Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cole's Foods & Ice Cream Shop

On our way to deliver concrete pads to a coop near Des Moines this June, Papa and I stopped for lunch at Cole's in Slater, Iowa.  Visiting little diners, you never know what to expect, which makes for a much more exciting culinary experience than chain restaurants offer.
 A sign outside the building advertised the Hall of Fame burger, which appeared to be "free if you can eat it all."  I wasn't up to an eating marathon, so to stay on the safe side, I ordered a chicken sandwich ($6.35) and a bottle of water ($1.00).  Papa ordered a double burger ($7.59) and fries ($2.80). 

The owner, David Sturdy, was there to take our order and prepare it himself.  His wife was just coming in to help when we got there, and with the adjustment there was a bit of confusion on customers' orders, giving change, etc.  It took a little while for us to get our orders, but eventually everything got straightened out, and we were happy to be fed.

I wished the diner were a little cleaner.  There were insects buzzing at the window beside my table,  which was somewhat annoying.  If I could take 30 minutes to kill the bugs, clean the windows, and wipe everything down for a fresh, clean look...I think I could give the diner a much more favorable review.
Oh well, I thought, if the food is good, it will be worth it.  The fries came first.  They were very fresh, hot, and good.  Papa said his hamburger was delicious as well.  

My chicken sandwich was definitely not what I was expecting.  It was huge!  Cole's does not skimp on the chicken in their sandwiches!  I faced a dilemma: how do I eat this?!

I made it through most of the sandwich by nibbling along the edges and breaking off the surplus chicken outside the bun.  Eating it was a lot of work...and I needed plenty of napkins.  The chicken itself was good--but there was enough chicken in that sandwich to feed a lumberjack!
We were there at the lunch hour, and many of the customers did appear to be hard-working men.  I doubt any of them went away hungry.    

David Sturdy originally purchased the diner in the 1980s, and ran it with the help of his son Brandon. After Brandon died in 2004 as a Marine fighting in Afghanistan, Mr. Sturdy closed the diner.  After retiring, he re-opened it in 2011 to honor the memory of his son and other veterans.

34 comments:

  1. This looks like a fun place! Hopefully they will be able to keep it more spic and span in the future. Your sandwich looks yummy, and like there is definitely plenty there. :)

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    1. Small portion size is certainly *not* going to be on the list of complaints for this diner! They do not skimp on quantity!

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  2. The smallest place I've ever eaten had a few flies buzzing around. They won't get much bigger if they drive away customers by not keeping them away.

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    1. I cannot stand seeing or hearing insects indoors. At home, I am the self-proclaimed "hit-woman," charged with eliminating flies and spiders.

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  3. it is a liitle restaurant but I hate insects inside too

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  4. That's a mammoth sandwich but looks tasty! I'm glad he reopened In memory of his son.

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    1. Not only is the restaurant open in memory of his son who died in the service, it's named in honor of Cole, his young, living son. It's truly a family affair.

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  5. A amizade nos faz ver o mundo com olhos novos.
    Feliz dia do amigo!!!!!
    Beijos Marie.

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  6. What a huge sandwich!!!! Looks delicious!!!

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    1. It wasn't bad, but it did take some work too eat! :)

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  7. Looks like such a fun place Bethany! And that sandwich is amazingly HUGE!! Lol Hope all is well with you Sweetie, and that you're having a wonderful summer.
    xoxo

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    1. Thanks Carrie! Yes, the sandwich was quite impressive! :)

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  8. I can't believe how big that sandwich is! I can see that working men would like it.

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  9. We've been to several out-of-the-way restaurants before. Like you said, you never know what to expect! Fortunately most of our experiences have been positive. :)

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    1. Visiting little diners is never boring!

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  10. Hi Bethany, Mr. Sturdy could not have a more appropriate name. :-) This diner reminds me of one I frequented while a student in college ... a long time ago. Owner and wife were operators and cooks, just like Cole's. My diner was named Topsy's, and there may be another coincidence. Owner, Bill, was a cook in the military. Seeing the sign on the wall, behind you, MARINES, I wonder if the same is true for Mr. Sturdy? :-) Your sandwich DOES look delicious. That is definitely a cute picture with you trying to tackle that sandwich! The more of these places you report on, the more I want to do a road trip to Iowa. Once again, I feel like you should work for the Iowa Department of Tourism. Well, on another topic, I've been wondering if you're watching the RNC? I have found it totally entertaining! And, to be honest, I think Mr. Trump is, more than anything else, a master of entertainment! My vote is still up in the air, as I want to see what "Crooked Hillary" has to say. :-)

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    1. Hi John, From the news articles about the diner on a bulletin board in the restaurant, it appears Mr. Sturdy was a heavy-equipment operator before he retired. His son Brandon, who died in the service, was a Marine (therefore the sign on the wall).

      I did watch various speakers at the RNC. And I won't argue about Mr. Trump being a great entertainer. I watched Hillary's speech at the DNC as well, and I can hardly wait for the debates!

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  11. Yuck on the bugs buzzing about. And hey, that sandwich is bigger than your head. That's funny. Thanks for sharing this post with us.

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    1. No wonder I felt a little overwhelmed by its size! Thanks for stopping by, Happy Whisk!

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  12. I already watched some pictures in the Internet of Slater, Iowa, and I liked them. It seems to be a small city, but with nice homes and many gardens and beautiful trees. The streets look clean and tidy. Your sandwich was really huge, but it looks good, and I hope you liked it. I'm sure that nobody can left the restaurant being still hungry. I like also such culinary experiences that are different than the ones in chain restaurants.

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    1. Slater is a nice little town...we usually just drive through it, so I'm glad we stopped for once.

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  13. It's too bad about the bugs. I hope they take care of that.

    And WOW, that is a HUGE sandwich!

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    1. Everything would be so much better cleaner/without the bugs. They could get awesome reviews. Their meals are definitely not mundane.

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  14. Wow!
    Bethany!!! Your sandwich looks very appetizing.
    I'd eat with a big pleasure.
    Chips? I do not remember when I ate such a wonderful fries.
    Greetings from Poland.
    Lucja

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    1. It was quite the sandwich! :) Thanks for stopping by, Lucja!

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  15. Heaven Almighty up above...I WANT THAT SANDWICH!!!

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    1. Too bad I can't email one for you to print out on a 3D printer! For some reason, I don't think it would taste quite the same.

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  16. wow, now that looks like a sandwich the hubby & i would enjoy stopping by to see. i will write that down for our trip log, when we get to that neck of the woods. thx for the tip! ( :

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    1. Next time you're in this neck of the woods, let me know! Would love to meet up with you! :)

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  17. Diners are unique! I love that you are adventurous and willing to give them a try :)

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    1. It's much better than going to a boring McDonald's every time I want to eat out!

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