Tuesday, May 12, 2009

BBQ with an Iowa flair

Just off of the old Transcontinental Route, Lincoln Highway, sits the town of Jefferson, Iowa. This town of 4,500 people is home to the historic Mahanay Memorial Bell Tower, and is the County Seat of Greene County.
North of Downtown on the main drag, State Highway 4, is a little barbecue restaurant inside an old Pizza Hut. Bett & Bev's Barbecue is not your average barbeque joint. Many barbecue restaraunts in Iowa try to shake off their Iowa roots, and give themselves a "down south" sort of feel. When you walk into Bett & Bev's that's the first thing you notice is missing. Rather the restaraunt pays homage to it's hometown. Framed seed bags adorn the walls, and old regional newspapers lie under glass tabletops. While I was enjoying my lunch today, I read a front page of the "Jefferson Bee" from January of 1936. Among the news items that day, the Jefferson High School basketball team were to play Nevada that evening. Winter Storms and frigid temps had paralysed the state, and there were concerns that local communities might run out of fuel to keep folks warm. Gee, Januarys in Iowa certianly haven't changed much in 73 years.
The signature dish of the house is the "Frip Pie." Think of it as an Iowa Nacho Platter.
The Frip Pie consists of fried potato chips, topped with thinly-sliced pulled pork, barbecue baked beans, and finished with cole slaw on top. Now I know that might not sound that appetizing, but one bite and you're in Tastebud Heaven.
The pulled pork is definitely some of the best that I've had in Iowa. Usually, to get pulled pork like this, I'd have to make a trip down to North Carolina. It's slow smoked and very tender. The sauce I would describe as the perfect blend of sweet and tangy. And, the baked beans are definitely not Bush's.
Now, this is a dish that can be eaten by fork or by hand. Many prefer the latter. Course if you're like me, make sure you have plenty of napkins on hand.
The great thing about the "Frip Pie" is you get a lot of food for your dollar. I was able to enjoy both the dish and a drink for only $6.25. And, in these economic times that's a great value.
So, if you'd like to give Bett & Bev's a try, they're located at 901 N. Elm in Jefferson, just 3/4 of a mile south of U.S. Hwy. 30. They're open for lunch only, 11AM to 2PM Monday thru Wednesday. Open for both lunch and dinner, 11AM to 9PM Thursday and Friday. Bett and Bev's is closed on Weekends.

Welcome to Iowa

Iowa is much more than just corn, cows, and "Captian Kirk's Future Birthplace." It's home to over 3 Million People and over 330 years of history. So, that means millions of stories, and thousands of interesting places to visit. I hope to showcase some of those places as I make my way across this great state.
So, If you have any suggestions, lemme know. I'd like this to be an interactive experience.