2021 T-Bone Trail · Family Adventures · Museums and History · Northwest Iowa · Roadside Iowa

Iowa’s Most Famous Lawnmower & Steak de Burgo in the Princess City

*One of the all-time greatest places in Iowa for anyone who hunts for iconic roadside attractions. And there’s a lot more to see in the city and the area that the locals call Poky. It’s time for another NW-Iowa wonder on the T-Bone Trail! Our visit here was sponsored by Pocahontas County Economic Development. Some of the goods, services, and meals were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!

The City of Fonda was ready for a gallivant and they made sure to let everyone know about it!

Pocahontas County, Iowa

Our first time writing about Pocahontas was a few years ago when we were traveling to Spencer. We stopped at the Udder Cow and had an awesome lunch with their breaded pork tenderloin making it to our Best Between Bread series. That was a great introduction to the City of Pocahontas! We made it back to Poky earlier this summer, and there was a lot more to see with our friends at Discover PoCo whipping up a great schedule for the whole day. Emily and the crew got things moving with a breakfast break right when we got to town!

Aspen Leaf Café & Coffeehouse is located right on Main Street in Poky!
Crepes are one of Aspen Leaf’s specialties as are the the biscuit sandwiches!

Aspen Leaf Café & Coffeehouse has some very creative and delicious choices when it comes to your breakfast craving. And I get those cravings 24 hours a day because I’m easily distracted by all things breakfast. Aspen Leaf has incredible crepes that are stuffed with tasty ingredients that will make it delightfully difficult to choose which ones you want. You can also take a trip down a Colorado highway when you order a biscuit sandwich. I headed down the I-25 and devoured a fried egg, sausage patty, and spinach on a fresh biscuit with peach-habanero jelly! The food, coffee, and ambiance were great and they didn’t even make it to the top of my list of what I loved the most here. Aspen Leaf prides themselves when it comes to hiring folks with disabilities and that always makes me incredibly grateful to have businesses like this in operation. A great crew making a great experience like this happen in small-town Western Iowa! I think we should get a history lesson now that are bellies are fill of crepes and biscuits….

History & Roadside Attractions

Laurens, Iowa has some very interesting history…..You may get the urge to cut some grass.

Andrew Carnegie’s foundation helped build a lot of libraries with many of them constructed in Iowa. We’ve seen a lot of them in our travels, but the one that now houses the Pocahontas County Historical Society Museum has a special touch when it comes to its own history. Laurens, Iowa was the smallest town in America to be granted with a Carnegie library! And they are still welcoming in visitors after all these years….

Emily busting out some tunes at the museum!

There are multiple levels of this old library turned museum and it holds a lot of the history of Pocahontas County. From enjoyable factoids to inevitable hardships and heartbreaks that’s in every community’s history. This includes the oldest jar of cherries I’ve ever seen in my life. How old? You’ll need to stop in and see for yourself. Mmmmmmmm! What was the most fascinating part of the museum for me?

Turns out the imperial forces of Japan had two of their balloons make it all the way to Pocahontas County during WWII. The Japanese launched these into the air in hopes that they’d reach the US and cause massive forest fires by dropping incendiary bombs. The concept didn’t take, but Poky became part of the axis attack on mainland-America.

One of the area’s biggest celebrities called Laurens home. Although he didn’t mean to become so famous. His name was Alvin Straight and his story inspired an Oscar nominated performance. His lawnmower would become an iconic part of Laurens, through eastern Iowa and into Wisconsin. Watch the video below and see what we mean when it comes to the movie called The Straight Story

Alvin mastered the art of stubbornness. A quality that can be good to have when all you want to do is see your sick brother one state over.
Just stop into the Laurens Public Library and ask to see the home of Alvin Straight and you’ll be directed to this humble building that holds his famous riding lawnmower and camper he made himself.

There’s been a theme during our travels when it comes to Western Iowa’s history and attractions. The words “private collection” have been coming up on a regular basis and it happened again when we arrived in the town of Rolfe. The Allen brothers have many ways to welcome visitors to town and it’s not hard to find these grounds at all. A big pink Clydesdale to catch your eyes will always help bring in a carload.

It worked with our carload!
It’s safe to say that the Allens are big ISU fans. They also love them some eagles!
Artwork of many kinds are all over this property including more of those Bald Eagles jumping out at us. And why the cave? Well, one of the grandkids wanted a cave. So they made one!
The Bud Barn is a pride and joy to this family and they can host one heck of a shindig here in Rolfe!
Beer neon, memorabilia, antiques, and multiple levels to have a good time in Rolfe. Look out for those bear traps!
The Pocahontas County Freedom Rock is the headliner of the tour when the Allens show you around. That’s a lot of roadside attractions in one stop!

The Princesses City of Pocahontas knows how to pay tribute to the woman this town and county is named after. travelers have been making stops here for generations and you know Team Goodvin would be one of the countless visitors to get a picture with a famous piece of roadside Americana.

Say hello, to the biggest princess in Iowa! I’ll let you guess who I was talking about…
Great picnic area for that cooler of sandwiches you’ve been hauling around. Pocahontas standing over you provides excellent company while you enjoy your meal. northwest Iowa knows how to get people stopping for a quick picture or long break in the shade many times over on road trips.

Stay Active

We always eat well when we Gallivant and that was the understatement of the century. That’s also why we need to stay active when we’re cruising the T-Bone trail and beyond. Even if I have those sweet overalls on!

Straight Park and Campground in Fonda for disc golf course #1 in Pocahontas County. Take a stroll around that town lake while you’re here!
Back to Laurens and Sportsman’s Park for another trail on our own trail!
Disc golf course #2! This one is in Laurens and I think we’ve figured out that Poky County has this niche taken care of. Get your disc golf road trip planned and head for Western Iowa to experience some courses you’ve never challenged before!
Rolfe has a lot of roadside attractions and they also have a scenic way that leads you around many miles of Pocahontas County and Western Iowa on the Three Rivers Trail!

Let’s Eat Steak!

Back to Main Street Poky for a steak supper that kept on going! One beefy course after another at Jonny B’s Pub & Grub!

Head to 310 Main Street for one heck of a steak night!
I love it when one of the best cooks in the area comes out to join us before the steak party gets rockin’!
OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! HERE WE GO! Fresh salads with rich Bleu cheese dressing that never gets turned down when I see it as an option. Wait! It gets even better! One of the best steak sandwiches I’ve ever had with cheese, and juicy Prime Rib on a fresh roll. And then the Filet Mignon came to town. Steak de Burgo style! A creamy sauce over the bacon wrapped filet and just simply amazing.
Look at that tender Prime Rib coming right at you! Now do you see why Jonny B’s has awesome steak sandwiches. If you’re using cuts like this in between tasty rolls then you know you’re in for a great time when it goes for a dip in that au jus!
The inner workings of that famous Steak de Burgo. Wow, that’s cooked perfectly!

That was a very memorable meal cooked up by the crew of Jonny B’s Pub & Grub! Steak de Burgo is an Iowa original in the world of gourmet steaks. Originating in Des Moines and then spreading to restaurants all over the state. Jonny B’s has a great one and it was the first Filet Mignon we had on the T-Bone Trail! Rich and creamy sauce with every beefy bite of the 8oz Filet and its smoky bacon. Jonny B’s is also very well known for their sides they prepare with your meals. Just look above at that huge baked potato with tons of bacon and shredded cheddar! And those loaded hash browns are worth the trip to Pocahontas and Jonny B’s on their own. I’m now closing my eyes and imagining the tender and juicy mouthfuls of that unbelievable steak sandwich. Great work, Jonny B’s! Can you build a zipline that runs all of those meals I mentioned to my house in Iowa City? Thanks much! Click here and see our video from Jonny B’s Pub & Grub!

Check-In

I needed a comfy bed after a huge meal from Jonny B’s. I found one here! 11 East Elm Ave
I wanted to do a belly flop when I saw this, but I was told that it wouldn’t be advisable…..By my mom 35’ish years ago. And several reminders after that…

Here it is, folks. Pocahontas Inn & Suites is a basic hotel for what we needed. It’s very clean, comfortable beds, flat screen TV, a friendly staff welcoming us, and something else that I absolutely cherish when we Gallivant. I love it when everything is in walking distance from my room! Pocahontas Inn & Suites is a short jaunt from all of Main Street with its shopping, restaurants, movie theatre, and more. There is nothing better when I can park our car and take an easy going pace around Main Street-America!

Bonus Beef

HWY 7 Café in Fonda, Iowa for one of the cheesiest cheeseburgers in the state! The three-cheese cheeseburger was dripping with cheese! I have officially written cheese a lot of times in this paragraph and that makes me very happy. I was literally scooping up melted goodness out of my basket with my fries. Don’t leave without a malt!
Took a quick drive around town for a sunset picture and look what I found! The Pocahontas Fire Department’s bravest getting together for beers and huge Ribeye’s from Woods Supermarket!

Poky turned out to be one of the most beef filled Gallivants we’ve ever had and I got to sit on a famous lawnmower in Laurens! (I’m a sucker for anything movie related) We covered many miles of this rural county and met a host of locals that were eager to feature their communities. One small town after the other and all with unique highlights that kept us interested with every stop. I’ve been saying for years that the Western Iowa region is one of the best ways to explore roadside America with Poky being one of the most iconic. Take your pics with the princess, get your cheeseburger fix handled, wander a few laps around Rolfe’s artistic grounds, and be sure to beef-up your road trip anyway you can while you’re here. There’s plenty of de Burgo days for all of us in this northwest Iowa community that’s fit for a princess!

Be sure to like the T-Bone Trail-Western Iowa on Facebook!

Call Pocahontas Inn & Suites at 712-335-4665 to make your reservations and spend a day discovering Main Street-Pocahontas!

Like Discover PoCo on Facebook.

Like Western Iowa Tourism Region on Facebook.

Like the Iowa Beef Council on Facebook and keep up with info, updates, events, and promotions!

See everything we’ve covered on The Iowa Gallivant in the Northwest Region of Iowa!

Another beautiful night in Poky!

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