Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend Wanderings

We got up Saturday to find out it had rained quite a bit overnight. There’s a flea market at Albia this weekend at the Monroe County Fairgrounds that we wanted to check out but from past experience, we knew some areas would be pretty muddy. We decided to wait until after noon to go and hope it would be a little drier. We got there about 2 o’clock and had a good time looking around. It was partly cloudy and around 70°. Booths were divided almost equally between indoors and out and the only problem was watching for mud puddles. Something caught my eye at the second booth we visited. I’m always on the lookout for unique items for the yard and I saw 2 metal rods with swirled open balls on top. They’re about 4 ½ feet tall and have a small base. The man who made them said they’re to put in large flowerpots and then stack other pots crookedly on the pole, or they can just be used in a pot for vine support. The ball on the top will spin. I left them and told him if they were still there when we got ready to leave, I would buy one. PHOTO HERE I ended up buying them both. I have a huge pot that one will go in and I haven’t decided about the other. I may use it for a gift.  (The photo shows one of the poles leaning against the garage.  The hat is one I've picked up cheap and use as a birdhouse.)

I also bought a set of 2 flexible cutting boards. I already have 2 smaller ones but these are larger, 12" x 15",  and will be good for meat. They are so handy to just pick up and pour the cut up food into a container or cooking pan. The last thing I bought was a medium-sized pumpkin. I have an all black cat and I want to take some photos of him with the pumpkin for Halloween.

Leaving the flea market we headed southeast to Farmington, a small town of about 750. It’s down almost in the corner of Iowa on Hwy. 2. We had discovered a small restaurant there a couple of years ago and wanted to see if it was as good as we remembered. It’s called the Bridge Café and Supper Club because it’s right next to the bridge over the Des Moines River. The outside of the building is very unassuming. It’s mainly tan colored block with few windows. One side is a very small bar, the other side is a café and in the middle is a larger dining room. Saturday nights they have a very good all-you-can-eat buffet. This night’s varied salad bar included potato and macaroni salads; ramen noodle slaw; pea salad; 3-bean salad; a bean salad that tasted like 3-bean but was all different types of shelled beans (no green or wax beans); cauliflower, broccoli and carrots in a dressing; cottage cheese; pickled beets; pineapple, mandarin orange, coconut and marshmallow mix; and lettuce with dressings and toppings including REAL home-cooked bacon bits. The meats were fried chicken, whole catfish and Swiss steak. Side dishes were mashed potatoes, dressing, scalloped cabbage, corn, gravies, hot cooked apple slices, home made bread, and French onion soup. All this for only $10.99 and coffee was only .80! I really liked the ramen slaw and want to try making it sometime. Also very good were the fried chicken which was crispy on the outside and moist in the middle, and the Swiss steak which was so tender you could cut it with your fork. If this restaurant were closer, I know it would become a regular place to visit but it’s almost 150 miles from home.

We ate about 7 o’clock and the restaurant wasn’t too busy. One waitress handled the dining room but since it was a buffet she only needed to take drink orders, clear dirty plates, give tickets and take money. An open doorway connected to the small bar where a TV with no sound was set on a sports channel. The dining area is family-friendly and there were several children there. The only thing I don’t like is the lack of windows in the dining room. It almost seems like you’re in a basement. I know we’ll be going back though. That good home cooking is hard to find these days.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like such a lovely time! Reading some of the things on the menu made me