to table making sure everything was fresh and tasty and family members are involved at all levels of the restaurant.

Trattoria Fresco is a family-style Italian restaurant. Appetizers are meant to be shared, pasta is made fresh, and the sauces are numerous and delectable. In an unassuming building downtown on Jackson Street, the inside couldn’t be more different from the concrete exterior. Take a date. Take the family. But no matter what you do, eat there.

Diamond Thai

The curator of this blog’s favorite restaurant in town is Diamond Thai. The charm of the restaurant cannot be overstated, but the food is even better. Located on West 7th Street (near two of the other eateries we frequented: Da Kao and Red Bones Cafe), Diamond Thai has the best Thai food I’ve ever eaten. It’s more authentic and tastier than any Thai food I’ve had in larger metropolitan areas and cheaper by far. It is a true Sioux City gem.

Here’s what the students had to say:

Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse

Our second foray into Asian cuisine took place at the Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar. The restaurant is a fairly typical hibachi-style eatery, but it stands alone as a unique eating experience in Sioux City. As you will see from the students’ blogs, eating at a restaurant like this is as much about the experience as it is about the food.  Though the food is great, a big reason people want to go to Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse is to be entertained while the meal is cooked in front of them.  However, this type of cooking is only one aspect of the restaurant–the sushi is regarded by many to be the best in town and is surprisingly fresh for the middle of the country.

Enjoy the students’ written-offerings!

Da Kao

This week, we will be eating at three different Asian restaurants.  One Vietnamese, one Japanese, and one Thai. The first of the three is Da Kao, a local Vietnamese restaurant that is the favorite of the majority of Morningside’s Vietnamese students. Located on West 7th Street, Da Kao is an unassuming building–a hole-in-the-wall, as many students described it–but as usual with this type of restaurant, the outside didn’t match the quality of the food or the cleanliness inside. Many of the students ventured into unfamiliar territory when entering Da Kao; the majority of them had never eaten Vietnamese food, and I encouraged them to try something new. Many of them did! Here are some accounts of their first stab at Vietnamese food:


Fourth Street is the culinary center of Sioux City. For our first foray onto Fourth Street, we went to one of my personal favorites: Rebo’s. Rebo’s is a bit hard to pin down: it has a dash of Mexican, a pinch of Caribbean, and a sprinkle of Cajun. To fully understand what Rebo’s has to offer, check out their menu. Students had almost exclusively good things to say about the restaurant, and I was grateful that they were able to accommodate us. Because of a scheduling snafu, we only gave them one day notice that we were coming and they pulled off great service to our large group without much warning.  Thanks, Rebo’s!

Milwaukee Wiener House and Coney Island

Our Thursday meal was a bit different than the previous meals.  Instead of just eating at one place, we tried two! These blogs focus on comparison and contrast between two Sioux City mainstays.

Coney Island has been in Sioux City since 1921, and its owners claim it to be the oldest restaurant in town–and we saw no reason to doubt them. The owner’s father opened the eatery, and the current owner have been running the place for quite a few years.

Milwaukee Wiener House is another family owned business in Sioux City, owned and operated by a pair of brothers. Even though the Wiener House is technically older (founded in 1918) than Coney Island, it’s been in the family since 1960.

Both eateries were enjoyable, but you’ll have to read on to see which one the students preferred:

Red Bones Cafe

Our third restaurant for the semester was Red Bones Cafe. Red Bones Cafe is one of the newest culinary additions to Sioux City. Located on West 7th street (near two other restaurants we hope to frequent this semester, Diamond Thai and Da Kao). Red Bones serves “Food for the Soul” and has a menu that revolves around Southern favorites. While I could go on for a while about the place, I think the local ABC affiliate, KCAU 9, summed up our visit quite nicely:

Special thanks to Diana Johnson for the wonderful work-up of our class and Red Bones Cafe!

For some insight into what the students thought about the restaurant, check out these strong pieces of writing about Red Bones:

House of Q

The second restaurant on the docket for the Eating Siouxland May term course is House of Q. House of Q opened just under 3 years ago in it’s standalone location; before it opened on Transit, it existed as a food truck that roamed the city. The majority of students had not eaten at House of Q before, even though it shares a parking lot with Bob Roe’s. All the students, those for whom this was a new experience and those who were returning, seemed to enjoy the experience and the food. More and more students and employees of Morningside will likely discover and rediscover House of Q during the fall semester of 2013 when a Morningside jazz band will play weekly. During those performances, anyone with a Morningside ID will receive a discount!

This is one of my personal favorite restaurants in town, not only because of the good food, the good service, and the exquisite sauces: the beer list is legendary. In addition to the beers on the list, Big D orders a long list of seasonal and special brews.

For more information on House of Q, check out their website, linked above. Also, take a look at these wonderful blog posts written by students in the course:

Bob Roe’s

The first restaurant on the menu for the semester is Bob Roe’s Point After.  This is a favorite spot for Morningside students, faculty, and staff. The reason we picked this restaurant first is because it is something familiar. Writing about the familiar can be easier, less challenging, but as the semester progresses, we will start to get further and further from our comfort zone, our comfort food. Before we went to eat at the restaurant, students wrote about their preconceived notions for Bob Roe’s. Only four of the 19 students had never been, so most of the students were able to supply some thoughts. Some of the ways we conceived of Bob Roes before we dined there were:

  • Great Wings
  • Lots of sports memorabilia on the wall
  • Besides Wednesdays, it’s easy to get service. Wednesday is Wing Wednesdays
  • Family restaurant, college restaurant.
  • Dark
  • Cold Beer
  • Little league banquets–kid friendly
  • Owners are accessible–half the class has met the owner
  • Lots of regulars–wait staff knows your name
  • Reasonably priced–“Wing Wednesday is cheaper than heck!”
  • Right next to campus–one of only a few options within “walking distance”
  • Variety of food–which is a good thing, but mainly they just eat pizza and wings

The preconceived notions the students had of the restaurant proved true. Because it wasn’t Wednesday, the restaurant was moderately busy.  We had called ahead to reserve spots for our 19-person class. Students mostly stuck to the tried-and-true options of wings and pizza, but a few of us ventured out and tried new things.  Overall, it was a perfect place to start out class, with a blend of familiar and new–a great way to sink out teeth into the idea of writing about food in the Siouxland area.

For some reviews of the food at Bob Roe’s, check out these students’ posts: