Straits of Mackinac
2021 Trip Report

Day ten: Drive across Iowa
with a stop in Newton

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Pork tenderloin at Midtown Cafe in Newton, Iowa
We had a nice night at the Best Western Plus Dubuque Hotel & Conference Center. It is a large hotel with a large old fashioned pool and atrium. So large that I got lost on my way back to the room from breakfast in the morning. It was a little more than I wanted to spend, but I had a couple of Best Western gift cards to use and earned another for the stay. It was probably the largest room we had during the trip. The breakfast was still modified for Covid and was minimal.

Thursday we crossed diagonally across Iowa, with a stop in Newton where we had lunch at Midtown Cafe. This is a nice little restaurant and I wish it was in Kansas so I could add a page about it to my other web site, Midtown Cafe is only open until 2PM and over half of the menu is breakfast, but we found good choices for lunch as well.

Linda had fried catfish and onion strings. It was a whole deep fried catfish, complete with bones and fins, something we haven't seen in many years. The onion straws were great!

My tenderloin sandwich was huge. This is the first time I have had a pork tenderloin on two buns. I cut it in half and found room for half in my cooler. The tenderloin was very good in the restaurant, but didn't reheat well. The buns were very good. Midtown Cafe has a Tenderloin Challenge, where if you eat two of these tenderloins and a pound of French fries, your meal is free and you receive a $10 gift certificate of a T-shirt and your picture on their Facebook Page. Otherwise it is $18. I checked their Facebook page and the most recent winners posted were in November.

Midtown Cafe - Newton, Iowa

Catfish and pork tenderloin at Midtown Cafe in Newton, Iowa
Fried catfish and pork tenderloin

The reason I had selected a restaurant in Newton, is because I wanted to revisit the Maytag Dairy Farms store. There are no current tours because of Covid, but we bought their famous blue cheese, cheese spread on other cheeses, rearranging the coolers to squeeze the last ones in. The farms are owned by members of the same Maytag family which owns the appliance company with the same name.

Maytag Dairy Farms store - Newton, Iowa
Maytag Dairy Farms store

Cheese counter at Maytag Dairy Farms store
Cheese Counter

We got home by 5PM.

About the Author

Keith Stokes has lived in Kansas for over 35 years, but he was born and raised in Mackinaw City, less than a block from the Mackinac Bridge and he was on the bridge during its construction when he was only 3 years old. While attending college he was on the interpretive staff of Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City, dressed in period clothes and giving tours, musket & cannon firing demonstrations and working in the blacksmith shop. He still visits the Straits of Mackinac every year, taking literally thousands of pictures. Keith is the webmaster of and the Mackinac Bridge & Straits of Mackinac Facebook Page.

Keith also has a website devoted to his adopted state,, which is the definitive source for things like zoos, waterfalls, grassroots art and unique locally owned Kansas restaurant. Keith is the TripAdvisor Destination Expert for Kansas, Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island.

Keith's photography is avialable at He also has other travel reports online.

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