The iowa city area's
BREAd & BUTTER
2015 Dining Guide 180+ Recommended restaurants, bars, Markets & More PUBLISHED BY LITTLE VILLAGE BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 1
to tHe cedar rapids airport [cid]
1st avenue sports ui/va hospitals
dubuque street downtown iowa city
Downtown Iowa CIty: exit 242
map is not to scale
more dining options than you can shake your first hour of + carver va Hospital Hawkeye free parking at.
for tHe most current l entertainment options downtowniowacity.com
iowa memorial union
Atlas World Grill Bluebird Diner Bo James
155 Brother’s Bar & Grill 35
Clinton Street Social Club
170 DC’s Sports Bar
Donnelly’s Pub newton159 road 165 Fieldhouse 180 Graze 85
Hamburg Inn #2 Hearth
Micky’s Irish Pub
Pullman Bar & Diner
university of iowa130 Quinton’s exit 242 Hospitals and 187 Share Wine Lounge & Small clinics Plate Bistro
190 Bread Garden Market
143 Bubble Karaoke Café Café
ice cream/Frozen Yogurt 151
128 Java House 38
205 No 18 Karaoke & Bubble Tea 12
Prairie Lights Café
Brix Cheese Shop & Wine Bar
Basta Pizzeria Ristorante
124 Forbidden Planet Pizzeria & Video Arcade
178 Givanni’s Italian-American Restaurant
129 Heirloom Salad Company 18
154 Swankie Frankie 207 The Mill Restaurant 48
asian/sushi/chinese 25 191
Food Republic Formosa Restaurant – Sushi Bar – Lounge
219 Szechuan House
Mama’s Deli nodo
Pagliai’s Pizza Pizza Pit
The Pizza POD
Northside Bistro Gibson square
150 PepperJax Grill 119 16
197 Crepes De Luxe Café
220 Thai Flavors
ui main26library Mesa Pizza 73
One Twenty Six
56 7 42 131
I.C. Ugly’s Saloon
184 Martini’s 164 Pints 49
157 TCB Pool Hall 183 The Union
old c mus
105 El Banditos 205 Mami’s Authentic
158 Mondo’s Saloon 29
Panchero’s Mexican Grill
132 Iowa Chop House
185 Joseph’s Steakhouse
university of io Gabe’s Iowa City
221 Cactus Mexican Grill & Cantina
Yotopia: Iowa City’s Original FroYo
Aspen Leaf Frozen Yogurt
17 Cold Stone iowa avenue Creamery
Short’s Burger & Shine
2 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
88 George’s Buffet
ui cHildren’s Hospital
walkinG bridGe 103 High Ground
Takanami Sushi Hubbard Fusion park Bar — Teppan 98 Linn Street Café Grill 109 Motley Cow Taste of China Café Uncle Sun
Blue Moose Tap House Deadwood Tavern
Eden Lounge & Nightclub
south capitol street
vegan/vegetarian 133 India Café 10 14
Z’Mariks Noodle Café
burlington street ui recreation and wellness center
acity niowacity 103
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Town Center Town Center 201 South clinton 201 Street South clinton Street
Buffalo Wild Wings Buffalo Wild Wings
Cookies &Cookies More & More
Pizza and Pizza More and More Sushi Kicchen Sushi Kicchen
42 43 444245 43 44 45
1ST HOUR FREE! 1ST HOUR FREE!
free wifi free wifi on tHe on tHe ped mall ped mall
165 iowa cityiowa city 170 library public public library
180 184 183 184 183
collegecollege street street
187 190 191187 190 191
sHeraton Hotel sHeraton Hotel HotelvetroHotelvetro
washington washington street street
131 132 131 132 133141 130 129 130 133 128 129 128 149
pedestrian pedestrian mall mall
tower placetower place parkinG ramp parkinG ramp
155 154 159 157 158 157 155 154 161 158 159
Noodles &Noodles Company & Company Seoul GrillSeoul Grill
40 38 36 35
south capitol street
Tic Tac ToeTic CafĂŠ Tac Toe CafĂŠ
1ST HOUR 1ST FREE! HOUR FREE! 209
dubuque street dubuque street parkinG ramp parkinG ramp
capitol parkinG capitol ramp parkinG ramp Wraps & Rolls Wraps & Rolls
old capitol old town capitol town center In the Old Capitol In center the Old Capitol
6 6 7 7 56 8 8 10 10 55 11 11 12 12 13 13 14 14 33 16 16 2318221721 20 18 17 26 25 26 22 29 24 23 25 212420
40 38 36 35 29
iowa avenue iowa avenue
secret passaGeway secret passaGeway to tHe nortHside to tHe nortHside
Restaurants Restaurants capitol old capitol listed in blue listed arein blue are seummuseum in the Northside in the Northside
jefferson jefferson street street
owa sity pentacrest of iowa pentacrest Location numbers Location numbers
China StarChina Star
marketmarket street street
list rrent of list dininG of and dininG and s, options, visit visit m city.com
bloomington bloomington street street
exit 244 exit 244
1ST HOUR 1ST FREE! HOUR FREE!
219 220 219 221 220 221
burlington burlington street street
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 3
recommended The iowa city area's
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 Dining Guide PUBLISHED BY LITTLE VILLAGE
EDITORS Courtenay Bouvier, Kate Conlow ART DIRECTOR Jordan Sellergren PHOTO EDITORS Frankie Schneckloth, James Davies EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Erica Blair, Zoe H. Brown, Drew Bulman, Adam Burke, Joey Ho, Alisa Hrustic, Erin Foust, Wendy Ford, Daniel Khalastchi, Shauna McKnight, Talia Meidlinger, John Miller, Sophie Neems, Josie Neumann, Jacob Petterson, Kathleen Serino, Celine Uhl, Casey Wagner PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS JoJo Baccam, Denzel Bingaman, Adam Burke, Jason Alan Fries, Ofer Sivan DESIGNERS & ILLUSTRATORS Denzel Bingaman, James Davies, Jared Jewell, Jordan Sellergren, Matthew Steele COVER Pullman Bar & Diner. Photo by Ofer Sivan PUBLISHER Matthew Steele Special thanks to distribution partners the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors bureau, whose underwriting also supported ads for CVB member businesses. For information on membership, visit iowacitycoralville.org. DISCLOSURE Editors Courtenay Bouvier and Kate Conlow are both employed part-time at the Motley Cow Cafe. DISTRIBUTION REQUESTS Distro@LittleVillageMag.com AD INQUIRIES Ads@LittleVillageMag.com CREATIVE SERVICES Creative@LittleVillageMag.com CONTACT Little Village, P.O. Box 736 Iowa City, IA 52244 319-855-1474 ONLINE LittleVillageMag.com MOBILE APP Little Village Best of IC Free on iOS, Android
4 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
Magic meals - 10
Experience the area’s culinary miracles.
Small plates - 12 Taste the town’s tapas.
Pasta - 15
There’s a noodle for every palate.
Sustainable Diet - 22
Eat vegetarian. Save the world.
Patios - 25
Appreciate the great outdoors, with drinks.
Quick Bites - 34
Don’t sacrifice taste for time.
Pizza - 36
Discover your perfect pie.
Seafood - 38
Eat fresh fish in the heartland.
Coffee - 40
Caffeinate in style.
Brunch - 42
Great morning meals that sometimes start at 1 p.m.
Bloody Mary - 45 Savor a snack in a glass.
Sweets - 49
Luxuriate with frozen treats.
Join us for dinner and stay for a whole lot more A great place to visit. A great place to live.
Enjoy Iowa City
guides Specialty Markets - 60 Enjoy the world’s flavors, with no delays at O’Hare.
Food Festivals - 64
Celebrate our culinary culture.
C.S.A. - 66
eXPERIENCE iowa city One ingredient - 32
Playdate - 52
Appreciate the versatility of the head.
Drink and dine like you’ve got a score to settle.
Karaoke - 46
Bikeable Breweries - 56
Sing your heart out with your friends.
Share the local bounty.
DOWNTOWN BARs - 68
Drink what the regulars drink.
MOBILE VENDors - 70 Eat well, wherever you are.
Bike, bike, drink. Bike, bike, drink.
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 5
Savor global flavors while basking in infinite charm. 42 Leaf Kitchen
6 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
Features 8 - What’s New
Four area restaurants that hit the ground running in the last year.
16 - Food Access
Though Iowa City is situated amid an abundance of farmland, many in Johnson County are struggling to feed themselves.
28 - Farmer Spotlight
Area livestock producers talk about their business and its charms and challenges.
50 - Insider Info
Waitstaff dish on where they go to eat and drink when they aren’t serving customers.
“We’re about as sustainable as anybody could be.” —Bill Ellison,
Pavelka’s Point Meats
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 7
Notable newbies As the culinary landscape continues to expand in exciting ways, here are four new restaurants that should not be missed.
Pullman Bar & Diner 17 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City
Pullman Diner is doing its part to bring sophisticated diner fare to downtown Iowa City. Owned by six area restaurant personnel, Pullman is small yet classy; full of vintage lighting, exposed brick and original art by Iowa City painter Jamie Boling; and features a totally open kitchen. Despite being on full display to diners, the kitchen staff is able to execute really tasty fare, like brunch’s eggs “en cocotte,” which are soft-cooked eggs with porcini cream, Grana Padano and bacon. At dinner, try the Anson Mills coarse-ground grits with shrimp and smoked pork jus, and the decadently addictive beef marrow bone with bacon jam and fresh herbs. There is also an ample and interesting selection of cocktails, beer and wine.
Forbidden Planet Pizza + Arcade
111 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City Brought to the Ped Mall by area restaurateur Tom Connolly, Jr., alongside business partners 8 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
Cory Ingle and Luther Moss, Forbidden Planet offers pizza, games and a vast selection of beer and cocktails. They also have an espresso machine, so you can fuel yourself on your never-ending quest to rack up high scores on some of your old favorite arcade games, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tetris or Street Fighter II. Ingle uses a woodfire emulator oven to craft authentic Neapolitan pizzas with thin crusts that get just the right char from the oven’s high heat. The restaurant also offers deep-dish concoctions, antipasti and salads, with a vast and fun menu that borrows from video game culture; for example, the “All Hail Gorf” pizza, named after the early-’80s talking arcade game, features rich tomato sauce, mozzarella, chorizo, bacon, pepperoni and beef.
117 First St. N.W., Mount Vernon There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth when chef-owner Matt Steigerwald announced that he was closing the beloved Lincoln Cafe, in Mount Vernon. Fortunately, Mount Vernon native Rachel Sauter was ready in the wings,
eager to take over with her reconceptualized, renamed Palisades Cafe. Palisades has succeeded in calming the restless souls who lamented the lack of an accessible, creative restaurant in the Mount Vernon space. Sauter and her staff serve up a world-class, freakishly tender burger and a variety of sandwiches and salads, but the shining glory of Palisades is the few nightly special offerings. If duck is on the menu, get it; the skin is impossibly crispy, like a perfect duck crackling, while the meat stays moist and pink. Accompaniments for the specials are always an ideal complement, often made of locally sourced ingredients.
Lion Bridge Brewery
59 16th Ave. S.W., Cedar Rapids Lion Bridge Brewery and its co-founder and brewmaster, Cedar Rapids native Quinton McClain, deserve major props for winning a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival within the first year of the brewery’s opening. The award-winning beer, Workman’s Compensation, is an exceedingly drinkable English-style ale with toasty toffee notes. Beer lovers are excited to see what continues to come from the Czech Village-based brewery; so far, offerings include a Czech pilsner and a Jamaican strong ale, plus several others. It’s worth it to visit the brewery and grab a beerfriendly snack at their taproom, but if you’re in Iowa City, look for their beers on tap at area restaurants. LITTLEVILLLAGEMAG.COM/DINING
# LV RECOMMENDS
There is something in this index for most palates and budgets, and each location
listed was selected by editors for the unique
character it brings to our area. Most are here in Iowa City; others are very much worth the drive.
Price range is indicated on a scale of $ to
$$$$ and accounts for each establishment’s average price for a meal from the dinner menu (where applicable), and a drink. $ = $10 and under $$ = $10-$20
$$$ = $20-$30
$$$$ = $30-$40
2 DOGS PUB
1705 1st Ave., Iowa City | 319-337-9047 2dogspub.com | $$
This Eastside restaurant is a hidden local
favorite. The bar features a rotation of well-
selected craft beers, in addition to a full menu with burgers and other standard bar fare.
The kitchen isn’t afraid to get creative—they
recently featured a bacon-wrapped hot dog
with two fried eggs on top—nor are they afraid to let their customers get creative: They have a burger-of-the-month competition where diners design their perfect burger.
900 E. 2nd Ave., Coralville | 319-351-3800 30hop.com | $$$
Enjoy a burger on their giant rooftop patio, or
relax over one of their larger, classic American entrees—either way, though, make sure to try
something from their epic beer selection. See page 35.
Flap Over and Feed the Flock! Best Breakfast in Area • Featured in Midwest Living One of Thrillist’s Best Diners in America Bluebird Diner: 330 E Market St, Iowa City 52245 Bluebird Cafe: 650 W Cherry St, North Liberty 52317
(319) 351 1470 (319) 626 2603
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 9
Chase it with a bourbon and Feel Like a human again. George’s Buffet
RECOMMENDED: MAGIC MEALS
Blissful bites There are moments when you’re eating, and you sigh with certainty that nothing has ever tasted so perfect. These moments can happen often in the Iowa City area, if you know how to look for them. Here’s a starter guide.
A Primal Need
A Personal Connection
There are days, often in winter, when the only thing that will quiet a hungry soul is a cheeseburger. Thankfully, there are cheeseburgers around to provide this balm. Go to Augusta (101 S. Augusta Ave., Oxford) and order a burger with blue cheese, and get a side of fried wild mushrooms. Put the mushrooms on the burger and squish the whole thing together; lick the dripping juice off your hands and arms. Or, stay in town and go to George’s Buffet (312 E. Market St., Iowa City). Order a burger with everything, and leave it wrapped long enough that some of the cheese sticks to the waxed paper, and so that all the toppings— onions, pickles, mustard, ketchup and garlic pepper—melt together. Pick the melted cheese off the waxed paper and eat it, too. Chase it with a bourbon on the rocks. Feel like a human again.
Sometimes, if you go to a place often enough, and you establish a relationship with the staff, they’ll recommend special dishes or bring little treats from the kitchen. This is not uncommon. At Cobble Hill (219 2nd St. S.E., Cedar Rapids), where the head chef was recently named a James Beard award semifinalist, sit at the bar overlooking the kitchen and ask the chefs for their recommendations (but only if they’re not too busy). You will end up with the best selection of food from the seasonally changing menu, like house-made braunschweiger with black garlic and “everything bagel” crumble; or an amuse-bouche of country pâté, dipped in corn dog batter and deep fried; or housemade gnocchi with braised short ribs and creme fraiche. At Thai Spice (1210 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City), ask the server for a recommendation, and you may end up with yam woon sen, or silver noodle salad—a tangle of glass noodles tossed with tender shrimp, red pepper, cilantro and a
10 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
gold mine of pickled garlic, and dressed with tangy fish sauce and lime—and you won’t be able to stop thinking about it for months. At Sushiya (745 Community Dr. #A, North Liberty), learn that if you call in advance, you can experience the beauty of the broiled yellowtail collarbone—a dish that isn’t on the menu. Dig at the bone with chopsticks and fingers until all the succulent meat is stripped bare from the bone and your fingers are sticky with the fish’s savory juices. Crunch on fin tips like potato chips.
The Total Package Sometimes, it’s the perfect combination of setting, scenery, company and food that elevates an experience. On the second and fourth Thursdays of each month throughout the summer, weather permitting, Geyer’s Oven (1259 Rohret Rd. S.W., Oxford) puts together a backyard pizza party, using local ingredients to craft rustic, delicious, thin-crust pizzas with an endlessly inventive cast of toppings. Prices are donation-based, and party-goers bring their own beverages and sides, if they desire. The pizzas are fantastic, but what makes Geyer’s so special is the overall occasion: On any given Thursday you can find a crew of Iowa City graduate students with a 30-pack of PBR sharing pizza with area Mennonites, while children frolic with farm kittens among vibrant flowers. In describing it, Geyer’s seems too idyllic to be true, but it is true, and it is sublime.
A LV RECOMMENDS
A & A PAGLIAI’S PIZZA
302 E. Bloomington St., Iowa City |
319-351-5073 | pagliaisic.com | $$ The Pagliai family has been in the pizza
business in Iowa since 1957, so Pagliai’s is
a respected Iowa tradition. Try the “Palace
Special,” which has sausage, beef, pepperoni, mushroom and onion. See page 36.
22 S. Clinton St., Iowa City | 319-351-9259 |theairlinerbar.com | $$
Famous for pizza and sports-fan crowds, The
Airliner has been an Iowa City tradition since 1944. Located right downtown, the two-
story restaurant is suitable for many social
occasions. Every Tuesday, The Airliner serves half-price pizza, and there are other specials throughout the week.
AMERICAN LEGION #17
3016 Muscatine Ave., Iowa City 319-351-1902 | legion.org | $
Hang out with the locals and enjoy karaoke on Friday nights. See page 46.
THE ARBOR BAR
60 1/2 W. Burlington Ave., Fairfield
641-209-1821 | facebook.com/thearborbar | $ The building that houses The Arbor Bar was, for many years, The Beauty Shop, a music
venue that attracted all manner of local indie musicians. Now, the space has transformed
into a quaint, hole-in-the-wall treasure that still continues its tradition of live music alongside good drinks and a hip atmosphere.
ATLAS WORLD GRILL
127 Iowa Ave., Iowa City | 319-341-7700 atlasiowacity.com | $$$
Snag a spot on the patio to watch the day go by while enjoying a snack and a drink.
The menu reflects the “world grill” theme,
with a variety of dishes to suit any culinary preference. See page 15 and 25.
101 S. Augusta Ave., Oxford | 319-828-2252 augustarestaurant.net | $$$
Enjoy a little homemade taste of New
Orleans in small-town Iowa, with such Big
Easy favorites as gumbo, fried chicken and grillades, in addition to a killer burger. See
page 10, 42 and 45.
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 11
RECOMMENDED: SMALL PLATES
If you are looking to hit the town, but you can’t sit still for an all-night, multi-course affair, count on these destinations for quality small plates and cocktails.
209 N. Linn St., Iowa City Start on the Northside at Brix, which has a warm, homey interior and offers an excellent, regularly changing assortment of cheese, charcuterie, beer and wine. Portions on their cheeseboards are generous. If it’s available, make sure to try the Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor, a goat cheese flecked with black truffle, as well as Iowa’s own Milton Creamery Prairie Breeze aged cheddar. Ask the knowledgeable staff for their recommended wine pairings.
117 N. Linn St., Iowa City After Brix, head down the street to Devotay, where the dimly lit atmosphere and excellent selection of Spanish and Portuguese wines has led to many romantic evenings. They have an expansive list of tapas, but make sure that you try the chorizo with mushroom and sherry, and
12 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
also their lamb and beef meatballs in hazelnut pepper sauce. The staff is accommodating and patient, so do like the Spanish: Relax and take your time exploring their many options.
210 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City Next, head to the heart of the Ped Mall. Located on the first floor of the Sheraton Hotel, the spirit of Share is captured in the name. Small plates, like braised lamb in green curry or the smoked chicken and caramelized onion quesadilla, make up much of the menu; chefs draw inspiration from various global cuisines. Their patio is right next to the summer music stage and is a prime outdoor dining spot in the warmer months.
Clinton Street Social Club 18 ½ S. Clinton St., Iowa City
Finish the night at Clinton Street Social Club.
Though it can be painfully crowded at times, try to belly up to the bar for some creative, delicious food and a cocktail. Their inventive and fun cocktail list offers one of the better selections of boutique spirits in the area; if you’re in the market for a glass of Pappy Van Winkle 15-year bourbon, this is your place. (But the cheaper stuff ’s tasty, too.) Their food menu draws much inspiration from hearty American cuisine. Taste their deviled eggs—then loosen your belt and dig into some house-battered cheese curds, a grilled artichoke with tarragon aioli and a decadent small plate of chili-glazed pork belly.
B LV RECOMMENDS
GET THE FREE IOWA CITY EVENTS APP: TEXT “IOWA” TO 77948
homemade pasta, wood-fired
BOB’S YOUR UNCLE
killer happy hour. See page 15
City | 319-351-7400
903 Quarry Rd., Coralville
backpocketbrewing.com | $$
pizzas, tasty cocktails and a and 25.
503 Westbury Dr., Iowa City
2208 N. Dodge St., Iowa
blackstone-ic.com | $$$
This place specializes in craft
One of the few restaurants on
there are many things to try,
319-358-0001 | $$
Blackstone is locally owned
beer and wood-fired pizza;
and quite a few standouts. See
1800 Boyrum St., Iowa City
This basic Americanized
BARONCINI RISTORANTE ITALIANO
quickly within Iowa City city
104 S. Linn St., Iowa City 319-337-2048
baroncinirestaurant.com | $$$$ Elegant decor and romantic
lighting make Baroncini a great
Chinese takeout place delivers limits. Prices are reasonable and the food is surprisingly tasty for cheap Chinese takeout.
the northeast side of Iowa City,
If you want a menu with
but has the aesthetic polish of
available gluten-free, Bob’s Your
a corporation. Their sprawling menu draws influence from a range of global cuisine—
including Italian, Mexican and
Thai—but the bulk of their menu
consists of American staples like burgers, with notably intriguing
BIG GROVE BREWERY
combinations and elegant presentation.
101 West Main St., Solon 319-624-2337
biggrovebrewery.com | $$$
See page 49.
Downtown Solon’s own
with comforting food, an array
date spot, with a well-curated
wine list and excellent desserts.
bastaiowacity.com | $$$
85 items, half of which are
Uncle will satisfy. This place is
comfortable and family-friendly. It is also an extremely popular
lunch spot, especially for those in the Pearson compound
nearby. They are also one of
the few places in Iowa City that makes gluten-free pizza.
118 E. Washington St., Iowa City 319-337-4703 | $$
330 E. Market St., Iowa City thebluebirddiner.com | $$
Located downtown, Bo James
of beer and a patio firepit to
With a fun staff, funky decor
for big burgers, big beers
Diner offers creative twists on
brewpub feels like a ski chalet,
121 Iowa Ave., Iowa City
com | $$
warm you on cool nights. See
The best things at Basta are
is a family-owned tavern known
and a vast menu, Bluebird
traditional diner fare and is fun for the whole family. See page 40 and 42.
and country music. When
weather permits, grab a bite to eat and enjoy the downtown atmosphere on their patio.
i c s C u o r M r idor e v i L LIVE MUSIC
HUGE BEER GARDEN great beer selection
330 E Washington St
CRAFT BEER selection + GAMES
211 Iowa Ave.
Grilled Cheese great beer selection
13 S Linn St.
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 13
B LV RECOMMENDS
BREAD GARDEN MARKET & BAKERY 225 S. Linn St. | 319-354-4246 breadgardenmarket.com | $$ Located conveniently under
the hotelVetro, Bread Garden Market has a vast selection of grocery items ranging from
boutique to big-brand, but what sets Bread Garden apart is their
expansive selection of prepared foods. See pages 22 and 60.
BRIX CHEESE SHOP & WINE BAR 209 N. Linn St., Iowa City 319-359-1999
brixcheeseshop.com | $$ This wine bar and specialty
shop has a delicious selection
of cheeses, cured meats, wine
and beer; it’s a great place for a
feel, Cate’s features a rotating
and the entertainment options
319-337-2464 | $$
fat yogurts, as well as non-dairy
popcorn, and head to the wall
314 E. Burlington St., Iowa City
Joining the many other Tex-Mex restaurants in the area are
Cactus, and Cactus #2—which
is mere yards from Cactus. You
The clean, minimal interior of
Old Capitol Mall’s bubble tea
shop welcomes you with warm
lighting and select pieces of oak furniture that could have been in your grandparents’ kitchen. Bubble Pop offers a variety of
Rapids | 319-446-7300
of chips that you’ll accidentally
325 E. Washington St. | $$ Sing the night away in one of Bubbleology’s many themed
karaoke rooms. See page 46.
CACTUS MEXICAN RESTAURANT
good. The menu is vast. The
This old-school supper club and
neighborhood bar catering
the trappings of bygone dining:
food is usually tasty and always
101 N. Main St., Fairfield 641-472-0856
cafeparadiso.net | $
the square in Fairfield, Cafe
beautiful artwork from various
The menu includes such items as frogs’ legs, fried chicken
livers and, of course, a variety of steaks. Each entree is delivered with a complimentary relish
tray, a multi-tiered throwback
to a time when cigarettes were
fashionable and martinis were a lunchtime staple.
Its outdoor seating makes
Fairfield’s Maharishi community
Iowa City | 319-351-1690
it a social hotspot for both and townies alike. Those
looking for a delicious weekend
1401 5th St., Coralville 319-338-7007
facebook.com/caffecrema.us | $ Caffe Crema is a popular coffee shop in Coralville, with a variety of drinks to choose from. See page 40.
CATE’S FROZEN YOGURT 2221 Rochester Ave.,
Iowa City | 319-400-9493
catesfrozenyogurt.com | $
facebook.com/CactusIC | $$
Cate’s Frozen Yogurt is a recent
Iowa City native Cate Sarrazin, addition to Iowa City’s food
scene. With a cute and quirky
after a long day at work. The
beer selection is no-frills, with
plenty of domestic choices and a smattering of imports. Snack on fried appetizers while you
play pool or darts and converse
with regulars and the bartender, all of whom know each other. It’s like a miniature version of Cheers but Iowa City-style.
Rapids | 319-366-3177
evening, when it’s not too
411 2nd St., Coralville
looking for a cold bottle of beer
clintonstreetsocial.com | $$$
philosophical debate will be satisfied here.
largely to a crowd of people
COBBLE HILL RESTAURANT
Try to go to Clinton Street on
roasted daily on-site, and deep
downtown, the Club Car is a
18 1/2 S. Clinton St.,
brunch, excellent organic coffee
Owned and operated by
14 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
steakhouse maintains many of
CLINTON STREET SOCIAL CLUB
artists and frequent live music.
245 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City 319-338-5647
theclubcaric.com | $ Located just south of
but overpriced macarons.
11909 16th Ave. S.W., Cedar
122 Wright St., Iowa City
ced-rel.com | $$$
eat too much of. The salsa is
tea. They also sell desserts like and have a rainbow of delicious
sauces; a never-ending basket
shaved ice with adzuki beans
create delicious combinations
net and outdoor seating on the
smothered in indeterminate
hot and cold drinks in flavors like taro, mango and green
wide variety of toppings to
months, they have a volleyball
CED-REL SUPPER CLUB
Paradiso is a casual setting with
319-400-4324 | $
pretzel. Take advantage of the
of lottery machines. In warmer
glass; a combination plate
201 S. Clinton St., Iowa City
flavors, like sea salt caramel
THE CLUB CAR
margarita served in a kitschy
Situated on the corner of
options, all in delicious, creative
unique. Grab a basket of free
of your own.
know what to expect: a gigantic
group of friends to go to avoid the noise of downtown. See
stock of fresh low-fat and non-
219 2nd St. S.E., Cedar cobblehillrestaurant.com | $$$$
a weeknight, or early in the
The chefs at Cobble Hill are
busy, so you can sit at the bar
tradition, and it shows. James
and enjoy an assortment of
American comfort food and
artfully crafted cocktails. See page 12, 38 and 68.
2349 Mehaffey Bridge Rd. N.E., North Liberty | 319-626-6046 facebook.com/club76nlia | $ In warmer weather, biking
around the area’s extensive trails can be a fun weekend activity. North Liberty is a natural stop
for most bikers, many of whom beeline it up Dubuque Street
to Reds Alehouse, but just up the road is this hidden gem.
Club 76 is in an unassuming
building; inside, however, there is a large bar and a lodge-
meets-dive-bar vibe. The staff is
friendly, the regulars interesting
trained in the classic French Beard 2015 Semifinalist for
Best Chef in the Midwest, Chef/ Owner Andy Schumacher
serves some of the area’s most beautifully presented and
elegant food, yet the restaurant
still manages to be comfortable and down-to-earth. This may be attributed to the daily
presence of Schumacher and
his wife Carrie, the restaurant’s
co-owner and general manager, and to their adorable children, who can often be found
coloring at a table, or helping polish silverware. The menu
changes regularly to reflect the
seasons; if there’s some form of housemade charcuterie or pâté on the menu, be sure to try it, though everything is expertly made, so you can’t really go wrong. See page 10.
tender & tasty, with a hint of spice.
Noodle nosh A world of toothsome noodles is available right here in the country’s breadbasket.
201 S. Clinton St., Iowa City Despite the fact that it’s open only for lunch, only on weekdays and only when school is in session, Seoul Grill is thought by many to be among the best restaurants in Iowa City. The spicy seafood noodle soup, known as jam bong, is a highlight. Their selection of ramen and japchae, or sweet potato vermicelli, are also all succulent and complexly spiced. Don’t be discouraged by how busy the restaurant always is; lines move quickly.
1801 2nd St. #200, Coralville Sweet potato vermicelli appears in another of the city’s standout noodle dishes: the warishita sukiyaki at Three Samurai. Served in a clay pot with a lid, this soothing bowl of light, savory broth is rich with noodles, halibut, mussels, shiitake and enoki mushrooms, tofu and tender, slightly bitter chrysanthemum leaves. There are other noodle standouts at Three Samurai, like pho and seafood ramen, but the delicate flavors and balance of the warishita sukiyaki make it an addictive favorite.
127 Iowa Ave., Iowa City It can be challenging to find excellent macaroni and cheese at restaurants. Even the most standard elbow macaroni is delicious smothered in synthetic “cheez” sauce, but restaurants shouldn’t be so formulaic, especially when there’s so much that can be done to make the dish superlative. The chefs at Atlas have figured out the formula: a blend of mozzarella, fontina, parmesan and gruyere, topped with just enough roasted tomato to cut through the richness of the creamy topping. It’s decadent, but not cloying, and as comforting as Grandma’s.
Basta Pizzeria Ristorante
Basta Pizzeria Ristorante 121 Iowa Ave., Iowa City
Of course, some of us call our grandmother “Nonna,” and we may find more nostalgic nurturing in the pasta dishes at Basta. On Sundays only, just like at Nonna’s, Basta serves spaghetti and meatballs. The house-made pasta is a little thicker than you might expect spaghetti to be, giving it an extra-hearty bite, and the meatballs are savory, tender and tasty, with a hint of spice. If you can’t make it there on Sunday, the spaghetti Bolognese is a regular menu item and a reasonable substitute, and all the pastas are made in house, so any one of them is a safe bet.
Also Recommended Zaza’s Pasta Shop and Italian Market 518 Bowery St., Iowa City
If you’re looking for homemade pasta that you can cook in your own cucina, head to Zaza’s Pasta, which features a variety of fresh pasta and other Italian grocery favorites.
Zaza’s Pasta Shop and Italian Market BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 15
With food to spare, disparity remains By Erica Blair
hile growing up in northeast Iowa, food was never a concern for Susan Anderson: Her family ate T-bone steaks each week, the refrigerator overflowed with food and two deep freezers were regularly stocked. And throughout her 20s, when she lived and worked in Tokyo as a part-time English teacher making $40,000 a year, Anderson often dined in restaurants. “We had all we could eat and more,” she said. Today, however, food is not so abundant for the 55-year-old single mother of two. Since moving to Iowa City in 1993, Anderson, whose name was changed for this article, has held retail, day care and service industry jobs. Now disabled for orthopedic and anxiety disorders, she’s been out of work for several years. Yet throughout her entire motherhood, even as a full-time employee, she has needed help accessing enough food for her family. At school, her sons have always qualified for free and reduced lunch. And to provide meals at home, Anderson makes weekly visits to the Crisis Center Food Bank, in addition to purchasing groceries with her recently reduced $35 in monthly SNAP benefits—enough for roughly one trip to the store. But with no car for the past eight years, she buys only what she can carry on the bus, making it difficult to stock up. University of Iowa students. Though commonly assumed otherwise, many students receive no Defining the breadth financial backing from their parents, and now of the issue more than ever, they face the harrowing odds of Susan Anderson is, according to a 2012 finding a well-paying job to pay off loans postreport by Feeding America, one of 18,640 graduation. And because they have access to Johnson County residents facing food insecurity, loans, students don’t qualify for some of the same which the U.S. Department of Agriculture programs as other low-income individuals. “Students are making a choice,” Benson defines as the “lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household Witry said. “Do I go further into debt so that members and limited or uncertain availability of I can feed myself ? Or do I reach out and try to nutritionally adequate foods.” About 14 percent get services?” of Johnson County residents are food insecure— one of the highest rates in the state of Iowa— Why is food access a problem and 40 percent of them don’t receive government in Johnson County? food assistance. The Crisis Center of Johnson County Food Compounding the food insecurity problem Bank is seeing even more visits than ever, says is Iowa City’s distinctly high cost of living, which Food Bank and Emergency Assistance Director directly affects how much people can spend Sarah Benson Witry, with 12,778 individuals at the store. About half of Iowa City residents served in 2014. She adds that households now are renters, and according to a 2013 report by rely on the pantry for more of their food than the University of Iowa Public Policy Center, in the past, a lingering symptom of the 2008 63.5 percent of them are cost burdened, which recession when high-paying jobs were exchanged means more than 30 percent of their income goes for low-wage work without benefits. toward housing. On average, families visit 10 times per year, but This is the highest rate in the state of the range of needs varies widely, Benson Witry said: Iowa. For a single mother to afford a twoAccording to her, roughly 20 percent of families bedroom apartment—with a fair market rate of visit only once during an unexpected emergency, $853 per month—she would need to work 2.3 while about 1 percent of families visit nearly every minimum wage jobs, or 92 hours each week. week to obtain their sole source of food. When Little Village spoke with Mark Patton, “We’re having to do a lot of purchasing Executive Director of the Iowa Valley Habitat from the retail system because people’s needs for Humanity, in September 2014, he noted are too great,” Benson Witry said. Last year, the that with an unhealthy vacancy rate of 0.5 food bank spent $74,000 on about 25 percent of percent (a healthy vacancy rate hovers around its supply in order to cover what corporate and 5 percent) little competition exists between individual donations could not. landlords, keeping rental prices high in Iowa Adding to Johnson County’s large food- City. According to Crissy Canganelli, executive insecure population, Benson Witry says, are director of The Shelter House, the vacancy rate is 16 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
so low because Iowa City’s rental market caters to university students. “It makes it that much more difficult for folks who are living in poverty and have no other resources, who are trying to live on service sector and minimum wage jobs,” she said. While zoning regulations and the cost of land are barriers to increasing the amount of affordable housing in Iowa City, it really comes down to a lack of political will to address this deficit, she said. But there’s yet another issue when it comes to affordable housing: physical access to food. Looking at census tracts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Access Research Atlas identifies two large urban regions in Johnson County that it classifies as food deserts, meaning low-income areas where a third of residents live a mile or more from a supermarket. In Coralville and Iowa City, the food desert to the west is bordered by Interstate 80 and Highway 1, and the food desert to the east slopes south along Highway 6 in what is often referred to as the Southeast Side. The clustering of low-rent apartments in these regions away from affordable grocery stores means that low-income residents must choose between spending more of their budget on transportation or shopping for food at nearby gas stations with limited selections. Some people also seek affordable housing in isolated mobile home courts or even outside city limits, Benson Witry said, which further limits their physical access to food.
What are current area initiatives? Coupled with access to affordable housing is access to land. Fred Meyer of Backyard Abundance, a local organization that helps people turn their grass lawns into productive and food-producing ecosystems, says that this is the greatest barrier for renters growing their own food. If there’s any land on the property, renters would need to ask permission from landlords to use it, and if that doesn’t work, they would need to buy community garden plots, which are often inconveniently located and require transportation. “But even if they have all those things, we model our gardens after our industrialized agriculture system, which requires incredible amounts of energy to keep going,” Meyer said, “so you have to make frequent trips out there.”
14 percent of Johnson County residents are food insecureâ€” one of the highest rates in the state of Iowa.
Local Resource Guide Crisis Center of Johnson County Food Bank
1121 S. Gilbert Ct. | 319-351-0140 | jccrisiscenter.org
The Crisis Center provides residents with essential groceries, such as canned foods, produce, bread and dairy products,
as well as health and hygiene items. Residents can visit once a week.
UI Public Policy Center
310 S. Grand Ave. | 319-335-6800 | ppc.uiowa.edu
The Center reviews and researches a variety of important issues and policies in Iowa and the nation. It provides policymakers and the community ways to develop
sustainably through public engagement and education. Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity
2401 Scott Blvd. | 319-337-8949 | iowavalleyhabitat.org
A nonprofit organization, Habitat for Humanity assists lowincome families through various projects, including the construction of affordable homes of their own. Backyard Abundance
319-325-6810 | backyardabundance.org
Backyard Abundance, an environmental education nonprofit, builds landscapes that supply natural and healthy food and habitat to improve the health of the local environment. Johnson County Social Services
855 S. Dubuque St. | 319-356-6090 | johnson-county.com This organization works mostly with families, youth and
individuals in need, providing services such as child and adult protection, child-care assistance and resources for seniors.
Table to Table
20 E. Market St. | 319-337-3400 | table2table.org
This food rescue nonprofit collects edible food donations
from area restaurants, grocery stores, schools and hospitals, and distributes them to people in need. Local Foods Connection
319-338-2010 | localfoodsconnection.com
This nonprofit works to build a local, sustainable food system by connecting individual families and social service agencies with fresh produce and healthy food. Shelter House
429 Southgate Ave. | 319-351-0326 | shelterhouseiowa.org
Shelter House provides people experiencing homelessness in Iowa City with housing and other services, such as breakfasts and dinners, showers and laundry.
Crisis Center Food Bank BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 17
Iowa City operates only one community garden, at Wetherby Park, with about 100 plots for Iowa City’s approximately 70,000 residents. Mike Moran, the Director of Parks and Recreation, notes that another community garden will be added this spring at Chadek Green Park, offering 50 more plots to the community. Still, Meyer says that even if land access wasn’t a problem, other barriers exist: equipment, knowledge and time. “How do you tell a single mother of two, who’s working two jobs, to go out and maintain a garden?” he said. Roughly 30 percent of Iowa City residents live below the poverty line, and following the national trend, incomes aren’t keeping up with the rising cost of living. Like housing, food prices also continue to climb—especially in the produce section and at the meat counter. For instance, in 2014, the cost of oranges rose by about 17 percent and the cost of beef rose by about 10 percent. This is due to a number of factors, such as poor growing conditions (across the globe, droughts, flooding and extreme temperatures are occurring with more frequency), disease (new strains of the PED virus have killed millions of pigs, and bacteria has wiped out orchards of citrus trees) and transportation (even when gas prices subside, as they have for the past few months, food prices don’t always follow suit). All of this means that fresh fruits, vegetables and protein are harder to come by for low-income individuals than grainheavy and calorie-dense processed foods, which have remained relatively stable over the years. “Rather than trying to figure out how to get people access to food, which seems like the right thing to do, I’d really like to steer the conversation in another direction and talk about how we can promote equality in our community,” Meyer said, “so that the issue of food access starts to evaporate. It takes care of itself.” Raising the minimum wage could be one step (of many) toward that direction. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, introduced by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and California Representative George Miller, would boost the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over three years. Opponents argue that such a raise would cause a ripple effect, increasing costs throughout the entire food system and therefore increasing the cost of food. But the Food Labor Research Center at University of California Berkeley, which studied a predecessor of the Miller/Harkin bill in 2012 when $9.80 was on the table, reached a different conclusion: Prices at the store would
grow by less than half of one percent, at most, while incomes for minimum wage employees would jump by 33 percent. “If people had the opportunity to make enough money for themselves and their families, they would not be food insecure,” Benson Witry said. “That’s a pretty simple solution, but how you get there is really complicated.”
How do we improve food access in Johnson County? Last July, community members gathered in the Coralville Public Library to discuss just that at the first-ever Johnson County Hunger Forum. As a result of that event, city council member Kingsley Botchway and Crisis Center director Becci Reedus established the Johnson County Hunger Task Force, a group composed of government leaders, food pantries and other organizations working to alleviate hunger. Johnson County Social Services director Lynette Jacoby, who helped assemble members of the group, says that the purpose was to bring together people of various disciplines to collectively address hunger issues.
“How do you tell a single mother
of two, who’s working two jobs, to go out and maintain a garden?”
18 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
“We know that there are lots of different groups that are working on food insecurity and feeding Johnson County,” she said, “but a lot of them are working in their silos.” The task force has identified priorities and formed three subcommittees: access, healthy foods and collaboration. Plans for county-specific assessments and surveys are underway, with the hope that results could be analyzed by summer of this year, Jacoby says. In the meantime, other community members continue using creative strategies to improve food access. Meyer proposes one of the more unconventional approaches: Give people free food from the land itself. For him, the concept of the edible landscape initiative is simple: There’s plenty of land available right where we live, so why not use it to grow food? Backyard Abundance planted the first edible landscape in 2011 beside the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center, and the program has since expanded to include a small herb garden by the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp and 1/3
of an acre at Wetherby Park. Part of the mission of these edible landscapes, Meyer says, is to demonstrate that “we can grow food in ways that make it available to anyone and everyone who’s willing to help cultivate it and then harvest it.” Table to Table is a local nonprofit that runs a food rescue operation (FRO). Volunteers pick up food that is nearing expiration, but is still wholesome and edible, from grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, schools and hospitals, and then redistribute it to agencies that serve people in need. For instance, Red Lobster donates baked potatoes that haven’t sold within 20 minutes, as well as any food that hasn’t been sold for five days. “We’re essentially taking something that has no marketable value, but we’re leveraging that value by distributing it at no charge to the agencies,” Table to Table Director Bob Andrlik said. The organization began in 1996 as Iowa’s first FRO, and within the first year rescued about 40,000 pounds of food using volunteer vehicles. Today, with a fleet of five vans, 64 routes each week and 110 volunteers, the organization diverts more than one million pounds of food from the waste stream annually. Other than improving food access, Andrlik said there are other reasons for keeping food from going to waste, like reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the landfill. “And when you look at all the processing and transportation and packaging, it’s just crazy in my mind to throw those things away,” he said. Another area organization, Local Foods Connection (LFC), serves the dual purpose of improving access to fresh and local sources of food while also supporting small farmers in the area. Despite being an agricultural hub, Iowa still imports an estimated 90 percent of its food. Currently, the organization serves about 50 low-income individuals and families by giving them vouchers at the local farmers’ markets or by enrolling them in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm shares. This is important because only a handful of farmers’ market vendors have digital card readers, preventing individuals who receive government assistance from using EBT cards, says LFC Assistant Director Cassidy Bell. Susan Anderson has been a client of Local Foods Connection for a total of four years now, though not all consecutive. She said that if it weren’t for the program, she probably wouldn’t go to the farmers’ markets. Anderson recalled a recent field trip to Wilson’s Orchard that the organization arranged, where she got to walk through the farm and drink hot apple cider. “It was such a great gift,” she said, because though she’d wanted to go for years, not having a car made the trip impossible. “There’s a real consciousness, concern and compassion here in Johnson County for those who need food.”
C LV RECOMMENDS
2253 Old Hwy 218 S., Iowa City 319-338-1573 | $
People go to Colonial Lanes for the bowling, mostly. But they keep going back for the
quirky miniature diner, the sunken bar and the Jell-O shots. See page 52.
COTTAGE BAKERY & CAFE
230 E. Benton St., Iowa City | 319-351-0052 cottagebakerycafe.com | $$
Hidden away on Benton Street, the Cottage
Bakery never fails to offer delicious breakfast and lunch options. Stop in for one of their
famous cinnamon rolls topped with layers and layers of frosting, or, for something savory,
order a classic deli sandwich, a hummus wrap or a hot veggie panini. If you find that you
want to share their tasty menu with all your friends, you’re in luck, because they cater.
219 Iowa Ave, Iowa City TakanamiDowntown.com
“Best Sushi” 11 Years in a Row IC Press Citizen Best of Reader’s Poll
Happy Hour Specials: Sunday - Thursday
CRÊPES DE LUXE CAFÉ
309 E. College St., Iowa City | 319-887-2233 crepes-de-luxe.com | $
Step into Crêpes de Luxe Café for unique
French cuisine matched with an exceedingly friendly staff. Watch as your crêpe of
choice is made right before your eyes with
mouthwatering ingredients such as Nutella and strawberries, or herb chicken, house-
made aïoli and Swiss cheese. They also offer buckwheat crêpes made with buckwheat
harvested in Newton, Iowa—a delicious and healthy twist on traditional crêpes.
1430 Willow Creek Ct., Iowa City
319-354-7400 | danesdairy.com | $ Open only in summer, family-favorite Dane’s is a blast from the past, with delicious,
inexpensive frozen treats. See page 49.
DAVE’S FOX HEAD TAVERN
402 E. Market St., Iowa City | 319-351-9824 iowacitysoldestbars.tumblr.com | $
Traditionally frequented by writers, the Fox Head is Iowa City’s oldest bar and appears
in all manner of literary works, and rightly so:
Despite its tiny size, the place is great. It’s dark, it’s cheap, there’s pool, the jukebox is eclectic, the people are eccentric and their stories
are grand. The drink selection is minimal, a
reflection of the legendary stubbornness of
the owner, but this is the kind of bar where all
you need’s a whiskey with a beer back. It’s the perfect local watering hole for a literary town that likes its booze. See page 68.
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 19
Featuring Fried Chicken Sunday Supper Fundraisers! Serving free range Amish chicken, with sides and a dessert from 5pm—9pm. Join us to help support a local charity every week!
Serving Breakfast 7 days a week
Check out our regular menu online and on our FB page. For information on fundraising for your group, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Burger & Shine Featuring 30 Iowa Craft Beers on Tap Short’s Downtown 18 S. Clinton St. (319) 337-4678
Short’s Eastside 521 Westbury Dr. (319) 338-7743
20 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
Stella “ The Dundee ”
A short walk from Kinnick Stadium and University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. 1006 Melrose Ave. — (319) 887-5564 BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 21
Bread Garden Market
Meet a chef David Burt is an area chef who co-founded the much-beloved vegan restaurant The Red Avocado, which closed in
2012. After the restaurant’s closing, Burt
returned to the board of Field to Family,
a non-profit, local foods advocacy group that serves vegetarians and omnivores alike, and he also started Four Square
Meals, a weekly meal subscription service that focuses on local, vegetarian, wholefoods meals.
Appetizers at Motley Cow Cafe 160 N. Linn St., Iowa City
RECOMMENDED: SUSTAINABLE DIET
Veg out Treat your body and the planet right with Chef David Burt’s top vegetarian picks. Breakfast at the Iowa City Farmers
Lunch at New Pioneer Co-op 22 S. Van Buren St., Iowa City
The Farmers Market, which takes place Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings, May through October, is a gathering of many of the best area farmers. Food vendors join in the outdoor market, and many, including Local Burrito, highlight the season’s local produce. “At the Iowa City Farmers Market, I regularly visit Local Burrito,” says Burt. “They offer vegan, vegetarian and omnivore options, and the burritos are all perfect Saturday morning market food.”
“For a sandwich, I turn to the vegan cajun tofuwich from New Pioneer Food Co-op, which features warm, blackened tofu, with tomato, avocado and pepperoncini,” says Burt. Though Burt prefers the classic, quick New Pi sandwich, another good lunch option for vegans and vegetarians is Bread Garden Market, where they use local vegetables all summer long for their salad and hot food bars, providing a great variety for downtown diners. They offer a gigantic selection of soups, salad items and prepared dishes, like sesame kale, vegetable stir fry and curried cauliflower soup.
415 E. Washington St., Iowa City May-October, Saturdays from 7 a.m. - 12 p.m.
22 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
“The Motley Cow has recently had some vegetable sides which are just remarkable,” Burt says. “In the fall, I ate a small plate of slow-roasted, Iowa-grown carrots with sesame puree, and I always look forward to what David Wieseneck, the chef and owner, does with vegetables in warmer months. I also really like their fries.” Dinner at Trumpet Blossom 310 E. Prentiss St., Iowa City Trumpet Blossom’s vegan menu focuses on local and organic produce in creative preparations; chefs pickle and preserve when vegetables are at their peak, and the restaurant maintains a seasonal menu.“I go with the feature and/or fries at the Trumpet Blossom,” Burt says. “One summer, I enjoyed a simple, but delicious mixed grilled vegetable plate, where the vegetables were allowed to take center stage.”
D LV RECOMMENDS
3560 E. Court St., Iowa City | 319-339-0055 daylightdonutsic.com | $
Since its opening in 2011, Daylight Donuts
has enjoyed a great deal of word-of-mouth
popularity and established itself as a mainstay in Iowa City for a sweet breakfast treat and a good, cheap cup of coffee. It takes pride
in its customer service, hometown feel and homemade doughnuts. If you’re feeling
adventurous, try their maple bacon longjohns or a sausage roll—a cheddarwurst wrapped in sweet dough and fried.
6 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City | 319-351-9417 | $ This dive bar is big enough that there’s space for everyone, from football fans to people
studying, and the nightly specials offer some
good deals—look for the creatively decorated specials board out front. See page 45.
DELUXE CAKES & PASTRIES
812 S. Summit St., Iowa City | 319-338-5000 deluxecakesandpastries.com | $
On any given Saturday, Deluxe is the perfect
embodiment of a neighborhood joint: Parents sip coffee while their kids read or play in
the little front yard; a St. Bernard lolls on the stoop; someone stops in for a freshly made
cronut and ends up staying, chatting, for the better part of the day. In addition to being a
charming gathering place, Deluxe has sinfully delicious, buttery baked goods; try a petit four or macaron, and good luck stopping after just one!
117 N. Linn St., Iowa City | 319-354-1001 devotay.net | $$$
An Iowa City pioneer in the locavore
movement, Devotay features small plates and artful cocktails, along with beer and wine, in their small, intimate space. See page 12.
110 E. College St., Iowa City | 319-338-7355 donnellyspub-ic.com | $$
This bar and restaurant is a madhouse on Hawkeye game days, as are most bars in
the greater downtown area. Try to go at a
quieter time, get a basket of wings and some “frickles” (fried pickles) and enjoy a beer in
the dark-wooded interior. Also, free popcorn! See page 68.
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 23
D LV RECOMMENDS
5 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City | 319-337-7660 | $ The Dublin is Iowa City’s most authentic Irish bar, popular among pool players, locals and anyone who likes whiskey. See page 68.
At Trumpet Blossom we specialize in creative seasonal dishes while focusing on sustainability by using no animal products and sourcing as
possible. We are committed to using organically-grown items because food should comfort and nourish you as well as the land that provides it and the folks who grow it.
327 E. Market St., Iowa City | 319-358-2836 elbanditosiowacity.com | $$
Tucked into the Northside neighborhood,
El Banditos offers a wide variety of delicious Mexican dishes made from family recipes
Tuesday-Thursday 11am-9pm Friday & Saturday 11am-10pm Sunday Brunch 10am-3pm
Happy Hour Tuesday-Saturday 2pm-5pm with appetizers & full bar menu
We proudly offer 12 regional beers on tap, a rotating wine list, and seasonal
featuring quality spirits. Enjoy our shaded creek-side patio and live music on our custom-built stage.
Trumpet Blossom Café Where Comfort Food is Sustainable Est. 2012 Katy Meyer, Chef/Owner
457 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City | 319-337-9090 falbobrosiowa.com | $
2100 Norcor Ave., Coralville | 319-248-9090 falbobrospizza.com | $
Offering late-night pizza, Falbo’s is particularly popular among the undergraduate set. See page 36.
icfilmscene.org | $$
of the best brunches in town—don’t miss the
118 E. College St., Iowa City | 319-358-2555
chilaquiles with chorizo. See page 44.
Primarily a movie theater, FilmScene has a
EL PASO TAQUERIA AND LATIN MARKET
selection of wine, which can make those
319-338-3703 | $
Inside El Paso bodega is a food counter and
good selection of beers on tap and a small three-hour arthouse movies go by a little
faster. There’s also a small selection of locally made snacks, in addition to the traditional popcorn and candy. See page 52.
you can sit outside at picnic tables with a view
FORBIDDEN PLANET PIZZA + ARCADE
though, it absolutely makes up for in utter
319-358-6400 | $$
minimal seating. When the weather’s good,
of Highway 6. What it’s lacking in ambience, deliciousness. The gigantic burritos are an
111 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City
adventure in each bite: a bit of cheese here;
This brand-new pizza arcade has tasty pizza,
the chicken! The tacos and tortas are super
collection that nerds dream of. See page 8
some killer guac there; and look—there’s
authentic. Grab a Mexican Coke and get your
a huge selection of drinks, and a video game and 52.
couch when you’re done eating.
formosadowntown.com | $$$
102 B 2nd Ave., Iowa City | 319-354-4710,
221 E. College St., Iowa City | 319-338-8880
exoticindiarestaurant.com | $$
Located on the first floor of hotelVetro,
The best time to go to Exotic India is at lunch,
atmosphere along with quick service and
for the buffet, which has a delicious selection of both vegetarian and meat dishes. There
are also appetizers and soup, and each table gets a fresh basket of hot naan to sop up the
delicious sauces. The dinner menu is vast and
Formosa boasts a stylish and modern
great sushi. They’ve got some of the best
deals on sushi and drinks during the week, but the place is always quick to fill up at dinner, so get there early.
interesting, and dinner items are tasty, though
FAIR GROUNDS CAFE
If Mount Vernon had a living room, it would
fairgroundscoffeehouse.com | $
regularly gather for delicious coffee and
they tend to be on the smaller side.
345 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City | 319-338-2024
103 1st St. E., Mount Vernon | 319-895-8429 | $
be Fuel Nest. College students and locals baked goods. See page 40.
from the Greyhound bus station, serves up
FUNCREST DAIRY & GRILL
Great for vegans and omnivores alike, Fair
319-351-4141 | $
intriguing vegan twists on traditional dishes. Grounds features dishes such as vegan super nachos, with vegan cheese melted over the usual nacho fixings. Fair Grounds is also
24 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
FALBO BROS. PIZZERIA
on fresh and local. Pro tip: Banditos has one
This coffee shop, located around the corner
310 E Prentiss Street, Iowa City
traditional Mexican flavors with an emphasis
order to go, but good luck getting off the
a variety of baked treats, some of which are
and local ingredients. Banditos embodies
609 Hollywood Blvd., Iowa City
home to Howling Dogs Bakery, which makes
3977 W. Overlook Rd. N.E., Iowa City
Ride your bike out to Funcrest in the summer and reward yourself with a root beer float
Watch the moon rise, and breathe with gratitude.
Under the sun & stars
If timed correctly, you could follow the path of the sun and the rise of the moon on the patios of area restaurants, while enjoying a variety of creative and gratifying treats.
120 E. Burlington St., Iowa City Downtown, it makes sense to start at The Mill, where the midday sun shines bright on the large, comfortable patio, which boasts wooden benches and lots of tables. The Mill has a broad selection of local tap beers, interesting imports and fresh, herbal cocktails. Start with a Sutliff cider and a half order of the chicken nachos, sitting on a bench with your feet up on a chair, a book in your lap and the sun in your face.
127 Iowa Ave., Iowa City As the sun dips behind the restaurant, slink catlike to Atlas, perhaps best known for its prime patio location. Theirs is the perfect sunny perch LITTLEVILLLAGEMAG.COM/DINING
to enjoy a mojito, the succulent “shrimp Voodoo” or a Thai chicken satay salad, and some prime people-watching.
121 Iowa Ave., Iowa City Then, inch next door to Basta, where happy hour is a rite of spring, and rightly so: There is little better than watching the sun set over the Pentacrest while sipping prosecco and noshing on a properly charred thin-crust pizza, a lavish meat and cheese plate, or a killer salad with seared steak, beets, gorgonzola and pistachios.
900 E. 2nd Ave., Coralville If you’re looking to get out of downtown, head
to the Iowa River Landing, where you can sample from the extensive menu and enjoy a beer while luxuriating on the mammoth rooftop patio at 30hop. The cast of 60 or so draft beers changes regularly, and you can be sure there’s something on their expertly curated list you’ve just been dying to try.
Tuscan Moon Grill on Fifth 203 5th St., Kalona
And sometimes, especially on those perfectly sunny days where you find yourself breathless from Iowa’s beauty, you’ve got to get out to the country. About 20 miles southwest of Iowa City lies the tiny little burg of Kalona. Among the Amish residents and well-tended antique shops sits one of the loveliest patios in the area, at Tuscan Moon. Spend the day shopping, have a beer and play some Scrabble at Kalona Brewing Company, and then repair to the patio at “The Moon” for a grilled steak or a creative and succulent fish special; no matter what, if they’re available that night, get the cheesy, pillowy potato cakes. Watch the moon rise over the open Kalona skies, sip a hearty cabernet from the vast wine list and breathe with gratitude. BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 25
G LV RECOMMENDS
while you perch atop the Coralville Dam and
GABBY’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT
Locals, whiskey, beer and cheeseburgers
319-627-7178 | $
crowd. See page 10.
enjoy the view. See page 49.
1100 N. Columbus, West Liberty
312 E. Market St., Iowa City | 319-351-9614 | $
make George’s a favorite with the Iowa City
What it lacks in ambience, Gabby’s Mexican
authenticity. The menu in this teeny restaurant
geyersovenbreadandpizza.com | $
Restaurant makes up for in flavor and
features Mexican-style “street tacos”—corn
1259 Rohret Rd. S.W., Oxford | 319-325-6609
tortillas, meat, onion, cilantro and lime—and
In summers only, Geyer’s serves delicious
and menudo. For the less-adventurous among
their Facebook page for weekly updates. See
other traditional Mexican dishes, like tortas us, there are also Americanized dishes and combination plates.
330 E. Washington St., Iowa City 319-351-9175 | icgabes.com | $
This legendary dive bar and music venue is practically dripping with music cred; pretty
much any Iowa City music fan can regale you
with tales of the band who passed through town and played Gabe’s before they were famous. Independent of the music scene, Gabe’s is a
well-seasoned, slightly gritty watering hole with a vast beer garden that’s a great place to bum
an American Spirit. Expect a no-frills, PBR-andwhiskey crowd. See page 68.
wood-fired pizza in an idyllic setting; check page 10.
109 E. College St., Iowa City | 319-338-5967 givannis.net | $$$
GOLDEN DELIGHT BAKERY
2289 Johnson Washington Rd., Kalona 319-646-3030 | $
Run by an Amish family, the gaslit Golden Delight Bakery makes impossibly fluffy,
decadent glazed donuts, cinnamon rolls and
a variety of breads, pastries and pies. You can also find children’s books containing Amish morality tales, quilts, preserves, handmade
rocking chairs and Grandfather clocks. Make sure to call before you go, as their hours are sporadic.
GREYHOUND DELI & FRONTIER HERBS
1100 3rd St. S.E., Cedar Rapids (at NewBo City Market) | 319-200-4050
facebook.com/greyhounddeli | $$
Step into Givanni’s and find yourself amid
Located inside the NewBo City Market,
abstract impressionist artwork. Sip on a glass
sourcing as many ingredients as possible from
original 1880’s brick and contemporary
of wine from an extensive drink menu and
order your favorite Italian-American dish, like their Chicken Marsala, dripping with creamy
sauce. Give the patio a try during the summer, and enjoy dining al fresco while live music
resonates in the background from the Friday Night Concert Series.
Greyhound Deli focuses on local food,
other vendors in the Cedar Rapids market.
They also locally source their chicken, beef, eggs and seasonal produce. Sandwiches,
soups and salads are all made from scratch, and there is a large selection of vegetarian and vegan fare.
Formosa’s vibrant location at the gateway to the Ped Mall in Iowa City offers a hip venue for some of the most sought after sushi in the Midwest. Formosa has become known for some of its untraditional menu items like its most popular sushi roll, the Las Vegas and its Cotton Candy Martini which is served a top a cloud of spun sugar. With over 40 sushi rolls on its menu, Formosa is perfect for both a sushi novice and connoisseur.
Eating at Givanni’s is a timeless experience. This downtown restaurant has been offering made-from-scratch Italian cuisine for 30 years. The tantalizing menu features homemade pastas such as Sweet Potato Ravioli and Gnocchi, hand-rolled flat bread pizzas, and steaks that rival the best in Iowa City. The ambiance at Givanni’s is equally as inspiring, offering diners an incomparable atmosphere with an art deco flair & original artwork. 26 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
Takanami has been a mainstay in downtown Iowa City for a decade. Focusing on Asian-inspired cuisine and award-winning sushi, Takanami recently added Teppan grills to its line up of impressive cuisine. The Teppan experience is equal parts theatrical show and social dining as the chefs prepare the food on grills in front of the diners.
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HEYN’S ICE CREAM
811 S. 1st Ave., Iowa City | 319-354-1981 | $
gumbyspizzeria.com | $$
Gumby’s cheesy garlic bread sticks, or “Pokey stix,” are as much an Iowa City institution as
Hawkeye football for the undergrad crowd.
They are open late and deliver in the area until 2 a.m. or later.
214 N. Linn St., Iowa City | 319-337-5512
301 E. Market St., Iowa City | 319-338-5382
1100 N. Dodge St., Iowa City | 319-338-3063 hilltoptavernnorthside.com | $$
HER SOUP KITCHEN
625 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City | 319-354-1602
Alongside salads and sandwiches made with
The Hilltop Tavern has been a Deweyville neighborhood joint since 1933; in more
hersoupkitchen.com | $$
butternut squash bisque.
HIGH GROUND CAFE
with families, students and politicians. See
pepper, to chicken corn chowder and
is worth a little detour. See page 49.
at this popular downtown study space. See
This Iowa City landmark is super popular
and that range from beef chili, to poblano
downtown path, but its homemade ice cream
Enjoy pour-over coffee or an espresso drink
hamburginn.com | $$
offers handcrafted soups that change daily
Family-owned Heyn’s is off the beaten
highgroundcafe.com | $
HAMBURG INN NO. 2, INC
fresh, local ingredients, Her Soup Kitchen
702 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City | 319-354-8629
recent years, they’ve added a selection of video games and pool tables, and they
regularly host euchre tournaments. The kitchen stays open until 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and the menu is
surprisingly vast for a late-night bar. Regulars swear by the reuben and the patty melt, and
more adventurous diners can order a basket
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of deep-fried chicken gizzards or livers.
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 27
Meet Your Farmer By Courtenay Bouvier and Kate Conlow On their small farm nestled between Solon and Mount Vernon, Lois Pavelka and Bill Ellison of Pavelkaâ€™s Point Meats have set the local standard for sustainable livestock production.
28 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
ois Pavelka and Bill Ellison operate Pavelka’s Point Meats, raising livestock on their combined farms between Mount Vernon and Solon. You can regularly find Lois at area farmers’ markets, including Iowa City’s downtown and winter markets and the Mount Vernon market. Their consistently delicious meats are regularly featured on the menus at Devotay, El Banditos, Kalona Brewing Company, Motley Cow Cafe, Orchard Green, Salt Fork Kitchen and Sanctuary Pub. How did you get into the livestock business? Lois Pavelka: The basic facts are: My husband [a crop farmer] died; Bill was the neighbor, his wife had died. We had a big farm sale to get rid of my machinery, and after that he told me he loved me. Bill says, “We can farm.” I say, “Oh. No.” And then he said, we can farm, and we did. You know—he convinced me. And then he said we’ll never survive doing corn and beans—doing that kind of farming—so he says, “You can do farmers’ markets.” So the day I retired [from being a school nurse for the Mount Vernon Community School District], I did my first farmers’ market in 2006 in Mount Vernon. We started with pork. We added lamb. And then we added beef. Bill, Did you raise livestock before? Was that your thing? Bill Ellison: That’s all I’ve ever done. LP: No, it’s not all he’s ever done. He’s also been a long-distance truck driver with Jim [Ellison, Bill’s brother]. And he’s also been an auctioneer since he was 17. And I’m not biased at all, but he’s really good [at auctioning]. He works at Sharpless once in a while and then he did the produce [auction in Kalona] all summer. So he swept you off your feet? LP: Yes, and we started farming all over like 20-year-olds, purchasing used machinery. He is just always is a risk taker, and I’m real conservative. And when we really started doing farmers’ markets, I had retired then and somebody told me, “Oh, you should do Iowa City.” And I said, “Oh, no, I’m afraid of Iowa City, I don’t know anything about it, it’s hard to drive around.” I’m a country bumpkin [laughs]. BE: That’s where all the weirdos live. LP: And my gosh, I fell in love with Iowa City. I mean the people. I’ve got relationships. I just get almost emotional. Because Bill laughs, “Your people”—they really are my people. BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 29
There is all this push toward sustainability and environmental farm practices. How does your operation fit into this larger idea? LP: For one thing, Bill had become adamant, years before people started talking about GMOs, he was saying, “We’re not going to raise GMO beans or corn.” BE: We were country before country was cool, you know? I’ve never used anhydrous ammonia, I see those going through the field. LP: And he was always crazy about pesticides— chemicals of any kind. BE: We feed [our livestock] most of our crops. You talk about sustainable, we’re about as sustainable as anybody could be. LP: You get the whole cycle, because we’ve got all this corn, beans, sheep, lambs—what did I miss—beef, hogs, horses, chickens … and we feed non-GMO crops and it does make a difference. I can see it in the livestock, you know I can give it a diet of this and a diet of this and you can just see it change. 30 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
So to what do you attribute the quality of your product? LP: They are raised outside, they have kind of a normal life. They come inside and sleep, they go outside and play ... we have a pasture down by the Cedar River, and that’s where Bill takes hogs—mothers and babies, sows and pigs—in the summer, and they stay down there. It’s sandy, and they can roll around. What are your thoughts on the future of small farms? LP: I’d like to think there’s going to be an upsurge of small farms. BE: There’ll be more people like us, who choose to learn our set-up, because we can’t do this forever, you know. Do you have an emotional attachment to the animals? BE: Oh, I do. I do more than Lois does … I can put tears in my eyes if I sat here and thought about it, you know ... I get more involved with
We feed non-GMO
crops, and it does make a difference—I can see it in the livestock.
the cattle. A pig is a hard thing to get attached to, especially the son of a bitch who won’t pause when you’re trying to load him, you know, and they bite you and they hurt you… the lambs. I have a hard time with the lambs, because lambs are gentle and they’re the lamb of God type thing. What are the challenges and rewards of being small business owners? LP: Juggling the money. BE: I just like to work. I do. One of my mantras is when I come in at night, all my animals will have been fed, watered and bedded to the best of my ability or I don’t come to the house.
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BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 31
227 E. Washington St., Iowa CIty
319-354-2775 | indiacafeiowa.com | $$ The lunch buffet at India Café is vast and varied, containing both vegetarian and
meat entrees and a variety of salads and
condiments. Their aloo channa chat—a spicy
snack of chick peas, potatoes and onions—will cool your palate in between the richer curries and provides a nice textural foil to the rest
of the buffet. There is also a menu that offers delicious variety.
IOWA CHOP HOUSE
223 E. Washington St., Iowa City
319-359-1078 | theiowachophouse.com | $$$
One of Iowa City’s newer establishments,
this restaurant proudly emphasizes steaks
EXPERIENCE: ONE INGREDIENT
and filet mignon, which can be spiced up
Head over heels
and chops, including sirloin, porterhouse
with bold flavors such as blue cheese crust,
béarnaise sauce or bacon butter. What really sets this place apart is their vast, interesting and thoughtful lineup of local and regional
craft beers that you can learn about at their
Experience some of the most succulent, yet frequently underused, parts of mammals and fish when you explore the culinary beauties of the head. From “face bacon” to lengua, wasting these above-the-neck ingredients is a crime against the tastebuds.
interactive, self-serve beer tap.
IOWA RIVER POWER RESTAURANT 501 1st Ave., Coralville | 319-351-1904 iowariverpower.net | $$$
Offering a fantastic view of the Iowa River,
this turn-of-the-century power plant turned restaurant is most known for its Sunday
brunch, though they also offer dinner seven
days a week. IRP is an Iowa City favorite and
destination for visiting parents and alumni, so weekends can be very busy. See page 44.
211 1/2 E. Washington St., Iowa City 319-341-0012
713 Mormon Trek Blvd., Iowa City 319-887-1215
200 Hawkins Dr., Iowa City | 319-356-1817 1575 1st Ave. S., Iowa City | 319-248-2074 thejavahouse.com | $
The Java House exudes community; what should be a quick coffee run soon turns
into a social affair. Customers even have the
opportunity to join the live audience of Iowa
Public Radio’s “Java Blend” Fridays at 2 p.m. at the Washington Street location. Cozy antique furniture and beautiful artwork create a
comfortable ambience, so grab a good book and a fresh-brewed cup of coffee from their pour-over coffee bar, and settle in.
32 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
There is plenty of head to go around in Iowa City. Probably its most accessible form is guanciale, affectionately known as “face bacon.” Norwalk, Iowa’s famous La Quercia uses pork jowl to make killer guanciale, which is an unsmoked, herbacious, intensely porky addition to any recipe, or the foundation for a next-level BLT. Look for guanciale on area menus, where it appears occasionally, or order directly from the La Quercia website (laquercia.us); unfortunately, their guanciale is unavailable in Iowa City area groceries, though many of La Quercia’s other delectable meats are.
You can also enjoy some excellent tongue at Szechuan House. Though tripe can often be rubbery or have a too-funky aroma, the tripe in Szechuan House’s ox tongue and tripe with chili sauce has an almost vegetal freshness and texture, providing a perfect contrast to the chewy, earthy ox tongue. The housemade chili oil, which has a perfect bass note of fermented black bean, elevates the dish to a sublime experience of textural contrast with the slow onset of exquisite heat.
La Regia Taqueria 436 Hwy. 1, Iowa City
Two different, equally succulent head offerings are available at La Regia Taqueria for your enjoyment: cabeza (beef cheek) or lengua (beef tongue). Both meats are marinated, braised until infinitely tender and chopped fine, and they are available in any one of La Regia’s many dishes. The smoked arbol hot sauce is exquisite on a street-style cabeza taco, which is served in two soft corn tortilla shells and topped with raw onion, cilantro and a squeeze of lime; in fact, any of the house-made hot sauces are the perfect foil for the rich, fatty meats.
320 E. Burlington St., Iowa City
745 Community Dr. #A, North Liberty Perhaps you prefer your head in fishy form. At Sushiya, when you order the amaebi (sweet shrimp) nigiri, you will be presented not only with plump, raw shrimp on a little nugget of rice, you will also receive the lightly fried, tempura-battered heads. Grab the head by the snout and forelegs (these are not scientific terms) and bite into it; the shell, when fried, becomes a delicious, crunchy and entirely edible casing for savory bits of meat and deliciously creamy shrimp brain—but don’t eat the eyes, or else they’ll be able to see your insides on the way down ….
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TO YOUR NEXT CONFERENCE, EVENT, OR NIGHT ON THE TOWN.
The Englert Theatre offers affordable rates for conferences, weddings, private parties, and other events. For more information, contact executive director Andre Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 33
RECOMMENDED: QUICK BITES
Counter productive The Iowa City area has many options that cater to your schedule without skimping on flavor or quality.
600 N. Dodge St., Iowa City | 319-512-5028 5 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City | 319-359-1181 | nodoiowacity.com With competitive prices, Nodo has the upper hand of having a creative menu and being meticulously crafted. The selections range from wraps to burgers, and the downtown Iowa City location has prime outside seating when the weather permits. The original Northside spot still wins for being tucked away in an Ace Hardware, though. Who doesn’t love that?
206 N. Linn St., Iowa City | 319-358-7342 | oasisfalafel.com In addition to its vast menu of traditional Middle Eastern dishes, Oasis has perfectly crunchy falafel coupled with the best hummus in the area. Their garnish bar features housemade sauces and fresh vegetable toppings, and their french fries are an outstandingly tender and fluffy accompaniment for any sandwich.
Teddy’s Bigger Burgers
324 E. Washington St., Iowa City | 319-354-6888 teddysbiggerburgers.com This neon-lit joint sells delicious, fast-food style burgers with a twist: Hawaiian-style sauce and char from the flame grill give the burgers an addictive flavor and set them apart.
Mami’s Authentic Mexican Food Service 221 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City | 319-354-6264 mamisauthentic.com
Open until 3 a.m. on weekends, Mami’s offers a diverse menu of Mexican staples. Their food is cheap, their staff makes it fast and they deliver.
Old Capitol Mall, 201 S. Clinton St., Iowa City 319-338-1606 A fast, cheaper but still delicious approach to typically pricey Japanese cuisine, Sushi Kicchin’s menu includes traditional rolls like shrimp tempura and spicy tuna, as well as some creative and unconventional options. Order for take out, or snag one of the few seats at the restaurant’s counter.
Nodo Downtown 34 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
J LV RECOMMENDS
JIMMY JACK’S RIB SHACK
bring the restaurant home
319-354-7427 | jimmyjacksribshack.com | $$
GOURMET PREPARED FOODS • GRAB AND GO • SPECIALTY GROCERY
1940 Lower Muscatine Rd., Iowa City
Responding to a lack of good barbecue in
Iowa City, Jimmy Jack’s owners opened the Eastside rib shack in 2005. Since then, it’s
established itself as an outpost for tender smoked meats, addictive honey butter
cornbread and house-made barbecue
sauces—the Carolina mustard sauce is tangy
and the perfect complement to the rich meat
dishes. The family-style environment is casual, the staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and
you can enjoy a bottle of beer while you chow down on ribs and thick-cut, seasoned fries.
115 Iowa Ave., Iowa City | 319-338-6717 joesplace-ic.com | $
If you go to Joe’s on a Hawkeye game day, be prepared to be crowded among hundreds of
enthusiastic, probably drunk university alumni. It’s better to go when it’s less crowded, so you
can enjoy the bar games or sit in the little beer garden out back, enjoying free popcorn and a draft beer.
401 E. Market St., Iowa City | 319-337-2183 johnsgrocery.com | $
This grocery store is a Northside institution, selling a small selection of groceries and a
vast selection of beer, wine and liquor; there is also a deli and bakery. See page 62.
212 S. Clinton St., Iowa City | 319-358-0776 josephssteak.com | $$$$
225 S. LINN ST • IOWA CITY WWW.BREADGARDENMARKET.COM 319.354.4246
For nearly a decade, Iowa City residents, UI
students and their families have gathered at
Joseph’s Steakhouse for many a post-game or
sandwiches • salads • wraps • soup coffee • cookies • beer • wine Quick, Easy and Delicious! 600 N Dodge St (319) 512-5028
5 S Dubuque St (319) 359-1181
w w w . n o d o i o w a c i t y . c o m BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 35
Pie chart Whether you’re looking for a quick slice on your way home from the bar, a wood-fired artisanal pie or something in between, there is a pizza for you. You’re old-school: A & A Pagliai’s 302 E. Bloomington St., I owa City
gorgeously curated selection of interesting wine and boutique beers.
There’s nothing on Pagliai’s menu except for pizza, but that’s never hurt their popularity. Italian-American pizza with a thin crust, sweet yet savory sauce and a variety of traditional toppings draws lots of families to this pizza parlor that could be mistaken for a set in The Godfather. Enjoy watching the paper-hatted men in the window tossing and topping the crust.
You’re drunk: Falbo’s 457 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City
You’re feeling fancy: Lincoln Wine Bar 125 1st St. N.W., Mount Vernon
You’re not hungry for pizza: Mesa 114 E. Washington St., Iowa City
You’re British: Wig and Pen 1220 Hwy. 6 W., Iowa City
The folks at Lincoln Wine Bar use quality Italian products—like double zero flour and San Marzano tomatoes—to create authentically Neapolitan, thin-crust, wood-fired pizzas that feature local, seasonal toppings whenever possible. The Wine Bar also offers excellent espresso, tinned fish delicacies from Spain and a
Mesa has a relaxed atmosphere and is smack dab in the middle of downtown, so you barely need to walk to get pizza. Mesa’s toppings set them apart; expect things like mac ‘n’ cheese, onion rings or Philly cheesesteak. Just imagine your favorite meal; now imagine it in pizza form— chances are they have it at Mesa.
This spot could probably get by on reputation alone. Consistently voted the best pizza place in all of Iowa, Wig and Pen is a favorite among families, students and sports fans. Their signature pan pizza, the “Flying Tomato,” has a cult following, and the menu also features a traditional selection of pub fare, if pizza’s not your thing.
36 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
If you’re drunk and hungry at 2 a.m., with less than four bucks in your pocket, Falbo’s is the place to go. Falbo’s offers huge, hearty slices of pizza. They also have an easy-going staff, and it isn’t hard to get stuck watching them hypnotically throw pies across the room.
Lincoln Wine Bar
You’re staying in: The Wedge 517 S. Riverside Dr., Iowa City Geared toward a slightly more mature palate than the average latenight delivery places, The Wedge uses high-quality ingredients in interesting combinations to craft their creative specialty pizzas. “The Nutcracker” is a local favorite: Toppings include a blend of melty gorgonzola, pistachios, roasted red peppers and garlicky pesto. There are other, more conventional topping choices, too, but why not live on the (w)edge?
t hrillist .c om
fe at ured in
Zaga t. co m
“This Iowa City favorite offers everything from deep dish to thin crust, and the Flying Tomato…essentially the just-right Goldilocks version of pizza.” – ZAGAT
1220 Hwy 6 West Iowa City, IA 52246 www.wigandpenpizza.com Open 11:00 AM Daily
PIZZA PUB On the coralville strip
Locally owned since 1993
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 37
Watery mains Though Iowa is far from any ocean, that doesn’t mean we’re lacking in fresh, well-prepared seafood. Whether cooked or raw, the quality of fish and shellfish in Iowa can evoke memories of the sea.
McWane Dairy Queen parking lot 526 S. Riverside Dr., Iowa City The first time someone told me about the shrimp truck, I was sure she was joking. I mean, why would I believe that there’s a truck that magically appears in the parking lot of a Dairy Queen, once a month, and sells pounds and pounds of wild-caught shrimp, red snapper, oysters and crab out of ice-filled coolers? She wasn’t lying. Beginning each spring and monthly through summer, Fabian Seafood drives a truck full of freshly harvested seafood up from Galveston, Texas, sets up shop at McWane Dairy Queen on Riverside Drive and blesses us all with treats from the deep. To get on their mailing list and receive alerts of their impending arrival, sign up at fabianseafood.com.
freshly focused flavors, like a Zen koan of tiny brilliance. 38 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
Clinton Street Social Club 18 ½ S. Clinton St., Iowa City
Freshly shucked oysters are regularly featured at Clinton Street Social Club and the Motley Cow Cafe. Diners may be skeptical of eating oysters so far from the ocean, but—as any fish monger can tell you—if the oysters are firmly closed before shucking, they’re alive, and, well, it doesn’t get much fresher than “alive.”
Motley Cow Cafe 160 N. Linn St., Iowa City
The fish specials at the Motley Cow are always seasonally focused, featuring nuanced, interesting sauces and accompaniments that let the fish truly shine. A recent favorite featured halibut with a light pumpernickel crust, served in delicate tomato broth with arbequina olives and watercress; the fish took center stage, and each bite highlighted how fresh it was.
843 Quarry Rd. #140, Coralville There is also stellar sushi in the Iowa City area. In addition to their intriguing artisanal sake menu, Konomi, at the Iowa River Landing in Coralville, features artfully rendered sushi rolls. Options range from more Westernized treats like the Philly roll (salmon, cream cheese and scallions), to the traditional spider roll, featuring soft-shell crab. They are beautifully presented, well-made and tasty.
745 Community Dr. #A, North Liberty For nigiri, sashimi and small plates, the newly opened Sushiya, in North Liberty, is as good as any sushi on the coasts, or anywhere, really. I hate to use the adjective “buttery,” as it seems cliché, but I honestly could have mistaken the scallop nigiri for perfectly tempered butter: I held it in my mouth and waited for it to melt. Tuna tataki with ponzu and onion is exquisitely simple, and their tako sunomono—cooked octopus with a light, smoky vinegar dressing and slivers of raw cucumber—is so clean and has such bright, freshly focused flavors, it’s like a Zen koan of tiny brilliance.
K LV RECOMMENDS
graduation steak. The menu has recently seen some exciting changes; now, in addition to
their steak and fresh seafood entrees, diners
can enjoy a variety of small plates, sandwiches and salads, all alongside an extensive wine list.
KALONA BREWING COMPANY
405 B Ave., Kalona | 329-656-3335 kalonabrewing.com | $$$
In addition to the beers it brews on site, KBC also has a restaurant that offers a variety of
appetizers, entrees and thin-crust pizzas. They also have a giant Scrabble board to keep patrons entertained while they drink. See page 56.
843 Quarry Rd., Coralville | 319-351-2880 konomigrill.com | $$$
One of the best sushi restaurants in the area, Konomi brings top-grade sushi and a nice
selection of beverages to Coralville’s Iowa River Landing. See page 38.
624 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City | 319-351-7000 $$$
OF REAL ESTATE PERFECTED.
The space at 624 S. Gilbert St. has seen quite a bit of change over the past couple of years since Aeoshe closed shop in 2010, but it
seems the current occupant, Korean BBQ, might be here for more than a little while.
The space has changed little since Aeoshe, including the strange bridge over a pond
when you walk in. When you go, sit at one of their barbecue tables and get the bulgogi,
ATeamListens.com ALAN SWANSON ADAM PRETORIUS TIM CONROY 319.321.3129 506 E. College St. • Iowa City, IA
marinated beef that you grill at your table.
LA REGIA (formerly La Michoacana)
436 Hwy. 1, Iowa City | 319-341-8226 | $ When “the taco truck” first appeared in Iowa
truck moved into a permanent location, now
known as La Regia. Easily the most authentic
Mexican food in town, it’s a no-frills place with a bodega and meat market attached. See page 32.
301 1/2 Kirkwood Ave., Iowa City
319-338-1909 | leafkitchen.com | $$
The A-Team is licensed to sell real estate in Iowa
City, the masses rejoiced—so much so that the
This small, quirky restaurant serves breakfast, brunch and lunch, and its offerings are
consistently creative, often local and always delicious. See page 42.
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 39
The skill of career baristas, evident in every drink.
A worthy buzz Whether you like your coffee brewed and black, or you prefer an indulgent treat topped with whipped cream, the Iowa City area has plenty of options for a caffeinated kick.
1401 5th St., Coralville With two locations less than a mile from each other, Caffe Crema offers variations on coffee standards—flavored espresso drinks, drip coffee—as well as a variety of other drinks, such as Thai tea, bubble tea and siphon-press coffee.
103 1st St. E., Mount Vernon The coffee is delicious, hot and fresh, but what really sets Fuel apart are its atmosphere and its baked goods. The place feels like the living room of your most eccentric friend, rich with tapestries, art and tchotchkes, many of which are available for purchase. And the baked goods are, quite simply, ridiculously exquisite.
High Ground Cafe
301 E. Market St., Iowa City This Northside coffee shop has an ambitious coffee program, offering eight different roasts from Kickapoo Coffee. Setting them apart is their pour-over bar, where drip coffee is made to order.
Prairie Lights Books and Cafe 15 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City
Located on the second floor of a bookstore, Prairie Lights Cafe has arguably the best espresso and coffee drinks in town. Many of the friendly employees are career baristas, and their experience is evident in the delicious drinks.
Waterstreet Coffee Bar 925 E. 2nd Ave., Coralville
Curating a rotation of seasonal coffee beans from some of the country’s more interesting roasteries, this is one of the area’s newer coffee shops. The quiet atmosphere and minimal decor read, “We take our coffee seriously.” And they do.
Local Roasters Wake Up Iowa City
The beans roasted by Wake Up Iowa City are available at many local restaurants and grocery stores. They also make Cobra Verde, a highly caffeinated elixir, and Wake Up Iowa Coffee Stout in collaboration with Backpocket Brewery.
Cafe del Sol Roasting
The area’s veteran roaster, Cafe del Sol is a staple at many restaurants and grocery stores. They also sell pre-made cold-brew coffee.
This Northside diner roasts and packages their own coffee, which they sell at area grocery stores like Hy-Vee and John’s.
Prairie Lights Cafe 40 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
Prairie Lights Cafe
L LV RECOMMENDS
LIGHTHOUSE INN SUPPER CLUB
319-362-3467 | crlighthouseinn.com | $$$
6905 Mount Vernon Rd. S.E., Cedar Rapids
1402 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City | 319-358-1308
If you grew up in Cedar Rapids, there’s a
With jumbo margaritas and talented food
you go to the Lighthouse once a week for
Los Portales is a place to enjoy Tex-Mex fare in
good chance your grandpa used to make
ribs. Established in 1912, the Lighthouse Inn is the stuff of legend. Did Chicago mobsters
really go there to hide out? Possibly. Did John
runners balancing hot plates on their arms,
a cantina-like atmosphere. The service is fast, and the menu is varied and vast.
Dillinger’s gun shoot a hole in the wall? That’s
THE LOST CUBAN
nautical decor and devoted clientele make it
facebook.com/TheLostCuban | $$
what they say. If nothing else, the kitschy, worth a visit.
LINCOLN WINE BAR
125 1st St. W., Mount Vernon | 319-895-9463 foodisimportant.com | $$$
Featuring an Italian-made brick oven and
a talented staff, Lincoln Wine Bar delivers
quality pizzas, small plates and, of course, wine and beer. See page 37.
LINN STREET CAFE
121 N. Linn St., Iowa City | 319-337-7370
209 3rd St. S.E., Cedar Rapids | 319-362-2627
It’s worth the trip to downtown Cedar Rapids to taste the food at Lost Cuban. Customers always seem delighted by their Cuban
sandwiches and fried plantains, served with dipping sauces. Bring a friend and enjoy a mojito with dinner.
MAGGIE’S FARM PIZZA
1100 3rd St. S.E., Cedar Rapids
(at NewBo City Market) | 319-200-4050 newbocitymarket.com | $$
linnstreetcafe-hub.com | $$$
You might recognize the Maggie’s Farm Pizza
Relax on the patio on the calm yet captivating
where they have a stand on Saturdays. Now,
North Linn Street, the namesake for this
elegant restaurant. In addition to flavorful food, Linn Street Cafe offers a wine menu of roughly 200 different wines, as well as educational wine tastings and coursed dinners with wine pairings.
LION BRIDGE BREWING COMPANY 59 16th Ave. S.W., Cedar Rapids |
319-200-4460 | lionbridgebrewing.com | $$ Winning a Great American Beer Festival gold
medal within their first year of operation, Lion Bridge turns out a selection of complex, tasty
beer, which they distribute to area restaurants and also sell in their taproom. See page 8 and 57.
folks from the Iowa City Farmers Market,
you can get their New Haven-style, thin-crust
pizza for dinner, too. Pizza devotees swear by their crust, which is perfectly chewy and gets a great char in their super-hot wood oven.
The gorgonzola and caramelized onion pie is particularly decadent, and you can’t go
wrong with a simple, old-school margherita, made with fresh and local-when-possible ingredients.
MAMA’S DELI & CATERING
Like me on Facebook facebook.com/vernefolkmann
125 E. Washington St., Iowa City
319-341-0700 | mamasdelicatering.com | $ Homemade, stick-to-your-ribs deli specials, including a variety of sandwiches, salads,
LEPIC-KROEGER, REALTORS® IOWA CITY, IA
S AT I S F A C T I O N E L E V AT E D. Join us for the eclectic flavors and experiences at the Edgewater Grille and River Bar, both located in the Coralville Marriott. Enjoy classic American fare and expertly created cocktails and craft beers elevated within an atmosphere of modern style and comfort.
CORALVILLE MARRIOTT HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTER 300 East 9th Street | Coralville, Iowa 52241 319-688-4000 | CoralvilleMarriott.com
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 41
Lazy weekend grazing Wherever you find yourself on the brunch spectrum—from a quiet moment of reflection over coffee and a newspaper, to a mimosa-filled celebration of food and friends—you’ll find a satisfying meal at any of these area institutions.
After being displaced to Iowa by Hurricane Katrina, Augusta’s owners brought with them all the spirit, fun and down-home deliciousness of The Big Easy. Brunch treats are lavish, like the crab cakes benedict or the potato-andtenderloin haystack, and there are traditional breakfast options available, too.
With a full bar—a key component to any successful brunch—Bluebird Diner’s found a sweet spot where fresh, often-local ingredients, kitschy decor, large portions and creative dishes convene. Though the pun-loaded menu is a bit on the twee side, they make up for this with always tasty, occasionally awesome food,
101 S. Augusta Ave., Oxford augustarestaurant.net
330 E. Market St., Iowa City thebluebirddiner.com
like their green chili cheese fries, which are anything but twee; in fact, they’re downright life-sustaining.
Hamburg Inn No. 2 214 N. Linn St., Iowa City hamburginn.com
Iowa City’s oldest family-owned restaurant, Hamburg Inn, is the closest thing Iowa City has to a good, old-fashioned greasy spoon, though its prices are a bit more highbrow than that might imply. It’s largely earned its renown as a regular stop on the campaign trail, hosting many a presidential candidate over the years; for the apolitical among you, stop in and try a pie shake—an entire slice of pie blended into a milkshake. Weird? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.
AN AREA TRADITION FOR OVER 15 YEARS
46 BEERS ON TAP DAILY HAPPY HOUR 3-6
516 E. 2ND STREET • CORALVILLE • 319.337.3000 42 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
M LV RECOMMENDS
wraps and soups, draw a busy, downtown lunch crowd to Mama’s Deli. The menu is
available for off-site catering, and sandwiches are available on gluten-free bread.
MAMI’S AUTHENTIC MEXICAN FOOD SERVICE
221 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City | 319-354-6264 mamisauthentic.com | $
Open late, Mami’s serves fast Mexican takeout to the bar crowd, and, conveniently, they also deliver. See page 34.
MASALA INDIAN CUISINE
9 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City | 319-338-6199 masalaiowacity.com | $$
Relatively recently, Masala started including meat options on its menu, to appeal to a
broader audience, but their vegetarian dishes truly shine. When the lunch buffet features
malai kofta, make sure you have plenty of time for a nap after lunch: It’s impossible to not eat way too much of these delicious, vegetableand-cheese balls and their accompanying tomato cream sauce.
MCWANE DAIRY QUEEN
526 S. Riverside Dr., Iowa City | 319-338-9328 dairyqueen.com | $
The Riverside Drive Dairy Queen has been
in the McWane family since the 1960s, and it maintains its family feel despite being
damaged during the tornado of 2006. This DQ sells all the classics, so you can sit on a
bench and watch the river go by as you enjoy your Peanut Buster Parfait.
5 Sturgis Corner Dr., Iowa City | 319-354-4754 | mekongic.com | $$
Mekong sells “pan-Asian” food, with the
bulk of its menu featuring Americanized
Chinese and Thai dishes. They’re tasty, but
the restaurant’s best dishes are its Vietnamese staples, like the pho ga, a rich chicken noodle soup that’s good for what ails you.
1303 5th St., Coralville | 319-333-1291 mendozawinebar.com | $$$ This warm, intimate wine bar and music venue strives to use as many local and organic
___CK_TH_E _MEAL,AWNE’LLDHAANDLEMTHOE FIVLMIE. . YOU PI
sources as possible in their Argentinian and Spanish-inspired fare. A carefully selected and made-from-scratch menu accompanies the more than 100 available wines. Mendoza aims
TASTY IOWA POPCORN!
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 43
Mondo’s Draft House 516 2nd St., Coralville mondos.net
This dimly lit restaurant is great for larger groups and for those still experiencing side effects from the previous evening. Mondo’s has one of the most impressive all-you-can-eat buffets with breakfast, lunch and dessert options. Also: they serve bottomless mimosas.
Motley Cow Cafe 160 N. Linn St., Iowa City motleycowcafe.com
The brunch buffet at Motley Cow is supplemented by a small a la carte menu. Locals love the lemon pancakes, and the brunch specials are often creative and well-executed.
Pullman Bar and Diner 17 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City pullmandiner.com
301 ½ Kirkwood Ave., Iowa City leafkitchen.com This quirky breakfast, brunch and lunch spot has rightly earned its place as one of Iowa City’s favorite restaurants. Featuring locally sourced products whenever available, Leaf serves some of the most interesting and succulent lunch specials in town. If they’re making a banh mi, get it; otherwise, the BLTEA, a BLT with egg salad and avocado served on homemade bread, is phenomenal. Take a pack of housemade shortbread cookies home with you, and just try not to eat them all in one sitting.
630 Iowa Ave., Iowa City rideiowacity.com Brand new on the Iowa City restaurant scene, the bicycle-themed Ride offers breakfast, lunch and dinner in a fun, renovated space. Save for the decor, it’s not clear how the bicycle theme fits into the restaurant as a whole, but the food is good, and there are some creative standouts on the menu—like the Creole eggs served with cheddar grits, red beans and andouille, or the Schwinn omelet, with veggies, pulled chicken and hollandaise. 44 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
327 E. Market St., Iowa City elbanditosiowacity.com Don’t overlook Banditos’ brunch: Their south of the border-inspired spreads make for one of the best breakfasts in Iowa City, and the chilaquiles with chorizo are la bomba.
The Iowa River Power Restaurant 501 1st Ave., Coralville iowariverpower.net
Iowa River Power has a popular Sunday buffet brunch, including a carving station and a Belgian waffle station. Enjoy a mimosa in the historic, refurbished power plant while watching eagles soar over the Iowa River. (We can’t guarantee the presence of eagles.)
The Mill Restaurant
120 E. Burlington St., Iowa City icmill.com If you’re looking for a downtown brunch that won’t have a long wait, but will have a long list of cocktails and drinks to accompany a straightforward, no-fuss breakfast plate, The Mill is the place to go.
Though new to the Iowa City restaurant scene, Pullman is already a favorite, both for its elegant-yet-relaxed atmosphere and for its diner-inspired menu that gives a nod to both American and French breakfast staples. Also of note: They have a brunch cocktail menu and an excellent coffee program.
Salt Fork Kitchen 112 E. Main St., Solon saltforkkitchen.com
Using produce and eggs often sourced from the owner’s farm, Salt Fork Kitchen offers up a local spin on brunch standards, like egg sandwiches and omelets, and they also make a variety of creative breakfast favorites—try the loaded home fries with house-made lamb sausage.
Trumpet Blossom Cafe 310 E. Prentiss St., Iowa City trumpetblossom.com
Enjoy vegan florentine, featuring a house-made English muffin topped with cashew hollandaise, steamed greens and spiced tofu, or opt for something more traditional, like French toast; either way, you can feel good about indulging in the dishes from Trumpet Blossom’s vegan, sustainably sourced kitchen. Check websites for brunch hours.
The bloody mary
he curative powers of the bloody mary cannot be underestimated. Between
nourishing vitamins, hydration and a piquant
kick, a bloody mary is sure to banish whatever demons may reside in your hungover soul.
You can do the Sunday crossword with
your face in the sun on the Deadwood patio
while enjoying an exquisitely balanced bloody
on a recent visit there were spicy pickles, dill pickles, pickled carrots, olives, jalapenos,
horseradish, homemade hot sauces and fresh celery. The chili garlic sauce deserves special mention; it’s a freshly made version of srira-
cha, and the makers of its bottled counterpart should be begging for the recipe.
Finally, as if their regular bloody wasn’t
mary and talking to some of Iowa City’s most
enough, with its peppery kick and bacon,
made, spicy drink, garnished with a pickle
(pictured) also offers the “Crazy Mary.” For
colorful townies. The Deadwood’s is an artfully spear, two olives and a splash of Guinness; you can also ask for a beef jerky garnish
for an extra dollar, if you need a little more sustenance.
In keeping with their overall philosophy
of serving fresh, local vegetables, often from the owner’s own farm, Salt Fork Kitchen
features a variety of housemade pickles and sauces for their bloodies. The basic SFK
bloody is clean, fresh and lightly spiced; you
pickled okra and olive garnish, Augusta
20 bucks, and on Sundays only, they offer a bloody mary garnished with a veritable
sampler plate of Augusta’s specialties: an
over-hard egg; a slab of steak; a crab cake; house-made sausage; a biscuit dipped in
gravy; a house-made English muffin; a cheese grit cake; fried pork tenderloin; bacon; and house-made french toast. I defy even the
most stubborn hangover to live through that!
may augment it with the garnishes available—
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 45
M LV RECOMMENDS
to make both casual drinkers and practiced wine lovers feel comfortable as they listen to the jazz and blues performances that frequent the stage.
Turn any night into something to sing about.
114 E. Washington St., Iowa City 319-351-6372 | mesapizzaia.com | $ On most evenings, a crowd of devoted undergraduates queue at Mesa for the most bang for their buck—and mac and cheese on pizza offers plenty of bang. See page 36.
MICKY’S IRISH PUB & GRILL
11 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City | 319-338-6860 facebook.com/MickysIrishPubGrill | $$ Belly up to the bar, cozy into a window booth or in the summer recline on the patio of Micky’s for a perfect view of Iowa City’s bustling downtown. Micky’s serves up a famous “Conglomeration” sandwich, which includes ham, turkey, Swiss and cheddar cheese. In addition to burgers and sandwiches, they also offer classic bar food with twist. See page 68.
THE MILL RESTAURANT
icmill.com | $$
120 E. Burlington St., Iowa City | 319-351-9529
There’s a reason The Mill has been immortalized in song and print: It’s an Iowa City institution and a great place to kill time with a beer, especially if there’s a band
From bass-booming dance clubs and live music venues to quiet hilltop taverns, Iowa City is full of places to let loose, unwind and rock out. And, if you’re ready to take the stage yourself, trust these karaoke joints to turn your night into something to sing about.
playing, as there so often is. See page 25, 44 and 68.
MILLSTREAM BREWING COMPANY 835 48th Ave., Amana | 319-622-3672 millstreambrewing.com | $$
The dry ciders crafted by Sutliff are
handcrafted using apples from many
local orchards. The taproom and outdoor
seating area are situated in the lovely Iowa countryside, providing a pleasant setting
for an afternoon of sipping with friends. See page 56.
14 S. Clinton St., Iowa City | 319-333-1297 icmollys.com | $ In addition to offering carefully crafted cupcake combinations, Molly’s also gives a portion of their profits to local schools. Should your inner cupcake desires not be satisfied by their pre-set menu, choose to build your own cupcake and create your perfect treat.
46 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
American Legion Post #17
3016 Muscatine Ave., Iowa City | Friday evenings Though this spacious and welcoming bar is a bit off the beaten path, it promises not to disappoint. They pour a strong drink, have free popcorn and their karaoke is one of the best in town. In addition to its energetic MC, diverse song selection and impressive sound system, the Legion boasts a gigantic dance floor that encourages all patrons to join in the fun.
325 E. Washington St., Iowa City | Sunday Wednesday, 3:30-11:30 p.m.; Thursday 3:30 p.m. 12:30 a.m.; Friday-Saturday 3:30 p.m. - 4 a.m. This subterranean karaoke lounge is perfect for throwing themed parties, as it offers private themed rooms, such as Hawkeye, Super Mario and Hello Kitty. All rooms are equipped with maracas and tambourines for visitors to jam
to the wide selection of songs available. These private karaoke rooms also double as study lounges during the afternoon. In addition to bubble tea, Bubbleology also serves food and dessert, like ramen and grass jelly with fruit. Visitors can stay and sing all night long without going hungry.
223 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City | Sunday-Thursday, 3-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 3 p.m. - 3 a.m. Similarly, No. 18 is an Iowa City karaoke establishment offering an intimate setting. Located downtown, this karaoke and bubble tea restaurant is broken into individual rooms where you can belt out all your guilty-pleasure pop songs in luxurious privacy. No. 18 doesn’t serve alcohol, and the karaoke rooms cost money to rent, but their modern decor and sleek technology make this location feel a lot farther from home than it really is.
M LV RECOMMENDS
MONDO’S DRAFT HOUSE
TE DO I H
516 2nd St., Coralville | 319-337-3000 mondos.net | $$ In addition to a sizable selection of beer on tap, Mondo’s Draft House serves traditional American pub fare, plus an array of entrees, salads and sandwiches, in a relaxed, sporty environment. See page 44.
112 E. College St., Iowa City | 319-354-3837 mondossaloon.com | $$ In the winter months, sit at Saloon’s beautiful, 200-year-old Brunswick bar and sip on an añejo tequila. When it’s warm, enjoy one of their margaritas or a sangria on the Ped Mall
IM O SE POR T AUT ES RV ICE & SAL
whitedog Since 1975
patio, right in the heart of all the action.
303 2nd St., Coralville | 319-338-7400 monicasonthestrip.com | $$$ Located in an unassuming building on the Coralville strip, Monica’s is unlike many other area restaurants. Setting it apart is the interior, which somehow blends the aesthetics of an old school diner with a posh European hotel lobby. The Italian-American inspired menu is extensive and offers many gluten-free options and substitutions.
Import Service Specialists
MOTLEY COW CAFE
Audi, VW, BMW, Volvo, Subaru, Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Acura, Nissan, Infiniti, Mazda, Mini Cooper, Jaguar, Land Rover and other imports.
motleycowcafe.com | $$$
160 N. Linn St., Iowa City | 319-688-9177 This Northside neighborhood restaurant focuses on using local, organic food whenever possible to create eclectic, creative flavor
424 Highland Court, Iowa City
combinations, in addition to having a wellcurated bar selection. See page 22, 38 and 44.
NEW PIONEER FOOD CO-OP
22 S. Van Buren St., Iowa City | 319-338-9441 newpi.coop | $$
Though open to non-members, New Pi is Iowa City’s only foods cooperative, with a selection of both prepared foods and groceries, in
addition to beer, wine and spirits. See page 22 and 62.
NO. 18 KARAOKE AND BUBBLE TEA
223 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City | 319-333-1265 | $ Rent a room at No. 18, and you and your
friends can wail away until the wee hours. See page 46.
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 47
N LV RECOMMENDS
600 N. Dodge St., Iowa City | 319-512-5028 nodoiowacity.com | $
5 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City | 319-359-1181 nodoiowacity.com | $
Both spots serve up excellent sandwiches, and the downtown location has a patio; the other location has the special charm of being in a hardware store. See page 34.
206 N. Linn St., Iowa City | 319-358-7342 oasisfalafel.com | $
Offering a little bit of the Middle East to Iowa City, Oasis’s super-authentic, super-fresh
traditional dishes include their famous falafel
and hummus. If they have matzo ball soup, get it. See page 34.
ONE TWENTY SIX, MOONRAKERS AND HEARTH 126 E. Washington St., Iowa City
319-887-1909 | onetwentysix.net | $$$ Located on Washington Street, One Twenty Six stands in the middle of the hustle and
bustle of downtown Iowa City, near many performance venues. The menu features
French-American cuisine made with local and organic ingredients when possible. For a real treat, choose their étouffée, a dish prepared
with house-made Andouille sausage, smoked chicken, shrimp and basmati rice. Head
upstairs to Moonrakers for burgers and other pub fare or to Hearth for a selection of small plates, pizzas and entrees.
ORCHARD GREEN RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE
521 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City | 319-354-1642 orchardgreenrestaurant.com | $$$$
This restaurant is split into two sections: a tasteful upstairs dining room with
chandeliered cathedral ceilings and white
linens, and a more dark and casual lounge
area downstairs. The menu features classics prepared fresh, as well as Mediterranean-
inspired cuisine. A great place to go on a date, Orchard Green does not sacrifice comfort or intimacy for elegance.
OSAKA JAPANESE RESTAURANT 122 E. Washington St., Iowa City
319-338-9988 | osakaiowacity.com | $$ Opened downtown in fall 2014, Osaka’s charming waitstaff serves up an array of
Japanese fare, including hibachi, teriyaki and 48 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
Wilton’s Candy Kitchen
Cream of the crop It can get painfully hot in Iowa in the summer, and what better to cool than a creamy, frozen treat? Even in winter, Iowa’s selection of ice cream, frozen yogurt and other frozen confections is top-notch.
1460 Willow Creek Ct., Iowa City Tucked away behind a gas station on the outskirts of town lies an adorable time capsule of Iowa City history and delicious ice cream. Each spring, for the past 50 years, Dane’s Dairy, a drive-in ice cream shack staffed by the friendliest crew of gangly teens, reopens and blesses us with sublime cones of fresh strawberry soft serve. There are other frozen treats on their vast menu, including a signature ice cream bar made with hot fudge and peanuts, but it seems there are, sadly, never enough days in summer to try them all. Curiously, there is also an assortment of what appear to be carousel animals installed around the property, so you can sit on a little metal horse while you eat your cone, and pretend you’re in a David Lynch movie. Or just sit at one of the picnic tables; the ice cream will still be exactly what you need on a hot summer evening.
rich and creamy, can be served in a cone, and also with fruit or candy to make it a shake, sundae or “Cyclone” (Funcrest’s version of a Blizzard). Funcrest is also the halfway point on one of the area’s most popular bike rides, and there’s little better than a root beer float to help you refuel for the hilly return to Iowa City.
Heyn’s Ice Cream Parlor 811 S. 1st Ave., Iowa City
Open year-round, Heyn’s has more than 40 flavors of hard ice cream, all made in-house. Flavors range from the decadent to the divine and include a stunningly creamy coconut chip, flecked with coconut and dark chocolate, as well as banana pudding, studded with vanilla wafers and as lavish as its namesake treat. There’s also a full menu of shakes and soft-serve confections. Hand-scooped pints are available to go, so if you can’t decide on a flavor, take some home and try them all.
Funcrest Dairy and Grill
Wilton’s Candy Kitchen
Located near the Coralville Reservoir, Funcrest Dairy and Grill is open seasonally on evenings and weekends. Funcrest offers campers, cyclists and beach-goers traditional summer food: ice cream, burgers and fried goodness. The chocolate or vanilla soft serve, which is extra
A 30-minute drive will take you to Wilton, Iowa, home to the world’s longest continuously running ice cream parlor, open during warmer months. Opened in 1860, Wilton’s Candy Kitchen is listed on the National Historic Register, and the interior and exterior have
3977 W. Overlook Rd. N.E., Iowa City
310 Cedar St., Wilton
changed little since they opened. Sit on one of the round chrome bar stools and talk to the current owners, George and Thelma Nopoulos, who will surely have a recommendation for what to order. The ice cream is homemade, along with many of the toppings. Try the banana split, or sip on a phosphate and reminisce.
132 S. Clinton St., Iowa City Amid the profusion of fro-yo shops that have opened in the Iowa City area over the past couple of years, Yotopia stands apart. For one, it is owned locally by Veronica Tessler, who makes a point to engage the community through various projects, including public art. Tessler has also built relationships with Iowa dairies, and you can taste the efforts in what is certainly the creamiest frozen yogurt in town. And the inviting space, interactive row of self-serve machines and buffet of toppings make this a downtown sweet spot.
104 S. Linn St., Iowa City If you are looking for a more formal atmosphere in which to enjoy your ice cream, head to Baroncini. Dessert is probably the best thing that the restaurant does, and like the rest of its menu, everything is inspired by Italian cuisine. Many of the desserts come with gelato, and while it isn’t made in house, most of the accoutrements are. The gelato “affogato con espresso e il biscotto” is pure pre-recession nostalgia: large in portion, lavish in presentation (served in a martini glass, no less) and brimming with chocolate sauce, espresso, whipped cream and strawberries. It is over-the-top indulgent, not to mention delicious. BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 49
Staff Meals Servers offer insight into where and what to eat and drink in the Iowa City area. What are your three favorite restaurants in the area? Becca Breazeale: Leaf Kitchen for the delicious, locally sourced food and fresh squeezed juice, but also for the quaint ambience and friendly service. Oasis, because it’s the best hummus, and because of the condiment bar. Nodo: Fresh bakery items and Brew City fries add magic to their already magical sandwich board. Lou Richter: I work nearly every night, so I frequent my favorite restaurants for lunch. For
“For my money the best places to grab lunch in Iowa City are Nodo, Leaf Kitchen and Sushi Kicchin.” Lou Richter Clinton Street Social Club
my money the best places to grab lunch in Iowa City are Nodo (either location), Leaf Kitchen and Sushi Kicchin. These spots have an open, bustling atmosphere and friendly staff. Nodo features a huge menu and I can’t find anything I don’t like. Leaf Kitchen offers specials that are simply not available anywhere else in Iowa City. And Sushi Kicchin is affordable and delicious. The staff and dining area are tiny here, and it’s often just yourself and the person preparing your food. The savvy staff keeps things entertaining. Suke Cody: For something quick and satisfying to eat after work, I head up the street to George’s Buffet for one of their legendarily delicious burgers and a tall draw of Saga. For sit-down-and-be-waited-on lunch, I go to Oyama—I have a Japanese food thing and love my raw fish, and their chirashi sushi (slices of raw fish laid over a bed of rice) is simple and 50 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
perfect and lets me feel indulgent and healthy at the same time. For a relaxing dinner, Dan and I have eaten at the Motley Cow at least once a week since we started dating five years ago, and we can’t see any reason to change at this point—we’ve tried other restaurants for our Friday night date, but nothing beats sitting at the bar at the Cow ordering little plates of whatever sounds good, chatting with the other regular customers and the front (and back) of house who we know on that semi-intimate level. I admit to being a creature of habit. There are worse habits than the Motley Cow. Simeon Talley: Being that I work most if not every night, my favorite restaurants are those whose kitchens are open late and where I can get an above-average glass of red wine and a decent beer. If my schedule or my place of employment was different, I imagine I’d offer different opinions. And these places are where you can most likely find me working on other projects or reading the paper or a book. Clinton Street Social Club stays open late during the week and later on the weekend. There’s good food—I love the pork belly—and wine by the glass at a pretty good value.
“Pork Belly. Pork Belly. Pork Belly. At Share and at Social Club.” Simeon Talley, Moonrakers
If ever I want to try a new and interesting glass of wine, I head to Brix. I find that they offer an interesting selection of wine, the staff is knowledgeable and the food menu is evolving and expanding. Donnelly’s is my go-to spot for many of the reasons above.
What is your favorite thing to eat in Iowa City? BB: Green curry with tofu from Thai Flavors. It is the comfort food I never knew I needed ‘til a few years ago. LR: The beef barbacoa taco from Banditos. It’s locally sourced and perfectly seasoned. SC: That would be a toss-up—either the Banditos benedictos (eggs over homemade polenta, topped with spinach and chipotle hollandaise, and liberally doused in Georgina’s
“I admit to being a creature of habit. There are worse habits than the Motley Cow.” Suke Cody, El Banditos
Mama Eloi hot sauce) or the chilaquiles (also known as “breakfast nachos with beans,” but substituting carnitas for chicken—it’s worth the extra three bucks), both of which can only be had on Saturday and Sunday mornings at El Banditos Mexican Restaurant. I admit, I never go to Banditos as a diner to sit and eat, and the food might taste better if I did—but both are still delicious even eaten in little bites on the fly from a quickly cooling plate sitting on top of the chip warmer—which is saying something. ST: Pork belly. Pork belly. Pork belly. At Share and at Social Club. What is your favorite thing to drink in Iowa City? BB: The old fashioned from Clinton Street Social Club. Classic.
“Green curry with tofu from Thai Flavors. It is the comfort food I never knew I needed.”
Becca Breazeale, Forbidden Planet
LR: I’m a big fan of the negroni: a gin, Campari and sweet vermouth cocktail. SC: I love a good bloody mary, and if forced to choose only one to drink on a desert island for the rest of my life I’d opt for the bloody mary I stumbled onto at Brix Wine and Cheese back when they did brunch—maybe they still do brunch, but I’m normally working brunch, so it’s hard to keep track of these things. ST: To be honest I don’t really have a favorite drink. I love red wine and am always in search of reds that are full-bodied and earthy, with lots of tannin.
What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten? BB: This is a truly impossible question, but I have to go with a heaping plate of barbacoa, served with fresh crema, I once had at about 4 a.m. in Chicago after a wonderfully weird night out. LR: The pork belly at Clinton Street Social Club. The flavor of that dish is unforgettable. SC: If you ever get the chance to go to Isla Mujeres and you are traveling without children, do make it a point to stay at Villa la Bella, a bed-and-breakfast perched on a small bit of cliff
on the ocean side of the island. If you stay long enough (I recommend at least a week) and are just a little lucky, one of those gorgeous island mornings, Curtis, the owner, will present you with a little slice of culinary heaven—his Mayan roasted chicken enchiladas with mole sauce. For breakfast. With some seriously potent coffee and a big glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. ST: About a year and a half ago I had a grilled bass dish from Motley Cow. It was HUGE! The eyes were left in it, along with the bones. The meat was tender and flaky coming right off the bone. And it was by far the best thing I’ve ever eaten in Iowa City.
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 51
Get your game on If you’re looking for some action, here are six places where you can show your stuff.
Forbidden Planet Pizza + Arcade
If you and your date like gambling, Riverside is a no-brainer; there are thousands of casino favorites for all skill levels, ranging from penny slots to Texas Hold ‘Em. There’s also a golf course, and a spa, where you can get a couples’ massage and then enjoy the spa services, like a hot tub and steam room, for the remainder of the day. The resort hotel has lavish rooms with tasteful, modern decor and luxurious beds. Perhaps you and your date can play a round of golf, win some money with the highrollers at craps, blow your winnings on a gorgeous 14-ounce hunk of prime angus Delmonico ribeye topped with lump crab Oscar and a bottle of Michael David RAPTURE, carefully selected by your attentive server, and then repair to your room for some postprandial petting. Or maybe you prefer penny slots and Robert’s Buffet, or the Ripple Diner; that’s fine, too.
If your tastes lean more toward pizza and videogames, you don’t have to leave town for a family-friendly excursion. Forbidden Planet has arcade games to suit all ages, and expertly crafted pizza and cocktails. You can play it old school and enjoy a bottle of High Life, a traditional margherita pizza, and a game of Centipede or Galaga, or you can live on the edge with a “Resident Evil,” a signature tequila cocktail featuring a kick of ginger, jalapeno and cilantro. The thin-crust pizza stays true to its Neapolitan counterparts, with a nicely chewy crust; thick-crust monstrosities like the “Italian Stallion Medallion,” which features pepperoni, sausage, andouille, salami, bacon and mozzarella, are far less traditional but no less delicious. Just try not to get sauce on the gorgeous Wizard of Oz pinball machine!
3184 Hwy. 22, Riverside
52 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
111 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City
Wildwood Smokehouse and Saloon 4919 Dolphin Dr. S.E., Iowa City
If you’re in the mood to put on your dancing shoes, or in this case cowboy boots, Wildwood is the honky tonk just for that. If dancing isn’t your thing—although on Thursday nights free country dance lessons are available—there are many other social activities. You can tip your hat to the weekend while riding their mechanical bull, Spanky, or raise your glass to a local country star performing on stage. Whether you’re looking for a place to let loose with a cocktail or a cold one, Wildwood has a full-service bar. Last, but certainly not least, barbecue! Wildwood is known for their amazing smoked wings, ribs, brisket and barbecue sauces. Escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown and enjoy some good ol’ Southern food and entertainment.
2253 Old Hwy. 218 S., Iowa City Located on the southwest side of Iowa City, Colonial Lanes is a divebar amusement park contained in a warehouse-sized brick building decorated to evoke Colonial architecture. In addition to 24 bowling lanes, they have a minigolf course, arcade games, darts, pool, a mini
‘50s diner and a sunken bar. The bar’s specialty is Jell-O shots; if that’s not the type of night that you’re going for, opt for something less potent like a domestic beer, or go to the diner for a root beer float.
114 E. College St., Iowa City With an open floor plan and plenty of bar games, TCB is great for a group playdate. There are 10 pool tables that make the room feel like a smoky billiards hall—except without the smoke. Because of its location on the Ped Mall, it sometimes fills with undergrads, but if you get there early you’re sure to get a good table. If pool isn’t your thing, try your hand at shuffleboard or darts.
118 E. College St., Iowa City For those looking for a more thought-provoking evening, head to FilmScene in downtown Iowa City. They have a good selection of wines and beers, so you can grab a local craft brew and some Iowa popcorn and snuggle in for a good movie. The intimate theater’s constantly changing roster of arty, independent, foreign and classic films will be the perfect way to start a stimulating post-film conversation. LITTLEVILLLAGEMAG.COM/DINING
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 53
O LV RECOMMENDS
bento dishes. Be sure to order their hand
rolls, crafted to order. An exciting perk: They
deliver. The service is offered until 10:30 p.m. on weekends, 9:30 p.m. on weeknights—but the presentation is beautiful, so eat in if you can.
Downtown Iowa City 118 E College St
East Village Des Moines 500 E Locust St
1853 Lower Muscatine Rd., Iowa City 319-337-8801 | oyamaiowa.com | $$ 5350 Council St. N.E., Cedar Rapids
319-832-1800 | oyamasushi.com | $$ There are two Oyama sushi locations, one in
Iowa City and one in Cedar Rapids, and they have separate owners. Though the Cedar
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Rapids location is less convenient for Iowa City residents, it is owned by the original
proprietor of both locations, Darren, who is
one of the best reasons to make the trek up
380. The food at both locations is good: solid nigiri, sashimi and rolls, and some excellent cooked dishes as well. But Darren’s effusive friendliness, occasional little gifts from the
kitchen, artful sushi and expertly executed
stir fries and noodle dishes place it one notch above its Iowa City location.
117 1st St. N.W., Mount Vernon | 319-895-4041 cafepalisades.com | $$$
With a small but solid menu, Palisades
features a few standout sandwiches, but the
regularly changing features are the true stars. See page 8.
93 2nd St., Coralville | 319-333-1369 | $ This place is weird, cheap and perfect if you
have a bottomless stomach. Their buffet has
everything: frogs’ legs, Americanized Chinese, sushi, Mongolian barbecue, ice cream and
IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU 4 South Linn St. Iowa City, IA 52240 zensalonspaic.com 319.337.2448
Voted Best Day Spa and Salon in Eastern Iowa
54 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
Zen is an Aveda Lifestyle Salon & Spa tin the heart of the downtown community offering waxing, massages, facials, nail services as well as premier salon services including cut, color and botanical treatments.
PETRA FALAFEL HOUSE
89 2nd St., Coralville | 319-354-2030 petrafalafelhouse.com | $$
While their falafel is tasty, you should go
to Petra for the shawerma, served with an
addictively pungent creamy garlic sauce, or the fattoush, the traditional Middle Eastern salad of fresh vegetables and crispy pita. Be prepared for a too-loud broadcast of
Jordanian television; for this reason, it might be best to get your food to go.
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On PHO MAI
PULLMAN BAR & DINER
319-396-4337 | maiphocr.com | $$
pullmandiner.com | $$$
2315 Edgewood Rd. S.W., Cedar Rapids
17 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City | 319-338-1808 |
The menu at Pho Mai is loaded with traditional
While new on the Iowa City scene, Pullman is
the last. The signature dish, pho, boasts a
location and super-cool decor, as well as for
Vietnamese dishes, each more intriguing than clean, well-spiced broth with lots of meat and
noodles, and it is available in a few variations. The real standout, though, is the bun thit heo nuong: springy rice vermicelli with tender,
crispy pork, flecked through with refreshing mint.
2020 8th St., Coralville | 319-855-4796 | $$
already generating a lot of buzz for its great
the many talented people associated with the business. The menu features updated classics and more-traditional bistro fare, and there’s a small yet creative selection of beer, wine and cocktails. See page 8 and 44.
QUINTON’S BAR & DELI
215 E. Washington St., Iowa City |
319-354-7074 | quintonsbaranddeli.com | $$
Pho Zaika opened early in 2015, to the delight
A bar and deli combo, Quinton’s has great
but the pho is phenomenal. Available with an
They specialize in burgers and sandwiches,
of Iowa City diners. The menu here is small,
assortment of meat choices, the rich, savory soup features perfectly balanced, fragrant
broth and a wealth of the garnishes that make pho such fun to eat. And the small, family staff is impossibly friendly and kind.
food and drink specials every day of the week. but the most unique offerings are definitely the spuds, where you can find nearly any
condiment you may (or may not) have wanted piled high on a baked potato approximately the size of your head.
pitapit.com | $
319-626-2100 | redsalehouse.com | $$
113 Iowa Ave., Iowa City | 319-351-7482
405 N. Dubuque St., North Liberty
Offering hearty pita bread-based sandwiches
Located about eight miles up Dubuque Street,
place to go when you don’t necessarily want
from Iowa City. At happy hour, you can enjoy
rolled into a tight, burrito shape, Pita Pit is the to break the bank on your next meal but wish
to avoid the grease and potential self-loathing that comes along with fast food.
924 Main St., Grinnell | 641-236-0205
belly sandwich on the gigantic patio, or enjoy the cool comfort of the indoors.
834 Park St., Grinnell | 641-236-3657
Parmesan cheese and served with chili-lime
Fully embodying their slogan, “Local Foods,
a must at Prairie Canary. With a wide-ranging
mixes Midwestern flavors, local ingredients
atmosphere combining elements of classic small-town Iowa with a modern vibe, the
Prairie Canary is worth the trip to Grinnell.
PRAIRIE LIGHTS BOOKS
15 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City | 319-337-2681 prairielights.com | $
Have a cortado and write the next great
American novel, or simply sip a houndstooth, a curious combination of Schlitz beer and
espresso that will make your teeth chatter with its caffeinated, boozy buzz. See page 40.
and a lot more. You might be surprised by what you find.
warmer months have a stellar, decadent pork
relishgrinnell.com | $$
burger around—as well as the comfortable
and live music in the park ◆ a world-class beer cellar ◆ food trucks at the farmers’ market ◆ fat burritos and shrimp from Faro Viejo ◆ refined comfort food ◆ coffee from fresh roasted AA beans ◆ sub sandwiches for your bicycle basket ◆ classic Italian and a bottle of Chianti ◆ fried tenderloins during the game ◆ pizza and a movie or at the lake ◆ cookie chunks and sprinkles on your froyo ◆ all-day breakfast ◆ a quick bite for the family ◆ broasted chicken at the lunch counter ◆ summer patio time ◆ sushi straight from the coast ◆ sinfully succulent cupcakes
features lots of interesting craft brews. In
If you thought you hated Brussels sprouts,
menu—from seared salmon to the best veggie
bangers and mash ◆ burnt ends
2-for-1 drinks; their beer list is extensive and
dipping sauce, what you avoided as a kid is
n Orth L iberty :
Reds Alehouse is, for some, an ideal bike ride
theprairiecanary.com | $$$
think again. Lightly fried, sprinkled with
the menu tOday
Penn Landing Market
North Liberty’s Farmers’ Market
Global Flavors,” Chef Kamal Hammouda
and recipes from the Middle East to create Relish’s diverse menu. Always looking to bolster the Grinnell community, Relish
frequently hosts local musicians, adding
to the already comfortable and charming
atmosphere of the historic Victorian home in which Relish is situated. Vegan, vegetarian
and gluten-free options are always available, not to mention that Relish prepares arguably the best baklava in Iowa.
Every Sunday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. May to October at Pacha Parkway by Highway 965 & Penn Street in North Liberty
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 55
30 C St
Lion Bridge Brewing Company
Sutliff Cider Company
f14 IOWA R I V ER
Big Grove Brewery
Millstream Brewing Company
IOWA CIT Y
ER IOWA R I V
Kalona Brewing Company
C. Big Grove Brewery
EXPERIENCE: BIKEABLE BREWERIES
12 miles from Iowa City 101 W. Main St., Solon
Between RAGBRAI, Millstream’s Tour de Brew and the Culinary Ride, food- and beersoaked bike rides are a guilty pleasure in our area, but a tradition nonetheless. Ride safely!
A. Kalona Brewing Company 19 miles from Iowa City 405 B Ave., Kalona
Spacious, simple and modern, with a seemingly mile-long tap line to boot, the Kalona Brewing Company in downtown Kalona provides a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere to sit back and enjoy a good brew. The bar and eating area feature a few couches, a fireplace and a view of the stainless steel tanks in the brewing area. An outdoor seating area is open during warmer weather. Kalona strives to serve locally sourced meat and produce, and the mountain of beerbattered onion rings served with a special house sauce is an excellent appetizer. Be sure to try: Sucha Half Wit, a blend of 56 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
Kalona’s IPA and Belgian-style wheat that is only available at the brewery.
B. Backpocket Brewing 4 miles from Iowa City 903 Quarry Rd., Coralville
Instead of being its own separate space, the dining room at Backpocket is part of the brewery, so customers feel included in the process of making the beer. The brewery serves signature pizzas and flatbreads baked in a brick oven. The beer garden out front features a grill, fire pit and yard games, and, during the summer, hosts outdoor movie screenings at night. Be sure to try: Wooden Nickel, a tasty lager influenced by both German and Scottish brewing traditions.
Fittingly homey and woodsy, a little like a cabin in the woods, Big Grove is an ideal pit stop on the way to and from Lake Macbride. Refuel with a pound of Parmesan fries, burgers served on bread baked in-house or homemade pizzas. Fourteen tap lines feature a rotation of guest and Big Grove brews. Thirst is required during happy hour (3–6 p.m.), which features a twofor-one special, where two beers are served at the same time. Be sure to try: Arms Race Pale Ale, an invigorating beer made with Citra hops and featuring lots of citrus and tropical fruit aromas and flavors.
D. Millstream Brewing Company 25 Miles from Iowa City 835 48th Ave., Amana
Established in 1985, Millstream is Iowa’s oldest microbrewery. With live music and fun events scheduled throughout the year, it is the place
to be in the Amana Colonies. Grab a beer in the brewery’s taproom, which not only serves Millstream’s award-winning beers but also sells six-packs and growlers to take home. Relax with a pint of Iowa Pale Ale or John’s Generations White Ale outside on their patio, which features communal tables, hanging plants and vinecovered pergolas. An indoor seating area, with a view of the brewing tanks, is also available. Be sure to try: Back Road Stout, a robust, opaque, black-colored stout that won a gold medal at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival.
E. Sutliff Cider Company 23 miles from Iowa City 382 Sutliff Rd., Lisbon
Just five miles north of the historic Sutliff Bridge over the Cedar River is the Sutliff Cider Company, which presses apples, ferments the juice and bottles the finished cider in two historic barns. The taproom—located on the ground floor of a barn built in the late 19th century—and outdoor seating area are a popular destination for those out on a scenic drive or long bike ride. The taproom is only open seasonally on Sundays from 11 a.m.–6 p.m. The 2015 season opens on April 26 and ends Oct. 25. Be sure to try: Sutliff Hard Cider, a dry, Champagne-style cider, fermented in French oak barrels, that weighs in at 6.25 percent ABV.
F. Lion Bridge Brewing Company 27 Miles from Iowa City 59 16th Ave. S.W., Cedar Rapids
Located in the former Fritz’s Food Market in Cedar Rapids’ Czech Village, Lion Bridge brews world-class beers for the Corridor. The taproom offers eight to 12 Lion Bridge beers alongside three to five guest taps. Beer-centric snacks, appetizers and sandwiches, all made with locally sourced ingredients, are available from the kitchen. Be sure to try: Workman’s Compensation. Classified by the brewery as a dark mild, Workman’s Compensation is sessionable at 4.7 percent ABV and features notes of biscuit, toffee and chocolate. It was awarded a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2014.
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 57
R LV RECOMMENDS
The pizza is popular, or you can enjoy a meat
rideiowacity.com | $$
from La Quercia and Milton Creamery, with a
630 Iowa Ave., Iowa City | 319-359-1521
and cheese plate, featuring local delicacies
welcoming in the warmer months, when you can enjoy the patio. See page 12.
beer. See page 68.
SHORT’S BURGERS EASTSIDE
welcome addition to the Iowa City breakfast
SALT FORK KITCHEN
|shortseastside.com | $$
traditional American lunch and dinner. See
saltforkkitchen.com | $$
This newcomer, opened late in 2014, is a scene, and they also provide a solid, page 44.
RIVERSIDE CASINO AND GOLF RESORT
3184 Hwy. 22, Riverside | 319-648-1234 riversidecasinoandresort.com | $-$$$$
Riverside Casino and Golf Resort has three dining options for visitors: Ripple Diner,
Robert’s Buffet and Ruthie’s Steakhouse.
112 E. Main St., Solon | 319-624-2081
This downtown Solon restaurant is an outlet
alternatives, so it’s nearly impossible for the
201 S. Clinton St., Iowa City | 319-338-5747 $$
as you’re available for the 12 hours per week
441 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City | 319-337-8200 samspizzaic.com | $$
Pizza and calzones are the specialty at Sam’s,
and both these options go along quite nicely with the full-service bar. Enjoy a beer along with your pizza when you’ve finally grown
tired of delivery and carry-out. Try a thin-crust pie, or choose from sandwiches, soups and appetizers.
shortsburgerandshine.com | $$
homestyle dishes. See page 44 and 45.
specials, like crab or barbecue; or a beef
this popular area destination. See page 52.
18 S. Clinton St., Iowa City | 319-337-4678
There are 26 different burger options at
eggs, and the freshness is evident in their
If you have an adventurous palate and you like
tenderloin and a bottle of wine, you’ll find it at
SHORT’S BURGER & SHINE
for Salt Fork Farm’s produce, chickens and
Whether you’re in the mood for a quick
burger and fries; a varied buffet with nightly
521 Westbury Dr., Iowa City | 319-338-7743
spice, Seoul Grill will be your haven—as long
Short’s, along with chicken and black bean
menu to ever get old. The beef comes from
within Iowa’s own state lines, and they pride
themselves on their vast selection of Iowa craft beers and ciders. Be sure to taste the stellar Short’s Whiskey that they recently started
distilling in partnership with Cedar Ridge micro distillery in Swisher. See page 68.
that it’s open. See page 15.
spartisgyros.com | $
819 1st Ave., Iowa City | 319-337-7275
61 2nd St., Coralville | 319-512-5005
shakespearesic.com | $$
Though located in Coralville, Sparti’s is one of
This Eastside neighborhood bar serves some
to offer delivery of items like burgers, gyros
of the best lowbrow pub food in town, as well as more ritzy specials like, occasionally, prime rib. There’s a pool table and some video
games, but it’s most fun to watch the locals
and sip a draft beer from an impossibly frosty
mug. Wings are especially meaty; burgers are hand-formed and available with a variety of
toppings; and they have tater tots, deep fried
the only restaurants in the Iowa City area able and hot dogs, which is a godsend for people without cars (and for all us lazy people). They provide a fairly extensive and unique menu that drifts from Chicago classics to a Greek
souvlaki sandwich. The only real issue is that delivery times can be long, and the wait can be grueling.
to crispy, golden perfection.
sanctuarypub.com | $$
stellaiowacity.com | $$
The Sanctuary has a stunning selection of
sheratoniowacity.com | $$$
Venture a little farther up Melrose Avenue
beers, and its hardwood interior, complete
With a prime downtown location and a
watch the next big game on the big screens
perfect place to cozy up and sample a few.
place for a cocktail and a snack. It’s especially
405 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City | 319-351-5692
local, national and imported bottled and draft with a fireplace and overstuffed chairs, is the
58 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
210 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City | 319-337-4058
multicultural menu, Share is a good gathering
1006 Melrose Ave., Iowa City | 319-887-5564
from Kinnick Stadium to Stella, where you can and sink your teeth into a mouthwatering
burger made with Iowa-bred beef, a house-
GET THE FREE IOWA CITY EVENTS APP: TEXT “IOWA” TO 77948
made vegetarian black bean burger or a
little different, try the gumbo or jambalaya.
319-626-6666 | sushiyaia.com | $$
grilled chicken sandwich. For something a
745 Community Dr., Ste. A, North Liberty
Relatively new on the area restaurant scene,
sthirteen.com | $
delicious sushi, in addition to a large variety
13 S. Linn St., Iowa City | 267-713-2697
As Iowa City’s only GLBTQ bar and nightclub, Studio 13 is home to the drag queen Sasha
Belle, a fierce competitor on the 2015 season
of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and boasts weekly drag queen performances. It is also home to Iowa
Sushiya offers expertly made, intensely
of entrees and appertizers. There are many
Americanized Chinese options on the menu,
and they’re tasty, but the traditional Japanese dishes are truly superlative. See page 10, 32 and 38.
City’s very own I.C. King’s drag king troupe,
SUTLIFF CIDER COMPANY
of every month. If you want lasers, strobe
sutliffcider.com | $$
who perform at Studio 13 the last Thursday lights, smoke machines and techno beats,
382 Sutliff Rd., Lisbon | 319-455-4093
then Studio 13 is your dance scene. And if you
The dry ciders crafted by Sutliff are
and queen culture, you can find performance
local orchards. The taproom and outdoor
love the atmosphere surrounding drag king information on their website.
201 S. Clinton St., Iowa City | 319-338-1606 | $
handcrafted using apples from many
seating area are situated in the lovely Iowa
countryside, providing a pleasant setting for
an afternoon of sipping with friends. See page 57.
This tiny restaurant offers sushi made quickly
Iowa City. See page 34.
szechuanhouseiowacity.com | $$
by friendly people in the heart of downtown
320 E. Burlington St., Iowa City | 319-338-6788
The menu can be daunting, but the rewards
319-338-7676 | sushipopo.net | $$
The food is super authentic and is often
725 Mormon Trek Blvd., Iowa City
Serving classic sushi and popular Japanese, Chinese and Korean entrees, what really
at Szechuan House are worth the investment. sublimely delicious. See page 32.
TCB POOL HALL
makes Sushi Popo stand out is the jam
114 E. College St., Iowa City | 319-887-2665 | $
served in an enormous bowl, rich with chunks
Even if you don’t play pool, TCB’s a fun
seafood (or tofu for a vegetarian option).
addition to the 10 pool tables, they also have
bong—a hearty, smoky, spicy Korean soup of vegetables, udon noodles, pork and Here’s a secret: order it “green” for the
jalapeño-based broth, rather than the typical
place to hang out and have a beer; in shuffleboard and darts. See page 52.
red chili stock, and you’ll leave blissfully full and warm.
Family Law & Divorce Bankruptcy Criminal Defense General Practice 432 E. Bloomington St.
(319) 354-6000 daigwilliam.com
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 59
GUIDES: SPECIALTY MARKETS
Local grocers The area’s many specialty groceries reflect and serve a diverse population.
1937 Keokuk St., Iowa City Open Monday-Sunday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Acapulco 2 has a wide selection of produce, a meat counter and also Mexican breads and sweets. Their tres leches cake and flan are particular customer favorites.
Bai Jia Asian Market
906 2nd St., #3, Coralville Open Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Find an extensive selection of Asian groceries, including produce and meats, and a smaller selection of other ethnic products. They also carry an assortment of imported housewares and toiletries.
412 1st Ave., Coralville Open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. - 12 a.m. Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. 1:45 a.m. Sun 12 p.m. - 12 a.m. This liquor emporium has one of the area’s most diverse selections of spirits and is known to bring in bottles that might not otherwise be 60 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
available anywhere else in the state. They also have an extensive wine and beer selection and a friendly, knowledgeable staff.
Bread Garden Market 225 S. Linn St., Iowa City Open daily 6:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Customers return to Bread Garden for its wide range of imported, domestic and local groceries, in addition to their many homemade products, including bread, pasta and cold-pressed juices.
Brix Cheese Shop & Wine Bar
209 N. Linn St., #1, Iowa City Hours vary by season; call 319-359-1999 In addition to their small in-house menu, Brix offers a selection of cheeses, wine and gift baskets for retail sale.
Central Discount Grocery
2298 540th St., Kalona Open Monday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Wednesday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
An Amish-run salvage store, Central Discount Grocery sells packaged food at deep discount prices. The physical wear of the food items can vary, so you may have to hunt for mint condition canned and boxed items; also, be sure to check expiration dates.
905 2nd St., Coralville Open Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. In addition to a tremendous variety of Asian packaged food, Chong’s Supermarket offers an extensive selection of fresh produce.
East-West Oriental Foods
624 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City Open Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Sunday, 9:30 a.m. 5:30 p.m. Located just south of downtown, East-West Oriental Foods sells Asian packaged and frozen food, as well as a small selection of fresh produce.
El Paso Mexican Market
601 Hollywood Blvd., Iowa City Open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Find Mexican grocery staples, plus candles, pinatas and the occasional pair of ostrich-skin cowboy boots. There’s also a little taqueria counter in the back of the store, where you can pick up prepared foods like tacos and burritos.
89 2nd St., Coralville Open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Head here for a variety of of Mediterranean food and halal products.
220 Stevens Dr., Iowa City Open Monday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Wednesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tucked away in a corner of Iowa City, Great Wall specializes in Chinese packaged food and boast one of the area’s larger selections of Chinese sausages.
T LV RECOMMENDS
219 Iowa Ave., Iowa City | 319-351-5125 takanamidowntown.com | $$$
This sushi restaurant’s selection is a little more limited than its sibling restaurant Formosa,
but what options they do have, they do well.
Takanami has a tendency to frost their rolls in spicy mayo sauce, and this can be a good or bad thing depending on your palate.
TEDDY’S BIGGER BURGERS 324 E. Washington St., Iowa City
319-354-6888 | teddysbiggerburgers.com | $ This fast-food spot holds the monopoly on
speedy, to-go style burgers in downtown Iowa
City, and the generous portions and Hawaiianstyle sauce make Teddy’s a popular choice. See page 34.
340 E. Burlington St., Iowa City | 319-339-8900 thaiflavors.net | $$
Located in downtown Iowa City, Thai Flavors offers solid, tasty Thai standards available
for delivery, or you can eat in their brightly lit dining room.
1210 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City | 319-351-2581 thethaispice.com | $$
It’s easy to get lost in their menu, which has
many pages of traditional Thai fare, but once you find something you like, the pungent,
balanced flavors are addictive, so be careful! See page 10.
THREE SAMURAI JAPANESE RESTAURANT
1801 2nd St., Coralville | 319-337-3340 threesamurairestaurant.com | $$$
In addition to their vast menu of sushi and
Japanese-inflected entrees, Three Samurai has a small selection of tasty Vietnamese
dishes that set the restaurant apart from its sushi brethren. See page 15.
TRUMPET BLOSSOM CAFE
310 E. Prentiss St., Iowa City | 319-248-0077 trumpetblossom.com | $$$
Iowa City’s only vegan restaurant, Trumpet Blossom is delicious in its own right. Even omnivores can find something satisfying
on this creative, thoughtful menu, and the
cocktails are excellent. See page 22 and 44.
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 61
Harvest Oil & Vinegar
1150 5th St., Coralville Open Monday-Tuesday 10 a.m.- 6.p.m.; Wednesday-Thursday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Pita Sandwiches FALAFEL PITA: Plain or whole wheat pita filled with
hummus, babba ganoush, mediterranean salad and falafel. ... $5.95 ($4.25/half) ADD chicken, beef kafta, gyro, grilled vegetables, chicken shawarma or lamb ... $7.95 ($6.25/half) SABICH: Moroccan eggplant, hard-boiled egg and hummus in pocket pita. ... $5.95 ($4.25/half)
PREMIUM FILLINGS ($0.75): Moroccan Eggplant Pickles, Tabbouleh, Feta, Couscous, Hard-Boiled Egg ($1)
Entrées KEBAB PLATE: KEBAB PLATE: Choose Two: Chicken,
Beef Kafta, Grilled Vegetables, Chicken Shawarma, Gyro or Lamb + any two sides & pita. ... $10.95 SULTAN’S PLATE: Choose any four sides + pita. ... $8.45 GENIE’S PLATE: Choose any three sides + pita. ... $6.95 GREEK SALAD: Mixed greens with feta, kalamata olives, cucumbers and housemade balsamic dressing on the side. ... $4 ADD Hard-boiled egg. ... $1
Let Oasis cater your next event!
Like the name suggests, Harvest Oil & Vinegar is an entire store dedicated to olive oils and vinegars.
401 E. Market St., Iowa City Open Sunday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. - 12 a.m.; Friday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m. - 2 a.m. In addition to one of the most extensive beer selections in Iowa, John’s also has a superb wine and craft spirit offerings, in addition to snack staples, grocery basics and baked goods.
La Regia Market
436 Hwy. 1, Iowa City Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Though small, La Regia Market sells a large selection of meat, produce, herbs, spices and candy, along with a small selection of household products.
NewBo City Market
1100 3rd St. S.E., Cedar Rapids Open Thursday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Some of the shops at NewBo City Market, a collection of vendors, include Pappardelle’s Pasta, Greyhound Deli and Frontier Herbs, and Roasters Coffee House.
New Pioneer Food Co-op
3338 Center Point Rd. N.E., Cedar Rapids; 1101 2nd St., Coralville; 22 S. Van Buren St., Iowa City Open daily from 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. Memberships are encouraged but are not required to shop at the Co-op, which takes pride in its ability to offer the best in organic, natural and local food.
2204 540th St., Kalona Open Monday, Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. An Amish grocery store packed with many handmade items you can’t find in most supermarkets, Stringtown Grocery is best known for their expansive spice selection and inexpensive bulk foods. They also feature a large assortment of preserves and pickles, in addition to local dairy and produce. 62 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
Taj International Foods
216 1st Ave., Coralville Open Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. Focusing on Indian staples and spices, Taj International Foods receives their order of fresh vegetables on Wednesdays.
920 E. 2nd Ave., #115, Coralville Open Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Offering a wide range of wines and craft beers, WineStyles serves glasses of wine on-site and offers a selection of wine tasting events.
ZaZa’s Pasta Shop and Italian Market
518 Bowery St., Iowa City Open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Find a small selection of imported Italian foods alongside the handmade pasta at ZaZa’s. ........ TO SUGGEST AN UPDATE TO THIS LIST, PLEASE CONTACT LITTLE VILLAGE AT EDITOR@LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM
Zaza’s Pasta Shop
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 63
GUIDES: SEASONAL CELEBRATIONS
Annual Festivals Expertly curated by area food and culture mavens, festivals combine a selection of dining, drinking and cultural options to offer fun for the whole family.
Taste of Iowa City
Aug. 26 | Iowa City | Downtown downtowniowacity.com This food festival celebrates the culinary diversity of the Downtown and Northside districts with sample portions from more than 35 local restaurants.
Top Chef: Downtown March 20 | Iowa City | hotelVetro downtowniowacity.com
In this friendly competition, local restaurants prepare signature dishes, competing to earn the title of “top chef.”
Northside Oktoberfest Oct. 3 | Iowa City | North Side Marketplace facebook.com/northsideoktoberfest
64 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
At this popular Northside beer festival, patrons enjoy live music, local food vendors and a tremendous selection of beer. There is also a smaller SodaFest, so the whole family can enjoy the day.
Eat Drink Local Week April 19-26 | Iowa City | Downtown downtowniowacity.com
This week-long celebration of Iowa City’s flourishing culinary scene emphasizes ingredients from Iowa’s own farmers, artisans and brewers.
in venues all across downtown Iowa City, Mission Creek celebrates music, literature, art, food and culture.
May 2-3 | Amana Colonies festivalsinamana.com A family-oriented celebration of the arrival of spring, Maifest highlights Amana’s German heritage through food and culture.
Oktoberfest in the Amana Colonies
Mission Creek Festival
Oct. 2 - 4 | Amana Colonies festivalsinamana.com
A week-long festival taking place
Amana’s Oktoberfest is a traditional celebration with entertainment, dancing and German food and beer. There is
March 31 - April 5 | Iowa City | Downtown missionfreak.com
TEXT “IOWA” TO 77948 FOR IC AREA EVENTS
also a wealth of kids’ activities, including pony rides, cookie decorating and a pumpkin toss.
transformed into a classic Munich beer hall.
Late summer | Begins in Iowa City culinaryride.com
January | Coralville | Coralville Marriott backpocketbrewing.com An annual event calling attention to the beers of winter, Brrrfest makes sure to give special focus to craft breweries of Iowa and the Midwest.
September | Coralville | Coralville Marriott backpocketbrewing.com Backpocket’s Oktoberfest allows guests to enjoy German food, live music and the local brewery’s craft beer as the Coralville Mariott is
A “bicycle tour of local farms, food and fermentation,” Culinary Ride allows cyclists to enjoy samples of local food while taking in Iowa’s gorgeous scenery, and route lengths vary.
Field to Family Festival Sept. 17-20 | Iowa City | fieldtofamily.org
This food festival takes the homegrown ingredients of local farms and gardens and places them in the hands of skilled chefs, giving people the chance to taste a variety of food while supporting Iowa farmers and gardens.
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 65
GUIDES: COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE
Locally grown Community supported agriculture, or CSA, allows community members to purchase shares, or memberships, with area farms. Contribution early in the season allows farmers to properly gauge demand. In return for purchasing a CSA share, community members receive farm-fresh product, without the retail markups.
Abbe Hills Garden
Mount Vernon | 319-895-6924 | abbehills.com Contents: Vegetables, eggs Season: Early June through late October Distribution: Mount Vernon
Onslow | 319-310-2210 | ambleside-farm.com Contents: Vegetables, greens, melons, eggs Season: Year-round Distribution: Monticello
Ebersole Cattle Co.
Kellerton | 515-971-8462 | ebersolecattle.com Contents: Beef Season: Year-round Distribution: Iowa City
Mechanicsville | 319-325-3910 | echollectivecsa. blogspot.com Contents: Vegetables, melons, herbs, herbal tinctures and salves Season: May through October Distribution: Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Quad Cities
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Family Farm CSA
Iowa City | 319-936-1317 Contents: Vegetables, fruits, herbs Season: Late May/early June through midSeptember Distribution: Between Iowa City and Solon
Garden on the Prairie
Tama | 641-484-2052 Contents: Vegetables, fruits, herbs, hops, beef, dairy, eggs, honey, syrup, jams Season: Early May through early August Distribution: Tama
Decorah | 563-382-3216 Contents: Vegetables, herbs Season: June through October Distribution: Cedar Rapids and Decorah
Goosebury Hill Subscription Produce
Iowa City | 319-354-7260 Contents: Vegetables, fruits, herbs, eggs, dairy Season: June through September Distribution: Iowa City
Grass Run Farms
Dorchester | 563-492-3400 | grassrunfarms.com Contents: Beef, pork Season: May through September Distribution: Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Coralville
Grinnell Heritage Farm
Grinnell | 641-236-4374 | grinnellheritagefarm.com Contents: Vegetables, herbs, greens Season: Year-round Distribution: Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Iowa City and Hiawatha
Hue Hill Farm
Iowa City | 319-339-0624 Contents: Bread, herbs, vegetables, eggs, chicken Season: Late April through December Distribution: Iowa City and Cedar Rapids
Local Harvest CSA
Solon | 319-929-5032 | zjfarms.com Contents: Vegetables, bread, eggs, flowers Season: Late April through December Distribution: Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, North Liberty and Solon
Maharishi Vedic City CSA
Fairfield | 641-919-7010 | mvccsa.com Contents: Vegetables, fruit, herbs, greens Season: Year-round Distribution: Des Moines, Iowa City, Fairfield, Ottumwa, Vedic City and Washington
T LV RECOMMENDS
TUSCAN MOON GRILL ON FIFTH
tuscan-moon.com | $$$$
thewedgepizza.com | $$
203 5th St., Kalona | 319-656-3315
It is more than worth the drive to Tuscan
The Wedge offers takeout and delivery of
patio and a friendly staff. Their steaks are
few calzone options. See page 36.
Moon, a traditional steakhouse with a vast delicious, and their wine list and specials
WHITEY’S ICE CREAM
UPTOWN BILL’S COFFEE HOUSE & NEIGHBORHOOD ARTS CENTER
319-338-4776 | whiteysicecream.com | $
uptownbills.org | $
This cozy coffeehouse and community
performance venue offers a wide range of organic coffees and teas and perhaps the
best selection of soda in all of Iowa City. What truly sets Uptown Bill’s apart, though, is their commitment to nurturing and encouraging
Salt Fork Farm
Solon | 319-270-3449 | saltforkfarms.com Contents: Vegetables, fruits, herbs, eggs, chicken, flowers Season: May through November Distribution: Iowa City and Solon
Sass Family Farm
1451 Coral Ridge Ave., Coralville
This ice cream shop is something of an Iowa
City institution, and rightly so. The shakes are
blended on an old-fashioned shake machine, and the ice cream selection contains some really creative, interesting blends. Try the
black raspberry chocolate chip, with giant chunks of dark chocolate blended into a sweet, fruity cream.
people with disabilities: They provide
WIG AND PEN PIZZA PUB
people with disabilities, in addition to offering
wigandpenpizza.com | $$
employment and enterprise opportunities to
Atalissa | 319-560-4826 | oakhillacres.com Contents: Vegetables, greens, herbs Season: May through October Distribution: Coralville, Iowa City, Muscatine, Quad Cities and West Liberty
their many specialty pizzas, in addition to a
shine. See page 25.
730 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City | 319-339-0804
Oak Hill Acres
517 S. Riverside Dr., Iowa City | 319-337-6677
a community forum to raise awareness about
1220 Hwy. 6 W., Iowa City | 319-354-2767 363 N. 1st Ave., Iowa City | 319-351-2327
people with disabilities. Their open mic
wigandpenpizza.com | $$
concerts foster this tight-knit and inviting
Popular with families and sports fans, Wig and
nights, poetry readings and regular music atmosphere.
849 Quarry Rd., Coralville | 319-338-3782 vestaiowa.com | $$$
Pen can get a bit crowded on game days, but
that’s not daunting for its loyal following, who
can’t get enough of its pizza and bar fare. See page 36.
Vesta has an extensive menu featuring
WILDWOOD SMOKEHOUSE AND SALOON
a favorite perch during FryFest—the kickoff
319-338-2211 | wildwoodsaloon.com | $$
Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. The patio is festival for the Iowa Hawkeye football season.
4919 B Walleye Dr. S.E., Iowa City
There’s barbecue, dancing and drinks, and on
Riverside | 319-648-3788 | sassfamilyfarm.com Contents: Vegetables, herbs, eggs, jams, honey, baked goods Season: May through October Distribution: Riverside
VINE TAVERN & EATERY
vinetavern.com | $$
WILTON CANDY KITCHEN
Students and residents head to the Vine for
wiltoncandykitchen.com | $
Marion | 319-210-1390 | supernaturalorganics.com Contents: Vegetables, greens, herbs Season: Early June through mid-October Distribution: Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha and Marion
The Little Red Barn
Vinton | 319-361-2169 | littleredbarncsa.com Contents: Vegetables, pork, beef, poultry, eggs Season: May through October Distribution: Vinton
330 E. Prentiss St., Iowa City | 319-354-8767 vinetavern.com | $$
39 2nd St., Coralville | 319-338-7770
the bar food options and daily food and drink
mechanical bull. It’s like someone brought a little bit of Texas to Iowa! See page 52.
310 Cedar St., Wilton | 563-732-2278
specials. The Iowa City location has a more
While only a short drive from Iowa City, Wilton
lighting and giant TVs, while the Coralville
a time machine, back to a simpler day when
classic college-bar atmosphere, with dimmed location is more family-friendly.
WATERSTREET COFFEE BAR
925 E 2nd Ave., Coralville | 319-351-9317 waterstreetcoffeebar.com | $
Located on the Iowa River Landing,
Candy Kitchen feels like you’ve traveled in
after-school fun involved banana splits and bike rides. See page 49.
YOTOPIA FROZEN YOGURT
132 S. Clinton St., Iowa City | 319-338-0500 facebook.com/yotopiafrozenyogurt | $
Waterstreet Coffee Bar is a lovely place to
This is downtown Iowa City’s only locally
personal Chemex pot of excellent brewed
with other little touches, makes it a standout
escape from downtown and enjoy your own, coffee. It is clear the staff views coffee as an
art, and that is as it should be. See page 40. LITTLEVILLLAGEMAG.COM/DINING
weekends, you can try your hand at riding a
owned frozen yogurt shop, and this, along among the crowd. See page 49.
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 67
GUIDES: DOWNTOWN BARS
Pick Your Potion
Whether you are looking for a club, a pub or to fill your stein with the latest craft beer release, downtown Iowa City has a lot to offer a drinking crowd. Explore some of the area’s bars through their most popular drinks.
Clinton Street Social Club 18 ½ S. Clinton St., Iowa City clintonstreetsocial.com
IC Ugly’s Saloon 210 N. Linn St., Iowa City icuglys.com
With the strongest bar program in the area, Clinton Street’s liquor shelf is full of boutique and hard-to-find spirits, and their staff can talk extensively about each one. Their most popular drink: a good ol’ old fashioned.
Half the crowd at this Northside, townie bar loves the drink specials, like the Pop Rocks martini; the other half relies on standards like a frosty mug of domestic beer.
Dave’s Fox Head Tavern 402 E. Market St., Iowa City
Martini’s 127 E. College St., Iowa City martinisic.com
Don’t overthink the drink—save all your brainpower for the conversations you’ll likely have in this writer-filled bar. A Jameson neat with a beer back is all you need. Donnelly’s Pub 110 E. College St., Iowa City The name might not be PC, but they are tasty: Donnelly’s patrons enjoy Irish Car Bombs. Dublin Underground 5 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City Surprisingly, this Irish bar’s most popular whiskey is Bulleit bourbon. Not surprisingly, their most popular beer is Guinesss. Gabe’s Oasis 330 E. Washington St., Iowa City icgabes.com When at Gabe’s, grab a tallboy of PBR and hit the patio.
Martini’s is a favorite for the undergrad crowd, whose cocktail knowledge leans toward simple, low-calorie choices like vodka, water and lime. Micky’s Irish Pub & Grill 11 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City facebook.com/MickysIrishPubGrill Even though Micky’s is an Irish Pub, they make a killer Moscow mule, served in an ice-cold copper mug; it’s delicious and refreshing. The Mill Restaurant 120 E. Burlington St., Iowa City icmill.com People who visit The Mill enjoy the bar’s great selection of craft beers but can’t get enough of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.
Sanctuary Pub 405 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City sanctuarypub.com The Sanctuary has one of the strongest craft and import beer programs in Iowa City. They do a great job of highlighting local and regional brews. Short’s Burger & Shine 18 S. Clinton St., Iowa City shortsburgerandshine.com Short’s recently started collaborating with Cedar Ridge, a local distillery, to make Short’s Whiskey. This Iowa whiskey is delicious on its own, but many enjoy it in their whiskey Cokes. Sports Column 12 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City sportscolumnbar.com Especially packed on game days, Sports Column tends to attract a lot of students and alumni. They are also a go-to for birthdays, when they offer 20 pitchers of beer for $25. Summit 10 S. Clinton St., Iowa City facebook.com/summit.iowacity Visitors to the Summit love the Iowa City Iced Water, a variation on the Long Island Iced Tea, that includes gin, Absolut vodka and lime juice. Yacht Club 13 S. Linn St., Iowa City iowacityyachtclub.org At this popular music venue, it depends on who’s playing, but more often than not the crowd here wants a shot of Fireball and a PBR.
212 S. CLINTON STREET • IOWA CITY, IA 52240 • 319.358.0776 • WWW.JOSEPHSSTEAK.COM 68 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
30hop BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 69
CREATIVE SERVICES MOBILE WEBSITES DIGITAL & PRINT ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS GRAPHIC DESIGN PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO CUSTOM PUBLICATION DESIGN Contact us today for a free consultation: (319) 855-1475 email@example.com
70 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
GUIDE: MOBILE MEALS
State of the Cart
By John Miller
Across the country, in cities like Portland, Minneapolis and now Des Moines, food carts have become popular, not only for diners who enjoy the often quick service and lower prices, but also for many entrepreneurs who want to cook creative food but may not have the capital to invest in a storefront.
he area culinary scene includes some food carts, but due to relatively strict foodservice laws, as well as pushback from local brick-and-mortar restaurants who worry about competition, many are only able to operate at seasonal farmers’ markets or during downtown festivals. This is a shame, because outside of the five food stands currently licensed by the city to set up in the Ped Mall, there aren’t many mobile food options. But fear not, Iowa City food lovers: Iowa City Assistant City Manager Geoff Fruin says the first few months of the new year are likely to bring delicious changes to the Iowa City area’s mobile food landscape. The city has already made efforts to expand opportunities for mobile food vendors. In 2014, the city launched a mobile food-vending pilot program, which Fruin says could have gone a lot better than it did. Five food vendors were present at the program’s launch in mid-July, but by its conclusion in late October only two remained, due to issues with low pedestrian traffic and overall lack of visibility. According to Fruin, even the food stands that participated until the end have since indicated that they would not be interested in participating if the same program were offered next year. “I think we can take those lessons and apply them to some regulations in a manner that expands mobile vending opportunities, yet doesn’t compete directly with the brick-andmortar restaurants,” Fruin said. In collaboration with city staff, Fruin put together a memo—reviewed by the directly affected mobile vendors—for the city council,
which proposed two options to help expand mobile vending: One is a new mobile food pilot program in a different area of town, possibly Riverfront Crossing, but definitely nowhere near the center of downtown; the other proposes that the council make wholesale changes to laws that currently prohibit mobile food vendors from selling their goods on public property. While it is clear that vendors face some hurdles, with support from several city departments and ongoing cooperation from the vendors themselves, it’s easy to be optimistic about the chances of seeing more mobile food vendors in Iowa City over the coming year.
Ped Mall Food Carts: • • • • •
Marco’s Grilled Cheese Paco’s Tacos George’s Best Gyros Pop’s Italian Beef CorNroc
Iowa City Farmers Market Food Carts: • • • • • • • • • • • •
Bread Garden Market’s Gelato Bike The Box Lunch Caribbean Kitchen CinnaMini Dumpling Darling El Banditos Get Fresh Griddle Me This Local Burrito Maestro Empanadas Maggie’s Farm Swanson’s Catering
Ced-Rel Supper Club 14 Cobble Hill Restaurant 10, 14 Greyhound Deli & Frontier Herbs 26 Lighthouse Inn Supper Club 41 Lion Bridge Brewing Company 8, 41, 47 The Lost Cuban 41 Maggie’s Farm Pizza 41 NewBo City Market 62 Pho Mai 55 CORALVILLE
30hop 9, 25 Backpocket Brewing 13, 56 Bootleggin’ Barzini’s 60 Caffe Crema 14, 40 Chong’s Supermarket 60 Exotic India 24 Global Mart 60 Harvest Oil & Vinegar 62 Iowa River Power Restaurant 32, 44 Konomi Restaurant 38, 39 Mendoza 43 Mondo’s Draft House 44, 47 Monica’s 47 Peking Buffet 54 Petra Falafel House 54 Pho Zaika 55 Sparti’s Gyros 58 Three Samurai Japanese Restaurant 15, 61 Vesta 67 Vine Tavern & Eatery 67 Waterstreet Coffee Bar 40, 67 Whitey’s Ice Cream 67 WineStyles 63 Taj International Foods 63 FAIRFIELD
The Arbor Bar Cafe Paradiso
Prairie Canary 55 Relish 55 IOWA CITY
2 Dogs Pub A & A Pagliai’s Pizza Acapulco 2 The Airliner American Legion #17
9 36, 11 60 11 11, 46
180+ restaurants, bars, markets and other dining destinations, recommended by Little Village. Atlas World Grill 11, 15, 25 Baroncini Ristorante Italiano 13, 49 Basta 13, 15, 25 Best China 13 Blackstone 13 Bluebird Diner 13, 42 Bob’s Your Uncle 13 Bo James 13 Bread Garden Market 14, 22 Brix Cheese Shop and Wine Bar 12, 14 Bubble Pop 14 Bubbleology Karaoke & Cafe 14, 46 Cactus Mexican Restaurant 14 Cactus #2 14 Cate’s Frozen Yogurt 14 Clinton Street Social Club 12, 14, 38, 68 The Club Car 14 Colonial Lanes 19, 52 Cottage Bakery & Cafe 19 Crêpes de Luxe Café 19 Dane’s Dairy 19, 49 Dave’s Fox Head Tavern 19, 68 Daylight Donuts 23 Deadwood Tavern 23 Deluxe Cakes and Pastries 23 Devotay 12, 23 Donnelly’s Pub 23, 68 Dublin Underground 24, 68 East-West Oriental Foods 60 El Banditos 24, 44 El Paso Taqueria and Latin Market 24 Fabian’s Seafood 38 Fair Grounds Cafe 24 Falbos Bros. Pizzeria 24, 36 FilmScene 24, 53 Forbidden Planet Pizza + Arcade 8, 24, 52 Formosa 24 Funcrest Dairy & Grill 24, 49 Gabe’s Oasis 26, 68 George’s Buffet 10, 26 Givanni’s 26 Great Wall 60 Gumby’s Pizza 27 Hamburg Inn No. 2, Inc. 27, 42 Her Soup Kitchen 27 Heyn’s Ice Cream 27, 49 High Ground Cafe 27, 40 Hilltop Tavern 27 IC Ugly’s Saloon 68 India Cafe 32 Iowa Chop House 32 Java House 32
Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack 35 Joe’s Place 35 John’s Grocery 35, 62 Joseph’s Steakhouse 35 Korean Barbeque 39 La Regia Taqueria 32, 39 Leaf Kitchen 39, 42 Linn Street Cafe 41 Los Portales 41 Mama’s Deli & Catering 41 Mami’s Authentic Mexican Food Service 34, 43 Masala Indian Cuisine 43 Martini’s 68 McWane Dairy Queen 43 Mekong Restaurant 43 Mesa Pizza 36, 46 Micky’s Irish Pub & Grill 46, 68 The Mill 25, 44, 46, 68 Molly’s Cupcakes 46 Mondo’s Saloon 47 Motley Cow Cafe 22, 38, 44, 47 New Pioneer Food Co-op 22, 47, 62 No. 18 Karaoke & Bubble Tea 46, 47 Nodo 34, 48 Oasis Falafel 34, 48 One Twenty Six, Moonrakers and Hearth 48 Orchard Green Restaurant and Lounge 48 Osaka Japanese Restaurant 48 Oyama Sushi 54 Pita Pit 55 Prairie Lights Books & Cafe 40, 55 Pullman Bar & Diner 8, 44, 55 Quinton’s Bar & Deli 55 Ride 44, 58 Sam’s Pizza 58 Sanctuary Pub 58, 68 Seoul Grill 15, 58 Shakespeare’s 58 Share 12, 58 Short’s Burger & Shine 58, 68 Sports Column 68 Stella 58 Studio 13 59 Summit 68 Sushi Kicchin 34, 59 Sushi Popo 59 Szechuan House 32, 59 TCB Pool Hall 53, 59 Takanami 61 Teddy’s Bigger Burgers 34, 61 Thai Flavors 61
Thai Spice 10, 61 Trumpet Blossom Cafe 22, 44, 61 Uptown Bill’s Coffee House & Neighborhood Arts Center 67 Vine Tavern & Eatery 67 Wedge Pizzeria 36, 67 Wig & Pen Pizza Pub 36, 67 Wildwood Smokehouse and Saloon 52, 67 Yacht Club 68 Yotopia Frozen Yogurt 49, 67 ZaZa’s Pasta Shop 15, 63 KALONA
Central Discount Grocery 60 Golden Delight Bakery 26 Kalona Brewing Company 39, 56 Stringtown Grocery 62 Tuscan Moon Grill on Fifth 25, 67 MOUNT VERNON Fuel Nest Lincoln Wine Bar Palisades Cafe
24, 40 37, 41 8, 54
Bluebird Diner 13, 42 Club 76 14 Reds Alehouse 55 Sushiya 10, 32, 38, 59 NORWALK
Augusta Restaurant 10,11, 42 Geyer’s Oven 10, 26 RIVERSIDE
Riverside Casino & Golf Resort SOLON
Big Grove Brewery Salt Fork Kitchen SUTLIFF
52, 58 13, 56 44, 58 57, 59
Gabby’s Mexican Restaurant
Wilton’s Candy Kitchen 49, 67 BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 71
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JUST OFF I-80 (EXIT 242) AND 1ST AVENUE IN CORALVILLE
DINING AT IRL IOW AR
/IowaRiverLanding @IARiverLanding @IowaRiverLanding
4 3 2
ARRIVE. UNWIND. INDULGE.
E 9TH ST
WATERSTREET COFFEE BAR waterstreetcoffeebar.com
SCRATCH CUPCAKERY scratchcupcakery.com
BACKPOCKET BREWING backpocketbrewing.com
KONOMI GRILL konomigrill.com
EDGEWATER GRILLE & RIVER BAR marriott.com
BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 73
CANTEBURY INN & Suites (319) 351-0400 704 1st Ave, Coralville, IA 52241 bestwestern.com/canteburyinnsuites
2 Room Suites With Hot Tub Option Indoor Pool Complimentary Wifi Fitness Center Meeting Room Complimentary Hot Breakfast
74 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015
Ned Ashton House 820 Park Road
The Park Lodge at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area 579 McCollister Blvd.
Riverside Festival Stage Lower City Park
Perfect for Retirement Celebrations, Receptions and Reunions! For more information about these facilities please contact 402-677-1821 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Marina at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area BREAD & BUTTER 2015 | 75
76 | BREAD & BUTTER 2015