Elsbeth, are you back from your trip yet? How about a progress report?
For another Iowa suggestion, stop at the Maid-rite place at the Avoca exit (Mile 40). When I was growing up years ago in Iowa, homemade loose meat sandwiches were an authentic Iowa tradition & Maid-rite epitomized this tradition. However, the entire Maid-rite chain in recent years seemed to have gone somewhat downhill.
Imagine my surprise today when I filled my gas tank at the I-40 exit & saw the skin-on homemade fries behind the Maid-rite counter. I quizzed the manager about her product. She said that the maid-rite meat used to come to the store already cooked but she stopped that & all of the meat is now cooked & seasoned on-premises. After hearing this, I gleefully order the Mega-rite (double portion of meat) & fries. I was transported back to my childhood.
blizzardstormus, I commend you for recommending another restaurant. That’s a gracious thing to do, and I know that lots of folks here appreciate your generosity.
Oh,and welcome to Roadfood.
Van’s Chat & Chew was THE place to go years ago. Unfortunately, it closed several years ago.
We are located a block away from downtown at 4th Street & Walnut. Oh yeah, did I mention our homemade frozen custard?
Another good restaurant nearby is the Danish Inn, located in Elkhorn, IA. The restaurant is located next to a working Danish windmill. The Danish Inn specializes in Danish food, but, also features a daily buffet (Thursday night is prime rib, crab legs & seafood).
Looks like another place for me to include in the "possibles" for the Fall trip.
Blizzard, where are you in Atlantic? I’ll try your place out.
I’m over there occasinaly, My grandparents lived in Atlantic. I havent been downtown for a few years, probably the last place in Atlantic I ate was when my Grandmother would take me to "Vans Chat & Chew"
This might be the first opportunity for a RoadFoodie to try out my restaurant. I own The Farmer’s Kitchen in Atlantic, Iowa. We are located halfway between Des Moines and Omaha just off I-80.
Our food: Homemade tenderloins (one of the top 5 in the state according to Iowa Pork Producers), chili (3rd place for restaurant chili at the 2005 World Chili Championship), homemade pies (my mom makes an 8 egg-white meringue for her sour cream raisin pie).
I know this is a shameless plug for my restaurant but I really would like to find out how we stack up against others.
Al-Thanks for the welcome, actaully been around awhile just dont post often.
The last time I was at Iowa Beef was probably about 2000, It was looking worn. I was going to try it again about a year ago and the wait was so long I went elsewhere, so I cant say whether they have done any remodeling or not.
There is a newer cook your own steak house which is about 10 minutes west of Des Moines in Waukee and is very popular It’s called Rubes steakhouse. The steaks are every bit as good as Iowa Beef, but probably $5 to $10 dollars more, sides are little more upscale also.
First of all, welcome to Roadfood. Thanks for the comments on the Iowa places.
We stopped at the Iowa Beefsteak place in Des Moines a couple of times in the 90’s and the last time we were there (’99) It had appeared pretty "run-down". Have they done any renovating or up-dating the place since then. The steaks were outstanding (pork chops also) and as you say the sides were not something to write much about, but paired with the good beef, they were ok.
Let me know if it has improved in appearance or ‘wear n tear’ and we’ll keep in on our list for future stops.
Sounds like a fun roadtrip, I live in Des Moines and have never been to the Machine Shed, a lot of people go there and seem to like it, family style eating. I believe they also have a location in the Davenport area.
There are a couple of good tenderloin places in town, If your taste runs to that, try Smittys, good tenderloin sandwich (reviewed on RF). I like Big Tomato Pizza, lots of varied toppings and odd toppings(spam, corn etc) are available along with the usual, thats takeout only. Some good medium priced steakhouses, Iowa Beef Steakhouse is a cook your own, the cuts are good, the sides mediocre. Good restaurant up the street from Machine Shed is Sam&Gabes, they serve primarily Italian, kind of upscale. Lots of small neighborhood places, If you want to try something specific, please feel free to ask and I’ll try to answer.
Some place you may consider for breakfast is the Hamburg Inn in Iowa City about an hour west of Davenport. It’s a hole in the wall University town diner, been there forever. I always get the Reuben omelot whomefries.
Let me know If you have any questions about Iowa Places.
You have to stop at one of my all time favorites, Sioux Sundries, in Harrison Nebraska. It’s not covered in any Roadfood list, but fits the bill of Roadfood more than any place I’ve ever been to. http://www.lasr.net/pages/park.php?Park_ID=NE02sp001&VA=Y&Attraction_ID=NE0204005a002 It’s just about the most interesting out of the way place I’ve ever visited.
See this previous discussion. It might help on the Illinois to Colorado portion of your trip.
While I’m likely to agree with bill voss’ assessment of your route, I’ve got to assume there’s a reason for crisscrossing the Midwest the way you are. So, with that in mind let me recommend, highly and without reservation, Jim’s Rib Haven at 531 24th Street, in Rock Island, Illinois, off of I-80. In fact, if you went no further, and just stayed in Rock Island for a couple of days and ate Jim’s ribs, it would almost be worth the trip from PA!
It would be enough to say that this is some of the best barbecue you will eat outside of Kansas City(or Texas, or North Carolina, etc.), but this is some of the best barbecue you will ever eat, period. The first time we ate there we had a mini smorgasbord for our party of four. Brisket, pulled pork, and ribs with excellent French Fries, baked beans and, IMHO, the best potato salad on Earth! I have sung Jim’s praises in numerous other threads if you want to read more.
I can’t help much on the rest of your journey as you are covering rare unexplored territory for me. Now, if you decide to follow bill voss’ advice and stick to I-70 for the entire trip, I can hook you up with enough places in Missouri to keep you travelling through that state for a week!
P.S. While I can’t personally attest to any of the places recommended, there’s a whole slew of very promising eateries on or near your I-70 leg through Ohio and Eastern Indiana, listed here at Roadfood. MCL Cafeteria in Richmond Indiana; Midway Restaurant in Lewisburg, Ohio; Pine Club in Dayton, Ohio; Crabill’s for steamed cheeseburgers in Urbana, Ohio are all highly spoken of on this site. If you don’t mind making a slight change in your route, take I-65 north from Indianapolis and stop in at South Street Smokehouse in Lafayette. I have been there, and it is excellent Indiana Barbecue; also reviewed here at Roadfood. I-65 will take you up to I-80 to resume your route.
If you are already on 70, why don’t you just keep heading west? You are adding several hundred miles to go clear up to 80 to get to Grand Junction. The food’s better on 70 than 80 besides. Italian in St. Louis, BBQ in KC, , Cozy Inn in Salina, Al’s Chickenette or the Brookville Hotel in Western Ks. and on….
Clark’s Dining Room in Jacksontown, Ohio, just off I-70 on U.S. 40 about 35 miles east of Columbus. Terrific fried chicken cooked in cast iron skillets. http://www.clarksdiningroom.com/
Henry’s on U.S. 40 outside of West Jefferson in Central Ohio just west of Columbus. Terrific pies. It’s right off I-70.
Some places that have been mentioned on this site earlier….
Bohemian Cafe in Omaha recently re-reviewed.
Jennies in Empire Colorado (on US 40 but very close to I-70 exit 232)
Check the restaurant reviews on this site…There are several on the route that you plan to use.
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