There is no such thing as "very unique". There is no such thing as "more unique". There is no such thing as "most unique". "Unique," to me, is an absolute modifier, and Rabab's is unique!
It was an overcast day when I drove up to the Iowa Great Lakes for an exciting breakfast. Just walking in the door of Rabab's gives you the feeling that someone cares about your day. I don't believe you can "hear colors" without some type of electronic device, but it's easy to feel the colors in here. For a kaleidoscope maker, this is the ultimate treat compared to the muted earth tones you often see in restaurants. The bright, warm colors in Rabab's make you feel good. There's an old saying, "If you can't find the sunshine, then be the sunshine."
I'd been here before, but this time I scoped out the menu to decide ahead of time what I wanted to try.
Judging from their offerings, I can travel here for several more Sunday breakfasts without running out of foods I've never tried before. My choice this time was one of the breakfast bowls. Never in my life had I encountered the combination of roasted sweet potatoes, tri-colored quinoa, pesto, avocado, spinach, and eggs.
The food most strange to many Iowa palates would be quinoa. It's similar to rice, but with better flavor, in my opinion. It's also healthier for us diabetics concerned with the glycemic index of our starches.
If you're from a small town with no Italian restaurants, as I am, pesto might be somewhat unfamiliar too. The pleasant aroma of the pesto was what first grabbed me as the waitress brought my bowl to the table.
I've had all these foods separately or in combination with other foods. I consider myself well above average when it comes to being adventurous with food. A bad childhood experience with gloppy cooked spinach worried me that I wouldn't like it. Having had various "Florentine" dishes allayed my fears so I thought I'd try it no matter what. When the bowl came, I was delighted the spinach was raw greens! The mixture, with an over-easy egg on top, filled my stomach as well as my soul.
When you go to a restaurant, you want more than just someone cooking for you. The whole experience is what you seek. The décor at Rabab's is like none I've ever seen in any restaurant. The colorful combinations, as well as the unusual art on the walls, set Rabab's apart from all others. Other times I'd been there, it was peak tourist season, and the place was rather full. Today, with fewer people in there, the favorite seating choice expressed itself. You feel like a guest in someone's home. Many sofas, loveseats and coffee tables.
Speaking of coffee, I chose the Antigua Guatemalan.
Coffee snobs might complain about the airport coffee. "Light", "dark", and the specialty coffee were the choices today. I found my selection as flavorful as any I'd ever had without the bitterness or paper taste one often encounters.
Finding Rabab's is easy. It's visible from Highway 71. It's on the west side of the road across from the Indian Dealership, between the Oakwood Inn and Highway 71.
Their Facebook page and website disagree on their opening hour – it's either 6:30 AM or 7:30 AM. Both agree that they close at 2:00 PM every day. I must say, the lunch menu looks fun too! And while you're there, check out the treats for sale on the front counter where you order. I chose to have a container of almond brittle come home with me. So much for curing diabetes!
For more "unique" Iowa dining options, visit Travel Iowa.
Image credit: Author Photo