I am an unabashed carnivore. I do eat vegetables, well a few.  I eat lots of fruit in season, but otherwise meat meat meat. When we lived in Georgia we used to visit Your Dekalb Farmers Market, aka Heaven On Earth, . This was always wonderful Daddy-Daughter bonding time. Our favorite sections were the fish and the meat departments. We used to load up on meat sticks, sausages from Patak Meats. The Child’s favorites were kabanos and landjaegers. Moving to Iowa, how were we going to replace these???

Perusing online, The Village Meat Market & Cafe looked like it might be the answer. Yesterday we didn’t go for the meat though, we went for dinner. We got there at 5:30pm and almost left because closing time was 6:00pm. I hate walking into a place at closing time. I’ve been on the grill when that party of four comes in at the last minute and wants an hour dinner. I hate it and don’t like doing it to others. But the guy working the kitchen said “No problem!”

There was so much to choose from on the menu. Even breakfast! As one would expect dining in the middle of Czech Village a good bit of the menu was Czech, but not everything. Immediately my eyes fell on the Goulash. I have not had goulash since a business trip to Germany at least ten years ago. I was excited to try a Czechoslovakian version. Plus a side of Cajun baked beans. The Wife went with The Butcher Loaf Sandwich, a Czech recipe meatloaf sandwich, with a side of potato salad.

Our food came out surprisingly quickly. I guess because we were the only ones eating. The meatloaf sandwich looked like a great cheeseburger to me. Humorously, in the description on the menu it stated, Nezapomen’te na kec’up (don’t forget the ketchup).” It came without ketchup! The Wife tends to be picky about potato salad and she said the potato salad was not extraordinary but good. She ate it all.

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This is an excellent example of why I dislike Yelp and Google+ type reviews. The goulash was very good, very well made. But I didn’t care for it. I’m glad I ordered it, but I wouldn’t order it again. The dumplings were good. I think the tomato sauce with wonderful chunks of meat would make a great spaghetti. It just wasn’t my thing. The beans were not good. Baked beans can be too thick and these were. Flavor was good but I couldn’t stand the texture. As my wife said, maybe they were good at lunch but not the end of the day when they’ve been forgotten about and completely cooked down. I will want to try them again. The thick cut piece of pumpernickel was awesome though. I didn’t even need my usual schmear of butter. See, just because I didn’t care for the food one time doesn’t mean a restaurant deserves a scathing review and one star. That has to happen at least three times in a row for me to be that critical. Or major ServSafe violations.

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After we paid we perused the meat counter. So much tasty goodness!!! The Child will definitely need to visit for the Bacon On a Stick. We were excited to see smoked pork chops. We used to eat them on a regular basis when we lived in South Georgia. Jones Country Meats had the best I’ve had. The pork chops at the Village Meat Market were huge! I can’t wait to try them. They had some type of meat stick for a dollar each. I bought five. They weren’t kabanos but I think they are going to be their replacement for us. The Child gave them a thumbs up and then asked for a second one. Win!



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