Saturday, June 12, 2010

Iowa Road Trip: Dubuque

A few weekends ago, I took advantage of an opportunity to meet my dad and a few of his friends in Dubuque for an Iowa-style road trip.  I met my dad for lunch at Breitbach's Country Restaurant, known as the oldest restaurant west of the Mississippi River.

The restaurant was featured in an episode of the Alton Brown show where he rode along the Mississippi on a motorcyle (I've forgotten the name of the show).  Breitbach's Country Dining also won a James Beard award for its authentic Midwestern food.

Once again, I was embarrassed to take pictures of the food in front of my family, so I'll just have to tell you what was on my plate.  The restaurant offers an all-you-can-eat buffet of fried chicken, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet corn, homemade dinner rolls, homemade soups and an amazing salad bar with such local favorites as pickled beets, chow-chow and marshmallow fluff pudding salad.  Oh how I love a salad with marshmallows!  I went back for seconds.

There were huge crowds of motorcycles parked outside the restaurant.

The bikers were all here for the view.

Easy to see where Iowa painter Grant Wood got his inspiration.

After lunch, we visited a dairy farm (as you can see from my early post) so my dad could scout a few alfalfa fields.  (He's a hay and forage seed salesman.)  We stayed on the farm for quite a while, so we didn't have time to do much sightseeing that night.  But we stopped at the famous Fenelon Place Elevator, the world's shortest, steepest scenic railway.

It was built in the 1800s by a local banker who wanted a quicker way to get to his home up on the bluffs so he could eat lunch and take a nap.  True story!

The elevator offered the best views of Dubuque and the Mississippi River valley, hands down.

In the morning, we decided to stop at the National Mississippi River Museum, since my dad and I are history buffs.

We got to tour an old steam boat and learn about how Dubuque was once the center of the riverboat construction in the late 1800s to early 1900s.  I'm fascinated with anything to do with the Mississippi River, so I'm so glad we stopped.  It's a must see!

Thank you, Dubuque!  We had a great time!

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