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Feb 17, 2009 07:02 PM

I-35 between MSP and KC?

We'll be driving from MSP to Kansas City in a few weeks. Are there any fun restaurants along the way? Our plan is to stick to the highway, but we'd make a detour for something good Any type of food is OK. Thanks!.

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  1. I've driven this dozens of times and haven't found anything too compelling. Truth be told, I start with a pastry and coffee here in MSP, snack on some gizzards from the Flying J Truck Stop in Des Moines, then do BBQ in KC.

    That said, do a search on Ames and you'll find some older posts that address this same question. Good luck.

    8 Replies
    1. re: MSPD

      MSPD, there are plenty of unique and special places along I-35 in Iowa.

      Start at the Mason City turnoff, go east for the BPT at the Colony Inn in Ventura:

      Go west to the Suzi-Q Cafe in Mason City, this is my write-up:

      The Suburban Restaurant in Gilbert makes everything from scratch:

      Just south of Iowa is the Dinner Bell in lowa, open 24/7:

      1. re: trza

        Wow. I need to get to Iowa more!


        1. re: trza

          Good info. To be clear, I said I haven't found anything too compelling. I didn't at all mean to suggest there wasn't. My main purpose was to inspire a search starting with Ames, knowing that there have been many good threads about Ames on here.

          Sorry to not be clear.

          1. re: trza

            We've stopped at the Dinner Bell numerous times. It is in Missouri, not Iowa. It is a good truck stop kind of place. I've had a burger at 8 am and bacon and eggs at noon. It's all been good.

            1. re: trza

              The Colony Inn appears to have closed. I arrived there around noon last Friday (after driving from the Twin Cities, anxious for BPT), and the lights were off, doors were locked.

              Sad news, that was a standard stop on road trips down I-35.

              1. re: clk

                We stopped at the Colony Inn around 3:00 PM last month. They were open but said they weren't serving food until 4:30 PM. They wouldn't make an exception despite our travels from Missouri that day. As far as I am concerned it was their loss. Two of my most recent stops at restaurants in small towns have been at 3:00 PM and the restaurants were busy. I doubt we will ever go back if they aren't serving during the day. It appeared to be nothing but a bar/grill to me.

                1. re: Davydd

                  I think the odd hours are because the same people operate the PM Park Resort/Lodge/Restaurant on the other side of the lake during the summer. I called PM Park and got an answer that the Colony Inn was still open late, it was more of a lounge/bar with a big hunting lodge-style interior. I remember eating there around 11:00 AM back in December, the ice fishermen were out on the lake and on the ponds south of Mason City.

                  1. re: trza

                    April is not summer. Poor management in my opinion to be open but not serving.

          2. There is one of the last original Maid-Rites in Valley Junction/West Des Moines, not far off of where 235 crosses. I loved the whole Americana aspect of the place, and it had some of the best french fries (hot, crispy, and fluffy inside) Ive ever had. A couple of doors down is a cupcake store with delicious red velvet cupcakes. Yum!

            2 Replies
            1. re: cheeseguysgirl

              French Fries at a Maid Rite? Sacrilege.

              1. re: IowaBoy

                Really? Do tell, why? I've only eaten there once-- here was my review:


            2. Thanks for all the suggestions! Looks like we'll find plenty to entertain us on the way there and back.

              1 Reply
              1. re: suestlawrence

                If you get to Des Moines and want a good deli sandwich or tenderloin you have to go to B&B Grocery Deli. This is a surviving neighborhood grocery store that serves great sandwiches. Their dad's killer sandwich was voted the best in Des Moines. The butchers are the real deal and will treat you like a local. Their web-site is By the way, they also sell great meat!

                B & B Grocery Meat & Deli
                2001 SE 6th St, Des Moines, IA 50315