April 17, 2024

Iowa Gallivant puts Creston at steak

Jay Goodvin, also known as “The Iowa Gallivant,” will be heading to Creston on Thursday as part of his T-Bone Trail, touring 34 of 36 Western Iowa counties to highlight Iowa beef. Goodvin is a food blogger and steak connoisseur. He made the announcement in a Facebook video earlier this year. He will also be in Greenfield on Aug. 10. Tour updates, blog posts and videos can be found on his Facebook pages: The Iowa Gallivant and The T-Bone Trail — Western Iowa.

He said the idea came about in February 2020 when Sara Slater, the economic development and tourism coordinator for Audubon County, approached him about a 10 county tourism promotion. He wanted 14 counties so he could call it “two weeks of T-bones” and his tour map kept expanding from there. After the pandemic hit, the project had to be delayed to 2021.

“It’s called the T-bone trail, but we are showcasing as many cuts of steak as we can. Ribeye is clearly the most popular steak everywhere we go. It’s up there, for good reason too. We’ve had a few different prime ribs on the trail and none of them have tasted the same, so it’s a good thing,” he said. “I love how everywhere we go in Western Iowa they have hash browns as an option for dinner. Those are always delicious. They’re not just for breakfast anymore.”

According to the Iowa Beef Industry Council, ribeyes had the second highest sales volume growth 2020 with a 27% increase. Sirloin sales were up 36%.

For this leg of the tour he’ll be stopping at Spencer’s Chophouse on North Walnut Street. He said the whole tour is a broad effort to promote tourism in Western Iowa from the Missouri to Minnesota borders.

“We’re showcasing and highlighting some great things to do within each county that we’re traveling to, then using the restaurants and steakhouses as a headline,” he said. “We’ve seen just unbelievable scenery, especially in the Loess Hills in Monona County with Preparation Canyon. More than anything, what’s really stuck out is just the locals. We’ve met some awesome locals, which I knew we would.”

He said he’ll try to take in everything the Creston area has to offer while he’s here.

“I’ll be staying at Three Mile Lake and then I’ll be going around shaking the bushes, rattling the trees and just seeing what we can find,” he said.

Goodvin encouraged Iowans to get out and try new things this summer.

“You can’t spell routine without rut,” he said. “So change your routine a little bit every now and then. Get out to see some new places.”

Goodvin highlighted Union County’s eight lakes including Three Mile, Twelve Mile and Green Valley.

“It’s one of those places that has a lot of great opportunities to take a nice family adventure, get your toes wet, maybe get the boat out,” he said.

He said he’s been to Creston several times, and that he has family in Adams County.

“Southwest Iowa is kind of in my DNA,” he said.

Goodvin said he worked in kitchens for about 23 years, mostly in resorts and restaurants in tourism based areas.

“We’ve been doing the Iowa Gallivant since 2014. It started out as like a family scrapbooking project and then it just took off from there. We specialize in small towns,” he said. People love how we cover small towns too. We say that the smaller the town, the bigger the market on the Iowa Gallivant.”

Ellen Gerharz, executive director of the Creston Chamber of Commerce, said “Goodvin will be documenting beef production, from the dropping of the calf to the processing of the cow.”

Goodvin said beef prices have been somewhat volatile lately.

“There’s some places where they have to constantly update their menu prices,” he said. “Hopefully we can get a little more stability on that.”

According to the Iowa Beef Industry Council, that is partially driven by increased summer demand.

“The summer grilling season makes up 32% of ground beef sales and 35% of steak sales for the entire year,” the organization stated.