Tag Archives: Story County

Feature: Suburban Restaurant (Gilbert, Iowa)

Suburban Restaurant (Gilbert, Iowa)

The Suburban Restaurant, located near Gilbert, Iowa, has been locally-owned and operated for for nearly fifty years.  With a menu that features a good variety of steaks, sandwiches, and salads, the Suburban makes for a nice dinner destination if you’re in the Ames metro area or traveling along the nearby Interstate 35.

I’d highly recommend the tender bacon-wrapped filet, which arrived nicely cooked and costs several dollars less than most area restaurants.  The ham steak also made for a great main course, while generously-sized hand-breaded tenderloin was one of the best we’ve tasted since starting this blog three years ago.  Entrees include two sides, plus homemade bread and butter, while sandwiches, all $8 or less, come with a single side.

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Feature: Swinging Bridge and Carousel (Story City, Iowa)

Swinging Bridge and Carousel (Story City, Iowa)

With summer just around the corner, now’s the time to take a road trip to Story City, Iowa, a pleasant community just off Interstate 35, ten miles north of Ames.  On the east end of the city limits, you’ll find two sites worth visiting – a Swinging Bridge dating to 1936 and an antique carousel from 1913.

The bridge was one of a handful built across the nation as part of the Works Project Administration.  It isn’t as fun to walk across as the bridge in Columbus Junction, but it is in much better surroundings and is worth a longer stop.  Budget some time for photos or to roll up your jeans and walk across the rocks on the stream’s shore.  Frisbee golf fans will appreciate the nine-hole course adjacent to the bridge.

The carousel across the street dates back even further, though it wasn’t permanently placed in Story City until 1938, after traveling around the state for the past twenty years.  The carousel was in operation for forty years before going into temporary closure due to wear and tear.  Luckily, the carousel was resurrected in the early 1980s and still looks spectacular today.  While you’re waiting to board the carousel, take a look at the historic photos and information within the carousel or grab a bag of fresh-popped popcorn.

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Feature: Iowa State Women’s Basketball (Ames, Iowa)

Iowa State Women's Basketball (Ames, Iowa)

On a whim last December, I decided to pick up a five-game pack of tickets to see Iowa State University Women’s Basketball games at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.  The Cyclones have had a long stretch of success under veteran head coach Bill Fennelly, and this year has been no exception.  Though many expected it to be a rebuilding season, the Iowa State women have racked up 20 wins, are near the top of the Big 12 conference standings, and are all but guaranteed an 11th NCAA Tournament berth.

Australian native and senior point guard Alison Lacey is the unmistakable team leader and face of the program.  Last night, she cemented her place in Cyclone history, becoming the first player to tally 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, and 500 assists.  Six-foot-seven post player Anna Prins is one of four exciting freshmen to watch, while Senior Denae Stuckey consistently brings energy to both the offensive and defensive ends of the court.

There is a group of talented Iowans on the team as well, including Ida Grove native Kelsey Bolte, a junior point guard who is one of the best three-point shooters in the nation.  Freshmen Chelsea Poppens and Amanda Zimmerman, from Applington and Huxley, respectively, have also been key contributors this year: Poppens leads the team in rebounds, while Zimmerman is averaging over 5 points per game and shooting over 50% from the floor.

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Feature: Aunt Maude’s (Ames, Iowa)

Aunt Maude's (Ames, Iowa)

While we regularly enjoy trying new restaurants, it’s important to have a local place to turn to for consistently good food.  When we were students at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Lincoln Cafe was our favorite dining spot.  During our time in South Dakota, a trip to Alcester Steakhouse always brought great eats.  Now that we’re settled in central Iowa, we’ve found a new favorite in Aunt Maude’s, an excellent restaurant in downtown Ames.

The menu at Aunt Maude’s provides great variety without overwhelming diners with an exorbitant amount of choices.  The Chef’s Features section of the menu changes regularly and definitely worth review.  The Pastas and Entrees lists feature several  fine options like the Blackened Chicken Angel Hair Pasta tossed with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, garlic and a light cream sauce.

If you’re on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the sandwich options; Maude’s Burger and the Bacon & Swiss Grilled Chicken are each served with tasty thin-cut French fries.  Light eaters will appreciate the Bistro Classics After Five, which offers smaller portions of five entrees along with soup or salad at a lower price than their full-portion counterparts.  Try a hand-made strawberry lemonade with your meal and save room for dessert.  Their Creme Brulee, served with two dark chocolate cookies, is the terrific.

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