Experience the Edwardian Era in Dubuque

PortofDubuqueFor many travelers, Dubuque is nothing more than a crossroads. It might be a gas stop on a trip to Madison, Wisconsin, or to Galena, Illinois. But the “Masterpiece on the Mississippi” can be so much more for those who take the time to experience all this historic eastern Iowa community has to offer!

Last week we hosted our annual Latham Dealer Kickoff at the Grand Harbor Resort and adjoining convention center. The view of the harbor from our meeting rooms was absolutely beautiful! The weather was perfect for strolling the river walk and visiting the Stone Cliff Winery. It’s also within walking distance of the National Mississippi River Museum and the Diamond Jo Casino.

However, the activity that received the most accolades from our guests was a progressive breakfast tour. We boarded one of the city’s trollies and made our way across town, stopping at these three sites:

FenelonPlace_ElevatorAlong the way, our tour guide provided us with fun facts as we passed places of interest including the Fenelon Place Elevator Company and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Both of these sites are places I plan to visit on my next trip to Dubuque. St. Luke’s is home to the largest collection of authentic Tiffany stained glass windows west of the Mississippi. The present Romanesque building was finished in 1897 with five large and 90 small Tiffany windows.

Each of the three historic places we visited on our city tour was rich with history. I loved each one for different reasons, but I have to confess that the Mandolin Inn is the one place I desire to return for a stay. The dining room of the Mandolin Inn is thought by many to be the most magnificent in Dubuque, with a beveled glass china cabinet stretching from floor to ceiling. A uniquely beautiful fireplace, detailed with Italian tiles, rests in the corner.

20140711_081659We asked about the “wallpaper” of the fantasy forest above the oak paneling in the dining room and learned that it’s not wallpaper at all. The forest is actually hand-painted and is original to the mansion. (Somehow it survived fraternity parties and office remodels that are part of the Mandolin Inn’s past.)

Stepping into the luxurious guest rooms, it’s easy to see why the Mandolin Inn was listed as one of 10 Best Places to stay in the world by USA TODAY. Teeming with Edwardian charm, I can only imagine how well rested one would feel after snuggling in a down comforter, waking up in a king size bed and then being treated to a sumptuous breakfast.

We got a taste (literally) of what it would be like and Innkeeper Amy Boynton was gracious enough to share her recipe for the delicious quiche she served us. Amy also directed me to her blog where she shares recipes for other popular dishes like Eggs Florentine in Ham Cups and Mini German pancakes. Guten Appetit!

Crustless Zucchini and Roma Tomato Quiche



  • 1 dozen eggs (or Egg Beaters equivalent)
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes, 1 to 1½ cups of grape tomatoes or any homegrown tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups cottage cheese (low or nonfat)
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter (may omit if you want to make a lower fat version)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (lite or low fat cheese)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely diced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ tablespoon fresh oregano, finely diced (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced



  1. Melt butter in skillet; add minced garlic, diced zucchini and diced tomatoes. Sauté until soft.
  2. Add basil and oregano, mix well and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Then combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  4. Spray two, deep-dish glass pie pans (or one 9×13 inch glass-baking dish) with cooking spray. Then fill with contents of mixing bowl.
  5. Bake in a 350° oven for 40-45 minutes.
  6. Let stand 5 minutes; then cut into wedges and serve.

COOK’S TIPS: this may be prepared in advance (except for the baking) and then refrigerated, covered overnight.

Photo credited to AllRecipes.com


brought to you by the Mandolin Inn
Serves 12-16 people (indicates changes you can make to lower the fat)