After a haircut in Ames and on my way back to Des Moines on I-35, I pulled off at the exit for Highway 210 and headed east for a couple of miles until I hit "The Tattered Toad" in Cambridge. My new haircut had me looking a little less tattered, but stopping at a creatively named bar in rural Iowa that I have never previously been to is always a good idea.
I have been to Cambridge a few times over the years but had never stopped in the downtown area of town. Even though, Cambridge is relatively near Ames, Ankeny, and the greater Des Moines metro, they are still fortunate to still have an eatery in town. Sadly, many towns of the similar size, do not have that local watering hole anymore.
It was dark when I rolled into town and quickly found the downtown area and saw several cars parked where the restaurant is, so I figured I was in the right spot.
Once inside, you quickly see why this is a great town bar and cafe. With a name like "Tattered Toad", you know it's got to have a ton of character.
Most of the place is filled with your standard neon beer signs, but this smirk-worthy Miller Lite sign near the bar and the disco ball on the ceiling were definitely nice touches.
Even the kids menu (at the bottom of the regular menu) had some truly great comedic relief.
Elsewhere on the menu, it's pretty standard rural Iowa bar food and they do it quite nicely. The prices are pretty standard for what you might expect at a place like this in rural Iowa.
I chose to go with a bacon cheeseburger basket and I was not disappointed. Who doesn't love bacon and crinkle cut fries?
There is a fair amount of seating options, including at the bar and at tables. When I was there, there were a number of folks bellied up to the bar, a table of a few guys having a few beers, and a table of 4 or 5 women were laughing a lot about something (hopefully not me!).
Outside of the food and drink options, they have a couple of televisions as well as a large projector screen that I am sure would be good for watching football or basketball games on.
If television, a full bar, and a solid food menu, aren't enough - they also have a dart board, billiards table, jukebox, and more.
Of course, it would not be a restaurant in rural Iowa with the bulletin board filled with community announcements and business cards.
If you are in central Iowa and looking for a little different place to try, hop on over to the Tattered Toad to give them a try. It's a nice low key but high quality place to catch up with friends or catch the game.
As always, I welcome your suggestions of adventures, either in Story County or one of our other 98 counties, so please drop me a note through my website.