Jeff Hart is passionate about great food and golf, and he serves up plenty of both at Harty's Caddy Shack on Central Avenue in downtown Fort Dodge.
"I love home cooking, and the restaurant business is my passion," said Hart, a Fort Dodge native whose father ran Community Tap and Pizza for many years.
Since opening Harty's Caddy Shack in 2012, Hart has been offering his own delicious taste of Fort Dodge daily at breakfast and lunch in his golf-themed restauant. Breakfast favorites are served all day, including Candy Hart Pancakes (named after Hart's daughter), and Nick's "Wildman Skillet," which features two eggs, sausage, bacon, onions and peppers served on grilled red potatoes topped with melted cheese and served with toast.
The family-friendly caf features at least three specials each day, noted Elaine Ramirez, Hart's girlfriend who helps run the restaurant. Customer favorites include Todd's Monster Burgers, which are named after Hart's nephew and are served on Texas toast with two cheeses, bacon, ham, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, onions and spicy ranch Tiger Sauce.
Other popular specials and menu items range from chicken salad sandwiches with potato salad to Italian sausage omelets and Philly cheese omelets. Guests can also enjoy Harty's Caddy Shack's famous Made Right Sandwiches, which are prepared the old-fashioned way and are half price each Saturday.
Hart continues to add new items to the menu, too. His latest creation is a savory, Philly-cheese-inspired Made Right known as the "Philly Bob," which features ground beef, green peppers, white Philly cheese and onions.
Fresh ingredients ensure quality
Harty's Caddy Shack is open seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 7 a.m. to noon on Sunday. The caf offers a delivery service and has built a loyal clientele with many downtown businesses and Cargill at the ag park west of Fort Dodge. Thanks to its convenient location, the Harty's Caddy Shack has also become a destination for the Sunday church crowd.
"We have a lot of regulars and enjoy getting to know our customers," said Ramirez, who likes being downtown.
The restaurant is also a family affair. Hart does most of the cooking and is assisted by his niece, Kristina Naylor. Ramirez and her daughter, Nicole, also work at the caf. "We don't take shortcuts," Ramirez said. "We do our prep work with fresh ingredients every day, like shredding the potatoes for the hash browns."
This attention to detail and dedication to quality is second nature to Hart. "I always wanted to have my own restaurant, and I like hearing that people love our food. That makes it all worthwhile."
To contact Harty's Caddy Shack, call 515-302-8004.