There’s nothing better than finding a great lunch stop tucked away in a small southern Iowa town. Recently I explored Mount Ayr, looking for a hometown restaurant that would satisfy my hunger. I was delighted to stumble upon Jamie’s Coffee Mill & Deli, a restaurant offering great food, a cozy atmosphere, and a one-of-a-kind gift shop.
A mounted chalkboard listed the perfectly sized menu with a variety of wraps, salads, paninis and soups that all sounded delicious. I wanted a warm meal on this cold, dreary day, so I opted for an Italian roast beef panini, complete with a side of potato salad. After placing my order I wandered into the next room dotted with free-standing tables and cozy booths. I chose a booth and settled in.
Vintage grocery store ads decorated my table, adding interest to the décor and reminding me how little food once cost. A waitress kindly offered a mason jar glass filled with water as I continued to scan my surroundings and sip my beverage. The restaurant’s walls were exposed brick, adorned with more old advertisements and antiques.
My meal was scrumptious: Crunchy, but tender bread held together slices of roast beef, a delicious white gooey cheese, and a zippy Italian sauce. It was the perfect comfort food to warm me up. I ate half my sandwich before sampling the potato salad. It offered a mustardy bite that cut through my rich roast beef sandwich, making them a perfect pair.
I tried telling myself that I didn’t need to eat my whole meal, but I couldn’t help but finish off the sandwich and most of the potato salad.
I thanked my waitress and meandered to the other side of the restaurant that housed the gift shop. Home décor, candles, and some women’s apparel highlighted the small boutique. I spent a few minutes enjoying the scents of several different candles before deciding that I really didn’t need another.
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