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buffetbuster
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2012/07/09 14:21:00 (permalink)

"If You Bake It, He Will Come"

On a last minute decision, I took the two days off before the 4th of July, turning the holiday into five days off.  Looking for a cheap flight somewhere, I got lucky and found something reasonable into Des Moines.
 
Friday June 29, 2012
 
On the connection flight from Chicago O'Hare to Des Moines, I sat next to a young guy from Fort Dodge, Iowa.  He seemed to be really interested in my plans while in the Hawkeye State, as he couldn't believe anyone would come to Iowa on vacation.  This was a common theme throughout the trip.  Oh, Iowans love their home state and are proud to be from here.  They are just shocked that any outsiders think Iowa is a great place, too.
 
My plane was landing in Des Moines around 9:30PM.  Unfortunately, just about every restaurant I was interested in was already closed or closing at 10:00.  By the time I got my luggage, rented the car and headed into town, it was already 10:15.  I had asked the young guy on the plane for a downtown recommendation for late night dining and he told me to visit Fong's Pizza.  He let me know it is best known as late night drunk food, but his description of their crab rangoon pizza intrigued me.
 
It took two trips around the block, but I was lucky that a parking spot open on 4th Street right in front of the place.  It was kind of shocking to see so many people milling around in the downtown area, but this was obviously the district where young people go to party on weekend nights.  Right next door is an alleyway, with several college aged men peeing.  I walked into Fong's

and the first thing I noticed was that I was the oldest person here by at least two decades.  On a tv monitor,

they showed which slices were available.  I should have known better, but I did ask the bartender if they had crab rangoon.  He just gave me a sour look and pointed at the tv screen.  Ok, gotcha.  I ordered one of the Bacon and Corn on Spicy and one of the Onion and Cilantro on Garlic Black Bean.  Each wide slice was put on a paper plate and handed to me, along with a bottle of water.
 
While waiting for my change, one young guy squirmed between me and the bar, where there wasn't much room.  He did this to talk to his buddy.  As his well intoxicated buddy started to get off of his bar stool, he slid into his friend, causing both of them to tumble into me.  I saw this coming and had one arm out to push them away, while hanging onto the slices of pizza with the other hand.  Foolishly, I reacted with anger and swore at them, as I have absolutely no patience with stupid, drunk behavior.  Luckily for me, these guys paid no attention, got up and just walked away.
 
The overwhelming taste of the Bacon and Corn on Spicy

was butter.  The kernels of corn were extremely buttery and that is a good thing.  There was a fair amount of bacon on the thin crusted pizza, but no spicy taste at all.  I enjoyed it for what it was.  The Onion and Cilantro on Garlic Black Bean

was less successful.  It seems the entire slice was burnt and too hard to eat, so it got thrown away after only a few bites.
 
Fong's Pizza
223 4th Street
Des Moines, IA
515-323-3333
 
Right across the street from Fong's Pizza is a place reviewed on Roadfood called Java Joe's Coffeehouse.  Grabbing something sweet to take back to the hotel room seemed like a good idea.  And they had plenty of muffins, cookies and other assorted pastries to choose from. 

But, some peanut butter scotchies

sitting on the counter caught my eye.  Imagine my surprise when I opened it at the hotel to find out that it was basically a rice crispies treat, with peanut butter icing on it.  Not bad, but we must have a different idea of what a scotchie is.
 
Java Joe's Coffeehouse
214 4th Street
Des Moines, IA
515-288-5282
 
Much more to come.....           
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/07/09 14:34:20
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    kevincad
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/09 14:27:37 (permalink)
    buffetbuster

    On a last minute decision, I took the two days off before the 4th of July, turning the holiday into five days off.  Looking for a cheap flight somewhere, I got lucky and found something reasonable into Des Moines.

    Friday June 29, 2012

    On the connection flight from Chicago O'Hare to Des Moines, I sat next to a young guy from Fort Dodge, Iowa.  He seemed to be really interested in my plans while in the Hawkeye State, as he couldn't believe anyone would come to Iowa on vacation.  This was a common theme throughout the trip.  Oh, Iowans love their home state and are proud to be from here.  They are just shocked that any outsiders think Iowa is a great place, too.

    My plane was landing in Des Moines around 9:30PM.  Unfortunately, just about every restaurant I was interested in was already closed or closing at 10:00.  By the time I got my luggage, rented the car and headed into town, it was already 10:15.  I had asked the young guy on the plane for a downtown recommendation for late night dining and he told me to visit Fong's Pizza.  He let me know it is best known as late night drunk food, but his description of their crab rangoon pizza intrigued me.

    It took two trips around the block, but I was lucky that a parking spot opened up on 4th Street right in front of the place.  It was kind of shocking to see so many people milling around in the downtown area, but this was obviously the district where young people go to party on weekend nights.  Right next door is an alleyway, with several college aged men peeing.  I walked into Fong's

    and the first thing I noticed was that I was the oldest person here by at least two decades.  On a tv monitor,

    they showed which slices were available.  I should have known better, but I did ask the bartender if they had crab rangoon.  He just gave me a sour look and pointed at the tv screen.  Ok, gotcha.  I ordered one of the Bacon and Corn on Spicy and one of the Onion and Cilantro on Garlic Black Bean.  Each wide slice was put on a paper plate and handed to me, along with a bottle of water.

    While waiting for my change, one young guy squirmed between me and the bar, where there wasn't much room.  He did this to talk to his buddy.  As his well intoxicated buddy started to get off of his bar stool, he slid into his friend, causing both of them to tumble into me.  I saw this coming and had one arm out to push them away, while hanging onto the slices of pizza with the other hand.  Foolishly, I reacted with anger and swore at them, as I have absolutely no patience with stupid, drunk behavior.  Luckily for me, these guys paid no attention, got up and just walked away.

    The overwhelming taste of the Bacon and Corn on Spicy

    was butter.  The kernels of corn were extremely buttery and that is a good thing.  There was a fair amount of bacon on the thin crusted pizza, but no spicy taste at all.  I enjoyed it for what it was.  The Onion and Cilantro on Garlic Black Bean

    was less successful.  It seems the entire slice was burnt and too hard to eat, so it got thrown away after only a few bites.

    Fong's Pizza
    223 4th Street
    Des Moines, IA
    515-323-3333

    Right across the street from Fong's Pizza is a place reviewed on Roadfood called Java Joe's Coffeehouse.  Grabbing something sweet to take back to the hotel room seemed like a good idea.  And they had plenty of muffins, cookies and other assorted pastries to choose from.  But, some peanut butter scotchies

    sitting on the counter caught my eye.  Imagine my surprise when I opened it at the hotel to find out that it was basically a rice crispies treat, with peanut butter icing on it.  Not bad, but we must have a different idea of what a scotchie is.

    Java Joe's Coffeehouse
    214 4th Street
    Des Moines, IA
    515-288-5282

    Much more to come.....           

     
    Looking forward to hearing more, because I've got a project going in Ankeny, just north of Des Moines and I'll be flying in. I hear Des Moines is small and easily navigated. Did you find that to be true?
    #2
    buffetbuster
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/09 14:32:24 (permalink)
    Kevincad-
    It is extremely easy to get around as long as you have a car.  People are extremely nice, hardly any traffic, really good food, Des Moines is a great place to visit!
    #3
    mar52
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/09 14:36:17 (permalink)
    Fong's Pizza!  The name alone would get me to try it.  (Kind of like when I tried Casa de Teriyaki)
     
    I love the look of the thin pizza although I'd pass on the black bean for well known reasons.
     
    Looking forward to more!
     
     
    #4
    buffetbuster
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/09 14:44:55 (permalink)
    mar52-
    When he first mentioned Fong's Pizza to me, I thought it had to be a joke or maybe I didn't hear the name correctly. Let's face it, nothing about the name Fong says good pizza.  Too bad they didn't have the crab rangoon that night.
    #5
    love2bake
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/09 15:13:37 (permalink)
    You have way too much fun, BB!  I love this Fong's Pizza and would definitely have ordered the corn and bacon version, too. Looking forward to seeing what other baked items you tried (I'm sure there's some pie in there)!!
    #6
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/09 15:16:30 (permalink)
    ....he was lookin for a place called Lee Ho Fooks
    ....for to get a big dish of beef chai-oh-mein
    #7
    kevincad
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/09 16:04:41 (permalink)
    buffetbuster

    Kevincad-
    It is extremely easy to get around as long as you have a car.  People are extremely nice, hardly any traffic, really good food, Des Moines is a great place to visit!

     
    Can't wait to visit some of your stops!
    #8
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/09 16:10:39 (permalink)
    Hopefully Trzhotel will chime in, as he's a resident (native?) of Des Moines.
    #9
    buffetbuster
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/09 17:35:30 (permalink)
    Kevincad-
    Hopefully, you won't be too disappointed.  I don't spend that much time in Des Moines and it isn't until the end of the trip.
    #10
    buffetbuster
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/09 22:26:44 (permalink)
    I originally assumed everyone would get the reference in the title, but not everyone likes baseball movies.  So, just in case.....
    #11
    ayersian
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/09 23:31:44 (permalink)
    BB, you know how much I love Iowa, so it is with the greatest enthusiasm that I look forward to this report!  And may I ask: is this the first time you've EVER started a trip report with cheap pizza?    Chris
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    Foodbme
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/10 04:38:33 (permalink)
    ayersian
    BB, you know how much I love Iowa, so it is with the greatest enthusiasm that I look forward to this report!  And may I ask: is this the first time you've EVER started a trip report with cheap pizza?    Chris

    Somehow I got the impression that this was an "Any port in a storm" situation.
    I wouldn't think that Des Moines is a mecca for Pizza!
    Too bad the Iowa State Fair is not in session. You could volunteer to be a Judge in the Pie Baking Competition!! 
    #13
    buffetbuster
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/10 07:24:47 (permalink)
    Chris-
    Yeah, a less than ideal way to start off a trip to Iowa, especially considering I am not a big pizza lover, either.  Wait until WanderingJew sees I get pizza a second time on this trip!
    #14
    wanderingjew
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/10 08:04:20 (permalink)
    buffetbuster

    Chris-
    Yeah, a less than ideal way to start off a trip to Iowa, especially considering I am not a big pizza lover, either.  Wait until WanderingJew sees I get pizza a second time on this trip!


    Ordering pizza twice in Iowa just hasn't happenned before
    Not sure if I'll either melt or self implode-
    #15
    carlton pierre
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/10 08:15:03 (permalink)
    Iowa really is a great place.  My in-laws used to live in Omaha NE and we would take meandering little trips across Iowa on blue highways and found it to be a midwestern gem.
    #16
    Birdhunter
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/10 08:28:42 (permalink)
    buffetbuster,
    I'm sure your trip to Iowa is to get your fill of Iowa's Pork Tenderloin's Sandwich's.
    But there is a must see rock just a short drive West of DesMonies, called the Freedrom Rock.  www.thefreedromrock.com
    I just came thru there a couple of weeks ago. The young man paints something different every Memorial Day. A must see if your a Vetern or not.
    #17
    Birdhunter
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/10 08:34:17 (permalink)
    buffetbuster,
    Here a Iowa site for porktendloins. 
    des-loines blogspot.com
     
    George from Wisconsin
    post edited by Birdhunter - 2012/07/10 08:36:12
    #18
    buffetbuster
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/10 08:38:46 (permalink)
    Saturday June 30, 2012
     
    Because this trip was kind of a last minute thing, there was very little time for the usual advance planning.  No set idea, just making it up as I went.  There was some consideration to starting off this morning with a trip to Ames to visit Grove Cafe and Iowa State University, but instead went straight to Marshalltown. 
     
    That meant breakfast would now be at Cecil's Cafe,


    best known for having a dapperly dressed chicken on the roof.  If you have read enough Roadfood books (and other Jane & Michael Stern books), you know that having an anthropomorphic animal on the roof is almost a guaranteed sign of a good Roadfood restaurant.  And Cecil's Cafe doesn't let us down.
     
    Even though the outside of the building looks small, the dining room was nice sized.  They have tables and booths, but there was no doubt that sitting at the counter was the place to be. 

    Behind me was an impressive collection of fish

    mounted on the wall.  The menu is two sided laminated with breakfast on one side and lunch on the other.  My favorite thing on the menu was that a bottomless cup of coffee is $1.25, but you can fill your thermos before you leave for $2.25. 

    First time I have seen that on a menu, though it is probably fairly standard for a place like this.
     
    The meal started with that much loved pastry here in Iowa, the cinnamon roll. 

    This was fairly large, but nothing like the monsters I have seen in the Pacific Northwest.  Served warm, plus soft and gooey, this was the perfect way to start the day.  Though tempted by the Gordie's everything omelet, I instead ordered the Farmers omelet, which included sausage, cheese and hash browns. 

    The omelet was very light, the hash browns, nice and crispy.  The only complaint (and it is a minor one) is that I would have preferred a different cheese than American.
     
    They do have pie,

    but I asked and the waitress told me it is not made here.  So, I passed, knowing there would be better opportunities for pie later.  While waiting for my food, I started perusing the Des Moines Register newspaper that was left on the counter.  The feature article was about how downtown Des Moines was having difficulties with late night drinking. 

    Apparently, there are 29 places that have liquor licenses in a very small area and they are now going to be much more judicious about who gets one in the future.  What really caught my eye was a mention in the article

    where an NFL lineman was assaulted earlier in the month.  By the way, I should mention that I felt perfectly safe while in downtown Des Moines, even at night.  They are just experiencing some problems that any city, especially a college town, goes through.
     
    Cecil's Cafe
    13 Iowa Avenue E.
    Marshalltown, Iowa
    641-753-9796
     
    While driving that morning, I noticed my phone wasn't taking a charge from the cord in the car.  Since I use my phone as a GPS, this would be a huge problem.  I searched for a Verizon store nearby and there was one in a shopping center directly across the street.  The young man checked out the cord and found a big slice in it, so I bought a new one.  When he found out I was from out of state, he asked what I was doing in Iowa.  Once I told him, his reply was, "Why would you come to Iowa on vacation?"
     
    Much more to come.....      
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/07/10 08:44:27
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    Sundancer7
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/10 10:00:01 (permalink)
    Great report and great pics.  Thanks.  Anthropomorbic???" />
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/10 14:34:26 (permalink)
    Let me understand this...u went to Iowa, had below grade pizza and then turned down pie at the next emal?!  " />
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    buffetbuster
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/12 08:54:22 (permalink)
    Bad news CTD.  There is more refusing of pie coming up.  Hopefully, the pie eating later on in the trip will renew your faith.
    #22
    buffetbuster
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/12 10:01:19 (permalink)
    Saturday June 30, 2012 cont.
     
    Before I headed to an lunch destination in Marshalltown, a pilgramage to a once great Roadfood mecca was necessary.  Marshalltown was the home of Stone's Restaurant, which used to be a staple in previous Roadfood books.  Opened in 1887 and best known for their mile high lemon chiffon pie, this was a wonderful place.  Unfortunately, it fell on hard times and closed a few years back.
     
    While driving across the bridge, the sign is still very visible. 

    By the way, I took this photo while driving, which isn't advisable.  Nobody has moved into the space yet and the building looks the same. 

    Even the cute little metalwork sign on the railing is still here. 

    In case you can't read it, it says, "Under the Viaduct, Down by the Vinegar Works."   Anyone else ever make it to Stone's Restaurant?
     
    While driving through town, I came across this beautiful building,

    most likely the local county courthouse.
     
    The most famous restaurant in town is Taylor's Maid Rite,

    which dates back to 1928 and has been in the same family.  This place is immaculately clean and I liked it as soon as I walked in the door.  There is a large center area,

    surrounded by counter seats.  On the back wall is a series of large maps,

    with "Go 'round the world, but come back again" written above it.
     
    The menu

    is very small, with maid rites (a.k.a. loosemeat) being the only sandwiches available.  The very outgoing, friendly waitress asked what I wanted on my maid rite.  So I asked her how the locals ate it, which was pickles and mustard.  The next question was with or with out cheese.  Nah, cheese on one of these doesn't sound right.  I watched as Travis took a couple of spoonfulls of meat from the steam cabinet and put it on the bun. 

    The sandwich

    was delivered to me in under 30 seconds.  It comes wrapped in wax paper, which you use to catch all the  meat that falls out of the sandwich while eating it. 

    I scooped the leftover meat up with my fingers.  To drink, an excellent, thick raspberry shake.

     
    I had visited a few Maid Rite restaurants before and came away less than impressed.  The meat here is moister and was clearly superior.  Now, they don't season it all and I wouldn't want to eat this all the time, but it was still quite good. 
     
    When my sandwich first arrived, the waitress set a bottle of ketchup nearby.  She then toldme the story that a few years ago, they had a vote, asking customers whether they should make ketchup available or not.  The nos actually won, but so many people voted yes, they decided to set it out anyway.  I was quite happy with just the pickle and the mustard.
     
    This place also had a pie list

    and after Rumaki's recent trip report where she found really good homemade pie at a Maid Rite, I was hoping for the best.  Alas, this wasn't homemade pie, either.  I passed.
     
    Taylor's Maid Rite
    106 S. 3rd Avenue
    Marshalltown, IA
    641-753-9684
     
    I got back on the road and continued east towards Cedar Rapids.
     
    Much more to come..... 
    #23
    wanderingjew
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/12 10:47:17 (permalink)
    Refusing pie....Twice???????
     
    Pizza....in Iowa?????
    That....Does....IT.......!!!!
     

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    buffetbuster
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/12 13:32:00 (permalink)
    Saturday June 30, 2012 cont.
     
    Once in Cedar Rapids, I quickly found a neighborhood just across the river from downtown, known as Czech Village. 

    I recognized the saying Vitame Vas (We Welcome You) from meals at Bohemian Cafe in Omaha.  There is a large Czech population in Cedar Rapids, dating back to the 1850's.  They have all kinds of shops here from souvenirs and knick knacks to restaurants and bars.  Here is a look down the street. 

    Near the river, there is a tall clock tower

    that looks like it could be from the old country.
     
    The reason for coming here was to visit Sykora Bakery,


    in business since 1903.  So many things in the glass case looked good,

    it was impossible to decide where to start.  I asked for suggestions from the two ladies behind the counter. 
     
    I started off with a Zelnik,

    which was a type of cabbage roll.  This was fairly big in size and is certainly a close relative of runzas, bierocks and pasties.  The dough was very soft and the interior

    was filled with cabbage and caraway.  Delicious!
     
    Next up was a mushroom tort. 

    This was smaller, but much denser than the zelnik.  The inside

    held mushrooms in a light cream sauce.
     
    Cookie time!  Not wanting to overdo it, I asked for just four.  These

    are two different kinds of kolacky cookies.  The larger ones that look like bowties are soft and taste like pie crusts.  The flavors you see are apricot and cherry.  The smaller cookies are denser and taste of shortbread.  The two flavors shown are apricot and raspberry.  I loved them both!  Before leaving, the young girl boxed up 2 dozen assorted to take with me.  These didn't even last 24 hours. 
     
    There is no way I could come here and not try the kolaches.  And they must have had at least 10 diiferent types, including fig, which I don't think I have seen before.  Interestingly, all the kolaches were of the fruit variety, none with sausage like you see in Texas.  Here is my quartet,

    including cherry, poppyseed, lemon and pineapple.  One of the things I like most about kolaches is that it isn't just the fruit flavoring that is sweet, the soft bread has a slight sweet taste to it, too.  And I thought these matched up with anything I have had in Texas.  They were that good!
     
    There were quite a few other items in the case or elsewhere on shelves

    that looked interesting, but the place was getting busy and a long line was forming.  So, those will have to wait for the next visit.  Here is some photos of the original Sykora family that started the place. 

    And they also have a gift/book store downstairs,

    but I didn't have the time to investigate.
     
    Sykora Bakery sits only a block away from the Cedar River and there is a history of it flooding and damaging the place.  Here

    are some photos on the wall from a big flood in 1929.  There was also a great flood in 2008 that devestated Sykora Bakery, Czech Village, Cedar Rapids and quite a bit of Iowa and beyond.  The original ovens from when the bakery opened were destroyed and needed replaced.  Instead of throwing them out, the exterior door is now mounted against the wall,

    which is cool to see.  The flood line inside the building was up to the bottom of the painting.  Can you imagine?  Thank goodness they rebuilt, all credit to them.  
     
    If you are driving anywhere near Cedar Rapids, Sykora Bakery place comes highly recommended!
     
    Sykora Bakery
    73 16th Avenue SW
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    319-364-5271
     
    Since this was my first ever time to Cedar Rapids, I took a few minutes to drive through the downtown.  Looks like a nice place.  There were also many buildings that had markings where the flood line was.

     
    I got back in the car, leaving Cedar Rapids continuing east.
     
    Much more to come..... 
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/07/12 17:49:12
    #25
    love2bake
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/12 16:58:22 (permalink)
    Hahaha--donuts or toast 77 cents?  Gee... lemme think about that one a minute.  :)))
     
    I dunno, BB--did you look at any of the pies before deciding not to try them?  Non-homemade pies can sometimes be very good...
     
    buffetbuster

    Saturday June 30, 2012 cont.

    Before I headed to an lunch destination in Marshalltown, a pilgramage to a once great Roadfood mecca was necessary.  Marshalltown was the home of Stone's Restaurant, which used to be a staple in previous Roadfood books.  Opened in 1887 and best known for their mile high lemon chiffon pie, this was a wonderful place.  Unfortunately, it fell on hard times and a few years back.

    While driving across the bridge, the sign is still very visible. 

    By the way, I took this photo while driving, which isn't advisable.  Nobody has moved into the space yet and the building looks the same. 

    Even the cute little metalwork sign on the railing is still here. 

    In case you can't read it, it says, "Under the Viaduct, Down by the Vinegar Works."   Anyone else ever make it to Stone's Restaurant?

    While driving through town, I came across this beautiful building,

    most likely the local county courthouse.

    The most famous restaurant in town is ,

    which dates back to 1928 and has been in the same family.  This place is immaculately clean and I liked it as soon as I walked in the door.  There is a large center area,

    surrounded by counter seats.  On the back wall is a series of large maps,

    with "Go 'round the world, but come back again" written above it.

    The menu

    is very small, with maid rites (a.k.a. loosemeat) being the only sandwiches available.  The very outgoing, friendly waitress asked what I wanted on my maid rite.  So I asked her how the locals ate it, which was pickles and mustard.  The next question was with or with out cheese.  Nah, cheese on one of these doesn't sound right.  I watched as Travis took a couple of spoonfulls of meat from the steam cabinet and put it on the bun. 

    The sandwich

    was delivered to me in under 30 seconds.  It comes wrapped in wax paper, which you use to catch all the  meat that falls out of the sandwich while eating it. 

    I scooped the leftover meat up with my fingers.  To drink, an excellent, thick raspberry shake.


    I had visited a few Maid Rite restaurants before and came away less than impressed.  The meat here is moister and was clearly superior.  Now, they don't season it all and I wouldn't want to eat this all the time, but it was still quite good. 

    When my sandwich first arrived, the waitress set a bottle of ketchup nearby.  She then toldme the story that a few years ago, they had a vote, asking customers whether they should make ketchup available or not.  The nos actually won, but so many people voted yes, they decided to set it out anyway.  I was quite happy with just the pickle and the mustard.

    This place also had a pie list

    and after Rumaki's recent where she found really good homemade pie at a Maid Rite, I was hoping for the best.  Alas, this wasn't homemade pie, either.  I passed.

    Taylor's Maid Rite
    106 S. 3rd Avenue
    Marshalltown, IA
    641-753-9684

    I got back on the road and continued east towards Cedar Rapids.

    Much more to come..... 


    #26
    pnwchef
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/12 17:33:42 (permalink)
    BB, I am half Slovak, the Czech bakery looks great, I haven't seen some of thoes foods in years. Thanks, as always for a great report......Bill
    #27
    mr chips
    Filet Mignon
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/13 02:03:30 (permalink)
    BB, a wonderful report. The food in Iowa looks to be first rate.Looking forward to more.
     
    #28
    buffetbuster
    Porterhouse
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/13 09:11:08 (permalink)
    Saturday June 30, 2012 cont.
     
    Field of Dreams is one of my favorite movies and visiting the site where it was filmed is something I have wanted to do for years.  Located outside of the small town of Dyersville,

    it is privately owned.  They don't charge admission, but they do take donations and also have a gift shop/snack bar which funds the place.
     
    Just driving up to the farm filled me with anticipation and to see it down at the end of the driveway,

    as in the final shot of the movie, was enough to give me chills.  There were people playing on the field,

    as they encourage you to bring your own equipment.  Mostly, it was parents pitching to their kids, although there must have been at least a dozen guys standing around, warming up, ready to take the field.  Looks like we may have the next Joe Mauer here.

     
    Since I didn't bring a glove, I wasn't able to play.  It was also blistering hot, approaching 100 degrees.  So, I was content to walk around, snapping photos and enjoy the setting.  Many people were posing in front of the farmhouse.  And, of course, I had to walk into the outfield corn,

    to see if anything magical would happen.  Obviously, coming here and playing catch isn't just a male fantasy. 

    I did spend a good 20 minutes watching the action of the field from the small bleachers. 

    And no, I did not choke on a hot dog and fall off the back.  Eventually, I had enough of the heat and had too much to do, so I ended up being here for about an hour.  This was the highlight of the trip.
     
    Next stop was at Paul's Tavern in Dubuque.  

    This place is famous for their hamburgers and their taxidermy collection.  Paul's is very dark,

    with impressive stuffed animals in glass cases along both side walls.  Having a special place near the front is a polar bear.  How would you like to eat with this over your head?

    I went in and sat myself in a comfortable old booth in the back.
     
    The menu is very small, only offering burgers and a few sandwiches.  There was one man working at the bar and I walked over and gave him my order.  Besides filling the drinks, he would also be making my burger.  And the way they make burgers here is unique.  This contraption

    is known as a broilator, made by Norge.  They use fresh ground beef and they put the patties on the small flat top grill.  When you pull on the bar, it closes the door and positions the burger to be cooked by the flames.  The result is one beautiful, juicy burger. 

    Mine here is a cheeseburger, with pickle and onion.  Love that the buns were nicely toasted, too.
     
    Once the crowd thinned out, I walked over to the bar and chatted with the bartender, who it turns out was owner Tom Koch.  A really nice guy, he answered all my questions about the place and especially the broilator.  Even though I am not a bar person (I drank root beer), this was a really cool, comfortable place.  I will be back!
     
    Paul's Tavern
    176 Locust Street
    Dubuque, IA
    563-556-9944
     
    Before leaving town, there was one tourist destination I needed to check out.
     
    Much more to come.....     
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/07/13 09:46:57
    #29
    CheeseWit
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    Re:"If You Bake It, He Will Come" 2012/07/13 09:34:44 (permalink)
    Just visiting the Field of Dreams and having a cheeseburger at Paul's is a fantastic trip. Loving this report!
    #30
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