Weekend in Siouxland

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RE: Weekend in NE/IA/SD 2008/01/01 06:02:02 (permalink)
You mentioned a website.....if it is a food website, how about providing us with a link? Is it on Iowa food?
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RE: Weekend in NE/IA/SD 2011/09/07 13:59:56 (permalink)
This past holiday weekend, I made a return trip back to Siouxland.  My girlfriend was busy entertaining family in town, so I was on my own. 
As all trips to the upper midwest should start, my first stop was at Interstate Bar-B-Que

Luckily for me, my connection was through Memphis, so I took advantage of the opportunity and visited the airport location.  There was a bit of a line and I heard customer after customer ahead of me tell the cashier no when asked if they wanted the cole slaw on top of the pork bbq sandwich.  Come on people, you are in Memphis!  That's how it is eaten around here!  Yeah, I know, most people don't like it that way.  I did not get asked that question and when I opened my to go bag at the gate, they had the cole slaw and some bbq sauce in seperate containers.  I took both and dumped them on top of my sandwich. 

Actually, the meat was a little dry, but this was still miles ahead of what you can get at most airports, so no complaints.
The flight  was now boarding so I had to take my bbq spaghetti

on the plane.  The smell of this unique and delicious Memphis side filled the air around me, enough so that I got several looks from other passengers.  As much as I love bbq spaghetti, it can often be overly sauced, but this medium container had the perfect amount.  One of my favorite side dishes all year!
My flight was due to land in Omaha around 9:30PM, which gave me no time to reach Roadfood favorites like Bohemian Cafe or Johnny's Cafe before they closed at 10:00PM.  Halfway throught the flight, we were told that we were now several minutes ahead of schedule, so thoughts of hitting one of those places now sounded possible.  No such luck!  There was a thunderstorm hovering over the Omaha airport and we had to circle around for a while until it cleared.  Since my hotel was in Council Bluffs, Iowa, I decided to try Hog Stop BBQ, which was open until 11:00PM. 
When I pulled up, I was mildly surprised that the place looked much more like a bar than a bbq parlor.  A couple people who looked like they work in the kitchen were smoking just outside the door.  They greeted me and when they found out it was my first time there, told me how much I was going to love the ribs.  The inside was one big room, with a bar to the right, a few tables in the middle and a small dance floor to the left.  In the far corner was a dj playing country music.  I grabbed a table in front of the tv, which was showing the very exciting TCU-Baylor football game. 
The waiter quickly came over to get my order and I had a strong feeling that this guy was the owner.  He looked amazingly like a character actor I have seen in several films, but can't remember the name.  Anyway, he was extremely helpful and made some good suggestions on what to order.  My dinner ended up being shaved pork bbq (what places in the South would probably call sliced) and sides of smoked mac & cheese and bbq beans.  This wasn't the type of place where I was going to sit there and try to take the perfect food shoot, so here

is what one shot Charlie came up with.  The server showed me the three different types of red bbq sauce, all three of them quite tasty.  Sorry, I can't remember what they were, but was told they were all made on site.  There was some smoke flavor to the pork, but it took a backseat to the excellent sides.  The mac & cheese was piping hot, creamy and I seemed to be able to taste several different cheeses.  The bbq beans was full of shreds of pulled pork and plenty of the sauce.  You do get your choice of breads with the meal and mine was some kind of thick slab of cornbread.  I was cutting off slices with my fork and covering it with what the server called Aloha sauce, which is another homemade sauce, heavy on the pineapple.  
By the time my food arrived, instead of just playing music, it was now karaoke time.  So, I had the pleasure of watching heavily drinking patrons get up to put their own spin on such lovely tunes as "Kiss My Country A**".  To say I was out of my element would be a gross understatement.  Still, I was made to feel very much at home by the owner.  For all that food, plus a Pepsi, the bill came to only $11.00, which isn't too bad.
Even though I wouldn't necessarily go back on karaoke night, I would definitely go back to Hog Stop BBQ.
Hog Stop BBQ
3621 9th Avenue
Council Bluffs, IA
From there, I checked into my hotel for the night.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2011/09/07 15:42:44
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RE: Weekend in NE/IA/SD 2011/09/07 14:16:03 (permalink)
Didn't you win a singing contest in NOLA a few years back?
Looks like the start of a great trip.  Now, if that ain't country........
post edited by joerogo - 2011/09/07 14:23:24
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RE: Weekend in NE/IA/SD 2011/09/07 14:18:39 (permalink)
I sound much better blending in with lots of other voices! 
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RE: Weekend in NE/IA/SD 2011/09/07 15:34:04 (permalink)
Still being on Eastern time, I was waiting outside my breakfast destination, Harold's Koffee House,

in Omaha when they opened at 6:00AM.  It had been storming all morning and I liked the way the water looked on the window.

I was thinking Harold's would be a small place, but is actually fairly large.  It has a wonderful, old-time Midwest coffee shop feel to the place, with all of the seats being comfy booths.   Among the reasons I came to Harold's was because they make their own pie and their own donuts!  Unfortunately, they had no sour cream raisin pie on this day, but I did tell the waitress to reserve the last slice of banana cream for me.  As for the donuts, they offer six different types.  Even though they are small (only costing .69 cents each), I didn't want to fill up just on donuts alone, so I just tried three.  From the left going clockwise,

vanilla frosted, cinnamon sugar and cake.  All were quite good, but the plain cake, which had a nice crunch when you bit into it, was the star.  I noticed almost all of the regulars were buying donuts to start their meals.  They also had some delicious looking, homemade sweet rolls

Unfortunately, nothing on the menu really grabbed me.

Against my better judgement, I ordered the Pioneer Plate, which is biscuits and gravy. 

Strangely, there were entire sausage patties sitting on top of the biscuits, which is a good thing!  Unfortunately, both the gravy and the biscuits were forgettable.  The hashbrowns

could have been a little crispier, but were otherwise fine.
The banana cream pie had a light as air meringue and lots of cut up banana slices in the filling.  This was a good pie, but certainly not a great one.  They are very proud of their pies here and have a sign

telling you which pies are available on which days.
But, the single best part of eating at Harold's was the service.  Since this was a Saturday morning and the much beloved to the locals Nebraska Cornhuskers were playing that day, my waitress

was dressed head-to-toe in Cornhusker gear.  This included bright red pants and socks, a Nebraska watch, a button that read "American by birth, Husker by choice", even red and white ribbons in her hair.  She was a very sweet lady who really loves her local team, as that seemed be the only topic of conversation among the locals.  While I was chatting with the owner, she told me you should see how my waitress dresses in all green for St. Patrick's Day.  And she also told me that next time I come back, call ahead and they will have some sour cream raisin pie waiting for me.  Although that is very nice of her, I was terribly concerned about it.  That's because I knew where I was headed next!
There is a lot to like about Harold's Koffee House, especially those donuts.  I would like to go back and try a different item, maybe even lunch.  Has anyone else ever been here before?
Harold's Koffee House
8327 N 30th Street
Omaha, NE
I got back in my car and headed east into Iowa.
Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2011/09/07 15:35:37
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RE: Weekend in NE/IA/SD 2011/09/07 17:23:23 (permalink)
Only 3 donuts......
This coming from the man who will eat 5 slices of pie at dinner, but only had 3 donuts????

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RE: Weekend in NE/IA/SD 2011/09/07 18:49:41 (permalink)
Now you know why I can eat 5 pieces of pie!
mr chips
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RE: Weekend in NE/IA/SD 2011/09/07 22:00:05 (permalink)
Great update. Always enjoy reading about your adeventures.
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RE: Weekend in NE/IA/SD 2011/09/08 12:34:20 (permalink)
One shot Charlie did pretty good.  :)  I have a real weak spot for nice plain cake donuts.
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