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2016 Dining Guide

BREAd & BUTTER 250+ Recommended Restaurants, Bars, Markets & more ...


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Konomi Japanese Restaurant







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2016 Dining Guide



ART DIRECTOR Jordan Sellergren CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Gemma de Choisy, Erin McMeen, Lucy Morris, Frankie Schneckloth, Matthew Steele, JoJo Baccam EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Alicia Ambler, Rachel Arndt, Paul Berchenbriter, Courtenay Bouvier, Anna Drexler, Morgan Gray, Cristina Ortiz, Casey Wagner PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS Bill Adams, Mara Cole, Britt Fowler, Juan Carlos Herrera, Ben Partridge DESIGN CONTRIBUTORS Natalia Araujo, Andrew Desforges ON THE COVER Bardot PUBLISHER Matthew Steele Special thanks to distribution partners the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, whose underwriting also supported ads for CVB member businesses. For information on membership, visit iowacitycoralville.com. Additional thanks go to the Cedar Rapids Convention and Visitors Bureau for their underwriting, and to our advisory team of Amber Neville, Melody Dworak, Candice Smith and Adam Witte. DISTRIBUTION REQUESTS Distro@LittleVillageMag.com AD INQUIRIES Ads@LittleVillageMag.com LV CREATIVE SERVICES Creative@LittleVillageMag.com LV TICKETS LittleVillageTickets.com CONTACT Little Village, 623 S Dubuque St. Iowa City, IA 52244 319-855-1474 ONLINE LittleVillageMag.com MOBILE APP Little Village Best of IC Free on iOS, Android

6 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

ESTABLISHED IN 2001, Little Village provides independent news, local culture commentary and the best information available on arts, entertainment and events in the Cedar Rapids, Coralville and Iowa City area. Find us twice monthly on newsstands, and online at LittleVillageMag.com. The second annual Bread & Butter dining guide contains something for everyone: great meals at every price point and for every diet, guidance for visitors looking to get beneath the surface and an exhaustive list of worthwhile breakfast, lunch, dinner and after dinner destinations to help even the most seasoned locals find something new to try. (A-Z index starts on page 11.) Please send letters, comments, corrections or additional recommendations to editor@littlevillagemag.com. Like Little Village, Bread & Butter is always free; all contents are the licensed work of the contributor and of the publication. If you would like to reprint or collaborate on new content, reach us at lv@littlevillagemag.com. To browse back issues, visit us at 623 S. Dubuque Street, Iowa City, or online at issuu.com/ littlevillage. Main: (319) 855-1474.

20 - Pho Zaika

recommended What's new - 14 Buzz-worthy upstarts.

take it slow - 17 What's the rush?

pho - 20

Rhymes with duh.

Health nuts - 22


You so obviously deserve.

Pizza Lyfe - 34

Because you're all about it.

Seafood - 36

If you see it, eat it.

Brunch - 46

Do yourself a favor.

Bourgeois bohemians: Unite.

Sammies - 24


On a bun, in a pita or on the run.

Who's cooking the meanest bean?

Find out who is

upping the culinary ante.

page 14

BREAD & BUTTER 2015, 7

The time

a happy accident turned cheddar into

CHEDDAR page 26

8 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

26 - Milton Creamery


Do what like a man? - 50

MILTON Creamery - 26

Tending to their flock - 68

See who is leveraging their core competencies for the most synergistic yummies. We'll take Prairie Breeze cubism over Picasso and Braque anyday.


Bartenders tell you how to drink like a professional.

Frida Kahlo's - 42

guides A-Z INDEX

The ultimate bucket list starts on page 11.


A few locals to start with, plus a list of everything that's currently going on statewide.




Sometimes, you want to eat dinner while a stranger is baring their soul.


QUINCEA単eras - 42 An Iowa tradition.

The open road - 48

It's better when you know a delicious meal is waiting for you.

Supermarkets supersize, specialty markets find their niche.

SUBSCRIBE to freshness - 64

The guide to buying direct from farmers.


On stage, on screen and on your plate, may your cup runneth over.


Annual events to keep on your agenda.

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 9

the crowd of locals are the perfect companions.

Hilltop Tavern


Dive in!

Belly up to the bar at these comfortable-but-basic neighborhood pubs and follow the lead of the locals and regulars.

The New Shack Tavern

2545 Old River Rd. S.W., Cedar Rapids You might bump into your uncle at The New Shack Tavern. You know, the uncle who taught you how to bait a hook? He bought you beer that one time in high school? Back in the day, the Shack was both a bar and a bait shop, and you could order nightcrawlers and a drink in the same breath. Even though the days of the apocryphal minnow shot are long gone, the Shack’s woodsy surroundings, river view, and rustic hospitality are the same as ever. Order the Broasted Tenderloin—it’s truly delicious. Get one for your uncle, too. Don't you still owe him one?

J.M. O’Malley’s

1502 H Ave. N.E., Cedar Rapids Approaching, it looks like a dive bar. Small ramshackle building. Cracked parking lot. You step inside—it’s close, crowded, low10 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

ceilinged and dark in the daytime. Squeezing past the shadowy regulars, you order a drink, and hunch into the nearest open seat. Your eyes adjust, you look around, and the shadows fade. You’re surrounded by friendly, smiling people from the neighborhood, all walks of life, catching up and enjoying each other’s company. It’s almost time for Sunday’s card drawing. Don’t worry—they’ll explain the rules. Is it a dive bar? Yeah—that’s the beauty of it. You’ll be back Thursday for the music.

American Legion #17

3016 Muscatine Ave., Iowa City Susan, who’s a nurse but cuts hair on the side, says the burger at the Legion is the best one in town. Aimee, who runs the kitchen, says the burger’s good, but she prefers the specials, like Tuna Noodle Casserole or Chicken Enchiladas; her Italian grandmother and Mexican aunt taught her how to cook, and she said she can taste their love in the daily specials she serves.

George doesn’t eat when he’s at the Legion, because his wife expects him home for supper, but he loves to hang out and chat with the young bartender, and he always tips a dollar per beer, making sure to say, “Here’s a buck for you, Doll.” On Fridays, the Legion’s crawling with graduate students who love the karaoke; every other day and night, you’ll find George and Susan posted up at the bar. Post up with them. Talk about the weather. And try the Chicken Enchiladas.

Baxa’s Sutliff Store and Tavern 5546 130th St N.E., Lisbon

Some Iowa City folks like to ride their bikes out to Baxa’s, coming in over the historic old wagon truss bridge that crosses the Cedar River and landing at the tavern, a building whose edifice looks like it was lifted from the set of “Little House on the Prairie.” Don’t let them and their fit spandex bodies deter you from the deep-fried glories that lie inside the old building. Sign a dollar bill, stick it to the ceiling with all the others and order a cheap beer, Fried Cauliflower with horseradish sauce, a basket of Clam Strips, a Pork Tenderloin and a side of Gizzards, even. Take it all out to one of the picnic tables on the bridge, watch the river flow by beneath you, and laugh at all those people who have to bike back to Iowa City.


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.

Price range is indicated on a scale

month competition where diners design their perfect burger.


900 E. 2nd Ave., Coralville

319-351-3800, 30hop.com, $$

of $ to $$$$ and accounts for each

Enjoy a burger and a beer on their

meal from the dinner menu (where

their larger, classic American entrees—

establishment’s average price for a applicable), and a drink.

giant rooftop patio, or relax over one of either way, make sure to try something


homestyle bar food with the locals.

319-351-5073, pagliaisic.com, $$


The Pagliai family has been in the pizza

319-499-1198, aprespeninsula.com,

302 E. Bloomington St., Iowa City

business in Iowa since 1957, so Pagliai’s is a respected Iowa tradition. Try the

1010 Martin St., Iowa City $$$

Palace Special, an Iowa City favorite

Tucked into the heart of the Peninsula

mushroom and onion.

menu of small plates and an array of

featuring sausage, beef, pepperoni,

neighborhood, Apres serves an eclectic creative cocktails. Their Lobster Mac &

from their epic beer selection.


$$ = $10-$20


319-351-9259, theairlinerbar.com, $$


$$$$ = $30-$40

Cedar Rapids

Famous for pizza, sports and home-

641-209-1821, $

$ = $10 and under $$$ = $20-$30

350 First Ave. NE Fl. 16 319-731-4483, $$$$


An elegant, high-end steak house on

319-337-9047, 2dogspub.com, $$

in downtown Cedar Rapids. Within

1705 1st Ave., Iowa City

A rotation of well-selected craft beers

and a full menu of burgers and standard bar fare. The kitchen isn’t afraid to get

creative—like featuring 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


the 16th floor of the Hilton DoubleTree walking distance of the US Cellular

22 S. Clinton St., Iowa City

game weekends, The Airliner has

Cheese is comfort food at its finest.

60 W. Burlington Ave., Fairfield

been an Iowa City tradition since 1944.

This quaint, hole-in-the-wall treasure

restaurant is suitable for many social oc-

alongside good drinks in a hip

Located right downtown, the two-story

casions. Half-price pizza every Tuesday.

continues its tradition of live music atmosphere.

Center, 350 First is a great place to grab



Enjoy their breakfast buffet, lunch, or

319-351-1902, legion.org, $

319-341-7700, atlasiowacity.com, $$

a bite to eat before or after an event. dinner with the best view that Cedar Rapids has to offer.

3016 Muscatine Ave., Iowa City

127 Iowa Ave., Iowa City

If Friday-night karaoke isn’t your jam,

Snag a spot on the patio to watch

work someday to enjoy cheap beer &

and a drink. The menu reflects the

pop in to American Legion #17 after

the day go by while enjoying a snack

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 11

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A LV RECOMMENDS Baxas “world grill” theme, with a variety of dishes to suit any preference.

AUGUSTA RESTAURANT 630 Iowa Ave., Iowa City

319-359-1521, augustarestaurant.net, $$$ Authentic New Orleans-style food in the heart of Iowa City. Everything from Gumbo to Po-boys, this southern-style restaurant is among the best in the area.

BACKPOCKET BREWING 903 Quarry Rd., Coralville

319-466-4444, backpocketbrewing.com, $$ Delicious beer and wood-fired pizza. There are many to try, and quite a few standouts. Their large outdoor patio, not far from a bike path, is perfect for summer afternoons.

THE BAR’BER SHOP TAVERN 218 1st Ave., Coralville

319-351-3488, bar-bershop.com, $$ A former barber shop turned tavern serving scratch-

made eclectic food, a twist on the “Juicy Lucy” burger, handcrafted cocktails, local craft beer and breakfast on the weekends.


347 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City

319-333-1515, bardotiowacity.com, $ A Brigitte Bardot themed nightclub and restaurant specializing in exotic food and drink, Bardot offers

Hilltop Tavern

1100 N. Dodge St., Iowa City There aren’t many places to eat late in Iowa City, and it’s a blessing that one of the few options is as tasty as it is. The Hilltop Tavern, established just after Prohibition in 1933, is home to a local pool league, hosts regular euchre tournaments, has pool tables, darts and videogames, and serves a damn fine Reuben, in addition to other pub fare and a rotating menu of specials that would make your grandma proud. The kitchen stays open until 1 a.m., and the crowd of locals are the perfect companions for a low-key night of drinks, games and snacks.

Shakespeare’s Pub and Grill 819 1st Ave., Iowa City

My dad always goes to Shakespeare’s when he visits me, because he likes to watch college football and no one else does. They always play the Iowa game at Shakespeare’s, and the crowd is usually delightfully free of undergraduates. After the game, I meet him there and we split LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/DINING

a basket of unbelievably succulent Jalapeño Garlic Wings and share a Reuben or a Patty Melt with a side of tater tots. Even though the bartender doesn’t see us often, he seems to remember us, and he talks to all the regulars like they’ve known each other for years. Dad likes it there because the food is really good and his beer comes in a glass that’s so cold, the beer turns into slush around the edges. I like it there because everyone seems grateful to be there, relaxing after a long day, finally at home.

J & A Tap

400 N. Dubuque St., North Liberty With Tuesday night trivia, Thursday night $4 fishbowls, local music, karaoke, and a full menu of breakfast, burgers, and bar classics, North Liberty’s J & A Tap attracts locals year-round, all day and all night. In warmer months, J & A is best known for its three sand volleyball courts, the perfect place to spend a sunny day enjoying a beer, a burger and some sandy, sporty fun.

brightly colored and freshly made frozen drinks in addition to South American inspired cuisine.


319-337-2048, baroncinirestaurant.com, $$$ Elegant decor, romantic lighting, a well-curated wine list and excellent desserts make Baroncini a great date spot.


121 Iowa Ave., Iowa City

319-337-2010, bastaiowacity.com, $$$ A warm, expansive dining room in the heart of downtown Iowa City offering homemade pasta, wood-

fired pizzas, tasty cocktails and a killer happy hour.


1006 3rd St. NE, Cedar Rapids

319-261-2355, batasrestaurant.com, $$ Bata’s is home to the famous blueberry burger—yes, a burger with blueberries, bacon, goat cheese, jala-

peños and blueberry aioli. Pair that with a side of their sweet potato fries and you’re in burger heaven.

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 13

If you haven’t yet, you should.

Mosley's Barbeque & Provisions


Notable Newbies The areas newest restaurants have upped the culinary ante. Put these on your list; you don’t want to miss these fresh faces.

Mosley’s Barbeque and Provisions 525 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City

Perhaps you’ve followed your nose and been lured into Mosley’s Barbecue and Provisions’ rustic, yet polished space. If you haven’t yet, you should. The meat is richly nuanced, with layers of smoke, and there is a sauce to please every palate. Mosley’s shines brightest with its sides: collard greens are not too greasy or salty, and the house-pickled vegetables are crisp and sharp with flavor. Cornbread, lightly glazed with honey, provides the perfect foil for the sticky, decadent meat. The cocktail list is creative and there’s a vast and interesting selection of beer. Meat and produce are locally sourced, so you can indulge––and you will want to indulge––with integrity.


www.provenderiowa.com After a few years of hosting on-location dinners throughout the area, Chef Chris Grebner combined an antique truck with a wood-fired oven, and Provender was born. Though the mobile restaurant is available 14 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

for catering and Grebner still hosts periodic Farmer’s Table dinners (thefarmerstable. us), you can often find him at the Iowa City Farmers Market––and if the Provender truck is there, be absolutely sure to check it out. He and his crew use the wood-fired oven for glorious ends. On market Saturdays, they offer a selection of Murzillo, sandwiches made of freshly cooked flatbread imparted with just the right char, and filled with impeccably simple combinations, like salami, arugula, capers, pepperoncini, pecorino and lemon. There is also an assortment of creatively prepared, locally sourced vegetables on their small menu. The food is local, simple and true, conveying all that is best about eating in Iowa.

Red Vespa

208 E. Main St., Solon Opened in August of 2015, Red Vespa adds itself to the pantheon of wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pizza joints that have popped up over the past few years. The pizza is tasty, and it’s worth a visit for their creative flavor combinations. Red Vespa should be best known, however, for its other Italian specialties.

The housemade burrata and mozzarella are outstanding, as are the meatballs, an occasional special. The most exciting thing on the menu, though, are the Arancine alla Bolognese; these fried, breaded balls of savory, cheesy risotto, swimming in meaty sauce, are the best I’ve had since Nonna’s, may she rest in peace.


1010 Martin St., Iowa City Apres, the new “neighborhood” restaurant for the Peninsula area has a diverse menu of small plates and cocktails. The tempura avocado salad with grapefruit, chevre, arugula and garlic vinaigrette is sublime, and if I were to drown in the duck confit Poutine, I’d die happy. Enjoy a cocktail on their patio on a warm summer evening and give yourself plenty of time to work through the menu and find your own favorites.

The Bar’Ber Shop Tavern 218 1st Ave., Coralville

So named in homage to the barbershop that occupied its space for nearly 40 years, the Bar’Ber Shop Tavern serves brunch and pub fare among kitschy decor. Featuring locally sourced ingredients and a creative selection of tap beers, the Tavern’s menu offers a broad selection, from flatbreads to sandwiches, including standard brunch fare and Bloody Marys. Be sure to get a piece of pie from Kalona’s Golden Delight Bakery while you’re there.


BAXA’S SUTLIFF STORE & TAVERN 5546 130th St. NE, Lisbon 319-624-2204, $

From the dollar bills tacked to the

ceiling to the perfectly executed fried delicacies, Baxa’s embodies the dive

bar aesthetic. It’s set apart, though, by

an idyllic view of the Cedar River and a




319-895-8393, $$

319-338-1770, blackstone-ic.com, $$

319-337-4703, $$

100 1st St. SW, Mount Vernon

One of the few restaurants on the

Located downtown, Bo James is a fami-

elsewhere: Everything from wine to

is locally owned but has the aesthetic

big beers and country music. When

this fun shop offers treats rarely found bulk snacks can be found in this wonderful organic grocer.




319-358-0001, $$

This is a basic, Americanized Chinese takeout place that delivers quickly

within Iowa City city limits. Prices are

reasonable and the food is surprisingly tasty for inexpensive Chinese. The hot

and sour soup is fresh and loaded with veggies, and pork fried rice doesn’t skimp on chunks of tender, savory meat.

101 W. Main St., Solon

biggrovebrewery.com, $$

northeast side of Iowa City, Blackstone polish of a corporation. Their sprawling menu draws influence from a range of global cuisine including Italian,

Mexican and Thai, but the bulk of their

ly-owned tavern known for big burgers, weather permits, grab a bite to eat and enjoy the downtown atmosphere on their patio.

menu consists of American staples like


nations and elegant presentation.

319-363-9627, $

burgers, with notably intriguing combi-

804 5th St. SE, Cedar Rapids

With a large, impressive beer selection


Good food and good folks providing

menu, but don't! They offer two for one

319-351-1470, thebluebirddiner.com, $$

town at this nautical-themed restaurant.

it is easy to overlook their cocktail

cocktails, wine and half price beers

during happy hour. Not only are their drinks impressive, their food is even

330 E. Market St., Iowa City

650 W. Cherry St. #9, North Liberty

319-626-2603, bluebirdcafenl.com, $$

better. They have been know to fly in

With a vast menu, a fun and funky staff

world for special pairing dinners. Big

the decor, both Bluebird locations offer

award-winning chefs from around the Grove's main menu has wonderful

lunch and dinner options to choose

from, and a heavy emphasis on local

produce makes them a popular destination for vegetarian diners.


118 E. Washington St., Iowa City

Located in the heart of Mount Vernon,

seating area on a historic bridge.

1800 Boyrum St., Iowa City

503 Westbury Dr., Iowa City

and lots of wry, humorous touches in

creative twists on traditional diner fare.

some the freshest fish and seafood in

BREAD GARDEN MARKET & BAKERY 225 S. Linn St., Iowa City 319-354-4246

breadgardenmarket.com, $$ With a large salad bar and a nice

selection of gourmet prepared foods, this convenient downtown grocer

is made for easy, delicious meals. In

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 15


for prime people-watching. Grocery


and broasted chicken will surely have

to organic, from specialty imports to



With a delicious selection of cheeses,


warmer months, the large patio makes offerings range from conventional housemade items.

BREAKFAST HOUSE CAFE 820 6th St. SW, Cedar Rapids 319-261-2233

thebreakfasthouse.com, $ Treat yourself to traditional, no-frills,

American comfort food for breakfast

and lunch. A classic diner feel and one

209 N. Linn St., Iowa City

cured meats, wine and beer, Brix is a

great place for a group of friends to go to avoid the noise of downtown.

building across from NewBo City

Market has a simple, yet hip vibe and

kitchen. Bubble Pop offers a variety of

hot and cold drinks in flavors like taro, mango and green tea.

options. At night the space transforms

319-362-0788, $$

you can enjoy local spirits, craft beers, wine and appetizers.

of add-ons, hand-cut fries and delight-

319-338-5647, $$


into an intimate gathering place where

door seating makes it a social hotspot

select pieces of oak furniture that

could have been in your grandparents’

1616 6th St. SW, Cedar Rapids

If Bulicek’s quaint atmosphere and

courteous service won’t do, their brews

Fairfield, Cafe Paradiso is a casual setartists and frequent live music. Its out-

burgerfeen.com, $$

Capitol Mall bubble tea shop avoids

serves well-made coffee drinks, alternative brew methods and light food

ting with beautiful artwork from various

Cedar Rapids, 319-200-4499


feeling sterile with warm lighting and

This coffeehouse in a beautiful historic

3980 Center Point Rd NE

ful shakes.


319-364-0802, brewhemia.com

Situated on the corner of the square in

319-400-4324, $

The clean, minimal interior of this Old

101 N. Main St., Fairfield

2020 16th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

Great Angus beef burgers with a variety

201 S. Clinton St., Iowa City


641-472-0856, cafeparadiso.net, $


of the best breakfasts around.

1101 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids

you coming back for more.

for Fairfield’s Maharishi community

and townies alike. Those looking for a delicious weekend brunch, excellent organic coffee roasted daily on-site

and deep philosophical debate will be satisfied here.

245 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City




411 2nd St., Coralville 1401 5th St., Coralville

314 E Burlington St, Iowa City (319) 337-2464 , $$

319-338-7007, $

You know what to expect: a gigantic

Caffe Crema is a popular coffeehouse

a combination plate smothered in

lectable treats. Their warm interior will

Margarita served in a kitschy glass;

indeterminate sauces; a never-ending basket of chips that you’ll accidentally

eat too much of. The salsa is good. The menu is vast. The food is usually tasty

that specializes in hot drinks and de-

make you feel right at home, whether

you are studying, meeting with friends or grabbing a quick cup of joe.

and always cheap.



GREAT CUSTOMERS! All of us who enjoy serving you at Monica’s appreciate you voting for us.








www.monicasonthestrip.com | 319.338.7400 | 303 2nd Street, Coralville 16 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

Hamburg Inn #2

The food is scrumptious. The seating is limited. Brunch is the time for talk. RECOMMENDED: IN-DEMAND DINING

Worth the wait Don’t let the crowds deter you from these popular area spots. Your tested patience and hanger-management skills will be handsomely rewarded when you take that first bite.

Hamburg Inn #2

214 N. Linn St., Iowa City Heaven help you if it’s a Sunday. This #2 diner is both the #1 purveyor of pie shakes and the anchor of Market Street’s brunch corridor for good reason. The eggs are fluffy, cheese goes on everything and you will wait, on average, 30 to 40 minutes to be seated with the other three of your “party of four.” Why? Because: The food is scrumptious. Because: The seating is limited. Because: Brunch is the time for talk. You’ve got to dish some friendly gossip to earn your breakfasty lunch dish.

Seoul Grill

Old Capitol Mall, 201 S. Clinton St., Iowa City Here’s proof that this lunch-only Korean comfort food spot deserves its reputation for excellence: There will always be a line. At 11:10 a.m. on any given weekday, 20 minutes before the kitchen opens, a string of hungry bodies creeps to the restaurant’s second window from the door. By 11:30 a.m., the line stretches to 30, sometimes 40 yards long—merely one or LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/DINING

two long strides from the Old Capitol Mall’s west exit. The Korean students waiting in line for a sort-of home cooked meal are a fashion show unto themselves. Students from Hong Kong and Shanghai practice the pronunciation of “kimchi” so they can order Kimchi Rice with their Spicy Pork. White kids ask for the Bibimbap, which never disappoints. The homesick (or just plain sick) order Rice Cake Soup for the healing beef broth, vitamin-rich seaweed, and savory rice medallions.


745 Community Dr. Suite A, North Liberty That you might be made to hover around the bar is not the point, but the privilege. Sushiya is a small but mighty sushi powerhouse with extremely limited seating, a respectable sake menu, and chefs who make art from sashimi. Watch their knives flit and flash like the iridescent tips of a tuna’s fin. See how they slice through a salmon’s dewey fat just so. Before you taste some of the freshest fish around (the restaurant flies their supply in regularly), you’ll be presented with the most Instagrammable

meal in eastern Iowa. Even better, you’ll know exactly what to order before you sit down.

Sag Wagon

827 Shaver Rd. N.E., Cedar Rapids In the warmer months, come early or send a location scout. You’ll likely need to elbow out a few cyclists and locals to score a spot at this small and cozy bar; capacity indoors tops out at 49! With cycling themed details echoed throughout, it’s an ideal end point for a trail ride around Cedar Lake with friends. If you can’t jam yourself inside around the bar, thankfully, a spacious outdoor patio exists and is equipped with lawn games—life-sized Jenga, cornhole and sand volleyball are all at your disposal.

The Lost Cuban

209 3rd St. S.E., Cedar Rapids The small dining area of this busy spot in downtown Cedar Rapids is frequently full and, due to its popularity, many daily specials and menu items will remain out of your reach. Rest easy, though. Waiting in line to place your order gives you enough time to review the menu, and whatever you choose, you’ll be pleased. The Cuban Sandwich is obviously a solid choice, but it’s hard to go wrong with the Ropa Vieja or Empanadas. Take your food to go if you need, or enjoy a refreshing Mojito while you wait. By the time your food arrives, you’ll be a happy camper. BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 17

Innovations in Food Local Foods and Planning Specialist Shanti Sellz leverages Iowa City’s slow food ethos and penchant for entrepreneurship to deliver fresh produce throughout Johnson county. • By Alicia Ambler


hether it’s Iowa City’s bustling Saturday farmers market, our seasonal celebrations of local foods or our thriving collection of school gardens, Iowa-grown foods are an enormous part of our local landscape. The farm-to-table concept, which was once a niche market, is now largely the norm. Diners can find a variety of cuisines to satisfy their diverse appetites while still feeding on local foods, with restaurants from El Bandito’s to Augusta priding themselves on their ingredient sourcing. Grocery stores also boast vast selections of foods produced in the area. Recent years have seen not just a significant uptick in the visibility and availability of local foods, but new ways for them to reach us. created a position for a Local Foods and These shifts are especially vital because Planning Specialist. Farmer Shanti Sellz of while Iowa City has a thriving local foods Muddy Miss Farms took the position, part of economy, that’s not the case for all of Johnson the Planning, Development and Sustainability County. If the locavore movement is to continue office, in the fall of 2015. Sellz’s position, which to succeed in our area, the focus needs to shift began with assessing the state of the local food to expanding more markets and reaching more system, is a major investment in that system consumers. in and by the county. And she believes that it In a major move toward that end, the will allow the area to support a more cohesive Johnson County Board of Supervisors recently 18 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

community-based food system. Sellz works in concert with a variety of organizations in the community, including the Johnson County Food Policy Council, which holds annual open meetings to solicit feedback from the community about issues related to local foods. Together they have worked hard to encourage the growth of local foods in Johnson County, which Sellz sees as a unique environment for local food growers. One early success of the new collaboration is an amendment to the county poultry ordinance, allowing small farms to process birds on their own, rather than sending them to off-site processing facilities. “By allowing that ordinance to be amended, Johnson County is really acknowledging that small producers need more support,” Sellz said. “Farmers need to be able to have more agency [over] the food they’re producing and the people they’re selling it to.” It is, Sellz says, a unique time for growth in the area of local foods, both directly to consumers and in other markets. Her position gives her unique perspective into the variety of resources that currently exist, and how they might be brought together. “There’s already so much momentum. All the pieces were there, they were just in their own silos.” As local foods have risen in availability, much of the focus has been on the direct-toconsumer market. Sellz understands and values the predominance and success of that model in Iowa City—like the farmers market—but believes that producers in the county need to

have a broader market. “I’ve been able to sell every single piece of food that I’ve grown here [in Iowa City]. That isn’t the case in other parts of Iowa. We have a really great starting point here,” Sellz says. “No local farmer in Johnson County should be sitting on their produce. The demand is so expansive that we should be able to move most of the produce that’s grown here. There’s so much opportunity here. It’s incredible.” There are many challenges for new producers in the area, particularly land

to School, a program aimed at getting more local foods and food education in public schools. In addition to supporting school gardens and running educational farmer fairs in local schools, Farm to School has worked hard on expanding local food procurement in the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD). With Michelle Kenyon as a Field to Family liaison, a variety of local foods have been consumed in school cafeterias, including sweet potatoes from Beal Fine Meats and Produce, apples from Wilson’s Orchard, cherry tomatoes from Friendly

Food the new-fashioned way With the food chain changing from top to bottom, these local chefs and purveyors are bringing us meals in innovative new ways: The Farmer’s Table thefarmerstable.us

Local chef Chris Grebner has worked hard over the past three years to make his dream a reality. His concept of

creating a restaurant uniting local farmers and consumers

over a meal is a charming one, but what makes his concept

unique is the fact that this is all done without ever existing in

“There’s already so much momentum.

a brick and mortar location. The Farmer’s Table, Grebner’s

All the pieces were there, they were just in

backyards to neighborhood bakeries. The location informs

their own silos.” —Shanti Sellz

innovative plates for diners to enjoy. The local farmers who

pop-up restaurant, hosts prix-fixe dinners in a variety of

locations ranging from quaint coffee shops to expansive the food, as Grebner sources his ingredients from local

farmers in the surrounding area to prepare delicious and

have partnered with Grebner are in turn invited to the dinner in hopes of facilitating a meaningful dialogue between

consumers and purveyors. Dinners are usually small and

intimate and spots can be claimed quickly. Secure your spot for the next dinner by signing up for their newsletter online.

price and access. New producers need support to surmount these difficulties by tapping current resources in the community and increasing collaboration. And that’s where Sellz and her office come in. Coming into her role, Sellz sees the trend in local foods moving away from individual producers and more toward aggregation, particularly the food hub model, as a way to engage more sectors of the population. The 1105 Project is a production hub that helps small value-added processors gain access to professional kitchen equipment in urban Iowa City. This type of aggregated production maximizes local resources and supports new and smaller producers as they grow. Sellz is hopeful that the aggregation of the future will ensure greater institutionalized distribution, benefitting all parts of our food system. She says that “many different sectors of the food system are working together to create more resources that support the food producers, businesses and consumers.” Field to Family is one organization that's working to increase access to local foods on an institutional level. It runs the Iowa City chapter of Farm

Farm and Green Share LLC, zucchini from Organic Greens and cucumbers from Buffalo Ridge Farm. In 2014, 5,430 pounds of local produce were served in ICCSD cafeterias. In 2015, that number increased to 12,613, far exceeding Field to Family’s goal of 5% annual increases. These and other new models show that local food is viable in this area, but that the impact of local foods can be more effective through markets that move beyond direct-to-consumer. According to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, “Local/regional food commerce is growing ... and sales to institutional and intermediated markets such as grocery stores and restaurants are eclipsing direct-to-consumer sales and creating jobs.” And while there still may be work to do, Sellz seems certain that there will be greater opportunities for small producers in the future and that her collaboration with the Council ensures community voices will be heard.

Four Square Meals

Alicia Ambler lives in Iowa City with her husband, daughter, and dog.

permanent home alongside the brisket of Pop’s Old ‘N’ New

foursquaremealsiowa.com After the closure of Iowa City’s beloved vegan restaurant,

Red Avocado, Chef David Burt launched the weekly meal

distribution service Four Square Meals. The healthful, tasty dishes are rich in locally-sourced grains and veggies and

have won over legions of non-vegans with fare like Seitan

Sunday Roast and Mung Bean Magic salad. A variety of meal options are on offer—whether for one or two eaters, glutenfree or ultra low-fat diners—and meals can be conveniently picked up in downtown Iowa City or delivered in the area. Dumpling Darling

130 N. Dubuque St., Iowa City For most restauranteurs, the right space is a must, but for

Dumpling Darling proprietor Leslie Triplett, brick and mortar was more of a natural evolution. She started off selling

Korean-style dumplings as a hobby at the Iowa City Farmers Market in summer 2014. But demand quickly grew, and

within a year she opened a commercial kitchen space above

John’s Grocery and expanded sales to Cedar Rapids’ NewBo Market. Meanwhile, her dumplings could be scooped up

by hungry shoppers at New Pioneer Coop, Bread Garden

Market and across the UI campus. In early 2016, Dumpling Darling’s steamed bao buns, soups and more found a

Bar-B-Que. Triplett knows it’s an unconventional move for a

dumpling joint and a barbecue spot to share a home. “But I think it will be a great dynamic,” she said.

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 19

Pho Zaika


Pho real What could be better? A bowlful of slurpy rice noodles, deliciously seasoned broth, and a personal buffet of vegetables and herbs to customize it just to your liking. Visit these local restaurants for the real deal.

Pho Zaika/ I <3 Pho | 2020 8th St., Coralville

Old Capitol Mall (201 S. Clinton St.), Iowa City Pho Zaika, also known as I <3 Pho, boasts a richly flavored pho broth, laced with perfectly cooked meat and noodles and presented with a lush array of garnishes. The friendly owner will visit your table and help if you’re new to pho. If you’re not in the mood for soup, it’s worth it to try a Vietnamese curry special; the flavor is more subtle and rich than a Thai or Indian curry, with a soft sweetness imparted by coconut and mint. Also of note are the pork chop specials, which are impeccably cooked, devilishly delicious and often truly giant-sized.

Phong Lan | 216 8th St. S.E., Cedar Rapids

If you’re in the mood for a broader Vietnamese menu and you find yourself in downtown Cedar Rapids, check out Phong Lan. They offer excellent pho in an assortment of varieties. What makes Phong Lan worth the trip, though, are the spring rolls and the menu’s greater selection of Vietnamese specialties. Service in the familyowned restaurant is fast, friendly and down-to-earth.

Mai Pho | 2315 Edgewood Rd. S.W., Cedar Rapids

Mai Pho is located in a strip mall, across the street from a bigger mall, on a street that seems to be made of malls, but the restaurant maintains an unusually homey feel and offers a vast selection of Vietnamese specialties. The menu offers several varieties of pho and a particularly broad choice of beverages, which includes a variety of boba teas and also something called “Rainbow Jelly Ice.”

perfectly cooked meat and noodles with a lush array of garnishes.

20 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

Mekong | 5 Sturgis Corner Dr., Ste. 1000, Iowa City

Family-owned since 1975, Mekong is the Iowa City area’s most established Vietnamese restaurant. The menu features such traditional Vietnamese dishes as pho and spring rolls, in addition to a selection of more Americanized Chinese and Thai dishes. Seitan and tofu will satisfy vegetarian diners, and the spicy-sweet sauce on their signature chicken wings is the stuff of many a midnight craving.

Three Samurai | 1801 2nd St., #200, Coralville

Though primarily a Japanese restaurant, Three Samurai offers pho on their dinner menu and a small selection of Vietnamese dishes at lunch time. The Vietnamese meals take a bit longer than the rest of the menu, but they are flavorful, wellexecuted and usually worth the wait.




319-626-2515, capannacoffee.com, $


6 Pacha Pkwy. #710, North Liberty

This local roaster specializes in gourmet coffee and artisan gelato.


7037 C Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids

119 1st St. W., Mount Vernon 319-895-8654

A family owned bar and grill boasting a wide selection of beer, warm atmo-

sphere and delicious food for when you

want a break from the standard bar fare.

RECIPE: Iowa Banh Mi

319-826-2625, cappyspizzapie.com, $$


It’s hard not to feel at home at Cappy’s

319-338-1738, chezgrace.com, $$$$

Iowa is not typically associated with this ubiquitous Vietnamese sandwich,

games and self-serve cooler. You can

Chez Grace is a hidden French gem

a version of it.

pared doughs and homemade sauces.

Coralville Strip. Owner and Chef David


ing as host, waiter and chef. While the

8-10 slices cooked bacon

between the warm atmosphere, board taste the difference in their freshly preThey serve both Chicago deep-dish

and New York hand-tossed pizzas, in

addition to calzones and Greek salads.


319-857-4300, crwine.com, $$ This winery and micro-distillery,

89 2nd St., Coralville

inconspicuously placed along the

Zaghloul runs this one-man-show actmenu is extremely limited, it changes

frequently, and stays true to its heritage both in offerings and technique.


685 Marion Rd., Marion

319-447-1414, cibofusion.com, $$$

located on a beautiful plot conveniently

Contemporary Italian and American

was the first licensed distillery in Iowa

brunch menu.

between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids,

since Prohibition. Most area bars carry

restaurant offering a very popular

their small batch liquors. Visit for the


9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Cedar Rapids

Celebration Brunch, held each Sunday,


301 F Ave. NW, Cedar Rapids

319-364-1854, cedar-river-landing.com A sports bar located along the Cedar

river in an old warehouse, featuring live music and an eclectic American menu

with everything from broasted chicken to crawfish pizza.


7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW 319-848-8777, classactdining.com A gourmet restaurant featuring out-


which is all the more reason I made it my mission to expose the citizens to

1 pound chicken livers

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 tablespoons cooking oil

(or any combination thereof)

6-8 medium shallots, roughly diced (can substitute a small onion)

Heat oil in a large skillet and cook your shallots over medium heat. When they have achieved a nice golden hue, add the liver, garlic, salt, pepper and crank the heat up a little, stirring occasionally. When the outside of

the liver is cooked, toss in the booze and continue stirring until the liver is

cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and cool

to a lukewarm temp. Put the liver mixture into a food processor. Add bacon and thyme and start processing. Drop in the butter one tablespoon at a

time and mix until smooth, add additional salt and pepper to taste. Transfer mixture to a bowl and chill.

1 cup radish, julienned

18 1/2 S. Clinton St., Iowa City 319-351-1690

salt and pepper, to taste

membrane (the off-white stuff holding the lobes together) from the liver.

environment for Kirkwood Community


1 tablespoon fresh thyme

remove some of the gamey, metallic taste. Remove any large pieces of


College’s Culinary Arts program.

3-4 tablespoon butter

To prepare the liver, you may opt to soak it in milk for an hour or so to

standing, local cuisine while serving as a real-time, real-world teaching

1/3 cup sherry, brandy, or white wine

1 cup carrots, julienned

1.5 tablespoon Kosher salt

1 cup shredded cabbage

1/2 cup vinegar

1 cup sweet corn (fresh or frozen) 2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped 2 tablespoon basil, chopped

1/2 cup water 1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1-2 teaspoon ground fresh chili paste

clintonstreetsocial.com, $$$

Combine carrots, radish and cabbage in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with

319-446-7300, ced-rel.com, $$$

Sit at the bar or play some free pool

massage it with clean hands. The purpose here is to soften and season

This old-school supper club and steak-

plates and artfully crafted cocktails.

11909 16th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

house maintains many of the trappings

while enjoying an assortment of small

of bygone dining: The menu includes


livers and, of course, a variety of

North Liberty, 319-626-6046, $

such items as frogs’ legs, fried chicken steaks. Each entree is delivered with a

2349 Mehaffey Bridge Rd. NE

Kosher salt and toss lightly. Let mixture sit for about 15 minutes, then

the veggies while expelling some of the moisture. Let sit for another 15

minutes, then transfer to a colander or strainer. Rinse with cold water and

drain before transferring vegetables back to a bowl. Whisk together water, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil and chili paste. Pour over cabbage mixture and add the corn, cilantro and basil. Mix well and chill until ready to assemble sandwiches.

complimentary relish tray, a multi-tiered

Club 76 is in an unassuming building.


were fashionable and martinis were a

a lodge-meets-dive-bar vibe. The staff

bun, baguette or any white bread, really.) Take a small handful of slaw and

throwback to a time when cigarettes lunchtime staple.

Inside, however, there is a large bar and is friendly, the regulars interesting and

the entertainment options unique. Grab a basket of free popcorn and head to

the wall of lottery machines. In warmer

Spread about 4 T. of pâté on bread of your choice (hoagie, hamburger

squeeze it a bit to drain extra brine before putting it on your sandwich−the paté-slaw-bread ratio is up to you. Then top it with whatever else sounds

good. I suggest: cucumber slices, extra herbs, jalapeños, sesame seeds, a squeeze of fresh lime, lettuce and sriracha.

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 21

New Pioneer Food Co-op

Trumpet Blossom Café


to your health Eating clean doesn’t have to mean doing without. These local establishments happily cater to those with dietary restrictions.


303 2nd St., Coralville Inviting, comfortable, casual but classy, Monica’s offers a large and hearty menu, highlighting two things that most gluten-free eaters have long forgotten: pizza and pasta. Waiters are more than prepared to accommodate dietary restrictions; servers will bring warm gluten-free rolls with butter in place of the standard bread basket. The portions of pasta (with gluten-free noodles) are heaping, and the Bolognese in particular is spot-on, drenched in rich, meaty tomato sauce with fresh herbs. The pasta, by the way, is perfectly cooked and doesn’t even hint at its true gluten-free nature. Monica’s pizza is also worth mentioning. You’ll find the Margherita pizza on (gluten-free crust) to be generously cheesed, 22 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

fresh and hot, with fresh tomatoes and herbs as well. Again, portions are plentiful, so don’t feel defeated if you need to pack up the last of your meal to enjoy later on; the leftovers are just as good the next day. Overall, Monica’s succeeds at being a restaurant all eaters can truly enjoy.

Zeppelin’s Bar and Grill

5300 Edgewood Rd. Ste 500, Cedar Rapids Zeppelin’s Bar and Grill offers upscale casual dining in a contemporary, open, inviting location. While a strong majority of patrons can enjoy their meal without any dietary restrictions, the staff at Zeppelin’s are more than accommodating to diners with glutenintolerance. They’ve created an entirely separate menu with choices ranging from appetizers

to entrées and sandwiches, beverages and desserts and all that falls between. Selections on this menu don’t feel like an afterthought as sometimes is the case—each dish sounds delicious, flavorful, and considered. For those in search of a notable restaurant that can easily satisfy everyone’s specific needs, look no further than Zeppelin’s.

New Pioneer Food Co-op

3338 Center Point Rd. N.E., Cedar Rapids 22 S. Van Buren St., Iowa City 1101 2nd St., Coralville Cooperative grocery stores such as New Pioneer have always been on the cutting edge, bringing the people the dietary alternatives. Today, the co-­op remains a reliable source of high­quality organic, non­-GMO, all­-natural and specialty foods. It is easy and enjoyable to shop for your groovy, enlightened or allergy restricted diet without fear, at any of the three locations. Trust that there are vegan and gluten-free options in every section of the store, marked with special shelf tags, and the bakery produces a few delicious treats which are wheat-­free or vegan.

513 E Washington St., Iowa City thompsoncosalon.com | 319-499-1041

If you’re having an off day, or ate something off the wrong menu, the Wellness aisle and its wise staff carries a terrific assortment of anti-­inflammatory herbs, intestinal cleanses, superfood supplements, probiotics, bitters and herbs to help your weary guts untie themselves.

Trumpet Blossom Café 310 E. Prentiss St, Iowa City

As the area’s only strictly vegan restaurant, Trumpet Blossom shines a spotlight on sustainable eating and boasts plentiful local and organic options. Chef and Owner Katy Meyer makes divine vegan fare and works hard to change the standard association to this modified way of eating. With a rotating seasonal menu and selections like Creamy Cashew Nachos (blue corn tortilla chips topped with creamy cashew cheese sauce, black beans, fresh greens and pickled hot peppers, served with a side of cilantro lime crème & mango-habanero salsa), Trumpet Blossom’s food is nourishing to both body and soul.


BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 23

Oasis Falafel

Her Soup Kitchen sandwiches, you can choose a half size (Mama) or full-size (Papa). Highlights include the B.L.T sandwich with creamy avocado mayo and the Grilled Cheese because it’s just too hard to make a good grilled cheese at home, right?

Oasis Falafel Photo by Mara Cole


Between Bread You’d be hard-pressed to visit the area and not find a sandwich you love. But there are a few noteworthy places where the humble sandwich—something we’ve been eating since we were kids—moves from a tasty and convenient way to deliver nourishment, to a next level meal you can’t stop thinking about.

Her Soup Kitchen

625 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City Take a jaunt just three blocks south of downtown and pop into Her Soup Kitchen. A busy lunch crowd fills this quaint, homey location. The menu is populated with standard, yet well-crafted selections like Chicken Salad and Turkey Clubs, but choices like the Meatloaf Sandwich and the Cuban Sandwich are where this place differs from others. Served warm on toasty ciabatta with just the right mix of flavors, these won’t disappoint. They also offer vegetarian and gluten-free options, so it’s an easy place for all to eat.


40 Sugar Creek Ln., North Liberty Tucked into an unfussy strip mall that used to 24 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

house a Subway sits Mirabito’s, a husband and wife owned restaurant specializing in Italian standards. Rich, delicious pastas are a plenty, but for something perfectly satisfying for lunch, order one of their signature paninos. Try the Triple G sandwich for a little kick (capicola ham, ghost pepper cheese, and spicy olive pepper tapenade on toasted herb focaccia with garlic aioli.)

Mama’s Deli & Catering

125 E. Washington St., Iowa City Skip the neighboring chain sub shops and opt instead for Mama’s where a giant chalkboard menu lists their many offerings. Sandwiches on offer range from typical turkey and Reubens to Rachaels and Muffalettas. Sandwiches are all served on bread sourced from a local artisan bakery and conveniently, for a fair number of

206 N. Linn St., Iowa City Arguably the best spot in town when bangfor-your buck and quality is concerned. The classic full-size falafel sandwich is a must-you get garlicky, crispy falafel married with creamy hummus tucked into a perfectly giant handful of a pita. With a good starting point like this, any of the vegetables, sides, and sauces only elevate this sandwich. Once you’ve topped it to your liking, you might think there’s no chance you could eat this whole sandwich, but it’s too good to put down, so don’t be surprised when your plate ends up empty. While you’re at it, get some french fries with pita seasoning. They’re some of the best fries in town.

Short's Burger & Shine 18 S. Clinton St., Iowa City

Blink and you might miss it. Tucked into a narrow storefront, Short’s Burger & Shine serves up delightful burgers (relax, they've got you covered, veggies) in a dizzying array of options. The locally sourced beef is the cornerstone to this beloved spot, and as Iowa City's first establishment with an entirely Iowan tap list, you're sure to find a regional beer to wash your burger down. Any of their burgers are solid choices when accompanied by their hand-cut fries, but try the Maynard. It's the best and the one I want to eat every time I dine here. LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/DINING


FOR NEWBIES, FIRST-TIMERS & BEGINNERS YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE FLEXIBLE, YOU JUST HAVE TO BE WILLING give it what ya got for 30 days. make some new habits set yourself up for personal growth and improved wellness

224 S. CLINTON ST. IOWA CITY 354.9642

250 12TH AVE. SUITE 280 CORALVILLE 338.9642

26 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

The rich art and science of cheese Milton Creamery's famous Prairie Breeze isn't the kind of perfection one can will into existence. You need a little luck—and a lot of community—for that. By Frankie Schneckloth & Courtenay Bouvier


ou don’t pick paths. You follow the trail,” says Rufus Musser, who describes his Milton Creamery, producer of the beloved Prairie Breeze cheese, as an enterprise borne of necessity. After a move west from Pennsylvania to Milton, Iowa, in 1992, Rufus Musser and his

identified that doing the cows and the cheese and the marketing—I couldn’t see ourselves trying to wear all the hats. Some people could, but we weren’t cut out for it.” However, after learning that the Mussers had attended the value-added seminar, the local Amish community knocked on Rufus’

“Cheesemaking is the art of working with science, and the art of cheesemaking isn’t just about getting the work done. It’s about putting

Photo by Ben Partridge

the paint on in the right places, like an artist.” wife Jane were on the hunt for an opportunity to broaden their horizons in their new home. Rufus was raised in a Mennonite community as a produce farmer and had years of experience planting crops and selling directly to consumers. But at the time of their move, he and Jane were running a dairy farm: “Just until something better came along,” Rufus says, “Milking cows and selling to a large co-op … but always with little feelers out looking for a new opportunity.” In 2000, in search of a way to add value to their land and work as dairy farmers, they attended a one-day seminar in Wisconsin on value-added agriculture. At the day’s end, Rufus remembers saying to Jane, “There’s what I want to do. Make specialty cheese.” But a little research into the market of specialty cheese had Rufus running scared. “I

door. They themselves had been doing research on how they could add value to the milk from their farms and wondered if Rufus might be interested in forging a partnership with them. Three local Amish communities had banded together and formed a seven-person committee to delve into market research. “We started pretty open-minded with the milk. We knew we wanted to do something with the milk, and then it evolved,” says Rufus. “We threw all kinds of ideas into the hopper to see what came out. You’ve got to eliminate ideas and as the hopper gets tighter, some ideas just don’t make sense in the end.” The winning idea that made it through the hopper? “Specialty cheese ended up the idea that would make us the monies we needed,” Rufus says. “This was not just a hobby. It had to make BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 27


months, they have a volleyball net and outdoor seating on the adjacent lawn.


122 Wright St., Iowa City

Photo by Ben Partridge

319-351-9416, theclubcaric.com, $

financial sense or we couldn’t sustain it.” It was just as important to the Mussers that everyone in the chain, not just their family, would make a profit from this venture, and that the enterprise would benefit the entire community. “You’ve got to do something that gives you meaningful work, provides you a comfortable lifestyle and fills a need,” says Rufus. Now, equipped with an idea and a plan, they simply had to start. From the very beginning, the Mussers’ community showed incredible support for them. The local Amish lumberyard shaved down their margins on materials and supplies, and much of the the initial help and labor was donated by eager and generous neighbors. After a few cheesemaking courses, the help of a “passionate, dreamer of a consultant”— Rufus’ words—from New Zealand, and local Amish dairy farmers acting as suppliers, the creamery was ready to go. “We opened the cheese plant and decided to start with fresh cheese curds just to get the doors open and do some regular cheddar and see what happened,” recalls Rufus. Shortly after, in the spring of 2007, Rufus decided he was ready to branch out. He wanted to start experimenting with a European-style cheese that wasn’t being replicated in America at that time. After a few experiments with his cheddar base and new cultures, Rufus decided he was onto something and brought his experimental cheese to a Quad Cities farmers market. “I decided if it was really something, we had to charge more for it than our other cheddars. I’m a firm believer in voting with your dollars. And BOOM! People loved it! It sold!” After more rounds of experimenting, Rufus not only had a solid cheese in Prairie Breeze, his initial experiment, but also in Prairie Rose, a Swiss-style cheese and what Rufus calls a “happy accident”— an extension of the Prairie Breeze experiment that didn’t quite turn out as planned. Milton Creamery was poised to enter the specialty cheese market at just the right time. 28 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

Fresh off the financial crisis in 2008, consumers were guarded with their money and considered their purchases in a new light, but Rufus came to discover that worked in their favor. “Artisan cheese was an affordable luxury at the time. You just bought a small piece. A little, great cheese is still better than a half pound of bad cheese.” In the months that followed, Milton Creamery was awarded its first and then second blue ribbons from the American Cheese Society and U.S. Cheese Championship for Prairie Breeze. But, Rufus notes, “Blue ribbons don’t pay the bills.” Now ready to celebrate their 10th year in business, Rufus and his family can attribute their success not only to their hard work and support of their community, but also to their impeccably high standards. “It’s about quality. Attention to detail and using good milk and good cheesemakers. Cheesemaking is the art of working with science, and the art of cheesemaking isn’t just about getting the work done. It’s about putting the paint on in the right places, like an artist. I like to think of it as a painter, you know—real art tells you a story. Just because you put paint on a canvas doesn’t make it art. That’s just the science of paint.” In Rufus’ eyes, good cheesemaking boils down to just a few simple things: “It’s about being thoughtful—listening, experimenting and developing a passionate relationship with your cheese. We don’t have recipes. We have makeprocedures. It’s crucial to good cheesemaking.” And that philosopy has served Milton Creamery well. Based on its success and the widespread adoration for the Mussers’ acclaimed cheeses, it’s clear that Rufus and his family have followed the right trail. Frankie Schneckloth is an Iowa City based designer and photographer with a passion for great food and drink. Courtenay Bouvier is a University employee, PhD student, restaurant professional, and lifelong lover of fresh, local foods.

Located just south of downtown, the Club Car is a neighborhood bar catering largely to a crowd of

people looking for a cold bottle of beer after a hard day at work. The beer selection is similarly 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 the locals.

COBBLE HILL RESTAURANT 219 2nd St. SE, Cedar Rapids

319-366-3177, cobblehillrestaurant.com, $$$ The chefs at Cobble Hill are trained in the classic

French tradition, and it shows. Cobble Hill serves

some of the area’s most beautifully presented food, yet the restaurant manages to be comfortable and down-to-earth.

COTTAGE BAKERY & CAFE 230 E. Benton St., Iowa City

319-351-0052, cottagebakerycafe.com, $$ Though 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.

For something savory, order a classic deli sandwich, a hummus wrap or a hot veggie panini.


309 E. College St., Iowa City

319-887-2233, crepes-de-luxe.com, $ Unique French cuisine matched with an exceedingly friendly staff. Sweet or savory, 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.


319-362-2223, daisysgaragecr.com, $$ A garage-themed restaurant with an abundance of

seafood options, try shrimp prepared five ways, clams or mussels, or settle in for a sandwich or burger.


1460 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.


402 E. Market St., Iowa City, 319-351-9824, $ Traditionally frequented by writers, the Foxhead is

Iowa City’s oldest bar and appears in all manner of literary works, and rightly so. It’s dark, it’s cheap; there’s

pool; the jukebox is eclectic; the people are eccentric and their stories are grand.


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

Wood-Fired Pizza | Tours & Tastings | Live Music

and established itself as a mainstay in Iowa City for a

sweet breakfast treat and a good, cheap cup of coffee. 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 are a steal—look for the creatively decorated specials board out front.

DELUXE CAKES & PASTRIES 812 S. Summit St., Iowa City

319-338-5000, deluxecakesandpastries.com, $ On any given Saturday, Deluxe is the perfect embodi-

ment of a neighborhood joint: Parents sip coffee while their kids read or play in the little front yard; a St. Ber-

nard 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.


Handcrafted. Swisher, Iowa.

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 29

grab two of whatever looks good in the case

Deluxe Cakes & Pastries


from scratch Whether you prefer a savory, nutty bread or something sweet and tasty, local bakers offer something for all palates.

Deluxe Cakes & Pastries 812 S. Summit St., Iowa City

A literal sweet spot in a residential neighborhood on Iowa City’s Eastside, the offerings at Deluxe run the gamut from flaky, buttery croissants to artfully decorated and decadent cakes. Consider yourself blessed if you live nearby––to be within walking distance of a bakery whose motto is “Butter, Butter, and more Butter!” is a glorious thing. Pop in before work for a jolt of caffeine (of the Intelligenstia variety) and grab two of whatever looks good in the case. You’ll have the first one devoured before you reach your destination. If you need a recommendation, the Apricot Almond Croissants never disappoint.

Bobby’s Pies Iowa City

bobbyspies.weebly.com Bobby Jett of Bobby’s Pies crafts beautiful pies made to order in his Iowa City home. Using ingredients from local farmers and orchards, Jett’s pies are loaded with fruit and fillings, and topped with lattice crusts perfectly assembled to exacting standards. Each pie ordered is packaged up in a humble brown bakery box, stickered, and the lid signed by Bobby himself. A handmade pie will cost you some dough, but rest easy 30 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

knowing that all the proceeds go directly to benefit the Johnson County Crisis Center. You can order pies for pickup in the local area, or make use of 2 day FedEx delivery to send some sweetness to your friends and family who live far away.

Sykora Bakery

73 16th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids This charming bakery in the heart of historic Czech village in Cedar Rapids offers all the favorites––kolaches, kolacky cookies, houska and their famous Bohemian rye bread. Sykora’s has been a mainstay in this Czech enclave since 1903, and after weathering the devastating floodwaters of 2008, John and Sue Rocarek revived the location and have continued the legacy of years past. In addition to the delightful bakery options both sweet and savory, their lunch and dinner menu adds interest with offerings like Hungarian Goulash.

Bread Garden Market 225 S. Linn St., Iowa City

With a name like Bread Garden, it’s no wonder this place cranks out magnificent artisan hearth loaves. Ranging from standard Sourdough to a more health-conscious Sprouted Quinoa, all the breads at the Market are baked fresh daily using

high-quality flours. Their classic Focaccia with tomatoes, herbs and garlic makes for a mean sandwich and their newly debuted pretzels are a real weekend treat. It’s also worth noting that their weekend doughnuts are some of the best around. No crazy flavors or toppings—just a classic raised and glazed doughnut.

John’s Grocery

401 E. Market St., Iowa City Typical bakery items fill the shelves here–– nice sandwich breads, standard pies, breakfast pastries and cookies––but the shining star is their Scotcheroo, which reminds you of the ones your mom used to make when you were a kid. The ultimate combination of milky chocolate and peanut butter succeeds in this dressed up rice krispy treat, and John’s version is reason enough to frequent this newly remodeled corner store.

Burrowing Owl Bakery

Chauncey Swan Farmers Market, Iowa City burrowingowlbakery.com This seasonal favorite hibernates in the cold winter months and greets us come springtime with sweet and savory tarts that are elegant in their simplicity. Allison Gnade and Thomas Agran cull ingredients grown in their own Iowa City garden as well as from local vendors and purveyors to create tarts that go beyond expectations. Clearly inspired by the seasonal produce that surrounds their Farmer’s Market stall, you’ll find a rotation of interesting flavor combinations like the savory Smoked Iowa Sweet Corn and Zucchini and sweet Rhubarb Custard.




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.


110 E. College St., Iowa City

319-338-7355, donnellyspub-ic.com, $$ Like most downtown bars, Donnelly's is a madhouse on Hawkeye game days. Try to go at a quieter time,

get a basket of wings and some “frickles,” and enjoy a beer in the dark-wooded interior. Also, free popcorn!

DUBLIN UNDERGROUND 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.


115 E. 3rd St., Davenport

563-322-3825, duckcitybistro.com $$$ The friendly chef who greets patrons at the door will sell you on the creative, well-prepared specials, and rightly so, but also be sure to save room for some duck-fat fries.


316 2nd St. SE, Cedar Rapids

319-261-4901, theearlybirdcr.com, $$ This breakfast spot was made for the early bird. They

open at 6:30 a.m. Monday through Friday (closed on weekends) and have a smoothie bar, espresso bar

and some great organic tea selections. Their breakfast and lunch menus are limited but well-executed and refreshing.


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 and local ingredients. Proudly

serving non-CAFO meat from Iowa’s own Pavelka’s

Point and Grass Run Farms, as well as eggs from Kalona and tortillas from West Liberty, Banditos embodies traditional Mexican flavors with an emphasis on fresh and local.


BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 31





319-354-0444, elcactuscoralville.com

319-624-2020, elsolrestaurante.com


240 E. Main St., Solon

104 1st Ave., Coralville

40 Sugar Creek Ln., North Liberty

457 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City

2100 Norcor Ave., Coralville

319-248-9090, falbobrospizza.com, $

319-665-2046, elcactusnl.com

This small Solon restaurant offers many affordable and

Famous for their Margaritas. Nothing prickly about

two-for-one margaritas. Fast service and friendly staff

Offering late-night pizza, Falbo’s is particularly popular

Cactus Cantina or Cactus 2 in downtown Iowa City.




319-354-4710, exoticindiarestaurant.com, $$

319-358-2555, icfilmscene.org, $$

delicious dishes, with great happy hour specials; like makes for a great experience.

the service; a friendly neighborhood joint for those

residing in Coralville or farther up 965. No relation to

102 B 2nd Ave., CORALVILLE

102 2nd Ave., Coralville

among the undergraduate set.

118 E. College St., Iowa City

319-688-5237, eldoradocoralville.com, $$

The best time to go to Exotic India is over lunch for

Primarily known as an independent, arthouse cinema

Standard issue Tex-Mex with menu combos and good

vegetarian and meat dishes. There are also appetizers

good selection of beers on tap and a small selection

salsa. What really sets this place apart are its wild and

the buffet, which has a delicious selection of both

and soup, and each table gets a fresh basket of hot naan to sop up the delicious sauces.

vibrant exterior and interior.

in the middle of downtown, FilmScene also has a of wine. There’s a small selection of locally made

snacks, in addition to the traditional popcorn and candy. In the summer, grab a drink and head up to their



319-338-3703, $

319-338-2024, fairgroundscoffeehouse.com, $


Inside El Paso bodega is a food counter and a few

Fair Grounds is a coffee shop on the south side of

319-861-3036, theflyingweenie.com

on picnic tables. The gigantic burritos are an adven-

Bakery, which makes a variety of baked treats, many of

345 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

609 Hollywood Blvd., Iowa City

tables. When the weather’s good, you can sit outside ture in each bite: a bit of cheese here; some killer

downtown Iowa City. It is also home to Howling Dogs which are gluten-free.

guac there; and look—there’s the chicken! The tacos

and tortas are super authentic. Grab a Mexican coke

rooftop patio for some uninterrupted sunning.

103 8th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

Urban food cart meets hometown greasy spoon, and the result is charming and filling. Featuring authentic

“Red Hot” Chicago dogs on homemade buns, as well

as sandwiches and Italian sausages. Add the hand-cut

and take your order to go.

fries and a Chocolate Pepsi, and pull up a seat at one

you left the bodies and you only moved the headstones


Plate Napkin

This is the surface off of which one eats food. Delicious food. It probably has a diameter of 12 inches or so. Made out of ceramic or plastic.



1 5⁄8”

4 1⁄8”



Our menus offer up all-day breakfast, burgers to pair with a world-class beer cellar, and the corridor’s best sushi. And bangers and mash, shrimp burritos, classic Italian, fresh-roasted coffee, and delicious comfort food. With the 18,228 who call North Liberty home still hungering for more — and plenty of room for your new concept — we want to know

what will you bring to the table? City of North Liberty, Iowa | northlibertyiowa.org | 32 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

the functioning vintage, multi-player arcade tables (Pac-Man, Donkey Kong) in the dine-in area for a hearty lunch that will bring out the kid in you.


111 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City, 319-358-6400, $ Tasty pizza, craft-only taps, a delicious selection of

drinks and a video game collection that nerds dream of. A more-than-safe place for kids to roam with

limited parental-supervision makes this a great place


103 1st St. E., Mount Vernon, 319-895-8429, $ If Mount Vernon had a living room, it would be Fuel

Nest. College students and locals regularly gather for delicious coffee and baked goods. You can also pe-

ruse art and curios that make perfect gifts for yourself or a loved one.


3977 W. Overlook Rd. NE, Iowa City, 319-351-4141

for families, too.

Ride your bike out to Funcrest in the summer and


atop the Coralville Dam. Perfection.

221 E. College St., Iowa City

reward yourself with a Root Beer Float while you perch

319-338-8880, formosadowntown.com, $$


Located on the first floor of Hotel Vetro, Formosa

319-627-7178, $$

boasts a stylish and modern atmosphere and some of

1100 N. Columbus, West Liberty

the best deals on sushi and drinks during the week.

This teeny Mexican restaurant has a plain, bare-


up for in flavor and authenticity. The menu features

101 Windflower Ln., Solon, 319-624-2107

This brightly colored and artistically inspired restau-

rant and bakery boasts authentic Mexican entrees and beautifully decorated desserts.


bones interior, but what it lacks in ambience, it makes Mexican-style “street tacos”—corn tortillas, meat, on-

ion, cilantro and lime—and other traditional Mexican dishes, like tortas and Menudo. For the less-adven-

turous among us, there are also more Americanized dishes and combination plates, and everything is ridiculously inexpensive.

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 33

you go there because the pizza fumes compelled you.

Tomaso's Pizza


Your slice of the pie Maybe it’s 2 a.m. and you need pizza more than you’ve ever needed anything. Maybe it’s a weekday evening and you’re in the mood for locally foraged mushrooms. Or, maybe you eat pizza only when it’s accompanied by videogames. For each and all of the above, the local area’s pizza scene has the right slice for you.

Falbo Bros Pizzeria

Mesa Pizza Iowa City

The pizza slices from Falbo’s come in a styrofoam box. The crust is chewy, the sausage is plentiful and salty, and the sauce is applied not sparingly but not gloppily either. It’s drunk pizza for when you’re not drunk.

When you can’t decide between pasta and pizza, Mesa is the place to go. When you can’t decide between steak and pizza, Mesa is the place to go. When you can’t decide between a taco and pizza, Mesa is the place to go. Long story short: If you want an entirely different food on top of your pizza, Mesa is the place to go. It’s also the best place for the closest to a New York-style slice in Iowa City.

457 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City

Gumby’s Pizza

702 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City Gumby’s, on the other hand, is drunk pizza for when you are drunk. The best thing to get from this strip-mall chain is Pokey Stix, the the closest you’ll get to a white pizza in Iowa City. The sophisticated will top the sticks with basil and sriracha; the rest of us will go straight for the ranch. 34 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

114 E. Washington St., Iowa City

Forbidden Planet

111 S. Dubuque St ., Iowa City When you want to eat pizza from atop a PacMan table, or when you want to experiment with the almost non-pizza genre of deep dish,

Forbidden Planet is the place. Luckily, it’s a perfectly serviceable, if not perfect, option, with deep-dish pies, a $5 thin-crust pizza and soda lunch special, and even bougie Pokey Sticks, all surrounded by the chimes and hooting of videogames and their players.

Lincoln Cafe & Wine Bar 125 1st St. W., Mt. Vernon

For the best pizza in the state, head north on Highway 1 to Mount Vernon, where there’s a wood-burning pizza oven that hits 900 degrees and pizza chefs who know how to use it, making Neapolitan-style pizzas with toppings like pistachio pesto, sausage and wild mushrooms.

Pagliai’s Pizza

302 E. Bloomington St., Iowa City You don’t just go to Pagliai’s for the pizza, you go there because the pizza fumes compelled you. You go there for the little white hats all the cooks wear and you go there because for 53 years, everyone in town has been saying it’s the best pizza around. A definite local institution, even on busy nights during the school year Pagliai's is among the more family-friendly downtown destinations.

Tomaso’s Pizza

3234 Center Point Rd. NE Cedar Rapids

The weekly regulars dine here for the cozy, laid back atmosphere and for the Detroit deep dish pizza, renowned for its caramelized cheesy edge. A local favorite for twenty years, Tomaso’s remains a powerhouse on the Cedar Rapids pizza scene. Select your crust: New York thin, Chicago deep dish, or the aforementioned Detroit deep dish. Create your own, or pick from specialty pies like Mombo Combo, Tex Mex Taco, or Great Garden. While you wait, sip a glass of wine or a draft beer. Do not overlook the smoked chicken wings-they’re the best in town.

Wig & Pen Pizza Pub

1220 Highway 6 W., Iowa City

While the thin crust is crispy and light, opt instead for one of the pan crusts: Chicago Stuffed, or Flying Tomato (topped with fresh tomato slices). Loaded generously with toppings, perfectly spiced sauce and melty cheese, you can plan on taking a few pieces home.

Need Pizza

207 2nd Ave. SE, #200 Cedar Rapids

Need serves New Haven style pizza, and if you don’t know, that means a thin, crispy yet chewy crust that’s not always totally round. You won’t care what shape it is when you taste it. Sit in the spacious dining room, or, even better, sidle up to the bar. With thirty local and craft brews on tap, the beer list makes Need a destination for libations, even if you aren’t in the mood for food.

For a seriously deep dish pizza that can impress even native Chicagoans, head to Wig and Pen Pizza Pub.





“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.wigandpenpizzapub.com Open 11:00 AM Daily





BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 35

Fabian’s Seafood Truck

arrive early to snatch up the freshest, never-beenfrozen fish in town RECOMMENDED: SEAFOOD

From The Water Turns out landlocked Iowa can do seafood. These four area spots are proof that there’s fabulous fish to be had without hopping a plane.

Oyama Sushi

1853 Lower Muscatine Rd., Iowa City 5350 Council St. NE, Cedar Rapids Oyama is an authentic Japanese restaurant. It's Iowa City location is across from Sycamore Mall, and offers a bright, cheery feel. It offers a number of options for soups and appetizers, but be sure to save room to sample the wide variety of sushi plates. If you’re in the mood for something a little hot, try the demon roll. Its spicy mayo sauce complements the cool avocado and crunchy shrimp tempura for an array of tastes in a dazzling arrangement.

Daisy’s Garage and Filling Station 1117 1st Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids

Daisy’s Garage, very recently a steakhouse, 36 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

has transformed into a seafood-lovers haven. Their specialty is undoubtedly Daisy’s Steam Pot which starts with a solid base of crab legs, sausage, potatoes and corn, and leaves the additions to the diner—choices range from mussels, to full-head lobster, to crawfish. When taking in the atmosphere, you might think the ungodly amount of Fireball Whiskey out of place, until you try the Fireball Shrimp or Fireball BBQ sauce.

Northside Bistro

203 N. Linn St., Iowa City Northside Bistro, located on Linn Street at the Haunted Bookshop’s former site, has a Seafood Risotto with scallops, salmon and mussels in a silky sauce. It’s smooth and filling, with the occasional crunch of carrot, making a perfect

meal for a chilly day. The scallops are nice and juicy and give the dish just the flavor it needs. While you’re there, check out their selection of local beers and their signature Butterscotch Chestnut Crème Brûlée.

Fabian’s Seafood Truck

Riverside Dr. Dairy Queen parking lot 526 Riverside Dr., Iowa City Fabian’s Seafood Truck appears in Iowa City just once every few weeks, in the Riverside Dairy Queen’s parking lot, usually on a Monday morning. The legendary Steve Fabian buys three sizes of plump shrimp, whole, gutted red snapper and fresh crab meat straight from boats in Galveston, Texas, and hauls it straight across the country in Igloo coolers. Loyal Fabian fans, some of whom have been buying his seafood for nearly 30 years, arrive early to snatch up the freshest, never-been-frozen fish in town––and often come back for more before the day is over.



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-and-whiskey crowd.


312 E. Market St., Iowa City, 319-351-9614, $ Locals, whiskey, beer and cheeseburgers on a classic sesame-seed-bun make George’s a favorite with the Iowa City crowd.


319-338-1999, ghurties.com Ghurtie’s is the real deal. Locally owned and operated, this self-serve froyo spot features a rotating selection of 12 types of yoghurt and over 30 toppings, which should keep you from ever getting bored.




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

ATeamListens.com ALAN SWANSON ADAM PRETORIUS TIM CONROY 319.321.3129 506 E. College St. • Iowa City, IA

call before you go, as their hours are sporadic.

GREAT RIVER BREWERY 332 E. 2nd St., Davenport

563-323-5210, greatriverbrewery.com, $

plete with plentiful samples, or enjoy one of their

small-batch pints on the patio—and don’t forget to take home a growler or two.

GREYHOUND DELI & FRONTIER HERBS 450 5th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids 319-261-7323, $$

Located inside the Cedar Rapids Public Library,

Greyhound Deli focuses on locally sourcing as many

The A-Team is licensed to sell real estate in Iowa

Stop in for a free brewery tour on a Saturday, com-

ingredients as possible. Sandwiches, soups and salads are all made from scratch, and there is a large selection of vegetarian and vegan fare.


BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 37


With a side of music Good eats, lively tunes; two birds, one stone. From oysters and jazz, to blues and beer, there’s something for everyone at these live music venues.

PBR in your hand. The cheesy sandwiches range from the basic, such as The Jim Morrison (nothin’ but American on Texas Toast) to the robust; The Lynyrd Skynyrd is a cheddar grilled cheese stuffed with smoked beef brisket and BBQ sauce. Destination Delicious:

Cedar Rapids Casual:

Cedar River Landing

301 F Ave. NW, Cedar Rapids Nestled along the Cedar River, this sports-barwith-live-music is the place to go with a group of friends looking for an ultra casual hang. Their beer taps regularly rotate between local and national craft beers, and their menu features everything from chicken dinners to French Dip pizza. Every Friday and Saturday the stage will be occupied by local bands looking to make it big, and during the summer months the live music will move to the outdoor stage, where comfortable seating is limited, but lawn chairs are welcome. Feelin’ Jazzy:

Clinton Street Social Club 18 1/2 S. Clinton St., Iowa City

Every Thursday night the Clinton Street Social Club features live jazz, including (but not limited to) their house band, The Clinton Street 38 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

Four. The gastropub reflects the extravagant elegance of the golden age of jazz, with eraappropriate libations and meticulously crafted meals to match. The speakeasy theme runs throughout the two-story venue, complete with intricately tiled floors, Edison-style fixtures, exposed brick highlighting a quaint history of Iowa City and nearly 100 variations of brown liquor ranging from Bulleit Bourbon to The Macallan 25 year. If booze doesn’t light your fuse, the Poutine is nothing short of splurgeworthy and the perfect start to a mostly locallysourced meal. Perfectly Cheesy:

Iowa City Yacht Club 13 S. Linn St., Iowa City

If you’re looking for the locals, the Iowa City Yacht Club regularly plays host to the musically inclined, ranging from their weekly free jam session to regionally touring artists. Also on offer: an array of musician-themed savory grilled cheese sandwiches that pair perfectly with that

Lincoln Wine Bar

125 1st St. W., Mt. Vernon Wanting to impress a first date? Head out to the Lincoln Wine Bar in Mount Vernon where there is live music Thursday through Saturday and an open mic hosted every other Wednesday. You can expect to hear anything from jazz to folk in this bustling pizzeria. Their menu is limited but the specials are always on point and their Neapolitan style pizza is perfect for sharing. The warm decor and dim lighting perfectly accentuate the Italian built wood-fire oven, and create an ideal environment for a romantic date. Don’t let the name fool you, in addition to their highly curated wine list, the Lincoln Wine Bar carries a wide variety of specialty craft beers. Kickin’ it Old School:

The Mill

120 E. Burlington St., Iowa City Stop through Iowa City’s longest standing venue on any night of the week and you’re

Iowa City Yacht Club

hummus where the heart is. available at grocery stores throughout the

cedar rapids - iowa city corridor.

Photo by Bill Adams

likely to hear music floating from the stage. The Mill was built on bluegrass, folk and blues, but nothing is off the table nowadays. The space has seen the likes of punk kings and rap queens alike. If you’re lucky, it’ll be early enough to take advantage of their awesome happy hour specials. The kitchen is also open late night seven days a week, so you can't go wrong. Grab some friends, an Iowa Waltz pizza and a pitcher of beer and settle into a built-in booth. Moovin’ on up to the Northside:

Motley Cow Cafe

160 N. Linn St., Iowa City Looking for a weeknight-date place? Check out ‘the Cow’ on Tuesday evenings, when they offer oysters on the half shell, along with halfprice bottles of champagne and sparkling wine to accompany the evolving cast of local jazz musicians. The clean-line, upscale environment offers a sophisticated but casual experience and an ideal setting for date-night. If oysters and bubbly don’t tickle your fancy, their seasonal offerings are generally farm-to-table and their new age take on classic cocktails will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.

Mediterranean Restaurant & Catering

319-358-7342 206 N. Linn Street

Open 11-9 daily • OasisFalafel.com

Lookin’ for the Blues:

Parlor City Pub & Eatery 1125 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids


BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 39


702 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City

319-354-8629, gumbyspizzeria.com, $ Gumby’s cheesy garlic bread sticks, affectionately

known as “pokey stix,” are as much an Iowa institution

as Hawkeye football for the undergrad crowd. They are open late and deliver in the area until 2 a.m. or later.

HACIENDA LAS GLORIAS 715 1st Ave SW, Cedar Rapids

319-363-7344, haciendalasglorias.com, $$ Offering savory, traditional Mexican dishes, and

featuring an extensive Margarita menu, Hacienda las

Glorias has watched its competition come and go for decades. Try the Carnitas and an OJ Rita, they do not disappoint. (Bonus fun fact: the building Hacienda inhabits is rumored to be HAUNTED!)

HAMBURG INN NO. 2 214 N. Linn St., Iowa City

319-337-5512, hamburginn.com, $$ This Iowa City landmark is super popular with families, students and politicians. Breakfast is their specialty,

but their homemade pie-shakes are really where it’s at.

Photo by Bill Adams

Grab some friends, an Iowa Waltz pizza and a pitcher of beer.


102 2nd Ave., Coralville, 319-351-6900

5070 Lindale Dr., Cedar Rapids, 319-393-0017 3315 Williams Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids

319-396-0626, happyjoes.com

Happy Joe’s is a quad cities staple, and the inventor of the taco pizza. While most locations lack ample

seating, their delivery time is always within reason and their pizza always on point.


625 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

Located in the New Bohemia district, this pub and eatery features free live music most evenings, boasts 56 beers on tap and an extensive casual-dining menu that ranges from fish tacos to ‘Juicy Lucy’ style burgers. Stop by on a Tuesday for their weekly Blues Jam or catch soulful, funk-infused blues guitarist Daddy-O every Thursday. For the Vegan Folk:

Trumpet Blossom Café 310 E. Prentiss St., Iowa City

If you’re vegan and looking for a delicious meal with live music to match, look no further. Trumpet Blossom hosts everything from electro-pop dance parties to acoustic folk shows, left-of-center outsider sounds in all genres, all the while featuring a fully vegan (also mostly local, organic and often gluten-free) menu and a 40 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

plethora of inventive booze-infused concoctions. Uptown Folk:

Uptown Bill’s Coffee House 730 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

This coffee house and performance space often goes overlooked, but if you’re looking for community, Uptown Bill’s is the place to go. The abilities-awareness nonprofit serves organic coffee from Café del Sol, and has a variety of home-baked goods, sandwiches and soups to satiate. Their regular events include weekly spoken word and open mic sets, as well as monthly ukulele, Irish and classical music based gatherings. On any given Saturday you can usually catch a local blues legend or two hanging around, as they feature an eclectic mix of local and touring musicians.

319-354-1602, hersoupkitchen.com, $$ Alongside salads and sandwiches made with fresh,

local ingredients, Her Soup Kitchen offers handcrafted soups that change daily and range from beef

chili, to poblano pepper, chicken corn chowder and butternut squash bisque.


811 S. 1st Ave., Iowa City

319-354-1981, heynsicecream.com, $ Family-owned Heyn’s is off the beaten downtown path, but its homemade ice cream is worth a little detour.


301 E. Market St., Iowa City

319-338-5382, highgroundcafe.com, $ Enjoy pour-over coffee or an espresso drink at this

popular downtown study space. A sizeable lunch menu fulfills High Ground's slogan as “the all day café.“


1100 N. Dodge St., Iowa City

319-338-3063, hilltoptavernnorthside.com, $$ The Hilltop Tavern has been a Deweyville neighborhood joint since 1933. In more 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 of deep-fried chicken gizzards or livers.

HUDSON’S SOUTHSIDE TAP 482 Highway 1 W., Iowa City

319-499-1058, hudsonsic.com, $$ Since their opening in early 2016, Hudson’s is quickly becoming a favorite on Iowa City’s south side. Boast-

ing 40 beers on tap and a whiskey list to match, Hudson’s is the perfect place for a quick drink after work.


1301 5th St #105, Coralville 319-499-1647, $

An endless sea of cereal and candy topped donuts

pack the cases in this 24-hour donut shop. It can be busy, so expect to wait a bit for your sugary treats.


227 E. Washington St., Iowa City

319-354-2775, indiacafeiowa.com The lunch buffet at India Café is vast and varied, con-

taining 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.







BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 41

Traditions in Transition Throughout Iowa, quinceañera celebrations mark transitions for individuals and communities. • By Christina Ortiz


n a sunny summer day in 2006, I found myself in the vestibule of a Catholic Church in Marshalltown, Iowa helping to tie the underlayer of a giant pink hoopskirt which encased a very excited 15-year-old girl. The enormously poofy skirt was the stuff of small children’s princess dreams and harkened back to the days when the “quinceañera” ceremony was the Latino version of a debutante ball. Quinceañeras (or quinces, for short) are celebrations of turning fifteen, rites of passage celebrated throughout Latin America and in

their 15th birthday has a quince años. But a quinceañera as such is anything but a regular birthday party; it is a grand affair. That’s why you might hear a person say, “I didn’t have a quinceañera, my parents just took me out for dinner after church.” As celebrations, quinces exist on a spectrum that includes a range of traditions, some celebrations with or without a religious component, and varying in size from a small family party in the backyard to six-figure price tag bashes like the ones featured on

Technically, every person who celebrates their 15th birthday has a quince años. But a quinceañera is anything but a regular birthday party—it is a grand affair. Latino-origin communities around the world. There are unique traditions or practices that are typical to every region, including Iowa. I was lucky enough to spend the summer of 2006 traveling around the state, attending (sometimes crashing!) quinceañeras and working on a PhD in Anthropology. This is how I found myself in Marshalltown, digging through layers and layers of tulle, attempting to find an elusive drawstring. The word “quinceañera” can refer both to a fifteen-year-old girl and to the celebration itself. And the tradition has evolved to occasionally include boys, too—or quinceañeros. Sometimes simply called a “quince años” celebration (particularly in the instances when boys have them), technically every person who celebrates 42 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

MTV’s “My Super Sweet Sixteen” (which has, in fact, featured quinceañera celebrations). While quinceañeras that have a religious component are often Catholic, some Protestant denominations also affirm the tradition with a religious ceremony.

An Iowa Tradition As prominent social scientists Matt Barreto and Gary M. Segura (authors of Latino America) have noted, “Each day every congressional district in the United States, and nearly every census tract, becomes more Latino than it was the day before.” The quinces that I witnessed in my research proved that even though we might sometimes think about

Photo by Juan Carlos Herrera

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 43

Iowa (and especially its more rural spaces) as perpetually “the same as it has always been,” our region is actually the site of profound change. In the last several decades, global economic and political shifts are felt locally in many Iowa communities that are now home to people from places like Mexico, Somalia and Laos. As they and their descendants have become hyphenated Iowans, they have enhanced and expanded what it means to be Iowan by creatively blending their Iowa lives and ethnic identities. There are an increasing number of people for whom being Iowan or experiencing Iowa includes things like making pupusas or tamales with friends and family, marching in a parade to honor the Virgen de Guadalupe in December, eating Ukrainian soup on a cold fall day, competing in a dance group at the University of Iowa's Nachte Raho, recognizing Chin National Day in February, eating dates at Iftar dinners during Ramadan and feting the Lunar New Year at Tet celebrations. As a native Iowan and anthropologist, I have attended rural farmers’ markets where I can buy Amish zucchini bread next to a stand where I can buy Mexican-style corn on the cob (with cheese and chili). I have helped a Dominican family butcher a pig bought from a local farmer.

I’ve watched my Chin Burmese neighbors laboriously cultivate their gardens and turn the produce, including some wonderful okra, into tasty contributions to a potluck. Even with their transnational references, these acts are the very essence of "buying local" and exemplify ways of life very familiar to many Iowans.

How we roll People often think about culture in its most visible and essentialized forms: food, music, clothing and language. Our celebrations, like quinceañeras, combine these elements and become examples of culture that are easy to identify. However, it’s also important to recognize that cultural practices are never static. Rather, “traditions” are constantly changing as the people who participate in them and their social contexts change. The quinceañeras that I attended were often described to me as “traditional” or “typically Mexican.” Nevertheless, I also saw the celebrations as very “American.” In practical terms, the celebrations were amended for the Iowa context. While quinceañeras are typically celebrated on or very near a young woman’s birthday, in Iowa

some girls with winter birthdays chose to have their celebration in a warmer weather month (or in Mexico), because who wants to cover their beautiful dress with a winter coat? Iowa quinceañeras demonstrate American identity in other ways, too. In some rural Mexican towns it is common for a girl, her family and friends to parade on foot to the church. In the U.S., Humvees and limousines feature prominently as the preferred method of transportation. Quinceañeras provide an opportunity to showcase the “American Dream” of Latino families. A number of girls I talked to let me know that even though they weren’t “super into” the whole quinceañera thing, they agreed to it because it was important to their family, especially female relatives like their mom and aunts or cousins who hadn’t themselves been able to have a big quinceañera because of economic constraints. The opportunity to have a quinceañera that highlights the financial stability of the family through American-style conspicuous consumption, is a key, if implicit, component of many quinces. As it is for so many Iowans, family is the focus when marking significant life moments like quinceañeras. In some quinces, extended and symbolic family like cousins and padrinos

Frida Kahlo 44 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

Photo by Juan Carlos Herrera

(godparents) play important roles. Sometimes quinceañeras have lots of padrinos who each pay for parts of the celebration. There may be padrinos for the limousine, dance hall, food, DJ, mariachis, videographer or decorations—in short, anything that is expensive. Although sometimes people focus primarily on the economic aspect of these relationships (and criticize their materialistic nature), they also produce and maintain important social connections between community members. I would argue that in addition to demonstrating the economic success of a family, quinceañera celebrations may also serve as a counterpoint to the stereotype of Mexican immigrants as primarily male migrant workers by asserting the existence and importance of stable, extended family and social networks.

What's on the Table Food is a key component of any successful party and quinceañeras are no exception. Frequently the food at a quince is made by family members, mostly aunts, the mother and grandmothers of the quince girl. But some restaurants are known for providing catering for events like quinces. Around Iowa it is common for local Mexican restaurants to do the quince catering when it's not done by family, but there are also people (mostly ladies) known in the community for their cooking and willingness to cater events like weddings and quinces, even if unofficially. If you want to throw a quince, you better be ready to work! For the main course, think meat dishes that are labor intensive (like slow-roasted meats and stews), alongside moles of different kinds. Moles are sauces and typical for celebration dinners in the Mexican tradition. Of course, rice, beans and salsa are typical as well. It is also de rigueur for guests to be gifted with leftovers to take home with them toward the end of the night. I have vivid memories of being handed foil wrapped packages of meat and saran-wrap covered plates of food to take home. While some quinces are "invitation-only," in many rural communities, anyone who expresses an interest (and sometimes a willingness to help as in my case trying to help tie a girl's dress) will be welcomed to the celebration. If you are interested in quinceañeras, chances are there is one somewhere near you, and I can attest that it is one of the most fun ways to get to know people. Perhaps one day soon, you will find yourself up to your elbows in chicken and mole helping prepare food for a quinceañera in your community!

Photo by Juan Carlos Herrera

Cristina Ortiz is an anthropologist whose research focuses on belonging and identity in rural Midwest communities.


BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 45

a prime example of what a good brunch spot should be.

Motley Cow Café


it’s the freakin’ weekend Save your last-minute, behind-schedule morning routine for the weekdays. Slow your roll and linger over your breakfast plate at one of these area institutions.

Pullman Bar & Diner

17 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City So you’re headed to brunch, and you want some deeply comforting food. No, wait, you think—you want sophistication, some elegance to start your morning. No, no, wait—you want to be inspired this weekend. You want creativity and ingenuity; damnit, you want gastronomic artistry. No need to fret: Pullman Bar & Diner excels at satisfying your contradictory cravings, often within a single dish. Take, for instance, the Brioche French Toast, a classic, comforting breakfast that at Pullman is encrusted with granola, stuffed with preserves, and daubed deliciously with maple butter. It’s a fantastic dish to share while you polish off one of Pullman’s savory menu items—a creamy, fluffy Quiche Lorraine, for instance, or the Eggs “en Cocotte” with crumbled bacon and porcini cream. Slow down and savor your breakfast with a Pullman Bloody Mary, or kick-start your morning with 46 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

French-pressed Counter Culture coffee.

The Motley Cow Café 160 N. Linn St., Iowa City

Once a week, the Motley Cow Café opens its doors to serve an elegant Sunday brunch, one made for lingering over Mimosas on crisp, bright mornings. The food is local and organic and the menu is spare, focused on choice brunch favorites: lemon pancakes with ricotta and jam, B.L.T.A.s, seasonal market salads and excellent specials on offer. Order à la carte or indulge for the weekend at the buffet, which gives you your choice of a main dish to enjoy alongside your fill of biscuits and gravy, grits, bacon, sausage, spiced donuts, fruit, salad, dainty desserts and more.

Skillet Café

101 E. 1st St. NE, Mount Vernon A nice warm cinnamon roll and a hot cup of coffee make for a wonderful introduction to a

delicious brunch. Skillet Café’s welcoming staff and calm atmosphere make it a prime example of what a good brunch spot should be. The wall of windows at the front provide plenty of sunlight for any energetic group while the two windows at the back make for a great, quiet spot for the solo diner. The breakfast burrito is a fantastic choice for anyone, but the variety of the rest of their menu ensures that, no matter what your preference is, everyone leaves with a smile.

Riley’s Café & Catering

836 1st Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids A lovely combination of American-style café and modern eatery, Riley’s down-home atmosphere offers large portions for all tastes. From standard egg platters to salmon benedicts, from “light bite” portions and gluten-free options to massive 3-egg Shipwreck scrambles, Riley’s cuts a middle path between old-school café and “mod” bistro. Menu items range from old standards to build-your-own sweet potato pancakes, omelets and waffles, as well as specialty benedicts. For a little New Orleans flair, try the spicy andouille sausage-stacked Mardi Gras Benedict with American breakfast potatoes.




505 E. Washington St., Iowa City 319-499-1089, icbrewlab.com, $

New to the Iowa City brewery scene, BrewLab places

an emphasis on the scientific process of fermentation. If you want to know everything there is to know about beer, this is the place to go.


223 E. Washington St., Iowa City

319-359-1078, theiowachophouse.com, $$ The Chop House proudly emphasizes steaks and chops, spiced up with bold flavors such as blue cheese crust, béarnaise sauce or bacon butter.

Explore a vast, interesting lineup of local and regional craft beers at their interactive, self-serve beer barn.

IOWA CITY YACHT CLUB 13 S. Linn St., Iowa City

319-337-6464, iowacityyachtclub.org, $ This staple of the Iowa City live music scene is

known for its jam band scene, and recent addition of festival-lot inspired grilled cheese sandwiches.

The basement venue space is pretty bare bones but

Best seat in the house FURNITURE | LIGHTING | HOUSEWARES | ACCESSORIES from the world’s greatest classic and contemporary designers On the corner of Dodge & Davenport | Iowa City 319. 354. 2623 | info@designranch.com

remains a local favorite.

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. Although the prices can be a bit high, it’s an Iowa City favorite; at brunch,

complimentary mimosas more than make up for the higher prices.


440 N. Dubuque St., North Liberty 319-626-3033, jatapbar.com, $

Whether you’re in the mood for sand volleyball, live

music, bar food, or just a down-to-earth place to hang out and drink, J & A Tap has you covered. Check out their website for specials and scheduling.


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, $

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.


BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 47


Destination Dining There are many quirky, surprising and downright delicious dining opportunities within a day’s beautiful drive of Iowa City. Here’s a guide to get you started.


“The jewel of the prairie,” Grinnell’s small but mighty liberal arts college campus is well known for sating the fiendish needs of area cultural enrichment junkies with world-class lectures, gallery events and musical performances ranging from classical to indie-avant garde (see grinnellconcerts.com); usually all are free for the public to attend. While not exactly in the free category, no heady trip west on Interstate-80 is complete without dinner or brunch at Prairie Canary (924 Main St.). Here, a limited menu chock-full of seasonal ingredients meets a prairie-inspired, minimalist decor, and conversation is stimulated by a curated, rotating selection of craft beer and booze from around the state and world. Go get mental, then come back and impress us with all you learned.


Directly north of Iowa City, nestled in the bluffs of the Upper Iowa River, is the little town of Decorah. Home to Luther College and the world-renowned Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah is also a culinary destination in its own right. Stop in to La Rana Bistro (120 Washington St.), to sample from the seasonal, mostly Mediterranean menu that highlights locally grown and raised ingredients. Though it’s difficult to eat at La Rana without sampling one of their exquisite desserts, like the house-made Apple Custard Tart, try to save room for a soft48 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

serve ice cream treat from the Whippy Dip (130 College Dr.); it’s a Decorah institution and only open in summer. If beer is more your idea of a digestif, stop by the Toppling Goliath Taproom (310 College Dr.). Many of their tasty brews are available across the region, but some are harder to find, so stop and fill a growler or two to take home with you; the cast of kegs changes regularly and all of them are worth drinking.


Just east from Decorah, enjoy the scenery along the Mississippi, en route to Dubuque, Iowa’s first permanent European settlement. There are many newer restaurants in the greater Dubuque area, but to make the most of the local flavor and the breathtaking view, head just over the bridge to East Dubuque, IL, and turn up onto the bluff where Timmerman’s Supper Club (7777 Timmerman Dr.) is perched. Try to go on a weekend, so you can get the Prime Rib; the rest of the menu is standard supper-club fare, but this place is all about the view, both of the fall foliage and of the locals who’ve been eating there every weekend since Helen Timmerman opened the place in 1961. If, however, your tastes lean more to the lowbrow, Dubuque has a variety of bars. If you want a snack with your beer, head to Paul’s Tavern (176 Locust St.), where you can choose from about five menu items; the one that matters, though, is the divinely tasty, cheap burger. Your first burger

will lay a delicious foundation for an evening of drinking, and the one you’ll devour at the end of the night may make a great hangover sponge. The Busted Lift (180 Main St.) is a popular area music venue, regularly booking both national and local acts while maintaining a down-to-earth feel and offering a huge selection of draft beers. There’s no food, but you can make a meal of their hearty beer selection.


Follow the river south, and you’ll land in Davenport, IA. Great River Brewery (232 E. 2nd St.) is open for brewery tours on weekends, and they frequently host tapping events. If you’re not there for a new brew, enjoy a classic Roller Dam Red Ale on their patio. And then head over to Duck City Bistro (115 E. 3rd St.). The rotating menu is consistently well-executed, if you’re in the mood for a more high-end experience; regulars rave about the Cajun Ribeye and the Lobster Bisque, though it’s easy to be satisfied with a simple order of Pommes Frites fried in duck fat and a slice of Key Lime Pie.


Continuing south, make sure you pass through Donnellson on a Wednesday, Friday or Saturday night, when they run a special of impossibly tender, savory beer-battered fried chicken at Mt. Hammill Tap (1467 155th Ave.). Locals in the tiny town of Donnellson have been enjoying ice cold beer in this renovated bank building-cumgrocery store since just after prohibition, and there’s a good chance you can talk to some of the more-seasoned ones if you visit. The chicken has put Mt. Hammill Tap on the radar of savvy bar-food connoisseurs throughout the region, so be prepared for a crowd; people come from miles on chicken nights, and you’ll see why.






1940 Lower Muscatine Rd., Iowa City

319-354-7427, jimmyjacksribshack.com, $$ Jimmy Jack's offers 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. Their

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 pre-


whitedog Since 1975

Import Service Specialists Audi, VW, BMW, Volvo, Subaru, Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Acura, Nissan, Infiniti, Mazda, Mini Cooper, Jaguar, Land Rover and other imports.


424 Highland Court, Iowa City

pared to be crowded among hundreds of enthusi-

astic, probably drunk university alumni. It’s better to go when it’s less crowded, so you can enjoy the air

hockey or pool tables, play a game of darts, or sit in

the little beer garden out back, enjoying free popcorn and a draft beer. A rooftop patio is rumored to be on the way in 2016.


401 E. Market St., Iowa City

319-337-2183, johnsgrocery.com, $ An Iowa City institution since 1948, John's continues to have a large variety of beer, wine and spirits from around the world. After their recent remodel they have expanded their grocery selection, while still

focusing on keeping things local by offering things

like: coffee roasted by Bluebird, sushi from Formosa, hummus from Oasis Falafel, Dumpling Darling and

more. John's deli produces breakfast sandwiches and pastries every morning, fresh bread and offers daily lunch specials and fresh soups, all alongside their famous fried chicken.

JOSEPH’S STEAKHOUSE 212 S. Clinton St., Iowa City

319-358-0776, josephssteak.com, $$$$ The site of many a post-game or graduation steak, Joseph's menu has seen some exciting changes recent-

ly. They've added a variety of small plates, sandwiches

and salads to their steak and fresh seafood entrees, all alongside an extensive wine list.


319-656-3335, kalonabrewing.com Their fifteen-barrel brewing system ferments heavenly craft beers on site, but that’s not all they offer. Get

comfortable in their relaxing atmosphere and experi-

ence their wood-fired pizzas, flat breads, sandwiches, burgers and brats. LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/DINING

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 49

A Woman’s Work The female chefs and proprietors breaking the culinary gender barrier—and making fantastic food while they do it.


ooking, teaching and writing poetry have this in common: All are considered “women’s work” until the elite tier of each is reached. Then? It’s a man’s world, baby. Gender disparity skyrockets. Far more published poets are men, as are college professors, and the same is true amongst chefs and restaurateurs. But while the percentage of female chefs and restaurateurs in Eastern Iowa doesn’t tip any major scales, the women who run the local gourmet food world have name recognition, and for good reason. Word of mouth, after all, travels quickly when mouths are happy. “I started with what I had from working in other people’s pastry kitchens, from hotels to restaurants to pastry shops,” said Jamie Powers, owner and head chef at Deluxe Cakes & Pastries. “Once you get up there, it is a

50 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

male-dominated world.” And Powers has over 20 years of experience in that world. Before opening her Iowa City storefront, though, she drew from the experience of her mother and friends—other women who’d had to balance their passions and pursuits with more gendered expectations. “I sat down with my mom and I said, ‘Mom, I’m looking down the barrel of starting to have children now, or opening this pastry shop. I can have kids now and work for $10 an hour for somebody else.’ My mom said, ‘Once you have a child, you will not open your business.’ So I took my mom’s advice. I saw her working 50 hours a week growing up. I said to myself, ‘This is my profession and the kids will come if they come. If they don’t, they don’t. But this is me.’”

With the help of two women’s business loans, Powers opened Deluxe in November, 2002. Meanwhile, in Cedar Rapids, Isabelle Cummings and her husband Ian also ran a bakery—the erstwhile Croissant Du Jour, which recently closed, and re-opened as L’Auberge (“The Inn”), a French bistro offering a dinner service. Cummings, says she’d have laughed if you’d asked her if she wanted to run a restaurant 30 years ago. Kids, though, change everything, and by running a bakery together, the couple had their afternoons and evenings free for afterschool activities and family time. And now that their children are grown? “It was enough,” Cummings says, laughing. “My husband couldn’t get up at three in the morning anymore.” Cummings says L’Auberge’s fare may differ from Croissant Du Jour’s, but the restaurant’s guiding principles and ingredients remain the same: “Lots of salt, lots of butter, lots of cream.” Anyone who doubts the authenticity of a French restaurant in Eastern Iowa can simply try their duck, which they confit themselves. Barb Farnsworth’s beloved South Dubuque restaurant, Her Soup Kitchen, is also a family affair; both her son, Jason, and daughter, Krista, are involved in the soup and sandwich eatery. But before Her Soup Kitchen became a household name in Iowa City, it had an antiquated battle to fight. As late as the 1980s, many women came up against institutional obstacles while

“Once you get up there, it is a male-dominated world.”

Jamie Powers, Deluxe Cakes & Pastries

procuring a bank loan—of any amount, or for any reason—unless a man was willing to co-sign. When Farnsworth approached a local bank for a loan to get the restaurant started six years ago, the experienced businesswoman was shocked to be turned down. “My husband and I have had relationships with the banks in town for 29 years,” she said before shrugging, palms raised to the ceiling with remembered surprise and frustration. “But when I wanted to go out on my own?” The bank’s rationale? “I’d never owned a restaurant before. Owned a business, yes, but not a restaurant,” Farnsworth says. She was, in banker parlance, “prone to fail.” The same could not be said of her personality. Turned down by a loan officer, she went to the board of directors. “I was asking for a very, very minimal amount of money to start a restaurant. I was asking for $100,000—and that’s to build what you see here,” she says, sweeping her hand out towards the kitchen and seating area. She and her family did most of the renovation work. She bought almost all of her equipment at auctions. Now, bankers in the Iowa City area lunch on the soup and sandwiches that have made Her Soup Kitchen a household name in Iowa City. “When we started out, I wanted to have a place in town that I would go eat at, that we would go eat at,” says Farnsworth. “To me, good food brings a smile to everybody’s face. Even if you’re having a bad day, if you have a great sandwich or a BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 51



in each booth, and large wrap-around bar make

319-362-5216, kathyspies.com

has endured for a reason: They serve the best pizza in

616 5th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids

Cakes, cookies, pastries, and more! This longstanding bakery is a Cedar Rapids staple.

KONOMI RESTAURANT 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.


624 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City, 319-351-7000, $$$

great bowl of soup from some place, it just seems to warm you from the inside out.” Leaf Kitchen’s Harriet Woodford and her chef and business partner, Masae Yoshiko Judge, share a similar ethos. Their cozy cafe, currently in its eighth year, offers simple foods, expertly made, and warm drinks that, until Leaf Kitchen came along, couldn’t be found in Iowa City. Woodford and Judge come from tea cultures— Korean and Japanese, respectively—and, seeing that there were already plenty of coffee shops in town, offered an alternative. After selling tea and cookies at the Iowa City Farmers Market for sometime, they found their current location, a quiet spot away from the downtown area, with ample parking and beautiful exposed brick walls. If there is a feminist principle to restauranteurship, Woodford says, it is the organic dynamism of offering fresh, beautifully prepared food to customers who appreciate quality. That perspective, combined with the business savvy to see an unmet need, and answer it, is something the owners of Leaf Kitchen have in common with Trumpet Blossom’s Katie Meyer. “I’ve pretty much always worked with food,” says Meyer, she became a vegetarian when she was a student at the University of Iowa and got her first industry job at the Red Avocado, a vegetarian restaurant. Now, Meyer plays double duty; she owns Iowa City’s beloved gourmet vegan restaurant, and is its head chef. Doesn’t that amount to a grueling schedule? “Well, of course!” says Meyer, who took only the smallest break from making delicious, eco-friendly, socially conscious food to make another person. And Meyer concedes: balancing time with the kiddo and her time in the kitchen is tough. But toughness is the primary ingredient in successful business, and these restaurants, like the women who run them, are never out of stock. 52 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

Among the most authentic Korean joints in the area.

Leonardo’s a true throwback to a different time, and it town. With low-lighting, kitchen open until 12 a.m. or later, and a friendly atmosphere, this is the ideal stop for an after-hours bite with friends out on the town.


180 Main St., Dubuque, 562-582-2689, $ The Lift draws crowds from miles around for its

expertly curated live music selection, but it’s also a

great place for locals to relax, try out a new beer and shoot pool.

LIGHTHOUSE INN SUPPER CLUB 6905 Mt. Vernon Rd. SE, Cedar Rapids

319-362-3467, crlighthouseinn.com, $$

When you go, sit at one of their barbecue tables and

If you grew up in Cedar Rapids, there’s a good chance


once a week for ribs. Established in 1912, the Light-

get the Galbi, marinated beef that you grill at your


400 Hakes Dr., Norwalk

515 981-1625, laquercia.us, $ Served throughout the country, La Quercia's famous

your grandpa used to make you go to the Lighthouse

house Inn is the stuff of legend. Did Chicago mobsters really go there to hide out? Possibly. Did John

Dillinger’s gun shoot a hole in the wall? That’s what

they say. If nothing else, the kitschy, nautical decor and devoted clientele make it worth a visit.

prosciutto is one of the things that keeps Iowa on


Iowa, though.

319-895-9463, foodisimportant.com, $$$

the culinary map. It is even fresher when you eat it in


120 Washington St., Decorah, 563-382-3067, $$$ The homemade desserts at this eclectic, family-owned

125 1st St. W., Mount Vernon

Featuring an Italian-made brick oven and a talented staff, Lincoln Winebar delivers quality pizzas, small plates and, of course, wine and beer.

bistro are to die for. The food is delicious year-round,


chefs can focus on local fare.

319-200-4460, lionbridgebrewing.com, $$

but it’s especially luscious in warmer months, when


436 Highway 1, Iowa City, 319-341-8226, $ When “the taco truck” first appeared in Iowa City, the masses rejoiced—so much so that the truck moved

into a permanent location, now known as La Regia. A bodega and meat market are attached.


301 1/2 Kirkwood Ave., Iowa City

59 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids

After winning consecutive gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival, Lion Bridge has become a household name in the area. Located in the Czech

Village of Cedar Rapids, it’s a great place to stop and grab a brew or some appetizers while shopping the historic area.


1317 3rd St. S.E., Cedar Rapids, 319-366-6262, $

319-338-1909, leafkitchen.com, $$

Little Bo is one of the oldest bars in Cedar Rapids and

This small, quirky restaurant offers tea service, break-

to savor some genuine home-cookin’, this place is for

fast, brunch and lunch. Its offerings are consistently creative, often local and always delicious.


2228 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids

319-364-5537, leonardospizzacr.com, $$ Vintage red and black leather decor against mirrored walls, non-functioning, antique jukebox speakers

has the charm of an old Czech town. If you’ve got time you. Order their tenderloin and enjoy a beer.


2825 6th St. SW, Cedar Rapids

319-826-1870, loscompadresbarandgrill.com, $$ With a menu bursting with flavor and daily specials crafted from local ingredients, Los Compadres

promises to serve you original recipes that have been

passed on for generations. Stop by on a weekend and order the tableside guacamole, you’ll be able to see

A Spirited Celebration

and taste the freshness.


1402 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City, 319-358-1308, $$ With jumbo Margaritas and talented food runners

balancing hot plates on their arms, Los Portales is a

good place to enjoy Tex-Mex fare in a cantina-like at-

mosphere. The service is fast, and the menu is varied.


Share Wine Lounge & Small Plate Bistro Friday Afternoons & Evenings 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM & 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM

Don’t let their size fool you! Although small, The Lost

Make the most of your Friday with friends and enjoy 1/2 price select small plates $15 bottles house wine 1/2 price cocktail shakers $2 off draft beer

with truly delicious and authentic flavors, and though

Learn more at www.sharewinelounge.com


209 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-362-2627, $$

Cuban is cozy and welcoming. The menu is packed

the lines may be long at lunch, they are totally worth it.

MAESTRO EMPANADAS 423 10th Ave., Coralville

319-621-7481, www.maestroempanadas.com, $ This counter service restaurant offers a delicious se-

lection of made-from-scratch empanadas, soups and Argentinian desserts.


1100 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids

(at NewBo City Market), 319-200-4050

facebook.com/MaggiesFarmWoodFiredPizza, $$ You might recognize the Maggie’s Farm Pizza folks

from the Iowa City Farmers Market, where they have a stand on Saturdays. Now, 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.


2315 Edgewood Rd. SW, Cedar Rapids 319-396-4337, maiphocr.com, $$

The menu at Mai Pho (also known as Pho Mai) is loaded with traditional Vietnamese dishes, each

more intriguing than the last. The signature dish, pho, boasts a 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.

MAMA’S DELI & CATERING 125 E. Washington St., Iowa City

319-341-0700, mamasdelicatering.com, $ Homemade, stick-to-your-ribs deli specials draw a LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/DINING

©2013 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, Sheraton and their logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates. Any guest consuming alcohol must be of legal drinking age.

Sanctuary Pub

Find Your Sanctuary Sanctuary Pub

415 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City Sometimes used as a space for jazz and poetry readings, since 1972 Sanctuary Pub has been

wrapping its warm embrace around studious loners, first dates and anyone in Iowa City who loved craft beer before it was cool. As the regional brewery

scene has blossomed, Sanctuary reliably presents

the best of what the state has to offer at any given

time, and hasn't slowed down on the international

side either. Alongside Iowa City's biggest variety of beers, pizza is at the center of Sanctuary's regularly changing menu of advanced, affordable pub fare.

A R E Y O U H AV I N G DELICIOUS FUN? SHARE THE EXPERIENCE Try any dish recommended in Bread & Butter, tag the restaurant + @LittleVillageMag on Instagram, win free gift cards to area restaurants and bars. 54 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016



In Pursuit of Hoppiness With this selection of home-grown breweries, you’ll be sure to sample the wide variety of brews Iowa has to offer and hopefully find a new favorite or two along the way.

Alluvial Brewing Company

Confluence Brewing Company

Located on an 80-acre farm northwest of Ames, the Alluvial Brewing Company is home to “free range” brewing. Patrons can grab a brew in the taproom and stroll among the farm’s vegetable patches and wetlands. If a peaceful promenade with a pint is not your thing, one can also belly-up to the bar, enjoy the outdoor patio overlooking the farm, or play a game of bags.

The Confluence Brewing Company may have the only taproom in Iowa where you can grab a pint, enjoy a board game, and then buy local art. With 16 taps—13 of which serve Confluence’s year-round beers, inspired creations and rotating seasonals, the taproom also features a dog-friendly deck, which is accessible from the Gray’s Lake bike trails. Though no food is prepared on-site, patrons can bring their own

3715 W. 190th St., Ames

1235 Thomas Beck Rd., Des Moines

An ideal place to enjoy a couple pints with friends and watch the art of brewing world-renowned beers.

Big Grove Brewery 101 W. Main St., Solon

Big Grove Brewery in Solon may be a small brewpub, but it could be Iowa’s most productive brewery in terms of beer styles brewed. In just two years, Big Grove has brewed 34 different beer styles. Along with four core beers and some guest taps, Big Grove’s 14 taps serve a plethora of seasonal and limited edition beers.


food, have it delivered to the taproom, or order from the food trucks that visit the taproom during the warm weather months.

Firetrucker Brewery 716 S.W. 3rd St., Ankeny

A converted firehouse is a fitting home for Firetrucker Brewery and provides the perfect end-point for a bike ride on High Trestle Trail. An accommodating taproom and outdoor patio

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 55

Breweries Statewide Lake Time Brewery, Clear Lake IOWA'S BREWING INDUSTRY has experienced rapid growth over the past few years as craft beer has taken a stronghold. Here's a comprehensive list (at time of print) of Iowa breweries. Be sure to check the Iowa Brewers' Guild web and social media sites for updates, as new breweries pop up all the time.

Lion Bridge Brewing Co., Cedar Rapids Lost Duck Brewing Co., Fort Madison Madhouse Brewing Co., Des Moines Mason City Brewing Co., Mason City Millstream Brewing Co., Amana

515 Brewing Co., Clive

Exile Brewing Co., Des Moines

New American Brewing Co., Ankeny

Albia Brewing Co., Albia

Firetrucker Brewery, Ankeny

Okoboji Brewing Co., Spirit Lake

Alluvial Brewing Co., Ames

Flix Brewhouse, Des Moines

Olde Main Brewing Co., Ames

Another Road Brewing Co., Marion

Fox Brewing, West Des Moines

Peace Tree Brewing Co., Knoxville

Appanoose Rapids Brewing Co., Ottumwa

Franklin Street Brewing Co., Manchester

Pulpit Rock Brewing Co., Decorah

Backpocket Brewing Co., Coralville

Front Street Brewery, Davenport

ReUnion Brewery & Restaurant, Coralville

Backpocket Pilot Pub, Cedar Rapids

Taproom @ Quad Cities Food Hub, Davenport

Rock Bottom Brewery, West Des Moines

Big Grove Brewing Co., Solon

Granite City Food & Brewery

Rustic Brew, Hampton

Brick Street Brewing Co., Woodbine

Cedar Rapids / Clive / Davenport

Broad Street Brewing Co., Reinbeck

Great River Brewery, Davenport

Sutliff Cider Company, Lisbon

Boone Valley Brewing Co., Boone

Green Tree Brewing Co., Le Claire

Third Base Brewery, Cedar Rapids

C.I.B. Brewery, Carson

Guerrilla Brewing Co., Waterloo

Toppling Goliath Brewing Co., Decorah

Confluence Brewing Co., Des Moines

Iowa River Brewing Co., Marshalltown

Torrent Brewing Co. Ames

Contrary Brewing Co., Muscatine

Jackson Street Brewing Co., Sioux City

Turner Alley Brewing Co., Cedar Rapids

Court Avenue Brewing Co., Des Moines

Jefferson County Ciderworks, Fairfield

Twisted Vine Brewery, St Charles

Captain’s Quarters (CQ) Brewing, Adel

Jubeck New World Brewing, Dubuque

Van Houzen Brewing Co., Tiffin

Deb’s Brewtopia, Elkader

Kalona Brewing Co., Kalona

West O Beer, Milford

Depot Deli Restaurant, Shenandoah

Keg Creek Brewing Co., Glenwood

Worth Brewing Co., Northwood

56 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

Single Speed Brewing Co., Cedar Falls

are comfortable spots to sample a variety of brews with clever firehouse related names. All the house and seasonal beers go down easy, but the standout at Firetrucker is the bright, clean and refreshing Ginger Beer-Cat in a Tree.

Lion Bridge Brewing Company 59 16th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

World-class beers are being brewed in Cedar Rapids’ Czech Village by the Lion Bridge Brewing Company. One can order a pint of Workman’s Compensation or The Disaster at Meux, both Great American Beer Festival gold medal winners, and many others from the large selection of 10–12 house beers and 3–5 guest taps served in Lion Bridge’s taproom. Enjoy beer-centric snacks, appetizers, and sandwiches from an expanded menu of small plate items that feature local produce and meat. With a causal atmosphere, Lion Bridge is an ideal place to enjoy a couple pints with friends and watch the art of brewing world-renowned beers through the windows that look into the brewery.

Lake Time Brewery

801 Main Ave., Clear Lake Clear Lake’s Lake Time Brewery takes home

ART + AU D I E N C E Little Village Creative Services Local marketing support from the team that brings you Little Village and Bread & Butter magazines.



Family Law & Divorce Bankruptcy Criminal Defense General Practice 432 E. Bloomington St.

(319) 354-6000 daigwilliam.com

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 57

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brewing to another level. Located in a house built in the 1920s, blocks from the shore of Clear Lake, Lake Time’s taproom is like a homey living room—albeit with 10 tap lines. Featuring a bay window, a couch, comfy chairs and a fireplace, it is an ideal place to chill out and enjoy a brew. On tap are eight year-round beers, a seasonal and a specialty beer. Though the name for Lake Time’s IPA, Propeller, may not change, the recipe is tweaked each time so every batch is unique. Meat and cheese plates are available on-site, but patrons are welcome to bring their own food or have it delivered.

Exile Brewing Company 1514 Walnut St., Des moines

Many of Exile's beers are worth mentioning, but the standouts at this brewery are the Sours. Infused with just enough funk and fruit, they set themselves apart from the crowd of IPA's and hopped up beers in the endless sea of craft beer. Come for weekend breakfast in this openy, airy brewery, order a Cherry sour (it's fruit, it's fine!) and relax into your weekend.

An Iowa City Tradition Since 1948 Your local source for great:

Coming Soon:

Backpocket Pilot Pub 415 3rd St., Cedar Rapids

The cooler younger brother to Backpocket Brewing Company will open late summer 2016 in downtown Cedar Rapids. With a keen focus on experimental brewing methods and smallbatch production, you're sure to find something interesting on tap and you'll have more choices when it comes to pairing your pint with food, as this new location will feature a full kitchen. Expect a similar selection of pizzas to the flagship location, alongside the addition of an expanded grill menu. Those devoted to the Coralville location: have no fear; Backpocket lives on with all your favorites and standards on tap.



401 E. Market St. Iowa City, IA 52245 319.337.2183 www.johnsgrocery.com


Deli & Bakery

Hours: Mon - Thu 7;30 am - 12:00 am Fri - Sat 7:30 am - 2:00 am Sun 9:00 am - 12:00 am


BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 59

Chong's Supermarket

Tuesdays 3-6 p.m. Mercer Park 1317 Dover St.


Wednesdays 5-7 p.m. Saturdays 7:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. Chauncey Swan Park 405 E. Washington St.


May through October


supermarket sweep No matter how you grocery shop—once a week or on the daily, at the supermarket or at the hole-in-the wall grocer—be sure to visit these purveyors to find out what's fresh.

The Bigger, Better Supermarket Popping up all over these days are grocers who seemingly handle it all. Coffee shops and cafés hover near the entrances, drawing shoppers in. Store aisles are lined with everyday staples and a selection of international standards. The chef-staffed kitchens are now preparing meals to order for eat-in diners, and at most places, you can even order a beer or a glass of wine and enjoy it at a bar.

Bread Garden Market 225 S. Linn St., Iowa City




y local. . Bu

A full-service option with great prepared foods and an enticing salad and hot bar, as well. An expanded outdoor patio invites shoppers to relax in the warmer months and the wine bar has a curated selection of seasonal wines and tap beers from ReUnion Brewery. Items you better have in your cart include the Local Certified Angus Beef from the meat counter and fresh baked hearth breads.

Lucky’s Market

1668 Sycamore St., Iowa City

Now accepting EBT/Snap debit & credit cards

60 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

Swing by Lucky’s Market, the newest grocery store in town, and you’re greeted with a fresh, welcoming environment that feels a bit like a Trader Joe’s. Before you do any shopping, head over to the the bar and get yourself a bargain beer ($2) or glass of wine ($3)––your cart has a drink holder so you can sip while you shop. Best

items to score here? There are great deals to be had on produce—many locally or organically grown—and Wednesdays are Double Ad days, when sales flyers from both the prior and upcoming week are valid.

New Pioneer Food Co-op

3338 Center Point Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids 22 S. Van Buren St., Iowa City 1101 2nd St., Coralville In both the Coralville and Cedar Rapids stores, enjoy a dine-in experience and feast on organic and locally sourced salads, sandwiches and soups, and even take a cooking class to fuel creativity in your own kitchen. At any location, the cheese department is tops and the small but all-you-really-need liquor selection piques interest with small-batch bitters, drinking vinegars and specialty bottles. When you go, stock up on fancy cocktail mixers and Drunken Goat cheese.

an abundance of specialty grocers highlighting cuisine from all parts of the globe


busy, downtown lunch crowd to Mama’s Deli.


319-354-6264, mamisauthentic.com, $ Open late, Mami’s serves fast Mexican takeout to the bar crowd and, conveniently, they also deliver.

MASALA INDIAN CUISINE 9 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

319-338-6199, masalaiowacity.com, $$ Masala added meat options to 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, vegetable-and-cheese balls and their accompanying tomato cream sauce.


The Niche Grocer

526 S. Riverside Dr., Iowa City

If convenience matters not to you, take an afternoon and drive from one store to the next to stock your carefully curated pantry with treats from around the world. With an abundance of specialty grocers highlighting cuisine from all parts of the globe, you’ll easily find the exotic spices or not-so-ordinary meats you need to complete your dinner party menu.


760 Ruppert Rd., Iowa City Maybe your new wine shop? Aldi’s adds a bit of levity to the standard wine conversation these days. Recently, a handful of their regularly featured wines garnered high ratings and championship awards. Other wine rooms may boast many more top-tier choices that entice a variety of palates, but for the quirkiness, buy a case of the Broken Clouds label wine. You’ll have a laugh every time you open a bottle.

Chong’s Supermarket 905 2nd St., Coralville

At this shop on the Coralville Strip, you can find a wide variety of shelf-stable Asian foods and a large selection of fresh produce. Get hooked on Yank Sing Pepper Sauce if you aren’t already, snag some in-season persimmons and pick up a few of the bargain-priced sheet facial masks at the checkout counter.

Saigon Market

803 2nd Ave., Cedar Rapids Saigon Market sells the freshest Asian produce in town. And if you don’t know what to do with the foot-long pale green bumpy gourd in your hand, they’ll give you a recipe. You’ll also find an LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/DINING

abundant selection of rice and noodles, any Asian sauce you may need and, if you’re lucky, roasted duck. In the check out line, grab some Asian snacks: Mr. Brown, canned iced espresso with milk, or Haw Flakes, akin to a tart Necco Wafer.

Stringtown Grocery

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, $$

2208 540th St., Kalona

Though easy to miss if you're not looking for it,

Visit this destination shop for a simpler take on shopping. Run by the local Amish community, this modest store is filled with packaged bulk items like grains, nuts, spices and snacks. Stock up on local eggs, cheeses and Amish-raised beef and poultry. Be sure to bring cash or check as they do not accept credit cards. Do not leave here without a Kalona Bar, a housemade ice cream treat for just $1.50!

Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. Family owned and

Taj Mahal Restaurant Grocer

3939 Center Point Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids Taj Mahal Restaurant boasts a grocery filled with homemade Indian sweets, samosas, colorful grains and legumes, and any kind nut you can imagine. Smells of Chicken Tikka Masala and Saag Paneer waft through the grocery from next door and compel you to buy Aloo Bhujia, a spicy fried potato noodle snack, and Besan Laddu, sweetened gram flour balls, a favorite of the young woman working the register, who promises you can’t eat just one.

Mekong Restaurant is the place to go for tasty Thai,

operated, their quick service and friendly staff make

Mekong an obvious choice for lunch, offering a smaller menu with many affordable and delicious lunch

combinations. The dinner menu has a large variety

of appetizers, entrees and impressive beer selection; everyone can find something they love.


114 E. Washington St., Iowa City

319-351-6372, mesapizzaia.com, $ On most evenings, a crowd of devoted undergradu-

ates queue at Mesa for the most bang for their buck— and mac and cheese on pizza offers plenty of bang.


11 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City, 319-338-6860, $$ Pull up a stool, cozy into a window booth or, in the

summer, recline on the patio for a view of Iowa City’s

bustling downtown. In addition to burgers and sandwiches, they also offer classic bar food with a twist.

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 61

GET TO KNOW: BREWHEMIA 1101 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids

319-364-0802, brewhemia.com

An inviting coffee shop across from NewBo City Market employs a crowd of well-trained and detail-oriented baristas who know their stuff. Brewhemia offers traditional coffee drinks, lattes, and teas, but you’ll also find a handful of alternative brew methods available for your sampling. Speaking of brew, you'll also find a unique selection of craft beer on tap. COLD BREW Using a Yama Cold Brew system, Brewhemia makes Japanesestyle slow-drip cold brew. This dramatic method slowly drips water over coffee grounds for up to 24 hours. The final product is a flavorful and aromatic cold brew with nuance and subtlty. At Brewhemia they are frequently experimenting with different roasts and blends and bottling their small batch brews for later consumption. NITRO COFFEE Nitro coffee is just starting to take hold here in Iowa. The process begins with concentrated coldbrewed coffee which is then infused with nitrogen gas to affect both the taste and texture of the drink. The resulting brew is smooth and crisp with a light foam and champagne style bubbles. It sort of feels like a lighter Guinness that’s safe to consume before your morning commute. SIPHON COFFEE This coffee brewing method is experiencing a revival since it’s first appearance on the scene in the mid-1800’s. Developed as a way to avoid the unsavory effects of boiling coffee, it uses a two chamber system, along with vapor pressure and gravity to deliver a clean, bright cup of joe. CLEVER POUR OVER Brewhemia features the Clever Pour Over system which is a hybrid of a French Press and Pour Over methods. This system allows you to steep your grounds in hot water as you would in French Press preparation before releasing and filtering the brew into the cup below resulting in a wellbalanced cup with body and flavor. 62 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016


Field to fiend Meet three local roasting outfits delivering unique brews to fuel your caffeine addiction.

Wake Up Iowa What began in 2011 for owner Jarrett Mitchell as a charming coffee cart in a parking lot, has transformed over the years into a full-fledged roasting operation. With previous iterations as both a small cafe within White Rabbit and a stand-alone location on Iowa City’s south side, Wake Up Iowa now focuses solely on supplying local cafes, restaurants and grocery stores with high-quality organic beans. Wake Up Iowa sources single-origin beans that are organically grown, roasts them in small batches, and packages them by hand in their small Iowa City warehouse. With simple packaging incorporating hand-drawn illustrations and Photoshop collages, Wake Up Iowa has carved out a unique space for themselves in the market showcasing high-quality beans without taking themselves too seriously. A quick visit to their online store gives you a glimpse into the lighthearted nature of the company with tonguein-cheek tasting notes such as this gem from their Storm Cat brew: “A deep inhale while brewing invokes the exploration of a hidden closet full of photo boxes and leather-bound

journals on a rainy day. With a sip, Storm Cat’s dewy paws crawl across the back of your tongue, leaving a trail of chocolate-flecked honey.” You’ll also find the promise of brewing guide videos (coming soon) featuring both Mitchell and the company’s unofficial mascot Sleep Daddy, Mitchell’s beloved dog. In addition to roasting beans, Wake Up Iowa also produces Cobra Verde-a natural energy drink, made with green coffee, citrus, and ginger that’s absolutely worth trying. The bright, clean alternative to a brewed coffee or espresso is available at local grocers including New Pioneer Food Co-op.

Brass Ring Sam Caster, wife Emma Barnum, and their adorable son are the brains and energy behind this mobile operation. With a deep passion for coffee and extensive training and experience as a barista, Caster set to work to bring freshground, brewed-to-order specialty coffee to the Iowa City Farmer’s Market scene just two years ago. Caster and Barnum originally stocked their outfit with locally roasted beans from Sidecar



1426 6th St. SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-366-3644, $ This Greek-owned breakfast diner tends to get busy, although once a seat does open up, it is worth the

wait. Take your first bite of cinnamon French toast and realize that nothing else matters.


120 E. Burlington St., Iowa City 319-351-9529, icmill.com, $$

There’s a reason why The Mill has been immortalized in song and in print: It’s an Iowa City institution and a

great place to kill time with a beer, especially if there’s a band playing, as there so often is. The menu is underrarted, and delivery is free until 11 p.m.

MILLSTREAM BREWING CO. 835 48th Ave., Amana

319-622-3672, millstreambrewing.com, $ Tucked away in a far corner of the Amana Colonies,

Wake Up Iowa

Millstream Brewing Co. offers ever-changing taps and an absolutely killer root beer.


40 Sugar Creek Ln., North Liberty

1 Hour of Free Ramp Parking In Iowa City Just $2 to park in a designated ramp for 3 hours! (first hour free, then $1 per hour after) Parking available at: Capitol St. (adjacent to Old Capitol Mall) Dubuque St. (adjacent to the Sheraton Hotel) Tower Place (on Iowa Avenue) Court Street Transportation Center for more info www.icgov.org

319-459-1342, $$

Coffee Roasters in Cedar Falls, but have since transitioned into roasting their own beans to supply the operation. The same roasted beans used to make your delicious brewed-to-order cup of joe can also be purchased in half-pound increments at their stand so you can get your morning fix any day of the week in your very own kitchen. You’ll find Brass Ring serving up delicious infused cold-brews, iced and hot teas and pour-over coffee Saturdays at the Chauncey Swan Farmer’s Market in Iowa City.

A stripmall setting may not be the first place you look

Cafe Del Sol

binations, Molly’s also gives a portion of their profits

Cafe del Sol is Iowa City’s longest running roaster. With over 25 years of experience under their belts, owners Stephen and Lora Dunham and their team have been offering their bespoke roasting services since long before it was hip. Over the years, they’ve carefully crafted custom blends and roasts for many local restaurants and cafes. A wealth of choices abound from light to dark roasts and all that lies between, but trust that all roasts are from organic, fairtrade origins. Their custom blends are at work fueling patrons of many local restaurants—El Banditos, Motley Cow Café, Palisades Café, and Devotay—but are also available for purchase in local Hy-Vee and New Pioneer Food Co-op stores. Look for them in the warmer months at the Chauncey Swan Farmer’s Market in Iowa City, selling bagged beans to customers.

for well-executed Italian cuisine, but in North Liberty, that is exactly where you’ll find it. Offering all of the Italian-American staples, using homemade recipes and techniques, this little cafe stand out.


14 S. Clinton St., Iowa City, 319-333-1297 620 Pacha Pkwy. Suite 4, North Liberty

319-626-2026, icmollys.com, $

In addition to offering carefully crafted cupcake comto 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.


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 their Ped Mall patio.


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.

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 63

M LV RECOMMENDS GUIDES: COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE 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.


319-338-1419, mosleysiowacity.com

know your farmer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) allows community members to purchase shares, or memberships, from area farms. Early-season contributions help farmers properly gauge the community’s needs and, in return, community members receive CSA shares of farmfresh product, without paying the overhead required by retail sales. Remember that many farmers require commitments early in the season, so pick your favoirte and contact an area CSA farm soon for detailed information on how to purchase shares.

A well-designed but simple and inviting interior paves the way for solid barbeque options made in-house. Communal tables are great for accommodating

groups of all sizes. If you’re with a crowd, order The

Spread so you can sample all the menu has to offer.


160 N. Linn St., Iowa City

319-688-9177, motleycowcafe.com, $$$ This Northside neighborhood restaurant focuses on

using local, organic food whenever possible to create eclectic, creative flavor combinations, in addition to having a well-curated bar selection.


1467 155th Ave., Donnellson 319-469-2221, $$$

Go for the fried chicken, stay for the cheap beer and easy conversation with some of Donnellson’s most colorful characters.


207 2nd Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids 319-362-6333, needcr.com

A casual nightlife experience and live jams add to a

huge selection of Iowa beer, deliciously hand-crafted pizza crust and easy-going atmosphere.


22 S. Van Buren St., Iowa City, 319-338-9441 1101 2nd St., Coralville, 319-358-5513

3338 Center Point Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids 319-365-2632 newpi.coop, $$

Abbe Hills Garden

Ebersole Cattle Co.

Open to non-members, New Pi is the area's only

Contents: Vegetables, eggs Season: Early June through the late October Distribution: Mt. Vernon

Contents: Beef Season: Year-round Distribution: Iowa City

food cooperative, featuring a bakehouse, a selection of both prepared foods and groceries, and a well

developed health and wellness section in addition to

Mt. Vernon, 319-895-6924, abbehills.com

beer, wine and spirits.

Ambleside Farm


Contents: Vegetables, greens, melons, eggs Season: Year-round Distribution: Monticello, Dyersville, Dubuque

1201 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids 319-535-2707, $$

Conveniently located across from NewBo City Market and within walking distance to many Czech Village

attractions, Newbo Alehouse resides in a historic bank building, which adds character to the dining experi-

ence. The original vault and teller windows remain as 64 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

Onslow, 319-310-2210, ambleside-farm.com

Kellerton, 515-971-8462, ebersolecattleco.com


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

Family Farm CSA

Maharishi Vedic City CSA

Contents: Vegetables, fruits, herbs Season: Late May/early June through midSeptember Distribution: Between Iowa City and Solon

Contents: Vegetables, fruit, herbs, greens Season: Year-round Distribution: Des Moines, Iowa City, Fairfield, Ottumwa, Vedic City and Washington

Iowa City, 319-936-1317

Fairfield, 641-919-7010, mvccsa.com

Garden on the Prairie

Oak Hill Acres

Contents: Vegetables, fruits, herbs, hops, beef, dairy, eggs, honey, syrup, jams and jellies Season: Early May through early August Distribution: Tama

Contents: Vegetables, greens, herbs Season: May through October Distribution: Coralville, Iowa City, Muscatine, Quad Cities and West Liberty

Tama, 641-484-2052

Atalissa, 563-946-2304, oakhillacres.com

Given Gardens

Reginaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bread

Contents: Vegetables, herbs, flowers Season: June through October Distribution: Cedar Rapids and Decorah

Contents: Bread, baked goods, granola Season: May to October Distribution: Iowa City

Decorah, 563-382-3216

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, 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

Iowa City, 319-430-7855, zjfarms.com

Salt Fork Farms

Solon, 319-270-3449 Contents: Vegetables, fruits, herbs, eggs, chicken, flowers Season: May through November Distribution: Iowa City, Solon

Sass Family Farm

Riverside, 319-648-3788, sassfamilyfarm.com

Contents: Vegetables, herbs, eggs, jams and jellies, honey, baked goods Season: May through October Distribution: Riverside

Small Frye Farm

Maysville, 319-936-1216, smallfryefarm.com

Contents: Vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers Season: April/May through November Distribution: Quad Cities and Iowa City

Supernatural Organics

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

WE DESIGN MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITES. SAMPLES: npbnewbo.com josephssteak.com daigwilliam.com oasisfalafel.com creative@littlevillagemag.com 319-855-1474


BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 65


standard American fare and over two


of which are on tap.

319-333-1265, $

part of the décor. The menu features

hundred beer selections, seventy-five

223 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City


Rent a room at No. 18, and you and



1100 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids newbocitymarket.com, $$ A variety of artisan vendors serve up

anything from local art and homegrown goods to made-to-order pizzas and small plates.


2545 Old River Rd. SW, Cedar Rapids (319) 366-3629, shacktavern.com, $

The bait shop and bar known as “The Shack“ used to be right on top of the Cedar River—until 2008, when the

river was right on top of the bar. Now

your friends can wail away until the wee


600 N. Dodge St., Iowa City 319-512-5028, $$


5 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

319-359-1181, nodoiowacity.com, $$ Both spots serve up excellent sandwiches, and the downtown location has an outdoor patio and a second


smoked chicken, shrimp and basmati burgers and wood-fired oven pizzas in

206 N. Linn St., Iowa City

319-358-7342, oasisfalafel.com, $ Offering a little bit of the Middle East

stop and catch a cold one while you are

319-354-0119, northside-bistro.com, $$$ Northside Bistro is a perfect spot

upstairs) for a selection of small plates, pizzas and entrees.


they have matzo ball soup, get it.


their famous falafel and hummus. If


319-887-1909, onetwentysix.net, $$

experiences. One Twenty Six stands at

203 N. Linn St., Iowa City

a more casual setting, or to Hearth (also

super-fresh traditional dishes include

to Iowa City, Oasis’s super-authentic,

charm being in an ACE hardware store.

parties. The other location has a special

with house-made Andouille sausage, rice. Head upstairs to Moonrakers for


Three restaurants by the same owner, in


out enjoying a day of rods and reels.

choose their Étouffée, a dish prepared

accompanies their beautifully executed

floor "skylight room" that's perfect for

cleaned up and back in action, the New Shack Tavern is still a perfect spot to

interior is rustic but clean and perfectly

the same building, offering very distinct street level in the middle of the hustle

and bustle of downtown Iowa City. The

menu features French-American cuisine made with local and organic ingredi-

521 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City

orchardgreenrestaurant.com, $$$ This restaurant is split into two sections: a tasteful upstairs dining room with

chandeliered cathedral ceilings and

white linens, and a darker, more casual lounge area downstairs. The menu

features classics like 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.

ents when possible. For a real treat,

for date night. The newly renovated

A Spirited Celebration FRIDAYS WITH CLASS

Share Wine Lounge & Small Plate Bistro Friday Afternoons & Evenings 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM & 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM Make the most of your Friday with friends and enjoy 1/2 price select small plates $15 bottles house wine 1/2 price cocktail shakers $2 off draft beer Learn more at www.sharewinelounge.com

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66 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

210 S. Dubuque Street Iowa City, Iowa 52240


Alison bechdel || Marc maron || The Lone Bellow kurt vile & the Violators || houndmouth || Home free Mission Creek Festival || Witching hour festival and more...

It all happens here.

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 67 englert.org || 319.688.2653 || 221 East Washington Street, Iowa City

priceless. I feel as a bartender we whip up drinks with pride and hope for a reaction of sorts. A well-made Bloody Mary will induce a reaction every time.

Raising the Bar Four local bartenders dish on their favorite drinks to serve up and knock back. • By Erin McMeen

What is your favorite drink to make for yourself? Brenton Thompson (Northside Bistro): I tend to drink a lot of whiskey and whiskey cocktails at home. I like to make variations of Old Fashioneds and Manhattans, but it really depends on the season and what I have in my fridge. I have definitely made an Old Fashioned with grapefruit and artificial sweetener, and it was delicious.

“I love bars where I can read.” Brenton Thompson, Northside Bistro

Eleanore Taft (Baroncini): I tend to keep it simple when it comes to myself, I like whiskey and scotch. I like smoky things, like mezcal, too. Ernie Zaleckas ( Joseph’s Steakhouse): Usually an Old Fashioned or a Dirty Martini. Melissa Sinclair (Motley Cow Café): It’s kind of ironic because as much as I am interested in craft cocktails, I’m kind of just a beer and whiskey girl. Old Overholt [rye] is a longtime favorite. Milton LeBron (Hudson's Southside Tap): My favorite drink to make myself is probably a very bitter, Cedar Ridge Apple Brandy Ginger Ale. I know this sounds odd but it’s truly a smooth and refreshing drink. What is your favorite drink to make for someone else? BT: It depends on the age of the person and their personal preferences. Are they a perfumey person or a smoky person? I prefer to introduce people to new wines, it’s less of a commitment on both ends. But it’s really more about listening 68 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

rather than having a firm idea of what you want to serve them. ET: It depends on how much time I have. I think it’s really fun to make a Ramos Gin Fizz with meringue, but if you’re short on time it can be tedious. I like the process of figuring out what someone enjoys, and making them something that is a perfect fit for them. It’s almost like music. I can find something in every genre that I’m going to like, you just have to be introduced to it in the right way. Showing someone something new is a cool process and I like making things with my hands. EZ: It depends on their tastes. I feel like in Iowa City a lot of people are looking for the end. They aren’t necessarily looking for the in-between of experiencing the drink, they are just looking to get drunk. And price point is a huge factor in a college town. But I really like the process of making a Manhattan, though it all depends on

“I keep it simple, gin and tonic or vodka and water.”

What do you drink when you go out? BT: I usually want to try new beers or new wine, so when I go out I tend to go to places that have changing drink menus. ET: I lean toward liquor-heavy drinks: Manhattans, Martinis, Negronis. I like bitter, too, so Palomas or Salty Dogs. But most of the time I will get a whiskey on the rocks and a glass of water.

“I like the process of figuring out what someone enjoys.” Eleanore Taft, Baroncini

EZ: I keep it simple, gin and tonic or vodka and water. MS: If I’m looking for a new or interesting cocktail I will usually go to Forbidden Planet, and sometimes I just crave a Cobra Kai. Otherwise, I’m kind of a Northsider, so a lot of the time I just go to the Fox Head and get a whiskey and a beer back. ML: When I go out I tend to drink whiskey. More often than not my tried and true go-to is Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Ernie Zaleckas, Joseph's Steakhouse

what they want. MS: It depends on what the weather is like, and what their interests are, but I usually just like making classic cocktails with a twist. When it’s rainy or cold out I like making a nice Hot Toddy or a Beautiful, something that is really warming and nice. I try to steer people in the direction of pairing with what they are eating too, it’s so much better for the food. ML: Although its one of the more time consuming and highly individualized drinks to make, when a Bloody Mary is made well and to the liking of the customer, the reaction can be

“As much as I am interested in craft cocktails, I’m kind of just a beer and whiskey girl. ” Melissa Sinclair, Motley Cow Café

Where do you like to go when you have a night off? BT: I love bars where I can read; I love bar-reading. The taps at Sanctuary are always fun. I know when I go I will stay for awhile and


OSAKA JAPANESE RESTAURANT 122 E. Washington St., Iowa City

319-338-9988, osakaiowacity.com, $$ Osaka’s charming waitstaff serves up an array of Japa-

nese fare, including hibachi, teriyaki and bento dishes. Be sure to order their satiating hand rolls, crafted to

order. Another 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.


1853 Lower Muscatine Rd., Iowa City 319-337-8801, oyamaiowa.com, $$ 5350 Council St. NE, Cedar Rapids

319-832-1800, oyamasushi.com, $$

“When a Bloody Mary is made well and to the liking of the customer, the reaction can be priceless.” ––Milton LeBron, Hudson's Southside Tap

There are two Oyama sushi locations, one in Iowa

City and one in Cedar Rapids, and they have separate owners. Though the Cedar 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 I-380. The food at both locations is good: solid nigiri, sashimi

and rolls, and some excellent cooked dishes as well.

try four or five things. I really like the Bloody Marys at Mickey’s. I think El Banditos is underappreciated for their Margaritas, they have a great Margarita. In the summer, I like sitting on the patio at Gabe’s. I like places where there is just enough interaction but you can be comfortably alone. ET: I just moved back here recently, so there are a lot of new places that I haven’t tried yet. I like India Cafe, Oasis, Oyama. If I’m drinking, I like to go to George’s. I’ve had a shameful amount of George’s cheeseburgers since I’ve been back. If I’m looking to go out for a cocktail, I’ll probably go to Clinton Street Social Club. EZ: I used to eat at Pullman a lot, I really like that place, but I think I overate there. I like Donnelly’s and Social Club. I like sushi a lot, so I’ll eat at Takanami or Formosa, too. MS: If I want soba noodles I’ll go to Sushiya. If I want a nice glass of wine and to sit with a friend I’ll go to the Social Club or Brix. If I want to go on a date, I’ll go to Sanctuary and have a glass of wine or beer. If I want to have a good beer but want to socialize I’ll go to The Mill. Getting out of town is really nice. I absolutely love Cobble Hill because it’s one of few restaurants that I can go and have a really good meal, interesting cocktails and know that the atmosphere is going to be cool. ML: When I have a night off I like to start my night, oddly enough, at Hudson’s, my workplace. It's one of a few places in town with apple brandy and tends to have a quieter setting. I usually end the night at more mellow bars like The Vine Tavern and Mickey’s Irish Pub.

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.

PARLOR CITY PUB AND EATERY 1125 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids

319-247-0000, parlorcitypubandeatery.com, $$ Parlor City’s menu is as extensive as their live music

selection. You can order anything from fried haddock to BBQ pork pizza while enjoying anything from their weekly blues jam to nationally touring alt-rock acts.


176 Locust St., Dubuque, 563-556-9944, $$ The menu is small, but that’s okay. After a long night

of drinking and shooting pool, there’s not much more you’ll need than their perfectly made cheeseburger.

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 2016 | 69



93 2nd St., Coralville, 319-333-1369, $ This place is weird, cheap and perfect if you have

924 Main St., Grinnell

641-236-0205, theprairiecanary.com, $$$

a bottomless stomach. Their buffet has everything:

If you thought you hated Brussels sprouts, think

barbecue, ice cream and Jell-O.

and served with chili-lime dipping sauce, what you

frogs’ legs, Americanized Chinese, sushi, Mongolian


89 2nd St., Coralville, 319-354-2030

petrafalafelhouse.com, $$

While their Falafel is tasty, you should go to Petra for the Shawarma, served with an addictively pungent creamy

again. Lightly fried, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese avoided as a kid is a must at Prairie Canary. With a

wide-ranging menu—from seared salmon to the best veggie burger around—as well as the comfortable

atmosphere combining elements of classic small town Iowa with a modern vibe, the Prairie Canary is worth the trip to Grinnell.

Eastern salad of fresh vegetables and crispy pita.



319-337-2681 prairielights.com, $

garlic sauce, or the Fattoush, the traditional Middle

Old Capitol Mall (201 S. Clinton St.), Iowa City

15 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

2020 8th St., Coralville, 319-383-3953, $

Have a Cortado and write the next great American

Adventurous eaters will love the house pho, which

nation of Schlitz beer and espresso that will make your

includes tripe. For those who are not as adventurous, the brisket pho should be right up your alley. Even if

novel, or simply sip a Houndstooth, a curious combiteeth chatter with its caffeinated, boozy buzz.

you don't have time to sit and dine, to-go orders are


soggy and you can eat the soup as fresh as it would

319-362-0972, prairiesoup.com, $

separated from the broth, so the noodles don't get be straight from the restaurant's kitchen.

PHONG LAN VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT 216 8th St. SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-365-5784, $

Family owned and operated, this Vietnamese restaurant offers fresh and authentic cuisine, specializing in the oh-so popular, pho.


113 Iowa Ave., Iowa City, 319-351-7482 517 2nd St. Unit 1, Coralville

425 2nd St. SE, Cedar Rapids

Soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps make Prairie Soup Co. a fresh and popular alternative to the

usual pizza and burgers available during lunchtime

downtown. The staff is friendly, the service is efficient

and they’re accessible via the skywalk for convenience during inclement weather.


2201 E. Grantview Dr., Coralville

319-887-1500, presscoffeeco.com,

319-351-7484 pitapit.com, $

Though this neighborhood spot was named for their

Offering hearty pita bread-based sandwiches rolled

what really makes them stand out. They have a nice

into a tight, burrito shape, Pita Pit is the place to go when you don’t necessarily want to break the bank

on your next meal but wish to avoid the grease and

potential self-loathing that comes along with fast food.

POP’S OLD N NEW BAR-B-QUE 130 N. Dubuque St., Iowa City

coffee, their vast (and often local) tea selection is

fireplace, with overstuffed chairs and couches for

lounging in the colder months, and a tucked away patio with hillside views to enjoy during summer.


319-325-4344, provenderiowa.com, $

319-354-7677, meatmeatpops.com, $

If you see the Provender truck at the Iowa City Farmers

Offering quality, affordable barbecue, Pop’s opened

delicious food the market has to offer. Otherwise,

in early 2015 and has quickly become a near-campus favorite for students and northside residents

alike. They offer all of the “old” classic BBQ dishes you would expect as well as some more inventive

“new” dishes such as the BBQ Cuban and Smoked Hamburger.

70 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016


Market, stop by for some of the most sublimely

keep Provender in mind for your catering needs; Chef Chris Grebner’s food embodies both the ethics and aesthetics of the locavore movement, focusing on

the freshest, most delicious preparations of simple ingredients.


EDEN Lounge

217 Iowa Ave., Iowa City BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 71


Atlas Restaurant & Bar—27 Iowa Ave., Iowa City

Basta Pizzeria Ristorante—121 Iowa Ave., Iowa City

As the seasons change, so too does the menu at Atlas, featuring local ingredients,

Watch hand-made neopolitan pizzas come sizzling out of the oven, savor modern

take advantage of their daily happy hour, from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

tiramisu and their half-price happy hour, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. daily.

and chef specials. Their patio is a prime downtown lunch and dinner location, and

Italian cuisine inspired by tradition and local ingredients, or indulge in a slice of

(319) 341-7700, atlasiowacity.com

(319) 337-2010, bastaiowacity.com, IG: @BastaIowaCity

Leaf Kitchen—301 1/2 Kirkwood Ave., Iowa City

Backpocket Brewing—903 Quarry Rd., Coralville

Leaf Kitchen lives by their motto “Global Flavors, Local Ingredients,” and is only

Located just steps away from the Coralville Marriott, Backpocket brews premium

their quiches, Moroccan Eggs and Benedicts, and for offering the area’s only full tea

wood-fired pizza while knocking back a couple of the dozen beers brewed onsite.

open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. This focus has made them famous for service, starting at 1:30 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays.

(319) 338-1909, leafkitchen.weebly.com, TW: @LeafKitchen

German-inspired, handcrafted beers. Tour the brewery, relax on the patio and enjoy

(319) 466-4444, backpocketbrewing.com

IG: @backpocketbrewing ­TW: @BackpocketBrew

Joseph's Steakhouse—212 S Clinton St., Iowa City

Bardot—347 S Gilbert St., Iowa City

Joseph’s offers intimate ambiance and impeccable service. Enjoy quality steaks and

The nightclub that inspired this year's Bread & Butter cover, Bardot's atmosphere

Monday – ­­Thursday.

nights, Bardot is famous for their Mojitos, the signature Bardot Shot, and their wings.

seafood with craft cocktails, half-price during Cocktail Hour, 5 p.m. – 6 ­ p.m.,

(319) 358-0776, josephssteak.com 72 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

offers an eclectic blend of the midwestern and the international. Offering DJs on most

(319) 333-1515, bardotiowacity.com, TW: @BardotIowa, IG: @BardotIowa



Pullman Bar & Diner—17 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

Devotay Restaurant & Bar—117 N Linn St., Iowa City

Contemporary design, music curated by Englert Theatre Executive Director Andre

A community leader in local, sustainable cuisine for 20 years, featuring craft

Perry, and an open bar and kitchen churning out advanced cocktails and cuisine make Pullman a feast for all the senses. Daily Community Hour is 3 p.m. – 6 ­ p.m.

cocktails, refreshing lunches, signature tapas and Paella.

(319) 338-1808, pullmandiner.com, IG: @PullmanIowaCity, TW: @PullmanIC

(319) 354-1001, devotay.net, IG: @DevotayIC , TW: @Devotay

FilmScene—118 E College St., Iowa City

ReUnion Brewery—516 2nd St., Coralville

Iowa City's downtown cinema shows 200+ movies annually on two screens and a

Opened in 2015, ReUnion Brewery is the area's only lager-based brewery, offering

and delicious Iowa-grown popcorn.

from scratch and a long bar great for watching sports makes ReUnion a reliable

seasonal rooftop. Plus, a good selection of wines, six rotating taps of local beers

more than 40 taps from the lightest pilsner to the darkest dunkel. A full menu made destination for any occasion.

(319) 358-2555, icfilmscene.org, IG: @icfilmscene, TW: @icfilmscene

(319) 337-3000, reunionbrewery.com, TW: @ReUnionBrewery

Englert Theatre—211 E. Washington St., Iowa City

Blue Moose Tap House—211 Iowa Ave., Iowa City

The historic Englert Theatre is downtown Iowa City's leading arts and performance

If your party calls for a big bar serving big beers, and a big stage where a big band or

encounters with international artists.

of the week. Arcade games and big screens round out the experience. Go big!

space, offering exceptional programming ranging from top local talent to rare

(319) 688-2653, englert.org, TW: @Englert, IG: @EnglertTheatre

DJ is performing live, the Blue Moose is going to have you covered almost any night

(319) 358-9206, BlueMooseIC.Com, TW: @BlueMooseIC IG: @bluemooseic BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 73


PULLMAN BAR & DINER 17 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

319-388-1808, pullmandiner.com, $$$ Pullman has quickly become an Iowa City favorite for

foodies and casual diners alike. The team working the line is not afraid to be inventive with ever-evolving

takes on the Midwest diner. The open kitchen offers a


616 2nd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-200-4140, $ This brand new microbrew and barcade has quickly

delicious. The Italian-American specials really set Red

Vespa apart, though; if they’re offering a meatball sub, get it. You won’t regret it.

become a hit, filling a cool and classic niche where


over some 'za.

319-626-2100, redsalehouse.com, $$

gamers and beer enthusiasts can hang, or nerd out

405 N. Dubuque St., North Liberty

front row seat to watch them work their magic.


Located about eight miles up Dubuque Street, Reds


2500 Corridor Way, Coralville

you get there, at happy hour, you can enjoy 2-for-1

895 Blairs Ferry Rd., Marion

319-826-6667, qdogsbbqcompany.com, $$ Serving authentic, slow-cooked barbecue; QDogs is

the real deal. Tender beef brisket, fall-off-the-bone ribs, savory smoked chicken, baked beans, cornbread like your mama made, ABT’s (brisket and cheese stuffed

bacon-wrapped jalapeños); the list goes on, and it all

lives up to the hype. Check the blues schedule for live music performances and grab a seat at the full bar to

try one of 14 beers on tap. A 45-minute wait is standard during peak weekend hours, but so worth it.

215 E. Washington St., Iowa City, 319-354-7074 319-625-2221 quintonsbaranddeli.com, $$ A pleasant bar and deli combo, Quinton’s has food and drink specials every day of the week. They

specialize in burgers and sandwiches, but the most

Alehouse is an ideal bike ride from Iowa City. However drinks. Their beer list is extensive and features lots

of interesting craft brews. In warmer months have a

stellar, decadent pork belly sandwich on the gigantic patio, or enjoy the comfort of the indoors.

unique offerings are definitely the spuds, where you


have wanted piled high on a baked potato approxi-

641-236-3657 relishgrinnell.com, $$

can find nearly any condiment you may (or may not) mately the size of your head.


208 E. Main St., Solon, 319-624-2080, $$ Red Vespa features housemade cheeses on an assortment of creatively topped brick-oven pizza, and it is

834 Park St., Grinnell

Fully embodying their slogan, “Local Foods Global Flavors,” Chef Kamal Hammouda mixes Midwest-

ern flavors, local ingredients 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.

74 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

REUNION BREWERY 516 2nd St., Coralville

319-337-3000 mondosreunionbrewery.com, $$ Just added to the scene in late 2015, ReUnion distinguishes itself in a crowd of ale specialists by being

a lager-based brewery. They do make IPAs as well,

but at ReUnion you can find a rare selection of craft

lagers and pilsners. Perfect for those days when you

want your beer to taste like ... beer. Pairs perfectly with a straigtforward menu of sandwiches, burgers and standard American bar-and-grill fare.


836 1st Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-364-4779, $$ An authentically “Iowan” establishment, Riley’s

will provide you with delicious breakfast or lunch

accompanied by a whole lot of flair. Like Iowa City's

Hamburg Inn #2, lots of presidential candidates stop at Riley's for photo-ops with the locals.


223 2nd St. SE, Cedar Rapids

319-200-4800 rubyspizzeria.com, $$ Standard single-topping and specialty pizzas available for quick pick-up by the generous slice make Ruby’s a favorite amongst the downtown lunch crowd.

Courteous staff provides efficient service. Accessible via the skywalk, they also offer sandwiches, salads, sodas and beer.


827 Shaver Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-366-3265, $$ A cycling themed watering hole located on the Cedar Lake with a comfortable outdoor patio and a view of downtown Cedar Rapids. Standard bar offerings of tallboys, craft and domestic draughts and liquor as well as bar food.

I N D U L G E YO U R H U N G E R. Take your appetite to the Edgewater Grille, located in the Coralville Marriott and Iowa River Landing. For reservations and specials, call 319-688-4000. CORALVILLE MARRIOTT HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTER

300 East 9th Street Coralville, Iowa 52241 319-688-4000 CoralvilleMarriott.com LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/DINING

BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 75



803 2nd Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids 319-363-2900

The freshest Asian produce available in Cedar Rapids, great for snacks as well.

SALT FORK KITCHEN 112 E. Main St., Solon

319-624-2081 saltforkkitchen.com, $$ Focusing on farm to table food, Salt Fork Kitchen is


201 S. Clinton St., Iowa City, 319-338-5747, $$ If you have an adventurous palate and you like spice,

open for lunch.)

namesake skillets. But don’t let the name fool you—


819 1st Ave., Iowa City

319-337-7275 shakespearesic.com, $$

favorite, their ever changing breakfast and lunch

ritzy specials like, occasionally, Prime Rib. There’s

the restaurant fantastic and affordable, many of their ingredients (like chickens and eggs from their own farm) are available for purchase.


319-895-8540, skilletcafe.net, $

This corner café offers a comfortable, well-lit environ-

able for the 12 hours per week that it’s open. (It's only

This eastside neighborhood bar serves some of the

specials should do the trick. Not only are the dishes in

101 E. 1st St. NE, Mount Vernon

Seoul Grill will be your haven—as long as you’re avail-

all about keeping things local. If made from scratch

dishes aren't enough to make the trip out to this Solon


ment to enjoy a selection of coffees, sweets and their there is more to this cafe than just eggs.


61 2nd St., Coralville

319-512-5005, spartisgyros.com, $

best lowbrow pub food in town, including more

Though located in Coralville, Sparti’s is one of few

a pool table and some video games, but it’s most

of items like burgers, gyros and hot dogs, which is a

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 to

restaurants in the Iowa City area able to offer delivery godsend for students (and for all us lazy people). They provide a fairly extensive and unique menu that drifts from Chicago-style to a Greek Souvlaki Sandwich.

crispy, golden perfection.


samspizzaic.com, $$


319-887-5564, stellaiowacity.com, $$

Pizza and calzones are the specialty over at Sam’s,

319-337-4058 sheratoniowacity.com, $$$

Sink your teeth into a mouthwatering burger made

the full-service bar. Enjoy a beer along with your

With a prime downtown location and a multicultural

bean burger or a grilled chicken sandwich topped

carry-out. Try the “Hawaiian Wonder” thin-crust pie, or

and a snack. It’s especially welcoming in the warmer

441 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City, 319-337-8200

and both these options go along quite nicely with pizza when you’ve finally grown tired of delivery and choose from sandwiches, soups and appetizers.

210 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

menu, Share is a good gathering place for a cocktail months, when you can enjoy the patio.

1006 Melrose Ave., Iowa City

with Iowa-bred beef, a house-made vegetarian black with anything from mango jalapeño salsa, to prosciutto and stone-ground mustard. For something a little different, try the Gumbo or Jambalaya.




319-351-5692, sanctuarypub.com, $$

319-337-4678, shortsburgerandshine.com, $$

com, $

405 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City

The Sanctuary has a stunning selection of local, national and imported bottled and draft beers, and its hard-

wood interior, complete with fireplace and overstuffed

18 S. Clinton St., Iowa City

SHORT’S BURGERS EASTSIDE 521 Westbury Dr., Iowa City

319-338-7743, shortseastside.com, $$

chairs, is the perfect place to cozy up and sample a few.

There are 26 different burger options at Short’s, along

cies from La Quercia and Milton Creamery, and a beer

impossible for the menu to ever get old. The beef

Enjoy a meat and cheese plate, featuring local delicafrom their frequently changing selection.


1507 C St. SW, Cedar Rapids

with chicken and black bean alternatives, so it’s nearly 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 distill in partnership with Cedar

13 S. Linn St., Iowa City
267-713-2697, sthirteen.

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 City’s very own I.C. King’s drag king troupe, who perform at Studio 13 the last Thursday of every month. If you want lasers, strobe lights, smoke machines and techno beats, then Studio 13 is your dance scene.

Ridge micro distillery in Swisher.


From their wines to their dishes, Sauce’s always-eclec-


319-396-1990, $$

local farms and quality ingredient providers ensures

319-364-1955, siamville.com, $$

A family-owned and operated Asian eatery serving

Hit the buffet at Siamville to sample an impressive

includes sashimi, nigiri, maki and more from an open

319-364-0892, crsauce.com, $$$

tic menu is entirely seasonal. Their partnerships with freshness in their expertly made dishes.


927 E. 2nd Ave., Coralville, 855-833-5719

scratchcupcakery.com, $

The cupcakes at Scratch are particularly moist and

come in a variety of flavors and toppings, and are a

great finish to any dinner in the Iowa River Landing.

3635 1st Ave., Cedar Rapids

variety of authentic Thai dishes and desserts at a rea-

sonable cost. Friendly service, quiet atmosphere and great food make for a tasty derision from the “same old” fare in Cedar Rapids.

2665 Edgewood Pkwy. SW, Cedar Rapids

Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Their extensive menu

sushi bar, in addition to numerous Japanese rice and noodle bowls.


Old Capitol Mall (201 S. Clinton St.), Iowa City 319-

338-1606, $$

This tiny restaurant offers sushi made quickly by

friendly people in the heart of downtown Iowa City. 76 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016


725 Mormon Trek Blvd., Iowa City 319-338-7676, sushipopo.net, $$

Serving classic sushi and popular Japanese, Chinese and Korean entrees, what really makes Sushi Popo

stand out is the Jam Bong—a hearty, smoky, spicy Korean soup served in an enormous bowl, rich with chunks

of vegetables, udon noodles, pork and seafood (or tofu

for a vegetarian option). Here’s a secret: order it “green”

for the jalapeño-based broth, rather than the typical red chili stock, and you’ll leave blissfully full and warm.


745 Community Dr. #A, North Liberty 319-626-6666, $$

This stripmall sushi place is everything you wouldn’t

expect from a strip mall sushi place. It has some of the freshest fish in the area. Combined with great service and an exceptionally clean environment, a visit to Sushiya makes for a truly wonderful experience.


1681 S. 1st Ave., Iowa City, 319-351-2287, $ What the tiny, strip-mall Vietnamese restaurant Sun Cafe lacks in ambience, they make up for in pure

flavor and authenticity. Grab some friends and order the roasted duck to share.


73 16th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-364-5271, $ This quaint family-run bakery in Czech Village offers

classic Czech pastries and breads as well as traditional Czech dinner fare and pizza.


320 E. Burlington St., Iowa City

319-338-6788, szechuanhouseiowacity.com, $$ The menu can be daunting, but the rewards at

Szechuan House are worth the investment. The food is super authentic and is often sublimely delicious.

Home buyers and sellers: contact me today for a free market analysis 319-331-0974

LEPIC-KROEGER, REALTORS® IOWA CITY, IOWA Licensed to sell real estate in Iowa


BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 77

Northside Oktoberfest

Photo by Ofer Sivan


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.

districts with sample portions from more than 35 local restaurants.

Northside Oktoberfest

September 24, Iowa City, Northside Marketplace, facebook.com/northsideoktoberfest 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.

Top Chef: Downtown

Wurst Festival

In this friendly competition, local restaurants prepare signature dishes, competing to earn the title of “top chef.”

A one-day festival of sausages and wursts complete with samples, beers, and music in historic Amana.

Oktoberfest in the Amana Colonies

Mission Creek Festival

February 27, Iowa City, hotelVetro downtowniowacity.com

June 18, Amana Colonies festivalsinamana.com

September 30-October 2, Amana Colonies festivalsinamana.com

April 5-10, Iowa City, Downtown missionfreak.com

Bourbon and Blues

July 1-4 , Swisher, Cedar Ridge Winery crwine.com

Amana’s Oktoberfest is a traditional celebration with entertainment, dancing and German food and beer.

A week-long festival taking place in venues all across downtown Iowa City, Mission Creek celebrates music, literature, art, food and culture.

The Bourbon & Blues Festival is annual tradition centered around Iowa-made Cedar Ridge Bourbon with distillery tours, spirit tastings, BBQ food, and live music.

Witching Hour Festival


April 30-May 1, Amana Colonies festivalsinamana.com A family-oriented celebration of the arrival of spring, Maifest highlights Amana’s German heritage through food and culture. 78 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

Taste of Iowa City

August 24, Iowa City, Downtown downtowniowacity.com This food festival celebrates the culinary diversity of the Downtown and Northside

November 4-5, Iowa City, Downtown www.witchinghourfestival.com Produced by Little Village and the Englert Theatre, Witching Hour Festival explores and engages the unknown through interdisciplinary events that highlight the creative process. Artists working in a variety of areas (including food and craft beer) take part in a weekend of discussions, performances and culinary surprises.



3939 Center Point Rd. NE, Cedar

place to hang out and have a beer; in

addition to the 10 pool tables, they also have shuffleboard and darts.

something you like, the pungent flavors are addictive, so be careful!

319-294-4953, tajiowa.com, $$



A top destination for Indian cuisine in

319-354-6888, teddysbiggerburgers.



Cedar Rapids, Taj Mahal also offers a grocery section where you can find homemade Indian sweets, savory

samosas, colorful grains and legumes.


219 Iowa Ave., Iowa City

319-351-5125, takanamidowntown.

324 E. Washington St., Iowa City com, $

New York thin, Chicago deep dish or

in Iowa City, and the generous portions

Three Samurai has a small selection of

nopoly on speedy, to-go style burgers

and Hawaiian-style sauce make Teddy’s a popular choice.

340 E. Burlington St., Iowa City

Formosa, but what options they do

Located in downtown Iowa City, Thai

a tendency to frost their rolls in spicy

available for delivery, or you can eat in


114 E. College St., Iowa City 319-887-2665, $

Even if you don’t play pool, TCB’s a fun

319-364-4313, tomasospizzeria.com, $$

In addition to their vast menu of

319-339-8900, thaiflavors.net, $$

bad thing depending on your palate.

Cedar Rapids

This flashy fast-food spot holds the mo-

This sushi restaurant’s selection is a little

mayo sauce, and this can be a good or

3234 Center Point Rd. NE

Laid back atmosphere and quality pizza


have, they do very well. Takanami has


threesamurairestaurant.com, $$

com, $$$

more limited than its sibling restaurant

1801 2nd St., Coralville

on which Timmerman’s is perched.

Flavors offers solid, tasty Thai standards

sushi and Japanese-inflected entrees,


ideal for group get-togethers or small

563-387-6700, www.tgbrews.com

brethren. They also have hibachi tables, celebrations.


7777 Timmerman Dr., East Dubuque 815-747-3316

Timmerman’s Supper Club has been a


if you grew up in or near Dubuque,

319-351-2581, thethaispice.com, $$ It’s easy to get lost in their menu, which has many pages, but once you find

Detroit deep dish.

set the restaurant apart from its sushi

stunningly tasty Vietnamese dishes that

their brightly lit dining room.

1210 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City

on whatever kind of crust you prefer:

northeastern Iowa institution for years; there’s a good chance you had your

310 College Dr., Decorah

There’s not much to the little taproom

that features Toppling Goliath’s beers, which gives patrons the opportunity

to focus solely on the beer. They have a frequently rotating tap selection, so

check their website before you go; the

beers are all tasty, so you’re sure to find something you like.

pre-prom dinner in its expansive dining room. Try to get a table near a window

in the fall; there are few better vistas for leaf peeping than from atop the bluff

L O CA L T I C K E T I N G P OW E R PARTNERS RECEIVE • Free websites for their venues, festivals or individual events • Half-price print and web ads in Little Village • Access to an established audience that loves events 24/7 SUPPORT FOR • Mailed tickets • Print-at-home tickets • Will-call tickets • Mobile tickets • Pre-printed tickets • Point-of-sale on-demand tickets

LITTLE VILLAGE TICKETS is a full-service ticket system with tons of advanced features. It’s completely free to use our system! Our service fees are charged to the ticket buyer and are kept very low.



TRUMPET BLOSSOM CAFÉ 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

staff. Their steaks are delicious and their wine list and specials shine.


319-339-0804, uptownbills.org, $ This cozy coffeehouse and community performance

venue offers a wide range of organic coffees, teas and

readings and regular music concerts foster this tightknit and inviting atmosphere.


849 Quarry Rd., Coralville

319-338-3782, vestaiowa.com, $$ Vesta has extensive lunch and dinner menus featuring Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. The patio is a favorite perch during FryFest—the kickoff festival for the Iowa

Text “Iowa” to 77948

WATERSTREET COFFEE BAR 925 E. 2nd Ave., Coralville

319-351-9317, waterstreetcoffeebar.com, $ Located on the Iowa River Landing, Waterstreet

Coffee Bar is a lovely place to escape from downtown and enjoy your own, personal Chemex pot of excel-

lent brewed coffee. It is clear the staff views coffee as an art, and that is as it should be.

517 S. Riverside Dr., Iowa City

The Wedge offers takeout and delivery of their many specialty pizzas, in addition to a few calzone options.


121 College Dr., Decorah, 563-382-4591, $ A Decorah institution, The Whippy Dip’s long lines

are a sure sign of the town’s love for the soft-serve ice cream confections. As with any good small-town ice cream stand, it’s only open in summer, which leaves winters for memories and anticipation.



319-362-2000, whitestaralehouse.com

92 16th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

305 2nd Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids

319-265-6328, vilagemeatmarketcafe.com

A very popular nightlife hangout with a smooth

As well as serving you in their market café, this deli

and free late night entertainment on Fridays and

cuts, smoked meats, homemade brats, and candied

and sophisticated feel. White Star has daily specials Saturdays.

bacon around.



319-338-4776, whiteysicecream.com, $

330 E. Prentiss St., Iowa City

1451 Coral Ridge Ave., Coralville

319-354-8767, vinetavern.com, $$

This ice cream shop is something of an Iowa institu-

319-338-7770, vinetavern.com, $$

old-fashioned shake machine, and the ice cream

39 2nd St., Coralville

Students and residents head to the Vine for the bar

food options and daily food and drink specials. The

Iowa City location has a more classic college-bar at80 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

comfy seating as jazz and blues plays overhead.

Hawkeye football season.

in Czech Village will provide you with the best fine


to select a nightcap off of the spirits menu and relax in

319-337-6677, thewedgepizza.com, $$

raise abilities awareness. Their open mic nights, poetry


lounge, adjacent to Vino’s, after enjoying your meal,

commitment to nurturing and encouraging people enterprise opportunities and a community forum to


an ideal place for a dinner date. Stop by RG Books


with disabilities. They provide employment and

iOS & Android, or visit

staff is knowledgeable and the setting is ambient with

perhaps the best selection of soda in all of Iowa City. What truly sets Uptown Bill’s apart, though, is their

app,available now on

319-363-7550, vinosristorante.com, $$

low-lighting, candles and warm décor making this

traditional steakhouse with a vast patio and a friendly

free mobile calendar

3611 1st Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids


It is more than worth the drive to Tuscan Moon, a

download Little Village’s


Traditional Italian dishes, tastefully appointed. The

319-656-3315, tuscan-moon.com, $$$

For complete event listings,

the Coralville location is more family-friendly.

menu, and the cocktails are excellent.

203 5th St., Kalona

Find it All. All the time.

mosphere, with dimmed lighting and giant TVs, while

tion, and rightly so. The shakes are blended on an

selection contains some really creative, interesting

blends. Try the black raspberry chocolate chip, where giant chunks of dark chocolate are blended into a sweet, fruity cream.

WIG AND PEN PIZZA PUB 1220 Highway 6 W., Iowa City

Advertiser Index

INQUIRIES: 319-855-1474 Ads@LittleVillageMag.com

363 N. 1st Ave., Iowa City

Bread & Butter would not be possible without the generous support of our community in the Cedar Rapids, Coralville and Iowa City area.

Popular with families and sports fans, Wig and Pen

If you found something in this guide that made your time here just a little bit more delicious, please stop at one of these businesses and extend your thanks.

319-354-2767, wigandpenpizza.com, $$ 319-351-2327, wigandpenpizza.com, $$

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.






563-732-2278, wiltoncandykitchen.com, $











310 Cedar St., Wilton

Wilton Candy Kitchen feels like you’ve traveled in a

time machine, back to a simpler time—when decadent banana splits didn’t come with doctor’s warnings.


132 S. Clinton St., Iowa City, 319-338-0500, $ This is downtown Iowa City’s only locally owned frozen







makes it a standout among the crowd.






yogurt shop, and this, along with other little touches,

5300 Edgewood Rd. Ste. 500, Cedar Rapids 319-393-3047, $$

















Zins is a high-end, white tablecloth restaurant that spe-



ful of “Big Plate” items. Also included in their menu are





FILMSCENE (69, 73)








With its low-lit brick interior, Zeppelins contempo-

rary ambiance makes for a warm and inviting dining

experience. Their menu includes all of the American staples, but it’s the more eccentric Asian-inspired dishes that stand out.


227 2nd Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids

319-363-9467, zinsrestaurant.com, $$$$

cializes in a wide array of small plate as well as a handa variety of gluten-free and vegetarian options.
















82 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

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 eventfacilities@iowa-city.org

Terry Trueblood Lodge Photo by Cameron Campbell BREAD & BUTTER 2016 | 83

Iowa Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gourmet Market - Where Food Lovers Shop

located in the heart of Downtown Iowa City 225 South Linn Street | www.breadgardenmarket.com | (319) 354.4246

84 | BREAD & BUTTER 2016

Profile for Little Village Magazine

Bread & Butter 2016: Iowa City Area Dining Guide  

2016 dining guide to the Iowa City area, Coralville and Cedar Rapids.

Bread & Butter 2016: Iowa City Area Dining Guide  

2016 dining guide to the Iowa City area, Coralville and Cedar Rapids.