Wanderingjew reports from Iowa:
Niland's Cafe lies about 40 miles north of Des Moines in Colo Corner on what used to be Old Lincoln Highway. Unlike the other restaurants in this series (steakhouses and supper clubs), Niland's is just a small town café. It adjoins a renovated motel and converted gas station/museum that provided services for motorists in the 1940s and 1950s.
Walk into the cafe and checkered floors will greet you like a scene straight out of the past, with counter and booth seating. In the second room, you'll find tables and the front end of a 1939 Cadillac.
Meals come with choice of potato and vegetable along with a side salad. Unfortunately, the vegetables are frozen; however the mashed potatoes and beef gravy are very real. I substituted ham and bean soup for the side salad: a good choice. The Iowa Chop is smoked, and although it is thick and loaded with porcine flavor, it also is dry. Sour Cream Raisin pie is more sweet than sour, generously loaded with raisins.
Niland's is a nice throwback to another time.