Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Urban Grill
3651 86th St
Urbandale, IA
Phone: 515-278-1016
Open daily Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m.
Close at 10 p.m. except Friday and Saturday, close at 11 p.m.

“D” and “A” are always on the lookout for comfortable, great, neighborhood restaurants and a trip to The Urban Grill certainly filled the bill. The restaurant is owned by the same people that have Nick’s Bar and Grill in Clive and Skip’s, on Des Moines southside. Despite the fact that the building used to be a Hardee’s, once inside the diner is surrounded by comfortable, dark paneling and a choice of seating at either booths or tables. Just one little note of caution, although it wasn’t a major issue, if it is cold, you might want to avoid the table by the front door if incoming breezes bother you.

We were greeted promptly and cordially by the hostess and immediately offered a table. We opted to have a glass of wine in the bar which we found to be very comfortable – pleasant music played over the sound system but was not intrusive, wine by the glass was reasonable and pours were generous. When we finished in the bar, we were graciously ushered to our table for dinner.

Our server brought water and took orders for beverages while we perused the menu choices. There are no tablecloths or placemats but each place setting includes a generously proportioned napkin. Lighting is pleasantly romantic without being dark. In fact the entire restaurant has a pleasant, warm glow throughout. Each table also boasts a good peppermill-- a welcome departure from the server that interrupts your conversation to offer “fresh pepper” from a mill the size of a small city in Rhode Island.

The menu has something to suit every taste and appetite – prime rib and steaks, several chicken dishes, fish and seafood, pasta and meal-sized salads abound. On our way to the table, we saw a hamburger on its way to a lucky diner. The burger looked plump and juicy and was topped by a beautiful cascade of golden onion rings. “D” ordered orange roughy and “A” decided to try the prime rib. Both of us had salads which arrived on large oval plates, cold, crisp and tossed with their dressing, rather than the cold metal cup of dressing on the side. “D”s’ roughy was beautifully prepared – white as snow, flaky and moist with a side of well prepared mixed vegetables.

In many restaurants we order our beef rare and receive it cooked medium rare. At The Urban Grill such tactics are unnecessary. “A”’s prime rib was ordered medium rare and it arrived perfectly prepared. A generous cut of excellent beef was presented which was full of flavor and extremely tender. French fries were crisp and plentiful but the beef was so good, the fries were an afterthought for “A”.

Service at The Urban Grill is excellent – cordial, knowledgeable and not the least intrusive. Dishes from completed courses are quickly and quietly removed, water glasses are refilled and inquiries about our satisfaction were well-timed.

Both of us were completely satisfied with our dinners and left no room for dessert.

“A” had lunch with a friend at The Urban Grill. The lunch menu offers a wide array of salads and sandwiches as well as some pasta dishes. “A” ordered a Cobb Salad and a dining companion had the rarebit burger and fries. The Cobb Salad was an excellent mix of crisp greens topped with lots of chicken, bacon, hard boiled egg and avocado along with a generous helping of blue cheese crumbles. The rarebit burger was prepared as ordered and the cheese sauce was rich and velvety.

Prices at lunch and dinner are reasonable, especially when one considers the size of portions and the excellent quality of the food. Lunch salads and sandwiches are $6-9 and dinner entrees ranging from $9 to $20. Both lunch and dinner experiences at The Urban Grill were memorable and will certainly merit many return trips in the future.

Rating: 4 Yes
Value: Good Value
Quality: Excellent
Service: Superb
Recommended: Yes

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