Bryan Sink dreamed of a career in music. Fortunately for northeastern Iowa, he followed a different path in becoming Chef Bryan, creating award-winning dishes. The Iowa native opened Bryan’s on 4th in Waterloo in 2016 and hasn’t looked back.
His journey to Bryan’s took him to down several paths. Joining the Army at age 17, Sink achieved the rank of an E-5. Following the Army, he attended college at the University of Northern Iowa before spending several years as part of a “top 40”-style band. It was his band career that eventually led him to the restaurant industry.
Sink worked in some of the same hotels he stayed in during his music career. A chef recognized a talent for food and that launched Sink on to the career that he has loved for several years.
Prior to returning to the Waterloo area, Sink worked as a chef for several hotels, including the Vanderbilt in Nashville. He launched his own restaurant – Three Monkeys – in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Sink returned to Waterloo to help care for his mother, who became ill. He worked as a chef for Hy-Vee until learning a location was available for a downtown restaurant. He took on the challenge of creating a new eatery, Bryan’s on 4th.
The chophouse restaurant offers some of the best food you will ever enjoy. When we travel, we usually dine at a variety of restaurants to sample a variety of food. However, we loved the food and service at Bryan’s so much that we dined there twice during our visit.
Our first visit introduced us to fantastic service. From the maître d to our server, everyone at Bryan’s on 4th was customer-focused. Our drinks were topped off often. We sampled corn crab cakes. They were delicious, sitting atop a layer of tomato basil.
Your server brings out a bread basket with homemade cashew spinach garlic butter. The bread is fresh. I’m not a fan of butter but loved the combination of cashew with the other ingredients.
The main dishes are amazing. One night, I tried steak tips with seasonal vegetables. The food was succulent. Seasoned perfectly, I couldn’t stop talking about it afterward. The next night, I went for the bison ribeye steak. The steak was so large (about 16 ounces), I couldn’t finish it. Prepared exactly as I requested, it was juicy and had the right amount of pink in the middle.
Lisa went with fish both nights. The trout on Friday was great, in her review. It came with a fish head on the plate. The server warned us. We thought it added to the presentation. The fish looked angry. But, again, who wouldn’t be if you were the main course of a meal. We nicknamed it “Angry Trout.” Her next night choice was a safer walleye. No head, but the same delicious taste she enjoyed the night before.
Dessert was decadent. We shared a homemade strawberry shortcake. The shortbread was light and fluffy. Topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries and a dollop of handmade whipped topping.
Dinner and music
While Chef Bryan has established a great career creating food dishes, he hasn’t forsaken his love for music. Sink leads a band of in-house musicians in the basement at the Limestone Lounge. Their mix of classic rock with a jazz and blues style is impressive. We enjoyed a drink while listening to the band for about an hour. It was a wonderful nightcap for our dining adventure.
Bryan’s on 4th is so good that I create reasons for detouring off I-35 when we travel in that part of Iowa. We will return to Waterloo and Bryan’s on 4th. We recommend dining here. You will fall in love with it.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Visit Waterloo for the gift card, which covered dinner for one of our visits. However, all opinions and views are ours.