Have you been to Iowa's oldest operating restaurant?

There are a lot of things that can make a restaurant memorable, but here in Iowa, the most memorable dining experience can be found at an incredibly old eatery! According to an article from Love Food, every Iowan should take a trip to Breitbach's Country Dining in Balltown! The article says:

"It prides itself on its incredibly long history, having opened way back in 1852, and the fact that it's been destroyed by fire and rebuilt not once, but twice, makes it all the more special. The down-home dishes are sure to leave as much of an impression as the story; dine on country ham steak, Iowa pork chop, and battered catfish."

Breitbach's opening in 1852 makes it the oldest food and drinking establishment in the state of Iowa. It's also cool to know that the restaurant been owned by the same family for six generations! The official website reports that Breitbach's currently sits on the site of the original location, "which was completely destroyed by a gas explosion and fire in 2007." Unfortunately, the second building also burned down because of a fire just ten months after the first! We're happy to report that the current building, which was finished in 2009, has been going strong since its opening. And, despite these fires, the restaurant never stopped operating. The website reads:

"During construction, the small building across the parking lot housed the bar, an office, and tables that provided an area for lunching workers during the day and local euchre players in the evening. Referred to as The Gathering Place during the rebuilding phases, the structure now serves as a place to sample local wines and other products."

The menu at Breitbach's features all sorts of burgers, sandwiches, appetizers, fish, and sides, but the restaurant is known for its broasted chicken and and award-winning tenderloins. Their breaded pork tenderloin was crowned the winner in the Iowa Pork Producers Association's annual competition in 2012!

Iowa Pork, Facebook
Iowa Pork, Facebook

In addition to the regular menu, Breitbach's also offers all-you-can-eat lunch and dinner ​​buffets! All of the dinner buffets have the restaurant's famous broasted chicken, a soup/salad bar, and sides, but Friday night's buffet also has cod, catfish, popcorn shrimp, and shrimp alfredo, Saturday's has BBQ ribs, cod, and popcorn shrimp, and Sunday's offers roast pork and glazed ham. You can check out the full buffet menus HERE.

Breitbach's is open for lunch on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and lunch & dinner on Friday & Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Get more information on the iconic restaurant HERE.

Awesome Outdoor Patios to Dine On This Summer Around the Corridor

Who doesn't love patio season?! With the help of Eastern Iowans in the Cedar Rapids Area Support Local Group on Facebook, I put together a list of great restaurant patios in the area where you can dine and/or drink when the weather is warm. Here are some of the popular places!

Gallery Credit: Courtlin