…… What a great post……
That corn chowder with the fritter was a treat to see!
Can’t wait for more reports from you….
I haven’t made it to Le Mars yet, but after reading this report, I may have to change that soon. Archie’s Waeside especially sounds wonderful. Please keep the great reports coming!
Completely enjoyed your report.Keep up the good work.[:)]
GREAT STUFF! Hope you had an elasticized waistband on your pants there…. wow. [:)]
Terrific trip report, both parts jwagner! I have the crippling decision-making problem as well when I’m faced with so much good stuff and only one sad little tummy to fill. That was a really good looking club sandwich up there.
Hope you keep us up to date next time you get back to Bob’s Drive In.
Great trip report!
Hey,I really enjoyed this story..nice adventure…and nicely written. Great job,jwagnerdsm
Stephen Rushmore Jr.
Day three of my swing through western Iowa began with such great promise and such fine, fresh memories of my gluttony on days one and two that I had a nagging fear something would happen to ruin my trip.
I awoke on Tuesday morning hungrier than I have been in nearly a year. But I wanted to save myself for my time in LeMars, 30 miles north of Sioux City, because I wanted to be fresh for more culinary discovery.
As I left Sioux City I passed Tastee In & Out and had to fight the urge to stop for a loose meat and some of their onion chips, another Road Food favorite. Since my new job will take me to northwest Iowa on a more regular basis, I resisted.
But by the time I got to LeMars I was starving. Where to start?
A food writer I know once told me that he believes LeMars to be, pound for pound, the best food town in Iowa. He bases much of that on the presence of Archie’s Waeside and Bob’s Drive-In, two icons in the Roadfood World. Both of those restaurants were on my itinerary today. But first I wanted to check out the Four Brothers Bar and Grill, a nifty restaurant and bar in a shiny building on the south end of town.
Four Brothers is operated by the same family that operates Bob’s Drive-In, but the only similarity after that is that they both offer consistently good meals. I arrived at about 11:30 a.m. and the place was already packed, always a good sign, especially since it’s a restaurant that even locals have to get in their car and drive to, instead of just walking down the street.
The hostess seemed to pity the fact that I was dining alone and suggested I might want to eat in the smoke-free bar (actually the whole restaurant is smoke free, a decision the management made a week before opening) and encouraged me by noting that I could handle the remote control and peruse a stack of newspapers.
The menu isn’t overwhelmingly large, but offers a large variety of Angus beef steaks ($13.99 to $29.99), prime rib, pastas ($12.99 to $17.99) and other entrees. There are always three soups on a menu, Baked French Onion and Iowa Corn Chowder as well as a daily special, as well as salads and sandwiches.
Prime Rib is the most popular item on the menu, but since I was eating beef at Archie’s, I decided to try to eat lite. The menu noted a lunch special of a cup of soup or salad and a half-cold sandwich or wrap for $6.99. After considerable hand-wringing I opted for the Smokehouse Pub Club and the corn chowder.
And then I sat and worried. The manager of the place told me that the cook their prime rib for 12 hours and it was easily their most popular item. The Prime Rib Philly ($8.99 for a whole or $6.99 for a half) promised thin shaved meat, sauteed onions, mushrooms and peppers and provolone cheese. The Flat Iron Steak Sandwich sounded promising and, although I basically make it a rule never to order seafood in Iowa, the Florida Grouper Sandwich also was tempting.
Just as I was about to cry, the server brought me my lunch and instead of battling tears of frustration, I was fighting tears of joy.
My first thought was: THIS is a half-order. I never heard that it wasn’t and I was afraid to ask. Instead, I will go to my grave wondering if this were some kind of beautiful mistake.
The half sandwich was at least three inches high and included ham, turkey, havarti cheese, cheddar cheese, lots of bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo on toasted honey oat bread. I struggled to get the first bite into my mouth and nearly swallowed the toothpick that held it all together in my unbridled excitement.
The sandwich comes with a side of honey mustard in a little dip cup but I couldn’t figure out how to get the condiment onto this beautiful creation without disassembling it and risking never getting it back together again. Dipping was out of the question since the sandwich was one and a half times as big as the cup itself. I struggled for a minute ,29,398883,0,42789,22.214.171.124
398882,398851,398851,2008-05-22 15:48:34,RE: $1.00 Hot Dogs???”
April 2008 Swing Through Western Iowa, Part 2
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