A town that has raised some of the greatest Americans in our history is prepping for 2017’s annual RAGBRAI voyage and we’re here to tell you that Overnight #6 is going to have all your carbs, beverages, and plenty of ways to recharge your whole ride. This is The Iowa Gallivant and you know that we don’t mess around on these scouting trips. So give the spokes a rest and crack a cold one while you journey through this article. JayJay and Monie are on a grownup getaway and we’re rolling into town in style!
Right before you hit the town of Cresco you’ll wheel through the small town of Protivin and all its rich Czech heritage. Which means amazing Czech inspired food at Polashek’s Locker Service! Make sure you stop here and perhaps get the team’s provisions supplied up here as well. Dozens of sausages, bacon, meat sticks, jerky and all the endless proteins you’ll need. And see what I’m kissing in the lower left corner? That’s Polashek’s house made headcheese and it’s truly magical to this traveler. Hey! When’s the next time you’re going to be in Protivin? Eat the headcheese! And after all these proteins, it’ll be time to carb-up!
The main drag will be rocking all day long and so will Dough & Joe and all those famous cream filled long johns along with all the classic baked goods you need. You can also get your espresso fix here too. You’ll need that boost because you’re not done filling up yet.
Iowa’s metro areas have quite a few Chinese restaurants and some good ones too. However, we have found some of Iowa’s best in our small towns like Knoxville, Glenwood, Washington, Orange City and Cresco of course. Panda Garden is close to the center of town and it is well worth the visit and we all know that Chinese food can get the motor running. They don’t tone down on flavor and, if you want spicy, then you got it! We went spicy and that means we need an icy beverage next. Time to chat with the local barkeeps.
A Bloody Mary and a Screwdriver cuz Mom wants us to have our vitamins. And you don’t need to ask for the beer-back at The Hideaway in Cresco. The drinks were tall and you gotta love those vintage frosted glasses. We ain’t stopping here!
The Pub has the look of a vintage New York City hangout and this trusty bartender is stoked to have RAGBRAI invading Cresco. Stoked? Let’s go with spoked. It’s a RAGBRAI article! And here’s something you may not here me say ever again. You need to stop into The Pub and check out the wallpaper. Yea, it’s that cool. And of course, get a drink or three, the wife recommends the bloody mary. Nice and spicy. Ok, let’s slowdown and get a little rest in.
Kessel Park will not be hard to find and it would be my ideal place to set up camp. Right by a Fareway grocery store, public building offering plenty of air conditioning and bathrooms, right by the town center, and it has a lot of shade. And that picture on the left is not a steam punk inspired Mickey Mouse sculpture. That’s an actual WWI water mine. Just don’t pick at it. And what about that public building part I mentioned. Right across the street is a very important part of Cresco and it will be welcoming as many RAGBRAI’ers as possible!
The Cresco Chamber of Commerce building is also home to their local museum and Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame. Every down and then you need to head indoors for a little while and soak in the cool air. So let’s take a break from the day and learn about Cresco! This small Iowa town is home to 5 US Navy Admirals, Norman Borlaug who came up with “Miracle Wheat” that saved millions from starvation, the world’s first stewardess, 3 Olympic wrestlers, and the dude who came up with name for Cheerios! And then throw in the Hall of Fame that showcases all those great born in Iowa grapplers! That’s a lot of local history and that means I’m hungry again. I like scouting RAGBRAI.
Mabe’s Pizza is a Northeast Iowa staple and known as one of Iowa’s best places to get flipp’n great pizza. They’ve been doing this for over 60 years in Decorah and brought it to Cresco. I say zoom in on that pizza in person and often. This may be a shocker but we got a little tired at this point. Fortunately, we had an incredible night’s stay arranged.
Pet friendly alert!!!! We didn’t bring our dog to Cresco but if we did Connie’s Century Corner B&B would have loved to host her and your little ball of joy. Connie is one great lady and she welcomed us to her whole home. She cooked us a great breakfast and joined in while we talked the morning away. And Connie says you can have dessert with your breakfast too! Connie is now one of my best friends. This B&B was walking distance to what will be the best friend to many others on the trek to Cresco.
Cresco Bicycles is sure to be putting in some crazy working hours before and during your stay in Cresco. I love that new tire smell especially when I need a new tire. They have quite the showroom and they are more than geared up for RAGBRAI. (The Iowa Gallivant’s 1,000,000th pun!) Let’s get another nice meal before I get too funny to handle.
I tell you what, RAGBRAI, but the Teluwut Grille House & Pub is just what any traveler and rider needs in a visit. Great service, large drinks, awesome steaks with bacon wrapped shrimp, piles of loaded waffle fries ,and giant burgers! And let’s not forget some of the best dang locals we found! Tammy and her husband Chops (Man, I love that name) met us at Teluwut and made sure our trip to Cresco would be full of good times and a lot of laughs! I can’t really imagine a RAGBRAI preview that would need much more than that, but Cresco outdid itself during our stay and showed us so much that can be enjoyed here. And by the way…..You may want to stay tuned to our Best Between Bread series, because a local Cresco haunt made the cut. How’s that for suspense!
Be sure to read about our visits to Overnight #1 in Orange City, Overnight #2 in Spencer, Overnight #3 in Algona, Overnight #5 in Charles City, Overnight #6 in Cresco, Overnight #7 in Waukon, Overnight #8 in Lansing and the bonus coverage of Allamakee County!
And now for some huge thank yous to…..