Left at the Fork

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Category: Iowa

Best Places to Eat in the Midwest

This comes from Dan Kaercher, the founding editor of Midwest Living magazine — his favorite places to eat in the Midwest. He once took an 8,000-mile, 44-day, six-meal-a-day eating tour of the Midwest for Iowa Public Television, so he’s probably better qualified than most to speak authoritatively on the matter. Among his favorites: the Jaarsma Bakery in Pella, IA, home of Dutch letters, Hamburg Inn No. 2 in Iowa City, where he enjoyed a chocolate shake with a slice of chocolate praline pecan bourbon pie blended in (!), The Bohemian Cafe of Omaha, soon to close permanently, and the spectacular fish boils at The White Gull Inn in Door County, WI. See the complete story here.

Top 10 American Steakhouses

Forget those hoary stereotypes about women’s eating preferences. The ladies love a good steak! Here are America’s ten best steakhouses courtesy of the online women’s lifestyle magazine PureWow. It’s a solid and not entirely predictable list that hits a pair of Old New York classics, Peter Luger and Keen’s, a celebrity chef spot in L.A., Cut, from Wolfgang Puck, and a trio of Midwest old-time favorites in Archie’s Waeside of Iowa, St. Elmo of Indy, and Oklahoma City’s Cattlemen’s. Have a look and argue to your heart’s content.

Sioux City’s Daily Grind Reborn as Grind Cafe & Lounge

Tiffany Parsons baked cupcakes for Sioux City, IA’s premier coffeehouse, The Daily Grind, before eventually purchasing it a few years ago. Coffee and pastries in the morning, soups, salads, and sandwiches for lunch, and, in the evening? Aye, there’s the rub — coffee houses are not ideally suited to serving evening customers and, like The Daily Grind, they usually close before dinner. Tiffany, having none of it, chose a different route starting this March, adding nighttime pizza and appetizers along with wine, beer, and cocktails. She rechristened her space The Grind Cafe & Lounge, hoping to attract a new clientele while continuing to serve her longtime customers. Read more here.

Love in 2015 for Archie’s Waeside of Iowa

Looking to try the best steaks across America? Then you’d better plan a stop in Le Mars, Iowa to visit Archie’s Waeside. Archie’s hasn’t exactly lived its 60+ years in anonymity — it’s well-known among regional food aficionados — but neither has it been as readily acknowledged nationally as, say, Peter Luger in Brooklyn, NY. That situation, apparently, is being corrected. This year, Archie’s was the recipient of a James Beard American Classic Award. Rachael Ray selected it as America’s fourth best steakhouse. And Yahoo! recently named it the best steak in Iowa. What Archie Jackson started in 1949 is finally receiving the love it deserves. And Iowans are proud.

George Nopoulos of Wilton Candy Kitchen in Iowa Has Passed Away

We are very saddened to pass on the news that George Nopoulos, owner of perhaps the oldest soda fountain in the country, passed away Sunday at the age of 95. The Wilton Candy Kitchen, of Wilton, Iowa, was founded in 1860 and purchased by Mr. Nopoulos’ father in 1910. George started working at the fountain in 1925. He met his future wife, Thelma, there, and proposed to her in the Candy Kitchen in 1949. Continue reading

Blue in Newton

French has its Roquefort, Italy its Gorgonzola, Brits are proud of their Stilton and, yes, America has as much reason as anyone in the world to boast of their own blue cheese, made by Maytag Dairy Farms of Newton, Iowa. The superlative cheese has been handmade since the first batch emerged from the aging cave in 1941. Kiran Sood, writing for The Gazette, an Eastern Iowa newspaper, takes a look at how blue cheese is made on the peaceful 600 acres of the Maytag Dairy.

Bauder’s Pharmacy of Des Moines Permitted to Stay Open

After threatening to revoke the pharmacy license of Bauder’s Pharmacy of Des Moines, Iowa, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy has renewed their license. Former owner and pharmacist Mark Graziano began serving a sentence at Leavenworth on Sunday for selling addictive painkillers on the side. He sold his half of the business to his sister, Kim Robertson, but the ruling says his sister can no longer be the pharmacist in charge. Ms. Robertson is facing administrative charges of her own. Mark Graziano, convicted drug felon, still owns the nationally famous soda fountain half of the business, which is the part of the business that most interests us.

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Sioux City, Iowa’s Daily Grind is known for their terrific homemade cinnamon rolls (as well as, of course, their coffee drinks). But we just read about a variation on the cinnamon roll from Daily Grind that we’re anxious to try: the cinnamon roll cupcake. It’s made with a cinnamon batter and topped with cinnamon/sour cream frosting. One of those with a double espresso and our day in The Hawkeye State would be off to a grand beginning!

LAF in the A.M. March 4th, 2015

A Morning Menu of LAF-Style Food News and Stories to Begin Your Day

HAPPY NATIONAL POUND CAKE DAY!

New England Diner Cookbook

When Irish Fries Are Smiling

Graeter’s Doubling Gelato Offerings; 4 New Flavors

A Closer Look at Archie’s Waeside of Iowa

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LAF in the A.M. February 28th, 2015

A Morning Menu of LAF-Style Food News and Stories to Begin Your Day

HAPPY NATIONAL CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE DAY!

5 America’s Classics Named for 2015

Two New Boston-Area Shake Shacks Opening Next Week

KC Star Reviews Snead’s in Belton

Secret to Getting a No-Wait Seat at Al’s Breakfast of MPLS

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LAF in the A.M. February 22nd, 2015

A Morning Menu of LAF-Style Food News and Stories to Begin Your Day

HAPPY NATIONAL COOK A SWEET POTATO DAY!

Wiscasset Traffic Plans Should Not Disturb Red’s Eats

Bauder’s Owner Sentenced to 2 Years

Review of New Wolfgang’s Steakhouse in Somerville NJ

Great Seafood in Tulsa? Really? Really!

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LAF in the A.M. January 6th, 2015

A Morning Menu of LAF-Style Food News and Stories to Begin Your Day

The Birthplace of the Fried Clam

Tucson’s Best Hot Dog

Bisbee Breakfast Club in Mesa, AZ

The 3 Greek Hot Dog Shops of Sioux City

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LAF in the A.M. January 2nd, 2015

A Morning Menu of LAF-Style Food News and Stories to Begin Your Day

Top 10 Tucson Food Events of 2014

Bauder Pharmacy License Extended Through March

10 Most Instagrammed New Orleans Restaurants

Kansas City’s 2014 in Barbecue

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LAF in the A.M. December 30th, 2014

A Morning Menu of LAF-Style Food News and Stories to Begin Your Day

Jacques Torres Pop Up Comes to Pittsburgh

Bauder Pharmacy of Iowa Closing?

Gooey Butter Cake, Frozen Custard, and Chocolate

Owl Bar and Cafe History

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LAF in the A.M. November 14th, 2014

A Morning Menu of Stories We Think You’ll Find Interesting

Viva La Local in Tucson This Sunday

Viva La Local is returning this Sunday to Rillito Raceway Park in Tucson, Arizona. The food festival debuted in spring 2014 and was such a big hit that organizers hope to make it a twice-yearly event. There will be over 80 farmers market vendors in attendance, 25 local restaurants, and several area wineries and breweries, along with music by Tucson bands. They are offering bike valet service and will store your farmers market purchases in a refrigerated truck (be sure to tell them not to refrigerate your tomatoes)  while you enjoy the festival! Proceeds go to help support the Heirloom Farmers Market. Continue reading

LAF in the A.M. November 8th, 2014

A Morning Menu of Stories We Think You’ll Find Interesting

Chicago’s Pizano’s Coming to Milwaukee

Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta will be opening their first restaurant outside of the Chicago area in late spring, in Milwaukee, at 1150 North Water Street. Pizano’s, which began in 1991, now has six restaurants. The mini-chain was founded by Rudy Malnati, Jr., son of Rudy Malnati Sr. of Pizzeria Uno fame (and who may or may not have invented deep-dish pizza), and half-brother to Lou Malnati. Continue reading

LAF in the A.M. November 5th, 2014

A Morning Menu of Stories We Think You’ll Find Interesting

Publican Sausage On Shake Shack Chicago Menu

When Shake Shack enters a new market they always select some quality local ingredients for their menu. We noted previously how, in Chicago, they are offering concretes made with Chicago’s Bang Bang Pie and Glazed & Infused doughnuts, and they are also offering Vienna Beef hot dogs. There are two other local twists on the menu. Another concrete incorporates a chocolate bar made with Hawaiian black sea salt, burnt sugar caramel, and 70% cacao dark chocolate, from Chicago’s high-end chocolatier Vosges Haut-Chocolat. And there’s a Publican Pork Sausage, made by Chicago’s Publican Quality Meats, a high-quality butcher and lunch spot. The sausage is topped with Shack’s cheese sauce and crispy-fried, ale-marinated shallots. The Chicago Shack opened yesterday. Continue reading

LAF in the A.M. November 3rd, 2014

Gold and Fried Chicken

The Smith House in Dahlonega, Georgia is an inn with a history. The house was built atop a vein of gold that remained unmined because the 19th-century town fathers did not want the noise and disturbance to the town that mining would bring. Today, The Smith House is famous for the generous feasts they put out daily. You might want to give some thought to spending your Thanksgiving here, when The Smith House pulls out all the stops. Here’s what will be on this year’s Thanksgiving menu: Continue reading

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