I flew in and out of Omaha over the weekend and went as far north as Sioux Falls, SD. Here are the eating highlights:
* I had my first experience with Sour Cream Raisin pie at Crystal Cafe in South Sioux City, Nebraska. And it was fantastic! Not only that, it was as good looking a cream pie as I have ever seen. All pies should look this appetizing.
* The Coney Islands at Milwaukee Wiener House were excellent. I had two with mustard, onion and chili along with a fine cherry milkshake that came in a silver beaker. My favorite thing about the place, besides the nice conversation with the owner, was that they have a tribute on the wall to a mustard stick which retired after garnishing 10,000,000 hot dogs.
* Edgar's is an old fashioned soda fountain in the tiny town of Elk Point, SD. Besides being great to look at, they made me a terrific vertical banana split. They really do a great job of presentation here and they use Land 'O Lakes ice cream.
The owner told me something interesting while I was there. Apparently, before Blue Bunny opened their soda fountain in Le Mars, IA, they came to Edgar's to do research. Besides asking lots of questions, they even went as far as to measure the counter at Edgar's!
* I have only had loosemeats sandwiches in two places, but the one I had at Miles Inn in Sioux City was way better than at Maid-Rite in Newton. At the Miles Inn, though, it is called a "Charlie Boy".
* I hadn't been to The Bohemian Cafe since 2001 and it is still just as good. I got the Czech-style sauerbraten, the dumplings, the kraut and the liver dumpling soup....all of which were as good as I remember. And my favorite dish, the plum dumplings (which is listed as an entree, but I like for dessert) were especially good.
* I drove to Susie's Kitchen in Stanton, Iowa for breakfast. I went in and ordered the pancakes, thinking I would get the Swedish Pancakes like in the review. Unfortunately, regular pancakes came out. I asked my waitress to box the regular ones and make me an order of the Swedish pancakes. This time, Susie herself brought them out and said, "When I saw the book (Roadfood), I should have known you wanted the Swedish ones." They came with excellent homemade Lingonberry jam and Susie's own Swedish rye bread. When I told Susie how much I loved the bread, she gave me an entire loaf to take home! And despite my protests, she didn't charge me for the first set of pancakes. Really nice people at Susie's.
* My favorite place was the Tripp Sports Bowl Cafe in the tiny town (population 700) of Tripp, SD. Since they didn't recognize me (I don't think they get many outsiders), they asked where I was from. They were amazed someone from Pittsburgh was eating in their bowling alley cafe. I had a great time conversing with the husband and wife owners and she made me the famous Dakota Burger even though it wasn't on the menu or listed as a special. Junellia brought out the cookbook that Michael Stern send her along with some letters, which were carefully preserved like museum pieces.
After I got done eating, I got up and starting snapping some pictures, which amused the other customers. Several of them asked to see the Roadfood book review of the place and the book started getting passed around from table to table. I really enjoyed meeting all the nice people. By the way, the owners gave me a yellow Tripp Sports Bowl ice scraper shaped like the number one on the way out. The ice scraper says "Even Though There's Ice & Snow Tripp Sports Bowl is the Place to go."
The owners also mentioned to me that the nice older lady who really hit it off with the Sterns on their visit is still alive and living in the local retirement home.
* I stopped at Daily Grind in Sioux City, IA and had a delicious Peppermint Cafe Latte. But they don't seem to make the homemade cinnamon rolls like mentioned in the review. When I asked for a CR, they brought out this tiny looking muffin type thing. I told the girl, I didn't want that and she said that was all they had. I asked if they had anything homemade and she said only the muffins in the frig and they sure didn't look very enticing.
The place is still worth a stop, since it is also part bookstore and art gallery. And I also had fun for a few minutes working on the community jigsaw puzzle that was laid out.
* When I stopped at The Pantry in Yankton, SD, looking for the great muffins that were mentioned in the review, the owner said he has been feeling lazy lately and hasn't been making them. My advice would be to call ahead before stopping in, just to make sure they have them that day.
* When I walked in to Bob's in Sioux Falls, SD, I thought I would love the place. It really had the look of a classic Roadfood place. But, I didn't love it. And that was mostly due to the young guy behind the counter who had a bit of an attitude. I saw him being a jerk to customers and other employees. Still, the burger and fries I had were quite good. After the other customers left and he got in a better mood, he wanted me to try some of his homemade ice cream. Both the dulce leche and the vanilla were oustanding.
I did plenty of other non eating things like tour the Nebraska state capitol and visit museums, too.
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 09/7/11 12:47 PM>