2022 T-Bone Trail · Family Adventures · Iowa Food · West Central Iowa

The Filet Mignon Oscar Goes to….Shop Small, Do Lunch & Rev Up a Tank in Carroll County, Iowa

*One of the main hubs for West Central Iowa is the City of Carroll with its many businesses, restaurants and ways to stay entertained. We dove right into this Lincoln Highway community plus a little more in the area for a day on The T-Bone Trail! Our trip to Carroll County was sponsored and funded by the Western Iowa Tourism Region. Some of the goods, services and meals were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!

There’s much to do in Carroll so we better start first thing in the morning. We’re another carload enjoying a great American city on the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway in Iowa!

Carroll County, Iowa

We rolled into Carroll knowing we’d be in store for a busy and entertaining day of gallivanting through a city that was displaying their open signs everywhere, and welcoming in a mix of regular customers with visitors like us. Let’s see what we discovered in Carroll!

Breakfast Time

Queen Beans Coffee House for my daily fill-up and a hot breakfast on an exquisite Carroll morning!
A classic ham and cheese omelet with cheesy hash browns made fresh and delicious at Queen Beans Coffee House!
One of Gigi’s favorite breakfasts and it put an immediate Carroll County smile on this early riser. Let me have some of that buttered toast!

Let’s Go Shopping

Choose Carroll for a variety of shopping in Western Iowa! The holidays are going to be here before you know it so make some plans for this bustling downtown business district!
Wilkie Clothiers has been a longtime Carroll business that’s been outfitting the area with some stylish and downright snazzy clothes.
VitaSuite IV Hydration Therapy can be a useful addition to your day of supporting small and family owned Iowa businesses in Carroll. Positioned inside a building with boutique style shopping is this unique opportunity to add a healthy touch to your afternoon. Just sit in the recliner and let a well trained and professional staff pick the best IV therapy that’s paired with exactly what you’re needing.
Eckerman Jewelry has been helping people pop the big question, supplying anniversary gifts, happy birthday moments and anything that could use a lovely new piece of glamour.
Stop by Buckle for some popular styles! Someday you’ll be needing a beer shirt and thank Carroll, Iowa for helping to make it happen!
Toploft Clothing for a Top Gun keepsake! Make Maverick and Goose proud by supporting their campaign and shopping small in Carroll!
How hardcore of a shopper are you when you say, “I’ll be back later!” Bring home a little something with a powerful engine from Harley-Davidson of Carroll! And you said you were just picking up a box of cereal…..
What’s your favorite color? This Harley-Davidson showroom can most likely match it with one of these beauties.
I personally like an intense green that has a design that a comic book character would be lured to. Wait! You have that???
I really like buying in bulk, but I don’t necessarily need a place that could double as an airport hanger. Carroll has a family owned grocery operation that has a ton of selections with no membership required! Click on the video below and see what Market on 30 is all about!
That’s a lot of Iowa in one Carroll store!
It’s not a tank dealership, but this bad boy is a useful landmark when you’re looking for Wendl’s Weapons!
Wendl’s has an indoor range and a wide variety of inventory, but what captured my attention are the historic items they have. An old fashion Thompson Machine Gun was one of several pieces of history that can still be fired to this day.


Wow, breakfast seemed like a long time ago! That was a lot of bobbing and weaving while zigging and zagging our way through Carroll’s wide range of retailers. And we didn’t even come close to seeing all of them. The rest will have to wait because we’re hungry Gallivant’ers needling some burgers from Brothers on Main Bar & Grill!

I totally got a hangover during this trip to Carroll and I’m proud of it. It came with a juicy all beef patty, over easy egg, crisp bacon, Swiss and American cheeses! Click on the video below and see the Hangover Burger for yourself!
Runny eggs and juicy burgers. I love this country!

Stay Active

Swan Lake State Park is a short drive from Carroll with its wooded trails, picnic areas lakeside and open lawns to keep your family running off some energy!
Wide open spaces are never hard to find in Western Iowa.
Found our preferred Swan Lake picnic spot for the next time we’re in Carroll. Another state park marked off our list and another afternoon staying active on The T-Bone Trail!


HWY 30 isn’t the only famous national roadway that cuts through Carroll, Iowa. Directly on HWY 71 is the Carrollton Hotel & Event Centre!

Carroll’s Carrollton Hotel is a popular venue for banquets, parties, weddings and overnight stays in Western Iowa! A lot of rooms with an excellent restaurant attached to the property. 1730 US HWY 71 North 712-292-2418
Hi, everyone! We made it and I’m checking in like a big boy!
Our Carrollton room was exactly what Dr. Gallivant ordered. An air conditioner that cooled us off and wonderful clean beds for a quick late afternoon break.
Who says there’s no palm trees in Iowa! The Carrollton Hotel classes up this indoor pool with their own style of a centerpiece. Here’s a wintertime reminder, folks…Hotels like these come in pretty handy when the family is ready for a day or two of being active. This pool in Carroll could be just what you need when it’s chilly outside.
A lot of areas to kickback and relax away from your room at the Carrollton Hotel. Family time during a getaway can be great, but sometimes you need a big comfy sofa chair to yourself. Go grab a beverage while you’re getting a break….
Complimentary biscuits and gravy! Carrollton’s staff knows that you need a hot meal to tackle a Carroll Gallivant ahead so they have it prepared for all their guests! And I never shy away from the pepper….

Great job, all around Carrollton Hotel! From check-in to check-out and everything in between. Great room, spacious areas to relax in and fantastic poolside fun. You know what was my favorite part? How I didn’t even have to leave the building to get a tremendous dinner!

Let’s Eat Steak

Baratta’s Steakhouse was our gourmet steak dinner host for Carroll County on The T-Bone Trail! Just down the hall from our Carrollton hotel room and packed with locals and visitors at every table. Always a great sign when you enter a restaurant!

The fun loving Carroll Chamber of Commerce representatives and more of this town’s ambassadors joined us for memorable meal at Baratta’s Steakhouse!
A rich, creamy and cheesy beginning to this meal at Baratta’s. A fresh salad topped with some yummy Bleu Cheese dressing. Never getting tired of this all-star opener to a memorable meal.
And the Oscar goes to…..All of us! Well, anyone who ordered this 10oz Filet Mignon topped with real crab meat and hollandaise sauce. Click on the video below to see how we scored an Oscar in Carroll, Iowa!
That’s a headliner if I ever met one!
Baratta’s Steakhouse was on point tonight in Carroll. Cooked my filet just the way I liked it and there was nothing but good complements coming from everyone else that was joining me. Better get Baratta’s Steakhouse on your radar!

Local History

Sometimes when baseball fanatics get together and want to build a stadium……Ummmm…Well, sometimes you get places like Merchants Park! Sometimes historic places like this are created by using some interesting measures like they did here in 1949. When a Carroll community wants a baseball team the Carroll community is going to get a baseball team! That’s all I needed to hear when it came to touring one of Western Iowa’s most well known sporting venues.
The community wanted a baseball team and Bill Farner came through. Using some outside of the box ideas, Bill and other supporters, got Merchants Park up and running with a semi-pro team that Carroll and Western Iowa started rooting for!
Iowa has always had a stake in the rich baseball history of America. Carroll makes sure to remind everyone of this when you enter Merchants Park.
I think the next visit to Carroll should be a home game. This field hosts Iowa state high school championship games along with the routine schedule of the Merchants during the summers. Click on the video below and listen to me harkening back to my announcing days….
Batter up, Western Iowa!

Knockback a Cold One

What a sight for beer loving sore eyes! Carroll Brewing Co is open for business with some freshly poured cold ones!
That’s what Papa Bear needed….Carroll Brewing Co has a plentiful selection of craft beers for whatever suits your beer loving fancy. I’m thinking this would be great spot for a day of football games…..Oh, let’s make that happen!

A Taste of Templeton with a Side of Manning

We took the long way out of Carroll County because we knew of a couple spots and some folks we wanted to see before we started our trip back east. We didn’t take a level B road, but we couldn’t stop ourselves from finding one in Manning!

Level B is a new Manning restaurant that received instant popularity right after they opened. I ordered up the crispy honey garlic chicken sandwich with a blanket of melted cheeeeeeeeeese. And look at my lunch doing the potato twist!
The go-to for Gigi is BBQ chicken wings and Level B has some plump chickies going around! Steaming hot and pleasantly messy on our fingers and cheeks. Napkin makers need work, too!
A Manning tradition for us is Meeting up with Shelly Greving! Oh, and visiting the big Iowa sign at Milwaukee Trestle Park. Can’t leave town without this picture!
I was able to get a sneak peek at an extraordinary piece of artwork in Manning. Marine Corps Veteran, Scott Eickman, has been keeping himself busy with his unbelievable metallic creation that’s paying tribute to America’s vets. Made from dog tags, chains, retired tools and just about any piece of scrap metal Scott can get a hold of. It was an honor to shake his hand and I can’t wait to see this sculpture again.
Highway 141 is one of my favorite Western Iowa drives. A lot of rolling hills, spectacular countryside scenery and little gems like The Corner Station in the Templeton outskirts. Peach pie for the Carroll County finale!

What a way to closeout a visit in Carroll County! The metallic master of Manning, pie and back to one of Iowa’s best roadside attractions. And what a huge day in Carroll with a host of locals that showed me so much of their proud community. Jaw dropping surf and turf dinner, retailer after retailer, cold craft beer and a dude who can drive a tank to work. That kind of story makes it extremely easy to choose Carroll!

Make your reservations for the Carrollton Hotel and Event Centre on their website.

Be sure to like the T-Bone Trail-Western Iowa on Facebook!
The golden years of the railroads brought countless folks to Carroll, Iowa with this old depot being their Western Iowa destination. This historic structure still sees the trains pass by everyday, but it’s now serving a different purpose while being beautifully preserved and occupied by a fantastic group of locals. Thanks to everyone at the Carroll Chamber of Commerce for hosting us!

2 thoughts on “The Filet Mignon Oscar Goes to….Shop Small, Do Lunch & Rev Up a Tank in Carroll County, Iowa

  1. My husband works for the DOT and has been down by Carroll. I’ve been thinking about going down to visit him next week . You have inspired me. He has been staying at the Wild Rose in Jefferson but the Carrollton is on his list of approved hotels. Im thinking a drive there is just what I need

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