SIOUX CITY | Frigid temperatures with a howling wind? Check. Chance for snow in the forecast? More than likely.
Our advice to you: bundle up and grab a wrap, especially if that wrap is served up hot with plenty of meat and fresh veggies.
"Even though most people think of us as a place for coffee and doughnuts, Jitters has also always served gourmet wraps," owner Sarah Kragthorpe said, inside the dining room of her 306 Virginia St. eatery.
Indeed, many of Jitters' most popular wraps are named after actual hot spots.
For instance, early risers may enjoy evocatively named breakfast wraps like the Southwestern (an omelet served pepper jack cheese along with a sweet and spicy green pepper chutney) and the Californian (an omelet nestled next to tomatoes, onions, green peppers and a slab of gooey mozzarella).
Jitters' lunchtime wraps may also elicits oohs and aahs from noon noshers desiring a far-flung feast.
Don't believe us? Then, check out such wraps as the Chicken Verona (herb-marinated chicken, paired with roasted peppers, diced tomatoes and pesto sauce); the Ole' O'Delicious (taco meat served with salsa, black olives, cheese, sour cream and crushed tortilla chips); and the Polynesian (shredded pork doused with barbecue sauce, Spanish rice and a slice of pineapple) that will allow you to experience the taste of a South Sea Island without having to leave city limits.
When Kragthorpe opened Jitters nearly 20 years ago, the Sioux City native envisioned it would be a cool coffeehouse that also had a small menu of food items.
"Before I moved back to town, I had been living in Connecticut and New York City was simply a 45-minute trip," she said. "I'm sure that influenced my menu."
That was certainly the case with Jitters' Curried Chicken cool wrap, which is a personal favorite of Kragthorpe's.
"Believe it or not, Midwesterners didn't have a great deal of exposure to curry years ago," she said, noting that the wrap, containing chicken dappled with a curry mayo, lettuce and tomato, took a few years to take off.
Which is fine by Kragthorpe, who relies heavily on her kitchen staff for creating captivating wraps.
"I put a lot of faith in my staff," she said. "They'll come up with a wonderful idea, working on the recipe until it's been perfected."
That was true for the Veggie wrap, which remains Jitters' best seller. Served with cream cheese, dill, broccoli, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, sunflower seeds and homemade ranch dressing, it is as delicious as it is healthy.
Perhaps reflecting Kragthorpe's worldly appetite as well as her enthusiasm for puns, the Wok 'N' Roll -- consisting of grilled chicken, rice, pea pods, carrots, pineapple, celery and crunchy chow mein noodles -- is a wrap that can't be beat.
However, she is especially pleased with a small menu of upscale grilled cheese sandwiches that Jitters will be releasing in the coming weeks.
"This is our brand-new Southwestern grilled cheese sandwich, which is made with a pepper jack cheese, jalapenos and a homemade mango chutney," Kragthorpe explained. "It's spicy, sweet and salty, all at the same time."
Soon, the Southwestern Grilled Cheese will be joined by a few more variations of the comfort food fave.
"As a small business, Jitters has been lucky over the years," Kragthorpe said. "We've built up a customer base that have been with us since day one. Plus we've been able to expand beyond that base."
She said the key to her business has remained the same over the years.
"People will respond to made-to-order food that is delicious and comforting."
That's good to know on the chilliest days of the season.
"Nothing warms you up like a wrap that is served with a hot cup of coffee," Kragthorpe said.