There's an old (maybe corny?) joke that says without one particular county in North Iowa, our state would be "Worth"less. Of course, I'm referring to Worth County, which borders Minnesota, and is home to about 7500 citizens. The largest community in Worth County is Northwood, with a population of just about 2000 people. Northwood is the county seat and is a nice town with many amenities and several beautiful and very historic buildings.
On a recent Saturday, I made the journey up I-35 to Worth County to check out the town and have lunch at one of the highly recommended restaurants: Sue's Corner Post Cafe.
Located along the downtown district, this is definitely one of those small town eateries that is part coffee shop, part cafe, and part community center. It's where you go to get a good cup of java, enjoy a home cooked meal, catch up on the latest gossip, and listen to farmers boast about their yields.
It's also a place where you can go to find the latest community announcements - something that is the hallmark of any true small town community gathering spot.
There's truly nothing fancy about the place. The walls are covered in wood paneling, there are plenty of Terry Redlin prints adorning the walls, and the seating looks like what you might have seen in a lot of farm kitchens in the 1970's...but that's part of why I liked it so much. It's got a cozy home town feel but they let the good food and friendly service speak for themselves.
On this particular Saturday, they were offering some comfort food favorites as specials.
I was planning to get the pork roast, but they had just sold out of that by the time I ordered. I went with the hot beef instead. I was not disappointed. It was a great combination of tender roast beef, real mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, and white sliced bread.
If none of those specials would have been acceptable, they do have a regular menu of typical small town favorites, including breakfast.
All of that goodness is cooked up in a small kitchen.
The hot beef special was quite filling but the very persuasive server sold me on the idea of trying their famous caramel apple pie. I probably didn't need the added calories but whoa was it good!
There's a few other fun quirks to find there too, including a small carousel for kids to ride on.
As a 10 year 4-Her and a current member of the Iowa 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees, I appreciate that they are supporters of the Worth County Livestock Ribbon Sale.
You pay your check up at the front and there is a counter with lots of other things for sale, too.
I like the fact that the check is very simple - it's a throwback to a simpler time.
I don't know if this little coffee station is in service in the mornings but it looks like it would be a good place to start your day.
It was cold on my visit to Northwood and a stop in the Corner Post Cafe was exactly what I needed - a good meal, a quality cup of coffee, and some amazing pie. It's a solid place for the town and surrounding area to gather and I would certainly recommend it for your visit as well. It's good food at a reasonable price served by very friendly folks.
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Worth County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through my website.