Waukee can now get a taste of New York, after a new restaurant opened a couple of weeks ago in the suburb. New York Restaurant serves a mix of American, Greek and Italian dishes, from gyros to mostaccioli and meat sauce.
I stopped in on a Thursday for lunch and the restaurant, which looks smaller from the street than it really is, was bustling. I was seated promptly and served water with lemon.
The menu is large, but not overwhelming. A list of salads, ranging from steak fajita to pork tenderloin to Hawaiian, fills the first page.
There is also a list of Italian specialties, including baked cavatelli, chicken piccata and old-school spaghetti and meatballs. Seafood (Mediterranean salmon, shrimp scampi), steaks (New York strip, steak Diane), sandwiches (Italian sausage, Manhattan club, Monte Cristo) and gyros fill out the menu.
At the recommendation of our server, I ordered the gyro ($7.95). The Greek sandwich comes with a choice of fries or onion rings and a cup of soup. I chose the onion rings, along with the soup de jour, a creamy potato.
The soup was served quickly, and was a creamy and rich start to the meal. It was tasty, with nicely-cooked chunks of potato, pieces of real bacon and a peppery kick.
The gyro and onion rings arrived a few minutes later. And our server was right: The gyro was fantastic. Slices of lamb meat were tender with slightly crisp edges. The tomatoes were sliced thick, bright red and flavorful. Strips of mild white onion meshed well with the tzatziki sauce, which was neither too tangy nor too sweet. The pita was warm and soft.
The onion rings were another pleasant surprise. Although the menu calls them “thinly sliced,” by Iowa standards these were thick-cut, and fried in a yummy beer batter that added a great crunch.
Agim Kasoski, who operated the East Side Grill in Des Moines for many years, opened New York Restaurant. The menu boasts you can “eat like a king, and pay like a hobo,” which is fitting. All sandwiches cost less than $9, most dinners less than $11 and steaks less than $17.
The service was quick and friendly (our server seemed to know most of the guests by name), and the bill? Cheap.
New York Restaurant
Find it: 208 W. Hickman Road, Waukee
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily
Total, with tax and tip: $10.43