RE: Weekend in NE/IA/SD
Wed, 09/7/11 1:59 PM
This past holiday weekend, I made a return trip back to Siouxland. My girlfriend was busy entertaining family in town, so I was on my own. As all trips to the upper midwest should start, my first stop was at Interstate Bar-B-Que. Luckily for me, my connection was through Memphis, so I took advantage of the opportunity and visited the airport location. There was a bit of a line and I heard customer after customer ahead of me tell the cashier no when asked if they wanted the cole slaw on top of the pork bbq sandwich. Come on people, you are in Memphis! That's how it is eaten around here! Yeah, I know, most people don't like it that way. I did not get asked that question and when I opened my to go bag at the gate, they had the cole slaw and some bbq sauce in seperate containers. I took both and dumped them on top of my sandwich. Actually, the meat was a little dry, but this was still miles ahead of what you can get at most airports, so no complaints. The flight was now boarding so I had to take my bbq spaghetti on the plane. The smell of this unique and delicious Memphis side filled the air around me, enough so that I got several looks from other passengers. As much as I love bbq spaghetti, it can often be overly sauced, but this medium container had the perfect amount. One of my favorite side dishes all year! My flight was due to land in Omaha around 9:30PM, which gave me no time to reach Roadfood favorites like Bohemian Cafe or Johnny's Cafe before they closed at 10:00PM. Halfway throught the flight, we were told that we were now several minutes ahead of schedule, so thoughts of hitting one of those places now sounded possible. No such luck! There was a thunderstorm hovering over the Omaha airport and we had to circle around for a while until it cleared. Since my hotel was in Council Bluffs, Iowa, I decided to try Hog Stop BBQ, which was open until 11:00PM. When I pulled up, I was mildly surprised that the place looked much more like a bar than a bbq parlor. A couple people who looked like they work in the kitchen were smoking just outside the door. They greeted me and when they found out it was my first time there, told me how much I was going to love the ribs. The inside was one big room, with a bar to the right, a few tables in the middle and a small dance floor to the left. In the far corner was a dj playing country music. I grabbed a table in front of the tv, which was showing the very exciting TCU-Baylor football game. The waiter quickly came over to get my order and I had a strong feeling that this guy was the owner. He looked amazingly like a character actor I have seen in several films, but can't remember the name. Anyway, he was extremely helpful and made some good suggestions on what to order. My dinner ended up being shaved pork bbq (what places in the South would probably call sliced) and sides of smoked mac & cheese and bbq beans. This wasn't the type of place where I was going to sit there and try to take the perfect food shoot, so here is what one shot Charlie came up with. The server showed me the three different types of red bbq sauce, all three of them quite tasty. Sorry, I can't remember what they were, but was told they were all made on site. There was some smoke flavor to the pork, but it took a backseat to the excellent sides. The mac & cheese was piping hot, creamy and I seemed to be able to taste several different cheeses. The bbq beans was full of shreds of pulled pork and plenty of the sauce. You do get your choice of breads with the meal and mine was some kind of thick slab of cornbread. I was cutting off slices with my fork and covering it with what the server called Aloha sauce, which is another homemade sauce, heavy on the pineapple. By the time my food arrived, instead of just playing music, it was now karaoke time. So, I had the pleasure of watching heavily drinking patrons get up to put their own spin on such lovely tunes as "Kiss My Country A**". To say I was out of my element would be a gross understatement. Still, I was made to feel very much at home by the owner. For all that food, plus a Pepsi, the bill came to only $11.00, which isn't too bad. Even though I wouldn't necessarily go back on karaoke night, I would definitely go back to Hog Stop BBQ. Hog Stop BBQ 3621 9th Avenue Council Bluffs, IA 712-328-2277 From there, I checked into my hotel for the night.
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 09/7/11 3:42 PM>