I had birthday brunch at the Americana this year. I’d read about it on their website and had heard and read reviews suggesting that it was something worth trying. Generally, I don’t get too excited about buffets, and thusly brunches. However, I had been to the Americana many times before so I had high expectations. I’d never been let down before by them so I had hoped that if someone were to get it right, then Americana would be it.
The Americana is nestled in Downtown Des Moines just across the street from the Pappajohn Sculpture Park. If it’s a nice Saturday or Sunday, I could see taking a stroll through the Sculpture Park before heading to the Americana for brunch.
Along with their brunch food Americana also offers a Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar. My wife and I decided a Mimosa sounded nice to go with brunch, so we each ordered one (they do offer a bottomless option for an up charge).
The way their Mimosa works, is they bring you a flute filled with champagne that you carry to a table they have setup in the brunch area.
I went with their mango and raspberry syrups and ended up with this little beauty…
If I had to guess, for food they have roughly 30 or so options including pastries and hot dishes. Additionally, they also have a grilled cheese bar. I did ask our waiter if the food they featured for brunch was available on their regular lunch and dinner menu. He said for the most part the brunch items are unique to brunch but did explain that you can order a grilled cheese, for example, but it wouldn’t be the same. The grilled cheese bar is clever, I mean who doesn’t like grilled cheeses? It’s a wise addition as it’s unique and there aren’t going to be many people disappointed with the chance to snag a custom grilled cheese. The way it works is you put in your grilled cheese order from a pre-defined menu or you can have them build you a custom grilled cheese. While you are perusing the brunch area they are making your grilled cheese, having it ready for you as you walk back to your table.
They had your typical breakfast pastries and bagels. The fresh fruit was perfectly ripe, which was a win. They even had crepes, which I filled mine with chocolate syrup and raspberries, yum!
Toward the back of the brunch area are their hot dishes. I snagged the Brisket Hash, Mac ‘N Cheese, Cheesy Potatoes, and Corn dish. My wife and I both agreed that the Cheesy Potatoes were wonderful. They were topped with a healthy helping of cheddar cheese that had just begun to crisp up. I fell in love with their Brisket Hash. Now, I’m a fan of Corned Beef Hash, so when I saw this number, I knew it was for me. The brisket was done very well as were the potatoes and peppers. The Mac ‘N Cheese was good, no complaints there, but nothing to write home about. My wife and I both loved the corn dish. She told me how her grandma used to make something very similar and how it wouldn’t last long when she would serve it. This was no different. The corn bread on top of the cream corn was a nice touch.
They had a big pan of bacon, so I figured I’d give it a try. Turns out their bacon is magical. It’s crispy, check, it’s greasy, check, it’s yummy, check. I could also add that it’s endless, but I was a good boy that day and had just one piece. I liked it so much I had to take a picture of it. The only place I’ve had better bacon was the homemade bacon of the Gramercy Tap.
To round out our meal, we were brought fresh made donut holes with caramel sauce for dipping. We both agreed, they were the best donut holes we’d ever had.
The service, as always with the Americana was great. I’d like to give a shout out to our server, Nicholas, who was impeccable. He was kind, attentive, and made us feel comfortable while we were there. We enjoyed ourselves so much we’re planning on heading back this Saturday. Don’t fear the brunch, embrace it!