Hotspots in Nowheresville, Iowa

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Best of the Adventure Adviser
Week of July 3-9, 1996

Hotspots in Nowheresville, Iowa
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Hotspots in Nowheresville, Iowa
Question: If the travel lady has traveled everywhere, then what is the best darn place to eat in Nichols, Iowa?

Joe DeGabriele
Ames, IA
[email protected]

Adventure Adviser: OK, OK, I admit it. I've never been to Nichols, Iowa. Call me what you will--a sadly undertraveled know-nothing, a buffoon posing as a travel expert--but the fact is, I still know where to get good grub in this bustling midwestern metropolis (population 400).

Unless you want to settle for the corndog and Coke special at Casey's--the heartland's version of 7-11--mosey up to the bar at The Catfish Place. This down-home, buffet-style eatery is the place to go if you're trying to blend in with the local folks or if you're just hankering for a good beef and noodle stew. And heck, it doesn't hurt that The Catfish Place, located right on the main drag in Nichols, is the only dinner joint in town. Better come hungry, because the Catfish serves up a mean all-you-can-eat buffet, including smoked ribs, fried chicken, and--of course--catfish. Save room for the full salad bar and back-to-basics desserts. Locals recommend the angel food cake and the fruit crisp. Best of all, a night out at the Catfish will only set you back about $7.25, plus drinks and tip, so you'll have plenty of money left over for an after-dinner root-beer slush at Casey's, just down the road. The 'Fish is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sorry, no live entertainment, but the local gossip you'll hear there should more than suffice. (The Catfish Place, 425 Main Street/Route 22; 319-723-4330)

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