Warm atmosphere at Urbandale’s Urban Grill

Warm atmosphere at Urbandale’s Urban Grill

It’s tough to beat the snug ambiance of The Urban Grill.

My guest and I arrived at the Urbandale restaurant around 6 p.m. on a Friday night to an almost-full parking lot and a 20-minute wait. No matter: They have a full bar just past the entrance where most patrons held out for the next available table.

The restaurant looks huge from the outside, but dining rooms are sectioned off into smaller branches that contribute to the warm, intimate vibe. Each space has larger tables in the center, encircled by tall, four-person booths that feel simultaneously spacious and cozy. Conversation stays at a subtle buzz so it never feels like you’re half screaming a sentence.

Urban Grill’s crowd certainly skews a bit older, highlighted by retirement-age couples out for a date night meal and mid-30s groups meeting up for an evening away from the kids. But the patrons definitely reflect the more upscale touches like the mahogany walls and the dimly lit dining area.

Beyond the atmosphere, The Urban Grill is anchored by a menu that boasts both depth and some creative dishes. One of their more popular appetizers is the Inside-Out Crab Rangoon, a deconstructed dish of won-ton chips alongside a crab and cream cheese dip, but you can also order things like black mussels, calamari or bruschetta for the table.

For those seeking salad, they offer options like the Seared Ahi Tuna tossed in a soy vinaigrette, and the Chinese Chicken Crunch with teriyaki chicken, citrus dressing and peanut sauce on the side. Or, if the grill is more your speed, you can grab a bacon wrapped filet, blackened catfish with cajun coleslaw, or Urban Grill’s Chicken DeBurgo topped with mushrooms and butter sauce.

We decided to go straight for the entrees: I ordered the Sirloin Steak Sandwich ($13) medium, and she chose the Smoked Chicken & Jalapeno pasta ($13).

The steak sandwich comes open-faced atop a thick slice of bread, and it’s covered in battered-and-fried red onions that pair well with the sliced red meat. The dish was juicy and flavorful, and although it was a bit over medium it was tasty overall.

The pasta was distinct in the sense that the chicken was shredded and mixed in rather than sliced on top. Adding a jalapeno cream sauce gave the linguini and smoky kick that left a welcome amount of peppery flavor on your tongue.

Thanks to the welcoming atmosphere, delicious food and stress-free environment, The Urban Grill excels as a date-night destination or a place to unwind on weekends. It may not have the unique flair of some downtown restaurants—and really, that’s not what they’re aiming for—but the reliably mouthwatering menu and suburban charm are enough to keep you coming back for more.

The Urban Grill

Find it: 3651 86th St., Urbandale

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m Friday and Saturday

Info: 515-278-1016, theurbangrilldm.com

About the Author

Joe is a contributor to Juice Magazine.

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