DAKOTA CITY – For more than five years, Daga’s on Wheels has built a reputation for its made-to-order wet burritos, super nachos and famous queso tacos, which consist of gooey mozzarella cheese wedged inside two corn tortillas, with lots of onions and cilantro.
With a few Weekender Siouxland’s Choice Awards under his belt, you’d think Daga’s on Wheels owner Tyson Sanchez could rest on his laurels, right?
Good, rest is not in the vocabulary of an ambitious entrepreneur like Sanchez, whose new Daga’s on Broadway has just opened at 100 N. Main St. in Dakota City.
And guess what? You won’t find tacos, quesadillas or Hot Cheeto Nacho on the menu!
REIMAGINE THE GREAT AMERICAN STEAKHOUSE
That’s because Sanchez wanted Daga’s on Broadway to be the place where he could re-imagine American steakhouse favorites.
The purchase of the building that once housed Hungry’s, a popular steakhouse for more than two decades, allows it to do so.
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“People loved Hungry’s because they loved their steaks, chops and chicken,” Sanchez explained. “When it closed, diners were disappointed and Dakota City lost a destination restaurant.”
When the location went up for sale, Sanchez bought it. In addition, he and his team spent almost 10 months completely renovating the property.
ELEGANT AESTHETICS, WITH A HISTORY SIDE
Gone are the towering dark woodwork of Hungry. They have been replaced by an elegant and comfortable seat.
Wait, did we say all of Hungry’s dark wood is gone? In fact, part of it was kept for a private VIP table, honoring both the steakhouse’s and Dakota City’s colorful past.
“We wanted the steakhouse to be a place where everyone feels comfortable,” Sanchez said. “It doesn’t matter if a person brings their family or their wife on a special date, we would be able to accommodate.”
But Sanchez knew he needed help creating a whole new menu. This is where veteran chef Clay Lillie came into the picture.
Lillie previously worked as an executive chef at Key Club and Clyde’s. Prior to that, he was the late Rick Beaulieu’s sous chef at former Bev’s on The River.
“I knew Clay had the talent and the imagination to create an awesome menu,” Sanchez said.
WHERE’S THE BEEF? IT’S AT DAGA
Indeed, Daga’s on Broadway offers sirloin, New York strip and rib eye served every day. All are cut by hand, grilled to perfection and covered with homemade butter.
On Fridays, Daga prime rib includes a loin of ribs, rubbed with a blend of herbs and spices before slowly roasting until medium rare.
“I think it’s cool when people ask us where we buy our beef, we can just show the street and say we get it at Tyson Fresh Meats,” Sanchez noted with a chuckle.
COMFORT FEEDING WITH A TWIST
But Daga’s doesn’t skimp on sandwiches. They include a House Burger, which contained a half-pound steak patty on a toasted brioche bun and served with pickles, lettuce, red onions, and homemade aioli.
Likewise, the New York Steak Sandwich is served with an open-faced North York strip loin that is seared, sliced and placed on a sour crust with creamy Swiss cheese, tomatoes, onions, and horseradish sauce.
Lillie called this kitchen “comfort food with a twist.”
The same goes for applications such as chislic, chicken fingers and fried mushrooms, which are hand breaded, crispy fried and served with a side of Tabasco aioli.
Sanchez admitted that he and Lillie came from different culinary perspectives.
“I work on a food truck, I’m used to working fast,” Sanchez said. “Clay teaches me that in fine dining, things can go slower.”
One place Sanchez and Lillie have to take extra time is behind the bar.
“At the Key Club, I learned how to make alcoholic punches because I made the syrups in them,” said Lillie, while pouring a Summer Breeze drink with berries, bourbon, lemonade and lavender. “Making a drink is more complex than making a cocktail. I prefer to spend my time in a kitchen.
Soon, Daga’s will be opening a unique sports bar on the same premises, giving people the chance to have a meal in a steakhouse setting before watching football in a more homely atmosphere.
KEEP AN ADVANTAGE OF THE GAME
Over the past five years, Sanchez has seen the food truck scene explode as mobile catering has become more mainstream.
“I think within a few years you’ll see more taco trucks than stand-alone Mexican restaurants,” he explained. “I started Daga’s on Wheels at the right time. Now Daga’s on Broadway is my plan B.”
Don’t worry, Sanchez already has a Plan C and a Plan D in the works.
Right now, he just wanted to make sure Daga’s on Broadway was a success.
“Although Dakota City is close to Sioux City, it still requires a drive,” Sanchez said. “I want Daga’s on Broadway to be that destination steakhouse that will always be worth a visit.”