Hey guys and gals,
I'm an Iowa State student, my girlfriend is a Drake University student but we don't eat like your typical broke college student. One of our favorite things do do on "dates" is go out to eat. Since we've been dating, 5 months ago, some of our highlights have included Trostel's Dish (We went on our first date here, on her birthday nonetheless), Bistro Montage (our favorite so far), Bubba Gump Shrimp, El Rodeo in West Des Moines (We got out of there with an appetizer, two a la carte selections, and fried Ice
Cream for $19) lots of trips to Hu-Hot (which we love), and lots of stops at smaller chains (Cheesecake Factory, Boston's, Jimmy Johns), and have enjoyed every minute of it.
My question is three-fold; Where is the best places in Des Moines Ames for a splurge ($80-120 Including Appetizer, Entrees, and two Desserts because we can't drink wine yet being only 20 [although we've agreed to attend lots of local wine tastings when we become legal]) Some of the places I've been thinking about going are Splash (we both love seafood), Sage (I hear its great), Crave (My gf heard bad things about this so I'm anxious to know what you guys think) or some other fondue place though I don't k now of any others in Des Moines, and Ron Beasley's new restaurant Mojo's on 86th.
The second category I'm interested in is are good "I'm hungry let's go get some food" types of places. I fear we too often use Hu-Hot or Jimmy Johns for this and while I like both I'd like to branch out.
Keep in mind that I live in Ames, and she lives near Drake, but we go to the Western Side of Des Moines all the time because she works at Target there and I'm from Adel. Also, It's nice if these places serve food after 9 P.M. because being college students we have weird schedules and not being hungry until 9 P.M. is a regular occurence. I know a lot more about the Des Moines food scene rather than Ames but I'd love to hear more about both. I guess I'm looking for checks in the $25-$60 dollar range for two people, since once again considering we don't have to pay the high cost of alchohol. Some of the places I've considerd are; Star Bar, which is right down the road from Drake, and I hear its really good. However my girlfriend has the idea in mind that she has to dress up before going there which I don't believe is true but I'll let you guys tell me. I've also considered going to Centro although we don't get downtown much, and my girlfriend likes this place called The Cafe in Ames that I think we're going to on Sunday.
Finally a short question; Is there any food worth eating in Ames in the early hours of the morning. I have horrible insomnia and so I go and read a book and eat, a lot of times from midnight to 4 A.M. I go to perkins a lot, and had the worst shrimp ever at a truckstop on Dayton Ave. Perkings is okay and its well lit, but I'm wondering if I'm missin anythings.
We both like all kinds of food, and aren't afraid to new things. I'm especially interested in places that aren't chains, and use fresh local ingredients to keep the prices down. Thanks for taking the time to read all this and I look forward to hearing your ideas. Thanks.