Local Food in Iowa
I'm looking to all you Heartland Chowhounds to help me out.
I am launching a new magazine, "Edible Iowa River Valley," and while I know the area fairly well, I don't know it all. So please post your recs for the best food, best farmers, best artisans in the region that runs from the Des Moines/Ames metro east to the Mississippi, and I'll try to get some recognition for the folks who are doing the local/sustainable thing really well.
In Ames: the Cafe and Aunt Maude's are buying lots of local meat and produce. The Cafe, Aunt Maude's sister restau bakes their own organic bread and both wine lists are well crafted. Also, in Ames, Stomping Grounds. This is a coffeehouse that has morphed into a cafe, with nice wines and the best cup of espresso I've tasted in the state. The BLT with local pepper bacon and heirloom tomatoes is transcendent. Also rec their Croque Monsieur.
Still in Story County: Prairie Moon winery. A father/son operation, they make the best Iowa wine I've had. Their Foch is done in American Oak barrels, and has 5% malbec thrown in for some backbone.
Star Bar (serving Cleverley produce and Niman meats)
In Grinnell: Cafe Phoenix. Local food and wine is the rule, not the exception.
Hope this helps.
Elkhorn IA is a settlement of Danish immagrants just west of Des moines. There is a buffet at the Danish Inn there that features several danish dishes. Ableskeevers are the signature breakfeast dish. They are basically pancake balls that are a little larger than golf balls. I think the only place you can get them are at the area B&B's. There is also a cool danish museum and windmill there. The windmill was actually brought over from Denmark.
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