Emil’s Hideaway  -   Restaurant Spotlight  
Article by Shannon McGraw
Photography by Justin Fox

Fall is upon us. The days are getting shorter, the nights longer, and after a busy day at work, there’s nothing better than going out for a relaxing meal. Emil’s Hideaway, tucked away at 222 Glenbrook Drive SE off of First Avenue, is the perfect place to stop by for a filling lunch with a client, dinner with a date, or drinks and appetizers with friends. The fun, vibrant atmosphere is cozy and inviting and the service is always exceptional. Special touches like lights embedded in the bar and a huge salt-water fish tank along the back wall, welcome you in for the evening.

Emil’s Hideaway is locally-owned and offers fresh, homemade food, along with a full bar of specialty drinks and a great selection of 12 beers on tap. The on-tap beer includes a line from Lion Bridge, a local Cedar Rapids brewery, Lagunitas, a popular west coast brewery, and a few seasonal lines from Sam Adams, Leinenkuegels, Exile, etc.

A couples night out recently was just what I needed. We started with drinks and appetizers as we usually do. Emil’s Hideaway is always coming up with a new cocktail so we tried a couple of the latest; a Leinenkugel Pumpkin Harvest Shandy finished with a dollop of whipped cream, and a Caramel Apple Moscow Mule. Both were divine. The Pumpkin Harvest Shandy tastes like pumpkin pie, and the Caramel Apple Moscow Mule made with caramel vodka, ginger beer and a splash of Angry Orchard, is perfect for the season.

Emil’s is also known for their legendary appetizers and have recently added a few new items to their already extensive menu, keeping the menu fresh.

We started with the new Loaded Potato Bites. Shredded hash browns loaded with cheddar cheese, bacon, and green onion formed into bite size rounds and then deep fried to a golden brown. Perfectly crispy on the outside, with a cheesy soft potato center. Either served as is with a side of a house-made buttermilk ranch, or smothered with Emil’s hearty taco chili, cheese sauce and diced green onions.

Emil’s Hideaway menu includes an entire page of pizzas. With the season we are in, we decided to also try the Hawkeye pizza. Made with homemade authentic Italian Neapolitan dough, the crust was light and crisp. Delicious toppings of thin sliced roast sirloin with crumbled crispy bacon, diced onions, green peppers, and mushrooms topped with cheddar cheese and Thousand Island dressing make this pizza a winner. All of their pizzas are offered with a gluten free crust also.

For entrées we had a couple of their longtime favorites on the menu, the Patty Melt and the Tenderloin. The Patty Melt consists of two quarter-pound thick juicy patties topped with melted Swiss cheese, grilled onions and house-made Thousand Island dressing on grilled marble rye bread. All of the hamburgers are ground fresh in house, and the chef sears the burgers on a flat grill to lock in the juices.

So many places feel they have the biggest tenderloin to offer. Emil’s tenderloin might give those places a reason to pause. The fresh pork tenderloin, which is hand-breaded and deep fried to a golden brown, then served on an oversized sesame seed bun with crisp pickles and onions, is not only large around but also in thickness, yet still very juicy and tender. You will not leave hungry with any option on Emil’s menu, but this one you may need a to-go box for.

The Chicken Parmesan is another favorite. Tender chicken breasts breaded and grilled to golden perfection on a bed of al dente penne pasta that has been tossed in a thick pomodoro sauce and topped with their special five cheese blend and Italian seasoning. It is the perfect combination of luxury and comfort food.

This time we did not have room for dessert, but Emil’s Hideaway offers pies from the local Kathy’s Pies bakery, giving an exceptional end to a great meal.

Part-owner, Nathan Allick, stopped out to see how we were doing and make sure we had been taken care of. He’s a hands-on kind of guy, often in the kitchen, but very attentive to his patrons. We assured him that everything was wonderful as it always is. His grandfather, Emil Allick, owned Emil’s Deli--the iconic sandwich shop established in downtown Cedar Rapids in 1964, and later his dad, Dave Allick ran the Deli. Now Nathan is continuing the local restaurant business at the Hideaway along with his brother Chris, and Allyn Secor and Jayme Tegeler.

With the holidays coming up, this is great place to grab a gift certificate for that hard-to-shop-for person or someone that just loves really good food. I know I would appreciate a certificate to Emil’s Hideaway!

If you are looking for a place to host your holiday party this year, the Hideaway is available on Sundays for private events of all sizes. Closed on Sundays to the public, Emil’s can host your holiday party with ease. Contact Emil’s Hideaway with any inquiries at emilshideaway@gmail.com.

Emil’s Hideaway
222 Glenbrook Dr SE, Cedar Rapids
319.743.3123
www.emilshideaway.com

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