Are you a lover of carbs? Us, too. So you know when it’s time to indulge, you do it right -- with Z’Mariks. Lucky for us, the Iowa-based franchise specializes in all things pasta and rice, and they’ve got one of their four locations right next door in Clive. According to General Manager Michael Braun, 31, these are the three most popular bowlz diners order -- and with good reason.
Z’ Mac n Cheese
$3.99 small, $5.79 regular
Who says basic is bad? When it comes to macaroni and cheese, Z’Mariks knows what’s up. “The Original” starts with curly cavatappi noodles and finishes with an ooey-gooey draping of cheese sauce that’s made fresh daily. Take special advantage of Mondays at Z'Mariks, when you can get a regular-size bowl of this goodness for just $4. Want to switch it up? Go for Z’ Basil Mac, Z’ Buffalo Chicken Mac or Z’ Garlic Mac.
Z’ Spicy Peanut
$4.79 small, $5.99 regular
Heat things up with this fun play on Pad Thai. Every forkful features a delicious blend of rice stick noodles, broccoli, carrots and cabbage -- all sauteed in a tantalizing peanut sauce. The bowl is slightly sweet, making it an option even non-spicy eaters can get on board with. Crunchy, roasted peanuts help tame the heat.
$6.79 small, $7.99 regular
Mexican food lovers will be all over this zesty fajita bowl. It’s made with all the must-haves: grilled chicken, onions and colorful red, yellow and green peppers sizzled in a fiesty fajita sauce. Top it over a bed of lime-cilantro rice then plop on the sour cream and cheese, and you’re golden. Prefer it hot? Squeeze on some sriracha -- there’s a bottle at every table. (Z’Mariks was on the sriracha train before it was even trendy.)
Bonus: Z’Mariks also offers soup, salad, sweets and even beer.
Z'mariks Noodle Cafe
Find it: 12655 University Ave., Clive
Hours: 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday – Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday
Info: 515-223-9605 or zmariks.com