Ladora, IA: Iowa County
Iowa’s historic HWY 6 is one of the best afternoon drives anyone can take. Not too far from Des Moines in the west and not too far from Iowa City in the east, is a very small town that has seen its fair share of history. In the recent years, Ladora’s history books can tell the story of visionaries who took a bank that closed in the depression and made it into a culinary goldmine for local palates. Team Goodvin cruises onto Pacific street and breaks for Ladora Bank Bistro!
I’ve lived in Cape Cod and met many people that drove in for the day from places over an hour away just so they could oysters, scallops, or cod cheeks that were swimming in the ocean just a couple hours from when it showed up on their plate. I’ve stayed in Chicago and taken a 45 minute train ride, from my comfortable hotel, to a legendary Italian beef stand clear on the other side of town knowing full well there were about 30 that I passed along the way. I’ve lived in the Phoenix area during the 90’s and hunted down a specific food truck without the aid of a smartphone or GPS because they had the greatest puerco-rojo tacos known to man. And like many others, I’ve sat idle shoulder to shoulder next to complete strangers at a busy restaurant for over an hour because I knew the meal was going to be worth it. So why not hop on to route 6 and take in the Iowa landscape and add “I drove out to Ladora just so I could get a duck pizza”- We did!
The bistro had Sean helping us out at our table and was eager to serve us the pizza. It was what the chef suggested and they nailed it! Sean grinned from ear to ear as we asked for our next two orders. You could tell he loved working there and was as proud of the restaurant as the owner was. One of the best accompaniments anyone can have with their meal. Sean did a few stretches and limbered up for our next course because the tray and the classic masterpiece that sat atop of it was heaping.
The decor of the restaurant was as memorable as the food. Much of the original bank still existed and blended in well with the theme of the bistro. They accomplished a modern experience while still capturing the long history and makeup of the building.
Our Sunday afternoon yielded a great day trip to Ladora Bank Bistro and naturally we recommend that you find the time to see and taste it for yourself. We look forward to going back and seeing another inspiring menu rotation that’s full of local Iowa ingredients. Take the scenic route from every now and then and you could find yourself discovering Ladora and it’s bistro. “You drove to Ladora just for pickled brussel sprouts?” And The Iowa Gallivant will do it again!
Read about our last trip to Iowa County……
Please take time to visit……..