Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket

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wanderingjew
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/24 18:51:49 (permalink)
Sunday August 29
 
I didn't realize that my breakfast stop was just 2 miles from my hotel.  Unfortunately the "muggys" were coming back and it was supposed to be a warm humid day.
 
Of course no one can head to Des Moines without stopping here
 

 
The Iowa  Machine Shed
in Urbandale
 
fully taking advantage of the corn
 

 
and
 

 
pork theme...
 
and of course the farm theme is very blatant when you enter the restaurant with farm tools as the main source of decor
 

 
There was no doubt in my mind what I was having for breakfast

 
 
a dinner plate sized cinnamon roll. This cinnamon roll was as good as it was big probably one of the best I've ever had and it comes with a tub of butter no less!   It went well with the bad weak coffee that they served, of course I couldn't finish it all and had to take it back with me to my hotel..
 
Afterwards I did go to Zanzibar- a nice little trendy coffee house on Ingersoll Avenue for a real cup of joe. And they served a surprisingly good cup too- It's  also walking distance from the Sterns Reviewed Jesse's Embers but I didn't go there.
 
After breakfast, I decided to head about 1/2 hour south of Des Moines to Winterset Iowa to  visit this legend..

 
"The Duke"
 
He grew up in Winterset Iowa and even has a street named after him..
 

 
The house he was born in was converted into a museum.
 

 
Unfortunately no photos were allowed inside the house
but apparently there appears to be plans to built an actual museum dedicated to John Wayne
 

 
I will say one thing, however lives next door to the house- must be a very dedicated fan of the man
 

 
Afterwards I headed back to Des Moines and stopped at
 

 
Historic Valley Junction actually located in  downtown West Des Moines
 

 
Valley Junction comprises several antique, gift and craft  shops and eateries. Although it's been a while, the last time I was there back back in 1998 over memorial day weekend and there was an art fair going on, and it was quite vibrant. I got there just before noon time this time around on a Sunday and unfortunately not all the shops were open and unfortunately not many people walking around. I'm not certain if it was because of the economy or because it was a Sunday.
 
After walking around and checking out the shops that were open, I eventually made my way about a half hour north for lunch at
 

 
Starbucks Fast Food

in Nevada IA.  I found out about the place through Ayersian's route 66 blog (I found out about Crouse Cafe the same way as well)
 
There was a decent lunch crowd when I arrived
 

 
 
Of course I ordered their specialty. The Loosemeats
 

 
The last time I had a loosemeats was at Maid Rite in Des Moines 12 years ago, and obviously I've been in no hurry to have one ever since. This time around all I can say is "better" better than my last experience but still not "good enough" .... Basically it's hacked up ground beef. There was a discernible flavor in the ground meat that tasted like "bread and butter pickle juice" and the sandwich came loaded with onions, pickle , ketchup and mustard.  But it really didn't do anything for me. I'll take one Iowa chop at market price over 5 free loosemeats anyday. At least it was a couple of steps above the one I had at Maid Rite over a decade ago.... I thought about getting the onion rings too but the girl behind the counter told me they're frozen and not homemade so I didn't get any..
 
After lunch I headed over to Ames to check out Iowa State University. There are no photos, because frankly I didn't find anything worthy to take a photo of. Ames does have a really cool downtown area  so I did take a stroll and ended up going to a local brew pub for a $2 beer- looks like  sunday afternoon  was happy hour!
 
I returned to Des Moines and decided to check out downtown, specifically their entertainment district called "the Court Avenue district" which encompasses a few blocks of bars and restaurants. Like I said earlier it was a warm muggy day and I needed a refresher so I stopped at
 

 
Java Joe's 
 
for an iced coffee and also for
 

 
 
This  nasty looking, shriveled up, stale and dry Dutch Letter- and yes it tasted as gross as it looks. Yes this is the second disappointment (and thankfully the last) of the trip..
I will say that the iced coffee wasn't bad. Unfortunately due to the deformed  Dutch Letter,  Java Joe's may be on the rotten tomatos list at the end of the year, however Java Joe's did rectify themselves later on in the trip.  

Hopefully dinner will turn out better...
and it did...to an extent....I've been wanting to check this place out for quite some time....Located in suburban Grimes...
The place has a really cool name..
 

 
The Corn Patch
 

 
The place has been around for almost 30 years, the decor is kind cozy
 

 
 
and they're apparently really famous for their
 

 
Potato soup which comes with every meal and  apparently has been described like "crack" all over the internet.  I don't get it- it wasn't bad but not the addicting elexir that everyone seems to make it out to be . It was creamy and full of big chunks of potatoes and probably was exceptional for potato soup but honestly I've never been a fan of potato soup and apparently this potato soup did not make me a convert.
 
Dinner also comes with a warm fresh loaf of bread
 

 
and some wilted lettuce
 

 
I was under the impression with a name like "the Corn Patch" that a huge heartland salad bar would there waiting for me...not exactly...
Ok so far, somewhat of a letdown- however the saving grace was the main course
 

 
Another fine juicy and tender  one lb Iowa chop served with a side of au jus
 
and a mess of
 

 
crispy hashbrowns...
 
You would think this meal would conclude with a climax--- pie anyone???? not here - cheese cake and ice cream only-  I didn't get any...

I'm not sure what to make of The Corn Patch-no salad bar- no pie-
great potato soup that I couldn't care less about, but the Iowa Chop
and Hash Browns were solid!
 
I went back to my hotel and finished the rest of my cinnamon roll from breakfast...
 
I'll continue with the report beginning next week..
 
 
 
 


post edited by wanderingjew - 2010/10/06 08:31:16
wanderingjew
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/26 08:37:30 (permalink)
Davydd

The Suzie Q Cafe owner is Troy Levenhagen. He is a professional magician when he is not running his cafe. The cafe itself is a prefabricated structure built by Valentine Manufacturing out of Wichita, KS back in the 40s. There are few left. Here is the history.

Valentine Diner History


Davydd
 
That makes sense, because he was doing card tricks when I was there too.
tcrouzer
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/26 09:48:51 (permalink)
WJ, I'm really enjoying this trip report from an area of the country I have yet to visit. Thanks for your great descriptions and photos!
Nancypalooza
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/26 14:41:01 (permalink)
Oh, I'm having palpitations just looking at that cinnamon roll (like, bad palpitations, not like my heart racing from excitement).  How much of that monster did you finish eventually?
 
My reaction to loosemeats was pretty much like yours--I had one, it was fine, I'm not in a fat hurry to have another.  I'm sure people who grew up with them are very fond of them.  Why on earth did you buy a dutch letter in that condition?  That is just sad.
wanderingjew
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/27 07:59:44 (permalink)
Nancy
I did finish the cinnamon roll that evening I polished off about 2/3 of it at breakfast and since I was pie deprived that evening, the cinnamon roll was the next best thing.
 
All the dutch letters in the display case at Java Joe's looked miserable, there were only a few left anyway, I was eventually able to rectify the dutch letter situation, and Java Joe's rectified themselves later on in the trip.
 
Inthewater
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/27 09:18:28 (permalink)
Wow...I feel bad even seeing that letter and knowing you got it in my town.
 
On Valley Junction - Sunday is dead there, not a great day for much of the town, honestly.  Too bad you were at Java Joe's and didn't stop by The Royal Mile, or even CABCO (which is probably where I was with my wife on a Sunday...  :(  ) for a much better food / drink experience.  For Dutch letters, head about 45 minutes east to Pella, and hit the Vander Ploog Bakery.
 
Zanzibar's is a great little place, glad to hear you enjoyed it.
 
Loving the trip report, keep it comin'.
 
 
susanll
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/27 09:36:46 (permalink)
The Vander Poog Bakery in Pella is fabulous!  We drive up there from Memphis to visit the bakery and the lovely town of Pella.
Inthewater
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/27 10:42:12 (permalink)
My bad, it's Vander Ploeg Bakery.
 
Hey, just saw on their website that they USPS Dutch letters.
 
:D
Nancypalooza
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/27 10:42:46 (permalink)
I do love Pella.   And now I can't help but think up possible scripts for a 'The More You Know' style public service announcement about the perils of Pie Deprivation.
wanderingjew
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/27 19:17:14 (permalink)
Nancy,
 
I could certainly volunteer to be poster boy for the pie deprivaton public service announcement but I would have to bestow the honor of "spokesmodel" to Buffetbuster
 
Innthewater
 
I've been to Court  Avenue Brewing on my previous visits to Des Moines back in 1998, 2000 and 2003 and enjoyed it but since I had a pint or two at the brewpub in Ames, I was "good to go" this time around..
 
BTW- read the upcoming trip segment which I hope to complete some time this evening- you definitely read my mind!
wanderingjew
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/27 20:48:27 (permalink)
Monday August 30
 
Today was another very ambitious Roadfood day..

Like I did exactly one week ago with Julekaka Bread,  I was going to have bread for breakfast. This time a big hunka
 

 
 
Dutch Apple Bread from
 

 
Jaarsma Bakery in Pella Iowa. I tore into half a loaf of this rugged beauty- it tasted like a big ol' apple fritter...I didn't stop there...
 
I couldn't turn my back on this...
 

 
Now that's a dutch letter! It tasted like a soft almond horn but in this case, there's an interesting almond paste filling.  Since I only had half, the "S" ended up looking more like a "C" when I was done. It was good but the Dutch Apple cake won me over...
 
Unfortunately Jaarsma Bakery doesn't have any seating so I had to eat both in my car. I wrapped up what was left and saved it for breakfast the next day..
 
Afterwards I walked around Pella's quaint downtown passing
 

 
 
a windmill
 
and
 
 

 
tulips...
 
Apparently I don't have to leave Iowa to pretend I'm in Holland..
 
I did stop at one of the meat markets and oogled at some  Pella Bologna and some fine looking Iowa Chops but didn't purchase any...
 
I was then on my way to my next stop....
 

 
 
The Coffee Cup Cafe in Sully Iowa.... (I said it was going to be an ambitious day)

 
Where locals come to shoot the breeze...
 
 
Since I already had a dutch letter it was now time for some ....
 

Dutch Lettuce- an amazing concoction of lettuce- sweet creamy mustard dressing- bacon- and chopped egg that went oh so well together....Salads are supposed to be healthy? right?
 
of course I had to stay for some
 

 
chocolate cream pie..
 
And to think I haven't even had lunch yet...
 
Well that changed when I made it to

 
TC's Point After- in Dewitt Iowa- about 25 miles north of Davenport in the eastern part of the state...
 

A Tavern with some of the best interior decor of the trip...
 

 
 

 

 

 

 
TC's Point After is famous for their breaded pork tenderloin which took 2nd place in the
Iowa Pork Producer's Assocation contest...

 
Now, not only was their homemade creamy coleslaw a winner, but.....

 
The Breaded Pork Tenderloin took 1st prize in my book...this was the best tenderloin of the trip crunchy on the outside and a pronounced oinky flavor on the inside- and the fresh cut fries deserve acclaim as well....Another perfect meal!
 

 
I met the owner- Chuck Cox who told me that they hope to nab 1st place this year...
 
Davydd, if you're reading this - TC's Point After is a winner!
 
After lunch I checked into my hotel  in Davenport. and then made it over to
 

 
The John Deere Store- just over the Mississippi in Moline Illinois
 

 
Comprising a museum as well, it looks like I died and went to farm tractor heaven..
 

 
Although it was overcast- it was still a warm muggy day, therefore time for an ice cream break at the original
 

 
Whitey's Ice Cream in Moline IL
 

 
although there is a huge variety of flavors to choose from I went with
 

 
a double scoop of black cherry and banana in a waffle cone- It was good but not outstanding-  the best ice cream of the trip has yet to come!
 
My last touristy stop of the day was
 

 
The Mississippi River Visitors Center...in Rock Island IL- besides some cool exhibits, it offers some amazing views of the river. And perfect timing- I arrived just in time to watch this tug boat pushing this barge
 

 
 
Dinner time was arriving....I had done some research and had considered a German Restaurant called The Bier Stube, but what I was really looking for was a restaurant with some German Influences. Stopping in the Amana Colonies would have been ideal- I remember when the Stern's used to write about some of those restaurants in the Amana Colonies in the pre website books. Ideally stopping there on the way to the Quad Cities- for lunch would have worked- but I really wanted to check out TC's Point After- and going there for dinner instead of lunch may have delayed my evening plans...
After seeing great reviews on this long time fixture...
 

 
Riefe's Family Restaurant in Davenport-
 
Riefe's has been around since the 1940's and apparently has expanded over the decades
Even their multi room dining areas have different "feels" to them...
 

 

 
 

 
 
Although I couldn't find a menu on line- the food they served was described as "German Influenced". Shucks if I made it there on a Saturday I could have experienced "pork shank day" smothered in sauerkraut..
 
It doesn't matter because I hit a home run with my meal anyway...
 
Dinner always starts out with bishops bread and a yeast roll
 

 
Bishop's Bread is a German style bread and tastes very similar to a lighter version of coffee cake..
 
I moved on to a thick hearty cup of homemade bean and ham soup
 

 
 
and for the main course
 

 
A smoked chop with hash browns and green beans.
This particular chop had a muscular smokey edge which brought out the fine porcine qualities of the meat...Even the green beans were supurb- offering small morsels of porky goodness in each bite- the hash browns were so- so, lacking the crispy freshness of its predecessors...however since this was the only negative, I have no complaints
 
And to top it all off
 

 
a fine slice of banana cream pie...with chunks of banana in each mouthful..
 
Riefe's Family Restaurant offered a sold meal- no wonder why its been around over 60 years!
 
From Riefe's it wasn't that far of a drive to
 

 
Modern Woodmen Park- home of the Quad City River Bandits- single A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals- this actually my first affiliated minor league ballpark of the trip. It was also my favorite minor league park of the trip...
 

 

 
 

 

 
offering great views of the bridge and the Mississippi River from the third base side
 

 
with lip service to
 

 
John Deere
 
The River Bandits hosted The Cedar Rapids Kernels that evening
 

\\
 
I don't remember the score but The River Bandit's beat out the Kernels by a hair..
 
Of course it just wouldn't be a quad cities ballgame without
 

 
a between inning John Deere Tractor Race
 
And I'll leave you with a nightime view of the bridge
 

 

post edited by wanderingjew - 2010/09/27 21:03:49
Nancypalooza
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/27 21:12:04 (permalink)
Dale honey, those are cannas, not tulips.  You'd have had to be visiting in April to get the tulips.
 
Julie went to college in Pella and played league softball in Quad Cities after graduation--you covered a lot of ground that day.  The Riefe's dinner does look outstanding.
blizzardstormus
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/27 21:19:38 (permalink)
What a great trip report! It's amazing what culinary gems I have missed in my own state!
 
Maidrites, loosemeats, whatever they're called: I totally agree that most Maidrite franchises are nothing spectacular. EVerything is produced at a central warehouse and shipped out. In addition, the meat used nowadays is much leaner and not as flavorful as in the past.
   I wish I had known that you were headed to Winterset the day after we got together. You might have enjoyed the loosemeat sandwich at Frostee's better. It's located near the John Wayne museum.
wanderingjew
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/28 08:11:09 (permalink)
Nancy
So in a couple of years when I ditch traveling around the US altogether and start making my way around Europe, hopefully I'll get to see what a real Tulip looks like (those cannas looked like tulips to me) but what do I know I've never seen one in "real life" before..
 
Mark,
 
I'll be leaving Iowa on the next segment of the trip (which I should complete tonight)  but do eventually make my way back on the way back to the Twin Cities, but that won't be until the last segment which will probably conclude some time next week.
Inthewater
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/28 09:20:59 (permalink)
Yep, there is a huge festival in Pella in the spring called "Tulip Time"  http://www.pellatuliptime.com/
 
It is a really beautiful time to visit.  The things are everywhere.
I used to go to Davenport to watch the locks back when I was a little kid with my family.  It was a cheap vacation.  We would drive there to visit the original Machine Shed (before it became a medium sized chain) and tool around the quad cities in the Family Truckster.  http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2007/06/06/you-think-you-hate-it-now-the-disappearing-family-truckster/ We seriously had a wagon that looked just about like that, just fewer head lights.  :D
 
Anyhow, loving the stops you are making.  I may have to try to hit TC's Point After sometime, that looks like a great time.  Not really my area of the state, but may be worth making a trip sometime.
 
Can't wait to see what's left.
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/28 10:32:44 (permalink)
I'm glad you stopped at TC's, WJ.  I had hoped to do so back in April but plans changed that day and I wondered what I missed...now I know.  And I'm disappointed all over again!
 
Brad
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/28 20:49:11 (permalink)
Tuesday August 31

I had a busy travel day ahead-  By visiting the Quad Cities, I actually "back tracked" on my trip and the reason was because I wanted to see a minor league game in Iowa, having previously visited Sec Taylor Stadium in Des Moines back in 2003 and considering they were on the road during this trip- The Quad Cities was the most logical choice.
 
Today I was up at the Crack of dawn- Gulping down the the rest of my Dutch Apple Bread and Dutch Letter from the morning before for breakfast I was on my way...
 
Heading east it began to rain- for the first time in 11 days! After stopping briefly in Des Moines for some good java at Zanzibar, it began to pour buckets on and off for the rest of the drive....
 
Eventually the sun did come out again- and it made perfect sense -because every day is sunny at
 

 
LC's Bar-B-Q
 
In Kansas City- although it was about 95 degrees with probably 95% humidity. I got there just at the tail end of lunch hour
 

 
On my last visit 2 years ago, I proclaimed LCs my favorite BBQ joint in Kansas City
and judging by these awards
 

 
I'm not the only one that thinks so..
 
Although I took a look at the menu board
 

 
I already knew what I wanted..
 

 
Some  incredibly amazing perfectly smoked burnt ends
 
and
 

 
a side of perfectly fried fresh cut fries..
 
Just like 2 years ago, this meal was nothing short of perfect...
 
I noticed an older African American gentleman sitting down and "reviewing the books"
at one of the tables, as it turns out he is the owner- I told him this was my second visit and LC's was so good the first time I had to come back a second time all the way from Rhode Island to have some more Q.. We engaged in some small talk and he had one of his employees open up the smoker so I could get this photo..
 

 
 
After lunch I headed of to check into my hotel. Funny thing is I was under the impression that I was going to be staying in the Country Club Plaza section of Kansas City. This where I stayed on my last two visits in 2003 and 2008, I put my gps on and went into auto pilot and realized it was taking me past Country Club Plaza, before I realized my hotel, the holiday inn express is not in Country Club Plaza, but right in the heart of Westport- even better! a short walk to a great brewpub, and one of my favorite coffee houses in the country, The Broadway Cafe and Roasterie.. After checking into my hotel, I took a walk aroud Westport in the sweltering and muggy heat- first stopping at The Broadway Cafe for the best iced coffee of the trip, afterwards I stopped at McCoy's Public House for a local brew- I honestly don't remember what I had, but since it was so freakin hot and humid it was probably a wheat beer... afterwards I went back to my hotel for a nap (only kidding no naps for me)but I did return to my hotel
 
Now remember I previously mentioned that the Iowa Machine Shed was only 2 miles from my hotel in Des Moines? Well, my Roadfood stop for the evening was right next door to my hotel.
 

 
The Westport Flea Market Bar and Grill
famous for having some of the best burgers in Kansas City
It's here that  I met Roadfooder- Zataar and her husband...Bill- ( I hope I got that right Karen!) I've been looking forward to meeting Zataar for quite some time. We were supposed to meet during my last visit 2 years ago but that didn't work out due to a clashing work schedule....
 
I arrived first..
 

 
and was admiring all the accolades and awards
 

 
Zataar and Bill arrived about 5 minutes later... Even though this is a bar/tavern setting, you actually go up to the counter to order your meal...
Both Zataar and I got a burger...
 

 
Bill got the giant pork tender
 

 
You then have the option to add your choice of condiments  at the condiment bar
hence my finished product!
 

 
Karen pointed out that the seasoning on this burger was virtually non-existent- I concurred, but this is beef country! and although it wasn't the best burger I ever had it was still a solid burger in my book...I knocked down the meal with a couple of Boulevards- Kansas City's premier beer.
 
Zataar, Bill and I had a great conversation about all the different Roadfood restaurants we've visited, their daughter who lives in Seattle (which is where I spent 3 years of my life as well) and their upcoming trip to London... I enjoyed meeting the both of them and will have the opportunity to break bread with Zataar again later on in the trip.
 
After dinner, since there was still the ongoing threat of thunderstorms and because I was tired, I walked the 50 feet or so back to my hotel and called it a night..
 
More tomorrow.
mar52
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/28 22:05:14 (permalink)
That view into the smoker is really appreciated.  I always wondered how they looked inside.
 
As for that car...
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/28 22:28:27 (permalink)
WJ, my wife and I travel to the Quad Cities every year for the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival and this area has quite a few good Roadfood dining choices. You hit a minor league home run when you chose Riefe's over the Bier Stube. Set in a quaint area with a number of interesting places to visit, the Bier Stube was memorable in that it was the worst German food  we'd ever had; anywhere. NOTHING was tasty! It's a very neat looking Germanic place to have one of a very large variety of excellent beers, probably one of the best selections we've come across outside of Milwaukee but the food was horrid. You were a very lucky man. A block or two away is a candy store named Lagomarcino's that is like a step back in time but with tasty chocolates and soda treats. If you ever return, Ross's in Bettandorf has something they call "mountains" and they are somewhat similar to mid-Illinois's horseshoes. The Blue Cat Pub in Rock Island has a salad with duck cracklin's that suits me to a T. Buddy Roadhouse and I (and Mrs. MFL) all really enjoy Jim's Rib Haven, also in Rock Island. A history buff should find lots to enjoy at the museum in the Arsenal. And it's hard not to tear up when looking at the gravestones of the Blue and Gray boys buried at the Arsenal. We love that ball park too; what a view.
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/29 10:38:39 (permalink)
Glad you got to meet Zataar as she is one of my favorite posters ever. The food looks outstanding
Inthewater
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/29 11:49:34 (permalink)
Ahh, I stayed in that Holiday Inn Express this summer with my wife.  I also walked across the parking lot (after going to McCoy's, The Foundry, Kelly's, Buzzard Beach, Dave's Stage Coach Inn, ...and a few others I can't remember) and had a burger at the Flea Market.  I also wowed the crowd for karaoke with my sweet vocal talents.  There may have been a few pints (read as 5) of beer involved in that.  :)  The burger mobile is awesome.
 
We love Westport.  Looks like you were there about 2 weeks after us (judging by the date on the burger receipt.  :D
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/29 18:13:06 (permalink)
MFL
I read some of the reviews for the Bier Stube  on yelp and urbanspoon. They were very mixed and it seems folks from the Chicago area had a  real disdain for it- I decided to stay away- I think the only negative review I read about Riefe's was from a parent whose kid supposendly worked there and was for whatever reason fired.
 
I heard about Ross' it captured my attention, but since I already hads breakfast leftovers from the day before I couldn't make it there.
 
Innthewater and Mar
 
To me the burger mobile looks like a genetic experiement that went askew!
wanderingjew
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/29 20:13:45 (permalink)
Wednesday September 1

Waking up to rain wasn’t the worst thing in the world. The weather forecast indicated that that it would clear up by noon but still a chance for thunderstorm into the late afternoon/early evening.

I had a couple of cups of outstanding coffee at Broadway Café and Roasterie sided by an oat bran bar. From there it was off to the old stockyards district, passing The Stern’s reviewed Golden Ox- which I enjoyed back in 2000 during my first visit to Kansas City.

My plan was to spend the morning at The American Royal Visitors Center and Museum, the place where rodeos, horse shows and livestock auctions reign supreme.
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

It was so authentic I could actually smell the manure (I really did- the place wreaked of manure)
 


 
 
I enjoyed the museum and really got a kick out of this two headed horse- the horse actually had a name but I forgot what it was.

All of this livestock was making me hungry...

So I headed southbound to Snead’s Bar-B-Q in Belton , just south of Kansas City.
 


The cars in the parking lot and the smell of smoke coming from the smoker were good signs.
 

 
 
 
I enjoyed the rustic interior
 

 

But will the food deliver?
 
 


With smoke tinged brownies and ribs


Tangy beans enshrined in shreds of bbq meat
 


and golden brown fries

it certainly did!

Sneads is now my second favorite bbq joint in Kansas City, however I still have a place in my heart for LC’s at #1

I will say that the portions at Sneads are certainly “Chi Town Diner Sized”

After my gut busting lunch which I couldn’t completely finish I returned to Westport to a place that I discovered the day before- unfortunately they were closed Mondays and Tuesdays but they were open today
 

 

Murrays Ice Cream
 


 
With accolades and awards for best ice cream the place looked promising.
After checking the web to see if my intuition was right, the recommendations were to go with the chocolate fromage,
 

 


however I completely ignored the recommendations and went with my intuition



I went with a double scoop of the deep dark rich chocolately Chocolate Zone and the rich maple - bacon infused Hog Heaven. I hit the jackpot- the best Ice Cream I’ve had all year.


 

Murray’s will get a spot on the 2010 top 10  list at the end of the year.

After my ice cream break I headed to Independence Missouri- home of Harry Truman.
 


 
 
Apparently everyone there is
 



Wild About Harry.

I took a tour of Harry Truman’s home, although photos were not allowed in the house, I was nothing short of amazed at how frugally this man lived -as this is where he and Bess lived before and after his Presidency. I actually remember as a little kid being home during winter vacation, I was probably watching cartoons or something and I remember whatever I was watching was interrupted with news about his death...


 
After touring the house I took a tour of the
 


 
Jackson County Marshall’s House and Jail Museum.
 
 

 

 

 
 
Another very informative museum, I understand that Frank James, Jesse James brother surrendered and was jailed here and was treated as some what of a celebrity
 

 
I believe this was his jail cell..
 


After the museum I headed south again to Martin City, unincorporated cattle country of Kansas City to
 

 
 
Jess and Jim’s
As you enter you can peruse the various cuts of meat you can expect on the menu behind glass doors


A steakhouse with a classic feel...
 

 
Each meal begins with a complementary bowl of chilled picked  beets

 

 
And of course at any classic steakhouse-  I had to begin with a gin martini


Starting out with a simple salad with house dressing , and garlic toast
 

 
 

 
 
I moved on to a tremendous loaded twice baked potato and
 
 


An amazing 16 oz strip of KC “Moo”
 

 
in other words I hit another home run

Speaking of Home Runs...

I deliberately had an early dinner so I can enjoy my second visit to Kauffman Stadium home of the Kansas City Royals. It has been 7 years since my last visit and my first since the renovations..
 

 

 

 

 
 

 
(I know we're in the heartland but the scoreboard is actually referring to the farm teams)
 
 

The Royals hosted the western division leaders, The Texas Rangers, unfortunately the mediocre royals just couldn’t keep up the Rangers and they lost- I don’t remember the score..
 
 

 


 

 
I love what they did with the place, specifically the seating in the outfield surrounded by the waterfall
 
 

 
 

 

 
 
Luckily the rain/thunderstorms held off during the muggy but windy evening.
Afterwards it was back to my hotel for the evening...
 
I'll probably get one more segment in before the end of the week
post edited by wanderingjew - 2010/09/29 20:20:10
Nancypalooza
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/30 10:07:33 (permalink)
Oh, that steak dinner will haunt me--looks wonderful!
Ivyhouse
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/30 10:49:46 (permalink)
wanderingjew

Wednesday September 1


 


Dale, your ice cream choices look wonderful.  But the Bee's Knees sundae looks interesting to me -- I have never seen anything like that.  It looks like a great combination of flavors.
 
Thanks for another great report.
Wintem01
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/30 10:52:29 (permalink)
Honestly, I don't know how you good folk do it. I am six foot, 245lbs and I would have been done after the beets (I love beets), bread and that massive loaded potato. I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!
agnesrob
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/30 11:06:23 (permalink)
What a great report! Your pictures are just beautiful. I feel like I was there too!
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/30 11:28:57 (permalink)
wanderingjew
Wednesday September 1

After my ice cream break I headed to Independence Missouri- home of Harry Truman.
Apparently everyone there is




Wild About Harry.

 
Nothing to report about Gregory G's BBQ?  Although after that lunch I certainly can't fault you for not checking out more barbecue!
 
wanderingjew
Another very informative museum, I understand that Frank James, Jesse James brother surrendered and was jailed here and was treated as some what of a celebrity

I believe this was his jail cell..




Reminds me of my college dorm room...
 
Brad
mar52
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/30 12:28:20 (permalink)
Excellent!  I'm so glad that you've moved on to trying 2 flavors of ice cream on the same cone.  Just trying one would leave me wondering all day.
 
That maple bacon sounds so interesting.  Such a great combination of flavors.  And the rich chocolate!  Swoooooon
ChiTownDiner
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/30 14:29:15 (permalink)
Personally I think i'd rather see Chi Town Diner do bacon- pecan pie jello shots!
 
Challange accepted!!!
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