Iowa Machine Shed Restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa Machine Shed Restaurant

With a name like “Iowa Machine Shed Restaurant,” you should be prepared to get good, down-home, farm-fresh cookin’.  That is just what you get at this popular restaurant destination in Des Moines, Iowa.  Technically, its in Urbandale, and technically its called “The Machine Shed” but there is nothing technical about the good food they serve.  It is simple and delicious — and true to their five-word mission:  “Dedicated to the American Farmer.” 

While The Iowa Machine Shed food is definitely worth waiting for, you won’t mind waiting a bit if needed.  Located at Iowa’s “Living History Farms” in Urbandale, the Iowa Machine Shed is the only restaurant I know where you can get a ride on a hay rack (minus the itchy hay) pulled by a tractor.   Or linger in their country-store-style waiting area, shopping through their cookbooks and other fun household necessities like beautiful towels and clever kitchen gadgets.   You just might be disappointed if you don’t have to wait!

 Iowa Machine Shed Menu

Its best to come hungry.  After placing your order, your server brings out family-style ”fixins” — cole slaw, cottage cheese, fresh bread and spice cake.   The spice cake is a welcome change from the usual dinner rolls and is on my list of favorites at the Iowa Machine Shed.  On this particular trip, Roy got the meatloaf.   It was a stack of thick, homemade meatloaf, mashed potatoes, beef gravy, and french fried onions.   He said it was delicious.  (I sure hope he doesn’t expect this kind of meatloaf at home!  Mine is delicious, but I can see I’ll have to work on my presentation.)  My creamed chicken and biscuits were tasty as well, and just what I expected.

Ever on the search for the perfect apple dumpling, we did share one for dessert — with cinnamon ice cream.  Their signature dessert, we rated it as very good. 

Iowa Machine Shed at Least Once a Year

We get to the Iowa Machine Shed Restaurant at least once a year when we’re in Des Moines for the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association “Heartland Nationals” at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.  The Iowa Machine Shed staff never have a problem putting together a table big enough for 12 to 14 of us to sit around.  They feed us like family and treat us that way, too.  That’s part of what keeps us going back.  That and the food!  Iowa Machine Shed — it’s worth the trip!