East Central Iowa · Iowa Food · Roadside Iowa

‘Pig Headed’ Solar Powered Jerky


Riverside, IA: Washington County

I would first like to thank Bud’s Custom Meats for helping me fulfill a lifelong bucket list item and recreate a part in one of my favorite movies. I can say that I am one step closer to being just like Rocky.  Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to what makes Northern Washington County one of our favorite places to tackle all things carnivorous related and show how Bud’s keeps itself running in several ways. Prepare for some righteous meat sweats…

Riverside, IA is nestled just off of HWY 218 right in between the town of Washington and Iowa City. Bud’s is full of one of Iowa’s most trusted gaggle of meat cutters you’ll ever “meat”(I had to throw that one in there). They can get travelers from all over Iowa and beyond to come to a screeching halt with their house made jerky and have a very loyal following of locals including The Iowa Gallivant with our headquarters in the town of Hills. Local meats, from local farms, and on to our tables and restaurants. And wait until you see how they keep lights on and the table saws going!

Solar powered and proud of it!

As if Bud’s wasn’t a prized landmark before they had to install few rows of modern day solar panels to power this meat paradise. There’s a lot to love already, about Bud’s, and you can add clean energy consumption to the list. And while you’re marveling over the green side of Bud’s, you’ll start to pick up on an inviting smoky aroma coming from the main building. It picked me up like a Bugs Bunny cartoon and led me to all the smoked goods Bud’s had ready to go. True story!

Lucky for us it was Saturday and that means one thing at Bud’s. A special on house smoked… PORK RIBS!!!! That’ll do pig. (Babe, great movie. I wonder if those ribs….nah no way. Maybe..) Bud’s is closed on Sunday’s so don’t be taking your sweet time wondering if you need to get down to Riverside. These ribs are smoked fresh on Saturdays only and go very quickly. Why? Because they’re flippin’ delicious, that’s why! And you better be prepared to pack the car full and move some clunkers out of the freezer at the house. There’s some primo meat coming home, so goodbye lime green pop cycles that everyone skipped over last summer.

From the standard cuts to the exotic, Bud’s has everyone covered. Not to mention all those hunters out there that depend on Bud’s to process their wild game season after season. And what did Team Goodvin grab on our way out? We had an annual at home tamale project coming up and there is only one place we go for our main ingredient.

Look into the piggy’s eyes……you’re getting hungry….Very, very huuuuungry….(Photo by the great William Stafford)

We prepare our tamales on the authentic side and you need yourself a big’ole hog head for our recipe. Simmer, grind, and stuff into corn husks. A family tradition brought to you by Bud’s for like along time, and whatever. You guessed it though. We didn’t get out of there with just a lucky pig noggin.

You can say that everyone at Bud’s gave us a good “ribbing”. Dad jokes all around!

Riverside has their annual Trek Fest and a beautiful Casino that attracts thousands of visitors every year. But there’s more to this little Iowa town other than it being the future birthplace of Captain Kirk (Seriously look it up smarty pants). It has an amazing group of folks who are supporting many Iowans and producing quality slices of Iowa everyday. Now… who wants tamales!?!



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