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This temptation will last a lifetime

110 E. Washington St │ │ 319-351-1700



PUBLISHER Matthew Steele MANAGING EDITOR Frankie Schneckloth ART DIRECTOR Jordan Sellergren DIGITAL DIRECTOR Drew Bulman PHOTO EDITORS Zak Neumann, Frankie Schneckloth CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Genevieve Trainor, Lauren Shotwell, Kelli Ebensberger, Eleanore Taft, Matthew Steele EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Eleanore Taft, Maggie Spencer, Kelli Ebensberger, Paul Osgerby, Rachel LeBeau, Samantha Ferm, Erin McInerney, Helaina Thompson, Ari Ariel, Frankie Schneckloth PHOTO & DESIGN CONTRIBUTORS Natalia Araujo, James Davies, Zak Neumann, Frankie Schneckloth ILLUSTRATIONS Blair Gauntt ON THE COVER Salt Fork Kitchen DISTRIBUTION ADVERTISING LITTLE VILLAGE CREATIVE SERVICES Creative@LittleVillageMag. com LITTLE VILLAGE TICKETS SAY HELLO Little Village, 623 S Dubuque St. Iowa City, IA 52244 319-855-1474 FOLLOW ONLINE Special thanks to distribution partners the Iowa City/ Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. For information on membership, visit Additional thanks go to to our advisory team of Maggie Spencer, Candice Smith and Adam Witte.



ittle Village, established 2001, provides independent news, local culture commentary, and the best information available on the arts, entertainment and events in the Cedar Rapids, Coralville and Iowa City area. Find us twice monthly on newsstands, and online at The third 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. Our A-Z index begins on page 9. Please send letters, comments, corrections or additional recommendations to editor@ Like Little Village, Bread and 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 To browse back issues, visit us at 623 S Dubuque Street, Iowa City, or online at



Seed Savers


Big Shrimpin’






Saving edible foods for future generations

Aquaculture on the rise

Master Chef

Kirkwood trains the next culinary artists

Wine Not?

An Iowa City wine importer on what to drink

Industry Insider

What service staff are up to off the clock



A–Z Index


Advertiser Index



Welcome to the Fold


Cook Like a Pro


Best Burgers


Market Guide


Potato, Potahto


CSA Guide


Precious Pizzerias

A spotlight on new area businesses

We all appreciate a classic

A fry for every guy (and gal!)

Have you tried these pies?


Power Up!


Loaf Life


Stacks on Deck



Area classes to hone your skills

International groceries

Go-to guide for buying straight from the farm

Nutritious concoctions for wellness Give bread some cred!

These pancakes reign supreme

Taco Trek

Hit the road

A Spot of Tea

Choose leaves over beans


Inside Scoop



Curry Favor


Shrimp & Grits



Griddle Village


High Spirits



Aloo Gobi


Do your Body Good


Ari’s favorite for dinner parties

These are your pancakes

A classic vegetarian dish


The best ice cream in the area

Put these Indian buffets on your list

Meat me in Iowa

Chef-approved area butchers

Iowa distilleries that shine

Healthy hot spots

Photo courtesy of Seed Savers Exchange

10 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

Konomi Japanese Restaurant








BREAD & BUTTER 2017 11

Tip Top Cakes Coralville 12 BREAD & BUTTER 2017


otable ewbies

Countless bars and restaurants have cropped up through the corridor area over the last year. Pick any of these standouts from the highlight reel, and you’re sure to be pleased.

1451 Coral Ridge Ave, Coralville, 180 E Burlington St, Iowa City


The Dingo Bar 1040 Martin St, Iowa City


eeling the neighborhood needed a place where residents could socialize and connect over a great cup of coffee, owner Adam Pretorius opened the Dingo Bar to fill that void. The Dingo Bar is an elegant urban space with beautiful tile and brass accents, bringing a uniquely metropolitan feel to the Peninsula neighborhood of Iowa City while seamlessly fitting in with the traditional aesthetic of the surrounding townhouses, homes and condos. The shop’s custom toast bar, paired with the full-service French cafe, means you can satisfy your yearning for an expertly executed Cortado and that Instragram-worthy avo-toast in one fell swoop! The Dingo Bar has assembled its menu offerings by culling the best of the area: fabulous sourdough bread from the Local Crumb and deliciously simple doughnuts from Rustic Hearth Bakery. Be sure to visit when you can sit down and stay awhile; The Dingo Bar has plenty to appreciate.

200 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids 316 E Burlington St, Iowa City


Zombie Burger

his fast-casual restaurant with roots in Des Moines expanded east this past fall, bringing its “goremet bashed burgers” to Iowa City and Coralville residents. Come hungry (and prepared) for this dining experience. Burgers come on a freshly baked bun, but you’ll notice a few with fried Mac ‘n’ Cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches acting as stand-ins for the bread. Every burger on the menu is customizable with different patty choices (vegetarian, chicken or beef ) and accompanied by playful yet ambitious toppings like breaded and fried mushroom and cheese croquettes, fried bananas, and chicken fried bacon. French fries, the permanent side to burgers everywhere, are presented in a handful of ways here at Zombie Burger, showcasing the true abilities of the humble potato. And please, save room for dessert—the shakes might be the best part. The Zombie Bride Wedding Cake (vanilla ice cream with yellow cake mix) is a safe choice, but those seeking a bit more excitement might opt for the Tallahassee—a blend of vanilla ice cream, Twinkie, cherries and cherry Kool-Aid powder.

Harold’s Chicken

Cafe Muse 565 Cameron Way, North Liberty


his spacious, light-filled thirdwave coffee shop anchors a small strip mall on the fringe of North Liberty. The owner’s love for great coffee and modern design is married seamlessly in this aesthetically pleasing, architect-designed space. With a vibrantly yellow high-end La Marzocca espresso machine drawing you towards the center of the shop, one of the skillfully trained baristas will handily pull a simple shot, or time the perfect pour-over brew for you. If you’re in a hurry, know that there’s always a drive-through option here. But if you’ve got a bit of time, sit and stay a while. Grab a seat by the window and soak up the beautiful lines and light of this modern cafe while savoring your delicious coffee. Gerald Seals, Owner, Harold’s Chicken

hese two Eastern Iowa locations (with a third on the way) mark the first appearance of this fried chicken chain beyond Illinois’ state borders. Originally founded in 1950 by Harold Pierce in Chicago, the chain began after he observed the need for a fast food restaurant on Chicago’s South Side at a time when other chains avoided the predominantly black neighborhoods. Harold's became one of the few examples of a thriving fast food chain that was owned by, and primarily served, the black community. Impressed with the legacy of Harold’s, owner Gerald Seals, of North Liberty, brought the concept first to Cedar Rapids and then to Iowa City. Harold’s delivers many options to hungry diners, but the cornerstone of its menu is the fried-to-order chicken or fish served with crispy french fries and two pieces of plain white bread, all drizzled in delicious hot (or mild) sauce and sided with a cup of coleslaw. Menus at the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City locations differ slightly, but expect the same high-quality food the chain was built on, whichever location you choose.

BREAD & BUTTER 2017 13

Tip Top Cakes 708 5th St, Coralville


Caucho 1202 3rd St SE Ste 102, Cedar Rapids


fresh resident of the Cedar Rapids NewBo neighborhood, Caucho is well worth the pre-opening hype. All aspects of the restaurant were thoughtfully considered, from the exposed brick walls, handcrafted wooden benches and dining tables and playful, patterned tile and wallpaper to the inventive mezcal cocktails, housemade tortillas and perfectly executed tamales. The open kitchen dazzles diners with the occasional burst of flames while the hip, stylish servers and chefs take it all in stride, remaining cool and calm. Expect dishes firmly rooted in Mexican tradition—think street tacos, pozole verde and churros— made with high-quality ingredients and assembled with a modern twist and unexpected additions.

ip Top Cakes joined the growing number of businesses popping up around Coralville’s performing arts center this year. The interior of this modern and minimally-styled bakery offers an elegantly neutral setting in which to explore the sugary treats lining the cases. Tip Top offers the requisite cupcakes and muffins, but the stars of this newly opened bakery are the pies and cookies. The miniature pies make for an especially indulgent single-serving treat on a lazy weekend afternoon; the coconut cream pie wins my vote. If you’re wondering how good a simple cookie really can be, I urge you to sample a few from the case here. Flashbacks of dry, crumbly, overly sweet cookies fade into the depths of your brain as you savor the goodies in front of you. The ginger-lime cookies are as big as a salad plate, perfectly moist and sprinkled with crunchy sugar, and the humble peanut butter cookie takes it to the next level with a thick, hearty presentation that’s packed with a lightly sweet peanutty flavor.

Black Sheep Social Club 600 1st St SE, Cedar Rapids


former grain and spice warehouse was been given a new life with the opening of Black Sheep Social Club last spring. The open and spacious industrial dining room ensures there’s room for all, and since the restaurant opened their doors, diners have been waiting their turn for a place at the table. Black Sheep seeks to be a haven for free thinkers and creatives and a place for people that do things just a little bit differently. You’ll see this reflected in the inventive and eclectic options that pepper the menu—a range of familiar favorites made new with a fresh creative twist. Try the deviled turkey sandwich (celery, pickle, cranberry, pear, egg, pecan and red onion on a croissant) or the Crunch Town fish nuggets (breaded in Captain Crunch, deep fried and served with a sriracha tartar sauce), for example. The zinc wraparound bar is a stunning focal point to the dining room. The bar menu serves up a great selection of regional beers, nice wines and kitchen-inspired cocktails. Whether you’re in the market for a filling sandwich, a steak entree or a celebratory drink with friends, there’s room for everyone in this club.

Tip Top Cakes Coralville 14 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

Cliché Patisserie 341 S Linn St, Iowa City


few steps south of downtown Iowa City, internationally-inspired pastries take center stage at this beautifully sparse bakery. The stark minimalist interior of the shop gives way to delicate housemade baked goods rooted in global traditions, and the bakery’s cases are lined with traditional Chinese, French and Italian pastries. Feeling inspired to introduce Iowa City to less sweet baked goods, owners Leo Jiang and Weijia Huang offer patrons a rotating menu of savory options such as takoyaki bread and pork buns, in addition to more traditional sweet selections such as éclairs and and tiramisu. To round out their artful pastry offerings, Cliché prepares Hong Kong style milk-tea and brews La Colombe pour-over coffee for those needing a caffeine jolt.

There’s 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 of $ to $$$$ and accounts for each establishment’s average price for a meal from the dinner menu (where applicable), and a drink. $ = $10 / under

2 Dogs Pub

1705 S 1st Ave, Iowa

$$ = $10–$20

$$$ = $20–$30

$$$$ = $30 / over

350 First

specials throughout

of creative cocktails.

350 1st Ave NE Fl 16,

the week.

Their lobster mac &

City, 319-337-9047,

Cedar Rapids, 319-, $$

731-4444, $$$$

This Eastside

An elegant, high-

Ave, Iowa City, 319-

The Arbor Bar

restaurant features

end steak house on

351-1902,, $

60 1/2 W Burlington

a rotation of well-

the 16th floor of the

selected craft beers

Hilton DoubleTree

If Friday night karaoke

209-1821, thearborbar.

in addition to a full

in downtown Cedar

isn’t your jam, pop

com, $

menu with burgers

Rapids and a great

in to the American

and other standard

place to grab a bite

Legion #17 after

This quaint, hole-

bar fare. The kitchen

to eat before or after

work someday to

in-the-wall treasure

isn’t afraid to get

an event. Enjoy their

enjoy cheap beer and

continues its


breakfast buffet, lunch

homestyle bar food

tradition of live music

featuring a bacon-

or dinner with the

with the locals.

alongside good drinks

wrapped hot dog

best view that Cedar

with two fried eggs

Rapids has to offer.

on top—nor are they afraid to let their customers get

A & A Pagliai’s Pizza 302 E

American Legion #17 3016 Muscatine

cheese is comfort food at its finest.

Ave, Fairfield, 641-

Antojitos Carmen 207 Main St, Columbus Junction, 319-728-9055, $

and a hip atmosphere.

Aspen Leaf Frozen Yogurt featuring Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory 125 S

creative: They have a

Bloomington St, Iowa

burger of the month

City, 319-351-5073,

You don’t have to go

competition where, $$

to Los Angeles to

Dubuque St, Iowa

get LA-style Mexican

City, (319) 351-9720,

The Pagliai family

food. Just drive to

has been in the pizza

Columbus Junction,

diners design their perfect burger.

30hop 900 E 2nd

business in Iowa since

and eat all you can

The friendly owner

Ave, Coralville, 319-

1957, so Pagliai’s is

at Antojitos Carmen.

of this franchise

351-3800, 30hop.

a respected Iowa

They servine a variety

frozen yogurt shop

com, $$

tradition. Try the

of creative and

is almost always

Palace Special, an

traditional options

around chatting

Enjoy a burger and

Iowa City favorite

as well as to-die-for

with customers and

a beer on their giant

featuring sausage,


guests. Stop in for a

rooftop patio or

beef, pepperoni,

relax over one of

mushroom and onion.

their larger, classic American entrees—

The Airliner

Apres Wine Bar & Bistro 1010 Martin St,

Iowa City, 319-499-

either way, though,

22 S Clinton St, Iowa

1198, aprespeninsula.

make sure to try

City, 319-351-9259,

com, $$

something from their, $$

epic beer list.

cup of froyo or get an outrageous caramel apple.

Atlas World Grill 127 Iowa Ave, Iowa

City, 319-341-7700, Tucked into the heart, $$

Famous for pizza,

of the Peninsula

sports and home-

neighborhood, Apres

Snag a spot on the

game weekends, The

Winebar and Bistro

patio to watch the

Airliner has been an

serves an eclectic

day go by while

Iowa City tradition

menu of small plates,

enjoying a snack and

since 1944. Located

in addition to an array

a drink. The menu

right downtown with

reflects the “world BREAD & BUTTER 2017 15


For a satisfying hand-held dinner, it’s hard to beat a classic burger—the quintessential American meal. A burger at any one of these restaurants is sure to fit the bill, whether you’re a meat-eater or not.

The Mill

Pullman Diner

120 E Burlington St, Iowa City

13 S Dubuque St, Iowa City



any things might draw you into The Mill: local music, local beers or just plain locals. But we submit another, equally delightful, reason to visit this Iowa City staple: the Black Bean Burger. Made in-house, this burger will satisfy your desire for something meaty, without the guilt (caloric, ethical or otherwise). A hearty, well-seasoned patty satisfies veggies and non-veggies alike. The burgers are thinner than your typical vegetarian burger patty, so there is minimal crumbling and every bite is well-proportioned. Crispy edges welcome the addition of guacamole, though really everything welcomes the addition of guacamole. Not required, but definitely recommended: pepper jack cheese to complete the Southwest-inspired flavor profile. This burger is yet another reason to cozy up at your favorite booth or barstool and visit one of Iowa City’s favorites.

he burger at Pullman is the stuff dreams are made of, if dreams were juicy and buttery and came with the most perfect pickles (seriously, we dare you dream up better!). The Pullman burger seems like a throwback to a simpler time, when burgers were a diner staple. And Pullman’s unique interior, styled after the dining car on a train, is the perfect place to enjoy it. A minimum of two patties (with the option of a third!) between a warm buttery bun, and not much else is required. Throw in the aforementioned pickles, Pullman’s special sauce and plain old American cheese, and the

16 16 | BREAD BREAD & & BUTTER BUTTER 2017 2017

Pullman Burger will stick to your ribs and in your mind. It pairs equally well with their house-made Bloody Mary and your Sunday hangover, or with that after-work brew you’ve waited for all week. Side it with fries and top it with an egg to really push the limits of your burger dreams.

Joseph’s Steakhouse 220 S Clinton St, Iowa City


ot to be outdone by the prime cuts with which it shares a home, the burger at Joseph’s Steakhouse is a spectacle in the best way imaginable. Topped with bacon, one giant

onion ring, a fried egg and Swiss cheese, this burger means business. And though the toppings really seem like the star, don’t forget about the basics: a thick patty of houseground beef, sourced from the choicest cuts and cooked to your desired temperature; hand-made bun fresh from the bakery; side of barbecue sauce. This burger is as decadent as Joseph’s interior and begs to be paired with a big California cabernet, or any number of wines from the international list. You won’t miss that petit filet when this arrives to delight and challenge your palate.

BurgerFiend 2020 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids 3980 Center Point Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


ating at BurgerFiend is a highly customizable

experience. First you pick your patty–single, double or bacon. And you’re going to want the bacon, because it’s ground right into the beef patty. This technique results in a crisp and salty treat in each bite, and unlike your typical bacon burger this addition is neither overwhelming nor dry. The menu boasts more than 20 spreads, toppings and add-ons to make your burger experience one-of-a-kind. Once you place your order, you can watch and wait while it’s assembled and delivered. The casual atmosphere is just the right place to consume your customized creation. And if you’re asking yourself if you want one of their handdipped milkshakes to wash everything down, the answer is most definitely yes!

Saucy Focaccia 5100 Fountains Dr #100, Cedar Rapids 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids


he food truck origins of Saucy Focaccia are perhaps best illustrated with the burger. The cornerstone of the menu, the focaccia bun, has all the flavor you need baked right in, and is sturdy enough to contain all your toppings and still be held with one hand. This leaves your other hand free to contend with one (or more) of Saucy Focaccia’s house-made burger sauces. However you dress it up, this burger is the perfect accompaniment to your outing at the bustling NewBo Market and is sure to satisfy those post-shopping hunger pangs. The basic burger is a delightful snack, but their menu also has some inventive specials including the Bacon Mac and Cheesy Burger which is, as the name implies, topped with macaroni and cheese and crisp slices of bacon; two hands recommended for this one. The Saucy Focaccia burger menu is a playful and welcome twist on a classic.

Joseph's Steakhouse

Little Basta 121 Iowa Ave,

burgers, BeerBurger

grill” theme, with

of bread and tortillas.

a variety of dishes

If you’re looking for

Iowa City, 319-337-

is a great restaurant

to suit any culinary

a place to stop and

2010, bastaiowacity.

to bring your favorite


have lunch, they also

com, $$$

carnivore to. Along

Avocado Mexican Bar & Grille 1857 Lower Muscatine Rd, Iowa City, 319-3374432, $$

with many fun,

boast a variety of Mexican entrees that

The best things at

modern burger

you can eat in the

Basta are homemade

choices, they also

dining area.

pasta, wood-fired

serve classic bar

pizzas, tasty cocktails

appetizers, milk

and a killer daily

shakes, a selection of

happy hour.

diner favorites and

Bardot 347 S Gilbert

St, Iowa City, 319-333-

Avocado is a bright,

1515, bardotiowacity.

spacious restaurant

com, $

Bata’s 1006 3rd St

SE, Cedar Rapids,

and great for

beer, of course.

Best China 1800

families. They offer

This Brigitte


Boyrum St, Iowa City,

a wide assortment


319-358-0001, $$

of delicious Mexican

bar and restaurant


food in a fun, casual

specializes in exotic


food and drink in

Located in the heart

Americanized Chinese

a contemporary

of Newbo, Bata’s

takeout place that


is home to the

delivers quickly within

building. They offer

famous blueberry

Iowa City city limits.

Rd, Coralville, 319-

brightly-colored and

burger—yes, a burger

Prices are reasonable

449-3700 / 415 SE

freshly-made frozen

with blueberries,

and the food is

3rd St, Cedar Rapids,

drinks in addition

bacon, goat cheese,

surprisingly tasty

319-362-2739 / 333

to South American-

jalapeños and

for cheap Chinese

E 10th St, Dubuque

inspired cuisine.

blueberry aioli. Pair

takeout. The hot and

that with a side of

sour soup is fresh and

their sweet potato

loaded with veggies,

fries and you’re in

and the pork fried

burger heaven.

rice doesn’t skimp

Backpocket Brewing 903 Quarry

(coming soon) backpocketbrewing. com, $$

Baroncini Ristorante Italiano 104 S Linn St, Iowa

This place specializes

City, 319-337-2048,

in delicious beer and


wood-fired pizza;

com, $$$

there are many to

This is a basic,

Baxa’s Sutliff Store & Tavern 5546 130th St NE,

on chunks of tender, savory meat.

Big Boy Meats 1100

try, and quite a few

Elegant decor and

Lisbon, 319-624-2204,

3rd St SE, Cedar

standouts. Their large

romantic lighting, $

Rapids, 319-343-

outdoor patio at their

make Baroncini a

Coralville location is

great date spot, with

From the dollar

not far from a bike

a well-curated wine

bills tacked to

path and is perfect for

list and excellent

the ceiling, to the

Descended from a

summer afternoons.


perfectly executed

storied history of the

fried delicacies,

Lein family farm’s

Baxa’s Sutliff Tavern

experience in raising

The Cedar Rapids location finds a home

Bashu 121 N Linn St,

6603, bigboymeats. com, $$

in a newly restored

Iowa City, 319-337-

embodies the dive

and selling livestock,

downtown building.

7370, $$

bar aesthetic. It’s set

Big Boy Meats

apart, though, by the

boasts a pedigree as

Looking for an

idyllic view of the

impressive as any of

J St SW, Cedar

authentic Chinese

Cedar River and the

its animals. And what

Rapids, 319-366-1909,

restaurant in the Iowa

historic bridge that

pedigrees! Whether, $

City area? Look no

makes up the better

you’re looking for

further than Bashu,

part of its dining

pork, lamb, bison or

Hidden in Cedar

which offers diners


venison, the variety

Rapids’ industrial

tasty and spicy

zone, the Bakery

options as well as

BeerBurger 575

looks like any other

some of the most

Cameron Way,

thing they provide,

warehouse. Don’t

traditional Chinese

North Liberty, info@

though. You can also

be fooled, though.

food in town—jellyfish,

find BBQ catering,

Inside is a delicious

salad, anyone?, $$

wool and sheep skins

The Bakery 4719


seems to be endless. Meat isn’t the only

Good thing you read Little Village.

Find out what’s happening tonight: Calendar

for sale.

assortment of cakes and cookies, as well

Serving their

as fresh rolls, loaves

signature “smashed” BREAD & BUTTER 2017 17

Fried Delights Traditionally relegated to side-dish territory, these area restaurants provide evidence that simple fried potatoes are worthy of a closer look. And definitely a few more bites.

Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack


201 S Clinton St, Iowa City 1940 Lower Muscatine Rd, Iowa City

5 S Dubuque St, Iowa City 600 N Dodge St, Iowa City


immy Jack’s may be known for its smoky meats and delicious housemade sauces; however, it’s the french fries that keep me coming back. These square-cut thick steak fries are deliciously crispy on the outside and served in a waxed bag overflowing with goodness. The texture combination of these fries can only be compared with a properly made sourdough bread: an audible and resilient crust around a fluffy, warm center. The textural feat achieved by Jimmy Jack’s is impressive and offers contrast to their meals, such as a pulled pork on a pillowy bun and a piece of sweet honey cornbread. Mildly seasoned, these fries work great alone or serve as the perfect vehicle for their array of sauces, in particular the Cowboy sauce—a thick, sweet and smoky chipotle barbecue sauce.

18 BREAD & BUTTER 2017


odo was named the number one restaurant in Iowa for 2016 by Yelp. While this was a point of contention—especially for out-of-towners—it isn’t hard to see why fans are raving and craving the place. With an extensive menu of sandwiches, wraps and salads, Nodo is a healthy option for grabbing a great lunch on the go. If you’re feeling extra munchie but still want to stay healthy, grab a side of their sweet potato fries. These sweet, thin-cut fries are served in tin foil, fresh from the kitchen, with a side of tangy and addictive garlic aioli. The fries are delicious, but it might be the ridiculously good aioli that really sets them off. Nodo also offers traditional Brew City fries, for the purist in the group. Can’t commit? Get a half-and-half basket with aioli and ketchup on the side and choose your own adventure.

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


ion Bridge Brewery is nestled at the north end of the Czech Village in Cedar Rapids and offers a small but well-executed menu of bar snacks and plates. The poutine is a paradox: crisp, hand-cut fries are served in a luscious pork gravy made from the brewery’s Dark Mild Workmen’s Compensation, a two-time gold medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival, and topped with Milton Creamery cheese curds. As any good poutine should, the cheese curds work perfectly to complete the dish; the smaller curds melt onto the fries and the larger curds hold up well in the hot gravy. The Workmen’s Compensation pork gravy offers a balance of bright, tangy notes amidst the well-developed umami base. If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, top this dish with a fried egg for an extra velvety, rich finish.

Bata’s 1006 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids


ata’s is a veteran establishment in the NewBo District of Cedar Rapids. Known for its eccentric twist on classic dishes, like the blueberry burger and the orzo mac and cheese, the real gem on its menu is the caramelized sweet potato strips. These are a particularly rich treat: The plate features an orange sauce as a foundation for a generous pile of crisp, thick-cut sweet potato fries finished with a duo of balsamic reduction and caramel drizzled on top. The best way to enjoy these fries is while taking in the view from the tables nestled in the front windows or paired with a hoppy, local IPA at the intimate bar where the co-owner Nick Bata can often be found and is always willing to chat.

Big Creek Emporium 100 1st St SW, Mount

Vernon, 319-895-8393, $$

Located in the heart of Mount Vernon, this fun shop offers treats rarely found elsewhere: Everything from wine to bulk snacks can be found in this wonderful organic grocer.

Big Daddy’s Dogs 629 12th Ave SE, Cedar

Rapids, 319-573-8955,, $$ Big Daddy’s Dogs doesn’t just sell hot dogs. They also offer a wide variety of burgers, chicken, smoked brisket, sides and appetizers. Don’t forget to check out the daily specials— Tuesday is Gyro night!

Big Grove Brewery 101 W Main St, Solon, 319-624-2337 / 1225 S Gilbert St, Iowa City,, $$ With a large and impressive beer selection it is easy to overlook their cocktail menu—but don't! They offer two-for-one cocktails, wine, and half price beers during happy hour. Not only are their drinks impressive, their food is even better. Big Grove frequently hosts different special dinners, and they have even been know to fly in award-winning chefs from around the world for these events.

Blackstone 503 Westbury Dr, Iowa City, 319338-1770,, $$ One of the few restaurants on the northeast side of Iowa City, Blackstone is locally owned but has the aesthetic 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 menu consists of American staples like burgers, with notably intriguing combinations and elegant presentation.

Black Sheep Social Club 600 1st St SE,

Cedar Rapids, 319-200-7070, iamtheblacksheep. com, $$$ Black Sheep updates the traditional take on midwestern flavors with creative and inventive plates. The warm interior and long bar provide a comfortable atmosphere in a restored building in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Black Squirrel Tap 72 2nd St SE, Swisher, 319-857-4447, $ Black Squirrel Tap hosts sporting events, card tournaments and live music alongside “pub grub”, local craft beers and whisky flights.

BREAD & BUTTER 2017 19

20 BREAD & BUTTER 2017


Preserving Our Roots On a nearly 900-acre farm in northeast Iowa, dedicated farmers and growers work to preserve the seeds from heirloom food sources for future generations. • By Eleanore Taft


n 1975, Diane Ott Whealy received a gift from her grandfather: the seeds of the German Pink tomato and Grandpa Ott’s morning glory. Whealy wrote a letter to Mother Earth News, asking if anyone else wanted to share the responsibility of preserving cultural heritage by growing and saving seeds. Thirty people responded. The group met in Missouri and exchanged about 100 different varieties, and Seed Savers Exchange was born. Seed Savers is now the largest seed-saving organization in America, with 13,000 members. Heirloom seeds’ role in human history is at the heart of the nonprofit’s mission. They refer to the process of acquiring new seeds as “accession,” a museum term for adding new work to the collection. The first consideration in the accession process is whether the seeds have a story, according to Head of Preservation Tim Johnson. Varieties must be from before 1950, with evidence of being shared by a family or community through several generations. In the ‘80s, Seed Savers moved from Missouri to the 890-acre Heritage Farm in Winneshiek County, Iowa. “This physical site is just the headquarters of our work and really our work is carried out through our members,” fundraising coordinator Cindy Goodner said. Seed Savers facilitates home gardeners’ exploration of heirloom varieties and their history, and encourages them to save and share seed. Tubers, bulbs, seeds and cuttings are preserved both at Heritage Farm and in members’ backyards, and then distributed nationwide. Members have access to many more seed varieties than non-members through a direct member-to-member exchange. Seed listings are now available online, or in print in the nearly 700-page ‘Seed Savers Exchange Yearbook.’ Members can include stories, recipes, photos and video with their listings to flesh out the seeds’ history. Bonnie Riggan of Calico Farms in Iowa City has had luck with the exchange, requesting seeds for padron peppers from a member in Colorado to recreate tapas she’d tasted in Spain. Members receive a 10% discount on purchases and free or reduced admission to Seed Savers events. Heritage Farm hosts an annual conference in July (14-16 in 2017). Speakers address seed saving practices, current events and garden education. The conference also includes cooking demonstrations, camping, live

Photo courtesy of Seed Savers Exchange

music, a face-to-face seed swap and lots of food. Cindy Cary of Solon is a new member, and grows about 200 varieties of heirloom peppers and tomatoes which she sells at the Iowa City Farmers Market. She buys about 1/4 of her seed from Seed Savers because they offer varieties that are popular with her customers, but she doesn’t save her own, she says, because “I want true seeds, and I don’t have the space to separate them.” Making sure seeds don’t accidentally cross can be a challenge. It helps that Heritage Farm is in the “driftless area” of Iowa, with rugged topography missed by the glaciers’ smoothing slide. Limestone bluffs are natural barriers to cross-pollination by commodity crops that blanket the surrounding landscape. The Evaluation Department does regular “lot checks,” growing out two generations of about 500 varieties to make certain that the varieties are true and haven’t accidentally crossed, said Heidi Hackman, visitor center supervisor and former farm manager. Seeds are kept frozen as long as possible, and only grown out when their viability starts to decline, Johnson said. Many little gardens are scattered throughout the farm, and the distance keeps them from crossing. More susceptible varieties are planted in 20 x 50 foot cages into which pollinators are released. Seed Savers donates seed through their Community Seed Resource Program to kickstart seed libraries, a relatively new concept (the Bay Area Seed Interchange Library was the first, founded in 2000). Patrons check out seed, plant it, and save seed from that crop to return to the library, or meet and share directly at seed swaps. Returns are not required, allowing them to be exempt from commercial regulations. The Coralville Community Food Pantry’s seed library began with Seed Savers seed. The North Liberty Community Pantry (NLCP) has a seed library as well, and both encourage new gardeners through education and access to free seed. The North Liberty location is one of many that partners with the public library, housing their collection in an old card catalog. They also have a community garden which donates its produce, and hosts workshops like container gardening. “The word community is in our name,” said Kaila Rome of the NLCP. “It takes a village to help a family, and it takes a community to grow food for a community.” Seed banks became popular in the 1970s and ‘80s, when

BREAD & BUTTER 2017 21

22 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

red lettuce, miniature white cucumbers and speckled Roman and striped German tomatoes grown at Calico Farms keep customers coming back, Riggan said, because the local nature of her customer base allows her to sell more delicate varieties that are not available in grocery stores. Goodner said since some heirlooms may be less suitable for retail, gardeners have a

Seed Savers, said that if you know how to save your own seed, it’s actually more cost-effective than purchasing it. Heirlooms have a place in every culture whether or not they are labeled as such, Sellz said, and she does not view them as a niche product. Clear Lake farmer Chris Peterson, former president of the Iowa Farmers’ Union, said that even small, diversified family farms are

chance to taste something novel, which is part of the appeal. “By sharing our heirloom seeds, that’s a way to expose backyard gardeners to something they will never find in a grocery store just because our tomatoes are too delicate to be shipped,” Goodner said. Sellz, who is also Johnson County’s Local Food Planning Specialist and a member of

now called “niche” or “alternative”, whereas 25-30 years ago they were mainstream. Peterson said that seed saving organizations are valuable because they provide a counterpoint to mainstream agriculture. He said that the agricultural system has been restructured to focus on short-term yields without long-term sustainability, which is dangerous.

Photo courtesy of Seed Savers Exchange

more productive and consistent new hybrids began replacing heirloom varieties and concerns arose about the loss of biodiversity. Johnson said that Seed Savers is not really a seed bank, because their primary focus is not to preserve genetic material, but to share it along with its history. The vault at Heritage Farm houses over 20,000 varieties, and adds about 50 more each year. Some varieties are also held at an additional location — The USDA’s National Center for Genetic Resources in Fort Collins, Colorado has backup of about 1/4 of the collection. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway has backup of about 3,000 varieties, so deeply buried beneath the permafrost that even if it lost power, the seeds would be safe for hundreds of years before temperatures would rise enough to render them unviable. Nicknamed the ‘Doomsday Vault’, it’s built to withstand nuclear war and contains the genetic material (over 430,000 specimens) to potentially rebuild Earth’s food supply in case of disaster. Iraq and Afghanistan’s seed vaults were destroyed in this century’s wars, so when concerns arose about the seed bank in Aleppo, 110,000 samples were brought to Svalbard to preserve a piece of Syrian cultural heritage. Other seed companies like Baker’s Creek seek out seeds from high-conflict zones, but Seed Savers does not. Phytosanitation laws make it difficult to transfer seed between countries, and there are ethical factors as well, Johnson said. “There’s a lot of concern in the world about the exploitation of genetic resources, the global South being taken advantage of by industrialized countries,” Johnson said. “Our focus is on the United States.” Eric Menzel, owner of Salt Fork Farms and Kitchen in Solon, plants Seed Savers’ root vegetables and lettuces, favors heirloom tomatoes in his restaurant and has experimented with saving seed himself. Salt Fork has cut back on heirloom seed over the years because while heirlooms may offer better flavor, inconsistent yield, quality and shelf life can make them difficult to depend on as the primary source of produce for a restaurant. Shanti Sellz, who farms near Mt. Pleasant as Muddy Miss Farms, said that it can be hard to sell heirlooms to grocery stores because “there’s an expectation for uniformity and size and consistency and that’s how you keep your contracts. With heirloom crops, they're wild, and so there’s a lot more variability.” However, Sellz said that the unusual produce she can grow from heirloom seed sets her apart as a market grower and gives her an edge when selling to local chefs. Purple pod pole beans, Yugoslavian

Sustaining seeds: Seed Saver heirlooms—fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers—date back generations.

cross-pollination. To maximize profits in this competitive market, many farmers plant every inch of available land with commodity crops each year. This contributes to loss of topsoil. Depleted soil demands extra fertilizer to make crops grow. New pesticide-resistant seeds increase yields, but contributed to a five-fold increase in pesticide use in agriculture between 1960-2008 according to the USDA; 39 percent of this pesticide was used on corn alone. Fertilizer and pesticide are more likely to run off into Iowa’s water when natural barriers at the edge of a field are removed to make room for more crops. Runoff flows through the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, where nitrogen in fertilizer creates algae blooms. Blooms reduce oxygen in “We have hog factories coming up hand the water, suffocating aquatic life in the Gulf ’s over fist, we have every speck of dirt in Iowa rapidly expanding “dead zone.” planted with row crops … 50 percent of Iowa’s There is also a cost to public health when topsoil is gone. Not having the ability to feed such a high proportion of the American diet ourselves is a train wreck,” Peterson said. “We’d is made up of Monsanto’s GMO hybrid corn better have a plan B. When it comes to food and soy, and it’s evident in the obesity epidemic, and water, people die.” Peterson said. “They’re feeding the world, I Peterson was part of a lawsuit in the guess. I just hope we survive.” late ‘90s and early 2000s that challenged the Kaila Rome of NLCP said she hopes that “company store mentality” of corporate seed by sharing seed and encouraging first-time giants like Monsanto, who Peterson accused gardeners, the seed library will empower people of monopolizing the market and overcharging to take control of their nutrition by putting a farmers for highly engineered seeds required to wider variety of produce on their plates. make their living. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “Biodiversity underpins to food security, "Get in there and get your hands dirty sustainable livelihoods, ecosystem resilience, and just start where you are." coping strategies for climate change, adequate —Tim Johnson, Head of Preservation, nutritional requirements, insurance for the future Seed Savers Exchange and the management of biological processes needed for sustainable agricultural production.” According to the USDA, over 75 percent of Iowa farmland is Highly productive hybrid seeds produce planted with corn and soybeans. high yields, which lead to falling crop prices. “There’s been a huge loss in genetic Low prices require higher yields to make a diversity in the last 100 years and some say as profit, necessitating another purchase of highly much as 95 percent of all genetic material has productive seed. Farmers can’t save hybrid seeds been lost in the last 50 years. So what we’re because the next generation is not productive. trying to do at Seed Savers Exchange is just Some even contain “terminator genes” to save these heirloom varieties to keep them deliberately render them unviable. It’s also around for future generations,” Goodner said. against the law to save Monsanto seed, because Seed Savers also works with heritage livestock it’s patented. Monsanto has sued small farmers breeders nationwide to preserve multiple breeds for saving it, even when it occurs by accidental BREAD & BUTTER 2017 23

of poultry and cattle. Riggan said that Seed Savers’ work is important to her in part because “as things evolve, it’s possible that some varieties that we are using extensively today may not be available; they may not be resistant to pests or diseases. Having access to other sorts of varieties in the future might save our food supply.” Johnson emphasized that Seed Savers’ goal is not to capture a broad range of genetic diversity, but said that the preservation of heirloom varieties has a role to play in the revival of more natural methods of agriculture. “These are varieties that have been bred and selected for organic culture,” Johnson said. Maintaining a good pool of germplasm is a concern for domesticated crops, he said, and there’s interest in working with wild crop relatives because they may have developed pest and disease resistance. “We never know what variety is gonna have that trait that we really really need,” Johnson said. Seed Savers offers about 600 varieties in their annual seed catalog, which comes out in December. They can’t offer the full 20,000 because the seeds must go through the lot check process to make sure they are true before they can be listed in the catalog, and they can only grow out so many varieties at a time. Goodner said she’s excited about a new addition to the catalog called Ocelia, a medium-hot Italian pepper variety donated by a family in Des Moines. Curling up with the catalog on a snowy day to dream about summer’s tomatoes is a tradition for many Iowans, but if you’d rather look through seed packets in person they can be found at New Pioneer Co-ops, Bark and Bloom and Peck's Garden Center in Cedar Rapids, Whole Health Natural Foods in Marion, Lenoch & Cilek Ace Hardware, Iowa City Landscaping, and North Dodge Hy-Vee in Iowa City. Johnson said not to be afraid to try saving seed at home, and recommends starting with familiar plants. Lettuce is easy, because it’s self-pollinating so it’s usually true to type. Let it bolt and flower and save those seeds, or dry some peas over the winter and plant them in the spring. The Seed Garden, a 2015 book from Seed Savers, has tips for getting started. “You have so little to lose by messing up. It can add so much value to your garden experience. Get in there and get your hands dirty and just start where you are,” Johnson said.

The new Cirque lamp from Louis Poulsen of Denmark. Available in several sizes and many colors.

Illuminating. FURNITURE | LIGHTING | HOUSEWARES | ACCESSORIES from the world’s greatest classic and contemporary designers On the corner of Dodge & Davenport | Iowa City | 319. 354. 2623 |

Little Bluebird Diner

Brewhemia 1202

Brix Cheese Shop & Wine Bar 209

permits, grab a bite

salad bar and

her recipes come

330 E Market St, Iowa

to eat and enjoy

selection of gourmet

from a place of

3rd St SE, Cedar

City, 319-351-1470,

the downtown

prepared foods. In

understanding and

Rapids, 319-364-

N Linn St, Iowa


atmosphere on their

warmer months, the

care. Many of her


City, 319-359-1999,

com, $$


large patio makes

mixes can be found in

for prime people-

local grocery stores.

Bluebird Cafe

Boston Fish 804 5th

watching. Grocery

650 W Cherry St

St SE, Cedar Rapids,

offerings range

#9, North Liberty,

319-363-9627, $

from conventional

com, $$

located in a beautiful historic building

This wine bar and

across from NewBo

specialty shop has a

to organic, to

SW, Cedar Rapids,

Market, has a simple,

delicious selection of

Good food and good

specialty imports and


hip vibe and serves

cheeses, cured meats,

folks providing some

housemade items.


well-made coffee

wine and beer; it’s

com, $

drinks, alternative

a great place for a

brew methods, and

group of friends to go

Treat yourself

light food options.

to avoid the noise of downtown.


Breakfast House Cafe 820 6th St

brixcheeseshop. This coffeehouse,

With a fun and funky

the freshest fish and

staff and decor, and

seafood in town at

a vast menu, Bluebird

this nautical-themed

Breads from Anna 3007 Sierra

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comfort food.

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on traditional diner fare.

Bo-James 118 E

Bread Garden Market & Bakery

Broadbent Distillery 6175 50th

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City, 319-354-4246,

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free bread in America,

a classic diner feel

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breakfasts around.

225 S Linn St, Iowa

intimate gathering

Visit Broadbent

Bo-James is a family-

This convenient

mixes free of the

place where you can

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owned tavern known

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enjoy local spirits,

Two Jay’s Iowa Corn

for big burgers, big

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Anna herself has

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BREAD & BUTTER 2017 25

farm tours, and revel in a classic Iowa afternoon.

Bubble Pop 201 S Clinton St, Iowa City, 319400-4324, $ The clean, minimal interior of Old Capitol Mall’s

two locations. Great Angus beef burgers with a

artwork from various artists and frequent live

variety of add-ons, hand-cut fries and delightful

music. Its outdoor seating makes it a social


hotspot for Fairfield’s Maharishi community

Cactus Mexican Grill and Cantina #2 245 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, 319-338-5647, $$

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.

bubble tea shop avoids feeling sterile through warm lighting and select pieces of oak furniture

You know what to expect: a gigantic margarita

that could have been in your grandparents’

served in a kitschy glass; a combination plate

kitchen. Bubble Pop offers a variety of hot and

smothered in indeterminate sauces; a never-

cold drinks in flavors like taro, mango and green

ending basket of chips that you’ll accidentally


eat too much of. The salsa is good. The menu is

Caffe Crema is a popular coffeehouse that

vast. The food is usually tasty and always cheap.

specializes in hot drinks and delectable treats.

Bud’s Custom Meats 3027

Caffe Crema 411 2nd St, Coralville, 319-338-

0700 / 1401 5th St, Coralville, 319-338-7007, $

Their warm interior will make you feel right at

Highway 22, Riverside, 319-648-3999,

Cafe Muse 565 Cameron Way, North Liberty,, $$

319-626-6873,, $

friends or grabbing a quick cup of joe.

Specializing in jerky, Bud’s provides the

It’s no secret that the Iowa City area is home to

Capanna Coffee and Gelato 2441 James St,

community with a quality supply of this favorite,

some absolutely fabulous coffee. The places are

Coralville, 319-499-1120 / 710 Pacha Pkwy Ste

Midwestern snack food. You can opt for the

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6, North Liberty, 319-626-2515, capannacoffee.

classic Peppered Jerky, but don’t be afraid to

way to start your day. Cafe Muse is just the

com, $

branch out into either Teriyaki or Cajun flavors.

same, but with one notable perk: Unlike many of

BurgerFiend 2020 16th Ave SW, Cedar

Rapids, 319-200-4488, / 3980 Center Point Rd NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-200-4499 , burgerfiend.

their competitors, they offer drive-thru service.

Cafe Paradiso 101 N Main St, Fairfield, 641472-0856,, $

home, whether you are studying, meeting with

This local roaster specializes in gourmet coffee and artisan gelato.

Cappy’s Pizzeria 7037 C Ave NE, Cedar

Rapids, 319-826-2625,, $$

com, $$ Situated on the corner of the square in Fairfield, BurgerFiend is a burger-centric joint now with

26 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

Cafe Paradiso is a casual setting with beautiful

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

Little the warm atmosphere, board games and selfserve cooler. You can taste the difference in their freshly prepared doughs and homemade sauces. They serve both Chicago deep-dish and New York hand-tossed pizzas, in addition to calzones and Greek salads.

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop 4640 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-393-2900 / 4201 42nd St NE #140, Cedar Rapids, 319-200-2277, capriottis. com These hot and toasty subs are a success in a sandwich. Try their signatures like the Capastrami or Bobbie, or custom build your own! The Veggie Cheese Steak offers a delightful vegetarian fast food option.

Caucho 1203 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319200-2525, $$ The menu at Caucho boasts a wide selection of authentic Mexican cuisine prepared with a modern touch. Cocktails are served from a stylish bar with inventive and playful ingredients. Vibrant and energetic interior in Cedar Rapids NewBo District.

Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery 1441 Marak

Rd NW, Swisher, 319-857-4300,, $$ This winery and micro-distillery is located on a beautiful plot conveniently located between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. Being the first

licensed distillery in Iowa since prohibition times, it’s hard to find a bar that doesn’t carry their small batch liquors.

Cedar River Landing 301 F Ave NW, Cedar

Rapids, 319-364-1854, This sports bar is located along the Cedar River in an old warehouse. They regularly feature live music and have an eclectic American menu featuring everything from “Broasted Chicken” to crawfish pizza.

Ced-Rel Supper Club 11909 16th Ave SW,

Cedar Rapids, 319-446-7300,, $$$ This old-school supper club and steakhouse maintains many of the trappings of bygone dining: frogs’ legs, fried chicken livers and, of course, a variety of steaks. Each entree is delivered with a complimentary relish tray, a multi-tiered throwback to a time when cigarettes were fashionable and martinis were a lunchtime staple.

BREAD & BUTTER 2017 27




and Bacon



Need Pizza


Basta Ristorante

207 2nd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids

126 E Washington St, Iowa City

121 Iowa Ave, Iowa City




ffering slices over lunch for office-dwellers and with late-night hours for bar-hoppers, this pizza place delivers what downtown Cedar Rapids was in search of. If you’re not on-the-go, grab a table and order a whole pizza to your exacting specifications. Choose from Red (tomato sauce and mozzarella), White (sauce-less with mozzarella and garlic), or Plain (tomato sauce and garlic, but no mozzarella) to get started, and pile on the toppings as you like. Standard topping choices make up the bulk of the menu, but interesting options like mashed potatoes, clams and giardiniera are peppered in to keep things lively.

28 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

ith no street-level presence to draw you in, dinner at the restaurant formerly known as Hearth is not always top of mind. Enter the modestly marked door next to One Twenty Six on Washington Street. Clamber up the short flight of stairs; to the right is sister restaurant Moonrakers, but to the left is the wood-fired oven signaling you’ve reached your destination: a secret cozy hideaway overlooking downtown Iowa City. The light and crispy flatbreads and pizzas here are rounded out by an internationally-inspired menu, but the important thing to put on your radar is the Wednesday Night Pizza Dinner. A specialty salad, pizza of your choice, dessert, and a glass of Cabernet, Chardonnay or sparkling wine is just $20 per person.

any a diner comes here for a plate of their famous Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli. Or the Sunday Spaghetti and Meatballs. Or maybe, like me, this is your favorite happy hour spot. But have you tried their pizza? With the wood-fired oven on full display to the dining room, one would hope the answer is yes, but in case you’re too pleased with the noodles to have tried something else, let me vouch for their pizza. The housemade crust strikes just the right balance between crispy and chewy, and the freshly made mozzarella is delightful as a standalone topping or in concert with other gourmet options. The winner? The Quatro Formaggi—a harmonious blend of four cheeses over a thin crust, pulled out of the oven and piled high with a heavy serving of peppery arugula. It’s a pizza and salad at once—a whole meal in just one slice.


These pies are just what you’re looking for.

La Quercia



Motley Cow Cafe 160 N Linn St, Iowa City


itting at the bar with a glass of wine and a pizza at the Cow makes for a truly quintessential Iowa City moment. Surrounded by the neighborhood regulars and warmed by the wood-fired oven across the open kitchen, things feel easy and simple. Never boasting a bonafide pizza menu, the Motley Cow casually slips their select pizza offerings under their supper menu and the small changing selection of pizzas dazzles diners—not necessarily on paper, but when presented tableside. Local and organic ingredients are used in the kitchen as often as possible to create a gourmet dining experience that’s as comfortable yet luxurious as your favorite cashmere sweater.

Maggie’s Farm Wood-Fired Pizza 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids 1300 Melrose Ave, Iowa City


t’s hard to beat a sizzling pizza fresh out of a wood-fired oven. At Maggie’s in NewBo City Market, you can surely count on a piping hot New Haven-style pizza, but their pizza is made even better by pulling up a seat and watching as your pie undergoes its flame-licked transformation from raw ingredients to perfectly charred and chewy. Old-school menu choices mingle among more decadent options, and you’ll even notice a breakfast pizza at Farmer’s Market events where the crew regularly shows up with a mobile pizza oven. With a permanent Johnson County location in the works for early spring, Maggie’s Farm Pizza is poised to be yet another feather in Iowa City’s culinary cap. Trust that no matter which location you choose, you’ll leave this family-run operation happy and satisfied.

BREAD & BUTTER 2017 29


No Small



On their Linn County farm, Lea and Denny Rehberg raise shrimp alongside heirloom pigs, blazing a trail for a growing regional industry. • By Helaina Thompson


vernight, Styrofoam coolers of 20,000 postlarval shrimp arrive from the Florida Keys to the Rehberg family farm in Walker, Iowa. “They’re about the size of your eyelash when you get ‘em,” said Denny Rehberg, who raises the shrimp with his wife, Lea, on their small hog farm. Two years ago, the Rehbergs converted an old farm building into an indoor aquaculture habitat. Six 12-foot swimming pools house the shrimp in salt water for up to five months as they grow. Lea runs up to 10 daily tests, monitoring the water’s salinity, temperature and oxygen levels—any deviation left unnoticed can be costly. “Shrimp don’t get sick. They’re either alive or they’re dead,” said Mr. Rehberg. “You don’t have just one or two dying, you’re having thousands of them die.” Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the United States—we eat more than 1 billion pounds of the little crustaceans per year—and America’s fondness for shrimp often breeds unsavory environmental and social costs. “A lot of the shrimp coming into this country aren’t really fit to eat,” said Mr. Rehberg. About 90 percent of shrimp in the US is imported, mostly from Southeast Asia and Latin America where sustainability and human rights experts decry waste pollution, high antibiotic use and labor rights violations. In 2014, after a six-month investigation, the Guardian revealed slave labor on boats in Thailand supplying fishmeal, which prawn farmers feed to their shrimp. The report described “horrific 30 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

“They’re about the size of your

eyelash when you get ‘em.”

—Denny Rehberg, Rehberg Pork and Shrimp conditions, including 20-hour shifts, regular beatings, torture and execution-style killings.” Mr. Rehberg grew up on a hog farm about one mile away from where Rehberg Farm stands today. Lea Rehberg was raised a “city girl” in Minnesota, said Denny, but joined him on the farm when they married. Along with shrimp, the Rehbergs also raise hogs. According to Mr. Rehberg, the farm has some of the oldest genetics of the Hampshire breed in the United States. “This is truly heirloom pork,” their website boasts. The hogs are raised free of antibiotics and fed non-GMO feed made from soybeans grown on the Rehberg farm. Settlement tanks connected to the shrimp pools collect waste, which Mr. Rehberg uses to fertilize the ground where his soybeans grow. “Everything works together,” said Mr. Rehberg. Working in the shrimp building is relaxing—the sound of the moving water, the balmy air. “It’s just like you’re down in the Bahamas,” Mr. Rehberg said. Inside the 80 degree pools, bacteria happily grow, cluster and filter nitrogenous waste in what is called a biofloc system. The shrimp feed on these

bacteria clusters, increasing in size. When fully grown, the Rehbergs harvest the shrimp, which can be delivered in less than an hour. As aquaculture methods have improved over the past decade, a handful of indoor shrimp farms have cropped up throughout the Midwest. Some of those farms now charge consulting fees—anywhere from 10 to 60 thousand dollars, said Rehberg—for farmers looking to enter the industry. Trusting his farming background, Rehberg refused to pay. “If you take everything that’s online and put a little common sense in it,” said Rehberg, “you can figure it out.” Rehberg is careful about expanding his shrimping venture. Last year he watched as two young Iowa shrimp farms went out of business. Currently, he sells shrimp on a special order basis. But Rehberg hopes to be knocking on local restaurant doors in the near future, offering a product many Iowa diners have never before seen: shrimp harvested, delivered and plated— all on the same day. “It’s like anything else. You start out slow, learn how to do it, and then you can always grow,” said Rehberg, adding, “It’s gonna be big.”


Shrimp & Grits Developed by Ari Ariel. Serves 4


his is one of my favorite dinner party recipes. The grits can be made ahead of time, and once the ingredients for the shrimp are measured and chopped, the dish comes together in about 15 minutes. That means you can have a delicious dish and still spend most of your time with your guests. The trick to making the grits ahead of time is cooking them over a double boiler–i.e. you are going to cook the grits in a metal or heat-resistant glass bowl placed over a pot of simmering water. They’ll take a bit longer this way but you don’t have to stir them constantly, which frees you up to do other things. And once they’re done you can keep them warm, over the simmering water, for several hours. If you prefer to make the old-fashioned stir method, cook them in a pot and then transfer them to the double boiler until you’re ready to serve. For the grits: • 2 cups whole milk • 2 cups water • 2 tsp. kosher salt • 1 cup stone-ground corn grits, yellow or white (or polenta) • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces • 4 ounces cream cheese For the shrimp: • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (save the peels for shrimp stock) • ½ large onion, chopped • ½ green pepper, diced • 1 celery stalk, diced • 1 tsp. kosher salt • 1 tbsp. tomato paste • 1 tsp. smoked paprika • 1 tbsp. flour • 2 tbsp. brandy or cognac • 1 ½ cups shrimp stock or chicken stock • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce • 1 tbsp. lemon juice • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped • 1 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, chopped • 1 tbsp. chives, chopped For the grits: Pour the milk and water into a pot, add the salt and bring to a simmer. While the first pot is heating up, fill another pot about halfway with water and bring it to a simmer. You will be using it for the bottom part of a double boiler. Put the grits in a large stainless steel or heatresistant glass bowl. Whisk the milk-water mixture into the grits until there are no lumps. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and put it on

top of the pot that contains the simmering water. Be sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and that the water remains at a simmer. The steam from the pot is what will cook the grits. Cook the grits this way for about 1½ hours– every 20-30 minutes, stir with a whisk or wooden spoon. Add a bit of water if the grits are too stiff or look dry. Then recover with aluminum foil. Once the grits are cooked (smooth and no longer gritty), stir in the butter and cream cheese until both are melted and the grits are smooth and creamy. Taste and add salt if necessary. You can keep the grits warm over the simmering water for several hours.


For the shrimp: Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan on medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook them until they turn pink on one side, then remove them from the pan. Add onion, green pepper and celery to the pan, then add salt; and lower the heat to medium, cooking until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir the tomato paste and the smoked paprika into the pan and cook another minute. Sprinkle the flour over the pan evenly. Cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Add the brandy, Worcestershire sauce and shrimp stock and let the liquid reduce until it is the thickness of a sauce, about 5 minutes. Return the shrimp to the pan and let cook in the sauce until they are opaque. Add lemon juice. Remove the pan from the heat and add the thyme, parsley and chives. Taste and add salt if necessary. To serve: Ladle the grits into 4 bowls, top with shrimp and sauce, and enjoy! To make a very simple shrimp stock: Put all the shrimp peels in a pot and cover with about 6 cups of water. Add a teaspoon of tomato paste and a ¼ teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer. Skim any impurities that come to top of the pot and let cook for about an hour. Strain the stock and either use it immediately, or cool and refrigerate or freeze for future use. BREAD & BUTTER 2017 31

In Good Health Gone are the days of Ensure Nutritional Shakes and Carnation Instant Breakfast. Tasty green juice, fizzy kombucha and vitamin-packed elixirs are everywhere these days. At these healthy hot-spots, you can, quite literally, drink to good health.

Get Fresh

Power Cafe

1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids

309 S Madison St, Iowa City



nside the NewBo City Market, among the burgers and pizza, cupcakes and ice cream, you’ll find Get Fresh—a juice bar offering some of the area’s best cold-pressed juices, smoothies and natural sodas. With juice offerings from classic orange and apple to the more complex vegetable and green juices, there is something for all palates and in every color of the rainbow. Purchase a refillable glass bottle so you can sample them all. Try We Got the Beet (a blend of beet, carrot, apple, sweet potato and ginger) for something vibrant and zippy, or Oh KALE Yeah! (kale, spinach, pineapple, pear, zucchini and mint) for a green juice with citrusy mint notes. If you’re really looking to jump in with both feet, try their Immunity Blend, a juice with raw garlic and beets! Looking for something besides juice? Get Fresh also has a great selection of custom blended smoothies for those days when you need a meal on the go.

ell your coworkers you’re headed to the gym for a lunch-hour sweat sesh and hightail it down to the University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Whether or not you actually hit the elliptical is up to you, but be sure to duck into the Power Cafe for a fruit-forward smoothie. This way there’s at least proof you entered the building. The menu here boasts a large selection of blended drinks ranging from the classic strawberry-banana combo to concoctions with a superfood slant, studded with açai and goji berries, pomegranate and spinach. Go crazy with the supplements and add-ins to really maximize this liquid meal. Choose from probiotics, multivitamin, vitamin C, vitamin B12 and protein powders in varying forms. Post-workout, you can return to work in top form, perfectly put together and well-nourished.

Bread Garden Market

Wild Culture Kombucha

225 S Linn St, Iowa City

Look for them them at area farmers markets and on tap at many local businesses


n expansive menu of smoothies and blended drinks means you’re sure to find just what you’re looking for. Choices run the gamut from the typical fruit-based drinks like Fruit Cleanse (strawberry, mint, apple), to protein-packed choices like Green Almond (almond butter, spinach, banana) and light, bright options like Clean Breeze (cucumber, celery, ginger). Order a custom blend or pack it full of add-ins—the baristas here are willing to accommodate your requests. For something on the lighter side, Bread Garden Market also offers a variety of cold-pressed juices in vibrant flavors—the shining star is hands-down the green MoMo juice.


nitially keen kombucha homebrewers, co-owners Tim Roed and Rachelle Schmidt started Wild Culture Kombucha as a part time gig in February 2015. Since then, their craft kombucha brewery has blossomed into a full-time operation with multiple distribution locations. Wild Culture Kombucha brews fullstrength kombucha (a gut-friendly, fermented, lightly effervescent and sweetened black or green tea drink) in regularly available flavors such as Grapefruit-Carrot-Ginger, Beet-Orange-Lime, Honey-Lavender-Chamomile and Pineapple-Jalapeño. Sourcing their produce from local producers as often as possible and juicing the fruits and vegetables themselves allows Roed and Schmidt to develop their own delicious seasonal flavors such as Pumpkin Turmeric Spice or Aronia Elderflower when the produce lands in their lap. Swap your standard hoppy brew for pint of kombucha fresh from the tap at select locations, or purchase a refillable growler of one of their bubbly teas to enjoy at home.

Get Fresh 32 32 | BREAD BREAD & & BUTTER BUTTER 2016 2017

Chameleon’s Pub & Grub 119 1st St NW,

Mount Vernon, 319-895-8654

This family-owned bar and grill boasts a wide selection of beer, a warm atmosphere and delicious food for when you want a break from the standard bar fare.

Chez Grace 89 2nd St, Coralville, 319-3381738,, $$$$ Chez Grace is a hidden French gem inconspicuously placed along the Coralville Strip. The owner, David, runs this one-man-show acting as host, waiter and chef. While the menu is extremely limited, it changes frequently, and stays true to its heritage both in offerings and technique.

Cibo Fusion 685 Marion Blvd, Marion, 319447-1414, $$ This contemporary Italian and American restaurant offers a very popular brunch menu. Be sure to snag a seat on their patio on warmer days.

Cider House 102 N 2nd St, Fairfield, 641-9800423,, $$ Like a dry funky Spanish-style cider? Enjoy a good burger? Chow down on hamburgers voted Iowa’s Best, made of beef from Jefferson County cows, and knock back a pint of the house brew, Fishback & Stephenson Hard Cider. Save room for one of their signature Hard Cider Floats.

Class Act 7725 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar

Rapids, 319-848-8777, $$ A gourmet restaurant featuring outstanding, local cuisine while serving as a real-time, realworld teaching environment for Kirkwood’s Culinary Arts program.

Cliché Patisserie 341 S Linn St, Iowa City, 319-512-2972, $ With its lovely, glass cases of pastries and crisp, stylish interior, Cliché Patisserie looks as good as its wares taste. Stop in for a hearty dinner or just a quick snack, as their options range from savory pork buns to sweet, green tea rolls.

Clinton Street Social Club 18 1/2 S Clinton

St, Iowa City, 319-351-1690, clintonstreetsocial. com, $$ Try to go to Clinton Street on a weeknight, or early in the evening, when it’s not too busy, so you can sit at the bar and enjoy an assortment BREAD & BUTTER 2017 33


Artisan bakers lay claim to the simple loaf of bread

BREADS FROM ANNA 3007 Sierra Ct SW, Iowa City


nna Sobaski, founder of Iowa City-based Breads from Anna, realized an untapped market in the world of bread when diagnosed with celiac disease. Unable to find good gluten-free bread, she sought after making it herself. After training with the National Gourmet Institute for Food and Health in New York City, and working as a teacher and personal chef, Anna returned to Iowa City and began to experiment with gluten-free bread recipes. In 2004, Breads from Anna was launched with just one signature flour blend. Today, Breads from Anna packages 12 original gluten-free flour blends, from pumpkin bread to pizza crust. The mixes avoid the top eight allergens reported by the USDA, which includes milk, eggs and peanuts, and are endorsed by a number of prominent celiac organizations. Anna’s Iowa City-made product is available on Amazon and at Whole Foods nationwide, but can be found locally at New Pioneer Co-op, Hy-Vee and Bread Garden Market.

RUSTIC HEARTH BAKERY 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids


estled in the southeast corner stall of Cedar Rapids’ NewBo City Market, the shelves stacked with loaves at Rustic Hearth tower behind a glass counter boasting fresh, handmade cinnamon rolls, doughnuts and finely layered croissants. All products here are made the old-fashioned way (by hand) and can take 2-3 days to make due to the specific process used. Rustic Hearth uses a “starter” instead of yeast to produce their products, and behind the scenes, Tom Schmitt and his crew at the bakery mill their own flour for their breads. While their sourdough loaves tell you everything you need to know about this place, you can sense the passion of this operation by catching a glimpse of their uniforms. The backs of employee t-shirts are screen-printed with a classic Julia Child quote: “How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?”

Little Coffee Emporium & Cafe 220 3rd Ave

while you play pool

SE, Cedar Rapids,

Cottage Bakery & Cafe 230 E

or darts and converse


City, 319-351-0052,

with regulars and the



Mehaffey Bridge Rd

bartender, all of whom

com, $

com, $$

NE, North Liberty,

know each other.

319-626-6046, $

It’s like a miniature

As the name might

Though hidden away

version of Cheers but

suggest, the Coffee

on Benton Street, the

Iowa City-style.

Emporium has an

Cottage Bakery never

extensive list of

fails to offer delicious

caffeinated creations.

breakfast and lunch

Whether you just

options. Stop in for

of small plates and

of imports. Snack

artfully crafted

on fried appetizers


Club 76 Cafe 2349

Club 76 is in an unassuming building; inside, however, there is a large bar and a lodge-meets-dive-

2nd St SE, Cedar

need a cup of joe

one of their famous

bar vibe. The staff is

Rapids, 319-366-3177,

before work or you’re

cinnamon rolls topped

friendly, the regulars


looking for espresso

with layers and layers

interesting and the

com, $$$

shots to keep you

of frosting, or, for

going through the

something savory,


entertainment options

221 1st St NE, Mt. Vernon


hree years ago, while slinging pies for Lincoln Wine Bar, Aaron Hall began baking bread in the restaurant’s wood fired oven during after-hours. Hall, owner of The Local Crumb, ramped up his extra-curricular operation by converting his Mt.Vernon garage into a bakery. With a stainless steel deck oven, he churns out 300 loaves a week—baguettes, sourdough, whole wheat, brioche and rye. Most of those loaves go to market, where they regularly sell out. Now set to open a storefront in the Old School Shops on Mt. Vernon’s Main Street, Local Crumb breads are readily available to the public. Sample any of the freshly-made loaves; the brioche is an airy delight, begging to be made into French toast, or slice up one of his dark, crusty sourdough loaves. Once toasted, this bread becomes a crispy vehicle for any sandwich or topping.

Cobble Hill Eatery & Dispensary 219

Benton St, Iowa

unique. Grab a basket

The chefs at Cobble

afternoon, they have

order a classic deli

of free popcorn, and

Hill are trained in

the perfect drink for

sandwich, a hummus

head to the wall of

the classic French

every occasion.

wrap or a hot veggie

lottery machines. In

tradition, and it

warmer months, they

shows. Cobble Hill

have a volleyball net

serves some of the

Clinton St, Iowa City,

and outdoor seating

area’s most beautifully

(319) 519-2340, $

on the adjacent lawn.

presented food,


Cortado 26 S

Crêpes de Luxe Café 309 E College

St, Iowa City, 319-887-

yet the restaurant

In its newly-opened

2233, crepes-de-luxe.

manages to be

location along Clinton

com, $

Wright St, Iowa

comfortable and

Street, Cortado is a

City, 319-351-9416,


great place to grab a

Step into Crêpes, $

The menu changes

pick-me-up on your

de Luxe Café for

regularly to reflect

way to work or class.

unique French

Located just south of

the seasons; if

If you have a little

cuisine matched

downtown, the Club

there’s some form

more time than that,

with an exceedingly

Car is a neighborhood

of housemade

though, feel free to sit

friendly staff. Sweet

bar catering largely

charcuterie or pâté

down, relax and enjoy

or savory, your crêpe

to a crowd of people

on the menu, be sure

the spacious and airy

of choice is made

looking for a cold

to try it—though


right before your eyes

bottle of beer after

everything is expertly

with mouthwatering

a hard day at work.

made, so you can’t

ingredients such

The beer selection

really go wrong.

as Nutella and

The Club Car 122

is similarly no-frills,

strawberries, or herb

with plenty of

chicken, house-

domestic choices

made aïoli and Swiss

and a smattering


BREAD & BUTTER 2017 35

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

Rapids, 319-362-2223, $$

since the 1960s, and it maintains its

Dave’s Fox Head Tavern 402

treat and a good, cheap cup

family feel despite being damaged

E Market St, Iowa City, 319-351-

of coffee. It takes pride in its

during the tornado of 2006. This

9824, $

customer service, hometown feel and homemade doughnuts. If

DQ sells all the classics, so you can Named for Daisy Duke, this garage-

sit on a bench and watch the river

Traditionally frequented by writers,

you’re feeling adventurous, try

themed restaurant brings an

go by as you enjoy your Peanut

the Foxhead is Iowa City’s oldest

their maple bacon longjohns or

abundance of seafood options to

Buster Parfait.

bar. It appears in all manner of

a sausage roll—a cheddarwurst

literary works, and rightly so. It’s

wrapped in sweet dough and fried.

the Cedar Rapids scene, so look to shrimp prepared five ways, clams and mussels before settling for a

Dan and Debbie’s Creamery

1600 Main St, Ely, 319-848-6455, $

jukebox is eclectic; the people are eccentric and their stories

sandwich or burger.

Dairy Queen 501 16th St NE,

dark, it’s cheap; there’s pool; the

You might have bought Dan and

are grand. The drink selection

Deadwood Tavern 6 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-351-9417, $

Debbie’s milk from your local

is minimal, a reflection of the

This dive bar is big enough that

Cedar Rapids, 319-365-0680,

grocery stores or ordered their

legendary stubbornness of the

there’s space for everyone, from, $

cheese curds at the Black Squirrel

owner, but this is the kind of bar

football fans to people studying,

Tap, but this family-owned dairy is

where all you need is a whiskey

and the nightly specials are a

The staff at this Cedar Rapids walk-

well worth a visit in person. Sample

with a beer back. It’s the perfect

steal—look for the creatively

up takes the extra time to make

their sumptuous ice cream, and

local watering hole for a literary

decorated specials board out front.

sure all the cool treats are prepared

pick up the staples you’re already

town that likes its booze.

with attention and care. Visit for

used to.

all the classics, plus store-specific special menu items.

McWane Dairy Queen 526 S

Dane’s Dairy 1430 Willow Creek

Dr, Iowa City, 319-354-7400,

Daylight Donuts 3560 E Court

Deluxe Cakes & Pastries 812

S Summit St, Iowa City, 319-338-

St, Iowa City, 319-339-0055,

5000, deluxecakesandpastries., $

com, $, $

Riverside Dr, Iowa City, 319-338-

Since its opening in 2011, Daylight

On any given Saturday, Deluxe

Open only in summer, family-

Donuts has enjoyed a great deal

is the perfect embodiment of a

favorite Dane’s is a blast from the

of word-of-mouth popularity and

neighborhood bakery: Parents sip

The Riverside Drive Dairy Queen

past with delicious, inexpensive

established itself as a mainstay in

coffee while their kids read or play

has been in the McWane family

frozen treats.

Iowa City for a sweet breakfast

in the little front yard; a St. Bernard

9328,, $

36 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

Little lolls on the stoop; someone stops

innovative Toast Bar which offers a

patrons at the door will sell you

(closed on weekends) and have

in for a freshly made cronut and

wide range of delicious spreads.

on the creative, well-prepared

a smoothie bar, espresso bar and

specials. Be sure to save room for

some great organic tea selections.

some duck-fat fries.

Their breakfast and lunch menus

ends up staying, chatting, for the better part of the day. In addition

Donnelly’s Pub 110 E College

to being a charming gathering

St, Iowa City, 319-338-7355,

place, Deluxe has sinfully delicious,, $$

Dumpling Darling 213 Iowa

Ave, Iowa City, 319-338-2404,

buttery baked goods; try a petit four or macaron, and good luck

This bar and restaurant is a

stopping after just one!

madhouse on Hawkeye game days,, $

are limited but well-executed and refreshing.

El Banditos 327 E Market

St, Iowa City, 319-358-2836,

as are most bars in the greater

You might have seen them

downtown area. Try to go at a

sold around town in different

quieter time; get a basket of wings

restaurants such as Pop’s Old N’

Tucked into the Northside

and some “frickles” and enjoy a

New Bar-B-Que, but now these

neighborhood, El Banditos offers a

An Iowa City pioneer in the

beer in the dark-wooded interior.

Asian-fusion foodie bites have got

wide variety of delicious Mexican

locavore movement, Devotay

Also, free popcorn!

their own store. Dumpling Darling

dishes made from family recipes

offers both a variety of steamed

and local ingredients. Proudly

dumplings, as well as steamed

serving non-CAFO meat from

Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-337-

bao buns. If you’re looking for

Iowa’s own Pavelka’s Point and

7660, $

something traditional go with the

Grass Run Farms, as well as eggs

pork dumpling, but my personal

from Kalona and tortillas from

favorite has got to be the brisket.

West Liberty, Banditos embodies

Devotay 117 N Linn St, Iowa City, 319-354-1001,, $$$

features small plates and artful cocktails, along with beer and wine, in their small, intimate space.

The Dingo Bar 1040 Martin

Dublin Underground 5 S

St, Iowa City, 319-400-1921,

The Dublin is Iowa City’s most, $

authentic Irish bar, popular among pool players, locals and anyone

Offering an extensive menu of lunch and breakfast sandwiches, The Dingo Bar is a sleek, stylish place to grab a light meal and a

who likes whiskey.

Duck City Bistro 115 E 3rd St,

Davenport, 563-322-3825, $$$

good cup of coffee. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, try the charming,

The Early Bird 333 1st St SE,, $$

traditional Mexican flavors with an emphasis on fresh and local. Pro

Cedar Rapids, 319-261-4901,

tip: Banditos has one of the best, $$

brunches in town—don’t miss the chilaquiles with chorizo.

This breakfast spot was made for the early bird. They open at

The friendly chef who greets

6:30 a.m. Monday through Friday

BREAD & BUTTER 2017 37

El Cactus 104 1st Ave, Coralville, 319-354-0444, elcactuscoralville. com / 1534 S Gilbert St., Iowa City, 319-354-0444, elcactuscoralville. com / 40 Sugar Creek Ln., North Liberty, 319-665-2046, $ They’re famous for their margaritas, and there’s nothing prickly about the service. A friendly neighborhood joint for those residing in Coralville or farther up 965. No relation to Cactus Cantina or Cactus 2 in downtown Iowa City.

El Dorado 102 2nd Ave,

Coralville, 319-688-5237, $$

BREAK FOR CAKES Let’s all raise a coffee mug to pancake-filled mornings. No office meetings or emails to respond to today: Welcome to your chill morning, drizzled with an extra dose of sweetness. We will have our cake and eat it too, because this is adulting at it’s finest.

Standard issue Tex-Mex with menu combos and good salsa. What really sets this place apart are its wild and vibrant exterior and interior.

El Paso Taqueria and Latin Market 601 Hollywood Blvd, Iowa

City, 319-338-3703, $

Inside El Paso bodega is a food counter and a few tables. When the weather’s good, you can sit outside at picnic tables. What it’s lacking in ambience, though, it absolutely makes up for in utter deliciousness. The gigantic burritos are an adventure in each bite: a bit of cheese here, some killer guac there, and look—there’s the chicken! The tacos and tortas are super authentic. Grab a Mexican

Crêpes de Luxe Café

El Banditos

Coke, and grab your order to go.

309 E College St, Iowa City

327 E Market St, Iowa City

El Sol Mexican Cuisine 240



W Main St, Solon, 319-624-2020,, $$ This small Solon restaurant offers many affordable and delicious dishes, with great happy hour specials, like two-for-one margaritas. Fast service and friendly staff makes for a great experience. They are also one of the few Solon restaurants that stay open on Monday to feed the hungry locals.

Exotic India 102 B 2nd Ave, Coralville, 319-354-4710,, $$ The best time to go to Exotic India 38 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

riginally from Morocco, by way of France, owner and head chef Hicham Chehouani has worked hard to make his delicate crêpes a pillar of the Iowa City food scene. This cozy corner café offers diners both sweet and savory crepe options, pairing the thin pancakes with toppings ranging from Nutella to coconut or cognac, and even vegetables like asparagus, spinach and herby pesto. Most ingredients, even down to the buckwheat flour used in the batter, are purchased within a 50 mile radius of the restaurant, ensuring there is a uniquely Iowan component to this international culinary treat. Get a table near the kitchen counter if possible so you can watch the chefs skillfully prepare the delicate treats; each plate is a work of art.

reakfast at El Banditos is not to be missed. Those preferring a satisfying serving of savory Mexican breakfast favorites will certainly find something up their alley, (I’m looking at you, chilaquiles), as those staples are a cornerstone of this restaurant. Those on the hunt for something sweet will also be delighted by El Bandito’s brown sugar oatmeal pancakes. A plate of perfect homey pancakes with a side of their zippy housemade mango syrup provides comfort and adventure in just a single bite. Usually without the long wait found at other neighborhood haunts, you can dive into the delicious cakes at Banditos promptly and be on your way for a postbreakfast stroll to window shop and walk off those sugar- and caffeine-induced jitters.


Simple Pancakes Recipe developed by Ari Ariel 8-10 medium-size pancakes


aking your own batter doesn’t take much more time than using a mix and the results are so much better! The problem with most recipes is that they are too complicated–they require multiple bowls or separating eggs. Morning recipes should be simple. Just stir everything into one bowl and you are ready to cook. The important thing is not to overwork the batter–i.e. whisk the ingredients together as briefly as possible. If you are in a rush you can even skip the resting period. It will help make the pancakes light and fluffy, but they’ll be delicious either way. • 1 cup flour • 1 tbsp. baking powder • 2 tbsp. sugar • ½ tsp. salt • 1 egg, beaten • 1 ¼ cups milk • 2 tbsp. melted unsalted butter, canola or vegetable oil • A small amount of butter or oil for the pan. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg, milk and butter. Whisk the dry and wet ingredients briefly until they are just combined. You should still see a few streaks of flour and some lumps in the batter. Don’t over mix the batter or your pancakes will be tough. Allow the batter to rest for at least 30 minutes. It will be a bit thicker than normal batter.

The Pig & Porter

Salt Fork Kitchen

1028 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids

112 E Main St, Solon



recent addition to the NewBo neighborhood, the Pig and Porter breathes fresh life into the Cedar Rapids breakfast scene. With an energetic, modern-contemporary vibe, the chefs here have made it their mission to cook everything from scratch and with locally-sourced ingredients as often as possible. Try their Pineapple Flapjacks with roasted pineapple maple syrup for a little variation on traditional weekend brunching, and definitely don’t forget to add a side of thick cut maple bacon. Just like a Hawaiian pizza, this combo proves to be a genius blend of sweet and salty with a hit of acidity.

hen craving that back home country feel, Salt Fork Kitchen is the answer. Depending on where you’re driving from and if your stomach will allow the extra time, take a scenic route to breakfast to really set the scene. The interior of Salt Fork is simple and cozy, and that should be all the indication you need that their buttermilk flapjacks are the real deal. The ’jacks are thick and oh-so-fluffy, and are perfectly accompanied by a healthy drizzle of pure Iowa maple syrup. Feeling nostalgic? Go ahead, order them with added chocolate chips, just like Dad used to make, and tuck into a hearty stack of weekend delight.

Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat and melt or rub on a small amount of butter. Ladle batter onto the skillet to make pancakes of your favorite size (¼ cup makes an approximately 4-5 inch pancake.) Soon bubbles will start to appear on the top of the cooking pancakes. Wait until these bubbles burst, then flip the pancakes. The cooked side should be golden brown. Cook until the second side is also golden brown. Transfer to a plate and repeat until you have used up all the batter. Serve warm with more butter and your favorite syrup.

is over lunch for the buffet, which has a delicious selection of both vegetarian and meat dishes. There are also appetizers and soup, and each table gets a fresh basket of hot naan to sop up the delicious sauces. The dinner menu is vast and interesting, and dinner items are tasty.

Fair Grounds Coffeehouse 345 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-338-2024, fairgroundscafe. com, $ Great for vegans and omnivores alike, Fair Grounds features dishes such as the vegan super nachos, which substitutes vegan cheese for traditional cheese, melted over the usual nacho fixings. Fair Grounds is also home to Howling Dogs Bakery, which makes a variety of baked treats, some of which are gluten-free.

Falbo Bros. Pizzeria 457 S Gilbert St,

Iowa City, 319-337-9090 / 2100 Norcor Ave, Coralville, 319-248-9090,, $

TACO TREK When travelling through the corridor (and beyond), you can devour authentic Mexican cuisine at every stop. It may take you a few attempts to cross these all off your list, but the toothsome tacos at these restaurants will make it worth your while.

Offering late-night pizza, Falbo’s is particularly popular among the undergraduate set.

FilmScene 118 E College St, Iowa City, 319358-2555,, $$ Though it is primarily a movie theater, FilmScene has a good selection of beers on tap and a small selection of wine, which can make those three-hour arthouse movies go by a little faster; there’s also a small selection of locally made snacks in addition to the traditional popcorn and candy. In the summer, order a drink and head up to their rooftop patio for some uninterrupted sunning.

Flying Wienie 103 8th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-861-3036,, $ Urban food cart meets hometown greasy spoon: 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 fries and a Chocolate Pepsi, and pull up a seat at one 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.

Forbidden Planet Pizzeria & Video Arcade 111 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-358-6400, $ Iowa City’s first bar/arcade has 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, making this a great place for families, too. 40 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

Antojitos Carmen Columbus Junction, IA

Antojitos Carmen 207 Main St, Columbus Junction


t doesn’t get much better than this family run establishment. Originally from Los Angeles, Carmen Castellano and husband Salvador Ortega moved their successful food cart operation to Iowa and opened a brickand-mortar location in Columbus Junction. Their casual, unfussy dining room is an ideal atmosphere in which to devour their street tacos by the plateful, come back to life with a bowl of housemade menudo or posole or fill up on freshly made tortas. Many family members can be found serving customers, running the register, or cooking in the kitchen and always welcome questions and conversation with their customers. On a recent trip to the restaurant, after chatting for a few minutes with a couple of ladies in the kitchen, we were introduced to Carmen’s ‘dry salsa,’ which was simple in its presentation, but proved at once to be a dynamite addition to just about anything on the menu. Made from dried garlic, peppers and seeds, it’s easy to understand why it’s sold in bulk quantities near the register. Reserve Antojitos Carmen for days when you’re willing to put in a little time on the road. You will be handsomely rewarded.

El Super Burrito

The Bakery

El Sol

El Paso





3300 Johnson Ave NW, Cedar Rapids

on’t be fooled! That little gray house is actually El Super Burrito! And it packs quite a punch with delicious traditional and street Mexican cuisine. Situated between a Flowerama and a laundromat, this restaurant provides fast, quality food to the community. With an extensive menu, ranging from tortas and tacos to tamales and gorditas, any sudden craving can be satisfied. Hunger pangs beware, for with their vegetarian options, meat-lovers aren’t the only ones under El Super Burrito’s protection. You can drop by to pick up food for home, or spend some time in the spacious orange and green dining area. Even your sweet tooth can be saved, or rather indulged, by the cases of sugared rolls and cookies filled up by Lupita’s Bakery. Watch out for the lunch rush, though, even the most powerful heroes have their kryptonite.

4719 J St SW, Cedar Rapids hen you find yourself lost in the industrial zone of Cedar Rapids, keep a close eye on any warehouses you pass by; one of them holds a secret within its metal-clad walls. Though opened as a test facility for American Baking Systems, the Bakery does far more than assess equipment. They specialize in “all natural, no preservative” breads and pastries at affordable prices. Noticing a growing, unfulfilled demand for tortillas and Mexican breads and pastries, the Bakery chose to provide Cedar Rapidians not only with traditional baked goods, but also handmade tortillas and beautiful, ridged conchas. If you’re in the mood for something even more satisfying, peruse the limited café menu and order as many street tacos as you can stomach. You can carry them over to the eating area for an easy lunch, or take your tacos to go and head home for a feast.

240 E Main St, Solon hether you’re in the mood for takeout, delivery or a fun dinner out on the town, El Sol offers multiple ways to enjoy quality, Mexican cuisine. Located in Solon, just outside of Iowa City, El Sol brings a taste south of the border to the heart of the Midwest. Sequestered in a cozy brick building, it makes the most of its downtown location by blending the best of colorful, local establishment and familiar family restaurant. Along with its delicious food, ranging from such options as the steak fajitas to their vegetarian burrito, El Sol also offers a number of other pleasant surprises. They have a full bar, great for a night out with friends, and every so often they boast live music. If you’ve ever wanted to hear a mariachi band while you sit down to dinner, El Sol is a far less expensive option than a ticket to Mexico City.

601 Hollywood Blvd, Iowa City f you’re not actively searching for it, you might easily drive right past this little bodega. On a main thoroughfare of Iowa City, tucked between a farm supply store and a VFW Post, El Paso is home to some of Iowa City’s best authentic burritos and tacos. After ordering, stake your claim to any available table in the small dining area between the food window and the check cashing window. The no-nonsense kitchen staff will set to making your order right away, and, when it’s ready, you should hurry back and tuck right right in. Until your food is ready, though, wander the short bodega aisles. Grab a tallboy of Tecate or, if your stomach can handle it, a 22 oz. Michelada. Rest easy, knowing there's always a full selection of Jarritos and glass bottles of Mexican Coke if you’re off the sauce. When you can’t spare the few minutes it takes to sit down and inhale your plate, your order can easily be taken to go, but is best enjoyed outdoors in the sunshine. BREAD & BUTTER 2017 41

Leaf Kitchen

301 1/2 Kirkwood Ave, Iowa City


o call afternoon tea an Anglophile event at Leaf Kitchen is a bit of a misnomer. Rooted in both owners’ heritage from East Asia, afternoon tea reflects the ceremonial aspect in Asian heritage, while offering a chance for people to reflect upon their day in preparation for the evening. Naming the spot for their dedication to tea, co-owners Masae Yoshino Judge and Harriet Woodford close Leaf Kitchen’s door at 2 p.m. for specialty tea gatherings that are reserved for private parties large or small. Alongside a personal teapot, Leaf Kitchen offers finger food, such as scones and small sandwiches, á la the 42 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

British tradition. The menu is chef Judge’s choice, highlighting the current menu and seasonal ingredients. From a selection of 15 loose leaf teas, ranging from herbal to green to black, customers choose which teapot will accompany their meal. Popular teas are the Houjicha, a green tea made with roasted Sencha leaf that transforms the intrinsic grassy flavor into something smoky, and Victorian Rose, a black tea that adds aromatic rose petals into an English Breakfast Tea, good for multiple steeps.

High Ground Cafe

301 E Market St, Iowa City 925 E 2nd Ave, Coralville


he Northside location of this

cozy cafe is a hotspot for study groups with a boisterous reputation for its music and comedy shows. High Ground Cafe recently opened a second location at the former Water Street Coffee Bar in Coralville’s Iowa River Landing. Both locations offer an extensive selection of teas—topping out at over 20 different varieties of Numi organic tea. The highlight from the list is the Iron Goddess of Mercy, a tea for longevity. As a full-bodied, smooth loose leaf with a dry, sweet finish, this tea arguably hits full-throttle in its

second or third steep, which can be enjoyed regardless of whether one finds leisure or utility in their tea. For all you coffee fiends, rest assured, High Ground Cafe also executes well-prepared coffee and other cafe beverages.

Bubble Pop

201 S Clinton St, Iowa City


here are three shops in Iowa City solely dedicated to bubble tea, a satisfying mix of boba (tapioca pearls), black tea, condensed milk and honey. Bubble

Tea Time

The best spots for a cuppa Pop, located in the Old Capitol Mall, serves 25 flavors of bubble tea, either hot or cold (predominantly the latter), milk- or water-based and in slushy or liquid form. Biting into the boba can be a bit of a surprise to the unsuspecting palette, but its savory-sweet, gummy texture brings a multi-sensory experience to the drink, and the inclusion of boba makes drinking the tea more of an interactive experience. Bubble Pop, despite being a storefront in a shopping mall, captures the minimalist design aesthetic of East Asia. The bar is sleek and contoured, lined with only a display fridge and blenders. Korean and Japanese pop music can be heard on repeat. Even the ordering process is a

bit mechanized, reciting clearly printed directives to a teller. It feels only natural to pay with a card.

Coffee Emporium

220 3rd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids


he Coffee Emporium in Cedar Rapids might strike one as simply a cupof-joe kind of place. But this quaint coffeeshop also offers a staggering 19 types of tea from the Republic of Tea. The Coffee Emporium is located in downtown Cedar Rapids, an area rebuilt through resolve since the 2008 flooding. Nestled in between office buildings and parking structures, this cafe caters to the bustle of nearby businesses. The Coffee Emporium, open only from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Monday through Friday, naturally is a grab-and-go hub. That shouldn’t deter anyone from ensconcing themselves, though, if one of the five tables is available. With winter streets covered in snow and salt, and southwesterly gales from Quaker Oats redolent of oatmeal, the Cardamom Cinnamon tea, with its hearty herbal notes reminiscent of ginger is the perfect choice, floral but not overwhelmingly sweet. If one prefers sweetness, the Hibiscus green tea is tart and fruity. For those looking to get wired, The Coffee Emporium also serves Earl Grey and British Breakfast black teas in addition to traditional coffee drinks.

BREAD & BUTTER 2017 43

As the

World Churns Scoop it. Blend it. Twist it. Shake it. No matter how they’re served, the icy treats from these area establishments are always sure to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Dairy Queen 501 16th St NE, Cedar Rapids


his walk-up Dairy Queen in a residential Cedar Rapids neighborhood is one not to miss. You can expect a friendly face to greet you from behind the sliding window when you’re ready to order and whether it’s the staff ’s attention to detail at work, or a combination of nostalgia and other less-specific factors, this location serves up some of the best Dairy Queen treats around. The best evidence of the attention to detail is understood when ordering one of their Blizzards. The goodies here are always blended well into the milky soft serve so you’re sure to have a little nugget of topping in every bite. The staff also go the extra mile to finish the presentation with an extra sprinkle of toppings before passing it out the window to hungry customers.

Carver Hawkeye Arena 1 Elliot Dr, Iowa City


ome of the Hawks, and, weirdly, home of some of my favorite ice cream in Iowa City. What makes this soft serve different from all the others? There are jumping, shouting and flipping cheerleaders. There’s a lively pep band that motivates. That familiar squeak of shoes on a polished gym floor. All these elements combine harmoniously to set the stage, but for me, the reason to love this ice cream is the fact that when you hit the right stand at just the right time (don’t go at half time: lines too long, and you miss the dance team and the flipping), you can get a giant chocolate-raspberry twist cone for less than four bucks and in as many minutes. It’s an exercise in timing, for sure, but no matter the waiting time, the reward is equally sweet. Be sure you’ve landed at the right stand, though. The two stands don’t always serve the same flavors and you’re here for the chocolate raspberry. It’s what sets this place apart from the others.

Heyn’s Premium Ice Cream 811 S 1st Ave, Iowa City 25 Cherry St, North Liberty


e can all appreciate the kitschy dairy cow themed interiors of both the Iowa City and North Liberty shops, but obviously the housemade ice cream of this Iowa City institution is what we’re all here for. Classic flavors mingle alongside more experimental varieties and hand-illustrated signs showcase the overwhelming selection of rich flavors. Heyn’s certainly dishes up a great ice cream sundae, milkshake or root beer float; all are respectable choices. But! On a hot summer day, it really doesn’t get better than a hefty waffle cone overflowing with scoops of sweetness. If you haven’t sampled the coconut chip, I must ask, “What are you waiting for?” Perfectly coconutty with an appropriate ratio of chip to cream, this will be my personal flavor of choice until someone else can convince me otherwise.

44 | BREAD & BUTTER 2017

Capanna Coffee and Gelato 710 Pacha Pkwy Ste 6, North Liberty


elato and sorbetto are always on offer at this North Liberty coffee shop. In fact, the well-stocked case is the first thing you run into upon entering, so it’s hard to ignore the brightly-colored peaks of velvety richness. Capanna cycles through a rotating selection of flavors, and due to the nature of preparation and the warmer holding temperature in the cases, these delightful flavors come through more pure and intense. The texture of both the sorbetto and gelato also differs from traditional American ice cream, as there is less air introduced in the cooking process, making it more dense and compact. Sample any of their flavors; they’re all great, but the mango sorbetto is what keeps me coming back.

Formosa 221 E College St, Iowa City, 319338-8880,, $$ Located on the first floor of Hotel Vetro, Formosa boasts a stylish and modern atmosphere along with quick service and great sushi. They’ve got some of the best deals on sushi and drinks during the week, but the place is always quick to fill up at dinner, so get there early.

Frida Kahlo Mexican Restaurant and Lucy’s Bakery 101 Windflower Ln, Solon, 319-624-2107, $ This brightly-colored and artisticallyinspired restaurant and bakery boasts authentic Mexican entrees and beautifully decorated desserts.

Fuel Nest 103 1st St NE, Mount Vernon, 319-895-8429, $

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

cedar rapids - iowa city corridor.

If Mount Vernon had a living room, it would be Fuel Nest. College students and locals regularly gather for delicious coffee and baked goods. Fuel provides a comfortable atmosphere to enjoy its great baked goods and fresh-brewed coffee. You can also peruse art and curios that make perfect gifts for yourself or a loved one.

Funcrest Dairy & Grill 3981 W Overlook

Rd NE, Iowa City, 319-351-4141, $

Ride your bike out to Funcrest in the summer and reward yourself with a root beer float while you perch atop the Coralville Dam—perfection.

Gabby’s Mexican Restaurant 1100 N

Columbus St, West Liberty, 319-627-7178, $$ This teeny Mexican restaurant has a plain, bare-bones interior, but packs flavor and authenticity into the food. The menu features Mexican-style “street tacos”— corn tortillas, meat, onion, cilantro and lime—and other traditional Mexican dishes, like tortas and menudo. For the lessadventurous among us, there are also more Americanized dishes and combination plates, and everything is ridiculously inexpensive.

Gabe’s Oasis 330 E Washington St, Iowa

City, 319-351-9175,, $

Mediterranean Restaurant & Catering

319-358-7342 206 N. Linn Street

Open 11-9 daily •

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 BREAD & BUTTER 2017 45

INDIAN BUFFETS An endless buffet of spicy and flavorful dishes; something to please any and all—what more could you want? Visit these local restaurants for an expansive lunch buffet or an authentic Indian dinner preparation.


India Cafe


9 S Dubuque St, Iowa City

227 E Washington St, Iowa City

943 25th Ave, Coralville




or the quickest, most filling and satisfying lunch, visit Masala. This cozy, hole-inthe-wall restaurant is always full with a varied blend of patrons ranging from downtown office workers to in-the-know university students. The lunch buffet is no joke and will satisfy any and all of your cravings whether for navratan korma, chicken tikka masala or a mango lassi. Hit the buffet with a clean plate as many times as you like, but be sure your eyes are not larger than your stomach, as Masala makes a conscious effort to cut back on its overall food waste. Dinner here is a pleasant experience in the heart of downtown Iowa City. Take your time, choose a few items to share across the table and order a Kingfisher Lager to wash it down.

46 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

f you’re searching for an Indian restaurant that knows how to bring the heat, India Cafe does it right. With origins in Fairfield, Iowa, the restaurant’s second location in downtown Iowa City has been a local favorite since 1994. The chefs in India Cafe’s kitchen know how to expertly spice their dishes for that perfectly layered and nuanced heat. Passing on the widely used mild/medium/spicy signifiers, India Cafe instead opts for a spicy scale from 1-10 so you get a consistent spice every time you order. Got a little ambitious on that spice scale? Tone it down with a mango shake—the dairy combined with the sweetness of the fruit balances out the heat.

aveli’s menu is staggering; topping out at over 100 options, there is almost certainly something for everyone here. The 15 variations alone of naan, chapathi and roti make sure even the bread options are solidly covered. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the multitude of choices, rest easy and order the thali (vegetarian or non-vegetarian). This traditional Indian meal samples all the classics (samosa, pakora, dal, paneer, tikka and kheer) and is served on a silver platter with multiple dishes and bowls, which feels indulgent. Beyond the delicious food and warming chai tea, the best thing about Haveli Indian is the Bollywood music videos on constant loop. Enjoy your elegantly spiced saag paneer while visually feasting on the elaborately choreographed dance videos; it’s a match made in heaven.


Aloo Gobi

Indian Cauliflower & Potatoes Recipe developed by Ari Ariel. Serves 4

Add the cauliflower to a large bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of salt. Spread the cauliflower out on half of a baking pan. Add the potatoes to the bowl, toss with 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of salt. Then spread the potatoes out on the other half of the baking pan. Roast the cauliflower and potatoes in the oven. After about 20 minutes check the vegetables; if the cauliflower is brown and cooked through, remove it from the oven. Depending on the size of your potatoes, they may require a bit more time to cook. If need be, place them back in the oven for about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove and set aside with the cauliflower. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Then add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently to be sure the garlic doesn’t burn.

scene, Gabe’s is a well-seasoned, slightly gritty watering hole with a vast beer garden that’s a no-frills, PBR-and-whiskey crowd.


Preheat the oven to 450º

they were famous. Independent of the music

great place to bum an American Spirit. Expect a

loo Gobi is a classical Indian preparation of cauliflower and potatoes in spices. The vegetables are usually pan-fried, but that makes the whole dish a bit too greasy for my taste. My favorite method is to roast the vegetables before adding them to a pan of spices. This cuts down on the oil and adds a toasty, caramelized flavor to the final dish. Your garlic and ginger should be minced very finely, to the texture of a paste. The easiest way to do this is to grate them on a microplane. Finally, if you don’t like cilantro, substitute parsley or just leave it out. • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets • 3/4 pound of fingerlings or other small potatoes, cut in half • 3 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil • 2 tbsp. kosher salt • 1 tbsp. garlic, finely chopped or grated on a microplane • 1 tbsp. peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated on a microplane • ¼ tsp. ground turmeric • ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper (or ¼ tsp. if you want the dish to be spicier) • 1 tbsp. garam masala • ½ cup water • Juice of ½ a lime • 4 tbsp. coarsely chopped cilantro leaves

passed through town and played Gabe’s before

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

Get Fresh 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319383-5449, $ Get Fresh offers an impressive selection of fresh-squeezed juices and delicious smoothies made with local ingredients as often as possible and blended for optimum health benefits.

Ghurtie’s Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt Cafe 2180 Norcor Ave, Coralville, 319-338-1999, 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

Add the cauliflower and potatoes to the pan. Then add the turmeric, cayenne pepper and garam masala and stir so that the vegetables are coated evenly with the spices.

ever getting bored.

Golden Delight Bakery 2289 Johnson-

Washington Rd, Kalona, 319-646-3030, $

Run by an Amish family, the gaslit Golden

Stir in the water. This will create a light sauce with the spices. Cover the pan and cook just until everything is hot and the sauce is slightly thickened.

Delight Bakery makes impossibly fluffy,

Remove from the heat, add lime juice and top with the cilantro.

and Grandfather clocks. Make sure to call before

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 you go, as their hours are sporadic.

Great American Popcorn Company 1121 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-366-3554,, $ If you’re not already a popcorn lover, Great American Popcorn Company just might change your mind. With unique flavors like Berry Lemon or Buffalo Ranch, you’re sure to be delighted by their selection. Tired of kernels getting stuck in your teeth? They also serve ice cream, fun oldfashioned soda, and candy.

Great River Brewery 332 E 2nd St,

Davenport, 563-323-5210, greatriverbrewery. com, $ Stop in for a free brewery tour on a Saturday, complete with plentiful samples, or enjoy one of BREAD & BUTTER 2017 47

Haveli, Coralville 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, 319-775-5352,, $$ Located inside the Cedar Rapids Public Library, Greyhound Deli focuses on local food, sourcing as many ingredients as possible. Sandwiches, soups and salads are all made from scratch, and there is a large selection of vegetarian and vegan fare.

Grin ‘n’ Goose 227 2nd Ave SE, Cedar

Rapids,, $$

Grin ‘n’ Goose offers a variety sandwiches and sides, sure to satisfy any craving. The interior is warm, well-decorated and fun with large booths and chalkboard-style wall art.

Gumby’s Pizza 702 S Gilbert St, Iowa

City, 319-354-8629,, $ For the university crowd, 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

Exotic India

Taj Mahal Cuisine of India

102 B 2nd Ave, Coralville

3939 Center Point Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


eighbor to a hulking Mexican restaurant, Exotic India is humble in structural comparison, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for with authentic Indian fare. The family-run restaurant offers friendly service and a cozy atmosphere. The lunch buffet is always hot and well-stocked by attentive servers, and the extensive menu hits on just about everything you could want from an Indian joint, creating flavorful dishes for hungry customers. Be sure not to miss the bengan bertha (roasted eggplant with onion, tomatoes, green peas and mild spices), and take advantage of Exotic India’s delivery option on those days when you just can’t even.


he perfect location for a cozy environment and diverse menu options. Taj Mahal offers a variety of seafood, lamb and chicken dishes either roasted in the traditional tandoor oven, or steeped in rich, spicy curries. The menu doesn’t only cater to the meat-eater, though. For diners who enjoy lighter fare, try the Bahar-E-Sabaz, or vegetable curries for a winning vegetarian entree. Whether omnivore or carnivore, be sure to end your meal with some mouth-watering mithai. If you’re eager to recreate your meal at home, the Taj Mahal grocer right next door stocks its shelves with imported ingredients so you can give it a go in your own kitchen.

Taste of India 1060 Old Marion Rd NE Unit D, Cedar Rapids


ituated in an unassuming strip mall in Cedar Rapids is Taste of India. The spacious interior offers more than enough seating for both lunch rushes and busy dinner times. Visiting the lunch buffet provides diners with a nice rotating assortment of dishes, and, with plenty of grain options, you can be sure to build your plate just how you like it. While not as expansive as other buffets in the area, the food is well-spiced and nicely balanced between vegetarian and meat options. You’ll find the typical Indian hits and even some less frequently seen items like mushroom matar. Be sure to try the pakoras — Taste of India has figured out the ideal size for easy eating and executes them well without the extra grease. 48 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

area until 2 a.m. or later.

Hacienda las Glorias 4317 Center Point

Rd NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-294-0082 / 715 1st Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-363-7344,, $$ 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 or an OJ Rita, they do not disappoint. Bonus fun fact: the building Hacienda inhabits is rumored to be haunted!

Hamburg Inn No. 2, Inc. 214 N Linn St,

Iowa City, 319-337-5512 / 2221 Rochester Ave, Iowa City,, $$ 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.

Happy Joe’s Pizza 102 2nd Ave,

Coralville, 319-351-6900 / 5070 Lindale Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-393-0017 / 3315 Williams Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-3960626,

Nelson’s Meat Market 1140 Old Marion Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


Case Files

Visit these beautifully stocked cases, filled with the finest cuts around. You can count on these area butchers when stocking your deep freeze, and with recommendations from local chef Jeffrey Sills, you’re sure to get your hands on the good stuff.

Bud’s Custom Meats 3027 Highway 22 E, Riverside


ud’s Custom Meats is situated in a modest white building just as you head into Riverside. Though many places advertise their product as “World’s Best” or “Famous,” Bud’s beef jerky is truly worth the descriptor. Once you have had Bud’s famous jerky, made on premise in a variety of flavors, you will settle for nothing else.

50 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

And once you have ventured into Bud’s for the jerky, you should stay and explore the hand-cut meats, available fresh or frozen. Bud’s is truly a “custom” shop: If you are a hunter, they can process your spoils into any number of cuts; they can provide a whole pig for your next luau (as a special order); and they will age your pre-order meat for you to your specifications. All bundles come wrapped in perfect dinner-sized

packages, ready for the freezer or for dinner tonight. Besides the beef jerky, be sure to sample the ground beef. Bud’s boasts a coarse grind on their ground beef, which makes for good flavor and a heartier texture that owner Doug Havel is sure will make you a convert. Otherwise, take a walk on the wild side: Bud’s caters to the more adventurous as well, stocking elk, rabbit and even turtle when available.

alking into Nelson’s is like walking into a nice warm hug. All of the staff are on-hand to answer any questions and get you exactly what you’re looking for, whether that’s a freshly butchered roast, something from the extensive frozen section or a hot cup of soup. Nelson’s has been in existence since 1935. The current owner, Mark Martin, has worked there for over twenty years, and knows just about everyone who walks in the door. Nelson’s purchases choice meats, butchers them in-house and uses a wet-aging method which gives the best flavor and marbling. The variety of things that you will find at Nelson’s include: sausages made inhouse, fresh or frozen; ice cream churned on premise and famous for its thick and creamy texture and variety of flavors; smoked turkeys, sold whole and available for pre-order and pick-up for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Chef recommends: Nelson’s Famous Miami Roll. The Miami Roll, a Nelson’s original, is a pork fillet, wrapped in flank steak and tied with bacon. Martin suggests a simple preparation, cooking the pork to medium and serving. The fat from the bacon melts into the porous flank steak, and both complement the lean pork as they cook together. You’ll know you’ve done it right when the bacon is crispy.

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.

Harold’s Chicken 316 E Burlington St, Iowa City, 319-3836230 /200 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, $ A longtime Chicago favorite, Harold’s is not-to-miss. Serving delightful fried chicken and fish available by the piece or as a meal, and served over white bread and doused with hot sauce.

Village Meat Market & Café 92 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids


ight in the heart of the Czech Village in Cedar Rapids, Village Meats has an old-world quality, with plenty of spunk. Owner Lou Oettinger Thompson re-located from Louisiana to Cedar Rapids, her childhood home, after Hurricane Katrina. With an eye on rebuilding the Czech Village after the 2008 flood, she opened Village Meat Market and Café, where she brings a southern spin on the classic Czech butcher shop. Everything in the butcher case at Village Meat Market is homemade and smoked in-house. The bacon is double-smoked, all the sausage is made at the market and if you time it right, you can walk in to a brisket fresh out of the smoker. The staff prides themselves on

having the best quality, sourced from as near as possible, and treated with the utmost care. Don’t leave without Jaternice, a traditional Czech sausage. Village Meat Market makes theirs from scratch. Chef says fry it up in a pan and serve it over sauerkraut or boiled potatoes. *It should also be noted that Lou, an avid dog-lover, also sells pigs ears, which she roasts underneath the bacon in the smoker. If you have a pup at home, this is a mandatory purchase.

La Regia Taqueria & Grocery 436 Highway 1, Iowa City


he market at La Regia has a little bit of everything, but their meat counter is a real standout. Specializing in traditional Mexican fare, this is definitely the place to go for any and all at-home taco fixings, as well as

for those cuts of meat found in traditional Mexican cooking. While possibly intimidating for a non-Spanish speaker, the staff at La Regia are helpful and welcoming to anyone and everyone interested in at-home Mexican cooking. They have just about everything you need to re-create your favorite taco from the taqueria next door, and can guide you to just the thing you are looking for. Chef wants you to try: oxtail. Oxtail is a fancy culinary word for the tail of a cow. It is both bony and fatty, and begs to be braised or slow roasted on a winter weekend. Oxtail is excellent crockpot fare. Chef says to add the oxtail to your slow cooker or Dutch oven with red wine, potatoes, onions, carrots, garlic, whatever herbs you have on hand and cook low and slow for as long as possible, at least four hours but up to 10.

Haveli Indian 943 25th

Ave, Coralville, 319-359-1744,, $$ Delicious, authentic Indian cuisine with an extensive range of options. More adventurous eaters can dive right into a Seekh Kabab or Paneer Tikka, while first-timers can stick to Chicken 65. Even their drinks cover all the bases—whether you’d prefer a Lassi or Fanta Orange.

Heirloom Salad Company 211 E Washington St, Iowa City, 319-3381300,, $ Custom build a salad to your exacting specifications or order off the menu and the staff at Heirloom will mix and chop your salad, ensuring an easy-to-eat and well-balanced salad. If you’re not up for a salad, they also serve sandwiches, soups, and pastas.

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Her Soup Kitchen 625 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-354-1602,, $$

Alongside salads and sandwiches made with fresh, local ingredients, Her Soup Kitchen offers handcrafted soups that change daily and that range from beef chili to poblano pepper to chicken corn chowder to butternut squash bisque.

Heyn’s Ice Cream 25 Cherry St, North

Liberty, 319-665-2249 / 811 S 1st Ave, Iowa City, 319-354-1981,, $ Family-owned Heyn’s is off the beaten path, but its homemade ice cream is worth a little detour.

High Ground Cafe 301 E Market St, Iowa City,

319-338-5382 / 925 E 2nd Ave, Coralville , 319339-4390, $ Enjoy pour-over coffee or an espresso drink at

this popular downtown study space or visit their new location at the Iowa River Landing.

Hilltop Tavern 1100 N Dodge St, Iowa City, 319-338-3063,, $$ 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 482 Highway 1 W, Iowa City, 319499-1058,, $$ Since their opening in early 2016, Hudson’s is quickly becoming a favorite on Iowa City’s south side. Boasting 40 beers on tap and a whiskey list to match, Hudson’s is the perfect place for a quick drink after work.

India Café 227 E Washington St, Iowa City, 319-354-2775, / 50 W Burlington Ave, Fairfield, 641-472-1792


Kim will help you find your way HOME • 310.795.2133 V/T 52 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

The lunch buffet at India Café is vast and varied, containing both vegetarian and meat entrees and a variety of salads and condiments. Their aloo channa chat—a spicy snack of chick peas, potatoes and onions—will cool your palate in between the richer curries, and provides a nice textural foil to the rest of the buffet.

Little Iowa Brewing Company 708 3rd St SE,

Cedar Rapids, 319-366-2337,, $ This small Cedar Rapids brewery boasts a staggering eighteen house-brewed beers on tap. In addition to creations made themselves, they offer many guest taps for those in the mood for something a little less localized.

Iowa Chop House 223 E Washington St, Iowa City, 319-359-1078,, $$ This restaurant proudly emphasizes steaks and chops, which can be spiced up with bold flavors such as blue cheese crust, béarnaise sauce or bacon butter. What really sets this place apart is their vast, interesting and thoughtful lineup of local and regional craft beers that you can learn about at their interactive self-serve beer barn.

Iowa City Brewlab 505 E Washington St, Iowa City, 319-499-1089,, $ New to the Iowa City brewery scene, the 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.

Iowa City Halal and Grocery 1806 Boyrum St, Iowa City, 319-499-1920, $

Recently-opened dry goods grocer stocking certified halal foods as well as halal meats.

Iowa City Yacht Club 13 S Linn St, Iowa City, 319-337-6464,, $ This Iowa City staple is definitely known for their jam band scene, but also offers an array of fresh made grilled cheese sandwiches. The basement venue space is pretty barebones but remains a favorite for students and townies alike.

Iowa Distilling Company 4349 Cumming Ave., Cumming, 515-981-4216, iowadistilling. com. $ Iowa Distilling Company has a strong connection to local farming community. Its owners themselves are descendants of long-time farming stock. Many of their products are locally sourced and many of the byproducts created through the distilling process are donated back to local farmers as feed. They sell a variety of alcohol ranging from vodka to moonshine to a spirit simply labeled “Rocket Fuel.”

Iowa River Power Restaurant 501 1st Ave,

Coralville, 319-351-1904,, $$$ Offering a fantastic view of the Iowa River, this BREAD & BUTTER 2017 53

Cedar Rapids

Cooking 101 The Kirkwood Culinary Arts program provides top-level training to students hungry to learn. • By Eleanore Taft

"You can either start out as a dishwasher at fast food places


irkwood Community College has the only hospitality arts program in the country that includes a full-service hotel, restaurant and convention center on site, offering students first-hand training in three different cuisine and pastry tracks alongside industry professionals just down the hall from their classrooms. While there are minimal entry requirements beyond a high school diploma, department chair David Horsfield said he is confident that all graduates leave Kirkwood with the skills to find employment in their field. A two-year Associate of Arts degree in culinary arts provides a wellrounded education in multiple aspects of restaurant work. In addition to thorough culinary training, the curriculum includes pastry, service, bar basics, management,

54 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

and work your way up, or you can go to Kirkwood." −Daniel Dennis

catering, purchasing and accounting and Spanish. This cross-training aims to produce line cooks with a working knowledge of hospitality skills outside of the kitchen, who can communicate and collaborate productively with their frontof-house counterparts. The first year of this program teaches fundamental culinary technique in a classroom environment. Students learn these techniques and then test them out in the kitchen, incorporating flavors and recipes from a wide range of cuisines. Culinary Arts faculty collaborate with other departments to provide fresh ingredients—horticulture and agriculture majors grow produce to instructor specifications and provide whole pigs so students can see firsthand how to break down an animal into primal cuts. In the second year, students train and work at the school’s Class

Act restaurant, executing large-scale banquets in the convention center and experimenting with creating new dishes and menus. Horsfield said this method of introducing students to the professional setting provides the advantage of instructor oversight, to ensure students learn as much as possible and execute tasks correctly. Other culinary schools require students to intern in professional kitchens, but not all busy chefs have time to train inexperienced cooks, which can result in a less educational semester. To learn kitchen skills without the front-of-house and management courses, a one-year Food Service Assistant diploma is another option. This program includes most of the same cooking classes as the two-year track, and on-the-job training at the school’s cafe. Baking and pastry arts students receive a one-year diploma, and some

culinary arts students return for a third year to take these classes. In the first semester, students learn technical skills and theory, and in the second they apply them to create breads and desserts for service at the hotel and restaurant. The Hotel at Kirkwood Center is the only hotel in the area that makes its own desserts from scratch, according to Horsfield. Daniel Dennis graduated from the culinary arts program and then returned to teach, first as lead cook, then lead baker and finally chef de cuisine. Dennis has hired many Kirkwood grads in his professional life, and said a culinary degree gives job-seeking cooks an advantage. “You can either start out as a dishwasher at fast food places and work your way up, or you can go to Kirkwood for a couple years and when you get out

you can start in as a line cook at some of the nicer restaurants and not have to pay all those extra dues.” Dennis said he also checks resumes for previous employment, because being a line cook requires a solid work ethic. “The chef life isn’t for everybody,” Dennis said, recommending that students try a job in the industry to understand the demands of the profession before completing a degree. Aspiring entrepreneurs can explore business classes at Kirkwood to gain the skills necessary for restaurant ownership. Will Monk, co-owner and general manager of The Pig and Porter in Cedar Rapids and a graduate of Kirkwood’s Culinary Arts program, took some of these classes before transferring to Iowa to complete a business degree. Though he graduated in 2008, Monk said he still benefits from the connections he made with classmates at Kirkwood. Monk said he values his culinary education, but also encourages students to explore the world beyond Iowa and find out what chefs are doing in major cities. Kirkwood facilitates travel with college credit through study abroad programs, including an annual trip specifically geared toward students of culinary, baking and pastry arts. Summer 2017 finds Kirkwood students at Apicius International School of Hospitality in Florence, Italy. The three week session includes both culinary and pastry training and an introduction to Italian culture. Kirkwood’s hospitality arts department blends the two missions of “community” and “college”. Events like the culinary showcase invite the public into the school, allowing students to demonstrate what they have learned. The hotel, restaurant and cafe provide patrons with attentive service and food cooked from scratch with proper technique and thoughtful beverage pairings. The school supports the local economy, sourcing ingredients from nearby when possible and contributing skilled labor to the restaurant workforce. And at $15,000 for tuition, uniforms, equipment and books, Kirkwood’s Department of Hospitality Arts provides a quality, affordable option for higher education. BREAD & BUTTER 2017 55

The Corn State’s

State of Mind

Mississippi River Distilling Company

1441 Marak Rd NW, Swisher

303 N Cody Rd, LeClaire


t doesn’t get much better than a glass of whiskey after a long day, and Cedar Ridge Distillery is making this little luxury all the harder to resist. Using Midwest-grown corn and seasoned barrels, their crafted whiskeys range from a gold medal Reserve Bourbon Whiskey, which has been aged five years, to a gold medal Single Malt Whiskey. Whiskey not your thing? Gin, rum, vodka and brandy are all part of the family too—not to mention the lineup of seriously diverse Midwestern wines using Iowa-grown grapes. When looking for something just a little off the beaten path, check out their Pear Brandy—its only subtly sweet and provides an indulgent aroma with every sip. Be sure to visit their tasting room to sample their selection of wine and spirits.

56 56 | BREAD BREAD & & BUTTER BUTTER 2017 2017


hat goes around comes around when Iowans support local distilleries, and Mississippi River Distilling is a perfect example of this. All their grains are sourced within 25 miles, local artists are featured on rotation in the tasting room, even the labels are created by a local graphics company. And those grains they source locally? After they’re spent, they get loaded up and sent out to a local farm to help feed some very happy cattle. For everyone who loves Fridays, the first Friday of every month is even sweeter at Mississippi River Distilling since you can stop into the tasting room to help taste-test new recipes; an honorable contribution to the common good. Most of all, you don’t want to miss their Iowish Cream Liqueur, nor the Cody Road whiskey series—an ode to Buffalo Bill and his hometown of Le Claire, Iowa.

Photo courtesy of Iowa Distilling Company

Photo by Kevin E. Schmidt

Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery

Photo courtesy of Two Jay's

Photo courtesy of Cedar Ridge

Iowa has it all. We have the corn, barley, wheat and rye; we have the cattle who love a good meal of post-fermented mash; we have the Iowans who work hard and savor good things. Raise a glass and cheers to the finer things in life.

Broadbent Distillery

Iowa Distilling Company

6175 50th Ave, Norwalk

4349 Cumming Ave, Cumming


own a short and winding gravel country road lies Broadbent Distillery, Iowa’s smallest legal distillery. What started as a family-owned vineyard morphed into a passion for whiskey and spirits after the inability to sell the vineyard’s grape harvest in 2009. Broadbent’s Two Jay’s Iowa Whiskey Country Style is a testament to this passion, as they age their clear whiskey, made from 100 percent local Iowa corn, in toasted oak barrels for a stunningly smooth and fragrant result. Broadbent produces small batches only and distills each batch twice to ensure high-quality results. Don’t leave without trying their Hot Lil’ Hooch, which packs a subtle one-two punch of cinnamon and cherry, while their Bella Limoncello is a harmonious union of whiskey and freshly squeezed lemons.


n Cumming, Iowa you’ll find cornfield after cornfield, and the Iowa Distilling Company. This small-batch distillery is built on a rich family history of farmers, with corn sourced locally from friends and neighbors. Created in small batches, bottles are filled by hand and monitored to ensure quality and consistent characteristics. The showstopper from this distillery is the twoyear aged Straight Bourbon Whiskey, a “high rye” bourbon with plenty of spice. When on the lookout for something different, don’t underestimate their Prairie Fire, bottled with a medley of twice-distilled whiskey and cinnamon leaf oil. The result is a unique aroma and subtle cinnamon kick to a delightfully smooth whiskey.

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.

J&A Tap 440 N Dubuque St, North

Liberty, 319-626-3033,, $ 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.

Java House 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, $

Get To Know

Jefferson County Ciderworks 1839 200th St, Fairfield

The Java House exudes community; what should be a quick coffee run soon turns into a social affair. Customers even have the opportunity to join the live audience of Iowa Public Radio’s “Java Blend” Fridays at 2 p.m. at the Washington Street location. Cozy antique furniture and beautiful artwork create a comfortable ambience, so grab a good book and a fresh-brewed cup of coffee from their pour-over coffee bar and settle in.

Jefferson County Cider 1839

200th St, Fairfield, 641-451-4323, jeffersoncountycider, $ Soon, Jefferson County Ciderworks hopes to press apples from their own orchard, but until that time they’ll keep sourcing apples from growers in the local area. The distillery itself is a seasonal operation, but their inventive cider is on tap at many local establishments year-round.

Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack 201 S Clinton

St, Iowa City, 319-338-1699 / 1940 Lower Muscatine Rd, Iowa City, 319-354-7427,, $$ Responding to a lack of good barbecue in Iowa City, Jimmy Jack’s owners opened the Eastside rib shack in 2005. Since then, it’s established itself as an outpost for tender smoked meats, addictive honey-butter cornbread and house-made barbecue sauces—the Carolina mustard sauce is tangy and the perfect complement to the rich meat dishes.


efferson County Ciderworks is a place ripe for a daytrip from the Iowa City area and is definitely worth the drive. Jesse Narducci and Katie Greenfield have put their own twist on the brewery concept and created an idyllic escape from the trappings of city life on the outskirts of Fairfield. Offering handcrafted ciders in several interesting variations and flavor profiles (think dry-hopped, sour cherry and pineapple infused ciders), the charming taproom they have created also offers beer for those who have not yet embraced the cider craze. Both Narducci and Greenfield are native Iowans but lived in California for many years before circling back to Iowa. While away, they both worked in the food and hospitality industry in different capacities and developed an interest in the culinary world. Narducci cut his teeth bartending in San Francisco when the craft cocktail movement was taking hold, and it was through that work that he started learning about blending flavors for beverages. With an interest in homebrewing, Narducci would visit the nearby apple orchards in California each fall and load up on fresh cider to ferment and ex-

Photo courtesy of Jesse Narducci

periment with at home. As his interest grew, he began planting cider apple trees on his family farm back home in Iowa. Over time, the orchard continued to grow and expand with new trees every year, and Greenfield and Narducci knew it was a sign to come back to their roots. The Ciderworks taproom opened its doors in late 2015 and typically offers four or more of their ciders on tap at any given time. Ciders change seasonally and are likely to include some of their experimental brews—perhaps you’ll encounter one brewed with hops or a different kind of yeast. The space was initially thought of as the pair’s test kitchen where they could see how their cider was received and get a direct response to their experiments from the community. That same community has shown immense support and has grown it into something much larger than ever anticipated. These days, people travel from in and out of state to sample their ciders and attend their events. The regular season at the taproom runs from early spring to end of January. We visited in early January on one of the coldest days, and the dimly lit, wood clad interior was a cozy and welcoming escape from the cold. Through the summer, the outdoor space at the taproom functions as an energetic family-friendly gathering space. With many special events and a seasonal food program, the warmer months provide extra incentive to make the trek. If you can’t quite swing the drive to Fairfield, sit tight! Distribution at bars and restaurants in the Iowa City area has just begun and bottle distribution is coming soon.

BREAD & BUTTER 2017 57

Clean Eating

Those of us keeping close watch on what goes in our bodies don't have to feel like outsiders on the foodie scene. With a nod to those with dietary restrictions, these local establishments can truly provide something for everyone, without compromising flavor.

The Wedge Pizzeria 517 S Riverside Dr, Iowa City


eloved fan-favorite for pizza by the pie (or slice), The Wedge is now the local favorite pizza for those with modified diets: They offer not only one, but two non-dairy cheese alternatives (rice cheese and a vegan cheese), and now supply gluten-free crusts for any of your favorite pies. The Nutcracker is still a favorite if opting for the gluten-free crust, but if going dairy-free or cheese-free, we’d go with stronger flavors like sausage and pepperoni in a pie like The Dagobah. Of course, for our vegan and vegetarian friends, rest assured knowing that one-third of the pizza menu features a wide array of veggies as the star of the show.

New Pioneer Co-Op 3338 Center Point Rd NE, Cedar Rapids 22 S Van Buren St, Iowa City 1101 2nd St, Coralville


perennial favorite and community standby that serves both the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas, New Pi’s unique strengths lie in its grab-and-go section where one can easily find a variety of flavorful salads and sides for those that subscribe to vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free diets. The desserts from Sweet Raw Joy—the wheat-free, vegan, raw bakery that showcases its work at New Pi—offer alternatives, like single-serving cheesecakes and cakes, that are creative, thoughtful and absolutely delicious. These desserts, along with

58 58 | BREAD BREAD & & BUTTER BUTTER 2017 2017

the housemade almond macaroons (you can’t miss them, they’re the size of your palm), give hope to those of us who’ve gone gluten-free and thought we would never have sweets or cookies again. If you’re looking for a unique snack, don’t miss the sweet-creamy-spicy jalapeño cashew dip. It’s made inhouse and has been an absolute hit at every gathering we’ve brought it to.

Trumpet Blossom Cafe 310 E Prentiss St, Iowa City


runch can be a bit of a bummer if you’re going gluten-free or dairy-free, but Trumpet Blossom rescues our favorite weekend meal with options that satisfy diners of all proclivities. Their vegan florentine offers a delicious cashew sauce that almost makes you forget about Eggs Benedict, and there’s a variety of gluten-free substitutes throughout the menu. Grab a side of the “kids” pancake if you need something sweet, and make sure to try the red pepper aioli with your potatoes—it’s to die for, and, if we could, we’d eat it by the spoonful. With a strong nod to seasonal options and well-crafted daily specials and drinks,

Trumpet Blossom

Trumpet Blossom continues to be a local leader in providing a place for folks of all dietary needs to gather around a cozy table with thoughtful, well-crafted food.

Heirloom Salad Company 211 E Washington St, Iowa City


or those looking for a health-slanted lunch or dinner, Heirloom makes for an obvious choice. Use your healthy starting point − a heaping pile of greens— and do what you like; pile on the cheese, nuts and meat, or opt for the allergen-free route and pile on the

veggies. Multiple options for fresh greens provide a base for the salad menu but the lengthy list of vegetables and add-ins also make it a breeze to concoct a salad of your own creation. Add what you want and leave out what you don't. The dressing choices here are the highlight of the whole situation and, really, the elevating piece that takes your salad from something you might make at home to something you're willing to eat out. That, and the fact that they toss and chop your salad for you so you get dressing and toppings in every bite. Who knew something so simple would make all the difference?

Heirloom Salad Company

Joe’s Place 115 Iowa Ave, Iowa City, 319338-6717,, $ If you go to Joe’s on a Hawkeye game day, be prepared to be crowded among hundreds of enthusiastic, probably drunk university alumni. It’s better to go when it’s less crowded, so you can enjoy the 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.

John’s Grocery 401 E Market St, Iowa

City, 319-337-2183,, $

This Iowa City staple, since 1948, continues to have a large variety of beer, wine and spirits from all over the world. After their recent remodel they have expanded their grocery selection, while still focusing on keeping things local. John's deli produces breakfast sandwiches and pastries every morning, fresh bread, and offers daily lunch specials, fresh soups and famous fried chicken.

Joseph’s Steakhouse 212 S Clinton St,

Iowa City, 319-358-0776,,

513 E. Washington St. • • 319.499.1041

$$$$ For nearly a decade, Iowa City residents, UI students and their families have gathered at Joseph’s Steakhouse for many a postgame or graduation steak. The menu has recently seen some exciting changes; now, in addition to their steak and fresh seafood entrees, diners can enjoy a variety of small plates, sandwiches and salads, all alongside an extensive wine list.

Kalona Brewing Company 405 B Ave,

Kalona, 319-656-3335, Their15 barrel brewing system ferments heavenly craft beers on site, but that’s not all they offer. Get comfortable in their relaxing atmosphere and experience their wood-fired pizzas, flatbreads, sandwiches, burgers and brats.

Kalona Creamery 2206 540th St SW, Kalona, 319-656-4220, kalonacreamery. com, $ You can buy their seriously-good dairy products in grocery stores, but a visit to Kalona Creamery (located in the former Kalona Cheese Factory) will have you ordering up soups and sandwiches, as well as sampling many of those aformentioned dairy products. BREAD & BUTTER 2017 59

Ben Halperin leads New Pioneer Food Co-op's Mardi Gras class

Hands on in the Kitchen Sharpen your knife skills and add a few pages to the old recipe book. With these culinary classes, you’ll be sauteéing and flambéing like a seasoned line cook in no time.

Iowa City Scratch Cookery 1123 E College St, Iowa City, 319-631-8824


hef Thomas McCoy offers customers an opportunity to take back their kitchens and ownership of their food. With over 13 years of professional cooking under his belt, McCoy’s goal is to familiarize cooks with their own kitchens and to embrace healthy eating through in-home cooking

lessons. These lessons are tailored to the goals, skills and techniques his customers want to learn. Curious about how to clean and cook fresh shellfish and seafood? Intimidated by the dizzying selection and preparation methods for different cuts of 60 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

meat? Maybe you’re looking to learn how to craft a romantic dinner from scratch. Hire McCoy, and he’ll show up at your door with ingredients and special equipment, ready to get down to business. Average lessons run about three hours and cost $20 per hour plus the cost of ingredients. In addition to skillbased lessons, small-group classes, demos and special events are also available by arrangement.

Becky’s Mindful Kitchen 2247 Sugar Bottom Rd NE, Solon, 319-325-3464


rom the kitchen of her comfortable, renovated farmhouse, Becky Schmooke strives to “connect people to where their food comes from”—and that goes for both children and adults. The threeday children’s summer camp, for example, is an exciting way to

engage kids in making their own food. Hands-on cooking isn’t the only thing kids experience, though. They also have opportunities to play with freerange chickens and learn about the local farms producing their food. Schmooke is enthusiastic about expanding her business, including adding weekly children’s cooking lessons, a brick pizza oven and bringing in a milking goat on her farm. Children aren’t the only ones who can have a good time at Becky’s. She prides herself on creating custom classes for her adult patrons, and encourages anyone over the age of 21 to bring their own drinks. But the best part of Becky’s Mindful Kitchen? You’ll never have to do the dishes!

Kirkwood Culinary Kitchen 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-398-1022


n its polished and slick location at NewBo City Market, Kirkwood strives to offer professional culinary instruction to the general public. There’s a lot to brag about here. The facility is less than five years old, there are multiple, spacious cooking stations and the staff of trained professionals comes from many different parts of the world. Matt Murphy, who runs the Kirkwood

Culinary Kitchen, stands by the principal that these classes exist, first and foremost, to help create a stronger community. “People let their guard down in the kitchen,” Murphy says, “and they can always bond over food.” Expect classes that reach a variety of populations−anything from kids camps, adult and child cooking classes, interactive date nights and even corporate team-building classes are offered, covering topics such as comfort food classics, authentic Chinese cooking, canning basics and beyond.

New Pioneer Co-Op 1101 2nd St, Coralville, 319-358-5513


f you’ve been looking for an exciting night out that doesn’t break the bank, the New Pioneer Co-Op’s cooking classes may be right up your alley. Usually ranging between $15 and $35, they offer a chance to learn new cooking skills and engage with the community at an affordable rate. As Genie Maybanks, New Pioneer Co-Op’s class coordinator, put it, “these classes were made to reach every socioeconomic level.” While it’s expected that eating healthily and sustainably are a big part of the co-op’s classes, Maybanks was quick to explain that they aren’t meant to be lectures. Some popular offerings over the past years have been the history of wine, an entire class devoted to bacon and the long-running pizza-from-scratch class. They are a fun, inexpensive way to engage with the joys of basic home cooking at any stage of life or level of experience.

Kathy’s Pies 616 5th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-362-5216, Cakes, cookies, pastries and more! This longstanding bakery is a Cedar Rapids staple.

Konomi Restaurant 843 Quarry Rd,

Coralville, 319-351-2880,, $$ 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.

Kool Moo 1020 Old Marion Rd NE, Cedar

Rapids, 319-393-5576, $

Open during the summer, Kool Moo provides ice cream and frozen yogurt at a reasonable price. A fixation of its local community, they are a cool, sweet blast to the past. Kool Moo offers an extensive range of flavors to satisfy any palate and also sell pints that you can take home for later.

Korean BBQ 624 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, 319351-7000, $$$ The space at 624 S Gilbert St. has seen quite a bit of change over the past couple of years since Aeoshe closed shop in 2010, but it seems the current occupant, Korean BBQ, might be here for more than a little while. When you go, sit at one of their barbecue tables and get the bulgogi, marinated beef that you grill at your table.

La Quercia 400 Hakes Dr, Norwalk, (515) 9811625,, $ Served throughout the country, La Quercia is one of the things that keeps Iowa on the culinary map; it’s even fresher when you eat it in Iowa, though.

La Regia Taqueria 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. Easily the most authentic Mexican food in town, it’s a no-frills place with a bodega and meat market attached.

Le Gourmet 201 S Clinton St, Iowa City, 319471-0959, $ If you find yourself craving traditional Asian pastries such as red bean buns, cream buns, green tea sticks and soboro ppang, succumb to that craving at Le Gourmet. It’s a great place to BREAD & BUTTER 2017 61

Iowa City

Wine all the Time:

A Best Case Scenario with people. Wine forms a component of the meal, which increases the quality of life and the conviviality of the occasion.

"Pleasure is the whole point. You want wine to be yummy


ive years ago, Robert Morey founded Best Case Wines, a wine importing and wholesale company. He tells us how he became an importer and shares some tips for choosing great wine. How did you become a wine importer? I started working at New Pioneer Food Co-op back when they had a member volunteer program, cutting and wrapping cheese. At the time, I was a graduate student in early dramatic literature. Soon after that, New Pioneer offered me a job as cheese buyer. I gradually worked my way into wine, and then when New Pioneer split into two stores, I ultimately became the department manager for the specialty department, which at that time included coffee, beer, wine and cheese. That was the circuitous route that brought me to wine from academics,

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and to be authentic."

How did you teach yourself about wine? Drinking. There are a lot of bookish things you can do, and I enjoy reading about wine, but I think the best way to learn is to be interested, curious and open minded, and to try different wines; taste different wines thoughtfully, not mindlessly.

When tasting a wine, what qualities do you look for? I look for wine that speaks of a sense of place, because you can have cabernet sauvignons from South Africa, Australia and Bordeaux and they are going to taste very different, whereas a merlot and a cabernet from neighboring villages in Bordeaux will share a lot of characteristics. So sense of place is really vital in a wine. Secondly, I look for wine that represents an appropriate value for its price. Thirdly, pleasure. Pleasure is the whole point. You want wine to be yummy and to be authentic. So yummy, authentic and appropriately priced. And when I say authentic I mean that it speaks of the place where it was grown.

––Robert Morey

not having known anything about wine beforehand. I worked at New Pioneer for over 15 years and I became really enamored with French wine. I travelled to France a couple of times with an importer that was based in Des Moines. When I learned that he was going to be moving out of state, I offered to buy the Iowa portion of his business, and that’s what I did. That was a little more than five years ago. Did you always love wine? Since I started drinking it at around the age of 30, yes. For me it goes back to a love of food. I love to cook and I love eating, and my perspective on wine very much derives from an interest in cooking, preparing and sharing food

How do you balance price with the authenticity and quality of a wine? Most of my wines hit the retail shelf at a price that makes them affordable for everyday drinking. I also sell some wines that hit the shelf at $40 or $50. And that’s not an everyday price, at least not for me, but I feel that they merit the price. If I didn’t, I


wouldn’t sell them. The most expensive wines from the Champagne region are very expensive, they’re hundreds of dollars a bottle. But the family I work with in Champagne—their wine isn’t cheap—but it’s slightly more than half the price of that prominent yellow label that advertises in all the magazines. The famous brand is good wine, it’s not bad Champagne, but it doesn’t have the individual character or the level of deliciousness of the family wines that I’m bringing in, that sell for 60 percent of the price. The people I work with are farmers, they’re not into expensive ad campaigns worldwide. Their work is in the fields. What are your favorite wines? If I could drink Champagne every day, I would. Recently, I’ve been increasingly drawn to compelling white wines. I love big red wines too, but I’m more drawn to white or pink wines, or lighter reds, wines that are restrained and elegant, as opposed to muscular and bruising. What are your recommendations for customers in stores or restaurants looking at a wine list; what should they look for? Find somebody at a restaurant or at a retail shop who has a sympathetic ear, listens to you and offers suggestions, and follow their counsel. People who work with wine for a living are typically knowledgeable, passionate and love talking about it. So if you can find somebody like that, who you can form a relationship with, that’s the best. When I eat out, I’ll usually order a sparkling wine or a dry rosé because they’re easy to pair with a lot of different dishes. Also, people are more keyed to color than they need to be. What is most important isn’t the color of a wine, but its weight. For a dish that is heavy and meaty, you want a wine that is full-bodied. If you’re having salad or eggs, or something light, you want a lighter wine. There are plenty of red wines that are lighter in body than many whites. What new and exciting wines are you getting this year? And where can we buy them? 2015 was a fantastic year nearly everywhere in France, so I’m excited about all my new wines entering the market. All my customers are listed on my website,, so find a store or restaurant and see what calls your name. BREAD & BUTTER 2017 63

experience a slice of Korean culture in Iowa City.

Leaf Kitchen 301 1/2 Kirkwood Ave, Iowa City, 319-338-1909,, $$

Little Bohemia 1317 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-366-6262, $ Little Bo is one of the oldest bars in Cedar Rapids and has the charm of old Czech town.

LITTLE VILLAGE Creative Services Mobile Websites Digital & Print Advertising Campaigns Graphic Design Photography & Video Custom Publication Design

This small, quirky restaurant serves breakfast,

If you’ve got time to savor some genuine

brunch and lunch, and its offerings are

home-cookin’, this place is for you. Order their

consistently creative, often local and always

tenderloin and enjoy a beer.


Leonardo’s 2228 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids,

The Local Crumb 221 1st St NE, Mount

Vernon, 319-535-0623,, $

319-364-5537,, $$ What originally began as a hobby now provides Vintage red and black leather decor against

Mt. Vernon with a great place to buy artisan

mirrored walls, non-functioning, antique jukebox

loaves of bread. Visit the charming new location

speakers in each booth and large wrap-around

coming soon to the First Street Community

bar make Leonardo’s a true throwback to a

Center, a former school that’s been converted to

different time. It has endured for a reason: They

house an array of small shops and boutiques.

serve the best pizza in town. With low-lighting, kitchen open until 12 a.m. or later and a friendly

Los Compadres

atmosphere, this is the ideal stop for an after-

2825 6th St SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-826-1870,

hours bite with friends out on the town., $$

The Lift 180 Main St, Dubuque, 563-584-9712, $

With a menu bursting with flavor and daily specials crafted from local ingredients, Los

The Lift draws crowds from miles around for

Compadres promises to serve you original

its expertly curated live music selection, but it’s

recipes that have been passed on for over

also a great place for locals to relax, try out a

generations. Stop by on a weekend and order

new beer and shoot pool.

the tableside guacamole, you’ll be able to see

Lighthouse Inn Supper Club 6905 Mt.

and taste the freshness.

Vernon Rd SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-362-3467,

The Lost Cuban 209 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids,, $$

319-362-2627, $$

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

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

chance your grandpa used to make you go to

Lost Cuban is cozy and welcoming. Their menu

the Lighthouse once a week for ribs. Established

is packed with truly delicious and authentic

in 1912, the Lighthouse Inn is the stuff of legend.

flavors, and though the lines may be long at

Did Chicago mobsters really go there to hide

lunch, they are totally worth it.

out? Possibly. Did John Dillinger’s gun shoot a hole in the wall? That’s what they say. If nothing

Lu’s Deli 1010 3rd St, Cedar Rapids, 319-200-

else, the kitschy, nautical decor and devoted

2221, $

clientele make it worth a worth a visit.

Lincoln Winebar 125 1st St W, Mount Vernon, 319-895-9463,, $$$

If you’re looking for a place to cater to any kind of eater (adventurous, home-style or just plain picky) Lu’s Deli offers a wide selection of soups, salads and deli sandwiches. Their recipes vary

Contact us today for a free consultation: (319) 855-1475 creative@

Featuring an Italian-made brick oven and a

from classic to creative and even venturing

talented staff, Lincoln Winebar delivers quality

towards exotic.

pizzas, small plates and, of course, wine and beer.

Lion Bridge Brewing Company 59

16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-200-4460,

Luck has nothing to do with what makes this so, $$

delicious. From their loaded pizzas to their hefty burgers, Lucky Penny uses the finest ingredients

After winning consecutive gold medals at the

to give us exactly what we want from our pub

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 between shopping the historic area.

64 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

Lucky Penny 1705 Boyson Rd, Hiawatha, 319200-4312,, $$

Little Maestro Empanadas 423 10th Ave,

Coralville, 319-621-7481, maestroempanadas. com, $ This counter service restaurant offers a delicious selection of made-from-scratch empanadas, soups and desserts. Those in-the-know order the Maestro sauce to accompany their meal.

Maggie’s Farm Pizza 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-200-4050 / 1300 Melrose Ave,

Iowa City, 319-321-1205,, $$ You might recognize the Maggie’s Farm Pizza folks from the Iowa City Farmers Market, where they have a stand on Saturdays during the season. 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.

Mai Pho 2315 Edgewood Rd SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-396-4337,, $$

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 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 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 busy, downtown lunch crowd to Mama’s Deli.

Mami’s Authentic Mexican Food Service 221 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, 319-354-6264,, $ 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,, $$

Relatively recently, Masala started including meat options on its menu, to appeal to a broader audience, but their vegetarian dishes truly shine. When the lunch buffet features malai kofta, make sure you have plenty of time for a nap after lunch: It’s impossible to not eat way too much of these delicious, vegetable-andcheese balls and their accompanying tomato cream sauce. BREAD & BUTTER 2017 65

Mesa Pizza 114 E Washington St, Iowa City, 319-351-6372,

Mississippi River Distillery 303 N Cody Rd., Le Claire, 563-484-

Molly’s Cupcakes 14 S Clinton

take your first bite of cinnamon, $

French toast and realize that

4342,, $

Pacha Pkwy Ste 4, North Liberty,

something to be desired, until you

nothing else matters. On most evenings, a crowd of devoted undergraduates queue at

The Mill Restaurant 120 E

St, Iowa City, 319-333-1297 / 620 319-626-2026,, $

Located in charming Le Claire among many an antique shop and

In addition to offering carefully

Mesa for the most bang for their

Burlington St, Iowa City, 319-351-

cute cafe, you’ll find a selection

crafted cupcake combinations,

buck—and mac and cheese on

9529,, $$

of different artisan spirits ranging

Molly’s also gives a portion of their

from Bourbon, “Iowish Whiskey”

profits to local schools. Should

There’s a reason why The Mill has

and “Iowish Cream.” They also offer

your inner cupcake desires not be

been immortalized in song and

tours and tastings.

satisfied by their pre-set menu,

pizza offers plenty of bang.

Micky’s Irish Pub 11 S Dubuque

St, Iowa City, 319-338-6860, $$

print: It’s an Iowa City institution and a great place to kill time with

Mirabito's Italian 40 Sugar

Belly up to the bar, cozy into a

a beer, especially if there’s a band

Creek Ln, North Liberty, 319-459-

window booth or in the summer

playing, as there so often is.

1342, $$

Millstream Brewing Co. 835

A stripmall setting may not be

recline on the patio of Micky’s for a perfect view of Iowa City’s bustling

choose to build your own cupcake and create your perfect treat.

Monica’s 303 2nd St, Coralville, 319-338-7400, monicasonthestrip. com, $$

downtown. In addition to burgers

48th Ave, Amana, 319-622-3672,

the first place you look for well-

and sandwiches, they also offer, $

executed Italian cuisine, but in

Monica’s is unlike many other area

North Liberty, that is exactly where

restaurants. The Italian-American

Millstream Brewing Co. is tucked

you’ll find it. Offering all of the

inspired menu is extensive, and

away in far corner of the Amana

Italian-American staples, using

offers vast gluten-free options

St SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-366-

Colonies, but is worth the trip. In

homemade recipes and techniques,

and substitutions. Monica’s is a

3644, $

addition to their ever-changing

makes this little cafe stand out.

great place for all ages as well. The

classic bar food with twist.

Mikhael’s Restaurant 1426 6th

This Greek-owned breakfast diner tends to get busy, although once a seat does open up, it is worth the wait. The atmosphere may leave

66 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

taps, they have an absolute killer

restaurant is regularly awarded

root beer.

“Best Family Restaurant.”

Little Mosley’s 525 S Gilbert St, Iowa

conversation with some of

New Pioneer Food Co-op 22 S

City, 319-338-1419, mosleysiowacity.

Donnellson’s most colorful

Van Buren St, Iowa City, 319-338-



9441 / 1101 2nd St, Coralville, 319-

A well-designed but simple and

Need Pizza 207 2nd Ave SE,

inviting interior paves the way for

Cedar Rapids, 319-362-6333,

solid barbeque options made in-

house. Communal tables are great

No. 18 Karaoke and Bubble Tea 223 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, 319-333-1265, $

358-5513 / 3338 Center Point Rd NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-365-2632,

Rent a room at No. 18, and you and, $$

your friends can wail away until the wee hours.

Though open to non-members,

Nodo & Nodo Downtown 600

for accommodating groups of all

With their huge selection of Iowa

New Pi is the areas only foods

sizes. If you’re with a crowd, order

beer, deliciously hand-crafted pizza

cooperative, with a selection of

N Dodge St, Iowa City, 319-512-

The Spread so you can sample all

crust and easy-going atmosphere,

both prepared foods and groceries,

5028, $$ / 5 S Dubuque St, Iowa

the menu has to offer.

it’s plain to see that you just need

in addition to beer, wine and spirits.

City, 319-359-1181, nodoiowacity.

Motley Cow Cafe

160 N Linn St, Iowa City, 319-6889177,, $$$

to make a visit. Need Pizza will provide you with a casual nightlife experience and live jams.

Nelson’s Meat Market 1140 Old

NewBo City Market 1100 3rd St

com, $$

SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-200-4050,

Both spots serve up excellent, $$

sandwiches, and the downtown location has a patio; the other

This Northside, neighborhood

Marion Rd NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-

NewBo City market lies within the

location has a special charm being

restaurant focuses on using local,

393-8161,, $$

heart of the New Bohemia District.

in a hardware store.

Upon entering, you are greeted by

organic food whenever possible

Northside Bistro 203 N Linn St,

to create eclectic, creative flavor

It’s exactly what it sounds like. If you

a variety of artisan vendors serving

combinations, in addition to having

want high-quality, local meat to use

up anything from local art and

Iowa City, 319-354-0119, northside-

a well-curated bar selection.

in your own home cooking, look no

homegrown goods to made-to-, $$$

further than Nelson’s Meat Market.

order pizzas and small plates.

Mt. Hamill Tap 1467 155th Ave,

They boast both fresh and frozen

The Northside Bistro is a perfect

cuts of meat, as well as sausage,

spot for date night. The newly

a deli counter and seafood. If that

renovated interior is rustic but

Go for the fried chicken; stay

wasn’t enough, Nelson’s also sells

clean and perfectly accompanies

for the cheap beer and easy

homemade ice cream.

their beautifully executed entrees.

Donnellson, 319-469-2221, $$$

BREAD & BUTTER 2017 67

Diversify the Market Saigon Market 803 2nd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids


ring any Asianinspired recipe to Saigon Market, and their friendly staff will happily help you navigate the store’s shelves to find the ingredients you need. From daikon radish to juicy lychee, Saigon Market is Cedar Rapids’ oasis for fresh, unique produce on a budget. The grocery’s lower level boasts a myriad of sauces, spices and fresh noodles. The upper level offers a selection of dishware to serve

your delicious, umami-filled meals. On your way out, hit the beverage cooler for a refreshing can of sweet basil seed drink—the gelatinous little seeds pop between your teeth!

Stringtown Grocery 2208 540th St, Kalona


orget Costco— Stringtown Grocery is the O.G. wholesale grocer of Eastern Iowa. Located in Kalona, Stringtown Grocery is an Amish owned and operated business, where savvy

68 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

shoppers stock up on spices, meats, cheeses and baking supplies, all in bulk quantities. Their trademark blue handwritten label affixed to each bag of goods is practically Instagram-ready. Don’t plan on paying with a credit card at this grocery store, because it’s off the electrical grid. But you can always count on a hitch out front to park your horse.

Global Mart 89 2nd St, Coralville


f you smell fresh pita when you step into Global Mart, you aren’t mistaken.

Past the shelves of Mediterranean and halal foods, flatbreads rise in a wood-fired oven, ready to bite into in seconds. This grocery, located on the Coralville strip, supplies a number of Middle Eastern staples, like halva, a fudge-like, gluten-free sweet made with ground sesame seeds. When school is out for the afternoon, the shop owner’s two young children stop by to lend a hand, peeking around store corners with curiosity as you shop. Global Mart is a family-run place, and you and

At these area grocers, international delights require no plane ticket.

your senses will feel welcomed as such as soon as you walk in.

Acapulco 2 1937 Keokuk St, Iowa City


ocated just south of downtown Iowa City, Acapulco 2’s Mexican pan dulce will tempt you not only with the promise of a sweet treat, but with its colorful, streusellike coatings. These freshly baked goods arrive daily from a sister bakery in West Liberty. Meander toward the back of this Mexican grocery store to discover

an extensive meat counter complete with chorizo, pork al pastor, and thin cuts of beef — often called for in Mexican cooking— custom sliced by the butcher. Above you, a rainbow of piñatas gently sway from the ceiling.

Asian Market 624 S Gilbert St, Iowa City


sian Market may not be the most comprehensive Asian grocery in Iowa City, but it sells the essentials—rice and noodles, a small selection of produce and cuts of


beef for your next bulgogi. Nestled alongside Korean BBQ on Gilbert Street, Asian Market is the only Asian grocery store within walking distance of downtown. Before you reach for a thirty-two ounce jar of delicious Korean kimchi, think again, and grab the half gallon jar instead.

Taj International Food 2419 2nd St Ste 2, Coralville


recent move has drawn Taj International Food out of a hidden, tucked away storefront in an old strip mall to a new and visible location a little further west down the Coralville strip. This small store has shelves packed with all manner of spices, rices and mixes to execute your favorite aromatic Indian dish at home, and whether you’re looking for fresh paneer, mango pulp or a big box of Masala Chai, you’re sure to find it here.

Iowa City Halal and Grocery 1806 Boyrum St, Iowa City


his recently opened grocer on the south-side of Iowa City is the place to go for certified halal foods and meats. Imported shelf-stable products from the Middle East, North Africa and India make up the majority of the offerings available, with a smattering of fresh and frozen goods as well; this market sells only halal foods and products. At the store’s meat counter, you’ll find a nice selection—cuts of lamb, beef and chicken are available for purchase, but no pork as it is a haram (dis-allowed or forbidden) food. The friendly owners and staff are welcoming and helpful to those in need of assistance and are ready to provide cooking advice for any of the items that pique your curiosity.

BREAD & BUTTER 2017 69

Farm to Table Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a direct to consumer process that connects community members with local farmers and growers. Community members pay to reserve a share of the farms produce early in the season, which lets farmers properly gauge the community’s needs for the coming season. In turn, community members receive regular deliveries of fresh product straight from the farm, without paying the overhead prices of a typical grocery store. If you might be interested in participating in a CSA, many farmers require commitments early in the season; you are encouraged to contact area CSA farms as soon as possible for more information and to purchase shares.

Abbe Hills Garden

Mt. Vernon, 319-895-6924, Contents: Vegetables, eggs Season: Late May through mid-October Distribution: Mt. Vernon

Ambleside Farm

Onslow, 319-310-2210, Contents: Vegetables, greens, melons, pasta Season: Year-round Distribution: Monticello, Dyersville, Dubuque

70 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

Bass Family Farms

Mt. Vernon, 319-895-6480, Vegetables, fruit, herbs Season: April/May through November Distribution: Cedar Rapids, Mt. Vernon, Iowa City

Bountiful Harvest Farm

Solon, 319-512-644-1623, or dschwab@ Contents: Fruit, vegetables, eggs Season: May through October Distribution: Iowa City, Solon

Ebersole Cattle Co Kellerton, 515-971-8462 Contents: Beef Season: Year-round Distribution: Iowa City, Des Moines


Mechanicsville, 319-325-3910, Contents: Vegetables, melons, herbs, herbal tinctures and salves Season: Varying packages available year-round Distribution: Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Quad Cities

Family Farm CSA

Iowa City, 319-936-1317 Contents: Vegetables, fruits, herbs Season: May/June through mid-September Distribution: Iowa City and Solon

Garden on the Prairie

Tama, 641-484-2052 Contents: Vegetables, fruits, herbs, hops, beef, dairy, eggs, honey, syrup, jams and jellies Season: Early May through early August Distribution: Tama


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

Kroul Farms

Given Gardens

Decorah, 563-382-3216 Contents: Vegetables, herbs, flowers Season: June through October Distribution: Cedar Rapids and Decorah

Grass Run Farms

Dorchester, 563-492-3400, Contents: Beef, pork Season: May through September Distribution: Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Coralville

Grinnell Heritage Farm

Grinnell, 641-990-0018, Contents: Vegetables, herbs, greens Season: Year-round Distribution: Grinnell, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Iowa City

The Millet Seed Farm

Iowa City, 319-471-0807, Contents: Vegetables, herbs, fruits, mushrooms, ferments and cider Season: May through November Distribution: Iowa City

Oak Hill Acres

Mt. Vernon,, 319895-8944 Contents: Fruit, vegetables, pumpkins, firewood Season: April through October Distribution: Mt. Vernon, Solon, Coralville

Atalissa, 319-560-4826 (cell), 563946-2304 (home), Contents: Vegetables, greens, herbs, honey, eggs Season: May through October Distribution: Coralville, Iowa City, Muscatine, Quad Cities and West Liberty

Local Harvest CSA

Salt Fork Farms

Solon, 319-929-5032, Contents: Organic vegetables, bread, eggs, flowers Season: Late April through December Distribution: Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, North Liberty and Solon

Life is Sweet

Iowa City, 319-430-7855, zjfarms. com Contents: Bread, baked goods, granola Season: May to October Distribution: Iowa City

Maharishi Vedic City CSA Fairfield, 641-919-7010, mvccsa. com Contents: Vegetables, fruit, herbs, greens Season: Year-round Distribution: Des Moines, Iowa City, Fairfield, Ottumwa, Vedic City and Washington

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

Small Frye Farm

Maysville, 319-936-1216, Contents: Vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers Season: April/May through November Distribution: Quad Cities and Iowa City

Supernatural Organics

Marion, 319-210-1390, Contents: Vegetables, greens, herbs Season: Early June through mid-October Distribution: Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha and Marion

TD n’ Guy Garden Oasis

Coggon, 319-435-8588, tdnguy. com Contents: Vegetables, whole chickens, eggs Season: Varying packages yearround Distribution: Coggon, Cedar Rapids, Cedar Point, Manchester, Independence, Iowa City

The Little Red Barn

Vinton, 319-361-2169, Contents: Vegetables, pork, beef, poultry, eggs Season: May through October Distribution: Vinton

Wild Woods Farm

Iowa City,, kate. Contents: Vegetables and herbs Season: June-September, October-November Distribution: Iowa City, Solon

BREAD & BUTTER 2017 71

Oasis Falafel 206 N Linn St, Iowa

friendly staff makes them an

enjoying anything from their

Vietnamese restaurant offers fresh

City, 319-358-7342, oasisfalafel.

obvious choice for lunch. Dinner

weekly Blues jam to nationally

and authentic cuisine, specializing

com, $

menu has a large variety of

touring alt-rock acts.

in the oh-so popular, pho.

appetizers, entrees, and impressive

Paul’s Tavern 176 Locust St,

Offering a little bit of the Middle

beer selection; everyone can find

East to Iowa City, Oasis’s super-

something they love.

Dubuque, 563-556-9944, $$

Osaka Japanese Restaurant

The menu is small, but that’s okay:

authentic, super-fresh traditional dishes include their famous falafel

The Pig & Porter 1028 3rd St

SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-200-4414,, $$

and hummus. If they are offering

122 E Washington St, Iowa City,

after a long night of drinking

Another culinary institution within

matzo ball soup, get it.


and shooting pool, there’s not

NewBo, Pig & Porter provides


much more you’ll need than their

upscale dining with a devotion

perfectly made cheeseburger.

to serving creative, local food

One Twenty Six, Moonrakers and Flight 126 E Washington

Osaka’s charming waitstaff serves

St, Iowa City, 319-887-1909,

up an array of Japanese fare,, $$

including hibachi, teriyaki and

Peking Buffet 93 2nd St, Coralville, 319-333-1369, $

bento dishes. Be sure to order

and drinks. Their menu includes a variety of original craft cocktails like the Smoked Black Manhattan.

Pita Pit 517 2nd St Unit 1,

Located on Washington Street,

their satiating hand rolls, crafted

This place is weird, cheap

One Twenty Six stands in the

to order. Another exciting perk:

and perfect if you have a

Coralville, 319-351-7484, pitapit.

middle of the hustle and bustle of

they deliver. The service is offered

bottomless stomach. Their buffet

com, $

downtown Iowa City. The menu

until 10:30 p.m. on weekends,

has everything: frogs’ legs,

features French-American cuisine

9:30 p.m. on weeknights—but the

Americanized Chinese, sushi,

Offering hearty pita bread-based

made with local and organic

presentation is beautiful, so eat in

Mongolian barbecue, ice cream

sandwiches rolled into a tight,

ingredients when possible.

if you can.

and Jell-O.

burrito shape, Pita Pit is the place

Orchard Green Restaurant and Lounge 521 S Gilbert

Oyama Sushi 1853 Lower

Pho Zaika - I Love Pho 201 S

to go when you don’t necessarily want to break the bank on your

Muscatine Rd, Iowa City, 319-337-

Clinton St, Iowa City / 2020 8th

next meal but wish to avoid the

St, Iowa City, 319-354-1642,

8801,, $$ / 5350

St, Coralville, 319-383-3953, $

grease and potential self-loathing, $$$

Council St NE, Cedar Rapids, 319832-1800,, $$

that comes along with fast food. Adventurous eaters will love the house pho, which includes

This restaurant is split into two

Pop’s Old N’ New Bar-B-Que

sections: a tasteful upstairs dining

There are two Oyama sushi

tripe. For those who are not as

130 N Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-

room with chandeliered cathedral

locations, one in Iowa City and

adventurous, the brisket pho

354-7677,, $

ceilings and white linens, and a

one in Cedar Rapids. The food

should be right up your alley. Even

more dark and casual lounge area

at both locations is good: solid

if you don't have time to sit and

Offering quality and affordable

downstairs. The menu features

nigiri, sashimi and rolls and some

dine, to-go orders are separated

BBQ, Pop’s opened in early 2015

classics prepared fresh, as well as

excellent cooked dishes as well.

from the broth, so the noodles

and has quickly become a favorite

don't get soggy and you can eat

for on-campus students and

the soup as fresh as it would be

Northside residents alike. They

3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-247-

straight from the restaurant's

offer all of the “old” classic BBQ

Corner Dr, Iowa City, 319-354-

0000, parlorcitypubandeatery.


dishes you would expect as well

4754,, $$

com, $$

This is the place to go for tasty

Parlor City’s menu is as extensive

Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese

as their live music selection. You

cuisine. Family owned and

can order anything from fried

operated, their quick service and

haddock to BBQ pork pizza while

the Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.

Orienne Asian Cuisine 5 Sturgis

72 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

Parlor City Pub and Eatery 1125

Phong Lan Vietnamese Restaurant 216 8th St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-365-5784, $

Family owned and operated, this

as some more inventive “new” dishes such as the BBQ Cuban and smoked hamburger.

Little Prairie Lights Books & Cafe 15

Grebner’s food embodies both

Quinton’s Bar & Deli 215

Vespa apart, though; if they’re

S Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-248-

the ethics and aesthetics of the

E Washington St, Iowa City,

offering a meatball sub, get it. You

0055,, $

locavore movement, focusing

319-354-7074 / 2500 Corridor

won’t regret it.

on the freshest, most delicious

Way, Coralville, 319-625-2221,

preparations of simple ingredients., $$

Pullman Bar & Diner 17 S

A pleasant bar and deli combo,

Have a cortado and write the next great American novel, or order the Black Rider, a cappuccino with caramel and volcanic black salt!

Prairie Soup Company 425 2nd

Reds Alehouse 405 N Dubuque St, North Liberty, 319-626-2100,, $$

Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-388-

Quinton’s has food and drink

1808,, $$$

specials every day of the week.

Located about eight miles up

They specialize in burgers and

Dubuque Street, Reds Alehouse

St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-362-0972,

Pullman has quickly become an

sandwiches, but the most unique

is an ideal bike ride from Iowa, $

Iowa City favorite for foodies and

offerings are definitely the spuds,

City. However you get there, at

casual diners alike. Their twenty-

where you can find nearly any

happy hour, you can enjoy 2-for-1

Soups, salads, sandwiches and

something head chef is not afraid

condiment you may (or may not)

drinks; their beer list is extensive

wraps make Prairie Soup Co. a

to be inventive with his ever-

have wanted piled high on a baked

and features lots of interesting

fresh and popular alternative to the

evolving take on the Midwest diner.


craft brews. In warmer months

usual pizza and burgers available

The open kitchen offers a front row

during lunchtime downtown.

seat to watch the young master

The staff is friendly, the service is

chef work his magic.

efficient, and they’re accessible via the skywalk for convenience during

QDogs BBQ 895 Blairs Ferry

Rapid Creek Cidery 4823

Dingleberry Rd NE, Iowa City, 319541-7684,, $$

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

Relish 834 Park St, Grinnell, 641-

inclement weather. Event catering

Rd, Marion, 319-826-6667,

Rapid Creek Cidery caters

is also available., $$

and hosts special events and

Press Coffee Co. 2201 E

weddings. For those looking for

Fully embodying their slogan,

Tender beef brisket, fall-off-the-

a more everyday experience, visit

“Local Foods Global Flavors,”

Grantview Dr, Coralville, 319-887-

bone ribs, savory smoked chicken,

the newly opened restaurant at

Chef Kamal Hammouda mixes


baked beans, cornbread like your

Wilson’s Orchard, which specializes

Midwestern flavors, local

mama made, ABT’s (brisket and

in farm-to-table rustic food and

ingredients and recipes from the

Though this neighborhood spot

cheese stuffed bacon-wrapped

housemade cider.

Middle East to create Relish’s

was named for their coffee, their

jalapenos); the list goes on, and it

vast (and often local) tea selection

all lives up to the hype.

is what really makes them stand out. They have a nice fireplace, with overstuffed chairs and couches for lounging in the colder months, and

Quarter Barrel Arcade & Brewery 616 2nd Ave SE, Cedar

Rapids, (319) 200-4140, $

Provender 319-325-4344,, $

bolster the Grinnell community,

Coralville, (319) 354-1071,

Relish frequently hosts local, $$

musicians, adding to the already comfortable and charming atmosphere of the historic

sushi and Japanese noodle dishes

Victorian home in which Relish is

as well as ramen.


This arcade bar serves as a cool

Red Vespa 208 E Main St, Solon,

ReUnion Brewery 516 2nd

and classic niche where gamers

319-624-2080, $$

This brand new microbrew and bar/ arcade has quickly become a hit!

and beer enthusiasts can hang, or If you see the Provender truck

diverse menu. Always looking to

Red Ginger offers fresh and quality

a tucked away patio with hillside views to enjoy during summer.

Red Ginger 2419 2nd St,

236-3657,, $$

nerd out over some ‘za.

St, Coralville, 319-337-3000,, $$

Red Vespa features housemade

at the Iowa City Farmers Market,

cheeses on an assortment of

Reunion distinguishes itself in a

stop by for some of the most

creatively topped brick-oven pizza,

crowd of ale specialists by being

sublimely delicious food the

and it is delicious. The Italian-

a lager-based brewery. They do

market has to offer. Chef Chris

American specials really set Red

make IPAs as well, but at ReUnion

BREAD & BUTTER 2017 73

74 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

BREAD & BUTTER 2017 75




hree local industry people— Ben Smart, head chef at Big Grove Brewery, Stephanie Sunberg, server at Clinton Street Social Club, and Carrie Schumacher, co-owner at Cobble Hill and Caucho—weigh in on what fuels them, what they’re listening to and how they bring their own personalities into culinary and service work.

being an artist and also working in the service industry is finding the time to get things done. We, as servers, cooks, and bartenders, put so much time into working

Consistency is a cornerstone of the service industry. Restaurants and bars run on carefully crafted recipes and repetitive systems to keep things running like a welloiled machine. In light of all the constants, how do you inject a bit of personal flair or style to your work?

Stephanie Sunberg: I’m a photographer and an artist outside of serving at Clinton Street Social Club. Probably the biggest struggle I have with 76 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

Ben Smart Big Grove Brewery, Solon, Iowa City

long hours on our feet that you’re almost too exhausted to get up and work another job the next morning. I seem to manage, though. Carrie Schumacher: My main passion is my kids, hands down. They are the best thing I have done in my entire life. I also love

SS: The only thing style-wise I feel like I can take any credit for would be Clinton Street Social Club’s food and drink photography on our website.

to garden and play in the dirt, but also to make pretty things grow and watch them thrive. Perhaps there is a connection between that and what I do with our restaurants.

On a day off from the restaurant, what are you up to? Ben Smart: Between being responsible for two young kids and two, soon to be three restaurants, I don’t have a ton of free time. However, when I lived in Seattle, I got pretty into rock climbing. I also got into yoga pretty heavily while living in Washington. After I moved back to Iowa, I got in at Hothouse Yoga in Iowa City. I try to go four times a week, it really balances the hectic pace of running restaurants.

really shines with the products we use. The thing that most distinguishes my cuisine from a lot of others is that everything we do is from scratch; we are starting with raw ingredients.

Stephanie Sunberg Clinton Street Social Club, Iowa City

BS: I think after so many years in fine dining, and writing countless menus, my style

Carrie Schumacher Cobble HIll and Caucho, Cedar Rapids

One thing I love about working at Social Club is getting to play around with our uniforms. We have fun with it. From suspenders and bolo ties, to fancy vests and shoes, we’re always serving in style. CS: I really find it important to make personal connections with our guests; I try and read folks and match their vibe. That can be tricky. I find myself changing my language or tone of voice from one guest to another. Evoking a feeling from someone that they want to replicate is part of what makes guests want to return again. Is there an unusual ingredient that inspires your food and drink? BS: Anything that is in season, fresh and new is a source of


inspiration. Not knowing exactly how to use something is half the fun! SS: I’m a sucker for curry. I’ll add it to almost anything. Also, lime juice and salsa go handin-hand to whatever I don’t add curry to. I was practically raised in Acapulco, Mexico, so most of my cooking, naturally, is Mexican food. CS: At the bar or in the kitchen, I really love to use fresh herbs and unusual botanicals. Like, for a New Year’s Eve cocktail we made a fresh pine simple syrup from local pine needles for a pine champagne spritzer. Once, I also paired smoked salt with a grilled pineapple cocktail.

CS: I could eat A LOT of cured meats with rich cheeses. Charcuterie definitely fits the bill, and it doesn’t help that my husband, Andy, makes the best meats. Also, it’s not a meal, but I really love plain, not ruffled, potato chips and dip.

you can find a rare selection of

Family reunion. What do all of

craft lagers and pilsners. Perfect

these have in common? They’re all

for those days when you want

too much work and too stressful

your beer to taste Pairs

not to be catered. This is where

perfectly with a straightforward

Ruzicka’s comes in. With their

menu of sandwiches, burgers and

delicious, custom packages, you’re

standard American bar-and-grill

always sure to provide the right


kind of food for the right occasion.

To get into the groove of service or to set the mood in your home kitchen, what tunes are on repeat?

Riley’s Cafe 836 1st Ave NE,

establishment, Riley’s will provide

A cycling-themed watering hole

BS: When we first opened Big Grove, I never let them play music. I worried that they wouldn’t be able to focus if music is on, but it turns out that music really provides the energy we feed off of to push through busy days. We listen to tons of hip hop, funk, and soul in our

you with delicious breakfast or

located on the Cedar Lake with a

lunch accompanied by a whole lot

comfortable outdoor patio and a

of flair.

view of downtown Cedar Rapids.

"I think after so many years in fine dining, and writing so many countless menus, my style really shines with the products we use. I really like making vegetables the star."

BS: Oh man! Caviar! With Champagne! Then, some sort of foie gras dish, with Sauternes. Next is the gargouillou, a constantly changing vegetable dish by 3 Michelin star chef Michel Bras. Then I’m eating some sort of simple pasta dish, like cacio e pepe, with a crisp, dry white wine. The main dish has got to be something homey, like fried chicken and I’ll need cold beer. Finally some sort of decadent chocolate dessert, with peanut butter. Shit, it could be a Reese’s peanut butter cup! SS: Sprinkled donuts or croissants with espresso, which is actually my normal breakfast.


Roasters Coffee House 1059

N Center Point Rd, Hiawatha, 319393-6001 /1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids,, $

Standard bar offerings of tallboys, craft and domestic draughts and liquor as well as bar food.

Saigon Market 803 2nd Ave SE,

Cedar Rapids, 319-363-2900 Smart coffee. It’s really the only way to describe Roasters. They

Saigon Market sells the freshest

serve a wide variety, blended

Asian produce in town. And if you

and brewed with painstaking

don’t know what to do with the

knowledge of how each type of

foot-long pale green bumpy gourd

bean works. All coffees are fresh

in your hand, they’ll give you a

and roasted in house to the perfect

recipe. You’ll also find an abundant


selection of rice and noodles (not

Ruby’s Pizzeria 223 2nd St SE,, $$

just Top Ramen here), any Asian sauce you may need, and, if you’re lucky, roasted duck.

Saloon Tequila Bar 112 E College

Standard single-topping and

St, Iowa City, 319-354-3837,

specialty pizzas available for quick, $$

kitchen. It’s always something different, but lately Anderson Paak’s album Malibu has been playing a ton.

pick-up by the generous slice make

SS: Let’s see, my top songs, since I just can’t choose: “Twenty Miles” by Deer Tick, “Cigarette Daydreams” by Cage the Elephant, “3 Rounds And A Sound” by Blind Pilot, “Amerika” by Young the Giant. CS: At Caucho, I really love when the song “Hideaway” by Kiesza is on. Andy put it on the Caucho playlist for me, and it’s definitely one of my favorites.

Sag Wagon Deli & Brew 827

Shaver Rd NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-

An authentically “Iowan”

Cedar Rapids, 319-200-4800,

––Ben Smart, Big Grove Brewery Give it to us straight. What’s your guilty pleasure meal?

Cedar Rapids, 319-364-4779, $$

Ruby’s a favorite amongst the

In the winter months, sit at Saloon’s

downtown lunch crowd. Courteous

beautiful, 200-year-old Brunswick

staff provides efficient service.

bar and sip on an añejo tequila.

Accessible via the skywalk, they

When it’s warm, enjoy one of their

also offer sandwiches, salads,

margaritas or a sangria on the Ped

sodas and beer.

Mall patio, right in the heart of all

Rustic Hearth Bakery 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-2004008, $

the action.

Salt Fork Kitchen 112 E

Main St, Solon, 319-624-2081,, $$

Located in NewBo, Rustic Hearth Bakery offers a rotating selection

Focusing on farm to table food,

of fresh breads, pies, and pastries.

Salt Fork Kitchen is all about

Check in to find out what their

keeping things local. If made-from-

weekly specials are and keep an

scratch dishes aren't enough to

eye out for creative, new creations.

make the trip out to this Solon

Ruzicka’s 301 N Dubuque

St, Solon, 319-624-2870,

favorite, their ever changing breakfast and lunch specials should do the trick., $ Graduation party. Office retreat. BREAD & BUTTER 2017 77

Sam’s Pizza 441 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, 319-

Scratch Cupcakery 927 E 2nd Ave, Coralville,

Skillet Cafe 101 1st St NE, Mount Vernon, 319-

337-8200,, $$

319-359-2256,, $


Pizza and calzones are the specialty over at

The cupcakes at Scratch are particularly moist

This corner café offers a comfortable, well-lit

Sam’s, and both these options go along quite

and come in a variety of flavors and toppings,

environment to enjoy a selection of coffees,

nicely with the full-service bar. Enjoy a beer

and are a great finish to any dinner in the Iowa

sweets and their namesake skillets. But don’t

along with your pizza when you’ve finally grown

River Landing.

let the name fool you: there is more to this cafe

tired of delivery and carry-out.

Seoul Grill 201 S Clinton St, Iowa City, 319-

Sanctuary Pub

338-5747, $$, $$

If you have an adventurous palate and you like

than just eggs.

Sonny’s Northside Tap 210 N Linn St, Iowa

City, 319-337-4335, $

405 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, 319-351-5692, spice, Seoul Grill will be your haven—as long

You want a drink? You need a drink? Head on

The Sanctuary has a stunning selection of

as you’re available for the 12 hours per week

down to Sonny’s Northside Tap (formerly IC

local, national and imported bottled and draft

that it’s open. Seoul Grill serves lunch only from

Ugly’s). This local watering hole welcomes all

beers, and its hardwood interior, complete with

Monday to Friday.

and serves up cocktails, beer,and pizza.

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

Shakespeare’s 819 1st Ave, Iowa City, 319-337-

Sparti’s Gyros 61 2nd St, Coralville, 319-512-

meat and cheese plate with a beer from their

7275,, $$

5005,, $

This Eastside neighborhood bar serves some of

Though located in Coralville, Sparti’s is one

the best lowbrow pub food in town, including

of few restaurants in the Iowa City area able

more ritzy specials like, occasionally, prime rib.

to offer delivery of items like burgers, gyros

Wings are especially meaty; burgers are hand-

and hot dogs, which is a godsend for carefree

From their wines to their dishes, Sauce’s

formed and available with a variety of toppings;

students (and for all us lazy people).

always-eclectic menu is entirely seasonal.

and they have tater tots, deep fried to crispy,

Their partnerships with local farms and quality

golden perfection.

frequently changing selection.

Sauce Bar & Bistro 1507 C St SW, Cedar

Rapids, 319-364-0892,, $$$

ingredient providers ensures freshness in their expertly made dishes.

Saucy Focaccia 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids,

Share 210 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-3544640,, $$$

Stella 1006 Melrose Ave, Iowa City, 319-8875564,, $$ Sink your teeth into a mouthwatering burger made with Iowa-bred beef, a house-made

319-200-4019,, $ / 5100

With a prime downtown location and a

vegetarian black bean burger or a grilled

Fountains Dr NE Ste 100, Cedar Rapids, 319-

multicultural menu, Share is a good gathering

chicken sandwich topped with anything from

294-6772,, $

place for a cocktail and a snack. It’s especially

mango jalapeño salsa, to prosciutto and stone-

welcoming in the warmer months, when you can

ground mustard. For something a little different,

enjoy the patio.

try the gumbo or jambalaya.

Starting as a food truck in 2013, Saucy Focaccia now boasts a stylish storefront and shiny, new interior. Don’t be discouraged, though: True to its roots, the restaurant still serves up delectably messy sandwiches and loaded fries.

The Sausage Foundry 1100 3rd St SE , Cedar

Short’s Burgers Eastside 521 Westbury Dr,

Stop On By 1616 6th St SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-

Iowa City, 319-338-7743,, $$

362-0788,, $$

Short’s Burger & Shine 18 S

If the quaint atmosphere and courteous service

Clinton St, Iowa City, 319-337-4678,

won’t do, their brews, pizza and broasted

Rapids, 319-202-1631,, $$, $$

chicken will surely have you coming back for

The Sausage Foundry is a responsible way to

There are 26 different burger options at Short’s,

look after your community and the environment

along with chicken and black bean alternatives,

Studio 13 13 S Linn St, Iowa City, 319-800-

without becoming a vegetarian. They sell a

so it’s nearly impossible for the menu to ever

1354,, $

vast selection of different sausages, including

get old. The beef comes from within Iowa’s own

staples like Bratwurst as well as more creative

state lines, and they pride themselves on their

As Iowa City’s only LGBTQ bar and nightclub,

concoctions such as “Blueberry Links.”

vast selection of Iowa craft beers and ciders.

Studio 13 is home to Iowa City’s very own I.C.

Scott’s Family Restaurant 1906 Blairs Ferry

Siamville Thai Cuisine 3635 1st Ave, Cedar


Rd NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-550-4517, www.

Rapids, 319-364-1955,

13 the last Thursday of every month. If you want lasers, strobe lights, smoke machines and techno beats, then Studio 13 is your dance, $$ Hit the buffet at Siamville to sample an Scott’s boasts the whole gamut of diner fare,

impressive variety of authentic Thai dishes and

from all-day breakfast to classic burgers to liver

desserts at a reasonable cost. Friendly service,

& onions. As the name suggests, it’s a great

quiet atmosphere and great food make for a

place to bring families: catering to even the

tasty derision from the “same old” fare in Cedar

youngest in your group with an especially with a


charming children’s menu.

King’s drag king troupe, who perform at Studio


Sushi House 2665 Edgewood Pkwy SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-396-1990, $$

A family-owned and operated Asian eatery serving Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Their extensive menu includes sashimi, nigiri, maki

78 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

Little and more from an open sushi bar, in addition to

and savory samosas, a kaleidoscope of colorful

numerous Japanese rice and noodle bowls.

grains and legumes and any kind of nut you can

Sushi Kicchin 201 S Clinton St, Iowa City, 319338-1606, $


Taj International Food 2419 2nd St Ste 2, Coralville, (319) 354-1901, $

This tiny restaurant offers sushi made quickly by friendly people in the heart of downtown Iowa

Small store offering an extensive selection of


Indian ingredients and imports. Find a small

Sushi Popo 725 Mormon Trek Blvd, Iowa City,

selection of produce and just about anything else you might need to make your favorite dish

319-338-7676,, $$

at home.

Serving classic sushi and popular Japanese,

Takanami 219 Iowa Ave, Iowa City, 319-351-

Chinese and Korean entrees, what really makes

5125,, $$$

Sushi Popo stand out is the jam bong—a hearty, smoky, spicy Korean soup served in an

This sushi restaurant’s selection is a little more

enormous bowl, rich with chunks of vegetables,

limited than its sibling restaurant Formosa, but

udon noodles, pork and seafood (or tofu for a

what options they do have, they do very well.

vegetarian option).

Takanami has a tendency to frost their rolls in

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

spicy mayo sauce, and this can be a good or bad thing depending on your palate.

Taste Of India 1060 Old Marion Rd NE Unit

This stripmall sushi place is everything

D, Cedar Rapids, (319) 294-6999, www.toicr.

you wouldn’t expect from a stripmall sushi

com, $$

place. It has some of the freshest fish in the area, combined with great service and an

Large spacious Indian restaurant and buffet on

exceptionally clean environment, a visit to

the northeast side of Cedar Rapids. Visit for a

Sushiya makes for a truly wonderful experience.

variety of standard Indian dishes as well as some

Sun Cafe 1681 S 1st Ave, Iowa City, 319-3512287, $

you may not have encountered previously.

TCB Pool Hall 114 E College St, Iowa City, 319887-2665, $

What the tiny, strip-mall Vietnamese restaurant Sun Cafe lacks in ambience, they make up for in

Even if you don’t play pool, TCB’s a fun place

pure flavor and authenticity. Grab some friends

to hang out and have a beer; in addition to the

and order the roasted duck to share.

10 pool tables, they also have shuffleboard and

Sykora Bakery 73 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-364-5271,, $


Teddy’s Bigger Burgers 324 E

Washington St, Iowa City, 319-354-6888,

This quaint family-run bakery in Czech Village, $

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

Szechuan House 320 E Burlington St, Iowa

This flashy fast-food spot holds the monopoly on speedy, to-go style burgers in Iowa City, and the generous portions and Hawaiian-style

City, 319-338-6788, szechuanhouseiowacity.

sauce make Teddy’s a popular choice. For vegan

com, $$

and vegetarian eaters, the burger-substitute is hands-down the best in town.

The menu can be daunting, but the rewards at Szechuan House are worth the investment. The

Thai Flavors 340 E Burlington St, Iowa City,

food is super authentic and is often sublimely

319-339-8900,, $$


Taj Mahal Cuisine of India 3939 Center Point

Located in downtown Iowa City, Thai Flavors offers solid, tasty Thai standards available for

Rd NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-294-4953, tajiowa.

delivery, or you can eat in their brightly lit dining

com, $$



If you’ve never ventured into the grocery section of Taj Mahal Restaurant, this is some of what you’ve been missing: homemade Indian sweets BREAD & BUTTER 2017 79

Thai Spice 1210 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, 319351-2581,, $$

Tomaso’s Pizza 3234 Center Point Rd NE,

Coralville, 319-338-1201, twelve01kitchenandtap.

Marion, 319-377-6102 / 1061 N Center Point

com, $$

It’s easy to get lost in their menu, which has

Rd NE, Hiawatha, 319-393-5610, tomasos4me.

many pages, but once you find something you

com, $$

like, the pungent flavors are addictive, so be careful!

Tip Top Cakes 708 5th St, Coralville, 319-3591191,, $

Radisson, Twelve01 offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner to hotel guests and city residents alike.

remains a powerhouse on the Cedar Rapids

Their menu boasts upscale modern fare with a

pizza scene. Whether you take out or eat in,

signature tableside preparation of guacamole.

you’ll feel right at home in the laid back, cozy atmosphere. Select your crust: New York thin, Chicago deep dish, or Detroit deep dish,

see on the Food Network or TLC, Tip Top Cakes

renowned for its cheesy caramelized edge. Do

is the place to call. Order a custom birthday

not overlook the smoked chicken wings—they’re

cake for your sweet-sixteen or design a truly

the best in town.

selection of artisan pastries and cupcakes.

Three Samurai Japanese Restaurant

Connected to the Coralville Hampton Inn and

A local favorite for twenty years, Tomaso’s

If you’ve ever wanted one of those cakes you

gorgeous wedding cake. They also offer a wide

Twelve01 Kitchen and Tap 1210 1st Ave,

Cedar Rapids, 319-364-4313 / 1111 7th Ave,

Power Café 309 S Madison St, Iowa City, 319-

Uptown Bill’s Coffee House & Neighborhood Arts Center 730 S Dubuque

St, Iowa City, 319-339-0804,, $ This coffeehouse and community performance venue offers coffee, tea and perhaps the best selection of soda in all of Iowa City. What


truly sets Uptown Bill’s apart, though, is their

cafe, $

commitment to nurturing and encouraging

1801 2nd St, Coralville, 319-337-3340,

people with disabilities: they provide Running around with no time to spare, let alone

employment and enterprise opportunities, in

eat? Problem solved. Swing through Power Café

addition to offering a community forum to raise

In addition to their vast menu of sushi and

for quick, healthy meal options, most of the

awareness about people with challenges. Their

Japanese-inflected entrees, Three Samurai

blended variety.

open mic nights, poetry readings and regular, $$

has a small selection of stunningly tasty Vietnamese dishes that set the restaurant apart

Trumpet Blossom Cafe 310 E Prentiss St,

from its sushi brethren. They also have hibachi

Iowa City, 319-248-0077,,

tables, ideal for group get-togethers or small



Ting’s Red Lantern 540 Boyson Rd NE,

Cedar Rapids, 319-294-8666, $

If you want to eat some of the best Chinese food in Cedar Rapids, this is the place to go. Not only is the food delicious, the portions sizes are generous and they come with multiple sides.


Vesta 849 Quarry Rd, Coralville, 319-338-3782,, $$

Iowa City’s only vegan restaurant, Trumpet Blossom is delicious in its own right. Even

Vesta has extensive lunch and dinner menus

omnivores can find something satisfying on this

featuring Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. The

creative, thoughtful menu, and the cocktails are

patio is a favorite perch during FryFest—the


kickoff festival for the Iowa Hawkeye football

Tuscan Moon Grill on Fifth 203 5th St,

Kalona, 319-656-3315,, $$$


Village Meat Market & Café 92 16th

Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-265-6328,

The restaurant itself is sleek and dusky, just as a Red Lantern ought to be.

music concerts foster this tight-knit and inviting

It is more than worth the drive to Tuscan Moon,

a traditional steakhouse with a vast patio and a friendly staff. Their steaks are delicious, and

As well as serving you in their market café, this

their wine list and specials shine.

deli in Czech Village will provide you with the best fine cuts, smoked meats, homemade brats and candied bacon around.

80 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

Little Vine Tavern & Eatery 330 E Prentiss St, Iowa

City, 319-354-8767,, $$ / 39 2nd St., Coralville, 319-338-7770,, $$ 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 atmosphere, with dimmed lighting and giant TVs, while the Coralville location is more family-friendly.

Vino’s Ristorante 3611 1st Ave SE, Cedar

Rapids, 319-363-7550,, $$ Traditional Italian dishes, tastefully appointed. The staff is knowledgeable and the setting is ambient with low-lighting, candles and warm décor making this an ideal place for a dinner date. Stop by RG Books lounge after your meal for a nightcap.

Vito’s 4100 River Ridge Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-393-8727,, $$

Vito’s on 965 1295 Jordan St, North Liberty, 52317, 319-665-4800,, $$ Expect high-quality Italian cuisine ranging from pizza to pasta to calzones delivered in a casual approachable atmosphere. Vito’s on 965 brings the brand back to Johnson County after a 6-year hiatus.

Wedge Pizzeria 517 S Riverside Dr, Iowa City, 319-337-6677,, $$ The Wedge offers takeout and delivery of their many specialty pizzas, in addition to a few calzone options.

White Star Ale House 305 2nd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-362-2000,

A very popular nightlife hangout with a smooth and sophisticated feel. White Star has daily specials and free late night entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays.

Whitey’s Ice Cream 1451 Coral Ridge Ave,

Coralville, 319-338-4776,, $ This ice cream shop is something of an Iowa

The meal plan parents and students can agree on.

institution, and rightly so. The shakes are blended on an old-fashioned shake machine, and the ice cream selection contains some really creative, interesting blends.

• Take charge of your budget • Save $ with exclusive discounts 319-351-5802

BREAD & BUTTER 2017 81

Artifacts Aspen Leaf Frozen Yogurt Backpocket Brewing Baker Paper & Supply Baroncini Restaurant Basta Bata’s Black Sheep Social Club Blank & McCune A-Team Bluebird Brewhemia Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery City of Iowa City 6, 15, 23, Crowded Closet Deluxe Cakes & Pastries Design Ranch Dumpling Darling El Banditos The Englert Theatre Get Fresh Hamburg Inn No. 2 High Ground Iowa City Area Development Iowa City Downtown District Iowa River Landing Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack KCCK Jazz 88.3 Kim Schillig, Realtor Lincoln Winebar Maestro Empanadas M.C. Ginsberg Mellow Mushroom

5 63 41 81 50 81 27 69 19 34 79 7 83 24 32 24 53 73 9 55 84 73 42 2 10 71 31 52 33 31 4 41

Micky’s Irish Pub Monica’s Mosley’s Barbecue & Provisions Motley Cow Café NewBo Mercantile New Pioneer Food Co-op Nodo Oasis Falafel The Pig & Porter Phoebe Martin, Realtor Prairie Lights Pullman Bar & Diner ReUnion Brewery Red Ball Printing Red Vespa Residence Inn / Hampton Inn Riverside Casino & Golf Resort Saloon Tequila Bar Sauce Bar & Bistro Scratch Cupcakery Sushi Kicchin Ten Thousand Villages Think Iowa City Thompson & Co. Trumpet Blossom Cafe Velvet Coat Verne Folkman, Realtor Virtue Medicine Whitedog Auto Wig and Pen Yotopia Frozen Yogurt Zen Salon & Spa

55 26 68 5 80 74 66 45 15 49 69 25 61 35 69 72 36 27 68 51 61 42 53 57 29 57 70 52 65 37 65 67

Wig And Pen Pizza Pub 220

Highway 6 W, Iowa City, 319-354-2767,, $$ / 363 N. 1st Ave., Iowa City, 319-351-2327, wigandpenpizza. com, $$ Popular with families and sports fans, Wig and Pen can get a bit crowded on game days, but that’s not daunting for its loyal following, who can’t get enough of its pizza and bar fare.

Wild Culture Kombucha, $ Composed of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other natural juices to create a sweet, nourishing experience, Wild Culture Kombucha is on tap in many local restaurants as well as the Bread Garden Market, and could serve as a healthy alternative to that whiskey sour you usually get yourself.

Yotopia Frozen Yogurt 132 S Clinton St, Iowa City, 319-338-0500, $

This is downtown Iowa City’s original frozen yogurt shop, and this, along with other little touches, makes it a standout among the crowd.

Zeppelins Bar & Grill 5300 Edgewood

Rd Ste 500, Cedar Rapids, 319-393-3047,, $$


With its low-lit brick interior, Zeppelins contemporary 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.

Zombie Burger 180 E Burlington

St, Iowa City, 319-519-2320,, $ / 1451 Coral Ridge Avenue, Coralville, 319-625-2252,, $ Whether you’re a fan of horror movies or just a fan of creative burgers, Zombie

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Burger is definitely a place you want to check out. The décor boasts zombified versions of famous movie posters and a truly impressive neon sign in the window. While they don’t serve any brains, you’ll definitely be craving more after the first bite of their “goremet” burgers.

82 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

84 BREAD & BUTTER 2017

Bread & Butter 2017: Dining Guide to the Iowa City area and Cedar Rapids  
Bread & Butter 2017: Dining Guide to the Iowa City area and Cedar Rapids  

Published by Little Village