Drink up this gem: Rapid Creek Cidery

Wilson’s has long been known for their apple orchard, for a few years known for their cider, and should now be known for their gem tucked into the apple trees- the Rapid Creek Cidery.

I headed out for brunch on a rainy Sunday morning to meet my sister, also someone who seeks out a good meal at any occasion. Her knowledge of the food industry, nuances of brands, and imagination when approaching flavors, adds a fun trivia-like element to the meal. We both ran to the front door of the top of the beautiful barn, hiding under our umbrellas. As we broke through the front doors, the space opened up into a spacious but welcoming barn, greeted by a large but simple bar, and warmly welcoming groups of long tables ready for an experience.
We landed the primo dining spot of the back corner of the patio, overlooking a wedding ceremony area and the groves of apple trees. A simple piece of paper listing gave us enough options in the first few offerings that we selected three items from the first section, and looked no further. We ordered the Fried Egg Tartine with Local Short Bologna and Prairie Breeze Mornay, Vegan Maple Panna Cotta with Berries and House Granola, and the Cheddar Grits with Mushrooms and Two Eggs. Emily started with an Unconventional Bloody Mary made with a tomato and celery shrub. I opted for Wake Up Iowa coffee. Yes, a shocker to us all that I skipped breakfast cocktails.
As we caught up on life, without kids tugging at our arms threatening the livelihood of our beverages, it became overwhelming how beautiful and serene the setting was. The rustic decor falls away to the greenery, trees, chirping birds, sound of the breeze. We took pictures repeatedly, when mid-sentence we’d realize how unique the setting really was. When our food arrived, we dove into each dish at both a rapid and relaxed pace. Although we were starving, and the runny eggs and mornay were delicious with every bite, the restaurant allows the meals to be about the flavors and experience, nothing else. The Prairie Breeze Mornay was deliciously creamy, a thick, rich alfredo, mixing with the eggs in bright yellow streaks. I paired each bite with a sliver of toasted bread, a slice of bologna, and a few times, the roasted tomatoes. It was hard to share that one, but that was the deal I had to honor.
I moved onto the Cheddar Grits with Mushrooms and Two Eggs. If you’ve read any of my articles before, you know that mushrooms aren’t my jam. I moved around them strategically, running my fork along the rim of the cast iron skillet scooping up grits and eggs as I moved along. If there was a grit eating competition, it’s very possible I’d win. It was at this point the Brown Sugar Apple Cinnamon Roll was delivered to the table next to us, and I couldn’t stop staring at it. Not only was it that perfect lightly baked brown color, but it had these whimsical dollops of toppings. If I was siting closer I would’ve asked for a bite. And for a split second, we considered adding a fourth item to our table but that seemed excessive given there were only two of us.
We finished the meal with the Vegan Maple Panna Cotta, the dessert on our table. The flavors were surprising, and definitely more than maple. Did I detect cardamom? Why does it taste more like chai tea than maple syrup? I personally couldn’t stop thinking about the cinnamon roll, but the creaminess of the panna cotta and sweetness of strawberries was a great way to end the meal.
We slowly finished our coffees, and poked at the panna cotta while the other diners streamed in. By the time we left, the space was packed, the conversation as vibrant as the greens in the orchard, and the air smelled like a delicious combination of all of the orders decorating the tables. It was a great way to end the weekend, kick off a Sunday morning, and I would imagine, perfect for any meal when you want to slow down and smell the… apples.
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