Day Two of the trip had quite a few surprises in store. From the hotel’s continental breakfast to the Denny’s that wasn’t a Denny’s, let’s dive in:
Usually when you hit up a hotel during a trip, you take the continental breakfast in the morning for granted. Some fruit, juice, all the basic shit.
Well this was my first time staying at a Travelodge, and it was pretty par for the course. But the breakfast was a little better than I was expecting.
There was cereal, fresh fruit, juice, coffee, but the real kicker was this do-it-yourself waffle maker. Fill up a cup with batter, load up the iron, flip it over, wait for the preset timer to go off, and presto – perfectly done waffles. I’ll be keeping an eye out for this craziness in the future, fo sho. Once were fueled up, it was back on the road we went.
Now this place was a complete surprise. So for some back story, we were cruising down 80 and we were all starting to get cramped, hungry, and in need of a bathroom. At my parent’s suggestion, we got off the highway near Durant, IA in search of food. Subway was suggested, but that’s boring so I made the executive decision to pursue something elsewhere.
At a T intersection right after we got off the highway, there was a sign for the Wilton Cafe. I said, “that’s where we’re headed.” Headed down Historic U.S. 6 for a few miles till we entered Wilton, IA. It was a cozy little town in the middle of the pancake that is Iowa. The GPS routed us right there, we got out, stretched like our lives depended on it, and walked in the front door.
It was a pretty small cafe, but our waitress was friendly and took our orders. I ordered a basic cheeseburger and fries, nothing too crazy. Up until this point I had been evaluating all the local burgers back home, so I guess that kinda carried over to this stop. After a few minutes our food showed up and I loaded the burger with some ketchup like any sane human being would.
Right before I bit into said burger, my mom piped up and basically said “Uh oh.” I immediately thought it was some sugar-free or salt-free garbage ketchup, but no. It was so much more than I was expecting.
That’s right. Jalapeño ketchup. I touched on this in an earlier post, but god damn this shit was off the charts. A bit of bite, but nothing too unreasonable. The burger was great, the fries with this ketchup were great. I was chuffed, as the Brits say.
We paid the bill and got back on the road – next stop, Nebraska.
When my uncle first mentioned Village Inn, he said it was similar to Denny’s. I can see the similarities, basic American fare, huge breakfast selection, etc. But this definitely had a midwest vibe to it that Denny’s lacks. If I recall right, I think we all opted for breakfast items, but mine was undoubtedly the unexpected one out of the bunch.
I ordered the first thing that caught my attention – the poblano smothered breakfast burrito. This thing was legit. Filled with chorizo, egg, home fries, and peppers. The outside had more peppers, melted cheese, and a spicy red sauce. If I imagined what a breakfast burrito would be like from Chipotle, this was it. Mildly spicy, super filling, and really tasty. I was impressed.
That said, I wasn’t really impressed with their other menu options. It was pretty tame, nothing really stood out to me other than the burrito. Denny’s is the same way lately, the usual standbys like the Sampler or a burger. Village Inn was a solid stop, but nothing to rave about.
Now, the next stop I didn’t have anything to eat at, but it’s still worth talking about since alcohol is part of the food pyramid afterall.
Since this was the only night I’d be able to hang out with my cousin, she said she and her fiance would be kidnapping me and taking me to a bar. It was a little hole in the wall joint, but I could definitely dig the vibe. I kept it simple with a couple Blue Moons, since I was dead tired from the drive that day. Bullshitted for a bit then we bounced.
Worth mentioning, this place’s claim to fame is a Bloody Mary that will kick you in the face. It’s one of those drinks that comes with a bunch of shit on a skewer in the drink. Literally a burger slider, onion rings, etc. Under other circumstances I totally would have had one. Maybe next trip?