Cottonwood Canyon offers mix of unique dishes

Cottonwood Canyon is a locally run business inspired by a mix of Caribbean- and American-styled cuisine. Run by Randolph Bryan with the help of his family, he’s been serving the Waterloo and Cedar Falls community since 2002.

Junior Andre Bryan is his son, and he is in charge of running the family’s food trucks in the summer along with his brother, Randolph Jr.

“We are definitely a family run business. All the kids have their responsibilities that they have to satisfy, providing that all school work is taken care of. The two oldest kids, Andre and Randolph, run the summer food trucks. My wife Brooke handles logistics, making sure things are in their proper place. Francis, my 7 year old, is our Saturday cashier, and I tend to do the day to day operation,” Randolph said.

Randolph’s family caters to over 12 jazz and blues festivals a year, as well as Sturgis Falls, Waterloo Days and even more depending on what they can find around the state.

Cottonwood Canyon delivers food as well by catering parties, graduations, weddings, festivals, birthdays, and school and church functions locally.

With nearby restaurant locations at 218 East 4th Street in Waterloo and 419 Washington Street in Cedar Falls, people can easily try new and different food.

The Waterloo store has been open for a number of years, but the Cedar Falls location, “The House,” was opened Dec. 16, 2016. Being a little under a year old now, the family run business has been doing well and giving the people of CF a taste of something new.

Randolph and his family have been serving people new and interesting food compared to what usually passes for food around Iowa. Offering vegetarian dishes and other intriguing menu options like jerk chicken and curried chicken rice bowls, customers get a fantastic Jamaican flair in a food market with little to no diversity.

With a food style, the only one of it’s kind in Cedar Falls, Randolph is pioneering a way for new ethnic backgrounds in the food market around town. With friendly staff, delicious food and drink, and an easy way to culture people that are new to this type of food, this place should be on the top of your list of places to go.

The House, appealing to coffee drinkers and people in search of a new place to hang out, is a neat place to go in these upcoming winter months. With a wide range of coffee and pastries to snack on, the small but cozy wood house is one of the best places to go around Main Street if you’re looking for a cool new coffee house to try.

Walking into The House, immediately glasses fog up in contrast to the brisk temperature outside. Instead of wind hitting your face, you’re hit with a wall of warm air and the scent of coffee and low chatter from people already inside.

There are bags upon bags of Jamaican coffee and mugs lining the entrance, all of which are for sale.

Walking further inside, you’ll find there are small areas for seating next to windows inside the house, filled up by people sipping on coffee enjoying the warmth.

Ordering what you want can be a little tricky, with tons of combinations and options to choose for coffee and food, so it makes it hard to come to a decision. Waiting only a few minutes for one of their 12 oz dark roasts, the “Jamaican Me Crazy,” I was pleasantly surprised to have gotten it so quickly.

Sitting down and taking in the whole experience, I couldn’t help but think Cottonwood Canyon is now a favorite among my coffee houses to go to. With a relaxing, cool vibe, it’s a great place to sit down and get school work done or even just hang out with friends and grab a bite to eat.

If you’re looking for a restaurant to try with a quiet, homey vibe and extraordinarily different food, you can’t get much better than Cottonwood Canyon.

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