2022 T-Bone Trail · Grownup Getaways · Iowa Food · Southwest Iowa

Influential Farmers, Iconic Burgers & the Dueling Steak Night in Adair County, IA

*We have a strong agricultural industry in Iowa, and it’s become a key element in our state’s tourism industry. Adair County is the ideal area to see some beautiful countryside while enjoying historic business districts and delicious restaurants. Our trip to Adair County was funded and sponsored by the Western Iowa Tourism Region. Some of the meals, services and goods were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!

There’s no place like home…And Southwest Iowa!

Adair County, Iowa

One of my favorite drives in the entire state of Iowa leads me into Adair County. From Prescott, in nearby Adams County, I take the easy going blacktops through the hilly farmland, past the emerald crops with the Western Iowa sky above and then eventually into the Adair County seat of Greenfield. It wasn’t until this Gallivant when I started to head onto the gravel roads, on this particular path, and into one of the local farms.

Tour the Farm

Bridgewater Farm is Iowa’s largest organic vegetable farm and I had the great opportunity to get a tour from the supremely welcoming, Dale Raasch. It was within moments of arriving when I saw how passionate the folks are at this farm near Bridgewater, Iowa.

The chores are constant at any style of farm. It takes a lot of chickens to produce all those good looking eggs at Bridgewater Farm. Nice haul, Dale!
The greenhouses of Bridgewater Farm seem to open up to a different world when you walk in. This would be the equivalent to seeing Wonka’s candy factory for the first time to organic veggie lovers!
Lined up and ready for a picture! Organic asparagus just begging to be brought home and tossed into your favorite dish!
This little guy is a breed of pig that found its way over to North America with Columbus. Docile and adorably snuggly. Watch the video below and get an up close look at this little piggy!
That’s a good boy! Thank you, little piggy for being such a great sport!

Near Bridgewater, Iowa is another iconic farm in Adair County. Internationally known, Nichols Farms has been a leader in the beef industry for decades and showing no sign of slowing down. Schedule a tour here and get one of the best agricultural educations you can find when you’re traveling through Iowa!

I love farms and roadside attractions. The Nichols operation gives us both and the bulls here are no joke!
If you were to carve out a Mount Rushmore style monument of America’s influential beef producers, in the modern era, you’d have to make the case for Dave Nichols being included. Him, his family and staff have pioneered technology, genetics, data storage and much-much more throughout their history. Farmers and facilities all over the world have greatly benefitted from the advances Nichols Farms has made in Adair County.
A drive with Dave is like being with a professor teaching a lesson. Mixed into the conversation is a lot of business, science, history, cattle-talk and some terrific humor. I cherished the laughter we had as much as the knowledge he illustrated during this tour of his farms.
Through the state of the art headquarters of Nichols Farms to the rustic nearby pastures. Dave can tell everyone the story and history of acre in the area when you visit.
To be inducted into The Saddle and Sirloin Portrait Gallery is one of the top honors that livestock professionals can receive. Adair County has a local son who made it to this prestigious collection, and Dave was obviously proud to be the 2015 inductee.
This map started years ago at Nichols Farms and it shows their international influence I was talking about. The Nichols’ and crew are making strides worldwide and it all starts here in Bridgewater, Iowa!

Let’s Eat Steak

Orient, Iowa is a small town with a railroad history in SW-Iowa. It’s also the hometown of the political and agricultural legend known as Henry A. Wallace. Orient also created a first time event within the second season of The T-Bone Trail. it was here when we had dueling steak suppers in one evening, and here’s our meaty adventure in Orient!
Batter up, Orient! Hitting lead off is The Dugout Café! 101 1st Street
The exuberant Dugout kitchen crew was ready and eager to hit a grand slam during this evening in Adair County!
Grab a table or slide into a stool at the bar when you’re at The Dugout Café. Cold beer and great cooking coming my way and yours when you get to Orient!
There’s a New York sighting in Adair County! The Dugout Café charbroiled a thick New York Strip that the Great Bambino would of loved. Look at the size of that baked spud! Potato and beef lovers can rejoice at The Dugout Café because all of this was mouthwatering. Click on the video below and see this meal hitting a dinger in Orient!
A taste of New York in Adair County!
I’ll always have time for a selfie with the Chef!

The population of Orient is just over 400 souls, but you can find two places that are grilling up juicy steaks. The Orient Bar was up next and they were revving up the Ribeyes!

Directly on the main drag is The Orient Bar and their steak specials are a popular choice in Adair County. 101 West 1st Street
Just a couple dudes who know how to dress for success in Orient, Iowa!
Fresh Ribeyes cut to order at The Orient Bar! Thick, tender and so flavorful. A little crinkle cut action on those fries to round out this steak special.
It’s nice to know there’s a getaway plan if you need a ride on the fly at The Orient Bar. Click on the video below and see this restaurant’s headliner!
True story, everyone! These folks know how to create an amazing steak night in Orient!


We can say that we’re checking back into the Hotel Greenfield! It was less than a year ago when we were staying on Greenfield’s Public Square, and we were back to experience more of this historic district!

Nestled inside the Greenfield Public Square is the historic Hotel Greenfield with its unique and pleasing accommodations. 110 East Iowa Street 641-221-0034
Back to one of the best lobbies I’ve been to in Iowa. You feel the historical presence of generations who’ve stayed here throughout the years.
Do you like sculptures and other pieces of artwork? Look no further than the lobby of Hotel Greenfield! Coffee up while you’re here…
Our buddy Henry A. Wallace was still here and welcoming us back. As was the helpful and kind staff that we met in 2021. A memorable specialty to have for the excited travelers coming to town.
The folks that work at Hotel Greenfield keep the rooms, corridors and everywhere you can see clean and ready to enjoy with relaxing comfort for all.
The design of the rooms are filled with a Victorian era vibe that includes modern upgrades we all appreciate.
Hotel Greenfield provides breakfast and snacks inside all their rooms. Breakfast in bed or while sitting in one of the plush sofa chairs. You pick!
Always a picturesque scene during the evenings at Hotel Greenfield.

Another perfect stay at Hotel Greenfield! It was so gratifying to chat with same person that checked me in from last time and seeing another one of their great rooms. Keep an eye out because we have more to show you from Hotel Greenfield on The Iowa Gallivant!

Explore the Public Square

Back to Greenfield’s Public Square! I told folks, from our last blog post about Adair County that there was more to see in this square, and I wasn’t kidding around. Here’s more of this beautiful Greenfield business district!
Long’s Market is where some of the locals directed me to. Plants, produce and herbs made the storefront pop and I could see why people from the area loved this shop.
Inside were gift ideas everywhere. There something for anyones taste in food at Long’s Market.
Found my section! Delicious bags of candy ready to find it’s way to your home…If it lasts through the drive there.
The lovely couple who owns and operates Long’s Market on Greenfield’s Public Square. They were a pleasure to bump into and to visit with. I always feel fortunate to meet the locals during our travels, and I’m glad to have stopped by their proud shop.
The famous Opera House of Greenfield. This tremendous building has undergone a masterful renovation and is featuring more than entertainment from its historic stage.
Ed & Eva’s is a gift shop that features 100% Iowa products. Iowa artists, authors, jewelry makers, clothiers, woodworkers and just about anything that comes from our talented state.
Original hardwood floors holding up the rotating inventory of Ed & Eva’s. If you love shopping local then Greenfield’s Public Square is where you need to go.
The Warren Cultural Center is where you’ll locate this city’s grand Opera House and walls decorated with artwork. More of the local talent on display in this SW-Iowa community.
A view from the balcony of the Opera House. Parties, weddings, conferences, banquets, and on this night a concert was being featured with the perfect acoustics.
The design of the Opera House gives the concert goers a sound that feels like you can only hear in Greenfield.

Stay Active

Adair County has some scenic county parks with one of them being Mormon Trail Park near Bridgewater.
It’s good to stay active and it’s even better when you can utilize local county parks. Mormon Trail’s lake was a reminder of how wonderful rural Western Iowa can be with all its beauty.

Bonus Beef

Directly off of Interstate 80 and nearby White Pole Road Scenic Byway is one of Iowa’s most famous restaurants for the burger seeking nation. The City of Adair is where you can jump into the Chuckwagon! 113 5th Street
The Jesse James Burger! His gang infamously robbed a train not too far from Adair and it happened to be the first act of criminal activity of it’s kind in the West. The ruthless gang got a historical marker for their efforts and this burger from the Chuckwagon named after their leader. Two 1/3 pound beef patties, bacon, BBQ sauce and melted cheese! Click on the video below and see an award winning restaurant in action!
Stick’em up, Jesse! And take your burger, please….
Say double bacon cheeseburger!

Throw A Party

Sixteen Oaks in Fontanelle was preparing for a big night and they let me come in for a beer anyway. A stunning venue for a large gathering in Adair County!

From the scheduled stops to the spontaneous visits, Adair County was a pleasure to Gallivant to the entire time. The dueling steak supper night was memorable and delicious as was the pitstop near White Pole Road with its behemoth hamburger. The spectrum of farming in the area gave me a look into two families and their passion to bring visitors to Bridgewater for a tour of their amazing farms. It was another phenomenal road trip into Southwest Iowa and Adair County!

Make your reservations for Hotel Greenfield on their website.

Thank you to everyone at Adair County tourism for hosting us and coordinating our Gallivant to your awesome communities!
Be sure to like the T-Bone Trail-Western Iowa on Facebook!
I’ll always role the dice on you, Bridgewater! Especially when there’s a cold one ready to be cracked open at KC’s Tavern!

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