ORANGE CITY, IA -
This summer on Siouxland News we're taking you "Down the Road" to visit some of Siouxland's favorite events... and the communities that host them.
Beside the colorful festivities and tulips, the best part of the festival is the food. You can get great food at the stratmarkt or street market which is an open air area of food, but there are a few other places you can sink your teeth into year-round.
Sausage-making may not always be pretty, but the final product is delicious.
Welcome to Woudstra's Meat Market in downtown Orange City. Amy Vanden Hull and her husband Dustin took over the long time business more than a year ago, with help from Amy's mother Karen Borchers. What started as a part time job for the Northwestern College film student turned from learning to make movies to learning about meat.
"I'd been done with my classes. I'd be done with band and choir. I'd have supper and then I'd come here," said Vanden Hull.
Making brats has become as much a passion as producing a fine film.
"Cheddar, cheddar jalapeno. One of our real popular ones is a Philly brat. It's got green pepper, onions, and swiss cheese in it. And then another specialty one that we have is our Dutch apple Gouda. It's got apples, a little bit of cinnamon and smoke gouda cheese inside," said Vanden Hull.
Not only can you watch the sausage get made here, but you can also get imported cheeses like this Lyden from Holland. The store also offers other imported items, along with a selection of regional wines, but creating unique brats, that's the meal ticket here at Woudstra's .
"We've been trying to make a veggie burger, which is actually a beef burger but it's got corn, peas, shredded carrots, and stuff like that in it," said Vanden Hull.
There's nothing like a good cup of coffee to top off a meal, or start your day, and Orange City has one unusual hot spot for coffee connoisseurs. For years visitors to the Tulip Festival used to come to the Old Factory to see how those famous Dutch wooden shoes were made.
Now a coffee shop that opened few years ago has opened a kitchen since the shoe making machine was put into storage for now.
It's also added a new owner: Steve Mahr, who used to attended Northwestern College around the corner.
"And we congregated here for poetry slams and hangouts, Saturday morning breakfast and this became like a community meeting place for us," said Old Factory Coffee Shop owner Steve Mahr.
That's why Mahr, his wife, and another couple partnered to buy the place a little more than a month ago. It's been hectic, but satisfying.
"I like it when I look out and there's like a bunch of college students eating and some elderly women having coffee together... a couple of pastors meeting with people in their congregation.... And it's like, "Ah, this is cool!'," Mahr said.
Mahr, a former manager at the local Pizza Ranch, has used his connections to tap sources of locally produced items used for breakfast. There's even a lunch menu now. While the coffee and the food attract a lot of attention, it's the diverse clientele Mahr enjoys the most.
"Growing up outside of Chicago in a suburb you can be really isolated. But that doesn't happen here. People walk everywhere or they ride their bike, they shop at the same place, so you get to know each other really well, and then you support each other," he said.