You know a place is going to be good when you pull up on a Sunday around noon (right after church) and the parking lot is full of cars and the seats are full of hungry families and Sunday-best dressed senior citizens.
The Highway Restaurant is located on the south side of Albia in Monroe County. It's right off of the well-traveled Highway 34, which runs the east to west length of the entire state
There are places like this all over Iowa and they are important. It's both a diner and coffee shop mixed together with a community center. If you want to know what's going on in a town, you go to a place like the Highway Restaurant. While you are there, you'll be treated to generous sized portions of home-style food, warm hospitality, and very reasonable prices.
Open the door at The Highway and you find the kind of thing that you see in small cafes all over the state: a wall or bulletin board full of advertisements, community benefit notices, business cards, and job postings. It's the telltale sign for me that this is truly a popular place for locals to gather.
There are several rooms within the cafe that offer varying kinds of seating options.
The decorations are nothing too remarkable but I did appreciate this clever sign up by the cash register. There's a bit of truth in it, for sure.
They have an extensive menu and serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. They also had a white board full of Sunday specials. Presumably, they serve specials throughout the week, too.
My friend and I both ordered from the breakfast menu and got one of the skillets. The skillets include hashbrowns as the base and then you can pick from various combinations of meats and vegetables, cheese, and then two eggs on top. These skillets are served with either toast or pancakes. Not to be too difficult, I opted to try a biscuit instead. My meal was very good.
The wait staff was very busy but they did a nice job being attentive to us. Not to mention, the coffee was very good (and hot) and they had real creamer. That's always a plus in my book.
The Highway Restaurant is a fine small town establishment that serves many purposes for the community and surrounding area of Albia. In the brief time that I was there, several individuals from one table would go over and say hello to someone at another table. That's small town Iowa at it's finest.
I would encourage you to check out their Facebook page and give them a follow. Maybe next time you are in the area, you'll want to exit the road to enjoy The Highway.
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Monroe County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you would like host the Iowa Adventurer or have a good idea, please drop me a note through my website.