20 July 2006

Let's Eat!

The Des Moines Register has, with the help of Iowa residents, compiled a list of 100 things to eat in Iowa before you die. Check it out and see if you've had any of them. I was surprised by how many I'd had. (homebase, maybe this can be our roadtrip! Print it out this map and it could be our guide, both geographically and gastronomically!)

Here are the items I've tried...
1. Taco Pizza, Happy Joe's, locations across Iowa (superb, it used to be a favorite lunch buffet when I worked out in WDM)
2. Sweet corn, Sweet Corn Festival, Adel (not yet, but Halo Pottery will be there on Aug. 12, and the corn is free, so I'll be trying it then)
5. Rhubarb wine, Ackerman Winery, Amana
6. Schild Brau Amber, Millstream Brewery, Amana Colonies (not positive, but I've tried most of theirs)
7. Sauerbraten (beef marinated in a sweet and sour sauce, made with spices and Amana wines) with potato dumplings, Ronneburg Restaurant, Amana
8. Saucy Southerner Sandwich, Hickory Park, Ames (caboose's favorite :)
10. Denver-Style Crust Pizza, The Great Plains Sauce and Dough Co., Ames (great dipped in honey)
11. Gyro, The Gyro Guy outdoor cart, Campustown, Ames (a must)
13. Fresh Beer-Battered Onion Rings, The Redwood Steakhouse, Anita
36. Corn dog, Campbell's Concessions, Iowa State Fair, Des Moines (not sure if it was this exact vendor)
39. Steak taco, Tasty Tacos, Des Moines (bleck)
41. Trappistine Creamy Caramels, Trappistine Nuns of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey Monastery, Dubuque
58. Tuscan Tomato Soup, Bread Garden Bakery & Cafe, Iowa City (the best!)
59. Vegetarian Falafel Sandwich, Oasis Falafel, Iowa City (I get mine w/hummus)
74. Blue Cheese, Maytag Dairy Farm, Newton (not at the farm, but I've had it)
95. Cinnamon Roll, Iowa Machine Shed, Urbandale (fat city)

And then, I've been to these restaurants but have not had the specific item...
12. Margarita, O'Malley & McGees, Ames
24. Onion Rings, J Bruners steak restaurant, Clarinda
35. Chicken Spiedini, Tursi's Latin King Restaurant, Des Moines
57. Brie Beast Sandwich (Niman Ranch roast beef, brie cheese, roasted sweet peppers, lettuce and tomato on farm bread), New Pioneer Co-Op, Iowa City and Coralville
70. 16-ounce Ribeye (heart-cut, bacon-wrapped), Rube's Steaks, Montour and Waukee
84. Country Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Creamed Vegetables, first Sunday of the month, Elks Club, Shenandoah

There is also this follow-up of readers writing in to say what was missed, but it's mostly forgettable. (I have had a Root Beer Float at the A&W in Indianola (and Clarinda).


  1. A couple oddities....Peanut butter burger...Sink cookies....and how do hamburger buns get on the list?

  2. the Elk's in Shen is actually Emmy's show -- she just does it 1x a month. I think they call it Emmy's buffett.

    I told Kt last time we were down that we'd have to stop there.

  3. I think Chuck Offenburger helped with this, it is in a book at our library and I just looked at it recently and was amazed at what I have tried. You and Kate would like Emmy's everyone here goes, not me, I find it too fattening and too creamed, everything, cabbage, corn , you name it , she creams it. Her buns were good but I think her sister makes them now.

  4. ...when the chicken fried steaks arrived, she said i like livin' like this...

  5. Great Map Option too!

    Very Iowan quote:

    No. 51: Chicken Walnut Salad, served on Wednesdays at Kelcy’s, Grinnell
    Even men like it. We’ve been serving it 15 years. It’s a secret recipe — chicken, walnut, real bacon, cheese and tomato, but it’s probably the dressing, made with bacon drippings and brown sugar. ”
    — Lorie Sumner, longtime employee

    b/c in farm country, real men eat chicken fried steak, not chicken salad. :)

  6. The whole thing is so 50's Iowa," made with bacon drippings and brown sugar", creamed food to the hilt, cinammon rolls big as the plate, chicken fried anything,gravy ... do people still eat that way everyday? Kinda funny the lady said secret recipe then proceded to tell every ingredient, even the secret one.

  7. PS. Real Iowa men wring the chicken's neck on the way into dinner,( not supper or lunch, dinner!)