Happy New Year! I missed you too. I hope your 2013 is off to a great start!
I usually spend some time in Iowa over the holidays. While I’m there, I make my annual trip to a mall with my sister (who is a fantastic shopper), watch a bunch of movies, have a few glasses of wine with my mom and aunts, and go for long walks with my dad. I love Iowa.
This year, I was there for two weeks and I have to admit that I missed the restaurants of Boulder, CO (and New York, my home before Boulder) since there is not much I love more than going out for a yummy meal with great company. I had the company – my mom and sister – and so fortunately, my mom suggested the Lincoln Cafe.
The Lincoln Cafe is a small independent restaurant on main street in the adorable town of Mt. Vernon, IA. Everyday, the Lincoln Cafe features two lunch specials and three dinner specials on the chalk board featuring locally and organically sourced ingredients wherever possible. They also have a standard menu of sandwiches, salads, and snacks at lunch and dinner – prices stay about $10 for the regular menu. Specials can run $15-30+.
I started with a turnip & peppercorn soup that I was a little hesitant to try, but ended up being fabulous and had an entree of flounder with mustard BBQ oysters, smoked maitake mushroom rice and fennel. The fish was cooked to perfection – nice and flaky – and the oysters (which I’ve never had before) were also delicious.
One thing you absolutely must know is that the Lincoln Cafe does not have a liquor license but they encourage you to bring your own wine and beer. Fortunately, if you forget your beverage the Lincoln Cafe has a contingency plan! They have a little wine bar two doors up the street and you can run up to to grab a bottle… and if you have to wait for a table, feel free to open it up and grab a glass while you wait. If you don’t feel like going to the cafe at all – no worries – the wine bar has a pizza oven they brought over from Italy so you can relax and enjoy a great meal right there! Bon appetite!