By Bobby Benedict
The I-90 corridor holds a few beefy gems that need to be discovered. If you're driving through the area and you find yourself hungry after a trek through presidential plains then definitely stop off at Independent Ale House in Rapid City. The craft brewery spirit waves brightly through the amber waves in the area and the Independent Ale House not only offers a wide selection of small batch beers of all variety, but they have a rich yet refined menu that pairs perfectly with the wood-laden atmosphere of the pub. There're not many pizzas I haven't seen but when I last stopped off I had myself a Baked Potato Pizza and a nice Alaskan Amber.
Those that make their way east river will find Sioux Falls brimming with places to eat that are all acceptable but the real magic happens a bit north along the I-29 line. Ward, South Dakota is a bit off the beaten path, but it holds a modest looking steakhouse that specializes in perfectly marbled prime rib and hearty sides of various potatoes called Feathers Nest. Make sure to bring a family-sized amount of eaters, especially if you order the mixing bowl of delicious fried goods like mac n' cheese nuggets, 3 kinds of fries, and tater tots. My prime rib had a beautiful marbling, like a stained glass window of meat and there was no shortage of people around me feeling the same glee before they tucked in. The restaurant almost seems to be a community hub for the postage stamp of a town with nothing but smiles and good food all around.
A bit further north holds the South Dakota State University campus within Brookings, South Dakota. Though the town is rapidly growing it has no shortage of small-town charm along its avenues. If you liked the ale house in Rapid then you'll love Wooden Legs Brewing Company. This pub offers a small selection of cracker crust pizzas and an ever-changing array of house-made beers. Be sure to grab a glass of their Wild Hare ale or maybe a Three Five Three Stout and a macaroni and cheese pizza. Nothing beats a crisp and hoppy beer and a cheese-laden sheet of crispy pizza. Those are just a handful of my favorite meals from some great places but don't be afraid to venture off and try something new.