Best Restaurant- Central Plains Region

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | August 11th, 2010 | Restaurant News

Moving further east from the Rocky Mountain region, Think Tasty now heads to the Central Plains region.  Encompassing Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas, we will share our top ten picks from the many that were submitted.  For the next ten days, readers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite place.  Voting will end at 5:00 pm EDT on Friday, August 20th, and the winner will be announced on the following Monday.

1. Bill Gianino’s, St. Louis, Missouri

This restaurant is celebrating their 35th anniversary of the best Italian food (and insane portion sizes). Get the Chicken or Steak Modiga or the Sole Cardinale or the Rigatoni Oroazio or the Pasta Asparagus . . . and if, possible split whatever you get or get a half order.  The hardest part of dining here is choosing between the vast number of menu items, from appetizers to salad to dinner to dessert and even cocktails.

2. The Black Watch Room of Pebble Creek, LeClaire, Iowa

The Black Watch Room is located on the scenic Pebble Creek golf course.  At any vantage point, the diner has an expansive view of the vibrant sunsets and lush fareways.  A unique and extensive offering of wines is sure to complement any of the savory and beautifully presented entrées. Enjoy a perfectly prepared dish of mussels in a lemon cream sauce or a hand cut beef filet topped with a three-cheese mixture of parmesan, blue, and mozzarella cheeses.  Décor is reminiscent of a European brasserie with its rich warm woodwork and rough cut stone fireplace.    Interest peaked?  Come see what makes them so special.

3. Charlie’s on the Lake, Omaha, Nebraska

This restaurant provides a menu filled with excellent beef and seafood dishes.  In the steak genre alone, there are thirteen different sizes and cuts of steaks, all of which can be served with four different toppings.  Whether you’re craving a 6-ounce filet mignon or a 20-ounce New York strip, you’ll find it here.  Plus, there are great offerings of seafood, salads, chicken, and more.

4. Eden Alley, Kansas City, Missouri

Eden Alley on the Kansas City Plaza… is certainly not your most conventional restaurant….but we challenge you to find one with more original, delicious, healthy, and varied soups, salads, breads, entrées and desserts!  This restaurant has been a  favorite for 16 years. It is not the fanciest, it is not for big meat and barbeque fans…but there has yet to be a visitor there that didn’t rave about this little restaurant!  This restaurant has a menu of vegetarian, vegan, raw, gluten- and soy-free items made from local, organic, and traditional ingredients.

5. The Mixx, Kansas City, Missouri

The Mixx is a modern, casual restaurant that focuses on fresh, homemade salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps and pasta dishes.  The made-to-order menu offerings consist of innovative, healthy cuisine at reasonable prices. Named to Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers & Shakers national list in 2008 and 2009 and offering a salad Bon Appetit named of the “best salads ever,” The Mixx is known for offering nutritious options for quick, casual meals. Started in 2005 by local restaurateur Jo Marie Scaglia, The Mixx has two locations at 4855 Main Street in the Plaza Colonnade and its newest location at 1347 Main Street in The Kansas City Power & Light District.

6. Peter Kiewit Lodge Restaurant, Ashland, Nebraska

Like the park in which it is located, the Peter Kiewit Lodge Restaurant is a busy place. It serves meals all day, every day of the year. Hungry diners, who spent the day hiking, fishing or swimming at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, may gaze out upon the Platte River while they enjoy their meal in a comfortable lodge setting. The restaurant offers a diverse menu year-round, but it serves up a bountiful buffet to celebrate many holidays. The beautiful setting of the park, located between Omaha and Lincoln, attracts the active-minded, and the restaurant keeps them returning for more.

7. Proof

The proof is in the pudding. Actually it’s more likely to be in just about anything Carly Groban, the chef and owner of Proof located in Des Moines’ Western Gateway neighborhood creates. From her travels around the world, Carly brought back her favorite North African and Eastern Mediterranean food memories and turned them into fabulous recipes.  Her fare is hearty, healthy and you-can’t-stop-talking-about-it delicious. This spring the James Beard Awards included her on its nation’s top chefs under age 30.

8. The Ronneberg Restaurant, Amana, Iowa

This restaurant prides itself on preparing authentic German food.  Located in the Amana Colonies, The Ronneberg Restaurant has been serving customers in its current location since 1950.  Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there is a nice variety of American and German dishes.  Some highlights on their menu are: chicken gizzards (a local favorite), sauerbraten with potato dumplings, Bavarian chicken, and Black Forest brownie.

9. Spaghetti Works, Lincoln, Nebraska

For thirty years, Spaghetti Works has been serving pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and grill items.  Known for their twelve signature sauces, lasagna, and salad bar, it is a fabulous place to dine with family and friends.  With so many delicious pasta dishes from which to choose, you can simplify your decision by ordering a combination plate, which will allow you to enjoy two or three different pastas at one meal.  Make sure you come hungry, there will be plenty of excellent food to enjoy.

10. Zen Zero, Lawrence, Kansas

If you’re in Kansas and seeking an Asian noodle restaurant, this is the place to go.  Their menu is inspired by the cuisines of Nepal, Tibet, Thailand, Vietnam, and Japan.  Zen Zero has won the Best Vegetarian Restaurant by the University Daily Kansan (2003,  2004, 2005 and 2006) and Lawrence Journal World (2004).  If you prefer a little meat in your meal, they have that also in dishes such as Green Papaya Cured Flank Steak and Gai Phad King.

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Please note that there are strict regulations on voting. Additionally, our system audits for fraudulent votes.

  1. Mark Hernandez says:

    Love the mixx is so goood

  2. Teun says:

    Eden Alley. Thanks for nominating one of my favorite places to eat.

  3. Gene says:

    Have you people actually been to Spaghetti Works? It’s not great.

  4. Roshan says:

    Eden Alley It Is!!!

  5. If Iowa is renowned for it’s corn,beans and cattle….check out the Black Watch Room in LeClaire, Iowa.
    You needn’t drive to Chicago for a good steak. The Cajun Ribeye is ‘mouthwatering.’ Just too bad when the plate is clean.You’d wished you’d placed a ‘backup order!’

  6. Todd Ashby says:

    I have lived in Omaha and spent a considerable amount of time in Kansas City, but I must say that the Iowa/Illinois Quad Cities has some of the finest local restaurants that I’ve ever eaten at, headlined by Black Watch room of Pebble Creek. The owner and executive chef at the Black Watch room are not afraid to take risks in offering something different to a midwestern palate, yet NEVER do they compromise quality to do so. If you are ever passing by the Quad Cities, I highly recommend that you carve a small piece of time out of your trip to stop and have a delicious meal.

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