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Foodie Destinations along I-35 (TX-MN)

We are planning on driving from Texas to Minnesota this summer and will be on I-35 the entire route. Does anyone have dining suggestions along the way? We've never been to this area of the country and are looking to try some local dishes as well as standard fare.

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  1. I love the breaded pork tenderloin at the Colony Inn in Ventura, which is about five miles off the interstate (west on Highway 18) at the Mason City - Clear Lake exit.

    5 Replies
    1. re: jwagnerdsm

      How about Stroud's Oakridge Manor? It's a few blocks off l-35 at the North Brighton exit. Go to their website for complete directions. Definitely worth the exit for some of the best fried chicken around.

      1. re: zataar

        Stroud's Oakridge Manor is in Kansas City, I forgot to say that in the previous post.

      2. re: jwagnerdsm

        Cafe 501 in Edmond, Oklahoma is quite tasty for lunch or dinner. A great bistro and bakery. Near 2nd and Boulevard, about a mile or 2 west of I-35 off the 2nd Street exit.

        For a really yummy, fresh and unique sub sandwich in Edmond, OK, try City Bites. Also west of I-35 off the 2nd sreet exit, just past Broadway.

        And yes, Oklahoma Joe's in Kansas City is NOT TO BE MISSED! The Z Man and a bag of fries - mmm - I can taste it now. The Blue Bird in KC is also a winner

        1. re: allyroach

          Driving from Hill Country Texas to KC, Edmond is the perfect in-between overnight. We have eaten at Kang's the last 3 times and want to try something different next month (Feb,2009). Any suggestions? Quality a must, cost not a factor. TIA

          1. re: waistedinkerrville

            Edmond is a great overnight stop on I-35 in all arenas, except fine dining. Cascata's is closed, Boulevard Steakhouse overpriced for mediocre steaks with unenthusiastic service, and Le Cep Bistro serves frozen green mussels and does something bizarre to their French onion soup. Seriously, you are very limited. You can trek to the big city (OKC), and get great steak at Cattleman's. Or you can wing it in Edmond with either Cafe 501 or Signature Grill for a sit-down meal, or grab a pizza from Falconi's.

      3. Make a stop at Oklahoma Joe's BBQ in Kansas City, KS. They are 1.5 miles south of I-35 on Mission and 47th, exit 233. Order a Z-man.


        1 Reply
        1. re: andymcleod

          Man, I do love Oklahoma Joe's. And they sell gas there, too, don't they? Convenient stop.

        2. How about Arthur Bryant's BBQ in KC! This will start a debate of Arthur Bryant's vs. Gates vs 7,000 other KC BBQ places... However, I think Bryant's is a great representation of the KC style, and very, very tasty. Just don't go in looking for something "light".

          Arthur Bryant's Barbeque
          1727 Brooklyn Ave, Kansas City, MO 64127

          1. If you stay on I-35 rather than taking the loop bypass, you'll go right through downtown KC. If you're going through at breakfast/brunch time, I'd recommend Bluebird Bistro at 1700 Summit (http://www.kansascitymenus.com/bluebi...). They specialize in local/regional sourced food. They can be a little spendy for dinner, but their brunch is reasonable. While you're there, stop off at Fervere next door (http://www.fervere.com/). It's a nationally recognized bakery. Bread only, but some of the best you'll ever have. You can stop off in the City Market and get cold cuts and sandwich stuff at Carollo's (http://cityguide.aol.com/kansascity/e...). Another good breakfast option, which is also in the City Market is Cascone's Grill (http://cityguide.aol.com/kansascity/e...), a neighborhood joint.

            I'll post more on lunch and dinner options later, as I get more time.

            Blue Bird Bistro
            1700 Summit, Kansas City, MO 64108

            1702 Summit St, Kansas City, MO

            Carollo's Gourmet Grocery
            700 E 3rd Street, Kansas City, MO

            Cascone's Grill
            17 E 5th St, Kansas City, MO 64106

            1. Add LC's BBQ on Blue Parkway to the heap. I used to do this drive for work a couple times a year for a few years and stopped there almost every time.

              McGehee Catfish outside of Marietta, Oklahoma is another chowish stop. Just don't go on Wednesdays as they're closed. It's not a quick stop -- the restaurant is about eight miles from the exit down some bumpy wooded dirt roads.

              Fried Pies at the Ardmore, OK exit is a good stop. They have both fruit and savory pies and you can watch them make them as you order.

              Those were my usual suspects. There's a lot of empty road with little to eat along the way.

              1. In TX eat at one of the Babe's Chicken locations. The following is a mapquest link to the locations along your route. The original is in Roanoke and the line usually stretches around the block. I'm not sure about the other locations. The chicken is legendary.

                I haven't eaten here in a number of years, but for truck stop-type locations, you might try BETO Junction in Kansas North of Emporia. Greasy spoon, excellent breakfasts. http://www.betojunction.com/restauran...
                Have a cinnamon roll.

                If you are hungry for lunch and you're near Gardner, KS (30 min So. of KC) try a Cheesesteak at Boston Cheesesteak Co.

                1. Stop at the Maid-Rite in Valley Junction, IA-- really near West Des Moines. One of the last independently owned Maid-Rites (ltheir specialty is a loose meat burger in various incarnations), and has some of the best fries I've ever had (super hot and crispy).

                  Also, for the kitsch factor, stop at the Russell Stover Outlet in Bethany, MO. You can get 3# of "factory seconds" that look not so pretty but taste just wonderful, for 6.99, 2 boxes for 12.00.

                  1. Another good spot right off I-35 is the Old Hamburg Restaurant in Story City Iowa. Excellent German food and wine.