There have been SO many restaurants opening here in Eastern Iowa lately that it's hard to keep up! I've actually been keeping a list of new places that I still want to try in my phone, but with Christmas coming up this week, I knew that I would only be able to hit one more before the end of the year. My best friend and I decided to head to Marion yesterday afternoon to try out their newest eatery before I leave for Michigan later this week.

Barrel House officially opened at 295 Tower Terrace Road in Marion on December 6th. It's actually the fourth Barrel House to open in the state of Iowa, but it's the first of two arriving here in the Corridor. The other three are located in Dubuque and Davenport, with another headed to Downtown Cedar Rapids in early 2022. Since it's opening a few weeks ago, I have heard nothing but good things about the new restaurant, so we made our way over to Marion for lunch on Sunday.

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Unfortunately, we arrived at precisely the wrong time! We found out that the power had gone out prior to our arrival, so the grill wouldn't be up and running until 2 p.m. It was 1:15 at the time, so we were just a little too early. Luckily, they still had a few menu items available for hungry customers that didn't require the use of the grill, so we decided to stay. I'm glad we did!

The two appetizers we ordered were the spinach artichoke dip and the pretzel bites, and both were really good! The spinach artichoke dip is served with little pieces of garlic bread, and the pretzel bites come with a cheese sauce and a honey mustard sauce for dipping. The cheese was my favorite!

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Without the grill, burgers and sandwiches were unavailable, but we were able to order pizza for our main course. We kept it simple with just extra cheese as our preferred topping, and it was delicious! "A really solid cheese pizza!" was the review from my best friend. And for all my fellow ranch lovers, the ranch was good, too.

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We may not have been able to order most of the items we originally planned, but that's ok! We had such a great experience with the food that we could order that we will definitely be back soon. I have my eye on the spicy cheese curds, the nachos, and the loaded mac and cheese...

Have you tried Barrel House in Marion yet? If so, tell us your review in the comments!

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Brain & Courtlin's 2021 Listener Lunch Stops

We ate some REAL good food in the five months that we did Listener Lunch this year! Here are some photos from all of the awesome local restaurants.

Can You Pronounce These Weird Iowa Town Names?