It's September, which means it's only the beginning of the pumpkin spice craze. From pork to popcorn, you don't have to travel far within the Cedar Valley to find some great fall-inspired foods and drinks. And we're not limiting it to just pumpkin spice either. Dig in and check them out below...
Restaurants across the Cedar Valley are rolling out new menus, featuring fall dishes and ingredients that are sure to comfort you all season long.
Hurricane Grill & Wings is now offering some fall favorites perfect for watching the big game. Handmade Chicken Tenders, BLT Chicken Tacos, an amazing Steak Sandwich, plus plenty of fall beers to choose from.
The Hy-Vee Market Grille in Waterloo has added a couple of new food and drink items to their fall menu as well. They have several Charcuterie Boards to choose from, which include a variety of selected cheeses, artisan meats and accompaniments with complementing flavors. They'll also be featuring unlimited boneless or bone-in chicken wings in the sauce of your choice, served with unlimited French fries too. Lastly, top off your meal with a Pumpkin Pie or Caramel Coffee Martini.
Farmer's Pick Buffet, The Lone Wolf, and Otis & Henry's Steakhouse (all located inside the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo) will be celebrating National Pork Month in October. Choose from Grilled Pork Chops with Pineapple Salsa, BBQ Pork Pizza, Bacon-Wrapped BBQ Shrimp and so much more. Did we mention bacon? Because you'll see it on quite a few of their menu items, including dessert.
Back by popular demand, Waterloo Brown Bottle has their Caramel Apple Cheesecake with homemade apple caramel topping. Pair it with one of their delicious pastas or pizzas and you definitely won't go home hungry.
Whiskey Road's new fall menu includes some great appetizers and entrees, like their Bison Burger, which features bison meat from a local farmer in Waverly. You'll also find some great fall-flavored drinks to complement any meal.
If you're looking for the traditional pumpkin treat, Barn Happy has it. Their pumpkin bars are some of the best, if not thee best, you'll find in the Cedar Valley. And their cream cheese frosting...muah! They have a delicious pumpkin cheesecake too.
Chocolaterie Stam has some amazing and almost too good to eat chocolates. Plus, they come in a variety of flavors and fall shapes shown below.
Pumpkin fans can also get their fix in the form of ice cream from 4 Queens Dairy Cream. You'll love their Pumpkin Pie Snowstorm which includes vanilla ice cream, pumpkin and crushed graham crackers.
Mmm...popcorn. The perfect sweet treat with a little crunch. Here's What's Poppin' has a delicious Harvest Blend popcorn which includes caramel corn, peanuts, M&M's, chocolate covered pretzels and candy pumpkins. They also offer a Caramel Apple popcorn mix. Popcorn Heaven is offering two different fall-flavored popcorns this season, Apple Pie and Pumpkin Spice, and you can't go wrong with either of them. They also sell caramel apples and caramel apple chips.
And we can't leave out cupcakes. If there's a flavor, it can be added to a cupcake. Scratch Cupcakery is carrying several fall flavors like Apple Dumpling, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Cheesecake, and Salted Caramel Pumpkin. The Pumpkin Cheesecake cupcake features a pumpkin cake, cinnamon cheesecake, cheesecake buttercream, and mini cinnamon chips.
Apple and pumpkin pies, Halloween cakes and cookies - Simply Yummy Baking Company has you covered. This bakery shop has tons of awesome treats to choose from this fall.
The cool fall weather is the perfect time to enjoy a warm drink at one of our great coffee or tea shops across the Cedar Valley.
Cozy up by the fireplace at Cabin Coffee Co. with a coffee or one of their Caramel Apple Cider drinks. It's the perfect combination of apple, caramel and spices.
As for tea, Laughing Tree Tea has a variety of specialty teas to choose from. Their Golden Apple Spice Tea blends in the sweet taste of apples and mulled spice. Mmm...sounds like fall to us.
Other places you can enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte (aka PSL) and a yummy pastry are Cottonwood Canyon, Cup of Joe and Sidecar Coffee.
When we think of fall, we can't help but think of beer too. You can find some fantastic seasonal brews at the following local hot spots.
Beck's Taproom Grill will be featuring some pumpkin-inspired and Oktoberfest-style beers. Headless Heron (Central Waters Brewery), Pumpkin Down (Ballast Point Brewery), Surliest (Surly Brewing Company), and Hopzeit (Deschutes Brewery) are just a few of the beers you'll find on their wall of beers. They'll also be carrying a couple of hard apple ciders - Hoppleseed (Wilson's Orchard) and Ciderboys Royal Blueberry (Ciderboys Hard Cider).
Our friends at SingleSpeed Brewing have some new beers on tap this fall as well. They recently launched their Oktoberfest beer called 16 Days, along with beer braised brats, beer mustard and kraut. Beer and brats...sounds like the perfect pairing. Later this fall, be sure to stop in and sip on some Cranksgiving, a Cranberry White IPA.
Do you have a favorite fall food or drink? Share it with us and we'll add it to the list!
- Annette Freeseman & Beth Keeney, Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau
Photo Credit: Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo, SingleSpeed Brewing, Whiskey Road.