A pox upon me for a clumsy lout. Yesterday I forgot to wish Jen a happy birthday in this forum. (Don’t worry I still wished her a happy birthday in another forum. It is called text messaging. Kids, ask your parents what that is.)
So happy birthday Jen!
I know you were on the road for a good chunk of the day, but I hope it was still a day full of joy and wonder.
After we left the bakery in Sioux Center, we drove east to Graettinger for lunch. In Graettinger there is a restaurant I’ve long wanted to eat at. It is on Tenderloin Trail 2.0, it was once the runner up for best tenderloin in the state of Iowa (meaning the world), and it was one of the 10 finalists for best burger in the state of Iowa this year.
There is no way to hide it. This was one of the best tenderloins I’ve ever had and one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. I ordered a tenderloin and Jesse ordered a burger and then we cut them both in half and swapped. Like an old married couple. Or like is somewhat expected when you go on a food adventure with me. Unless you have a notoriously unrefined palette.
I would say, not only was the burger great and the tenderloin great, so were the fries, the cheesy fries, the cheese curds and the brownie. Also, equally awesome was the owner/manager/chef Barry. We must have talked with Barry about food for close to an hour.
Here are the pictures:
That is an inexpensive tenderloin. 9 bucks and a side????
While this might cost me a little bit of street cred on the tenderloin circuit, but I confess that I liked the burger better than the tenderloin. But I would knock down either one in a second.
Birdie’s, Burgers, & Brews ranks the highest on my restaurant scale, it gets the rating of:
I would pursue eating at this restaurant!
I would gladly eat there again. It is over 2 hours from my house and I would gladly drive it to eat there again.
A note, I bought the brownie, but I did not eat it there because I was full and I had plans for ice cream on the trip home.
After Graettinger we stopped in West Bend because Jesse and Nader had never seen The Grotto of the Redemption. I thought there was an ice cream place in West Bend, and there is, (Homestead Country Store) but it was closed. Which means I will have to get back to West Bend to eat there at some point.
Instead, we stopped in Fort Dodge and ate at The Dariette. The Dariette isn’t a new experience for me. I’ve eaten there a few times and it is a favorite of longtime Photography 139 supporter Michelle.
Here are a few pictures:
You know I have the Ted Lasso policy on ice cream:
Ice cream is the best. It’s kinda like seeing Billy Joel perform live. Never disappoints.
The Dariette’s specializes in soft serve ice cream. The flavors change weekly. Michelle recommends their peach, but I’ve never had it. I’ve never had anything that disappoints…
You can find The Dariette at:
17 S. 12th Street
Fort Dodge, Iowa
It is a little tricky to find and get to, so if you miss the turn a few times. Don’t feel shame. If you do, the ice cream will wipe that away once you figure out how to get to it.
But back to the brownie…
I might have left Birdies, Burgers & Brews without the brownie, but it comes with a great story. Well, I think it is cool. Barry (the owner/manager/chef) uses a lot of recipes from the 1920s that he learned when he was a cook in a hospital in Kansas. I know there is a stigma with hospital food, but maybe not from the 1920s. Or at least there shouldn’t be.
The brownie recipe isn’t from the hospital though. It is his great, great grandmother’s recipe:
His great, great grandmother could cook, cause this brownie slaps, as they say. I even ate it when it was at least a day old and it still slaps!
I can’t say enough good things about Birdies, Burgers, & Brews!
You can find it at:
701 South Cedar Avenue
It is located on the grounds of the Hillcrest Golf & Country Club. I confess, I’ve been surprised on my food adventures that so many golf course serve an excellent tenderloin. I’m blue collar as it gets and I come from a blue collar background. The tenderloin is a blue collar sandwich. Ain’t nothing blue collar about golf. But if golf courses keep turning out food like this, I might change my tune on golf courses.
But right now I’m still in the George Carlin camp on golf.
Next Sunday’s food adventure will involve ice cream.