Grace: 5/5 Stars
Josh: 5/5 Stars
Josh: We had engagement pictures earlier (yay?) so we went out to celebrate. She was celebrating having the pictures taken and I was celebrating that the pictures were over. Doesn’t matter, we were going to Americana either way.
Grace: ENGAGEMENT PICTURESSSS. They were fun. Josh asked if I wanted to go to dinner afterwards and I said YES. As you guys all already know, Americana is my favorite restaurant in Des Moines. It was a no-brainer.
After enduring the gruesome, horrific ordeal that most people call “engagement pictures”, I needed a drink. Badly. I opted for a Peace Tree Blonde Fatale and it was a great decision. It’s on my top 10 best beers list (that list doesn’t actually exist but it should….) and I want to visit the brewery in Knoxville sometime in life.
We didn’t get an appetizer today so I ordered a side salad (House Wedge Salad) with my meal. This was definitely one of the better salads I’ve ever had. The dressing was creamy and the blue cheese was a fantastic touch. Add the onions and bacon and you have yourself a top-notch salad.
My buddy, Ermin, has recommended the “Loaded Mac & Cheese” if I ever go to Americana. That day finally came and I had to go with his recommendation and I was not disappointed at all. This wonderful creation had “Rich white cheese sauce, Peppered brown sugar bacon, Spinach / Roasted mushrooms, Peppered goat cheese, and Toasted bread crumbs”. I was sold. Look at that picture! How the hell have I been eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese when this God-like masterpiece has been available to me?
It. Was. GREAT. Every flavor blended so well together and it was heaven. The goat cheese was surprisingly great and the bacon in it added a nice crunch. I hate mushrooms, but I didn’t even notice they were in there. Everything was covered in cheese which when you think about it…shouldn’t most foods?
Lastly, we got dessert. We usually never get dessert (come to think about it…I can count on one hand how many times we’ve ordered dessert over the (blank) years we’ve been together) but this time it was offered to us. Our wonderful waiter, Creighton, knew we were celebrating our engagement pictures and he offered to buy us dessert. That was extremely generous of him to not only care about our personal lives, but to offer to buy us dessert. Could he have done it to get a better tip? Maybe….but I like to think that Creighton is a genuinely nice person and I stand by that claim.
The dessert was off the menu and something a chef was experimenting with. In the picture above, you can see a giant, thin parmesan crisp. Underneath the crisp were fresh strawberries and vanilla bean ice cream. Somehow someway…this worked. Dont ask me how or why, but the flavors worked. My brain was confused but my mouth was delighted. Whatever the issue, I actually enjoyed it.
Grace: I ordered the Roasted Chicken dinner. Roasted chicken with a parmesan cream sauce and flakes of fresh parmesan cheese on top, served with mashed potatoes & fresh green beans with pepper. SO GOOD. I also got a Shiner Cheer, because it is the best Christmas beer on the market, no questions asked. Period, done.
We also had a dessert! More on that in the next section, but it was a strawberry-vanilla ice cream situation with a big parmesan crisp on top. I had never had such a thing, and it was very delicious. Definitely a sweet/savory combo that worked, somehow.
Atmosphere, Service, Price
Grace: Americana is beautiful inside (and outside! It’s right across from the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden). The photos don’t do it justice at all. Tufted booths, dark ceilings, huge pieces of art; it’s awesome in there. Very glam.
Our server was wonderful. His name was Creighton & he rocked. When we came in he asked us if we were celebrating something special (we were still dressed up from photos). We told him we had just taken engagement photos, and he was super congratulatory, which I thought was sweet. He seemed genuine. He was very attentive all through the meal, and then when we had finished our dinner, he brought us dessert, on him. So sweet, right? Needless to say, we (Josh) tipped him very well. Thanks, Creighton!
Americana is not cheap, but it’s very on par with other nice restaurants in the area (Centro, Django, etc.), and you definitely get what you pay for. Will return many many many times.
Josh: Grace summed this up pretty well. We both talked about Creighton but I’ll say it again: He was one of the best waiters I’ve experienced in a restaurant. He deserves all the recognition.
Everything else was also great. Being right next to the Sculpture Park makes for beautiful scenery and atmosphere. The prices rival other upscale-ish restaurants in the Des Moines area but you get what you pay for. You get high quality food and it’s 100% worth it. I am already looking forward to my next meal!