Driving from DFW to Cedar Rapids in June
I am going to a recumbent trike event in Cedar Rapids mid June, so here is the question.
Where should I stop on the way. I am planning on driving from Dallas to Tulsa the first night, leaving DFW after work, so anything interesting for a late night meal or breakfast would work. I will then drive through to Cedar Rapids the next day.
I am planning to be a bit more leisurely on my way home, with extra stops or overnights as necessary ...
Now for part two:
What kind of produce / meats / cheese should I pick up in Iowa. I have been instructed to get some kind of "special" blue cheese for sure, what else?
That would be Maytag blue cheese, from Newton, Iowa. It is indeed special. What route are you planning between Tulsa and Cedar Rapids? I assume KC, then Iowa on I-35, then over on I-80?
We were in Tulsa last weekend, and ate breakfast at a place called the Blue Dome Diner, in downtown Tulsa. It was a funky diner-type joint, with funky servers. Homemade d bread, some excellent home fries, biscuits and gravy. And I saw some pretty spectacular pancakes going by.
Last year in the KC Star there was an article about a man who drove from the East Coast to Kansas City a couple of times a year just to eat at Stroud's. It is a KC institution for fried chicken and they've been in business for decades. Come hungry they serve large portions.
I don't know if this is too far out of your way...but closer to Wichita/Hutchinson, KS is a charming little Amish community called Yoder, KS. The Carriage Crossing Restaurant is run by the local Amish. The food there is excellent, good enough to put any grandmother to shame. It is all fresh and prepared on site.
Like the Amish, it is not fancy, but well maintained and I challenge anyone to find a cleaner, more comfortable establishment. The pies alone are worth your trip off the beaten path. Incidentally, if you have a horse and buggy instead of a car, there is a hitching post out front to tie up (and yours wouldn't be the only one there).
Maytag Blue is worth the drive alone, but when you pass by Des Moines, stop at any Dahls or Hy Vee grocery store and pick up some Graziano's Italian Sausage. For that matter, you could just jump off I-235 Downtown and head south to 1601 S. Union and buy it at the source.
If you're going to be turning north at Iowa City to get to Cedar Rapids I highly suggest going to the mall a few more miles east and getting a shake/malt at the western-most Whitey's Ice Cream establishment.
Honestly, until I got settled in I thought the only good thing about the Quad Cities was Whitey's. The ice cream is that good.
I've done lots of posts with reviews of restaurants in Tulsa, and if you stop there, you might find some good recommendations. Enjoy!!
Sadly the Carriage Crossing several have mentioned, located in Yoder KS, has never been run by Amish. Although in a true Amish community, these are far from Amish. And the food has taken a dramatic dive (believe their fried chicken to now be of the frozen variety). But you are still in luck when stopping at this slick in the road! They make 100s of delicious pies. Years ago, before they widened this 96, there was a little Mennonite run place called Yoder Cafe. This was the genuine article. progress killed the cafe.
NOW. This all being said you still have two other options. One will take you on a small adventure. the first is the Yoder bakery there in town. Home to amazing cinnamon rolls and other baked goods. The other, and you will need to sleuth this one out with the locals, is a true Amish experience. There is a woman that opens her home up on occasion and makes a huge spread in Yoder. These are true Amish and you will dine by gas lanterns. Stop at the grocers and ask them if they can help. Good luck. And, what is ANYONE doing near this town anyway???
Sometime remind me to tell you the story of attending an Amish chicken auction.
Edit: I realize this is a very old original post, hope someone can use the above info. But also wanted to add that the maytag cheese mentioned above is actually part of the Maytag family that makes the washers and dryers. Interesting deal, even better cheese. They will ship anywhere so there is no reason that even an Amish family couldnt have the delicious cheese (the Amish in Kansas cannot make cheese despite me trying to teach them).
Iowa is known for the best "corn fed" beef and pork. If you're in Des Moines and are going by Graziano's on the Southside, you might as well pick up some Iowa Beef and Pork at B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli. www.bbgrocerymeatdeli.com B&B is just a stone's throw from Graziano's. Ok, maybe a little more than a stone's throw, but they're close.
B&B is an old fashioned butcher shop that has the best meat in Des Moines. They'll cut it exactly the way you want it. You'll love the butchers there, they'll treat you like a local. Ask them to cut you some Iowa Chops. Basically, they're thick pork chops. Great on the grill!!!
I could be wrong on this interesting tidbit, but I think Graziano's and B&B are the two oldest neighborhood type stores in Des Moines.
B & B Grocery Meat & Deli
2001 SE 6th St, Des Moines, IA 50315