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Funky food places between Chicago--KC

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Will be driving from Chicago to Kansas City in early July. Will leave early morning and be looking for cool/unusual/funky diner kind of places for breakfast and lunch along I88 and the I35 south...

Lunch we might be roughly somewhere near Des Moines--breakfast not super far west of Chicago---

So any ideas where we might stop? Trying to make the most food-wise of this long drive (me, husband and 2 16yos). Thanks!

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  1. Ok bumping myself to give this post another try--please!

    1. I think, in Moline, IA, there is this cafe/diner off I-88..I think it's called The Cove. I ate there moving from KC to Chicago a few years ago. I had mince meat pie and I think a pork tenderloing diner and the place looks kind of...
      Making the drive last fall, they actually had a SIGN for it - a highway sign - off the highway. I am pretty sure its Moline....or Moscow...
      However..I googled it out of interest and it looks like it's changed hands ...so, maybe not...open any longer.

      I would check out the Iowa City and Des Moines threads. Iowa City is a college town and Des Moines has some oddities, too.
      http://www.qctimes.com/articles/2008/...

      2 Replies
      1. re: stellamystar

        If you time it right you can be in Iowa City sometime around breakfast (brunch) and should stop by Hamburg Inn No. 2. Actually, there burgers, etc. are good, too, and they have these pie shakes that are good.

        Are you a burger / barbecue / tenderloin / fried chicken kind of foodie or are you looking for something a bit fancier. The Machine Shed gets pretty good marks from travelers, although I am not necessarily a huge fan. Right now, I am a big fan of the sandwiches at the South Union Bakery downtown. They are good for a picnic or to take in the car. (When you are downtown check out the start of the new $30 million sculpture garden or checkout the funky East Village for an interesting scene.) The Gateway Market is kind of a local version of Whole Foods with a very good deli / restaurant and some of the best fries I've ever had.

        I'm sure as soon as I hit 'post reply' I will think of other locales so this might not be my last entry.

        1. re: stellamystar

          Yes, it is Moscow. According to the Muscatine Journal, the Cove's owners closed the place when they moved out of state. It is for sale.