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    Posted November 18, 2012 by
    Spencer, Iowa
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    100 places to eat like a local

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    The Iowa Great Lakes

    Northwest Iowa is home to the Iowa Great Lakes. It is a vacation destination for many people in the mid west. The Lakes area contains a string of small towns, the best known one being Okoboji. These small towns contain both chain and locally owned restaurants and I would like to bring three of the locally owned ones to your attention.

    Smokin' Jakes: Located in downtown Arnolds Park, IA, Smokin' Jakes is best known for their ribs, although I am particularly fond of their brisket. They smoke the meat on site and serve a delicious barbecue sauce with a kick. The decor is quite interesting and includes a collection of cast iron pans and a still. They are open until 3 am and begin serving breakfast at 10 pm so they are very popular when the bars start closing.

    Table 316 Steakhouse: Located on Hwy 71 in Arnolds Park, they are the BEST place in the area for steak. All steaks are hand-cut daily. Their 8 oz sirloin is nearly 3" thick. The weekend bartender is very knowledgeable about the alcohol offerings and they have a large selection of beers available.

    The Taco House: Located on the "old highway" in West Okoboji, they are closed for the winter. When they open in the spring, it's like a local holiday. When they close in the fall, people will order tacos and burritos by the dozens to freeze and eat throughout the winter. During rush times and just about any time from Memorial Day through Labor Day, be prepared to wait up to an hour for your food. That's how busy they are.
    This iReport is part of an assignment that we created with Travel + Leisure:  100 places to eat like a local
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