Anyone who is at all familiar with the greater Iowa City area knows that there is no dearth of fantastic restaurants. Indeed, there seems to be one great choice in nearly every section of this vibrant community. One of those choices is in nearby North Liberty. I recently was in town and met a friend at Red’s Alehouse on Dubuque Street. The bright white exterior bespeaks a certain straightforward simplicity with a casual charm that was quite welcoming and inviting. During their busy times, parking can be a bit hard to come by, as we noticed when leaving, but I got there early on a Friday and was in luck. We were seated immediately, and I enjoyed the comfortable booth seating overlooking their outdoor patio. My friend informed me that it was already full and it looked like many were enjoying themselves in the warm September weather, sipping on a variety of libations, likely some of their craft beers, and noshing on great eats.
When it came time to order, I decided on "The Patriot". What is nice about Red’s is that you can choose your protein and add it to a great selection of flavorful combinations. Forsaking the Angus half-pound patty and the 6 oz. Vegan Black Bean Burger, I chose the chicken breast. The included toppings were American cheese, pickles, mayo, and bacon. I decided to select the sweet potato fries. My friend went for a plain Angus burger with the sweet potato fries. When the food arrived, it was clear that the portions were generous. I enjoyed every mouth-watering bite of my sandwich. It was probably within the top five chicken sandwiches I’ve ever had. It was that good. My friend’s burger was more than satisfactory and the fries were quite good. I could now understand why Red’s had won some awards for culinary excellence.
When it came to dessert, I decided to get a little treat to go. The half-baked chocolate chip cookie, sans cappuccino ice cream, was my pick. When I finally did try it, it was very scrumptious. And it was no “little” treat. Cookie cake, as pedestrian as it might seem, is one of my favorite desserts, and this was a decadent flavor explosion that I wouldn’t mind trying again, perhaps with a candle on top while celebrating another year well-lived!
Red's offerings expand beyond burgers and chicken sandwiches. They have a wide menu of selections like flatbread pizzas (including the buffalo chicken, with mozzarella, celery, and ranch). They offer a wide array of salads, such as the intriguing "Grilled Wedge" with grilled romaine and assorted toppings. They have an expansive appetizer menu as well, that includes some choices that might even make a great meal, like the "Lettuce Wrap Fish Tacos". And if the young ones are along, they have a fantastically varied kids’ menu as well.
It was my first trip to Red’s, but it likely won’t be my last. I recommend giving it a try, especially if you are traveling in for a Hawkeye game and want a great place to grab a bite, and perhaps a pint or two.