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For the final meal of our may term course, Eating Siouxland, we ate at Minerva’s.  Minerva’s shares a parking lot with the Hy-veen on Hamilton Blvd.  There is another Minerva’s in Okoboji which is near my hometown, so I have experienced the deliciousness that it has to offer.  It is definitely a bit more upscale, like Bev’s, if not more upscale of a restaurant.  When you walk up the steps to the front entrance you even get the feeling that it is a classy place.  The lighting is dim inside to create a relaxing atmosphere for the guests and soft music played in the background to add to the effect.

We came together and ate as the whole class since it was our meal. The hostess seated us at a large table near the back of the restaurant in the middle dining area.  We had a beautiful waitress come take of us and got our drinks ordered right away.  I forgot my driver’s license, so I was not able to get an alcoholic drink.  I opted for the strawberry lemonade and that may have been more enjoyable than an alcoholic drink anyways.  It came out in a large glass with sugar coated around the rim of it.  It was the perfect mixture of sweet and sour. Next, it was time to order some appetizers. Because it was our last meal, we ate like it was literally our last meal on earth.  We ordered almost every appetizer on the menu including quesadillas, coconut shrimp, and onion rings.  It didn’t take long for them all to come out and they tasted delicious.  The sauces that came out with each item just made them even better and I was full before my main course even came out!  I knew I would be full, but I wanted to end the course with  a great meal, so I ordered my all-time favorite meal.  I got the steak with mashed potatoes, with an Italian house salad. 

IMG_0006The presentation of the steak and potatoes was superb.  The potatoes looked like a flower from the top view and the feta cheese was sprinkled perfectly over the steak.  The chef separated the peppers and onions strategically around the potatoes and placed a grape on the plate as a nice garnish.  It was a colorful, yet beautiful plate.  I was beyond full by the time my plate got to me, but it would be such a waste of steak to not eat it immediately.  I manned up and began eating.  Before you know it, I had eaten everything off my plate. 

I could have easily tossed in the napkin and gotten out of the restaurant, but I had to have one last dessert and the tin roof sundae sounded like it would be the best thing for me. 

IMG_0007 The ice cream came out in a mason jar with peanuts, chocolate, caramel and whipped cream covering it. To top it all off, two slices of sugar-coated bacon were stuck in the top of it.  I died and went to heaven. Although I was stuffed, this sundae hit the spot and ended the course better than ever.


I couldn’t imagine this course ending better than it did. The atmosphere, service, and food at Minerva’s was top notch.  The waitresses was kind, helpful, and funny, while also doing an excellent job keeping our large group pleased.  The food was absolutely amazing and left me uncomfortably full, but I was fine with it.  The prices at Minerva’s are way too high for my college budget, but if you are looking for a fancy place to go with great service and food, Minerva’s is definitely the best restaurant to go to in Sioux City.

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Bev’s On The River

We ended our may term by eating at a couple restaurants that were more of a casual fine dining.  The first place we went was Bev’s on the River.  It is located next to the Hilton Garden Inn on the river just a couple minutes from the Tyson Events Center, so it would be the perfect place to go eat dinner before a show at the Tyson.  I have seen commercials for this restaurant and have been intrigued to go, but thought that it would be a little out of my price range to eat there.

The atmosphere was great as we walked in.  We were once again the first ones there, which seemed to be the common theme for this course.  It was nice being early at this restaurant because it gave me a chance to walk around and check out the view of the river that it had to offer.  The entire south wall of the restaurant was glass, so the building was both well-lit but had great scenery as well.  We were seated at a big table to seat us all together and our water was brought out in nice blue wine glasses.  After our group had all arrived, our waitress came out to take our appetizer order.  Looking at even the appetizer menu it was clear to me that this restaurant was indeed out of my price range, but the lunch entrees weren’t too expensive.  Our table kind of went nuts on ordering the appetizers as we ordered all but one item on the list.  Near me was the steak strips and the onion rings.  Both of those appetizers were delicious and the sauces for them were great, so I would definitely recommend getting an appetizer when visiting this restaurant.

There were a lot of great choices on the lunch menu, but the pork tenderloin sandwich sounded pretty good to me.  It came with a side, so I chose the steak fries to go along with it.


We were all too busy conversing and eating our many appetizers to notice how long it took for our food to come out, but I don’t think it took that long at all.  My food was presented to me well and looked awesome.  The pork tenderloin couldn’t be contained by the bun, and the bun wasn’t even a small one.  I scarfed down the steak fries right away and they tasted great with the ketchup.  Because of the appetizers and how delicious the dessert looked on the menu, I didn’t eat very much of my sandwich, but instead decided to save most of it for later.  From what I did eat, I can say that the pork tenderloin is a great choice on the lunch menu at Bev’s.  The reason for this decision was because the creme brûlée sounded amazing, so that it was I ordered for dessert.


Not only, was the presentation great, but it tasted as good at is looked.  It was nice and crispy on top, but underneath that layer was a creamy inside that did taste amazing.

I was pleased with our meal at Bev’s on the River.  The atmosphere was great with the view of the river and the restaurant itself was very nice. The waitress was kind and helpful with filling our drinks and getting what we asked.  The food was delicious and to no surprise I left this restaurant both full and satisfied.  Well done Bev’s.



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El Tapatio

We finally had the opportunity to go to an authentic Mexican restaurant.  We went to El Tapatio and it is located directly across from the Hy-vee on Gordon Drive.  I have driven past this restaurant hundreds of times, but have never gone their to eat for no specific reason. As of late, I have been hearing about their $1 draft beer special on Wednesday’s, which was luckily the day Dr. Elder chose for us to go to El Tapatio.

Walking in, I immediately knew it was a Mexican restaurant.  The walls and decor not only gave you the feel that you were in Mexico, but the music playing in the background did as well. We were the first ones in the restaurant for the lunch hour and soon after we were seated, more and more people began filling the place. The menu was very similar to most restaurants like it in the area and had a large list of lunch specials.  I first ordered a strawberry margarita to quench my first on the hot Wednesday, and then placed my order for a steak fajita.

My margarita came out in a timely manner and was nice and large.  Although I didn’t taste much tequila in it, the strawberry flavoring was delicious, so I wasn’t too disappointed.  There were chips and salsa on our table, so we got an order of cheese dip to go along with.  The queso was warm and was a nice addition to the chips and salsa appetizer.  The place was busy for lunch, so our waitress wasn’t able to refill our basket of chips for awhile, but that was fine because then we couldn’t get too full before our meals came out.

I could hear my fajita still sizzling on a hot plate as it was being carried from the kitchen to my table.  I barely had any room on the table to put the hot plate, the plate of rice and beans, and the plate of tortillas. Steam was still rising from my plate, so it was also visually pretty hot.


There was only one thing for me to do, dig in. I started grabbing my tortillas and first put beans in rice inside, followed by the peppers, onions, and steak strips.  The meat was cooked well and the combination of all the foods together in a shell was delicious.  I poured  salsa on my fajitas to give them some spice and that was a good decision.  It was a good thing my margarita had some size to it, because the hotness of the fajitas mixed with the salsa made me finish the margarita pretty quickly, so I had to try out the $1 beer special.  The drinks were filling enough, but I also ate most of my food, so there was no way I was going to be able to eat any dessert this time.

I enjoyed my lunch at El Tapatio.  The atmosphere was fitting for the restaurant and set the tone for the rest of my lunch.  The waitress could have been a little more helpful, but I doubt they were expecting as large of a crowd as they got at 11:00 am on a Wednesday, so I wasn’t mad at her.  They did a great job making my drinks and food, and I left the restaurant both full and satisfied.  I will be coming back to get more margaritas and food soon.

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Indigo Palette

Today we entered our last week of class and we started it off right! Located on 4th Street a block south from the Promenade Cinema is a place called Indigo Palette.  It is mainly known for being an art gallery, but offers a coffee shop and dining area as well.

The weather was beautiful at 11:00 this morning, so the sun shining through the front windows brightened the dining area in the rear of the building.  Artwork covered every inch of the walls and it was all very impressive.  Immediately after being seated, two friendly waitresses came over to take our drink order. Because this was also a coffee shop, I ordered a specialty coffee drink that had white chocolate and caramel in it, both of which are ingredients I love.

I looked over the menu to decide what I wanted to eat, but this time I was only looking for a hamburger to eat because it is National Hamburger Day. Wouldn’t you know, the Indigo Palette has a specialty burger called, “The Indigo Burger.” This burger is ½ pound of meat stuffed with your choice of cheeses. I chose the pepper jack and sharp cheddar cheeses for my burger and the balsamic vinaigrette salad for my side.

The menu warns that the burger will take 15-20 minutes, and it did take awhile since we also had a larger number of people, but the waitresses handled it well and we were understandable.  First, the salad came out and the dressing tasted just as I hoped it would.  It didn’t take long after finishing the salad for the burger to arrive and the presentation of it was great. The vegetables were placed on the side and the bun was taken off exposing the huge, cheese stuffed burger. I finally putting the toppings on it, I took as big of a bite as I could and I was in love.  The burger was perfectly cooked and the cheese on the inside made it even better.  The pepper jack cheese added a kick to the burger and I was very pleased.




Even after eating the monstrous burger, I saved room for the turtle cheesecake.  The presentation was fantastic the way the caramel and chocolate was drizzled over the top.  Every bite of it went so smooth down my throat.  I managed to finish it all and that filled my stomach completely.
I am glad I got the chance to eat at the Indigo Palette.  From the moment I walked in to the moment I walked out, I was happy and enjoying my experience.  The atmosphere provided art for me to look at while I waited for my food and that sped up the process of waiting.  The waitresses were friendly to us and worked hard to keep up with our orders.  The menu provided numerous options that I would like and the prices were affordable.  I couldn’t possibly have any complaints with the food because I couldn’t even put it down until it was all gone.  It would be a fun time to visit this place again with some live entertainment.

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Trattoria Fresco

On Thursday we went to our first Italian restaurant.  We dressed a little classier and headed to Trattoria Fresco, which is downtown Sioux City next to the Sioux City Hotel and Convention Center on Jackson Street.  From the moment we walked in, we knew we were in the right place.  The nice orchestra dinner music playing over the speakers created good background sound to set the mood for our nice meal.  The host seated us immediately to our table with our cloth napkins set up creatively on our plates. I was in a great mood for this meal.

We ordered some bruschetta alla fresco and a plate of imported Italian meats and cheeses for appetizers, which was a great decision because they tasted great. I had a tough time deciding what I wanted to order for my entree, but ultimately chose the pollo alla cacciatora, which is a chicken breast in pasta with vegetables on it.  We ate our appetizers fairly quickly, so we had time to wait for our food.  Between the two waiters that took care of us, our bread basket and glasses were never empty. They did a fantastic job always checking on our table to make sure we had everything we needed.


My food came out and filled a huge plate! I already knew it would be way too much for me to handle, but I was excited to eat it for supper later that evening as well.  The sauce was very good and the meat and vegetables went great together. The sauce was a red wine and tomato with basil mixture and it had a sweetness to it.  Our waiters continued keeping our bead stocked, so I was able to dip the bread in my pasta sauce which tasted amazing as well.  The pasta was very filling and eventually I got to a point where I had plenty to take home and I was comfortably full.

We checked out the dessert menu and found a few options to sound pretty tasty, but it was an easy decision for me to order the tiramisu.  I had tiramisu at an Italian restaurant in Las Vegas a couple months ago, so I wanted to see how good it would be here.


It came out and it was a massive piece.  The presentation of it was even better. It was very moist and tasted very good.  With each bite I took it kept tasting better and it was a great finish to an already delicious meal.


I liked Trattoria Fresco very much. The servers did a great job taking care of us, and kept us happy throughout the whole meal.  The portions were large and everything that I ate, I thoroughly enjoyed. The atmosphere was relaxing and comfortable and the classiness of it made it better, rather than some family-style pasta buffet that I was expecting at first. With the prices being what they are, I don’t think I will be headed back because of my poor college student budget, but I could see myself taking a beautiful lady there for a fancy dinner.

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Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar

Our class recently split up and went to Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar. It is a big building behind the mall and right next to my favorite frisbee golfing course, so I have driven past it many, many times, but have never stopped.  I haven’t there for the simple reason that I do not care for sushi or any seafood for that matter. I am a huge fan of steak, so I knew I at least had that to look forward to, but I was also excited to try something new at this restaurant.  We were the first customers of the day and the hostess welcomes us right in.  The building had a Japanese feel to it as she seated us around a hibachi grill.  I had never experienced anything like that, but it always looked sweet on movies. I had never tried calamari before, so I ordered the fried calamari as an appetizer for my meal.

IMG_1915I looked over the menu and after talking with the other classmates, decided on the lunch combination.  It allowed me to choose two different meat/fish to be grilled with my rice and vegetables.  I went with the filet mignon because that is my favorite steak, and for my second option I got the swordfish. This was a big step for me because I have never been able to eat seafood, but the waitress recommended it, so a lot of us tried it.

Our hibachi grillmaster came out and began cooking the rice for us, while also entertaining us the entire time.  I have no idea what he was spraying on there to cause the high flames, but it was pretty awesome to watch and made it a great dining experience.

The calamari came out and was surprisingly really tasty, but I was just a little skeptical while eating it because I knew what it was and that was new to me. After cooking the rice and vegetables, he started on the meats, and it took no time at all for each one to get cooked.  Before I knew it, I had my filet mignon and swordfish on my plate.  I dipped the swordfish in what the grillmaster called, “yum-yum sauce.” Wow! That swordfish was good. I could hardly taste the fishiness of it and it went great with the rice and vegetables.  I then moved on to the filet mignon and that steak was so juicy and perfectly cooked. I was extremely pleased with my meal choice.

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I managed to save a little room for dessert and the fried ice cream sounded like it would hit the spot.  I was right about that one! It came out and it looked and smelled delicious.  It didn’t take long for it to be all gone and then I was finally full.

Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar has been my favorite restaurant from this course.  The atmosphere was relaxing, the service was great, and the entertainment was fantastic.  I mind was blown by how great the food was and price was not too bad either.  You can count on me returning back to this restaurant soon! YUM!


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The next stop on our tour de Sioux City was Rebo’s.  It is located downtown historic 4th Street amongst the bars and two blocks from the movie theater.  This was another restaurant that I had never been to, but had heard many good things about it. It was a spacious building with a large bar right inside the doors. There were a lot of tables and there was also an upstairs area that tables as well. We were the only ones seated at tables, but it didn’t take long for the place to become filled during the lunch hour.  It was clear that Rebo’s was a popular place for workers in the area to come during their lunch break.

The sign on the wall said, “New Mexi-Caribbean Food,” and I’m not sure what that really means, but it was pretty fitting for the menu items.  Our table shared a few of the appetizers and I was pleased with the different salsas, so I ordered a steak burrito that sounded pretty good to me. It took a little time for our food to come out, but that was expected for a group of 20 students.  When my food came, the wait was suddenly all worth it.  I was more than pleased with the portion size of my meal.  The burrito was covered in different sauces, beans, and cheeses and it was a pretty sight. I couldn’t wait to see how it tasted!

IMG_1901    It tasted just as good as I thought it would.  The burrito was stuffed with a ton of food and after I spent what seemed like a long time eating it I looked up and noticed that it was only half eaten. There was some spice to this burrito as well. I’m not sure if there were any jalapeños in it or not, or maybe it was just the spice of the beans and salsa.  Either way, I wasn’t complaining and I was stuffed from it, but I couldn’t resist ordering the bananas foster for dessert.  I have had bananas foster only once and I loved it, so it was time to try it again.


I could not have made a better decision getting the bananas foster for dessert. It was AMAZING! the bananas practically melted in my mouth with each bite and I couldn’t make myself put the spoon down until it was all eaten, which didn’t take long due to the deliciousness of it.

I enjoyed Rebo’s a lot. It looked like a nice place from the outside, had a nice interior with good lighting and music, and the service was pretty good as well.  Our waitress took care of us nicely and did a great job describing our options of appetizers and desserts.  The quality of food was better than I expected and even though it was a little more expensive than the previous restaurants, I can see myself heading back to Rebo’s soon for at least some more of that bananas foster.

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Milwaukee Wiener House vs. Coney Island

Last week, Dr. Elder chose two restaurants for us to eat at for lunch. He chose two different hot dog places that have been in Sioux City for a long time. We ate at the Milwaukee Wiener House and Coney Island.  They were similar in many ways, but each one brought its own uniqueness to the table.

First up was the Milwaukee Wiener House.  I hadn’t heard of it until it made the local news recently because they will be relocating due to the construction of the Hard Rock Casino.  It is a small building about a block and a half away from the Tyson Event Center.  We brought a large group to what seemed a small building, but they were more than able to accommodate us.  I looked for what could be considered a spicy food on the item and chose a hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut, but also got two hot dogs on one bun with onions and mustard and chili.  They had  plenty of hot dogs cooking on the grill and the assembly line worked quickly to put the toppings on our hot dogs, while also being extremely friendly to us even though they were busy.

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I found the sauerkraut mixed with the onions, mustard, and chili to be a little spicy, but overall my meal was very good and I still had plenty of room in my stomach for round 2 at Coney Island.

We then continued our journey a couple blocks away to Coney Island. We got there a little bit before the rest of our class did, so we starting talking to the couple that owned the restaurant. They told us all about the family members that went to Morningside and made us feel welcome to be in their establishment.  I looked at their menu and attempted to mimic what I got at Milwaukee Wiener House, so I ordered the hot dog with sauerkraut and mustard, but replaced the other hot dog with onion chips.  We took up mostly all the seating in the building, but it was fine because we were also the only people in there. The hot dog and onion chips tasted great and I finished the day with a full stomach. I am definitely not fit to be competitively eating hot dogs like Joey Chestnut.

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I enjoyed eating at both restaurants.  Although they had many similarities, it was easy for me to have a preference of the Milwaukee Wiener House between the two based  on the following categories: seating, menu, quality of  food.

Seating: Both places had adequate seating for a large group of people such as our class, but Milwaukee Wiener House was able to host a larger number of people outside our group.

Menu: Both restaurants had a nice selection for different styles of serving the hot dogs.  Coney Island offered specialty items like the onion chips, french fries, chicken patty, and cheeseburgers, which was nice to have, but the wiener house had ice cream, which was a big hit with our class. The prices were about equal at both places and both were inexpensive.

Quality of Food: The food was delicious at both restaurants.  The hot dogs were the same size and included the same ingredients on top. The onion chips were fresh when I got them at Coney Island and they tasted great with the french onion dip.  I’d say the difference maker for me was that that Milwaukee Wiener House served me hot sauerkraut on top, while Coney Island served cold sauerkraut.  I was a big fan of the hot sauerkraut.


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Bob Roe’s Point After

Located across the parking lot of the delicious restaurant, House of Q, is another popular place known as Bob Roe’s for short.  It is a conveniently located restaurant that is just a few blocks from campus. The interior walls are covered in sports memorabilia ranging from old to new and it is fairly dark lighting. A lot of the memorabilia was from Morningside, but also included a bunch from the bigger schools like Iowa, ISU, and even Nebraska. We were greeted when we walked through the doors and were directed to a back room with tables set up for our group.

I had only been to Bob Roe’s a few times leading up to this visit, but have only ordered the hot wings and the pizza.  I was willing to try something new this time if it sparked my interest and if it was hot or spicy at all.  I scanned over the menu and noticed a few items, but I wasn’t able to stray from what I loved. I decided to order the hot wings with their amazing sour cream ranch dip on the side.

Hot wings and sour cream ranch

Hot wings and sour cream ranch

Their homemade wing sauce tasted fantastic and had a nice kick to it which only led me to dip them in the sour cream ranch.  The two worked hand-in-hand to create a tasty meal for me.  The hotness of the wings started to creep up on me, so the only logical choice for me was to order a frosty beer in one of their signature mason jar mugs.


The beer did its job and complimented the wings tremendously.  I was then able to get a couple slices of pizza from my friends which completed my meal.  With no room left in the stomach for dessert, I threw my remaining 5 wings in a box and headed home.

After eating at Bob Roe’s Point After four times now, I would rate the service as excellent.  The wait staff has been friendly each time and was on hand when we needed refills or extra things for our food. Many students in our class have met the owners before and that shows that they care about their customers, which is good to see.  It is a pretty inexpensive place to eat and would be a great place to bring your family. It is common to find youth sports teams having their banquets because there is a small arcade that provides entertainment for them while their parents are able to watch the many TV’s mounted on the walls all around the place.  Bob Roe’s’  big night is wing night which is on Wednesdays and the building is packed each week.  I have no complaints on the food as the pizza and wings have tasted great during each visit. I hope to try something new eventually, but it will be pretty hard to stray from the normal selection of wings, beer, and pizza.



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House of Q

This is my first blog entry for our may term class, Eating Siouxland. Our first assignment for the class was to think of a spin to put on each of our entries, and this was a pretty difficult assignment for me.  I finally decided that I would eat something spicy at each restaurant these next two and a half weeks.

Yesterday, Dr. Elder chose the House of Q as the destination for our meal. I have driven past this restaurant many times because it is located just a few blocks from our football stadium and shares its parking lot with the popular wing restaurant, Bob Roe’s Point After.  I knew that barbecue was the specialty, and I have heard good things about it, so I was excited to finally experience it for myself.

I walked into the House of Q and my first thoughts came from my nose where the aroma of barbecue was finding its way.  The atmosphere was welcoming with inviting music playing in the background of the well-lit building.  The employees welcomed us in with smiles and directed us to the back room where the rest of our group was already seated.  I grabbed a menu from the table, but in the process saw the large selection of barbecue sauces placed in the middle of the table.

The array of sauces placed on each table at the House of Q

The array of sauces placed on each table

Seeing that there was both Spicy and Chipotle BBQ flavored sauces, I knew that I had to get either the ribs or some sort of pulled pork sandwich that I could smother in those sauces.  After looking over the menu and remembering a recommendation from a friend, I ordered the Heaven on a Bun sandwich which consisted of a smoked burger topped with Cheese, a Spicy Sausage Link, and Brisket. It came with two sides and a drink, so I got steak fries and coleslaw with it.  The description had the word “spicy” in it, so I could start the class off by trying something spicy at the restaurant.

Heaven on a Bun Sandwich with steak fries, coleslaw, and a root beer

Heaven on a Bun Sandwich with steak fries, coleslaw, and a root beer

The food took a little while to get to the table, but I was expecting that because we had a large group and we ordered a lot of food.  I tried my sides first in order to lead up to the sandwich and they were both delicious.  I squirted the Spicy and Chipotle BBQ sauces on the sandwich and took a big bite.  The mixture of the perfectly smoked meats and the sauces was too much for me to handle.  I was literally “in heaven” and the name of the sandwich couldn’t be more fitting.  I ate half of the sandwich and took the rest home to eat for supper that evening.

I could not have been more satisfied leaving the House of Q.  The food was amazing and inexpensive, the wait staff was friendly and helpful, and the atmosphere was great. It really did feel like a home. You can definitely count on me returning to enjoy another delicious meal at the House of Q in the near future.


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