Iowa kind of has a special place in my heart. I grew up in Florida but my mother is from there and both her and my father still have family out there as well. My grandfather is still living there (he’s 90 my mother looks after him now) and he has been sort of my pen-pal since I was young. My mother had us write letters to him each month and I have tried to continue writing to him as often as possible.
Although I love Iowa, I have been to the state a total of 3 times. My family didn’t travel much when I was a kid for many reasons, but I hope to visit plenty over the years while family is still out there.
On my 3rd visit to Iowa with my own family recently we made an effort to get around and see as much as we could. We were there for just 4 days and it was really freakin’ cold (40ºish, don’t judge me! I’m from Florida). This made it a little hard to see too much since I feel the most fun stuff to do is outdoors. A few things were also closed for winter, so I have a running bucket list of things I would love to do in the summer time (including the Iowa State Fair). For example, you can see Bison in Prairie City! A warmer day might be best to visit though.
One place that we got to visit is not huge or spectacular, but a good taste (literally) of Iowa and also gives a sense of the people who live there.
The BrickStreet Market is located in Bondurant, Iowa. You can read the Story HERE on the website of how this Market and Cafe came to be. So this nice couple was living in Bondurant and they were lucky to come into a sum of money. What I have heard while there is that they won the lottery, and instead of spending it on frivolous junk they thought about what they could do in their community to make a different. What they did was paid for a stadium for the high school to be built. They also knew that there was no grocery store in their town and it took twenty or more minutes to drive to the nearest one. So, they built a market (with adjoining cafe), the only one in Bondurant. Those who know them describe this couple as the nicest people you could ever meet.
Besides great values, the BrickStreet cafe offers some great food! They have one of the top 14 pork tenderloins of Iowa. Interesting Fact: Did you know that pigs are never raised with the use of hormones? It’s illegal!
If you haven’t heard of this before (like me), there is an “Iowa Tenderloin Trail” in which you can visit at least 10 of the restaurants listed in their Passport within a 24 month period and you get a t-shirt that says “I conquered the Iowa Pork Tenderloin Trail”. I ate the pork tenderloin at BrickStreet Cafe and it was tender and delicious and almost didn’t taste like pork. It was fantastic, really well seasoned and cooked. You can get the tenderloin as is or in a sandwich. The corkscrew fries were tasty and the service was sweet. There was a friendly atmosphere and everyone there is ready for good food. I got my own passport and I will be trying to visit 9 more locations in future visits to the area.
Check out my little list of Road Trip Essentials before you go on the road!
I love good food and it is often a part of my bucket lists and travel. Have you visited any of the other top pork tenderloin locations in Iowa? Let me know what you liked best in the comments below!
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