We drive to NE Iowa from Northern California every year.
Near Red Wing, in Cannon Falls, is a great meat market with a huge selection of jerky and sausages. Lorentz Meats & Deli.
The Twisted Chicken http://www.thetwistedchicken.com/ McGregor, IA
Great Mexican in Postville, IA Sabor Latino . Postville is a funny little town. They have the largest kosher meat packing plant in the country run by ex-Brooklyn Hasidic Jews. We made a side trip to see what a rural Iowa Kosher Jewish Deli in Iowa would be like. We hit them on a bad day, we suppose. Pastrami on white with mayo.
There was some bad press about the meat plant a while back, but what we found funny was the locals got up in arms about the lack of lawn-care from the Jews. They had a town meeting and decided to teach them how to keep a proper mid-western lawn.
The Shanti in Gunder, IA serves a huge burger in the middle of nowhere. http://www.thegunderburger.com/
Friday nights are fish fries in most of the area. Near Prescott, WI is a place called Joe s Valley , I think they are officially the Valley Inn . It s a pretty good fish fry. On Wednesdays it s great fried chicken, and on some Wednesday nights they have an even larger selection.