Late last Friday afternoon, following a meeting in Grinnell, I decided to drive over to Brooklyn, Iowa's Community of Flags, before heading back to West Des Moines.
I've been to Brooklyn a few times but I've never stopped into their famous deli and ice cream shoppe. It's a big draw and a couple of loyal readers have encouraged me to stop by and after doing so, I certainly can see why. In racing, you win the checkered flag if you finish first. In a community known for their flags, this gem is deserving of winning the checkered flag.
The Classic Deli & Ice Cream Shoppe is located in the main street area of town. When I stopped in, it was not overly busy but then again - it was late afternoon between when any kind of meal rush would take place.
Once inside, you realize this place is part delicious deli and small-town eatery and part nostalgic soda fountain.
I always appreciate older buildings with gorgeous decorative tin ceiling tiles.
They have a great soda fountain counter, complete with beautiful stained glass.
Brooklyn is on historic Highway 6 and so there are pictures from other places in Iowa that are also on the route.
There's also some other great art on the wall, including a print of the famous American Gothic painting done by Grant Wood. Iowa Adventurer stopped in Eldon back in October to see the house featured in the painting.
Though I did not try one, The Classic is known for their extensive selection of sandwiches, paninis, and wraps. I am guessing this full case of meat, cheeses, and salads helps to make some of those outstanding lunches.
They also have a great reputation for outstanding pies and other ice cream treats. I am told the Raisin Cream is quite delicious, though I did not try it. Was that a mistake?
Since it was about 4:30pm when I stopped in, I opted to just try some of the apple pie and then add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to make it "a la mode". I also got a cup of coffee to go. The apple pie was as good as it looks.
Upon exiting, I noticed on their bulletin board that the business is for sale for $135,000. If you are looking for a successful business to take over with an already great reputation, perhaps you need to give this realtor a call? It's on the Route 6 tour which is "your roadway to adventure".
Elsewhere in town, I stopped by their display of flags, which includes one for each state in the union as well as a few specialty flags, which I believe are mostly in honor of our armed forces.
I found the Iowa flag.
Next door to the flags, is a gorgeous old Victorian mansion that is now a community museum. I will have to come back sometime when it is open and I have more time.
Elsewhere in town, I discovered that Brooklyn has a boyhood home of John Wayne. We mostly associate John Wayne with Winterset, which is where he was born and where his museum is located. However, it was neat to stumble upon this bit of Iowa history.
This marker, rock, and statue are on the grounds but the home is a private residence and they have a sign next to the house reminding folks that the home is not open to the public.
Brooklyn is a very clean appearing city with lots of big, beautiful old homes. I spotted this one near the grain elevator.
Closer to the display of flags, there is a gorgeous Church.
This large mural is painted on one of the buildings downtown.
Campaign HQ is one of the leading conservative call centers in America and it's primary location is in Brooklyn.
Elsewhere in the downtown area, I found an "activity center" and a store where you can buy flags and other home decorations.
I spotted a chiropractic clinic and another antique store, but it was not open or I would have popped in.
The Front Street Tap looks like a great small town bar but I will have to make my visit another time through.
I also spotted a medical clinic and a service station.
The Poweshiek County Farm Bureau has a nice building in the business district.
I was very impressed by the Manatt Community Center. Manatt's is one of the largest employers not just in Brooklyn but all of Poweshiek County.
I will definitely plan to come back to pop into Brooklyn Grocery. It's becoming increasingly rare to find these independent grocery stores and so it's always a treat to stop in.
This old opera house appears to be vacant, which is sad. I am sure it would be a stunning building if it could ever be properly restored.
As you head out of town toward I-80, there is a large truck stop that also has a self-serve Dunkin Donuts inside. Perhaps you have stopped there as you drive by? It's a good stop, but next time, go further into town and enjoy what Brooklyn has to offer.
Brooklyn is definitely worth a visit and I look forward to stopping by again soon. The town has a great website with lots of additional information and I would encourage you to take a gander through that.
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile. I welcome suggestions from elsewhere in Poweshiek County or in any one of our other 98 counties. Please drop me a note through my website.