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Tuesday, October 26, 2004
The Inn recognized as one of best bed and breakfasts
By Jean Hofmann, Journal correspondent
Women from a Holstein, Iowa, bridge club leave The Inn at Battle Creek, Iowa. The women call themselves the Iowa Women of Yesterday and were celebrating their annual outing at The Inn. (Photo by Jean Hoffman)
BATTLE CREEK, Iowa -- Walking through the door of The Inn in Battle Creek, Iowa, is like walking through the door of Great Grandma's old home -- only the food served here might be better than Great Grandma's.
The Inn of Battle Creek was recently recognized as one of America's best Bed and Breakfast/Country Inns in the U.S. by Arrington's Inn Traveler 2005 Book of lists. The reason: Evening cuisine.
The recognition comes from a vote by customers and places The Inn in the top 3 percent of all such facilities nationwide.
"We're just blown away to be put on this list, especially for cuisine," says owner Jeff Decker, the chef at The Inn.
Decker has been in the restaurant business for 20 years. In fact, it was in a restaurant that he met his wife Nancy, who is a server and hostess for guests.
Built in 1899
The Inn is a Queen Anne Victorian Bed and Breakfast designed by acclaimed architect George F. Barber. The home was completed in 1899, and was the home of Dr. Francis Warnock.
In 1988, The Inn was remodeled and restored by Dr. William Bender.
There are five guest rooms at the top of the winding staircase. Each room is furnished with turn-of-the-century antiques, period light fixtures, cable TV, as well as plush robes and private baths.
On the main floor there are three dining rooms. It's in these dining rooms that the real gem of The Inn is discovered. Menu items seem wondrous, especially for a town with a population of 743.
Appetizers range from sausage stuffed jalapenos to potato bilini, caviar and capers. Main courses range from chicken marsala to oriental pork, chicken rockerfeller to Caribbean swordfish.
Inn visitors have come from all over the world.
According to the Deckers, many have discovered The Inn though their business visits to nearby Ida Grove, Iowa, firms Gomaco and Midwest Industries.
"Some people come for the meal and then decide to stay on at the bed and breakfast. They say they stay for the good peace and quiet," Jeff Decker says.
The Deckers live next door to The Inn with their four children: Wesley, 17; Briana, 10; Gabrielle, 7; and Emma, 1. "We have a 13-step commute to work," Nancy says.
For more pictures of its rooms and samples of its menus, visit The Inn's web site at: www.theinnatbattlecreek.com or you call (712) 365-4949.
Reprinted with permission Copyright © 2004 Sioux City Journal