Iowa Eats Destination: Luna Valley Farm; Decorah, IA

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Sitting on a beautiful farmstead somewhere on the outskirts of Decorah, Iowa is one of the best hidden food destinations Iowa has to offer. Luna Valley Farm and their brick oven pizza coupled with the setting that they offer make this an Iowa eats destination for sure.

Most of my blog visitors have more than likely been to Decorah as it has two of Iowa’s most popular breweries in Toppling Goliath and Pulpit Rock. Both places are well worth the drive there as well and I’m also a big fan of Mabe’s pizza…BUT…..if you are there on a Friday night, no dinner plans, get google maps up and get to Luna Valley. Not only can you eat there, drink some great local brews, but you can also go glamping in one of their cabin/tents! Also, they are only open from 4-8 and ONLY on Fridays! Get there early, grab a seat in the barn, and enjoy.

Seeing how many people made it there on this particular Friday night makes me want to rethink calling it a “hidden” food destination. It’s a popular spot, very popular. Once the dough is out, that’s all she wrote. Luckily, we got there in time and got our orders in. The first thing I noticed when ordering was the excellent beer selection! Pulpit Rock, TG, PIVO and a few others on tap. I ordered a Saftig, and that beer and that setting is about as good as it gets!

 

The pizza was wonderful. Chewy crust, fresh toppings, and a great sauce. We went with the Iowaiian – bacon, pineapple, and jalapeno and the margherita and friends got the Pepperoncini pizza. All 3 were fantastic! Even with how busy they were the staff was extremely friendly, helpful and added to what was a memorable evening! Check it out the next time you hit Decorah on Friday night, you won’t be disappointed in this Iowa Eats Destination!

Small Town Iowa Eats: Marlee and Me; Spragueville, IA

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If you ever find yourself in Jackson County and you have quite an appetite, drive on over to Spragueville and head on into Marlee and Me and you will get more than plenty to fill you up!

Spragueville is about a 20 minute drive from Maquoketa, right off of Highway 64 and is a town (maybe a town?) of not even 100 people. Marlee and Me is a can’t miss spot, literally, if you drive through town you can’t miss it. It’s settled into what looks like an old two story home and is as Mom and Pop and family friendly as it gets…exactly what you’d expect in small town Iowa.

So, finding myself on a fun road trip with my parents, doing a little small town bar hopping, we ended up in Spragueville. We stopped at Marlee and Me intending on just having a quick beer but the food that was coming out of the kitchen signaled that this was our last stop, our meal stop.

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Huge slabs of prime rib with hash brown casserole piled high next to it. The plates were overflowing with beefy goodness and I couldn’t wait to dig in. We walked passed the salad bar as we headed to our seats and I noted the braunschweiger dip and planned to eat my weight in that. One of the great things about small town restaurants like this is there is always a great salad bar. Homemade pasta + potato salads and tons of dips. As this is a beer blog, I should note the beesr I had….Busch Light and a Coors Light. I’m not even sure what the options were, just went with a blue yummy. My parents decided to try the wings. Deep fried wings that were tossed in a jalapeno jelly….never thought of tossing wings in a jelly but these were delicious. I hammered the salad bar and the braunschweiger was as good as I’ve had.

Now it’s time for the main course. A HUGE cut of prime rib, cooked perfect to medium rare and a side of hash brown casserole that could feed a family of four. The steak was perfectly seasoned, a nice crust on the outside. The potatoes were loaded with cheese and garlic and the beer was cold. The perfect Saturday night meal.

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Soooo….if you find yourself on a little road trip, don’t ignore those small town diner/restaurants. And if you find yourself in Jackson County with a big appetite and a hankering for a huge cut of meat…head to Spragueville and Marlee and Me! Worth the trip!