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Dining in Iowa


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A fun article about dining in Iowa. I used to love those fried pork tenderloin sandwiches when I was a kid. This piece should be Eric Ziebold bait.

And then there's this lovely paragraph about the much-maligned Iowa landscape: "But Iowa turned out to be the most pleasant and picturesque of the states I've driven through so far: It's not dead flat, at least not for long stretches; its gently sloping farmland reads like some sort of fantasy Americana: deep-green soy fields, wavy rows of corn (which I tried not to think of ending up as high fructose corn syrup), picturesque red barns and the occasional old could-be-haunted farmhouses."

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Congratulations to Archie's Waeside, in tiny LeMars, Iowa, for their honor from the James Beard Foundation as a "Classic" American restaurant. I've only been there once, and I can tell you it ain't much to look at--a Midwestern supper club whose decor has seen better days--but the steaks are astoundingly good, and I hear that they have a remarkable wine list, if you know to ask for it.

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Sioux City

Sioux City (not to be mistaken for Sioux Falls), is a small town along the Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota borders.  The downtown has a small historic district, with old timey buildings that are now restaurants, bars, and music venues.  The Sioux City Arts Center is a very nice small art museum and learning center with large scale sculptures surrounding the buildings (definitely worth a visit).  I didn't make it to the Sioux City Public Museum.  I stayed at the surprisingly modern Courtyard Marriott next to the convention center.  

Marto Brewing Company:  Across the street from the Courtyard Marriott.  Decent woodfired pizza (mine could have used another minute in the oven).  At lunch I had a great grilled cheese sandwich and awesome slice of carrot cake. The beers are solid to good.  Check out their rotating Smell of Money Hazy IPA selection (the version I had with anchovy hops was a very good beer), their porter was fine as was the nitro stout.  The 2 year aged barleywine was potent and tasty, but way too heavy for a 100 degree day!   

Jitters:  A cute coffee shop with mismatched furniture.  Mediocre coffee, very tasty doughnuts.  

Bistro on 4th:  The Courtyard Marriott hotel restaurant, with a good bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. 

There's not a ton to do in Sioux City, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.  

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