Mike Whalen’s team at Heart of America (https://heartofamericagroup.com/restaurants/) has created a beautiful setting on the east edge of the metro. Situated on a small pond and next to the new-ish outlet mall in Altoona, the massive temple to outdoor life Bass Pro Shops, and just west of Prairie Meadows, you have two excellent, but separate options with patios, both are perfect places for lunch, happy hour, or dinner…choose the upscale Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse (which we’ve done and enjoy immensely and just may review later!) or the brand spanking new burger shed, or BS, where I had lunch on a recent occasion. The perfect 70 degree day made for a natural opportunity to eat on said patio. Service was great, food was excellent (as you’d expect from the baby brother to Iowa’s iconic Machine Shed restaurant), and the layout is fresh. With the two patios, one on the pond and the other off the second level and decorated with comfy couches, the cool upstairs bar with shuffle boards, the massive TV’s over the downstairs bar, and the open kitchen with chef monitoring the line, this is a cool setting. 

Meal

The Shed Burger, modified to lower carb (minus the bun) and changed the standard pepper jack cheese to Swiss & American together. Instead of fries I went with coleslaw…which brings me to my only minor “complaint;” I was told it was creamy by my server. Not sure it met that criteria for me, but everyone has their own definitions. Check out the accompanying picture to judge for yourself…but this is a nitpick for sure. 

Drink

Not Your Average Vodka Soda, also ordered lower carb by asking for no simple syrup. Don’t judge, it was after Noon and I didn’t have to work that day. 😉 This was a very tasty and complimentary drink. 

After my excellent lunch, I toured the inside of this 6-week old stand alone location. Assistant Chief Operating Executive, Jason Krull met me upstairs after checking on my meal and answered some questions and educated me on some things about the menu, the area, and their philosophy. As I said the meal was excellent with the minor exception of the coleslaw being just “meh.” As you can see from the picture of the menu, the Shed Burger is made up of a blend of smoked beef brisket and Angus beef (as all of their burgers) and then more beef brisket in top! Oh my! With the fried onion strings and Shed BBQ sauce (yes, this is why I said “lower carb” and not KetO!)…LOVED the combos of flavors! The education received from Jason was when I asked about not being asked about burger temperature. He informed me that they don’t ask, due to their blend of brisket and Angus beef, it is very difficult to get to a uniform medium or rare…they simply shoot for a medium to medium-well. And I have to say, as someone that has matured into preferring medium over my immature self’s medium-well to well-done, they nailed it! With the evolution of the area that was originally entirely owned by the Heart of America group, and the ease in getting there, even from Grimes and the other Western suburbs, Mrs. Overlin and I will be back. Besides we need to get over and check out the Outlets of Des Moines (Under Armor, I see you!)…