224 4th Avenue Northeast, Le Mars, IA
Owner: Robert Rand
Set in what was once a roadhouse bar, Archie’s Waeside is a citadel of American beef cookery. Seated in commodious booths, in a dining room accented with Christmas tchotchkes, regulars drink perfect Manhattans, snack on house-corned beef and a well-curated relish tray, and eat porterhouses, dry-aged in-house for four weeks.
Archie Jackson, who escaped Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution, learned to cut and dry-age beef in packinghouses in Sioux City in the 1930s and Chicago in the 1940s. He opened the Waeside in 1949. Valerie Rand, his daughter, grew the business in the 1960s and 1970s. Her youngest child, Robert Rand, is now the owner, presiding over a menu that features 12 cuts of dry-aged beef, sourced from farms in northwest Iowa and northeast Nebraska; a large selection of seafood including regional freshwater fish like walleye; and a deep cellar of red wines.
The America's Classic award is given to restaurants with timeless appeal, each beloved in its region for quality food that reflects the character of its community. Establishments must have been in existence for at least ten years and be locally owned.