The Machine Shed’s menu can make any farmer proud


We were told to try The Machine Shed restaurant in Urbandale, Iowa, because they had outstanding barbecue.

Following our visit to the Living History Farms next door, we sat down to a nice lunch. Lisa had BBQ pulled pork and I had the barbecue brisket sandwich. Both entrees were large. They each came with two sides. Neither of us could finish our dishes. This is a case where splitting a meal would be perfect.

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The food was excellent. We each had a cup of their corn chowder. I could have gotten by with a bowl of this stuff. It was outstanding soup.

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Service is outstanding. The servers dress like farmers – bib overalls and farm caps. It added to the décor.

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The restaurant has a lot of farm-related artwork. I loved the John Deere sign near the entrance to the dining area. I always think of my dad when I see that name. He was a big fan of John Deere. The restaurant sells a lot of desserts and souvenirs in the store section.


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Visitors are welcomed to The Machine Shed with a great outdoor display. Tractors and other farm equipment are displayed around the grounds.


The first restaurant in the six-location chain opened in Davenport, Iowa, in 1978. Its founders are committed to having a product that would make farmers proud.

We had an enjoyable visit to the restaurant. We’d recommend it if you are in the area. The barbecue was good, but I think you’d be OK trying anything on the menu.

For more information on The Machine Shed, see its website at