Last week I found myself over in Council Bluffs and decided to drive around and see if there has been any changes in my favorite eating places in CB. Now it's been about 5 years since I worked in Council Bluffs, but in the 3 years I worked across the river, I found a handful of great places to eat! I am happy to report that all but one of my favorite spots were all still there.
I started my tour on North Broadway and swung by Pizza King, now Pizza King doesn't open until 4pm so it was pretty empty at 11 am when I was in the neighborhood. Pizza King is an interesting place, it is a nice steakhouse where you can sit down and have a great steak dinner or your can call in a Pizza and pick it up at their to go counter in back. Either way you can't go wrong, Pizza King has been serving great food in CB for decades!
My next stop was on West Broadway to snap a picture of a Barley's, if Barley's sounds familiar, it should, I have written a review of Barley's Tip Top in NoDo. As many of you already know the Council Bluffs location is the original. I think was in about 2001 that Matt Johnson sold his first bar on the west end of Broadway called "Repetitions"bought "Dirty Harry's" on 114 West Broadway and turned it into Barley's Bar and Grill. As I mentioned in my review of the Omaha location Barley's Tip Top, I highly recommend the Club Burger, but if your not in the mood for a burger, Barley's has great daily specials, and I never went wrong ordering the special at Barley's!
After that I cut through downtown to get to south 3rd Street to snap a shot of the Goldmine. The Goldmine is a tiny bar and grill with a huge following. I used to get the Thursday special with a buddy of mine after we worked out at the old Depot Gym over the lunch. The Thursday special was a Ribeye Steak with all the fixin's and it was awesome! The other thing I had noticed, because I drove by their everyday on my way to work is that it was packed every morning. I assumed it was the after work crowd from the 3rd shift of the plant next door, but come to find out they served breakfast and it was great too. The Goldmine is a great hide-a-way that only the locals know about until now!
Now if you have ever driven over the viaduct on Broadway that takes you into downtown Council Bluffs, you probably noticed a little bar and grill below the viaduct on the south side. That my friends is the Railway Inn. When I was working in Council Bluffs, the Railway was the first place I ever at lunch. At the time it was owned by Mark Andrews. The Railway was a place with great food and friendly regulars. Even though the had a lot of great food on the menu, I always had one of two things - The Cheeseburger or the Chicken, because the were both incredible. About 6 months before I went back to working in Omaha, Mark sold the bar to a nice couple named Jamie and Dan. They made some changes to the decor and added new items to the menu, but one thing that didn't change was the great food and friendly atmosphere.
Down on 33rd and Broadway is a Sam's Italian Villa which has been feeding Council Bluffs over 40 years. The first time I went to Sam's Italian Villa, I assumed it was your typical Italian joint with the usual food and it is! but they also have Fried Catfish, Steak, Pork Tenderloin and Broasted Chicken. One of my favorite comfort foods is fried catfish and Sam's Italian Villa does fried catfish right! Sam's is a great family restaurant with endless choices. You will know how good Sam's when you drive by, if they are open the parking lot will be full!
My last stop on my tour of CB took me by Tish's which is located on 35th just south of 9th Ave. As the story goes Tish's started off as an Ice Cream Stand and grew into a wonderful family restaurant. Tish's was a great little restaurant with beautiful dinner room, as well as open air dinning on their patio during the warm months. My favorite thing to get a Tish's was the steak salad better known as the Beefeater! For those of you who know me, know I don't order salads as my main course, but their is so much juicy steak on this salad, I made the exception!
Their are several other places I had great meals at and I would to mention them as well and I will definitely get them on my next tour of Council Bluffs. Those places are LPL's, Scott Street, Old River Pizza, Mo' Fish and The Main Street Cafe.
So if you find your self in Council Bluffs or just want to take the short ride over the river try one of these great places!