Bread & Butter 2018: Dining Guide to the Iowa City area and Cedar Rapids

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filM sceN e

old caPi tol

Pede stri Mal l VoxM aN Mus ic scho ol of

Mus euM of Natu ral hist ory

aN irViN g web


Publ ic libr ary eNgl ert theatre




Konomi Japanese Restaurant












Matthew Steele

Blair Gauntt, Glen Lowry



Frankie Schneckloth



Jordan Sellergren



Drew Bulman



Zak Neumann, Frankie Schneckloth



Genevieve Trainor, Lauren Shotwell,

Little Village, 623 S Dubuque St., Iowa City, IA

Emma McClatchey, Matthew Steele

52244, 319-855-1474



Kelli Ebensberger, Samantha Ferm,

Erin McInerney, Alicia Ambler, Sophia Finster, Charlotte Elsasser, Helaina Thompson, Ari Ariel,

Special thanks to distribution partners the Iowa

Paul Brennan, Frankie Schneckloth,

City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors

Jordan Sellergren, Jason Smith, Jav Ducker,

Bureau. For information on membership, visit

Matt Steele, Natalia Araujo, Emma McClatchey,


Additional thanks go to to our advisory

Natalia Araujo, Jav Ducker, Sophia Finster, Zak

team of Charlotte Elsasser, Candice Smith

Neumann, Frankie Schneckloth, James Davies,

and Adam Witte.

JoJo Baccam, Rachel Vanderwerff, Jason Smith, Chris Grebner BIG GROVE BREWERY, SOLON/IOWA CITY

Serving the Independent Restaurateur Since 1904


700+ locations across

Iowa City/Cedar Rapids every first and third Wednesday of the month






Hall of Fame


Family Dinner

36 60

Mercy chef Ron Hall attracts diners from outside the hospital walls

At Pig & Porter with the Melones

Wild at Heart

Foraging our way through Iowa

Diamonds in the Roughage

The priceless rewards of fermentation


This Ain’t No Bathtub Gin


Sour Hour

Josh O’Connell finds clarity in his work

From tart to finish






Fresh Faces


Flavor Forward


Snack Attack


Old Faithfuls


Luxury Items


Rethink Your Drink


Gettin’ Grabby


At the Table


Milk and Cookies


Go on a Binge


Prize Pokes


Pizza Pleasers

Notable new additions to the local food scene A guide to late night munchies

Treat yourself to the fanciest meals around It’s ok, they’re sandwiches!


Health-conscious eateries for diners on the fringe Restaurants, tried and true

Considered a matcha latte?

Snap shots out on the town

And donuts, cake and ice cream, too

Streamable shows and the foods to keep you going

The traditional Hawaiian fish salad arrives in Iowa

There’s no need to overthink it TIN ROOST, NORTH LIBERTY




Lobster Américaine


A–Z Index


Piña Colada Cheesecake


Shop here

Cardamom Panna Cotta


CSA Guide

Pickled Red Onions


Advertiser Index

Lobster. Cognac. Heavy Cream.

If you like piña coladas


A simple showstopper


A complementary condiment


These grocers all have something special to offer

Find the farmer for you PUBLISHED BY LITTLE VILLAGE

On the cover

Big Grove Brewery, Solon

Welcome! Iowa City offers big-city amenities with small-town hospitality, and is a focal point for arts and culture, education and fun. Our community enjoys an extensive parks and recreation system that includes miles of trails, nearly 1,000 acres of prairie, wetlands and forested areas, with almost every resident living within half-a-mile of public open space. Iowa City features a vibrant, walkable downtown, and in 2008, was designated the first UNESCO City of Literature in the United States. Numerous professional publications consistently rank Iowa City as a highly favorable place to do business, receive an education, enjoy arts and culture, and is a perfect place to retire. Iowa City is committed to being a leader in sustainable community development and received a 4-STAR Community Rating for sustainability excellence by STAR Communities. As part of that commitment, the City is working to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and is developing its first ever Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. Learn more at Come explore our welcoming, diverse community. Maybe one day you’ll call it home.

The results are in... Iowa City is home to more than 74,000 people, and according to a recent community survey, gave it top marks for overall quality of life and as a place to live. For more survey results, visit 87% of residents rated the quality of life in Iowa City as excellent or good.

91% rated the city as an excellent or good place to live.

Overall Quality of Life

Place to Live Excellent 43%

Excellent 34%

Good 53%

Poor 2% Fair 11%

Poor 1%

Good 48% Fair 8%


From Ethiopian cooking to Napoli-inspired pizza, a not-forprofit cafe to a globally-inspired burger joint, the year’s additions to the local restaurant scene has provided some stiff competition.

Maggie’s Farm Pizza

The Map Room

Nile Ethiopian Restaurant

Encounter Cafe

1308 Melrose Ave, Iowa City

416 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids

89 2nd St #2, Coralville

376 S Clinton St, Iowa City





long-time NewBo and Iowa City Farmer’s Market favorite, Maggie’s Farm Pizza opened their independent brick and mortar restaurant on the west side of Iowa City in August 2017. In collaboration with local architect Sanjay Jani, owners Carolyn Brown and Jerry Zimmermann succeeded at creating a striking interior space reminiscent of the barn from their namesake farm. Maggie’s contemporary design pairs beautifully with their woodfired pizzas resulting in a neighborhood restaurant you want to return to again and again. With a selection of tasty and original pies as well as a variety of antipasti, salads and dinner specials guided by former Motley Cow Cafe owner David Weiseneck, the flushed-out menu ensures the need for repeat visits.

10 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

space formerly occupied by a traditional bar and grill was breathed a fresh life in June 2017 when owners Christina and Mitch Springman opened their internationally-inspired burger-oriented restaurant. This snug space has just the right amount of tables in proportion to its tiny kitchen—it’s a hot-spot on weekend evenings which makes for a bit of a wait, but you’ll be rewarded for your patience when you slide into a booth and crack open the menu. The space has been decorated with maps brought back from travels around the world and the menu reflects the couple’s affinity for globetrotting. Focused mainly on burgers with a selection of loaded fries and crostini, each menu item pays homage to a different global city. The Marrakech burger, for example, is loaded with chermoula, hummus, goat cheese and Moroccan olives and things get interesting when ordering the Delhi burger which is garnished with paneer, garam masala and mint chutney. You might balk at the notion of a menu comprised almost entirely of burgers, but each one is truly inspired, prepared to perfection and leaves you feeling happy and satisfied.

he Iowa City area had been waiting a decade for the return of Ethiopian food when Nile came to the rescue April of 2017. West High grad Kiya Sultan grew up working his uncle’s Mankato, MN restaurant, and made it a goal to eventually open one of his own. Tucked behind Peking Buffet on the Coralville strip, this lunch and dinner spot is friendly, tidy, no-nonsense, authentically East African and damn delicious. If you’re familiar with Ethiopian cuisine, you’ll feel right at home. If not, first things first: wash your hands—you’ll be eating with them. Then, order the combo platter with some of the classics—misr wot (spicy red lentils), kik wot (yellow lentils), gomen (collard greens) and keye wot (spicy lamb or beef stew). Platters include a simple lettuce salad for a perfect kick of vinegar and freshness to compliment the stewy dishes. Tear of a piece of spongy injera, the crêpe-like flatbread, and scoop away, and don’t forget to order baklava and Ethiopian coffee for dessert.

his Iowa City cafe has generated buzz in the months since opening. Owned and operated by the Sharon Bethel Mennonite Church in Kalona, IA, all profits from the cafe trickle down and are distributed to other charities and organizations selected by the ministry. Members of the church helped extensively with the decor and build out and the majority of the staff members are from the church as well. Prepped with local ingredients like Farmer’s Hen House Eggs, Kalona SuperNatural dairy products and produce from local growers, made-to-order smoothies, classic omelets, wraps and panini sandwiches fill the menu. The comfortable and spacious interior makes this an ideal spot for lunch with friends or a cozy place to study.


Use this index as a guide to find your next favorite meal. Keep it in the car for a dose of new inspiration for your Friday night out on the town. Refer to it when your friends visit from out of town and want to know what’s new. This exhaustive list of restaurants, bars, cafés and bistros covers a range of budgets and a multitude of palates—there truly is something for everyone here. Read on to discover your next meal. 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


$$$=$20-30 $$$$=$30/over

2 Dogs Pub

350 First

A&A Pagliai’s Pizza

Antojitos Carmen

1705 S 1st Ave, Iowa

350 1st Ave NE,

302 E Bloomington

207 Main St,

City, 319-337-9047,

Floor 16,

St, Iowa City,

Columbus Junction,, $$

Cedar Rapids,


319-728-9055, $

2 Dogs knows how

319-731-4483, $$$$, $$

The trek to

to have fun—their

Enjoy not only the

An Iowa City pizza

Columbus Junction

creative culinary

diverse, high-

institution, the

is worth it when

concoctions, Trivia

end selection

Pagliai family has

you’re rewarded

Tuesdays and

of American

been in the business

with to-die-for

burger of the month

cuisine, but also a

in Iowa since 1957.

tacos, tortas and

competition are just

spectacular view

Offering just the

more. This family

a few examples of

of Cedar Rapids

basics, they put out

owned and operated

this. Try their PB&J

from the 16th

fresh, hot pizzas best

restaurant serves

Burger along with

floor of the Hilton

eaten right away.

up delicious and

any one of their

Double Tree. Within

well-selected craft

walking distance

The Airliner

a casual, unfussy

beers. Be sure to

of the U.S. Cellular

22 S Clinton St, Iowa

atmosphere. Be sure

brainstorm burger

Center, Theatre

City, 319-351-9259,

to order a side of

ideas too while you

Cedar Rapids, The,

Carmen’s Dry Salsa.

play trivia at 2 Dogs

Paramount Theater


It’s dynamite!

next Tuesday night!

and more, 350 First

The Airliner has

authentic food in

Apres Winebar

is a great choice for

been an Iowa City


a nice dinner or a

staple since 1944.

and Bistro

900 E 2nd Ave,

specialty cocktail

It is a go to spot

1010 Martin St, Iowa


before a show.

for enjoying the

City, 319-499-1198,

game with friends,

319-351-3800,, $$

5 Dollar Pizza

and fresh pizza.


951 Blairs Ferry Rd

521 Hwy 1 W, Iowa

They have several

In the heart of

NE, Cedar Rapids,

City, 319-351-5555,

specials throughout

the Peninsula, $$, $

the week, including


When you stop by

5 Dollar Pizza is

half price pizza on

Apres Winebar

30hop, you can

just that, pizza for


and Bistro offers a

expect to enjoy

five bucks. If you’re

American classics

looking for an

American Legion #17

sharable plates. It’s

such as burgers

affordable option

3016 Muscatine Ave,

the perfect place

or short ribs, with

for the big game or

Iowa City, 319-351-

to get away from

almost any beer you

you’ve got the late

1902,, $

a crowd while you

could want from

night munchies, 5

If you love home-

enjoy their eclectic

their legendary beer

Dollar Pizza is the

style bar food


list featuring over

spot for you. Order a

and cheap beer,

50 options. Best of

‘za on Tuesdays and

but hate going to

The Arbor Bar

all, you can enjoy it

add cinnamon sticks

crowded downtown

60 W Burlington

all atop their epic

for just $1.

bars, check out the

Ave, Fairfield,

rooftop patio. Stay

American Legion


tuned for a Cedar

#17. Pop by to relax, $

Rapids location later

over a burger and an

Somehow both

this year.

IPA with the locals.

pensive and manic,

rotating menu of

the irresistible energy of Fairfield’s BREAD & BUTTER 2018 11



Lightworks Cafe

Thai Noodle House

Guild Wurst Tavern

560 Boyson Rd NE Suite A,

501 7th Ave SE Suite B,

725 Mormon Trek Blvd,

53 2nd St,

Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids

Iowa City






his is a restaurant that stakes a serious claim on the “farm to fork” movement—and works hard to show it. The country-hip vibe is open, friendly and full of sunlight, while the lit up “gumption.” sign on the back wall makes for a stellar Instagram backdrop. There are inspiring messages written on the floor, the open shelving behind the bar top has a modern-rustic feel and even the water glasses are reminiscent of canning jars. This homespun vibe pairs well with their seasonal menu, featuring locally-sourced ingredients for both the breakfast and lunch dishes (vegan and gluten-free options are clearly marked…and delicious). For slow Sundays, gumption. will quickly become your go-to brunch spot; on busier days, grab one of their creative iced coffee drinks (we’d recommend the Rosemary Cold Brew or Iced Coconut Mexican Mocha) to take the quaint-hip-farm experience home with you.

12 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

ucked into the side of Benz Beverage Depot, Lightworks feels like a pleasant secret surprise when you walk in, reminiscent of an ultra-hip cafe in Los Angeles. With an entire wall made of glass, the entrance is flooded with light, highlighting the locally-hewn communal table and intriguing menu: Lightworks is both a full coffee house and a full breakfast and lunch spot—and the brothers who founded the restaurant, Nathan and Matthew Graham, are the driven craftsmen behind the concept. Looking at their daily seasonal specials, it’s clear the brothers are true artists: the food is highly creative, regularly featuring ingredients like house-made black garlic and cascara salad dressings. The same artistry that goes into their coffee concoctions graces their tacos and beignets— they’re fun, quirky and always present something new to try. Extra bonus: Nathan’s paintings decorate the walls of the cafe. You’ll feel you’ve stepped into a place that cares just as much about atmosphere as it does the food—and both will leave you impressed.

hai Noodle House, a noodle-focused offshoot of Thai Spice owned by Chansy Keomanivong, quietly opened in summer 2017 on Iowa City’s west side. With a menu mostly comprised of noodles with a peppering of appetizers and rice dishes, the restaurant offers Thai favorites in an easy and comfortable atmosphere. The variety of noodle soups provide a nice draw for those seeking comfort in bowl form. Menu selections range from Thai-style ramen to Tom Yum, pho to sukiyaki. The Duck Noodle Soup is a standout choice with richly spiced broth spooned over crispy seared bonein duck, tender bok choy and delicate egg noodles.

uild Wurst Tavern, a unique Coralville-based restaurant devoted to sausage, is one that deserves a spot on your list. Painted a bold golden yellow, this former Boubin Muffler Shop-turnedrestaurant now boasts a cozy and eclectic dining room decked out in reclaimed materials with views of the in-house brewery operation. While the menu offers a selection of housemade wursts, there’s plenty to sample if sausage isn’t your thing. The Bar’Burger makes a delicious choice and the french fries are great, but if you’re looking for a more healthful option, the kale salad is light and refreshing. If you’re up for an adventure, New Tribe, the restaurant’s house band, plays Thursday evenings and is a highly entertaining opportunity you shouldn’t pass up.

Other newbies in the area this year: Big Grove Brewery and Taproom PiZan Pizza Tin Roost Cafe La La Encore Life Billy’s High Hat Diner Rapid Creek Cidery

Vue Rooftop Bao Chow Estela’s Fuzzy’s Tacos Soseki Sushi Cafe and Sake Bar Rusciano’s Authentic Taste of Napoli

BAR SNACKS You’ve got a drink and a hankerin’ for savory. These spots don’t disappoint.



312 E Market St, Iowa City

59 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids


ontrary to its name and to the dismay of those Google searching “buffet Iowa City,” George’s Buffet is not actually a buffet. It is so much better. A landmark in Iowa City since 1938, this cozy townie bar tucked away in the city’s Northside neighborhood is the perfect place to hide away in a booth with a beer, great friends and most importantly, a famous George’s cheeseburger. The latter are presented modestly—wrapped in a simple sheet of wax paper—but inside is a classic, cooked-to-perfection burger. The traditional cheeseburger is served with ketchup, mustard, pickles and onions, but George’s also has Thousand Island dressing and horseradish available for the bold burger eater. Be prompt though—the kitchen stops serving at 1 a.m. bar time!

14 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

MICKY’S IRISH PUB 11 S Dubuque St, Iowa City


ne of a few Irish pubs in town, this joint has earned applause for showing English Premier League soccer matches, a very sunny patio in the summer and a wide selection of burgers. However, the appetizers are a strong category all their own. Not only do they have the best fried pickle spears in town, they dish up a deliciously strange fusion dish—Irish Egg Rolls. These deep-fried snacks deliver everything you love about a Reuben—tender corned beef, melted Swiss cheese, tart sauerkraut—in a crispy wonton package. It’s a Reuben sandwich with none of the mess! Well, maybe half the mess….


his Iowa brewery is a gem in the crown of Cedar Rapid’s Czech Village New Bohemia district. Lion Bridge has been serving up pints and plates since 2014 and it is the best place to snag some eastern European-inspired foods that show off the best of Lion Bridge and the surrounding restaurants. The soft pretzels are baked daily from Rustic Hearth Bakery just down the road in the NewBo Market and you and your friends can debate which dipping sauce is the winner (though it is obviously the signature beer mustard). If you’re looking to share something a bit bigger, the Sausage Foundry & artisan cheese platter is the way to go. With a rotating list of sausages and cheeses, this plate always delivers on spice and excitement, leaving you eager to come back to see the latest combo.

BLACK SHEEP SOCIAL CLUB 600 1st St SE, Cedar Rapids


aking center stage in Cedar Rapids Downtown District, Black Sheep Social Club is a new kind of cool kids bar. Emphasizing the need for supporting local farmers and craft brewers, this place doesn’t dish up boring casseroles or pork tenderloins (no offense to all the Midwest moms and dads out there). As its name implies, Black Sheep doesn’t fit the mold, and nothing screams “unordinary” like their Crunch Town appetizers. The Crunch Town fish nuggets are a millennial jackpot, turning the nightmare T.V. dinner fish sticks of yore into a late-night munchie paradise. These white fish nuggets are coated in Captain Crunch (yeah, you heard right) and accompanied by a Sriracha tartar sauce. It’s so insane, it works. The Crunch Town tacos are fueled by the same energy—balancing the sweetness of the cereal by serving it with a spicy jalapeño crema and countering the moist Pike fish with a fresh, crisp, spicy slaw.

840 W Penn St, North Liberty



ne of the newest (and largest!) additions to North Liberty also happens to have a wicked beer selection and some of the best fries in the area. Tin Roost opened up in August of 2017, with help from a group of alumni from Iowa City’s Blackstone and Joe’s Place and Coralville’s 30hop and has brought some big city energy to this small town. With an emphasis on American food with a Southern twist, Tin Roost has something to please everyone and plenty of dishes to pass around. One of the best shareable items on the menu are the black truffle fries: crispy, golden French fries seasoned with black truffle salt are piled high with delicately grated cheese and generously mounded on the plate. It’s the perfect salty, crunchy treat to share. Grab a beer from one of their 36 taps, a seat on the patio, a lot of napkins and watch the sunset.

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 15



indie-art and music scene collides with alcohol

Bao Chow

Bardot Iowa

and your taste buds every night at the Arbor

201 S Clinton St, Iowa City, 319-499-1143, $

347 S Gilbert St, Iowa City,

Bar. Check the website or give them a call

Bao—steamed, leavened dough filled with

319-333-1515,, $

to find out what’s going to command your

ingredients—is a classic Chinese meal with a

Bardot is all about quality—whether it’s their

attention this weekend. It might be a DJ night,

rich cultural history. The three owners seek

service, drinks, food or atmosphere. The bar

a burlesque show, a film screening, a visual

to be a unique option for Iowa Citians who

and restaurant is inspired by Brigitte Bardot’s

arts opening, or one of the town’s working

want to try Chinese food made traditionally

coining of the term “crème De la crème,” in

musicians stopping by unannounced to try out

with fresh ingredients. Since opening in 2017,

that they strive to be the best when it comes

some new material. Whatever it is adding

to nightlife in Iowa City. Try a South

to the eclectic atmosphere that night, the

American inspired dish or an expertly

excellent bar staff will surely have a new potion to recommend you take along for the ride. (Take the ride.) No food here, but there are plenty of other spots along the

Just what is imitation crab?

Mountain Chocolate Factory

125 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-351-9720,, $ Welcome to a sweet tooth’s heaven. The owner and staff are just as sweet as

Imitation crab is a triumph of marketing. Selling the product under that name—or under it’s legally-approved alternatives, crab sticks and krab— is much easier than selling it under its proper Japanese name, surimi, because then you don’t have to explain what’s in surimi.

famous caramel apple or a bowl of froyo. Avocado 1857 Lower Muscatine Rd, Iowa City, 319-337-4432, $$ Avocado offers a variety of daily specials, including Margarita Mondays and fourdollar lunch specials. The space is well-lit

Surimi was first introduced in Japan in the 1970’s as a low-cost alternative to crab. It’s a paste made up of processed white fish, artificial and natural flavors, sodium, starch, sugar and thickening agents. It’s typically painted with orange food coloring to make it appear more crab-like. In better versions of surimi, the white fish is pollack, but any white fish will do.

family. Backpocket Brewing 903 Quarry Rd, Coralville, 319-449-3700 415 SE 3rd St, Cedar Rapids, 319-362-2739

There are real nutritional differences between crab and krab. Crab has three times more protein than the imitation paste. Some of the thickening agents used in making surimi may contain gluten, and, of course, all versions of it have higher levels of sodium and sugar.

Everyone likes pizza and beer, but we don’t all like it made the same way. Not only does Backpocket offer several specialty brick oven pizzas, but you can build your own from their list of fresh ingredients as well. As for beer, they’re all about it—you are sure to find the brew for you.

Authentic cuisine by owner-chef Gianluca Baroncini, originally from Verona, Italy. The cozy, contemporary setting was designed from floor to ceiling by the chef, and is suitable for business or romance. The $10, two-course lunch City’s best kept foodie secrets. Famous for the pasta—of course made in-house, and available at area grocers—but don’t be afraid to wander into other sections of the menu; everything is well-crafted, and portioned to satisfy while allowing for multiple courses. Bashu Bashu is the place to go for real, authentic Sichuan Chinese food—if you must have sesame chicken, you’ll have to look under the “Special for Americans” menu listing, but you’ll be costing yourself an exciting experience worth trying. Take a walk on the wild side and

333 E 10th St, Dubuque, 563-582-1611, $$, $$$

121 N Linn St, Iowa City, 319-337-7370, $$

and comfortable, making it easy to enjoy their tasty Mexican food with the whole

Baroncini Ristorante Italiano

on weekdays is one of downtown Iowa

their treats are, so be sure to ask for their assistance if you can’t decide between a

squad is out for a night on the town.

104 S Linn St, Iowa City, 319-337-2048,

square for that. Aspen Leaf Frozen Yogurt and Rocky

made Piña Colada the next time your

It’s estimated that Americans consume almost twice as much imitation crab as the real stuff each year. The only seafood rebranding that comes close to that level of success happened in the 1980s, after the tasty, but awkwardly named, Patagonian toothfish was renamed the Chilean sea bass and became a staple on menus around the world under that consumer-friendly name.


The Bakery 4719 J St SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-366-1909,, $ Hidden in Cedar Rapids’ industrial zone,

check out their crispy spicy chili shrimp for an explosion of flavor and heat. Basta Pizzeria Ristorante 121 Iowa Ave, Iowa City, 319-337-2010,, $$$ The amazing daily happy hour and woodfired pizza might be what draws you in, but you’ll soon realize there are countless reasons that warrant repeat visits. Have you tried their Chocolate Budino? What about the creamy housemade burrata? Have you snuggled into the bar booths for a late weekend lunch? Have you

The Bakery looks like any other warehouse. Don’t be fooled, though. Inside is a delicious

they have delighted customers with their bao

basked in the sunshine on their sidewalk cafe?

assortment of cakes and cookies, as well as

options like the Umami Beef, and the beef curry

If you answered no to these questions, I’ve got

fresh rolls, loaves of bread, and tortillas. If

is authentic. They are conveniently located in

to ask—"What have you been doing?”

you’re looking for a place to stop and have

the Old Capitol Mall, so it’s a perfect place to

lunch, they also boast a variety of Mexican

stop for lunch!

entrees that you can eat in the dining area.

Baxa’s Sutliff Store & Tavern 5546 130th St NE, Lisbon, 319-624-2204, $ Opened in 1899, the original building was a general store until 1984 with the tavern

16 BREAD & BUTTER 2018


and food service beginning in 1973. Sample something from their menu of fried delights, burgers, wings, gizzards and other sandwiches and order an ice cold bottle of something to wash it down with. The historic bridge out front of the tavern is the best place to eat or drink when the weather permits. BeerBurger 575 Cameron Way, North Liberty, 844-763-2822,, $$ With their signature smash burgers, BeerBurger provides a large array of options for the carnivore in you. Enjoy their wide selection of beer, or grab a milkshake to pair with your burger, classic bar appetizers or a selection of other sandwiches and salads. Benz Beverage Depot 501 7th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids,, 319-365-2556, $$ A big-city selection of wine, beer and spirits in Cedar Rapids, handpicked from around the world. Carrying over 1200 wines and over 100 imported and domestic beers, Benz is the spot to shop for unique and interesting bottles of booze. Best China 1800 Boyrum St, Iowa City, 319-358-0001, $$ Take out Chinese food just how you like it: reasonably priced, flavorful food, and quick delivery. Check out their lunch special from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for an entrée, side of rice, drink or crab rangoons for under ten dollars! Billy’s High Hat Diner 630 Iowa Ave, Iowa City, 319-51-2522, $$ Derek Perez is bringing breakfast and lunch back to basics at Billy’s with affordable entrees made from fresh, local ingredients. Some menu items will be familiar to those who’ve enjoyed brunch at El Banditos, such as the chilaquiles, as well as classics like shrimp and grits, waffles and pork sandwiches—not to mention vegetarian options. You can find it at the corner of Iowa Ave and Dodge St, where Augusta was formerly located. Big Boy Meats 1100 3rd St SE #22, Cedar Rapids, 319-343-6603,, $$ From beef and pork to duck and rabbit, Big Boy Meats has been offering an impressive variety of top-quality, locally produced meats since 2012. True to their mission, their meats are responsibly farmed, free range, grass fed and antibiotic free. But despite the name, meat is not the only thing you’ll find here. BBQ catering, sheep skins and longwool are also part of their offerings.

Iowa City

Cedar Rapids


Des Moines

319-354-7074 215 E. Washington St. 319-625-2221 2500 Corridor Way Ste 5

319-200-4192 450 1st St SW #101 319-625-2221 506 E. Grand Ave

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 17

DECADENT DISHES The sumptuous dishes and lavish preparations at these area restaurants elevate the every day, quotidian plate to something richly luxurious and worth fawning over.

SUSHIYA 745 Community Dr, Suite A, North Liberty


ushiya has been serving up delicious sushi in its intimate corner of North Liberty since 2014. The delicious hand rolls and excellent service have made 18 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

it a local favorite, but a new addition to their menu may have the whole state buzzing: Wagyu beef has arrived. Now, Iowans certainly love their beef, but what makes this type so special? The

prominent identifier is the beautiful marbling, which is highly curated to produce the best tasting meat. Raised in “stress-free environments,” a gene in these cows’ DNA is activated to produce the

beef which is higher in good cholesterol and fatty acids, making it actually good for you. While this dish is expensive, any meat connoisseur deserves to try this rare opportunity.


Lobster Américaine Developed by Ari Ariel. Serves 4


hat’s more decadent than lobster in a sauce enriched with cognac and cream? Traditional Américaine recipes don’t call for heavy cream but I find that it really rounds out the flavors of the shellfish and tarragon. This is my adaptation of the recipe I learned at the French Culinary Institute in New York. 2 whole live lobsters, about 2 pounds each 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 shallot, diced 2 garlic cloves, sliced 2 tablespoons tomato paste ½ cup cognac ½ cup dry white wine 2 cups shrimp, lobster or fish stock ¼ cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped Kosher salt to taste

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the lobsters for 2 minutes. If your pot isn’t very big you may have to blanch one at a time. Then shock the lobsters in ice cold water. 2. Remove the meat from the lobster claws and tails. Cut each piece of tail meat in half lengthwise. Each of your four diners will get one claw and one piece of the tail. Cover the meat with a damp cloth and refrigerate until step five. 3. Carefully cut the lobster shells and body Blair Gauntt into chunks. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the lobster shells and cook until they turn red. Add the shallot and garlic, and cook for another 30 seconds, being careful not to let the garlic brown. Then add the tomato paste and cook for another minute, stirring.

4. Add the cognac and white wine and cook for another five minutes or until the liquid has reduced by about half. Add the stock and reduce by half again, about another 10 minutes. Then add the heavy cream and one tablespoon of chopped tarragon. Reduce for another 5-10 minutes until the liquid is the consistency of a sauce. If you want to be fancy you can strain the sauce. Season the sauce with salt to taste and keep warm.

319-466-4270 110 S Dubuque St, Iowa City

Book, Buy, Browse at or on the MindBody app Buzz_Salon

5. To finish the dish, season the lobster meat with salt. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the lobster meat and cook until it turns red, about 2 minutes. 6. Serve the lobster with the sauce, and top with the remaining tarragon.




Broker-Owners: Teresa Morrow and Alan Swanson Agents: Deirdre Castle, Meredith Carter, Tim Conroy, Gloria Escarza, Leslie Fitzpatrick, Tammy Kramer, Rita Marcus, Tracey Molina, Bryant Nicholson, Nolan Petersen, Adam Pretorius, Amy Pretorius, Nancy Steyers, Lynn Weinstein 506 E. College Street, Iowa City, Iowa 52240 | 319.354.9440 | Licensed to Sell Real Estate in the State of Iowa 20 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

COBBLE HILL RESTAURANT 219 2nd St SE, Cedar Rapids


esigned to feel like a New York City destination without having to leave your Iowa backyard, Cedar Rapids’ Cobble Hill is the perfect date night. The interior is rustic-industrial in the most welcoming way, from the exposed brick and gleaming

open kitchen right down to the reclaimed barnwood floors. The bar mixes up cocktails made from small batch whiskeys and freshly squeezed juices. Even their sodas are fancy, serving up DRY Sodas, an all-natural sparkling soda in intriguing flavors such as rhubarb and lavender. The food is un-

doubtedly the showstopper here; every entrĂŠe is sculptural and conveys just how much preparation and care goes into every facet. The grilled leg of lamb bursts with flavor, juicy and rich with spices surrounded by North African spiced potatoes and a bit of mint. The roasted pork is cooked

to perfection, with the animal being used again via a fried pork pate and an inspired sweet potato spaetzle. Cobble Hill has thought through every step of the experience and delivers that big city feel many of us crave.

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 21



rowing up, pasta night was the dinner above all dinners, where everyone could gorge and eat to their little carb-loving heart’s content. While it’s inadvisable to put your elbows on the table and jockey your tablemates for the last piece of bread, the folks at Baroncini would understand. A 22 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

small, elegant Italian restaurant tucked away on Linn Street, Baroncini serves up its daily handmade pasta and an enviable wine selection six days a week. The Insalata di Popolio features perfectly grilled octopus atop a tart, fresh Mediterranean risotto salad with capers, eggplant and basil. The Capellini ai Frutti di Mare

is a seafood lover’s dream: angel hair pasta piled high with scallops, mussels, shrimp and sepia served in a delicious red sauce. The entrees are unique among Iowa eateries including a veal porterhouse steak, a rack of lamb with pink peppercorn demi glace and a dry aged hanger steak with date demi-glace. If you have saved

any room for dessert, the gelato affogato is the perfect end: vanilla ice cream swimming in a smokey, bitter shot of espresso served with biscotti for dunking. From the authentic Italian techniques to the rare offerings, we have one piece of advice: come hungry.

RAPID CREEK CIDERY 4823 Dingleberry Rd NE #2, Iowa City


ietary restrictions can do exactly that—restrict one’s ability to find a decadent dinner spot. But since its addition to Wilson’s Orchard in 2017, Rapid Creek Cidery has quickly gained a following as one of the best places to enjoy vegetarian cuisine. Do not fear, carnivores—they do have

indulgent, beautiful meat dishes, including an Iowa ribeye served with grilled sourdough and beef marrow butter and a ruby trout served alongside clams and pancetta. But the vegetarian dishes here shine, not as an alternative, but simply because they are fantastic. The menu rotates every season but guarantees a dish that

will sculpt the fresh local produce into something memorable. Case in point: A tofu shakshouka-stuffed eggplant served on a bed of pistachio couscous and drizzled with yogurt is a sight to behold. They’ve also featured seared, marinated tofu with miso farro and pickled shiitake mushrooms, and an unforgettable

Moroccan spiced tofu piled high with smokey potatoes and squash. This is a must-see restaurant for the venue alone, nestled within the beautiful landscape of the orchard. You may come for the view, but you’ll stay for the food.

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 23



In the kitchen of an Iowa City hospital, chef Ron Hall works his magic creating flavorful food for the community and patients alike. by Helaina Thompson


ise en place. That’s the term that comes to mind when Jeff Domar thinks about Chef Ron Hall. It’s a French phrase Domar learned in culinary school; it means “everything in its place.” Domar, a cook, has worked for Hall in the Mercy Iowa City kitchen for nearly four years. “You can tell when [Chef Ron] gets an idea, he’s thinking of every detail of it,” Domar said. Today, in fact, Hall is thinking about tomorrow’s menu—an herb cod with gorgonzola butter and basil pesto pasta. “Lunch and dinner, the menu is different every day,” Hall said. “It’s whatever I want to put out

24 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

there.” Mercy Hospital serves breakfast, lunch and dinner to its patients, as well as to staff and visitors in the hospital’s cafeteria. It’s open to the public Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. There’s an oatmeal bar, hot entrees and specials throughout the week: Smoothie Mondays, Taco Bar Wednesdays, Oatmeal Bar Fridays. Hospital food may get a bad rap, but the ladies at Mercy’s front desk will caution you to be careful here, that your tray may fill up unexpectedly because Hall’s food is that good.


Piña Colada Cheesecake

Bigg Daddy’s Dogs

Black Squirrel Tap

629 12th Ave SE,

72 2nd St SE, Swisher,

Cedar Rapids, 319-573-8955​,

319-857-4447, $, $$

Black Squirrel Tap, a small-town

It might have started out with

watering hole in Swisher is the

Recipe developed by Ron Hall. Serves 12

a food cart in 2009, but Bigg

place to go for televised sporting

Daddy’s Dogs now offers burgers,

events, card tournaments and live


wings, brisket, gyros and more

music. Serving wings, appetizers

at its brick and mortar location,

and other pub food alongside

giving patrons plenty of options

beer and whisky flights, wine and

to choose from. Plus, if you


• 20 whole graham crackers • ¾ cup shredded unsweetened coconut • ¼ cup sugar • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted

are not feeling like leaving the


• 2 cups peeled, coarsely chopped fresh pineapple • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar • 2 lbs. cream cheese, room temperature • 2 cups sugar • 5 extra-large eggs, room temperature • ½ cup canned, unsweetened coconut milk

• 1 cup chilled whipping cream • 2 tablespoons sugar • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until well combined, stopping

201 S Clinton St Unit 167,

Hiawatha and Marion.

Iowa City, 319-519-0075,

Big Grove Brewery

Hip to the fast-fired personal

101 W Main St, Solon,

pizza concept, Blaze Pizza arrived


on the Iowa City dining scene just

1225 S Gilbert St, Iowa City,

as University of Iowa students


returned for school in the fall of, $$

2017. This high-volume location

As one of the area’s larger local

dishes up crispy, thin-crust pies in

breweries, Big Grove Brewery

a matter of minutes.

offers an expansive beer selection

occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until combined. Beat in the coconut milk. Pour two cups of filling into prepared crust. Carefully spoon pineapple over, then spoon the remaining filling over the pineapple. Bake until the cheesecake no longer moves in the center when the pan is shaken—about one hour and 15 minutes. Transfer the cheesecake to a rack and cool. Cover and refrigerate the cheesecake overnight.

with a fantastic food menu to

Bluebird Diner

match. Stop into the Iowa City

330 E Market St, Iowa City,

location for more international


street food style offerings, or head, $$

to the flagship Solon location for

Bluebird Café

their original American menu in a

650 W Cherry St #9, North

sit down restaurant.

Liberty, 319-626-2603,, $$


Bluebird’s reputation for delicious,

503 Westbury Dr, Iowa City,

fresh Midwestern soulfood served


in a relaxed, retro environment, $$$

is well known among Iowa City

This American style restaurant

and North Liberty folk. If you love

offers a variety of cuisine with

comfort food, then you’ll love

global influences including Italian,

everything from their biscuits

Mexican and Thai. With a good

and gravy to their baby-back

cocktail selection, Blackstone

ribs. They are a go to spot for

offers the perfect place to take

breakfast, so be sure to get

your time with friends. Start with

there early for breakfast on the

their Satay Sampler appetizer—


you won’t regret it.

For the Topping: Beat whipping cream, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl until it forms stiff peaks. Release the pan sides from the cheesecake. Transfer the cheesecake to a platter. Spread the topping over the cheesecake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Slice the cheesecake and serve.

Black Sheep Social Club

Bo James 118 E Washington St, Iowa City,

600 1st St SE, Cedar Rapids,

319-337-4703, $$


If you like huge burgers, ice-cold, $$$

beer, and country music, check

Black Sheep Social Club puts its

out this family-owned pub for

own spin on Midwest favorites,

your next bite to eat! If the

sometimes even injecting a bit

weather is nice, be sure to take a

of international fare. The plates,

seat at their quaint outdoor patio.

paired with the rusticness of a restored warehouse, make for the

Boston Fish

perfect atmosphere for a night

804 5th St SE, Cedar Rapids,


319-363-9627, $ A favorite of seafood lovers in the area for over 70 years, and newly


For the Filling: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cook the pineapple and the brown sugar in a heavy-bottomed, medium-sized, non-aluminum saucepan over medium heat until soft and syrupy, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid and cool the pineapple.

Blaze Pizza

deliver anywhere in Cedar Rapids,, $


For the Crust: Finely grind graham crackers in a food processor (you should have 3 cups of crumbs). Transfer to a bowl. Mix in the coconut and sugar. Add the melted butter and stir until combined. Press the crumb mixture on the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

comfort of your home, they

G Blair

n au

remodeled—this nautical-themed BREAD & BUTTER 2018 25


Monday through Friday, Hall arrives at Mercy at 4:30 a.m. to begin prepping for the day ahead. He used to be a Diet Pepsi drinker, he says, but he “quit that a couple years ago” in exchange for two cups of coffee per day. Hall is soft-spoken but easy to spot—a traditional tall chef’s hat balances on top of his head. Hall doesn’t count his steps during the work day, but if he did, he would surely exceed 10,000. Back and forth he traverses the kitchen—sautéing green beans here, greeting patrons there, mixing gorgonzola cheese with butter, chopping fresh rosemary, thyme and parsley. Around 2 p.m., Hall finally retreats to his office, where he replies to emails, plans events and searches for new recipes online. His desktop background rotates through photos of his grandchildren and his awardwinning cheesecakes. For over 50 years, Hall has been working in kitchens. At 16 years old, he took a job as a busboy at the Holiday Inn in Coralville, where he later took over as a breakfast cook. In 1966, he traveled to California under the Job Corps program, where he learned cooking skills and earned his GED. Later, Hall worked for several years at the Lark Supper Club in Tiffin, as well as a number of other local kitchens. He’s been Mercy’s executive chef for 25 years. Domar said that it can be difficult for a chef to transition from a restaurant to a hospital cafeteria. So Hall does what many chefs don’t, says Domar. “He’ll do small batches. Five minutes before [a batch] is done, he’ll start his next batch. So you’re getting really fresh food. And it’s hard to get some cooks to do that, but he’s really, really great about it.” Hall has a kitchen philosophy, a certain phrase he’s coined: “When you put [the food] out, you ‘put the lipstick on,’” he said. “That means you make it look pretty. Chopped parsley, chopped bacon on top. Something to make it stand out.” Today, Hall and his crew have prepared three main dishes and three sides along with

26 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

the cafeteria’s daily staples (a salad bar, the home, but on a lot bigger scale,” Hall said. burrito station, the dessert cooler). A plate of Hall estimates about three-fourths of his chili-roasted cod, soaked in butter, cumin and cafeteria’s clientele are Mercy Hospital staff. lime juice and topped with asparagus, costs Mike Lebseck, a physician referral relations $3.50. A side of red skin mashed potatoes, coordinator, has been eating at Mercy every made from scratch day for nearly 29 with sour cream and years. “The seafood’s “Everything has that scallions, costs $1.00. hard to beat here. Everything is priced Period,” Lebsek said. food connection, and it’s a la carte. “Also, the Brussels Meanwhile, sprouts. They’re out something that everybody Mercy patients of this world.” receive their meals on Celia appreciates. That’s why I a seven-day rotation Eckermann and to limit repetition. Michelle Marks, who stick with it.” ––Ron Hall Hall emphasizes work for the Mercy “variety and attention Hospital Foundation, to taste and detail,” he said. praise Hall’s tenderloin steak. The two women Morgan DeZori, a Mercy dietician, said often bring Mercy meals home to their Hall has been collaborating with her team husbands in to-go boxes. “If I don’t eat it on lately to create gluten-free and dairy-free the way home,” Marks joked. dishes that they think taste good enough to “It’s the best kept secret,” Eckermann feature on patients’ menus. said. Big picture, the food is “really just like at Eckermann and Marks say Hall has


donated his time and culinary talents to their foundation, as well as to countless charitable initiatives in the community. Hall was a founding member of Table to Table, a food rescue and distribution organization, and in 1999 he organized the first annual Thanksgiving in July, a statewide food drive that supplies food in the summer months when food donations tend to decline. Last year, the program collected 146 tons of food. Hall also prepares gourmet meals and carves intricate ice sculptures to raise awareness and money for food insecurity across the state. Hall experienced food insecurity as a child, which perhaps explains his passion for raising awareness of hunger. Hall grew up in a renovated boxcar in Iowa City, at one time along with 13 family members. In a 2017 PressCitizen profile of Hall, the chef conceded, “I remember Dad would come home with threeday-old rolls so hard you couldn’t eat them, so we’d turn them into bread pudding.” But of his countless hours of charitable work, Hall merely says, “Food is important. Pretty much every holiday, every event ... they all center around food. Everything has that food connection, and it’s something that everybody appreciates. That’s why I stick with it.” Giving and kindness seem to flow through Hall, down to his core. Hall has no secret recipes—even his award-winning cheesecake recipes are for the taking. Many of Hall’s recipes are posted on Mercy’s website; others he’ll happily email upon request. The chef pays close attention to the wellbeing of his kitchen crew, too. “He sees somebody’s having a bad day, and he makes sure he says, ‘Hey, how you doing? Is there anything I can do for you?’” said Domar. At 4:30 p.m., Hall wraps up his 12-hour day at Mercy and sets off for his home in Washington, IA. Hall, for the record, is 67 years old. When asked if he is tired, Hall simply replies, “I sleep well,” and chuckles.


BREAD & BUTTER 2018 27


Timmy Flynn’s Red Pepper Deli & Grill

One Twenty Six

517 S Riverside Dr, Iowa City

126 E Washington St, Iowa City



pulled pork, slaw

chipotle sour cream


crab cake, greens,

Lu’s Deli

The Flying Wienie

1010 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids

103 8th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids



salami, provolone, lettuce

hot or mild peppers or giardiniera

Capacolla, ham, prosciutto,

28 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

Italian roast beef with the option of

Sandwich: noun, an item of food consisting of pieces of bread with meat, cheese, or other filling between them, or more generally any dish wherein two or more pieces of bread serve as a container or wrapper for another food type. These standout sammies deserve your attention.

Oasis Falafel

Micky’s Irish Pub

206 N Linn St, Iowa City

11 S Dubuque St, Iowa City



hard-boiled egg, hummus

Cheddar, ranch dressing

Moroccan eggplant, pickled cabbage,

ham, turkey, Swiss,

Greyhound Deli

I Love Pho

450 5th St SE, Cedar Rapids

2020 8th St, Coralville



vegetables, greens

pickled vegetables, jalapeños


pork, pate, cilantro,

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 29



restaurant offers some of the best,

Breads From Anna


Broadbent Distillery

freshest seafood in town. Stop by


1202 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids,

6175 50th Ave, Norwalk,

for the Boston Fish sandwich, a, $


515-981-0011,, $

clam dinner or to get your fish by

Voted best gluten-free bread in, $$

This family-owned vineyard took

the pound.

America, Breads from Anna also

Housed in a historic building

a new path as a distillery in 2009

boasts bread mixes free of the

in the NewBo district of Cedar

and now they produce small-

Bread Garden Market & Bakery

top eight allergens. Founded by a

Rapids, this café by day, bar

batch whiskeys and spirits like the

225 S Linn St, Iowa City,

sufferer of celiac disease and type

by night establishment serves

cinnamon-cherry Hot Lil’ Hooch,


1 diabetes, the recipes come from

traditional and innovative brews,

Bella Limoncello, and Two Jay’s, $$

a place of understanding and care.

breakfast, lunch and an extensive

Iowa Corn Whiskey.

Bread Garden’s transformation

The line of pre-packaged mixes

variety of local beers, wines and

from restaurant to convenient

can be found in local grocery

spirits. The simplicity of the space

Bubble Pop

downtown grocer is proof that


and industrial feel, make for the

201 S Clinton St, Iowa City,

perfect gathering place for a nice

319-400-4324, $

they are here to fulfill your and the greater Iowa City area’s

Breakfast House Cafe

chat over coffee or an intimate

Bubble Pop is all about good

needs. They feature everything

820 6th St SW,

acoustic set at night.

vibes and good tea. Stop by the

from traditional items, delicacies,

Cedar Rapids, 319-261-2233,

organics and homemade classics., $

Brix Cheese Shop and Wine Bar

Mall for a mango tea and a cozy

Whether you want to grab lunch

A multigenerational family

209 N Linn St, Iowa City,

place to rest your feet.

from their impressive salad bar,

business, this classic breakfast


order up a customized burger,

joint treats you to traditional, $$

Bud’s Custom Meats

pizza or tacos from the grill or sit

American comfort food in all its

This wine bar and specialty shop

3027 IA-22, Riverside,

on the patio with friends, Bread

glory. Stop by for their all-day

is the perfect place to meet


Garden has got your back.

breakfast, and don’t forget about

up with a group of friends and, $$

their daily dessert special!

partake in their delicious cheese

Famous for jerky, Bud’s in

boards with a glass of wine or a

Riverside makes this revered

craft beer. They offer half glasses

snack food in house in a variety of

of wine for those want to try it all.

flavors. Also stocking traditional

30 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

next time you’re in the Old Capital


hand-cut meats, fresh or frozen,

and more. If you are looking for

Cafe Muse

Caffe Crema

coarse-ground ground beef, elk,

a place to gather with friends

565 Cameron Way,

411 2nd St, Coralville,

rabbit and turtle when available.

and enjoy affordable, filling

North Liberty, 319-626-6873,

319-338-0700, $

Mexican cuisine and overflowing, $

Caffe Crema has everything

margaritas, Cactus is for you!

Café Muse’s stylish modern

a good coffee shop ought to

interior makes for a lovely place

have. The coffee is consistently

BurgerFiend 2020 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-200-4488,

Cafe Dodici

to enjoy a pot of tea or a cup of

delicious, the environment is cozy, $$

122 S Iowa Ave,

joe. In addition to straightforward

and warm and the staff is helpful

3980 Center Point Rd NE,

Washington, 319-653-4012,

classic coffee and espresso

and friendly. Check out this coffee

Cedar Rapids, 319-200-4499, $$$$

offerings, Cafe Muse also brews

shop the next time you need a

With a simple, yet versatile

A worthy destination restaurant

up limited-edition and rare roasts

different place to study, want to

build-your-own menu, choose

on the charming downtown

for the coffee nerds among us.

read your new book with a perfect

from a variety of spreads,

square in Washington, about

Make sure not to miss the high tea

chai latte or catch up with friends!

toppings and add-ons to get your

30 miles south of Iowa City.

service, either.

burger exactly how you like it.

Cafe Dodici is a family-run

Complement your order with their

Italian restaurant, with co-owner

Cafe Paradiso

delicious, freshly cut fries or an

and chef Alessandro Scipioni

101 N Main St, Fairfield,


indulgent shake.

preparing natural, fresh foods


710 Pacha Pkwy Suite 6,

in the style of his original home, $

North Liberty, 319-626-2515,

Cactus 1 & 2

of Pesaro, Italy. The owners’

Cafe Paradiso is a casual cafe, $

245 S Gilbert St, Iowa City,

eclectic collection of art draws

celebrating local artists and

Come here for a gourmet cup of


from India, China and of course

musicians with beautiful artwork

coffee or a tasty scoop of gelato!

314 E Burlington St, Iowa City,

Italy and Iowa, making for a

from various artists and frequent

319-337-2464, $$

unique ambience you won’t find

live music. Pouring fresh-ground,

Cappy’s Pizzeria

Cactus offers an extensive menu

anywhere else.

shade-grown organic coffee and

7037 C Ave NE,

featuring classic Mexican food in

espresso and delicious baked

Cedar Rapids, 319-826-2625,

heaping combo plates, as well as

goods, Cafe Paradiso is the go-to, $$

vegetarian entrees, salads, fajitas,

spot in Fairfield.

This warm and cozy pizza parlor


Capanna Coffee and Gelato 2441 James St, Coralville,

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 31



THE PIG & PORTER At the end of the week, Chef Matt Melone serves up one last meal at his Cedar Rapids restaurant, cooking up something his whole family can enjoy. by Helaina Thompson


att Melone worked all day in the kitchen, and he’ll work more tomorrow. It’s December, an especially busy time of year at Pig & Porter, the downtown Cedar Rapids restaurant Matt co-founded with his business partner, Will Monk. Outside, the temperature sits below freezing. “I see people I work with more than I see my kids,” Matt said. “In what’s gonna seem like five minutes, they’re gonna be teenagers.” On Sunday evenings like this one, Betsy Lou Melone, 5, and Ellis Melone, 6, along with their mom, Dana Melone, meet their dad for dinner at Pig & Porter. The two girls were three and five years old when the restaurant opened in 2016. “Sunday nights are the big night for us to eat dinner together,” said Dana, who works as a psychology teacher at Kennedy High School. Inside Pig & Porter, chairs are flipped upside down atop tables. The restaurant closed earlier today—at 2 p.m. There’s 32 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

an open kitchen at the back of the restaurant, where Matt stands behind a long wood counter. Across from their dad, Betsy Lou and Ellis kneel on stools, helping Matt scoop flour and shred chicken with their fingers, the soles of their matching moccasins facing the empty tables and

finally landing at the late Lincoln Café in Mt. Vernon, he says. Matt is the chef of his family, but working in kitchens has required late nights and, lately, 80-hour work weeks, so Dana usually cooks dinner for the girls. Nights like tonight are special. “People definitely think we

The Melones prefer cooking dinner here at Pig & Porter; there’s a commercial kitchen and a dishwasher that takes a minute and a half to run a full cycle. chairs behind them. “I feel like you have to get them involved,” Matt said. “The little one can cut with a real knife. I let her at work sometimes.” “He sends me videos of her with knives,” Dana added, “And I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh.’” Before Pig & Porter, Matt worked as the chef de cuisine at Cobble Hill in Cedar Rapids, and before that, he “bounced around” kitchens in St. Louis and Chicago,

eat really extravagantly. And I like to point out that I make a lot of grilled cheese,” Dana said, laughing. “The girls and I eat together every night. But it’s always nicer when Matt can join us.” Betsy Lou and Ellis migrate to the table where their mom sits. They begin to color with Sharpies on the crisp, white paper one finds on tabletops in restaurants. Meanwhile, Matt monitors

the chicken as it poaches with flour and stock in a large silver pot—tonight’s dinner is chicken and dumplings, a Melone family tradition. The Melones prefer cooking dinner here at Pig & Porter; there’s a commercial kitchen and a dishwasher that takes a minute and a half to run a full cycle. Covering the pot, Matt crosses the restaurant toward the bar, where the music controls are. Moments later, a familiar song begins to play over the speakers: “I’ve got. That. Sunshine in my pocket…!” In no time, Betsy Lou drops her Sharpies and starts dancing. She twirls and twirls and practices her gymnastics moves, weaving through the maze of empty tables. Ellis wiggles in her seat. The 80-hour work week, the frigid air and the delicate balance of it all seem to lift away. One by one, Matt lines bowls on the counter, filling each vessel with a helping of chicken and dumplings. At last, the final meal of the day is served.


with a vintage feel serves Chicago deepdish, New York hand-tossed pizzas and calzones prepared with fresh dough and homemade sauces. They also have a selection of bottled beer that rotates weekly, so you can always try something new! Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop 4640 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-393-2900, These hot and toasty subs are success in a sandwich. Try their signatures like the Capastrami or Bobbie, or custom build your own! Whether you're a meat-eater or not, the vegetarian and faux-meat sammies deserve a try. Casa Azul 708 1st Ave, Coralville, 319-338-2641,, $ Casa Azul features traditional Mexican dishes paired with a great margarita selection and friendly staff. Casa Azul is a must for your Taco Tuesday, both hardand soft-shelled tacos are only $1 and will

513 E. Washington St. • • 319.499.1041

leave you and your wallet feeling full. Caucho 1203 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-360-8558, $$

It tastes better at half-price.

Sister restaurant to Cobble Hill, Caucho takes Mexican cuisine and prepares it with a creative, modern touch. Sample one of their inventive cocktails and take in the well-curated and energetic interior. Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery 1441 Marak Rd, Swisher, 319-857-4300,, $$ Just a short ride from Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, this award-winning winery and distillery located in the beautiful Swisher countryside offers so much more that just wines and spirits. Try their unique take on wood-fired pizza or their exquisite Sunday brunch, and of course you can’t leave without trying one of their specialty cocktails. Cedar River Landing 301 F Ave NW, Cedar Rapids, 319-364-1854,, $$

Half-price gift cards to great local businesses only at


This sports-bar-with-live-music joint is the choice for a casual neighborhood hangout with an eclectic American menu. Located in an old warehouse near the Cedar River, the stage features an assortment of local bands. Located along the Cedar River in an old warehouse.

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 33



Ced-Rel Supper Club

chef. You wouldn’t expect this

Class Act

experienced bartenders. They

11909 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids,

small spot in a strip mall to be

7725 Kirkwood Blvd SW,

offer a variety of small plates, or

319-446-7300,, $$$

an intimate setting for creative

Cedar Rapids, 319-848-8777,

make a night of it to explore and

This old-school supper club and

and frequently changing modern

truly enjoy their excellent fine

steakhouse maintains many of

French dishes, but a dinner here

An upscale Kirkwood culinary-

dining menu.

the trappings of bygone dining.

feels like you’ve walked into

student run restaurant featuring

Each entree is delivered with a

someone’s home for an exquisite

outstanding, local cuisine for

Clock House Brewing

complimentary relish tray and

homemade meal.

breakfast, lunch and dinner.

600 1st St SE, Cedar Rapids,

steaks to broasted chicken and

Cibo Fusion

Cliché Patisserie, $

broiled fish.

685 Marion Blvd, Marion,

341 S Linn St, Iowa City,

Opened in the resurrected


319-512-2972, $

102-year-old Clock House

Chameleon’s Pub & Grub

This contemporary Italian and

Don’t let the name fool you—this

Building, this new brewery offers

119 1st St NW, Mount

American restaurant offers a very

Asian pastry store is anything

a wide selection of house-made

Vernon, 319-895-8654,

popular brunch menu. Be sure

but cliché. Their creations are

brews for your sampling pleasure, $

to snag a seat on their patio on

unique and flavorful and the staff

at their tap-room located inside of

Expect high-quality, delicious

warmer days.

is excited to share their favorites

the Black Sheep Social Club. Visit

with you. They have everything

with your beer-loving buds for a


selections range from classic

bar fare at this family owned bar and grill. This cozy pub in historic

Cider House

to satisfy your cravings, whether

pint of their inventive beer and

downtown Mt. Vernon offers a

102 N 2nd St, Fairfield,

you want a quick, sweet snack or

order a delicious appetizer from

wide selection of craft beer and


a filling, savory dinner.

the Social Club to share with the

plenty of friendly regulars., $$


An award-winning burger Chez Grace

Clinton Street Social Club

restaurant and cider pub nestled

18 1/2 S Clinton St, Iowa City,

Club 76 Cafe

89 2nd St, Coralville,

in downtown Fairfield featuring


2349 Mehaffey Bridge Rd NE,


house boutique cider, Fishback, $$$

North Liberty, 319-626-6046, $, $$$$

& Stephenson and local Adrian

Stop in and sit at the bar for

Club 76 is in an unassuming

Owner David runs this one-man-

Family Farms beef.

some of the best craft cocktails in

building; inside however, there is

Iowa City while you talk to their

a large bar and a lodge-meets-

show acting as host, waiter and

34 BREAD & BUTTER 2018


dive-bar vibe. The staff is friendly,

Cobble Hill Restaurant

through the day, they have the

priced and made fresh. With a

the regulars interesting and the

219 2nd St SE, Cedar Rapids,

perfect drink for every occasion.

variety of sandwich options in

entertainment options unique. The


bar offers a great mix of domestic, $$$


miss, but you shouldn’t; affordable

bottles and craft taps for your

For your swanky date night or

26 S Clinton St, Iowa City,

options like a selection of $6

drinking pleasure. Don't miss out

your special occasion, Cobble

319-519-2340, $

sandwiches that are in a class of

on their annual Oyster Fest every

Hill is Cedar Rapids’ leading

Since they opened a year ago,

its own when it comes to a fair

March. A celebration of fresh

destination for a chef-driven

Cortado has impressed Iowa

price and ingredient quality. Don’t

oysters and seafood alongside

dinner that will awaken your

City with its urban atmosphere

get me started on their molasses

some of the best sour and stout

senses. Walking distance from

and great coffee. Over the past

cookies, yum. The Cottage also

beers available in Iowa.

Theatre Cedar Rapids, the

year, their menu has expanded

offers catering services featuring

Paramount Theatre and the US

to include New York Bagels—

additional entrees, side dishes and

The Club Car

Cellular Center, if you are doing

shipped from a Brooklyn bagel

dessert options.

122 Wright St, Iowa City,

dinner and a show downtown and

shop— fresh salads, and delicious

319-351-9416,, $

looking to impress, this is your

sandwiches. Be sure to try their

Crêpes de Luxe Café

Looking for a bar downtown that

spot. Trust the servers. Stay for a

pistachio macarons when you

309 E College St, Iowa City,

doesn’t feel like a bar downtown?

few courses. Maybe forget about

swing by for your morning coffee!


Located just south of the ped mall,

the show.

the Club Car is a neighborhood

the area The Cottage is easy to, $ Cottage Bakery & Cafe

This miniature cozy café is a

230 E Benton St, Iowa City,

portal to unique French cuisine.

bar catering largely to a crowd of

Coffee Emporium & Cafe

people looking for a cold bottle of

220 3rd Ave SE, Cedar


The friendly husband-and-wife

beer after a hard day at work. The

Rapids, 319-362-3384,, $$

owners and their employees

beer selection is similarly no-frills,, $

The Cottage Bakery & Cafe has

create both sweet and savory

with plenty of domestic choices

As the name might suggest, the

been serving Iowa City for over

paper-thin crepes right before

and a smattering of imports. Enjoy

Emporium has an extensive list

twenty years. Whether you’re

diners eyes and aim to use all local

a game of pool while you snack

of caffeinated creations. Whether

craving a sandwich or dreaming

ingredients from the buckwheat

on your favorite fried appetizer.

you just need a cup of joe before

of dessert, the Cottage Bakery &

flour down to the butter.

work or you’re looking for

Cafe is a wise choice. Healthy and

espresso shots to keep you going

hearty, the items are reasonably

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BREAD & BUTTER 2018 35



Stewards of land conservation, local foragers, hunters and fisherman take advantage of Iowa’s abundant resources connecting with the land while feeding their community. by Sophia Finster | photos by Chris Grebner and Rachel Vanderwerff


e often take for granted Iowa’s abundant forests, prairies and backyards, and the variety of nutritious foods they provide. Tapping into these resources through foraging, hunting and fishing helps us understand how valuable they are. “Food is a commonality that everyone needs. As a society, we are so disconnected to where our food comes from and how to obtain and prepare healthy foods,” Rachel Vanderwerff, wild foods advocate, explained. A handful of local organizations celebrate and facilitate the hunting and gathering of wild foods, including Backyard 36 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

Abundance, Edible Outdoors (with chapters in Iowa City and Des Moines), Johnson County Conservation, the Prairie States Mushroom Club, Take a Kid Outdoors and the Department of Natural Resources. Edible Outdoors is a community dedicated to learning about foraging, hunting and fishing in the active classroom of the outdoors. It began in 2016 when a group of foragers, chefs and activists brainstormed how to get more people outdoors and interested in wild foods. Today, Edible Outdoors prunes the land in a respectful and sustainable way. Their mission is “to connect people to people, land and our resources in a way that benefits

nature.” This connection may provide many health benefits. According to the USDA Forest Service and Pacific Northwest Research Station, exposure to green, natural settings can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the level of stress hormones. Research also shows that spending time outside increases energy levels and alertness, releases dopamine, boosts creativity and improves concentration and sleep. “Hunting, fishing and foraging has been a way that we have secured food for the vast majority of human existence,” Vanderwerff said. “Creating a relationship with these

ways to obtain our food, we make a unique connection with our land, people and resources. We become healthier emotionally, mentally and physically.� Lucky for us, there are more and more opportunities for novice foragers, hunters and fishers to learn these skills. Last year, Edible Outdoors hosted several events aimed at connecting people to their land. In May 2017, Mandy Dickerson of Red Fern Farm oversaw an urban food foraging class, focused in part on identifying dandelions, violets, plantain, sorrel and edible weeds from chemical-free yards. Harvesting weeds is different from

harvesting other wild foods, Dickerson explained. For sustainability reasons, foragers are expected to take a limited portion of most plants; when it comes to weeds, you can pluck as many as you want without disrupting the ecosystem. Dandelion, a nearly ubiquitous weed, is entirely edible from flower to root. Dandelion greens are purported to boost immune function and reduce inflammation, and are rich in antioxidants. Plantains, another common backyard weed, have traditionally been used in teas to help with indigestion, heartburn and ulcers. When made into a salve and applied to rashes, BREAD & BUTTER 2018 37


burns or wounds, the leaves’ antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties are also thought to help with healing. Edible Outdoors’ wild game chef demo and target practice, which took place in April 2017 at Highland Hideaway Hunting, welcomed everyone from avid hunters to people who had never shot a gun. Some present were members of hunting organizations, including Whitetails Unlimited and Pheasants Forever, that seek to conserve land in Iowa. The Iowa DNR Wildlife Bureau manages more than 356,000 acres of land available to public recreation year round, funded by revenues from the sale of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses. “There is no better steward of land conservation than the outdoorsman,” Peter Wendler, a local hunter, forager and fisherman, said. “Since we utilize the land and water on which we hunt and fish, we take great pride in maintaining its well-being. The mantra ‘leave it better than you found it’ rings

more true in the outdoor community than in any other.” Glen Schwartz, an avid forager and president of the Prairie State Mushroom Club, added, “It is in the best interest for fishermen to keep the lakes and rivers clean so the fish they catch can be eaten. It is in the best interest of the forager to keep the woods clean so the mushrooms, berries, nuts and other plant life continue to be plentiful and nutritious.” After practicing safe gun skills, chef Chris Grebner of Provender and The Farmer’s Table taught a demo on different wild pheasant cooking techniques. Grebner learned to forage at a young age. His family would venture out to see what the outdoors had to offer, often hunting for morels in the spring. His outdoorsy upbringing and time spent as a chef in the Pacific Northwest— where it’s common practice to stock kitchens with food from local farmers and foragers— fostered his love of wild foods, particularly morel and chanterelle mushrooms, wild garlic 38 BREAD & BUTTER 2018


and ramps. “When foraging for mushrooms you can’t just scan the ground as you walk, you have to crouch down in one spot and move the leaves,” he said. “You have to be in contact with it. It’s such a tactile thing.” Every year in the late spring, Grebner hosts a five- to seven-course forager’s dinner. The menu has included stinging nettle ravioli with wild garlic butter, a salad with garlic mustard, herbaceous greens, wild pheasant and, of course, morel mushrooms. The chef said he appreciates how wild foods welcome him to tune in to the rhythm of our seasons, by “eating the forest as it comes alive in the spring, making jams and sauces from summer berries and hunting pheasants in the fall.” Grebner never steps into the woods without a local guidebook to ensure he is correctly identifying each plant he gathers. He also recommends exploring year-round

“You can’t just scan the ground as you walk, you have to crouch down in one spot and move the leaves. You have to be in contact with it. It’s such a tactile thing.” ––Chris Grebner to learn what a plant looks like as it moves through its lifecycle. If you are having trouble pinning down a plant in early spring, it may reveal what it is as the year goes on. Many wild food advocates agree that the best way to start is to go to an event and get hands-on experience under an expert. As you get more familiar with your local public lands, you will find secret spots full of your favorite wild foods. Starting in March or April 2018, Edible Outdoors will be hosting an archery and woodland foraging class, a pond-to-plate fishing class demonstrating how to utilize the entire fish, a wild game and wine pairing, a small hunt for upland waterfowl and a mushroom foray. Each class costs roughly $20. They also offer around three scholarships for each class. Details for these events are posted to the Edible Outdoors Facebook page and Backyard Abundance website. Outside of classes, Vanderwerff recommends reading The Scout’s Guide to Wild Edibles by Mike Krebill.

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BREAD & BUTTER 2018 39

BEYOND THE BREW These coffee shops whisk up trendy matcha lattes alongside other coffee substitutes.


Cortado 26 S Clinton St, Iowa City


his modern, streamlined coffee shop across from the Pentacrest in downtown Iowa City has plenty of seating as well as a sidewalk patio in warmer months. Beyond just a winning atmosphere, Cortado succeeds with delightful drinks executed by skilled baristas. The matcha latte is one of the best in the area—deliciously sweet and creamy with a slight vegetal tang. It’s great hot or iced, making the drink a potential go-to for all seasons. If tea is not your thing, trust that all menu selections are excellent. Perhaps a namesake Cortado, made from espresso and steamed milk?

Leaf Kitchen 301 1/2 Kirkwood Ave, Iowa City


his amazing breakfast and lunch café, named for its dedication to tea, puts as much attention towards their beverage 40 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

menu as they do to their food menu. Available for afternoon tea with a reservation, Leaf Kitchen also makes a mean green tea latte: bright, grassy green and perfectly smooth with a frothy foam finish. The servers behind the counter know how to whisk up a good one. Order one after you’ve finished your last bite of brunch; you’ll end on a sweet note and get a caffeine buzz without those coffee jitters.

Prairie Lights Café 15 S Dubuque St, Iowa City


he second floor of the Iowa City literary institution is home to not only regular readings by visiting authors, but also some of the city’s most inventive drinks. The café’s tea selection is well-rounded and their coffee and espresso drinks allow them to shine. For a refreshing pickme-up in the warmer months, an espresso tonic can’t be beat. If

you’re on the hunt for matcha, have one of the baristas whip up a Matcha Man Latte: a green tea latte with fresh ginger and vanilla. Even with the typical zip from fresh ginger, the drink remains balanced and smooth, blending bright flavors into a drink that is both creamy and sumptuous.

up, blending quality green tea powder with the milk of your choice for a frothy, creamy drink. If you’re looking for something novel, order their Unicorn Latte topped with colored sprinkles and gold dust. It’s a bit much, but when you’re feeling a little “extra,” it could be just what you’re after.

Dash Coffee Roasters

Fair Grounds

120 3rd Ave SW, Cedar Rapids

345 S Dubuque St, Iowa City



pened in November 2017, this new coffee shop perks up the growing Kingston Village neighborhood of Cedar Rapids. Housed in a restored 1920s-era building, the storefront’s large windows allow a flood of natural light to bathe caffeinated customers in sunshine. The shop boasts craft coffee drinks in an urban chic setting and also roasts their own coffee beans in the back. In addition to expertly crafted coffee and espresso drinks, the matcha latte at Dash gets two thumbs

he chai latte at Fair Grounds Coffeehouse is a can’t-miss. Fair Grounds is a comfortable, forest-feeling place with dark green walls and a plethora of potted plants. It has a somewhat quieter, homier feeling than many of the cafés in the thick of downtown Iowa City, removed from the Ped Mall bustle by just a block. Along with a spicy, very strong chai, they also serve many other hot drinks along with a selection of classic breakfast foods and sandwiches.


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Daisy’s Garage and Filling Station 1117 1st Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-362-2223,, $$ Named for Daisy Duke, this garage-themed restaurant brings an abundance of seafood options to the Cedar Rapids scene, so look for shrimp prepared five ways, clams and mussels before settling for a sandwich or burger. Dairy Queen 501 16th St NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-365-0680,, $ The faces behind the sliding order window at

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this Cedar Rapids walk-up are always friendly and the cool treats always executed with attention to detail. McWane Dairy Queen 526 S Riverside Dr, Iowa City, 319-338-9328,, $ Owned by the McWane family since the 1960s, the DQ on Riverside Drive feels like family when you pull into their lot. Stop by for a classic vanilla cone or hot fudge sundae, or mix it up by trying one of their always yummy Blizzards. Dan and Debbie’s Creamery 1600 Main St, Ely, 319-848-6455, $ You might have bought Dan and Debbie’s milk from your local grocery stores or ordered their cheese curds at the Black Squirrel Tap, but

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this family-owned dairy is well worth a visit in person. Sample their sumptuous ice cream, and pick up the staples you’re already used to. Dane’s Dairy 1430 Willow Creek Dr, Iowa City, 319-354-7400,, $ A seasonal favorite, Dane’s Dairy is a timecapsule of Iowa City history and frozen treats. The strawberry soft serve and signature ice cream bars are not to be missed.


Dash Coffee Roasters 120 3rd Ave SW, Cedar Rapids,, $ New on the coffee scene, this downtownadjacent shop specializes in caffeine, baked goods, breafast and lunch and roasts their own coffee. They also host classes on brewing basics and public cupping events to sample new brews. Dave’s Foxhead Tavern 402 E Market St, Iowa City, 319-351-9824, $ Iowa City’s oldest bar, the Foxhead makes for a great neighborhood watering hole. The bar does not boast fancy cocktails; drink selections are minimal, but thankfully, they are cheap and cover the necessities. Be sure to bring money for the eclectic jukebox or a game of pool.


BREAD & BUTTER 2018 41

at the TAB LE






Homestead 6



Rapid Creek Cidery

Dinner of Champions

Clinton Street Social Club 7

Clinton Street Social Club 8


42 BREAD & BUTTER 2018



Sanctuary Pub


George’s Buffet


12 16




Farmer’s Table dinner at Walker

Farmer’s Table dinner at Walker Homestead

Jamie Powers, Deluxe Cakes and Pastries

Dinner of Champions


Hamburg Inn No. 2 13 Brewhemia Taste of Iowa City, 2017




Taste of Iowa City 2017 14

Pullman Bar & Diner

Farm to Street Dinner, 2017










BREAD & BUTTER 2018 43

SWEET TOOTH Save room for dessert! Big Grove Brewery 101 Main St., Solon


ig Grove Brewery has made itself indispensable as the only brew pub in Solon and Iowa City and one of the most popular local breweries to carry on tap across the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor. While many come for the delicious and ever-changing beers as well as the Midwest cuisine with a twist, the desserts should not be passed over. Specifically the one which seems too simple to be good: cookies & milk. These three chocolate chip cookies are served warm and gooey (dare I say, perfectly underdone?) alongside a creamy glass of malted milk. Some may say its regressive; I say it’s a classic perfected. Share it with your family and friends or fight your siblings for the last cookie on the plate; believe me, no one would blame you.

44 BREAD & BUTTER 2018


Cardamom Panna Cotta Developed by Ari Ariel. Serves 8


orry vegans, gelatin is magical. Nothing proves that more readily than panna cotta. It turns cream and sugar into a luscious but simple dessert. Panna cotta is also exceptionally versatile. Add your favorite spice or herb to the cream as it heats, and you turn this simple mixture into something fancy. I’ve chosen to add a few cardamom pods to mine, but cinnamon, ginger or mint would be great too. You can even get a bit more creative, perhaps adding some rosemary or saffron. Really the sky’s the limit. Ingredients: 3 cups heavy cream 1 cup milk 6 tablespoons sugar 8 whole cardamom pods, lightly cracked 2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin Neutral oil or non-stick spray 1. In a small saucepan, bring the cream, milk, sugar and cardamom to a simmer. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover and let infuse for 30 minutes. Then strain the cream mixture to remove the pods. (You could also pick out the 8 pods.) 2. Put the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let it stand for a few minutes to dissolve. 3. Reheat the cream mixture until very warm but not boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin mixture. Make sure the gelatin is fully dissolved. 4. Coat eight custard cups with oil or nonstick spray. 5. Pour the mixture into the custard cups and then refrigerate them until set, at least 4 hours.


6. Serve the panna cotta in the custard cups, or to unmold, run a paring knife around the inside of the cups and then turn them over onto a serving ai dish. r Ga


Hurts Donuts 1301 5th St, Coralville


late night munchies shop has been missing from the area for far too long. Hurts Donuts was the answer to many college students’ and hungry donut fiends’ prayers. Open 24/7, this donut shop features a wacky array of fried goodies, from fritters and cinnamon rolls the size of a dinner plate and two inches thick to traditionally sized donuts topped with breakfast cereals, gumballs and bacon. Don’t fret—they also have traditional long johns, glazed cake donuts and classic Bismarcks. You can definitely pick your own options but the best way to go about your sugary adventure is to hand your fate over to the “donut gurus” and let them select your “Hurts a Lot” dozen randomly. These are a crowd pleaser at study fests and shindigs, all hours of the day.

The Pig and Porter 1028 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids


he Pig and Porter blends big-city finesse with food cozy enough to remind you of home. A meal of slow-braised beef cheeks or a hot bologna sandwich may seem like more than enough, but you’ll definitely want to save room for their famous bourbon apple cake. This moist, luscious confection seamlessly blends the warm, bold bourbon with the tart Granny Smith apples, enveloped by the pillow-soft sweet cake. Honestly, get an order to-go if you can’t eat it in-house. Wash down this dessert with an Irish coffee, topped with fresh whipped cream. Note: No to-go options for the Irish coffee, obviously.

Jon’s Ice Cream Store and Restaurant

Iowa is home to some of the best soil on the planet. We’re working to keep it that way.

Organic plant-based creations

to reflect the season and respect the land. Tues-Sat 11am-9pm Sun 10am-3pm Bar is often open til midnight

Delicious craft cocktails and draft selections Live music Relaxing patio Only 4 blocks from downtown

231 W Marengo Rd, Tiffin


his quaint little ice cream shop doesn’t seem like much. The simple yellow building with Americana buntings draped from the awning is en route from Iowa City/Coralville to Oxford, and after a long day swimming or hiking out at F.W. Kent County Park, Jon’s is the perfect respite from the heat. They have a wide selection of soft-serve ice cream and yogurts. All of these can be used to make sundaes or Superwhippers, blended treats which usually feature a baked good such as homemade apple crisp (included in their Caramel Apple Superwhipper) and birthday cake.

310 E. Prentiss St., Iowa City 319-248-0077

We’re here to make you feel better. BREAD & BUTTER 2018 45



Daylight Donuts

Della Viti Wine Lounge


3560 E Court St, Iowa City,

203 1st Ave SE, Cedar Rapids,

117 N Linn St, Iowa City,

319-339-0055,, $

319-409-7421,, $$

319-354-1001,, $$$

Since its opening in 2011, Daylight Donuts

Sample hand-selected wines by the splash,

This northside institution—an Iowa City

has enjoyed a great deal of word-of-mouth

glass or bottle from self-serve wine stations

pioneer in the locavore movement—features

popularity and established itself as a mainstay

in this downtown Cedar Rapids lounge. If

Mediterranean small plates, tapas style,

in Iowa City for a sweet breakfast treat and

you need guidance as you make your way

alongside inventive cocktails, beer and wine in

a good, cheap cup of coffee. It takes pride

through the numerous choices, look for a

a cozy, intimate nook. Now open for breakfast

in its customer service, hometown feel and

knowledgeable staff member who can guide

on the weekend for a Spanish spin on your

homemade doughnuts. If you’re feeling

you to something you’ll like. Locally-brewed

morning meal.

adventurous, try their maple bacon longjohns

craft beer and a selection of fine spirits are

or a sausage roll—a cheddarwurst wrapped in

available for those who don’t identify as winos

The Dingo Bar

sweet dough and fried.

and a small plate menu provides sustenance.

1040 Martin St, Iowa City,

Deadwood Tavern

Deluxe Cakes & Pastries

The Dingo Bar is a elegantly modern and urban

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

812 S Summit St, Iowa City,

space, bringing a metropolitan feel to Iowa

Downtown Iowa City’s ultimate come-as-you-

319-338-5000,, $$

City’s Penninsula neighborhood. A solid cafe

are bar—or, “Institute of Higher Learning,” as

Buttery croissants baked to perfection, delicate

and coffee menu alongside a selection of panini

the signage reads—offers a spacious eclectic

French macarons and a welcoming staff are

and toasts make this neighborhood spot a

atmosphere with plenty of booths and big

just a few reasons to visit. Deluxe provides a

destination for all.

screen TVs to watch the Hawkeyes, Cubs or the

neighborhood feel that is as rich as the items

Simpson’s during their famous “Angry Hour.”

on the menu. Newly renovated and now open

Donnelly’s Pub

Famous for Bloody Marys and surly service,

for Sunday brunch with expanded savory menu

110 E College St, Iowa City,

the Deadwood loves you and you will love the


319-338-7355,, $$

319-400-1921,, $

Deadwood. Cash only, no food.

Check out the next Hawkeye game at Donnelly’s Pub and take advantage of their daily lunch and drink specials. Try their classic Irish-American entrees like the mouthwatering

46 BREAD & BUTTER 2018


Reuben or patty melt, and be sure to wash it

during the week or until bar close Thursday

El Bajio

down with one of their craft beers!

through Saturday. They offer dumplings

555 Gateway Place SW, Cedar Rapids,

(fried or steamed), bao buns and a variety of

319-366-1715,, $

vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan options!

If you are on the quest for authentic, homestyle

Dublin Underground 5 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-337-7660, $

Mexican cuisine, look no further! Bringing to

No night on the town is complete without

The Early Bird

Cedar Rapids the flavors of the west-central

stopping at this classic Iowa City basement bar.

333 1st St SE, Cedar Rapids,

region of Mexico, El Bajio is a treat to the plate.

Order a round of cocktails, play some darts

319-261-4901,, $$

From simple taco options to elaborate meat

or squeeze yourself into one of their small but

This homey café spot makes the thought of

medleys like the Molcajetes there is something

charming booths for some conversation. If

becoming an early riser vaguely achievable.

for both the timid and the adventurous.

you aren’t careful you might end up staying till

Because weekend mornings are meant for

close. Time has a way of flying at the Dublin

sleeping in, The Early Bird is only open Monday

El Banditos

Underground, but it’s always time well spent.

through Friday, pouring freshly brewed tea and

327 E Market St, Iowa City, 319-358-2836,

Cash only, no food.

coffee, breakfast and lunch to the sleepy and, $$

hungry masses in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Located in the Northside neighborhood, El

Duck City Bistro

Banditos offers a wide variety of delicious

115 E 3rd St, Davenport, 563-322-3825,

Eastbank Venue & Lounge

Mexican dishes made from family recipes and, $$$

97 3rd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids,

local ingredients. Banditos embodies traditional

The friendly chef who greets patrons at the

319-365-0759,, $$

Mexican flavors with an emphasis on fresh and

door will sell you on the creative, well-prepared

Located in the old Smulekoff’s building (a

local. Stop in over the weekend for one of the

specials, and rightly so, but also be sure to save

furniture store that operated for more than 120

best brunches in town.

room for some duck-fat fries.

years in downtown Cedar Rapids), Eastbank Venue is a 14,000 square foot event space

Dumpling Darling

that can be customized to the unique flavor of

1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-640-2160

your event. Exposed brick with centuries-old

213 Iowa Ave, Iowa City, 319-338-2404,

paint combine with purple lights and dangling, $

crystals bringing an 1890s meets 1990s lounge

Mix up your usual late-night cuisine by stopping

vibe to the cocktail bar next door, currently

by Dumpling Darling any time before 10 PM

only open for private events.


BREAD & BUTTER 2018 47

Planning a special night out? Whether it’s an evening with friends and family or a date night, Hancher has everything you need to make memories.

Great Artists. Great Audiences. Hancher Performances. 48 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

Explore the Hancher schedule to find the perfect performance. Join us for Thursday Nights at Hancher for a relaxing evening in our Stanley CafÊ. Schedule your big event with us—we offer amazing spaces and exceptional staff to make your event unforgettable. All the information you need can be found at our website:

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 49


Nothing goes better with an evening in than Netflix and takeout. You don’t have to default to the nearest pizza chain or Chinese restaurant, though; pair these tasty local offerings with your favorite Netflix original for a satisfying binge experience.


There is no greater love story than Eleven’s devotion to Eggo waffles. Whether served to her in hiding by Mike or Hopper, or swiped from a local grocery store and eaten frozen while on the run from the shadow government, El’s feats of telekinesis are fueled by toaster waffles.


Iowa City’s finest waffles are found outside of the frozen food section. Go ahead and order an adult-sized serving with your favorite topping, including fruit, walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips and whipped cream. They will perfectly pair with a bingesession of Stranger Things or even Parks and Recreation, which features another waffle-obsessed protagonist. Available for carry-out and delivery through Chomp

50 BREAD & BUTTER 2018


This blood- and vomit-splattered comedy about an undead real estate agent and her horrified but supportive family is perhaps Netflix’s most stomach-churning series. Still, Drew Barrymore’s insatiable appetite for human flesh (and the occasional rooster) may bring out your carnivorous side.


Sink your teeth into St. Louisstyle ribs, sausage links, pulled pork, half a chicken and other meaty delights from one of Iowa City’s favorite barbeque joints. Don’t forget to complement your entrée with a side of pickled vegetables, cornbread or a jar of bacon. You heard that right. Available for carry-out and delivery through Chomp


While the royals of Netflix’s lush costume drama are too busy smoking and stressing over the fate of the empire to grab a bite to eat, viewers can only be expected to take in so many shots of London landmarks before they start craving fish and chips.


Apart from having a killer fish and chips—served with coleslaw and tartar sauce—the Wig and Pen offers some of the most celebrated pizza in Eastern Iowa, featuring titles so British Queen Elizabeth II would be proud. There’s the East Sider, Twickenham and Piccadilly Circus, but The Union Jack (with Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions and red peppers) is their most popular pie. Available for carry-out and delivery through Chomp


Few Netflix series will stir your food cravings like Aziz Ansari’s breakout comedy Master of None. While Nashville barbeque and Italian pasta are integral to Dev’s quest for love and identity, one of the show’s most memorable food adventures comes when Dev searches the interwebs with the deftness of a Russian hacker to locate the best taco joint in New York City.


NYC be damned—Iowa City has no shortage of its own tasty tacos. Northside Mexican restaurant El Banditos is a stand-out, offering breakfast, shrimp, free-range pork and even portabella mushroom tacos. Available for carry-out and delivery through Chomp

Glen Lowry


Grace is a high-class martini enthusiast and Frankie a hippie with a Ben and Jerry’s weakness, but when their kitchen isn’t churning out vodka-infused watermelon, peyote tea or yambased lube, Grace and Frankie can usually agree on light and healthy morsels.


Enjoy lunch, dinner or snacking options fit for an awkward family gathering at your beach house. Trumpet Blossom offers an array of vegan dishes, including white bean hummus, herb-marinated Greek olives, maple-ginger tofu, cumin tempeh, cashew alfredo pasta, beet salad and gluten-free nachos. Available for carry-out and delivery through Chomp


Litchfield Prison rarely serves an edible dish, but that doesn’t stop the inmates from making the best of their culinary situation. This may mean sprinkling Ramen flavor packets on bland food, faking a Jewish faith to score the superior kosher meals, concocting “Frito fritters” in the microwave or using a hostage situation to secure Cheetos and Takis for the whole prison.


These dumplings and bao buns transform a mix of flavor backgrounds—Korean, Chinese, Indian, Eastern European, Midwestern and more—into flavorful morsels Piper and her fellow inmates can only dream of. From potato pierogies to bison momos to cheeseburger and mac and cheese dumplings, there are at least many combinations as there are Orange Is The New Black characters. Available for carry-out or delivery through GrubHub


When Lillian, Titus and Kimmy’s dingy New York neighborhood is invaded by hipsters looking to install artisanal sneaker shops in beloved local dive restaurants, they fight back—with knives and fake beards alike—against gentrification. Hashbrown #hilarity ensues.


Though the fictional Mabel’s (featured in the episode “Kimmy Drives a Car!”) is an F-rated soul food restaurant, it holds special significance for the residents of East Dogmouth, New York City. Vivian’s Soul Food of Cedar Rapids is equally endearing but exponentially safer, serving comfort foods such as fried chicken and catfish, pot roast, meat loaf, collard greens and banana pudding. Pair with a nice pinot noir for the ultimate Titusapproved experience. Available for carry-out or delivery through Feed Now


By the fourth episode of Netflix’s superhero all-star series, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist barricade themselves in a Chinese restaurant called the Royal Dragon while on the run from a criminal organization. The newly-united Defenders trade suspicions, chat strategy—and snack on some fried pork and pot stickers.


Sit down to a more relaxing meal than the New York City heroes. Pei’s has been open in Cedar Rapids for 30 years, serving an array of Chinese chicken, beef, pork, vegetable and seafood dishes as well as Japanese and Korean offerings. Grab a pair of chopsticks and watch the epic Royal Dragon standoff without having to fight Chinese food cravings. Available for carry-out or delivery through Feed Now

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 51



El Cactus

Encore Life

proper, Encounter Cafe, a community-minded

104 1st Ave, Coralville, 319-354-0444,

119 E Washington St, Iowa City,

restaurant serves panini, smoothies, wraps and,

319-519-2237, $

omelets to hungry patrons and all profits from

1534 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, 319-354-0444,

This 2017 addition to Iowa City brings another

the cafe are funnelled back to the community

burst of delightful bubble tea to the downtown

through local charities and organizations

40 Sugar Creek Ln, North Liberty,

neighborhood. Opened by a recent Tippie MBA

doing good.

319-665-2046,, $$

graduate, Encore Life stands out from other

Famous for their margaritas. Nothing

Estela’s Fresh Mex

prickly about the service; a friendly

184 E Burlington St, Iowa City,

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, $$ El Dorado is a must if you love a good Tex-Mex platter and fresh, $

Why doesn’t canned food spoil right away?

Mami’s Authentic reincarnated = Estela’s Fresh Mex. Giant breakfast burritos stuffed full of your favorite toppings are an obvious draw, but

The how of making canned food shelf-stable came decades before anyone fully understood why it works. The discovery of both the how and the why happened in France.

décor is bright and festive and lends to a relaxed, happy environment. El Paso Taqueria and Latin Market

In 1810, the French government awarded Nicholas Appert, a Parisian chef and distiller, 12,000 francs for inventing a new way to preserve food. Appert put food in a jar, sealed it with a cork and wax, then heated the jar in boiling water.

El Paso is home to some of Iowa City’s best burritos and authentic tacos. Place your order and while

Appert wasn’t the first to realize there was a connection between high heat and slowing down spoilage. Boiling wine to give it a longer shelf life was common practice in China in the 12th century.

Tallboys of Tecate or Michelada make the perfect beverage to enjoy alongside a plate of tacos. El Sol Mexican Cuisine 240 W Main St, Solon, 319-624-2020,, $$ In a cozy brick building on the main

It wasn’t until 1864 that French scientist Louis Pasteur developed a scientific explanation of what Appert had done. Bacteria causes food spoilage and heat killed that bacteria. Putting the heated foodstuff in a sealed container inhibited any new bacterial growth. Pasteur modestly named the process of killing bacteria with heat after himself. (Although Pasteurization is commonly associated with dairy products, Pasteur’s 1864 experiments involved beer and wine, not milk.)

a vegetarian burrito. Their full bar makes for a great night out with friends and sometimes you can catch live music. El Super Burrito & Lupita’s

Exotic India 102 B 2nd Ave, Coralville, 319-354-4710,, $$ Indian place, done well, at a great price. Hot chai; Kingfisher, Taj Mahal and Flying Horse beers; warm fluffy naan baked in a clay disappoints. If you live in Iowa City/Coralville, their curries and tandoori fare should probably be part of your regular routine if it isn’t already. Fair Grounds Café 345 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-338-2024,, $

drag of Solon, El Sol offers delicious food, ranging from steak fajitas to

spot for breakfast on your way to

oven; a lunch buffet that never

you’re waiting, wander through the aisles of the small adjoined bodega.

fresh right in front of you. Great

Everything you hope for in an

609 Hollywood Blvd, Iowa City, 319-338-3703, $

bowls and quesadillas are made

class or a quick lunch or dinner.

salsa. You are sure to enjoy eating in the restaurant as well, because their

everything from tacos to burrito

Canned food was already becoming common in the United States when Pasteur made his discovery. It was first introduced in 1812, the year after British manufacturers started substituting tin cans for Appert’s jars, but didn’t see wide use until the Civil War, when both armies needed an easy way to transport food for soldiers.


3300 Johnson Ave, Cedar Rapids, 319-366-1181, $ This tiny gray house on the northwest side of Cedar Rapids is home to

Come to Fair Grounds if you are looking for classic breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes with plentiful vegan and vegetarian options, as well as gluten free choices. They house the Howling Dogs Bakery which is stocked with gluten-free and vegan pastries. All of their coffee is fair trade and organic, and their Guatemalan pour-over is hands-down my favorite cup of coffee in Iowa City.

delicious traditional and street Mexican cuisine. Their extensive menu ensures

nearby shops because of their commitment

just about any craving is sure to be satisfied

to using real tea, fresh fruits and milk in their

Falbo Bros. Pizzeria

and be sure to indulge your sweet tooth with

drinks, desserts and smoothies.

457 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, 319-337-9090,, $

something from the in-house bakery, Lupita’s.

52 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

Encounter Cafe

2100 Norcor Ave, Coralville, 319-248-9090,

376 S Clinton St, Iowa City,, $

319-519-2044,, $

Late night pizza and subs are offered at Falbo’s

Feel good about where you spend your

and commonly enjoyed among undergrads.

money: Just south of downtown Iowa City

If you’re feelin’ a little cheesy, try their stuffed


pizza which is loaded with cheese and

restaurants. There is often live music including


regular Salsa and Tango nights. Visit once and you’ll become a regular.

The Famous Mockingbird 1064 7th Ave, Marion,

Frontier Family Restaurant, $

1755 Boyrum St, Iowa City, 319-519-2883

Just opened in the fall of 2017 by Dennis, $

and Carrie Mahoney (former operators of

Frontier Family Restaurant is homestyle food

Mahoney’s Irish Pub, now Dick’s Tap & Shake),

just like mom used to make. From biscuits and

The Famous Mockingbird is a new live music

gravy to a sirloin steak, Frontier is the classic

and special event location in the former

choice for a classic appetite.

Campbell-Steele Gallery space in Marion. Music in the MUD (started by Campbell-Steele)

Fuel Nest

continues to operate there, and the Backstage

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

Lounge offers craft beer and wine during

If Mount Vernon had a living room, it would be

special events.

Fuel Nest. Stop by for delicious baked goods and fresh-brewed coffee and if you have a few


spare minutes, wander around. The shop is

118 E College St, Iowa City,

filled with an eclectic mix of local art, antiques

319-358-2555,, $$

and curios—all for sale.

T ’ N O D



Two cozy screening rooms featuring more than 300 films a year, emphasizing independent and

Gabby’s Mexican Restaurant

outsider genres, all done with such curatorial

1100 N Columbus, West Liberty,

expertise that the L.A. Times once cried, “It’s

319-627-7178, $$

long been known that the art house scene in

This teeny Mexican restaurant has a plain, bare-

Los Angeles lags behind that of New York, but

bones interior, but what it lacks in ambience,

must we be outdone by Iowa City as well?”

it makes up for in flavor and authenticity.

Local beers on tap, a nice selection of wine,

The menu features Mexican-style “street

locally roasted coffee (and of course popcorn)

tacos”—corn tortillas, meat, onion, cilantro and

heighten the experience.

lime—and other traditional Mexican dishes, like tortas and menudo. For the less-adventurous

The Flying Wienie

among us, there are also more Americanized

103 8th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids,

dishes and combination plates and everything

319-861-3036,, $

is ridiculously inexpensive.

This charming joint is full of personality and flavor, bringing a little piece of the Windy City

Gabe’s Oasis

to Cedar Rapids since 1999. The Chicago-style

330 E Washington St, Iowa City,

dogs are naturally a menu staple, but you’d be

319-351-9175,, $

missing out if you don’t try the baby back ribs

The dive bar and music venue features a history

or the hand cut fries.

of Iowa City music all over their walls and in its roots. Gabe’s has been a tour stop for famous


bands before they found fame, and features

221 E College St, Iowa City,

all types of music from techno, indy, metal and

319-338-8880,, $$

hip hop. Aside from their music credentials,

Formosa is known for their fast service and

their beer garden is a go to for Iowa City folk to

phenomenal sushi. You can find them on Hotel

catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

Vetro’s first level, and expect a fresh, sleek

Gabe’s is exactly what you want from a local

atmosphere when you walk in the door. Be

bar and music venue—legendary music cred,

sure to make a reservation if you want to enjoy

wide selection of beer and a casual, cool vibe.

dinner here and check out their sushi and drink specials during the week!

Gary’s Foods 715 1st Ave S, Mt Vernon,

Frida Kahlo Mexican


Restaurant and Lucy’s Bakery

Gary’s is a local family-owned grocery store

101 Windflower Ln #500,

serving Mount Vernon, Lisbon and the

Solon, 319-624-2107, $$

surrounding communities since 1971. Delivering

On the south edge of Solon, Frida Kahlo offers

high-quality meats, produce, deli and baked

wonderful Mexican food, but it is the traditional

goods, Gary’s has that hometown charm and

Tres Leches Cakes and Pastries from Lucy’s

will even carry your groceries to your car.

Bakery combined with the community spirit of

Find complete area event listings

+ Add your own events Calendar

this large event space that make Frida Kahlo stand out in a crowded field of great Mexican BREAD & BUTTER 2018 53



George’s Buffet

candy. Their pistachio ice cream is

well as an express lunch option

comes Guild Wurst, Iowa City’s

312 E Market St, Iowa City,

a real winner.

for downtown office workers on a

first sausage-centric restaurant

time schedule.

and brewery. Sample one of

319-351-9614, $ A favorite with the locals, this

Great River Brewery

small Northside neighborhood

332 E 2nd St, Davenport,

watering hole has some of the


Flute Brewery

best cheeseburgers around., $

53 2nd St, Coralville,

Order from the bar’s selection of

Stop in for a free brewery tour


Gumby’s Pizza

whiskey served with a beer back,

on a Saturday, complete with

From the folks who brought us

702 S Gilbert St, Iowa City,

get a pitcher for the table, or a

plentiful samples, or enjoy one

the now defunct Bar'ber Shop


six unique wursts or the meaty Guild Wurst Tavern and Boot ‘n’

brisket burger and wash it down with a house-brewed beer.

knock back a bottle or a two of, $


Gumby’s is here for you and your late-night cravings. They’ve got

Get Fresh 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-383-5449, $ You can’t beat freshness, and this

Why are ginger and wasabi always served with sushi?

selection of beverages like dailysqueezed juices, juice blends and cleanses, smoothies and more. Ghurtie’s Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt Cafe

Gari, thinly sliced pickled ginger, is served with sushi as a palate cleanser for diners to eat between courses during multi-course meals of sushi. Unless you’re in Australia. Australians, for some reason, were under the impression gari was supposed to be eaten with the sushi—sort of a side dish—when they first embraced the delicate rolls of uncooked fish. They still do it.

Ghurtie’s is the real deal. Locally owned and operated, this self-serve froyo spot features a rotating selection of 12 types of

cheesy garlic bread sticks, AKA “pokey stix,” you are missing out. until 2 a.m. or later. gumption. 560 Boyson Rd NE Suite A, Cedar Rapids, 319-449-5005,, $$ This is a restaurant with real heart. gumption. focuses on creating

2180 Norcor Ave, Coralville, 319-338-1999,, $

to pizza. If you haven’t tried their

They deliver their affordable food

place delivers just that! Get Fresh offers an impressive and healthy

everything from wings to subs

Americans have no room to laugh, because we serve wasabi with sushi. The Japanese don’t. Wasabi is considered too powerful, it would overwhelm the sushi. The Japanese traditionally serve wasabi with sashimi, not sushi.

a positive, hip environment for breakfast and lunch, utilizing local and seasonal ingredients with a menu that highlights unique twists on traditional favorites.

yoghurt and over 30 toppings, which should keep you from ever getting bored. Golden Delight Bakery 2289 Johnson Washington Rd, Kalona, 319-646-3030, $ So much more than just a bakery, this gaslit bakery-in-a-house is run by an Amish family in Kalona.

It’s not clear why Americans serve wasabi with sushi, but there are several urban legends about it. One persistent story told by sushi know-it-alls who really know nothing is that wasabi is served to kill harmful bacteria in the uncooked fish. But your dab of the green stuff isn’t going to save you from gastrointestinal suffering. While some laboratory tests show that wasabi can kill certain bacteria, it takes more time to do so than you would spend at the sushi bar.

the cinnamon bread and cheesy garlic loaf are equally as good.

4317 Center Point Rd NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-294-0082,, $$ 715 1st Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-363-7344,, $$ A stalwart in the Cedar Rapids food scene offering Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican dishes and an

The glazed donuts are something straight out of your dreams, but

Hacienda las Glorias

Also, if you think you need wasabi to protect you from tainted fish, you might consider getting your sushi from a different place.


You can also find locally made quilts, preserves, handmade rocking chairs and Grandfather clocks.

extensive margarita menu with a rotating seasonal feature. Bonus fun fact: the building Hacienda inhabits is rumored to be haunted! Halal Foods 1806 Boyrum St, Iowa City, 319-499-1920, $

Great American Popcorn Company

of their small-batch pints on the

made with the finest ingredients,

Stocking certified halal foods and

1121 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids,

patio—and don’t forget to take

and vegan and vegetarian options

groceries as well as halal meats.


home a growler or two!

are part of their menu. Greyhound also offers an exciting catering

Greyhound Deli

Hamburg Inn No. 2

This NewBo shop is accurately

menu featuring boxed lunches,

214 N Linn St, Iowa City,

named—the popcorn is great

450 5th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids,

hor d’ouevres, sliders and more.


and the aroma of the shop upon

319-261-7323, $$

entering is heavenly. Aside from

Focusing on locally sourced,

Grin ‘n’ Goose, $$

the variety of flavored popcorn,

made from scratch food, this little

227 2nd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids,

Hamburg Inn has been an Iowa

the shop also sells ice cream,

eatery located inside the Cedar, $$

City staple since 1948. They

shakes, old-fashioned soda and

Rapids Public Library prepares

Casual atmosphere, good

specialize in breakfast, but you

sandwiches, soups and salads

sandwiches and onion rings as, $

54 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

2221 Rochester Ave, Iowa City,


n recent years, poke, a Hawaiian raw fish salad, has become increasingly popular in mainland United States. Traditional poke (pronounced “poh-kay” which means “to cut” in Hawaiian) is ubiquitous in Hawaii and is available everywhere from roadside stands to Costco stores and gas stations. With roots in fishing culture––fishermen cubed up the less-desirable parts of their daily catch, seasoned it and served it as a snack—today’s preparations usually feature raw, marinated fish, tossed over rice and topped with loads of vegetables and decorated with flavorful sauces. Try these local fast-casual restaurants who have created their own unique, modern spins on this classic:


onomi, 843 Quarry Rd #140, Coralville, offers a twist on the poke bowl which comes standard with cucumber, seaweed salad, edamame and shredded nori. Diners can make customizations to their bowl with a choice of fish (choose from tuna, salmon, shrimp or octopus) and sauce (selections included soy sauce, creamy wasabi or spicy) and with enough permutations of sauce-fish combos, there’s a bowl for every craving.


rder from Bread Garden Market’s, 225 S Linn St, Iowa City, automated kiosks and choose from two preparations: salmon or tuna. For something zippy, opt for the salmon variation which is served over sushi rice and loaded with kimchi. The tuna bowl, topped with seaweed salad, creamy avocado, edamame and radish leaves you feeling nourished, satisfied and refreshed.


t Iowa City’s newest sushi restaurant, Soseki Sushi Café and Sake Bar, 227 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, the combinations are endless. Each bowl includes avocado, cucumber, pickled radish and seaweed salad. From there, the customization begins. Start with your base: rice, salad, or a half-and-half option for the best of both worlds. Since sushi is their main game, there’s plenty of high-quality fish in house; select two from a list of thirteen. Top with your preferred sauce.


he poke bowl at 30Hop, 900 E 2nd Ave, Coralville, doesn’t offer the same level of customization as other places, but they’ve done all the work, crafting a balanced bowl and relieving you of decision-making responsibility. Tuck into a bed of brown rice and mixed greens topped with marinated tuna, wonton, crispy vegetables and seaweed salad.


56 BREAD & BUTTER 2018


haven’t really eaten there until you’ve tried one of their famous pie shakes. Happy Joe’s Pizza 102 2nd Ave, Coralville, 319-351-6900 5070 Lindale Dr, Cedar Rapids, 319-393-0017
3315 Williams Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-396-0626,, $$ Serving Cedar Rapids since 1974, Happy Joes is known for being kid friendly and inventing the taco pizza. Consider this pizzeria for your next event; a party room is available at the Lindale Dr. location in Cedar Rapids. Delivery is available at all Happy Joe's locations. Haveli Indian 943 25th Ave, Coralville, 319-359-1744,, $$ Authentic Indian cuisine is in abundance at Haveli, which offers a staggering 100-plus menu choices. Anything is good here, but the traditional thali meal provides a sample of classic dishes. Enjoy the Bollywood music videos playing on loop as you consume far too many pakora. Her Soup Kitchen 625 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-354-1602,, $$ The sandwiches are outstanding, the salads are littered with delicious nuggets and treats that make consuming your leafy greens a joy and the housemade soup is entirely comforting on a cold wintry day. One of the highlights of this family owned and operated restaurant: the endless pitchers filled with cucumber water. It’s like a trip to the spa. Heyn’s Ice Cream 25 Cherry St, North Liberty, 319-665-2249,, $ 811 S 1st Ave, Iowa City, 319-354-1981,, $ Take a detour and visit Heyn’s for homemade ice cream in classic and surprising flavors. Not to mention: they offer this premium ice cream in gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan flavors. High Ground Cafe 301 E Market St, Iowa City, 319-338-5382,, $ 925 E 2nd Ave, Coralville, 319-339-4390,, $ Enjoy pour-over coffee, an espresso drink, or a hot cup of tea at this popular downtown study space or visit the Iowa River Landing location. Both shops offer similar coffee, espresso and tea menus as well as salads, panini, wine and beer.

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 57


Bread Garden Market

Sanctuary Pub

Naso’s Marion

225 S Linn St, Iowa City

405 S Gilbert St, Iowa City

453 7th Ave, Marion




read Garden’s recent kitchen remodel brought an expanded menu of made-to-order meals to the downtown grocery hub. Order from an electronic kiosk––everything on the menu is delicious, made fresh and super affordable. With selections ranging from avocado toast to poké bowls, burgers to burritos, you could eat here for days on end without getting bored. If you haven’t tried Bread Garden Market’s pizza, what are you waiting for? Build your own just the way you like it or choose from a handful of combinations on the menu. The pies come in just one size—somewhere between personal and small—and a single style of crust: thin but with enough structure to prevent it from flopping and your toppings from sliding. You can certainly take it to go; it takes just about 5 minutes before you’ll be on your way, but honestly, the pizza is best enjoyed inhouse, whether standing at the counter people watching or shared among friends sampling new pours from the wine bar. 58 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

his cozy, dimly lit pub is best known for its wide selection of craft beer, but if you’re sampling a few of the high-alcohol brews, you’ll definitely need something to keep you in check. The pizza is a crowd-pleaser; soak up the beer and smoosh a few more people into your wood-paneled booth as you argue over the last pieces. Feel free to concoct your own creation from the available ingredients or choose from the small selection of house combinations. The Pizza Pimienta is a favorite on the menu—a cilantro pesto base gives way to roasted red peppers, fontinella cheese and jalapenos; this is one pizza that packs a little heat. Look for new creative additions to the menu like the Balboa topped with prosciutto, banana peppers and a balsamic reduction or the Tikka Masala flatbread which is your favorite Indian dish atop a pizza crust.

favorite for fried chicken dinners and the 25 yearlong cheeseburger Saturday special (cheeseburgers are just $2.50 on Saturdays), Naso’s is also a hidden gem for pizza. Plenty of options flush out the restaurant’s menu of sandwiches, burgers and deep-fried snacks. Taco pizza, mediterranean vegetable, Italian meatlovers and even a white pizza find a home on this family-oriented, something-for-everyone menu. Dine at Naso’s Marion on a Tuesday night and you’ll score half-priced medium pizzas.

Cedar Ridge Winery 1441 Marak Rd, Swisher


he tasting room and spectacular views of the vineyards are certainly what draw you to Cedar Ridge, but don’t overlook the pizza. The menu is filled with traditional Italian choices like the Margherita but strays toward adventure with the creative Butternut squash pie, and dietary requests can usually be acommodated with little hassle. Any of the selections


Perhaps these restaurants don’t make your short list when you’ve got pizza on the brain, but the pies at these places are the perfect crowd pleasers: not-too-thick, not-too-thin and definitely not-too-serious.

TOP BETS: Where do we even stop? These restaurants serve some of the best pies around. Mt. Vernon/Solon

Lincoln Winebar Red Vespa Iowa City/Coralville/North Liberty

Basta Ristorante Falbo’s Flight Maggie’s Farm Pizza Monica’s Wig and Pen Cedar Rapids/Marion

Need Pizza Tomaso’s Pizza Zoey’s Pizzeria Leonardo’s Cappy’s



- Midwestern artists are our specialty -

pair well with a glass of wine produced by the on-site vineyards. Be sure to visit on Wednesdays when the wood-fired pizza is buy-oneget-one-half-off.

Mesa Pizza 114 E Washington St, Iowa City


esa is a well-known establishment, particularly amongst Iowa City’s undergraduate set. In the heart of downtown and open late hours, it is a favorite of the party crowd and the last stop for many after a long night of bar crawling. The sparse seating provides plenty of standing room for clamoring patrons. The restaurant walls are graffitied with strange purple and green worms, almost like aliens and the whole space feels somewhat industrial, like you’d expect a cool band to be playing there. But instead of a stage at the back, there’s a counter and the pizza kitchen. Mesa dreams up many different flavor combinations in both vegetarian and meat-lover varieties including taco pizza, burger and fries pizza and of course their famous mac and cheese pizza. The slices

are large and generously covered in toppings, but there always seems to be room for just one more.

Located in the historic, Paul-Helen Building in Iowa City’s Downtown District, Iowa Artisans Gallery is a must-see destination in Iowa City. Offering gifts and home décor pieces that are unique, personal, and American made and hosting special exhibitions, classes and art-based events.


Wedge Pizza 517 S Riverside Dr, Iowa City


ven if you haven’t stopped by the Wedge Pizzeria along Riverside, you may have eaten their pizza. Slices are sold at select university locations, including the café in Art Building West. The inside of Wedge is small, but cheery, with its spinning racks of fresh pizza and deep-purple painted counters. It boasts large, hefty slices decorated with toppings, and has an extensive vegetarian selection such as the “Wedgetable Garden.” Other slices include Pesto Shrimp, the Genghis Chickhan and Tootie Frootie—a pizza slice covered in mandarin orange slices as well as pineapple and Canadian bacon. The Wedge’s selection of slices is rotating—just another reason to stop by frequently. If you’re in the market for a whole pie, the Wedge does that too.

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 59


THE POWER OF FERMENTATION Kraut + kimchi = diamond in the roughage. by Alicia Ambler


he discerning eater has always sized up their choices before plunking down their hard-earned dollars on foods. We consider the food’s country of origin, its ingredient list, whether it was grown with pesticides or not. We tend to think of our food as something we put into our bodies, as something totally separate from our bodies. But what if our food was actually alive? And what if our food became a part of our bodies after eating? The movement behind fermented foods explores living foods, which its proponents believe improve health. To learn more about fermentation, we spoke with Sarah Underberg of Agri-Cultured Foods, a local manufacturer specializing in fermented foods. Underberg credits fermented foods with helping a variety of her own health problems, inspiring her to start her business to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for fermented foods with her local community. While people often think of fermented foods as “rotten” or “spoiled,” Underberg reframes the conversation, saying these foods “are a lot like the creation of diamonds ... time and pressure in a controlled environment gives us beautiful results!” As fermented foods continue to boom in popularity, Underberg has noticed that consumers seem much more familiar with these oncefringe foods. “People come up to me now and say, oh my friend drinks kombucha! Instead of ... what IS this?” Underberg cites Agri-Cultured Foods kombucha as one of their best

products, containing adaptogenic herbs which are purported to help manage stress. Underberg encourages consumers to try fermenting on their own (Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz is an excellent resource) as a way to learn more and experience living foods for themselves. Underberg’s passion for health and education are at the core of Agri-Culutred foods, as is her devotion to her customers. “We genuinely care about each and every customer,” says Underberg. “We want them to feel the difference. We want them healed. We want them to thrive.” Agri-Cultured Foods products ranging from kimchi to live sauerkraut, kombucha to pickles can be found at grocers and markets throughout the corridor.

CULTURE QUEST After recent renovations and menu overhauls, Deluxe Cakes and Pastries (812 S Summit St, Iowa City) now offers fresh made baguettes and English Muffins and housemade yogurt in addition to their tried-and-true favorites. Baguettes and English Muffins are made with a “starter”—a mixture of water and flour that has been converted into a leavening agent through the process of fermentation. Deluxe’s delicious housemade yogurt is produced by the skilled bakers by fermenting milk to produce lactic acid, causing the milk to clot and form the soft gel that is characteristic of yogurt. Curious cured-meat-eaters take note of Cobble Hill’s (219 2nd St SE, Cedar Rapids) Community Supported Pig. Operating under the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) framework, Cobble Hill connects community members directly with made-in-house pork products. For about $40.00 a month, members receive a selection of cured and fresh meat products, a pint of house-pickled vegetables and a loaf of sourdough bread monthly for half a year. Be sure to snag your share; contact Want to try your hand at brewing up some kombucha? Owners of Iowa City-based Wild Culture Kombucha, Rachelle Schmidt and Tim Roed, sell scoby and starter liquid to interested homebrewers at their farmers market stands. Unfamiliar? “Scoby” is actually an acronym: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast and acts as homebase for the bacteria and yeast that shifts your standard tea into the zippy, bubbly gut-healthy drink. Visit Brix Cheese Shop and Wine Bar (209 N Linn St, Iowa City) to get your fill of cultured and fermented foods. Part retail outlet, part dine-in cheese and wine bar, Brix offers a wide selection of cheeses, cured meats and pickled goods. One of the only places locally to buy Raclette, be sure to visit on a Sunday for their Raclette service where the wheel of cheese is heated and the melted portion is scraped off and paired with roasted potatoes and onions as well as a host of delicious add-ons like poached eggs and ham.

60 BREAD & BUTTER 2018


Pickled Red Onions Developed by Ari Ariel.


ickled onions are a great addition to your cooking repertoire. They add a little kick and a lot of complexity to so many dishes. Best of all, they are really easy to make: slice some onions, add a bit of salt, cover in vinegar and wait an hour. Then add them to salads and sandwiches and use them as a substitute any time you want to tone down the overwhelming sharpness of raw onion. The trickiest part of this recipe is getting the balance between sweet and sour right. Most pickled onion recipes call for sugar, but I find that too sweet. Instead I mix a small amount of balsamic vinegar with red wine vinegar. If you’d like your onions a bit more tart, replace half of the red wine vinegar with distilled white vinegar. You can store these in a glass jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Ingredients: Red onion Kosher salt Red wine vinegar Balsamic vinegar 1. Slice the red onion and place in a glass jar or other non-reactive container. Add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt for a medium size onion. You can scale this up or down depending on how much onion you are using. 2. Pour in enough red wine and balsamic vinegar to cover. The amount you need will depend on the size of your container. For every cup of red wine vinegar use Ÿ cup of Balsamic vinegar.


3. Cover your container and place it in the refrigerator. Wait at least an hour before using. These will keep for several weeks.

G Blair

n au

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 61

ALTERNATIVE DIET Never sacrificing flavor, you can trust these local establishments to make food for those on the fringe but that can be enjoyed by all.

The Full Bowl 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids

nspired by a favorite restaurant in Eugene, Oregon, owner Wes Shirley has brought the concept of a creative rice and beans restaurant to NewBo City Market, sporting the apt and cutesy slogan, “Exploring the globe, one bowl at a time.” With a weekly rotating menu of three main options, The Full Bowl offers vegan, gluten-free, cultural riffs on rice and beans from across the world. My favorite, the Chana Masala Bowl, features a rich garbanzo bean curry with house-made mango chutney finished with freshly chopped cilantro. Another favorite, the No Coast Bowl, features black beans and brown rice with a lemon-garlic sauce, salsa, cabbage and fresh avocado. There’s always a third bowl on rotation, and these range from Ethiopian-influenced dishes to West African inspired takes on the rice and beans concept. Rest assured that most of the ingredients are organic, and your love of tasty, healthy comfort food can be fully realized in the middle of NewBo.

Mama Joy Foods


hile not a restaurant, local company Mama Joy Foods is a refreshing addition to the gluten-free baked goods scene, and (bonus!) they’re made just outside of Cedar Rapids. Mama Joy’s various offerings can be found at New Pioneer CoOp, select Hy-Vees and Bread Garden Market, and include her most popular product: chocolate chip cookies. Those of us who’ve had to put up with sub-par desserts and cookies in the gluten-free aisle can finally, joyfully embrace all of Mama Joy’s vegan, paleo, SCD and gluten-free products—and get this, they actually taste like fresh, homebaked cookies that are soft and delicious, a feat we never thought possible until now. With her explosive launch onto the scene this past fall, Joy Kerr-Leeper has been busy adding new products to the shelves, including pies

62 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

for the holidays, pumpkin bars, waffles, breakfast cookies and cinnamon bun muffins. Our suggestion? If you’ve got an event coming up and want to bring a sweet treat that everyone at the party can enjoy, pick up any of Mama Joy’s products and revel in being the the most thoughtful houseguest ever.

Rawlicious 1101 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids


ucked into the cute makers-focused Delve MIY space in the NewBo district, Rawlicious has quickly become a go-to lunch location for the health-minded and conscious-eating inclined in the Cedar Rapids area. Opened this past summer by local chef Jessica Lafayette, who has regularly taught vegan/raw cooking classes through Kirkwood, Rawlicious offers everything from smoothies and salads to creative soups, desserts and sandwiches. Everything is raw, vegan and gluten-free—and highly delicious. The most popular items among her loyal fans are the Not Tuna sandwich, the Collard Burrito and any of her daily soups (I recently tried the Cheez and Broccoli as well as the spicy Vegetable Noodle made with spiralized zucchini). If you’re feeling under the weather, try her Immunity juice shot complete with Himalayan salt on the rim and an orange slice reminiscent of your tequila days but oh-so-much better for you. If you’re feeling indulgent, try any (literally any) of her incredibly decadent desserts such as the key lime pie, the dream bar or brownie bites. The most exciting thing about Rawlicious is its rotating daily desserts, lunch and soup specials—every time you come you can try something new and you won’t leave hungry or disappointed.




Hilltop Tavern

I Love Pho

1100 N Dodge St, Iowa City,

201 S Clinton St, Iowa City


2020 8th St, Coralville,, $$

319-383-3953, $$

A northside Iowa City

Clear and elegantly spiced broth

neighborhood classic since 1933,

contributes to the fantastic

the Hilltop is a great place to

pho and noodle soups at both

watch the Hawks, eat something

locations, but visit the Coralville

fried, or saunter in any day of

location for flavorful grilled pork,

the week that you don’t feel

beef and banh mi sandwiches.

LITTLE VILLAGE CREATIVE SERVICES Where marketing investments support independent journalism in Iowa

like cooking. You’ll find all your midwestern comfort food, like

India Cafe

Reubens, corn dogs, patty melts

227 E Washington St,

and breaded tenderloins. Check

Iowa City, 319-354-2775,

their website for monthly lunch, $$

specials, which usually sell out.

50 W Burlington Ave, Fairfield, 641-472-1792,

Hudson’s Southside Tap, $$

482 Hwy 1 W, Iowa City,

A popular lunch buffet with a

319-499-1058,, $$

good variety, India Cafe also

A favorite on Iowa City’s south

opens up for dinner in the

side boasting 40 beers on tap and

evenings after closing in the mid-

a whiskey list to match, Hudson’s

afternoon for lunch. Order off the

is the perfect place for a quick

menu to be able to choose your

drink after work.

spice level—if you love the heat,

go as spicy as possible for full Hungry Cats


221 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, 319-351-1751, $$

Iowa Brewing Company

Hungry Cats is a new addition

708 3rd St SE,

to the downtown dining scene.

Cedar Rapids, 319-366-2337,

They feature several kinds of, $

reasonably priced dim sums,

This small Cedar Rapids brewery

Chinese entrees and some

boasts a staggering eighteen

breakfast items. They specialize

house-brewed beers on tap.

in delivery and takeout, so look

In addition to creations made

forward to enjoying authentic dim

themselves, they offer many guest

sum in the comfort of your own

taps for those in the mood for


something a little less localized.

Check out their events calendar Hurts Donut Company

for a nice roundup of trivia nights,

1301 5th St #105, Coralville,

specials, live music and ping pong


tournaments., $$ Hurts Donut Company is a chain

Iowa Distilling Company

of gourmet donut shops open “25

4349 Cumming Ave,

hours a day and 8 days a week”

Cumming, 515-981-4216,

according to its website. Lines, $

may be long but the flavors are

Owners of Iowa Distilling

worth the wait. Hurts is known for

Company come from a long

offering jaw dropping selection

line of farmers and the distillery

of donuts. Hurts Donut offers

itself sources many of its

between 60-70 gourmet donut

ingredients locally and many of

options throughout the week

the byproducts created through

including a S’mores donut, an

the distilling process are donated

Apple Pie donut and the Cereal

back to local farmers as feed. Try

Killer, which is a donut topped

their Prairie Fire—a twice-distilled

with cereal ranging from Cap’n

whiskey with cinnamon leaf oil.

Crunch to Fruit Loops. Sample the Hurts Dozen which includes 12 staff-picked donuts for just $12!


3 1 9 . 8 5 5 . 1 4 74

meet a nutritionist

DR. JULIA BUCHKINA by Sophia Finster


unctional medicine, a science-based medical practice, aims to discover the root cause driving chronic diseases or symptoms, rather than using medicines alone to minimize or cover up symptoms. Doctor Julia Buchkina practices functional medicine at Upstream Functional Medicine in Iowa City. For Buchkina, it’s about bringing the body into balance by asking questions: What things in your life do you have too much of that could be causing a problem and how can you get rid of them? What things do you not have enough of in your life and how can you get more of these? Many times the answers to these questions are related to food and most people can do a lot of healing just by moving to a strictly whole foods diet. Buchkina helps her clients heal a diversity of health problems. These include but are not limited to chronic diseases, autoimmune disease, metabolic problems and mental health issues. Rather than using the “name it, blame it, tame it, with a pill for

64 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

every ill” philosophy of medicine, she aims to discover the root cause of these ailments and helps people learn what diet and lifestyle changes are right for them. “Genetics is about 10 to 30 percent of our health risk while 70 to 90 percent is environment,” Buchkina explained. For those interested in learning more about functional medicine and healthy diet and lifestyle changes, Buchkina offers health classes open to the general public. They take place three to four Tuesdays every month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. These health classes cover a variety of topics including cooking, general medical conditions, stress management, primal fitness and more. She also offers free advice in two Facebook groups: Cooking with the Real Food Matrix and Functionally Healthy Living. To learn more about Buchkina and Upstream Functional Medicine or to sign up for these classes, visit www.juliabuchkinamd. com. You can also connect with Upstream Functional Medicine on Facebook.


Iowa Chop House


Iowa River Power Company

it under 30 minutes, it’s free! And

for your taste, check out their

223 E Washington St,


if you’re not in the mood to rise

other locations for a less crowded

Iowa City, 319-359-1078,

501 1st Ave, Coralville,

to the challenge, J&A Tap has

Java House experience., $$


sand volleyball, live music, and is a

This restaurant proudly, $$$

down-to-earth place to hang out

Jefferson County Cider

emphasizes steaks and chops,

This Iowa City favorite has been

and drink.

1839 200th St, Fairfield,

which can be spiced up with

around for over 35 years, offering

bold flavors such as blue cheese

exquisite American cuisine

Java House

jeffersoncountycider, $

crust, béarnaise sauce or bacon

and exceptional service with a

211 1/2 E Washington St,

This Fairfield-based cidery is

butter. What really sets this place

fantastic view of the Iowa River.

Iowa City |319-341-0012

a seasonal operation, but their

apart is their vast, interesting and

They combine the comfort of a

713 Mormon Trek Blvd,

inventive and refreshingly dry

thoughtful lineup of local and

welcoming, relaxed environment

Iowa City, 319-887-1215

cider is on tap at many local

regional craft beers that you can

with the excellence of a fine

200 Hawkins Dr, Iowa City,

establishments year-round. Plan

learn about at their interactive,

dining experience. Their brunch is


a visit for the warmer months

self-serve, beer barn.

to die for, and while their menus

1575 1st Ave S, Iowa City,

when the food truck camps out

are pricy, on-the-house mimosas


on the cidery lawn and live music

Iowa City Yacht Club

more than make up for it. This is, $

is scheduled.

13 S Linn St, Iowa City,

a popular destination for visitors

Java House has everything a good


and locals alike, so be sure to

coffee shop should have. A cozy,

JiangHu Asian Street Food, $

make a reservation for your

warm ambience, fresh-brewed

110 E Court St, Iowa City,

This club features two of Iowa

weekend dinner at IRPC!

coffee and a commitment to

319-569-1733,, $$

promoting community. Stop by

A fresh addition to downtown

City’s favorite things: live music


and grilled cheese. The basement

J&A Tap

their Washington Street location

Iowa City, JiangHu offers

venue features touring and

440 N Dubuque St, North Liberty,

on Friday’s at 2 p.m. to watch a

customers a taste of authentic

local shows and the front of the

319-626-3033,, $

live Iowa Public Radio show, or

Chinese street food, serving

building is now a full-service

If you’re up for a challenge, try the

any other day of the week to work

traditional Asian street soup,

sandwich stop from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Big John—a $25.00-two-pound-

on papers, catch up with friends,

(MaLatang), barbequed skewers


burger served with a pound and

or relax with a good book. If the

and noodle dishes. While delicious

a half of tater tots. If you can eat

downtown location is too packed

any time of the day, JiangHu is

reinventyourspace 48-0561

Re pair s Re mod els A d d iti o n s


Call today for a free quote! BREAD & BUTTER 2018 65


DRAMS & DASHES Using trial and error, Drams & Dashes distills the perfect cocktail down to its elements. Emma McClatchey


ot long ago, Josh O’Connell was of corn-based vodka will fill five jugs flipping bottles behind a bar, taking with clear, 190-proof liquor; the sixth jug, orders from a menu of his own cocktail called the tail, will be put back through recipes. The tattooed and mustachioed the still to remove the fusel oils and the mixologist delighted the public at the 2016 other less-than-tasty elements that tend to Cobble Hill and make their way Pullman Corriinto bottom-shelf dor Mashup with vodkas. his French Oak Life as a “I really do think trends will Old Fashioned, distiller is a bit in which a mix of quieter than that come to Iowa where craft orange blossom of a bartender, cocktails will have a similar water and bourbut O’Connell is bon was soaked living the dream. surge as craft beer. in oak chips Helmed and strained out by two cocktail ––Josh O’Connell tableside with aficionados and sophisticated a modest budget, flair. Drams & Dashes Today, he sits in a quiet, sparse office began operation in May 2016. Their space in Marion, standing watch over flagship products, Elemental romarin a 64-ounce glass jug. A slow stream of (rosemary) liqueur and Bark and Root vodka trickles into the jug, freshly distilled cinnamon bitters, can be found at Hy-Vee from a copper and steel still that looks stores and high-end cocktail bars alike. J.J. a bit like a metal coffee urn. This batch O’Connell’s Vodka is their first base liquor, 66 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

unrolling in 2018. With friend and partner Brian Rosteck handling the business logistics, O’Connell makes use of the still, half a dozen Breaking Bad-esque barrels full of fermenting ingredients and meticulous spreadsheets to create his small-batch creations. He understands the anatomy of a cocktail, and works towards mixers that will create layered, mind-blowing concoctions. “You can have a wonderful drink that’s not just a sugar bomb,” O’Connell said. “Knowing how to work with your ingredients, liqueurs, syrups and things like that gives you the ability to put out a very, very similar drink in taste, but it’s not just loaded with sugar. You can also get more complexity.” While vodka is a standard product for a distillery, O’Connell and Rosteck have more adventurous creations in the works. “Product Ideas” are written in blue marker on a whiteboard in their workshop: liqueurs flavored with sweet corn, beets, rhubarb and coffee; citrus and horseradish vodka; thyme, stone fruit and bay leaf bitters; and much more. “My favorite thing to distill is something new,” O’Connell said. Before Drams & Dashes, before he was crowned Iowa’s Top Mixologist of 2016 by the Iowa Restaurant Association


and before he even mixed his first cocktail, a 17-year-old O’Connell joined the U.S. Army as a paratrooper and combat engineer. When he returned from overseas, his first bartending job was at The Knight Spot in Springville, Iowa, a small-town joint where he not only served beers but had to break up as many as three fights a night. By day, he worked as an electrician until a shoulder injury made the job difficult (shoulder pain still prevents him from heavy-lifting, which is why he must distill his vodka into small containers). O’Connell’s passion for mixology blossomed while working towards his degree in electrical engineering at the University of Iowa. He applied his scientific mind to his bartending side-job. “I’ve always kind of been a tinkerer. I like building weird stuff in my garage, so this was just kind of another facet of it,” he said. “Once you start asking questions about [bar science] you start to realize ‘whoa, I really don’t know what goes into tonic water. I know I read somewhere there’s quinine. OK, what the heck’s quinine?’ It just snowballs.” “I was kind of on a mission for a while to make everything from scratch that you’d find in a normal bar. I can read about it all day long, but once you make it then you really know it.” Mixology, both theory and practice, became a satisfying and well-paying career, and O’Connell dropped out of engineering school with only a few credits left to go. In addition to entertaining with bar and card tricks, O’Connell would bring his DIY creations into work—most recently, Cedar Rapids’ Black Sheep Social Club and Cobble Hill Eatery and Dispensary—and incorporate them in his original recipes. He quickly garnered fans, including future business partner Rosteck, who insisted O’Connell market his homemade crème de cassis. Their conversations around drinks and entrepreneurship manifested into Drams & Dashes. “Brian gets the craft side of this,” O’Connell said. “He has a passion for fun, new products. He’s really good businesswise … where my bread and butter is playing like an evil scientist in the lab.” It’s not unusual for microbreweries to sprout up in eastern Iowa, but distilleries are fewer and further between, with about 20 registered across the state. Even more rare is to find a distillery that not only produces spirits, but other behind-the-bar fixtures—bitters, tonic water, vermouth—

Why does cheap vodka make you feel hungover?

open til 1 a.m. through the week and 3 a.m. on the weekends making it an ideal stop after a night on the town. Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack 201 S Clinton St, Iowa City, 319-338-1699 1940 Lower Muscatine Rd, Iowa City,

The word “vodka” first appears in 15th century Polish documents, where it refers to certain types of medicine— which doesn’t seem right. At the time, the name the Poles had for what we call vodka was “gorzałka,” which is derived from the verb “to burn.” That seems right. Especially for cheap vodka.


The reason cheap vodka gives you a hangover is the same reason other low-quality booze does: congeners. It’s the general name for byproducts of the fermentation process that your body can’t process, and your body lets you know this with headaches, occasional vomiting and the rest of a standard-issue hangover. Distillation can remove congeners, which is why some vodka brands boast about how many times the product has been distilled. Most experts agree that after six distillations, any congeners that remain are there to stay.

Joe’s Place

745 Community Dr, North Liberty, 319-665 2486,, $$ Jimmy Jack’s offers a selection of classic, and delicious BBQ offerings. With tender smoked meats, addictive honey butter cornbread and house-made barbecue sauces. This casual, family-style restaurant offers the perfect place to sit and enjoy a taste of the South with a bottle of beer, or one of their craft sodas.

115 Iowa Ave, Iowa City, 319-351-5897 ,, $ Never a cover and 21+ only, Joe’s Place is a grown-up playground in the heart of downtown Iowa City. It’s chock full of pool tables, dart boards, foosball and more than 20 TVs on which to watch all the games, and in 2017 it became the first downtown Iowa City bar to offer a rooftop patio. (Don’t worry, there are TVs up there, too.) There is a window by the bar where hungry patrons can order a pizza from next-door-neighbor PiZan Pizza. 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. Johns is committed

In fairness to cheap vodka, if you’re going to drink lowquality booze, it’s not the worst choice. Clear alcoholic beverages contain fewer congeners than dark alcoholic beverages. One study conducted in the UK served found that vodka produced far fewer hangovers than bourbon. Of course, the knowledge that your hangover could have been worse is unlikely to provide much comfort as you stagger to the bathroom on a bleary-eyed morning after.


to providing local options by offering things like: Bluebird coffee, sushi from Formosa, Oasis hummus, Dumpling Darling and more. John’s deli produces breakfast sandwiches and pastries every morning, fresh bread and offers daily lunch specials and fresh soups, all alongside their famous fried chicken. John’s Grocery is a must visit for those on the northside looking for daily essentials or a quick bite to eat. Jon’s Ice Cream Store and Restaurant 231 W Marengo Rd, Tiffin, 319-545-2558,, $ In business for more than 35 years, Jon’s Ice Cream is a family-friendly place to get a classically delicious meal and a variety of homemade ice cream treats like their famous breaded tenderloin sandwich or a Superwhipper! Jon’s is a seasonal restaurant, opening in March and closing for the season in November. BREAD & BUTTER 2018 67

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008_SH_2x9_75_4cMH_v2.indd 1

2/27/18 11:11 AM

that cocktail drinkers may take for granted. “I really do think trends will come to Iowa where craft cocktails will have a similar surge as craft beer. I look towards the bigger cities, and craft cocktails are the rage in the bigger cities right now,” O’Connell said. O’Connell sometimes has a future cocktail in mind when he brainstorms new products, and sometimes not. Recently, he has been working with pears—boiling them with alcohol and water in the still; suspending them in the dome of the still so only the vapor picks up the flavor; doing a pear infusion, and letting the fruit soak for minutes, hours or days. The trials are endless, but will hopefully result in the perfect pear liqueur or gin. “There are people that tell you that suspended is best, but until you actually do it—I want to taste the difference, I want to see that exact thing done this way and that way,” O’Connell said. “When I was at Cobble Hill and I had an idea for a drink, I would try it out that night and have it on the menu the next day or two if it worked, where this is, you come up with a product idea and if you’re moving fast, six months later you’ll have it out.” Distillation can bring out the best and worst in a flavor. For example, O’Connell’s early attempts at making rhubarb liqueur produced an overly tart profile. He’s now experimenting with mixing angelica root with rhubarb to add some earthiness. Other normally benign ingredients can become dangerous when concentrated by distillation. When O’Connell distilled clove, he was surprised to find an oily glob

sitting on the bottom of the container, as oil usually floats. This clove oil contains eugenol, a substance formerly used in dentistry to numb the mouth, before it was dubbed too hazardous. He didn’t taste test the product. His idea to create shamrock liqueur as a St. Patrick’s Day treat also met with complications. When clover leaves ferment, O’Connell discovered in research, they create a toxin used in rat poison that causes internal bleeding and death. “So, you know, that one’s on the backburner for a while,” O’Connell said with a laugh. He’s now considering the clover flower, a common ingredient in teas. “Half of that stuff up there probably won’t make it onto a store shelf,” O’Connell said, pointing to the whiteboard, “but it’s kind of my process to have a plethora of ideas and start working through them. Some are flavors I’ve worked with before that have been popular, and people have responded to well. Some of it is just fun.” O’Connell’s ambitions stretch much further than the upcoming vodka release and the possibilities on the whiteboard. He envisions a workroom free of 55-gallon drums, stocked with industrial tanks, vats, scales, 100 percent locally-sourced ingredients and a gorgeous large-scale still. But for a young start-up, Drams & Dashes is on it’s way. O’Connell, who continues to book private bartending gigs on the side, is still getting used to the idea of mixing a drink with bottles bearing his own name.



Joseph’s Steakhouse

Konomi Japanese Restaurant

tacos to tortas and a variety of

The Lift

212 S Clinton St, Iowa City,

843 Quarry Rd, Coralville,

vegetarian options, La Regia is a

180 Main St, Dubuque,



great decision for anyone craving

563-584-9712, $, $$$$, $$

Mexican. For five straight years,

Hidden away on Lower Main, this

A place for special celebrations

As one of the area’s best sushi

La Regia has been named the best

well-curated live music venue

or a Tuesday night dinner at the

restaurants, Konomi will not

Mexican restaurant in Johnson

and basement bar, has a great

comfort of the dark bar. Offering

disappoint when you stop by


selection of craft and domestic

a classic steakhouse menu filled

their Coralville Iowa River Landing

with seafood, steak, and abundant

location. Try their stellar sushi

Le Gourmet

side dishes, those looking for

and Teppanyaki style cuisine or

201 S Clinton St, Iowa City,

Lighthouse Inn Supper Club

something a bit lighter can rest

a recently added poke bowl or

319-471-0959, $

6905 Mt. Vernon Rd SE,

easy knowing the menu also


Soboro bread, green tea sticks,

Cedar Rapids, 319-362-3467,

red bean buns, and cream buns, $$

Kool Moo

are just a few of the delicious

The third oldest restaurant in

1020 Old Marion Rd NE,

Asian pastries offered at Le

Iowa, this supper club serves

Kalona Brewing Company

Cedar Rapids, 319-393-5576, $

Gourmet. They are the only

traditional American entrees in

405 B Ave, Kalona,

This sweet blast from the past

Korean restaurant in Iowa City

an old-fashioned environment.


is only open during the summer,

to offer Asian pastries, and with

Built in 1912, the Lighthouse has, $$

serving ice cream and frozen

their convenient Old Capitol Mall

had a storied past. Rumored to

Promising heavenly craft beers

yogurt at a reasonable price.

location, it is no hassle for Iowa

be a place for Chicago mobsters

City locals and students to grab

to “beat the heat” during

one on their way to work or class.

prohibition as well as a favorite

boasts small plates, sandwiches and burgers.

brewed by mere mortals, the

beer in a TV-free environment.

brewery also offers wood-fired

Korean BBQ

pizzas and flatbreads, sandwiches

624 S Gilbert St, Iowa City,

and burger. Enjoy a pint of one

319-351-7000, $$$

Leaf Kitchen

Al Capone and John Dillinger,

of their core year-round brews

A strange bridge over a koi pond

301 1/2 Kirkwood Ave, Iowa City,

Lighthouse Inn is a go-to for a

or order one of their seasonal or

welcomes you when you walk in,

319-338-1909,, $$

dose of history with your meal.

limited edition beers which rotate

but the tastes of Korea come alive

Leaf Kitchen serves breakfast,

through the calendar year.

here. Sit at one of their barbecue

lunch, brunch and gourmet

Lightworks Cafe

tables and get the bulgogi,

tea. With an unforgettable

501 7th Ave SE Suite B,

Kalona Creamery

marinated beef that you grill at

decor and an array of delicious

Cedar Rapids, (319) 449-4046, $$

2206 540th St SW, Kalona,

your table.

options; Leaf Kitchen is thee

This place is such a little gem.

choice for an unforgettable

Hidden behind Benz Beverage


spot of infamous guests such as, $

La Quercia

meal. Featuring locally grown

Depot, the main dining room of

A visit to Kalona Creamery

400 Hakes Dr, Norwalk,

and raised ingredients whenever

this little cafe is airy and light with

(located in the former Kalona

515-981-1625,, $

possible. The Granola Pancakes

a rolling garage door and the

Cheese Factory) involves

Served throughout the country, La

are basically three stacks of

coffee and food menu is inspired,

numerous local treats from

Quercia makes delectable artisan

perfection on a plate.

delicious and affordable. Try the

cheese curds to specialty meats

cured meats that would make an

to pastries. Dine in at the deli and

Italian weep.

shrimp tacos or the saffron latte. Leonardo’s 2228 16th Ave SW,

La Rana Bistro

Lincoln Winebar

Cedar Rapids, 319-364-5537,

125 1st St W Mount Vernon,

120 Washington St, Decorah,, $$


Kathy’s Pies

563-382-3067, $$$

Step into the time machine and, $$$

616 5th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids,

The new american cuisine at

go back to the sixties at this

A Mt. Vernon favorite, Lincoln

319-362-5216,, $$

this family owned bistro is not

retro restaurant with red and

Winebar is a long-running wood-

This long-standing bakery in

to miss. The intimate and cozy

black leather walls and antique

fired pizza joint that delivers some

Cedar Rapids is regularly stocked

atmosphere is welcoming and

jukeboxes decorating every

of the areas best wood-fired pies,

with an extensive selection of

the variety of unique dishes are

booth—a classic destination in

a delightful selection of tinned fish

treats to satisfy any sweet tooth.

to die for. Great cocktails and an

Cedar Rapids for over 60 years.

and, of course, wine and beer.

extensive wine and beer selection

Pizza is their star in their extensive

Kettle House Bakery and Cafe

make it a prime choice for a

menu but other offerings like

Lion Bridge Brewing Company

945 6th Ave, Marion,

dinner out.

burgers and sandwiches never

59 16th Ave SW, Cedar

disappoint. Open until midnight

Rapids, 319-200-4460,

for a high quality sandwich, soup or salad.

319-310-5509,, $

La Regia

during the weekends and 11, $$

What started as a 4-H project

436 Highway 1, Iowa City,

p.m any other day of the week,

Award-winning creative brews

developed into a farmers market

319-341-8226,, $$

Leonardo’s is the perfect stop for

and inspired food (please, don’t

stand and finally a legitimate

La Regia is Iowa City’s choice

a late night bite.

skip the dessert!) in a modern

bakery just shy of the square in

for traditional Mexican cuisine.

industrial space perfect for groups

downtown Marion. This quaint,

The staff is efficient and friendly

large or small.

family-run place is the spot to go

while delivering authentic

for espresso, baked goods and

Mexican dishes that stands out

homemade lunch.

from the competition. From BREAD & BUTTER 2018 69



Little Bohemia Tavern

Los Compadres

unfussy approach to the humble

Maggie’s Farm Pizza

1317 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids,

2825 6th St SW,

sandwich. Using family recipes,

1308 Melrose Ave, University

319-366-6262, $

Cedar Rapids, 319-826-1870,

Lu’s provides customers with

Heights, 319-351-4588,

Better known to locals as Little, $$

homemade sandwiches, soups,, $$

Bo, this charming historic saloon

Los Compadres promises

salads and desserts.

Napoli-style pizza is the focus

is one of the oldest bars in Cedar

unique flavors from authentic

Rapids. The rustic decor and

recipes. Don’t skip the tableside

Lucky Penny

beginning of your family-style

genuine bohemian dishes like


1705 Boyson Rd, Hiawatha,

feast. The best way to do


Maggie’s is to bring a crew and

The Lost Cuban, $$

order a full spread of salads and

209 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids,

Lucky Penny uses high-

antipasti—including meatballs,

The Local Crumb

319-362-2627, $$

quality ingredients throughout

burrata, roasted brussels sprouts

221 1st St NE, Mount Vernon,

Whether you’re looking for a new

their classic menu of pizzas,

and creamy polenta. Of course


lunch spot or in search of a late-

sandwiches and burgers creating

get enough pizzas for everyone, $

night drink-and-snack spot, The

a casual, comfortable atmosphere

to try a couple of varieties, and be

Located in the First Street

Lost Cuban is what you’re after.

that’s right whatever the occasion.

sure stick around for house-made

Community Center, Local Crumb

This cozy, compact restaurant

is a great place to buy artisan

prepares traditional Cuban fare

Maestro Empanadas

loaves of bread from a baker who

and cocktails for both lunch and

423 10th Ave, Coralville,

Mai Pho

is passionate in the pursuit of his



2315 Edgewood Rd SW,, $

Cedar Rapids, 319-396-4337,

here, but let this only be the

the goulash, transport you to old Czech town.

craft. The brioche! The sourdough!

gelato afterwards.

Everything is worth the carbs,

Lu’s Deli

This counter service restaurant, $$

especially the Everything Bagels.

1010 3rd St, Cedar Rapids,

offers a delicious selection of

The menu at Mai Pho (also

319-200-2221,, $

made-from-scratch empanadas,

known as Pho Mai) is loaded with

Named in honor of owner Laurie

soups and desserts. The Maestro

traditional Vietnamese dishes,

Konecny’s grandmother, this

and chimichurri sauces are a must-

each more intriguing than the last.

NewBo deli takes a simple and

order for dipping.

In a casual, colorful dining room,






sample familiar dishes, like their

Marquee Pizza

delicious, vegetable-and-cheese

Mikhael’s Restaurant

signature pho, or try a Vietnamese

920 E 2nd Ave #123, Coralville,

balls and their accompanying

1426 6th St SW, Cedar Rapids,

savory crepe.


tomato cream sauce.

319-366-3644, $, $$

Considered the best breakfast in

Mama’s Deli and Catering

Wood-fired pizza is the specialty

Mesa Pizza

town by many locals, this family

125 E Washington St,

here, made in an oven that

114 E Washington St, Iowa City,

style restaurant serves lunch and

Iowa City, 319-341-0700,

journeyed to Coralville’s Iowa

319-351-6372,, $

dinner using only the freshest, $

River Landing all the way

Mesa does pizza like no one else

ingredients. Their shipwrecks are

The next time you’re looking

from Modena, Italy. A garage

in the Iowa City downtown area.

a menu favorite, or if you prefer

around downtown Iowa City for

door opens at the front of the

Their creative creations prove that

sweet to savory, try the cinnamon

a place to grab lunch—check out

restaurant on nice days, creating

they know how to mix flavors,

french toast. You will not regret it.

Mama’s satisfying, homemade

an indoor-outdoor, casual

from their Pulled Pork & Onion

specials. The expansive menu

backyard party vibe. Salads, a

Rings pizza to their Chili Cheese

The Mill Restaurant

offers something for everyone in

couple of pasta dishes and a

Fries slice. The line stretches out

120 E Burlington St, Iowa City,

both half and whole sizes.

burger round out the menu.

the door until after bar close on

319-351-9529,, $$

weekend nights, so if you want

Specialty pizzas, saucy wings

The Map Room

Masala Indian Cuisine

to avoid a crowd, check out their

and deep fried pickles are a good

416 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids,

9 S Dubuque St, Iowa City,

lunch specials.

reason to visit any restaurant,

319-362-0417, $$


This miniature restaurant is your, $$

Micky’s Irish Pub

Opening in 1962 as a coffee

ticket to international flavors.

Relatively recently, Masala started

11 S Dubuque St, Iowa City,

house/restaurant/folk music

Using the burger as the vehicle,

including meat options on its

319-338-6860, $$

venue, The Mill has been an outlet

MapRoom’s menu evokes the

menu, to appeal to a broader

The atmosphere is friendly, the

for Iowa City talent for over 50

flavors of major international

audience, but their vegetarian

pub grub hits the spot, and the

years. A premiere location for

cities, transforming the ubiquitous

dishes truly shine. When the lunch

beer is ice-cold. Micky’s is a great

those searching for dinner and

into truly unique and inspired

buffet features malai kofta, make

place to relax on the patio in the

entertainment. Feel like staying


sure you have plenty of time for

summer or warm up in their cozy

in? No worries, The Mill also offers

a nap after lunch: It’s impossible

booths during the winter.

free delivery to those in Iowa City.

The Mill has all this and more.

to not eat way too much of these


BREAD & BUTTER 2018 71





nfected” is rarely a word you want associated with your food or drink. But for hundreds of years, from Belgium to Iowa City, brewers have been cultivating the perfect cocktail of microbes to infect their beers and serve an ever-growing fan base. Characterized by an acidic or tart flavor, sour beers can taste like everything from a dry wine to melted SweeTarts. Plain and fruited sour beers in the Berlinner Weisse, Gose or Flanders style have made their way onto many craft brewery menus, catering to drinkers who may not go in for the wheat, hops or malt flavors common in “clean” beers. “It’s kind of like spicy food or something where it seems counterintuitive on some level, but it keeps bringing you back because it’s such an impactful flavor,” Head Brewer Andy Joint of Iowa City’s Big Grove Brewery said. For Joint, sour beer was an acquired taste, but after falling for New Belgium’s La Folie, he came to appreciate the science of sour brewing. One bacteria, yeast, is essential to the production of all beer—yeast ferments grains to produce alcohol and carbonation—but exposure to anything but pure yeast can cause the release of 72 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

Once considered a brewing mistake, sour beers are now one of the most sought-after craft beer styles. by Emma McClatchey

consistent—even if it lacks the art and nuance of barrel aging. For Big Grove’s kettle-made Sidehill Sour, brewers mash and prepare the grains as per a typical brew, then introduce the culture Lactobacillus (or “lacto,” common in yogurt-making). They monitor changes in pH levels, and when the beer has reached the desired acidity, usually after three or four days, they boil and kill off the bacteria. This strategy has been utilized by local breweries, especially to produce Berliner Weisse, a low-alcohol lacto beer. In Germany, bartenders will serve Berliner Weisse with woodruff- or raspberry-flavored syrups to temper the tartness; Iowa brewers have their own takes. Big Grove will occasionally whip up Que Onda Roja, a cherry and caramel sour, or mix a batch of Sidehill Sour with enzymes and proteins that turn beer sour, for better or worse. The trick is to introduce the right strains of bacteria for the right amount of time. Traditionally, this means leaving a beer and a culture in a barrel together for years on end, allowing the beer to spoil to perfection, then mixing old and new versions of the beer (usually one-, twoand three-year-olds) together—a volatile process that, even when successful, doesn’t result in a high volume of product. “[Sours] are really unique, they’re not like anything else in the beer world,” Big Grove brewer Jason Seiler said. “To get a good one you know that whoever’s making it really knows what they’re doing.” Big Grove operates a facility in Solon where experimental future sours— some in barrels that have been reused multiple times in order to preserve tried and true microbial colonies—inoculate. Staff must change their clothes and wash completely before going from the barrel room to the brewery, or risk contaminating batches of clean beer. The relatively new process of kettle souring has made this process quicker, cheaper, more efficient and more

“It’s kind of like spicy food ... it seems counterintuitive on some level, but it keeps bringing you back because it’s such an impactful flavor.” ––Andy Joint, Big Grove

blackberry or other fruit. Coralville’s Backpocket Brewery makes the seasonal sour Pucker Up Right Meow, flavored with apricot and peach puree. And you can sometimes find the Strawberry Rhubarb Diddly, a Flanders-inspired sour, at Iowa Brewing Company in Cedar Rapids. Breweries across the state are also keen on these sweet, sour, gorgeouslycolored beers. Waterloo’s Singlespeed Brewery has used blueberry, peach, apricot, hibiscus, raspberry and elderberry in their sours; Exile Brewing of Des Moines adds passionfruit, pink guava, papaya, grapefruit and strawberry; Decorah’s Toppling Goliath and Pulpit

Adding fresh-squeezed juice to a pour


of Sidehill Sour for a fruity kick

Rock breweries offer a dragon fruit, mango and passionfruit sour and a raspberry Berliner Weisse, respectively. Sour beers rarely make it into a bottle, in part because craft breweries haven’t been able to keep up with Iowans’ newfound thirst for them. Still, you can find six-packs of Exile’s Beatnik Sour and Peace Tree Brewery’s Kiss from a Gose at Hy-Vee stores and John’s Grocery. John’s also stocks beer from European sour producers, including Belgium’s Boon Brewery and Denmark’s Mikkeller. These intricately-flavored, lip-puckering draughts raise infection to an art form, and continue to inspire breweries like Big Grove to expand their sour beer program. “It’s still a new realm in the Iowa brewing industry, but collectively we’ll get there,” Seiler said. Of course, enthusiasm from customers is encouraging as well. Joint told the story of taste-testing a Big Grove sour with beer novices, and being surprised and inspired by their reactions. “I didn’t think they’d care for it at all,” he said. “But there were several in the crowd that were like, ‘This is the best beer I’ve ever had,’ ‘This is like nothing I’ve ever tasted,’ ‘I didn’t know beer could taste like that.’ Chasing that, seeing that reaction, is fun.” LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/DINING

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 73



Mt Hamill Tap

business incubator, part gathering place, part

Orchard Green Restaurant and Bar

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

food court.

521 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, 319-354-1642,, $$$

If the dozens of cars lined up at this roadside bar don’t make it abundantly clear, this places

Nile Ethiopian

Orchard Green’s menu features a variety of

is both legendary and a local favorite. Let’s

89 2nd St #2, Coralville, 319-519-2490, $$

American-Mediterranean dishes as well as

be clear, everyone comes for the broasted

At long last—an Ethiopian restaurant has

the classics. They use fresh ingredients and


opened in the Coralville and Iowa City area. Nile

routinely change up their menu with the

Ethiopian features vegetarian and meat dishes

seasons. Fine dine in their premier dining room

Need Pizza

that are expertly made with fresh ingredients. If

or enjoy a more casual meal in their intimate

207 2nd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids,

it’s your first time trying out these flavors, they

first-level lounge.

319-362-6333,, $$

have step-by-step How to Eat Ethiopian Food

Office-dwellers come for a slice at lunch, bar-

instructions on every table.

Oryza Asian Cuisine & Bar 5 Sturgis Corner Dr, Iowa City,

hoppers visit for their wide selection of Iowa beer and late-night hours in addition to their

No. 18 Karaoke and Bubble Tea

319-800-0088,, $$

delectable New Haven-style pizza. Order down

223 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, 319-333-1265, $

Locally-owned Oryza is a delight of Asian

a size—their medium pizza fills half a cookie

Rent a room with your friends and enjoy a

cuisine, offering customers a large selection


Boba tea or a smoothie while jam out to the

of high-quality, flavorful Chinese, Vietnamese,

karaoke machine!

Thai and Korean dishes. Monday through

Nelson’s Meat Market

Friday, lunch diners can take advantage of their

1140 Old Marion Rd NE, Cedar Rapids,

Nodo & Nodo Downtown

amazing lunch special: an entree, appetizer and

319-393-8161,, $$

600 N Dodge St, Iowa City,

soup for under $8.00! Visit for well-executed

Looking for an old-school, high-quality

319-512-5028,, $$

dishes at fair prices in a casual atmosphere.

butcher? The team at Nelson’s Meat Market

5 S Dubuque St, Iowa City,

is knowledgeable and the glass cases boast a

319-359-1181,, $$

Osaka Japanese Restaurant

variety of unique cuts and preparations, fresh

Whether it’s a sandwich, soup or salad you

122 E Washington St, Iowa City,

and frozen meat and seafood as well as a deli.

won’t be disappointed by the filling options at

319-338-9988,, $$

Nodo. Items are made fresh by a friendly staff

This lively spot serves Japanese fare, including

New Pioneer Co-op Café

who serve up a quality meal at a reasonable

hibachi, teriyaki and bento dishes and creative

1401 5th St, Coralville, $

price. Huge salads filled with fresh ingredients

specials. The specialty hand rolls, crafted to

Affordable breakfast, lunch, and snacks on-

make deciding between a salad or sandwich

order, are presented beautifully.

the-go with local and organic ingredients are

quite the dilemma. The egg sandwich is a

now available in the Coralville Public Library.

deliciously affordable way to start any day

Oyama Sushi

Options range from healthy to indulgent, with

and the mango relish on the Ham & Mango

1853 Lower Muscatine Rd, Iowa City,

gluten-free, vegan and paleo-friendly choices

sandwich is not to be missed. Pair these

319-337-8801,, $$

just like in Co-op stores.

options with Brew City Fries for just $2.50 and

5350 Council St NE, Cedar Rapids,

you’ll have any meal covered.

319-832-1800,, $$

New Pioneer Food Co-op

Oyama is located in Cedar Rapids and Iowa

22 S Van Buren St, Iowa City, 319-338-9441

Oasis Falafel

City and owned by two separate people, but

1101 2nd St, Coralville, 319-358-5513

206 N Linn St, Iowa City, 319-358-7342,

the original owner of both locations, Darren, is

3338 Center Point Rd NE, Cedar Rapids,, $

known for his enthusiastic affability and makes

319-365-2632,, $$

Living up to its name, Oasis Falafel offers a

the trip to CR well worth it. You can expect the

With locations in Iowa City, Coralville and

food oasis in Iowa City for those craving its

same quality cuisine at both locations, from

Cedar Rapids the New Pioneer Co-op

Middle East offerings. Stop in for their famous

their rolls to their cooked dishes.

provides a selection of both prepared foods

falafel and hummus, and if you see they have

and groceries, in addition to beer and wine.

matzo ball soup, get it.

Palisades Cafe 117 1st St W, Mt Vernon, 319-895-4041,

Focusing on local and organic, New Pi supports over 125 local producers who are committed

One Twenty Six, Moonrakers and Flight, $$$

to respecting and protecting our environment.

126 E Washington St, Iowa City,

There isn’t a more charming main street in all

New Pioneer does the label reading so you

319-887-1909,, $$

of Iowa than the one in Mount Vernon. This

don’t have to and promises to follow high

Located on Washington Street, One Twenty

little town of 4,000 is bucolic midwestern

quality standards in the products it offers;

Six has been a staple in the downtown

college town living done right, and Palisades

genetically modified foods, artificial colors,

dining scene for years. The menu features

Cafe is just the kind of everyday luxury that,

sweeteners, flavors or preservatives are not

French-American cuisine made with local

like the town itself, you might try once and

allowed in any products on the shelves at the

and organic ingredients when possible and

then wonder what you’ve been doing with your

New Pioneer Co-op.

is open for dinner or lunch. If you’re looking

whole life. The menu changes every month.

for a more casual atmosphere, head upstairs

The sun-drenched atmosphere and food are

Newbo City Market

to Moonrakers for One Twenty Six favorites

fresh, locally inspired and satisfying with an

1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids,

and unique specials or hop over to Flight for a

approachable modesty that welcomes all. Open

319-200-4050,, $$

selection of fresh pizzas, wine and beer flights

Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner,

A variety of artisan vendors serve up unique

and sizzling house-ground burgers.

and for brunch on Sunday.

food in the dynamic NewBo City Market—part 74 BREAD & BUTTER 2018


Parlor City Pub and Eatery 1125 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-247-0000,, $$ The extensive menu at Parlor City ranges from burgers to sandwiches to pizza. Order a Juicy Lucy and a pint of something on tap. This bustling tavern is a great spot to catch a live show of both local and nationally touring acts. Paul’s Tavern 176 Locust St, Dubuque, 563-556-9944, $$ Touted by locals as “one of the original blue collar bars” in Dubuque, don’t expect too many frills. Paul’s serves a limited menu of sandwiches and burgers prepared on a vintage broiler and pours a good cold beer or a strong drink. Taxidermied animals keep tabs on the lively atmosphere of this local watering hole. Pei's Mandarin 3287 6th St SW, Cedar Rapids,, 319-362-6165, $$ An institution in Cedar Rapids, this Chinese restaurant offers a wide variety of Chinese, Japanese and Korean dishes as well as sushi and a lunch buffet. Peking Buffet 93 2nd St, Coralville, 319-333-1369, $ This place has it all—American-Chinese favorites, self-serve ice cream, and sushi. The buffet setting ensures an opportunity to try it all.

SOUTHWESTERN CUISINE Proudly announcing a new menu. Fresh ingredients, locally sourced, and prepared daily.

Phong Lan Vietnamese Restaurant 216 8th St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-365-5784, $ Family owned and operated, this Vietnamese restaurant offers fresh and authentic cuisine, specializing in pho. The digs here are very humble, and reminiscent of a mom and pop type place in small-town Iowa aside from the



Asian artwork and statues on the walls, but the food is what you’re here for, and it’s some of the best Vietnamese in the area. The Pig & Porter

1028 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-200-4414,, $$ A fast favorite in the NewBo neighborhood, Pig & Porter provides locally-sourced food served in an unexpected and interesting way—a house bologna sandwich with cheese sauce, slow peppers and a sunny egg? Tofu mousse with citrus, sesame and jasmine? Don’t worry, they also have toothsome burgers for those who are timid. Pita Pit 517 2nd St Unit 1, Coralville, 319-351-7484,, $ Pita Pit offers the efficiency and affordability of a fast food stop with the freshness of a homemade wrap. Choose from a variety of BREAD & BUTTER 2018 75

OLD FAITHFULS Constants in the ever-changing dining scene, these restaurants have stood the test of time. An experience at one of these establishments is a guarantee for a comfortable, consistent and maybe even nostalgic night out. Pagliai’s Pizza



302 E Bloomington St, Iowa City

3847 1st Ave SE,

4307 Center Point Rd


Cedar Rapids

NE, Cedar Rapids



his Northside Iowa City landmark has a hefty fanbase of regular diners. The restaurant’s front windows display the kitchen at work and on the inside, the big booths provide a prime seat for watching the show that takes place in the small, open kitchen. Watch the prep cooks in their paper hats toss the dough, pile on ingredients, and slide the pizzas into the oven from your snug booth. This Iowa City institution has remained true to their Italian roots using generations-old family recipes to create thin crust pizza baked in stone hearth ovens. With only pizza on their menu and just two special combinations, Pagliai’s consistently delivers delectable pizza in a comfortable, no-fuss environment. And speaking of delivery; try again. Pagliai’s does not deliver. 76 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

reliable steakhouse, Winifred’s has been on the Cedar Rapids culinary map since 1983. Executing elegant French dishes like escargot and frog legs alongside raw oysters and lobster bisque, the menu at Winifred’s touts selections of both the surf and turf variety, offering plenty of house-aged beef for those who prefer land animals. The passing years have not changed much at Winifred’s, but that should not be interpreted as a stain on their reputation. For those special occasions, you can trust this stalwart restaurant will deliver a meal to remember.

o gimmicks. No frills. No crazy toppings. Just classic donuts made fresh daily. Inside this retro bakery you’ll find clear cases housing a variety of colorful fried treats. Fill a box with an assortment of whatever catches your eye––bismarcks, twists, fancies, old fashioneds; they make ‘em all. Please don’t skip the Blueberry Cake Donuts. Though their blue tint both inside and out might turn you off, go ahead, order one and take a big bite, you won’t be disappointed. Recently a Little Village staffer has been kind enough to supply our Iowa City office with


Donutland on the regular and I’m pleased to report those blueberry donuts taste the same today as they did thirty years ago.

Zoey’s Pizzeria 690 10th St, Marion


trip to Zoey’s is nostalgia-fueled and sends me straight back to elementary school. A mainstay in downtown Marion since 1991, its bustling corner location has outlasted many a long-time business in the area—R.I.P. Marion Maid Rite. Approaching from the west along 7th Avenue, you’ll catch a view of the large-scale mural on the outside of the building. This signature mural has been a focal point of the restaurant long before it was cool and hip to have a commissioned work on your walls. There’s usually a bit of a wait for pizza, but at Zoey’s the pies are invariably delicious so loyal fans don’t mind waiting their turn.

Look for the Best Case Wines label as your assurance of quality and value. Best Case Wines thanks our restaurant & retail partners in the Corridor, and we salute their hard work!

Locally owned & operated since 2011

Lighthouse Inn 6905 Mt Vernon Rd SE, Cedar Rapids


his nautical-themed supper club has been a Cedar Rapids staple for literally decades. Originally a rural inn in the prohibition era, much of the menu has remained the same for years. Diners know exactly what to expect down to the regularly scheduled jazz combos to the “fall-off-the-bone” BBQ ribs. This restaurant is proof that it’s not necessary to follow the hottest food trends of the year to be a restaurant people frequent. A friendly staff and reliably good food and drinks go a long way.

Best Case Wines BREAD & BUTTER 2018 77



meat and veggie options to make your next

Press Coffee Co.

Quinton’s Bar & Deli

meal exactly how you want it.

2201 E Grantview Dr, Coralville,

215 E Washington St., Iowa City, 319-354-7074


2500 Corridor Way, Coralville, 319-625-2221

PiZan Pizza

This neighborhood spot was named for their

450 1st St SW #101, Cedar Rapids,

113 Iowa Ave, Iowa City, 319-351-5897,

coffee—they specialize in French-pressed

319-200-4192,, $$, $

coffee featuring local roasters. Press also sells

After enjoying a show downtown, stop by

Iowa City’s premier and original fast-baked

Daylight Donuts to accompany your well-

Quinton’s for their house specialties like their

custom pizza made-to-order and ready to eat

brewed cup of joe. They have a nice fireplace,

Notorious P.I.G. or Drunken Mac N’ Cheese.

in minutes. Be sure to try one of their salad

with overstuffed chairs and couches for

They have food and drink specials every day of

pizzas, which is just as you guessed, a salad

lounging in the colder months, and a tucked

the week, and be sure to try their spuds before

atop a pizza. It’s the most enjoyable way to eat

away patio with hillside views to enjoy during

you leave!

that salad you feel guilty for skipping. Bonus!


If you’re next door at Joe’s Place when hunger

Ramsey’s Wine Bistro

strikes, you can order directly from the bar


through the adjoining window for delicious

319-325-4344,, $, $$

pizza in no time.

The restored antique Provender truck is a

Uptown Marion’s unofficial living room, you

must-visit at the Iowa City Farmers Market.

can go to Ramsey’s almost any night of the

Pop’s BBQ

Inspired by the locavore movement, Chef Chris

week and find live music and a casual, friendly

130 N Dubuque St, Iowa City,

Grebner makes some of the most incredible

atmosphere. Tell the staff what you like and

319-354-7677,, $

food at the market. If you miss the truck at the

let them pick a glass of wine for you while you

Since 2015, Pop’s has been a known for their

Saturday market, keep Provender in mind for

relax with your friends over a cheese plate, a

affordable, quality BBQ by campus and

catered events.

salad or a sandwich.

classic dishes on hand, but be sure to try their

Pullman Bar & Diner

Rapid Creek Cidery

“new” BBQ cuisine like the Pops Dawgs or the

17 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-388-1808,

4823 Dingleberry Rd NE, Iowa City,

BBQ Cuban sandwich., $$$

319-541-7684,, $$

This train-car inspired diner opened a few years

This farm-to-table restaurant serves rustic

Prairie Canary

ago and since has quickly become an Iowa

food for both dinner and Sunday brunch in a

924 Main St, Grinnell, 641-236-0205,

City favorite for foodies and casual diners alike.

century-old gable roofed barn with views of the, $$$

The menu is worth exploring, everything from

adjoining orchard. The housemade cider from

This airy open concept cafe brings a modern

cocktails to appetizer, breakfast to burgers is

Wilson’s Orchard flows freely from the taps

vibe to small-town Iowa. Creative, inspired

executed well. The best part? The open kitchen

along with craft cocktails, wine and beer. Rapid

dishes for both lunch and dinner paired with

offers a front row seat to watch the master

Creek Cidery also caters and hosts special

unique craft cocktails, wine and beer make this

chefs work their magic.

events and weddings.


Red Barn Market

895 Blairs Ferry Rd, Marion, 319-826-6667,

4241 Johnson Ave NW

15 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-337-2681,, $$

Cedar Rapids, 319-396-5522, $$, $

This lively, rustic setting houses some of the

Red Barn Market offers fresh, produce grown

Things to love about Prairie Lights Cafe: 1.

best classic BBQ in the area. Sometimes the

on site, supplemented with goodies from local

Perfectly executed cafe drinks. 2. Unique and

wait for a seat can be long, but it’s worth it

farmers and a nice variety of bulk food items

innovative drinks like the Espresso Tonic. Try

for some of QDogs tasty fare. Tender brisket,

such as whole wheat pastas, soup mixes, spices

one and thank us later. 3. The view from the

savory ribs, and cornbread so good you’ll

and more!

cafe windows where you can sip your coffee

dream about it. Also a great spot for live blues

and watch the traffic on Dubuque St. 4. The


1120 7th Ave, Marion, 319-447-1700

northside residents alike. They’ve got the “old”

restaurant well worth the drive to Grinnell. Prairie Lights Books & Cafe

Red Ginger 2419 2nd St, Coralville, 319-354-1071,

Matcha Man Latte, a ginger infused matcha drink. 5. Perfectly small cookies from Deluxe

Quarter Barrel, $$

Cakes & Pastries for when you need just a

616 2nd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids,

A sleek, contemporary interior hides behind this

tiny nibble of sweet. 6. Proximity to loads of

319-200-4140, $

strip-mall storefront in Coralville. Once inside,

magazines, cookbooks or fiction.

This spacious industrial brewpub serves up

have a seat at one of the handful of sunken

a nice selection of craft beer and creative

booths, the expansive bar or a table in the open

Prairie Soup Company

pizzas. But, the draw here are the arcade

dining room. Order a bowl of authentic Ramen

425 2nd St SE, Cedar Rapids,

games lining the brick-walled interior offering

or a selection of fresh, quality sushi.

319-362-0972,, $

gamers and nostalgia-seekers alike an

Is Prairie Soup Co. downtown Cedar Rapids’

opportunity to nerd out.

Red Vespa

best kept lunch secret? This fresh and popular

208 E Main St, Solon, 319-624-2080, $$

weekday daytime location serves homemade

As the first pizzeria in Iowa to be certified by

soup as well as panini, salad and deli

the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani and the

sandwiches. The staff is friendly, the service is

Verace Pizza Napoletana, Red Vespa proudly

quick, and they’re accessible via the skywalk for

features authentic Italian cuisine. Their cheese

convenience during inclement weather.

is housemade and makes their unique brickoven pizzas even more delicious. Don’t miss

78 BREAD & BUTTER 2018


out on their Italian-American specials though— the meatball sub is to die for. Reds Alehouse 405 N Dubuque St, North Liberty, 319-626-2100,, $$ Reds Alehouse perhaps began as neighborhood restaurant for the North Liberty crowd, but has morphed into an alehouse that draws patrons from all around the area. The vast selection of microbrews on tap makes this a great choice for beer-lovers and the large patio is an ideal spot to spend a lazy weekend afternoon. Drink responsibly: Happy hour at Reds allows you to enjoy 2-for-1 drinks! Relish 834 Park St, Grinnell, 641-236-3657,, $$ Fully embodying their slogan, “Local Foods Global Flavors,” Chef Kamal Hammouda mixes

Recipe for Noguchi Table 1 part sculpture 1 part design Mix together for perfect functionality. Top with your favorite beverage and enjoy! Keeps forever.

Midwestern flavors, local ingredients and recipes from the Middle East to create Relish’s diverse menu. Always looking to bolster the Grinnell community, Relish frequently hosts local musicians, adding to the already comfortable and charming atmosphere of the historic Victorian home in which Relish is

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

situated. Reunion Brewery 516 2nd St, Coralville, 319-337-3000,, $$ ReUnion’s hyperactive brewing program (it

D I N N E R / W E D - S AT : 5 P M - 9 P M BRUNCH / SUN : 10AM - 2PM

might be better classified as an addiction) starts with the lightest German Lagers and ends with giant IPAs and boozy barrel-aged monsters, stopping at Belgians, Sours and lots of other experimental destinations along the way. The menu here follows suit, offering everything from street tacos to pizzas and calzones, sandwiches, burgers, hefty pasta dishes, plenty of kid-friendly stuff and, of course, brunch on Sundays. Riley’s Cafe 836 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-364-4779,, $$ 2010 Sylvia Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-247-5636,, $$ 2727 6th St SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-826-3923,, $$ 568 Boyson Rd NE #150, Cedar Rapids, 319-826-3667,, $$ Any of the Riley’s Cafe locations make for a great start to the day, featuring countless breakfast, brunch or lunch options on the daily. In dining rooms decorated with tchotkes, flair and memorabilia, you can enjoy a classic shipwreck or opt for the steak and eggs.

319.643.4159 W W W. R A P I D C R E E K C I D E R Y. C O M

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 79


Millstream Brewing Co. 835 48th Ave, Amana, 319-622-3672,, $ Venture out to the Amana Colonies for a visit to one of Iowa’s oldest craft breweries, this European-style microbrewery got its start with just two beers. These days, it boasts more than 15 different beers and a couple of killer sodas as well as the Brau Haus—an authentic German Bierhalle with delicious German-style pub food Mirabito’s Italian 40 Sugar Creek Ln, North Liberty, 319-459-1342, $$ A stripmall setting may not be the first place you look for well-executed Italian cuisine, but in North Liberty, that is exactly where you’ll find it. This small, locally owned family business offers exceptional Italian-American staples in a casually sophisticated environment. Mississippi River Distillery 303 N Cody Rd, Le Claire, 563-484-4342,, $ Started in 2010 by two brothers, what started as a unique idea, grew into an opportunity to create truly home grown, handmade spirits with a focus on “grain to glass” process, purchasing farm fresh grain from within 25 miles of the distillery. Molly’s Cupcakes 14 S Clinton St, Iowa City, 319-333-1297 620 Pacha Pkwy Suite 4, North Liberty, 319-626-2026,, $ Check out Molly’s for a specialty cupcake from their menu or, if those don’t suit your fancy, build your own! Molly’s contributes part of their profits to local schools, so satisfy your inner child’s sweet tooth and treat yourself at this local business that supports the children in our community. Monica’s 303 2nd St, Coralville, 319-338-7400,, $$ Monica’s is unlike many other area restaurants— offering an extensive selection of delicious gluten-free menu items—truly a restaurant for all. The upscale Italian-American comfort food is served up by friendly and accomodating servers in a sleek, modern take on a diner. Mosley’s Barbecue and Provisions 525 S Gilbert St, Iowa City, 319-338-1419,, $$ Delicious wafts of smoked meat will lure you in from the street. The sunny patio, simple but comfortable interior and rotating selection of beers will keep you in your seat for the better part of an afternoon if you’re not careful. 80 BREAD & BUTTER 2018


GROCERS These grocers go toe-to-toe, fighting for a piece of your weekly budget. Aldi 760 Ruppert Rd, Iowa City 2750 Heartland Dr, Coralville 1860 Edgewood Rd SW, Cedar Rapids

for corporate grocery stores, with a friendly staff that is happy to help find what you need in their meat, deli, produce, dairy, grocery, health and beauty departments.

5425 Blairs Forest Blvd NE, Cedar Rapids

Bread Garden Market


225 S Linn St, Iowa City

ldi is an affordable and environmentally conscious grocery store option. They take their corporate responsibility seriously and strive to support local communities and make shopping easy and ethical for their customers. Every time I check out, I’m somewhat surprised by how much food I can buy with two $20 bills. Their selections vary store to store, but you can rely on Aldi to have the essentials when you need them. Be sure to check out the Coralville location for a bigger selection of produce and grocery items. You can also find them in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.

JW’s Foods E Ave, Kalona


ocated in Kalona, Iowa, JW’s Foods has been serving Kalona since 1973. They pride themselves on their family-owned legacy and service to the local economy. They offer free delivery to those who are homebound, and focus on funneling their funds back into the community that supports them. JW’s makes fit competition


riginally a restaurant in 1995, Bread Garden Market has been Iowa City’s academic and residential community’s go-to for high quality, fresh, convenient produce and grocery since 2008. From their salad bar, coffee stand and smoothies to home-cooked classics, you can find exactly what you are craving here. They also offer delicious catering services for events, and strive to be part of improving Iowa City’s local economy by providing employment opportunities and supporting other local businesses. When that I’m-hungry-but-I-don’t-knowwhat-I-want feeling strikes, check out Bread Garden Market in the Ped Mall next to the Iowa City Public Library.

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


he Co-op is another go-to for Iowa City, Coralville and Cedar Rapids residents. Health is

at the center of the New Pi brand, and they pride themselves on being as good for the environment and community as the food is for the customers. Membership is encouraged, but not required to take advantage of all the local produce and meat, organic grocery and delicious menu options. The next time you need to pick up special ingredients for a healthful meal or the vegetarian at Thanksgiving, consider passing on the big box organic markets and check out your local New Pi Co-op.

Natural Grocers 1404 S Gilbert St, Iowa City 931 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


n June of 2017, Natural Grocers opened its doors in Iowa City, making a great addition to the local grocery scene with their affordable prices, quality products and desire to promote growth in the community. If you are overwhelmed by the wide selection of vitamins or want to learn more about how to feed you and your family, check out their free nutrition classes. Be sure to browse their website for more information about events, recipes and nutrition.

Yumei’s Asian Market & Anime 901 1st Ave SW, Cedar Rapids


umei’s is not like any old grocery store—they have a wide variety of ingredients for Asian cuisine, Japanese candies and sodas, a selection of anime including manga and DVDs, décor and costume items for cosplay. Checking

out Yumei’s is a great way to try new dishes or start watching a new show. If you love Asian culture, or have always wanted to learn more about it, Yumei’s is worth the visit.

Gary’s Foods 715 1st Ave S, Mt Vernon,


ince 1971, members of the Mount Vernon, Lisbon and surrounding areas have been able to count on Gary’s Foods for all their grocery shopping needs. This fully-stocked grocery store offers typical center-store items, conventional and organic produce and full-service deli and meat counters while providing a charming, hometown shopping experience. Gary’s proves to be stiff competition for big-box stores partnering with the second largest wholesale grocery co-op in the country, meaning cheaper everyday prices for customers.

Red Barn Market 4241 Johnson Ave NW, Cedar Rapids


ince 2008, Leslie Baumhoefener has singlehandedly brought fresh produce, artisan oils and bulk pastas, soups and spices to Cedar Rapids at the Red Barn Market. The produce is grown onsite at the farm, as well as provided by other local farmers. Here, you’ll find everything you need to stock your pantry full of all your baking and cooking essentials, and you can rest easy knowing that your money contributes to bringing more fresh, local produce to the people of Cedar Rapids. BREAD & BUTTER 2018 81


ommunity Supported Agriculture, or CSA, allows community members to purchase shares, or memberships, with area farms. Community contribution early in the season lets farmers properly gauge the community’s needs for the coming season, and community members receive CSA shares of farm-fresh product, without paying the overhead required by retail sales. 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.


Urban Greens H

idden away in a home on College Street, business partners Ted Myers and Chad Treloar have brought their business idea to life. Masters of hydroponic gardening, a method of growing plants without soil, in a water solvent, the pair has brought a bit of the farm to the city. Growing sprouts, micro-greens and lettuce in an unused portion of their basement, Myers and Treloar have turned an under-utilized space into a food-production facility. Step into Urban Green’s below-ground operation and you’re greeted with a heavy wall of humidity, the unexpected fragrance of growing plant life and bright light as if you were outside on a sunny day. Their original operation was housed in a small room in the back of the basement, but recently, the business has grown and expanded into something bigger and better. After knocking out a few walls, their modular growing system now occupies a larger portion of the basement and has allowed Myers and Treloar to scale up their operation. Previously, the pair sold their sprouts and micro-greens directly to consumers at the Iowa City Farmers Market and to a few restaurants in Iowa City. Now, with increased production capacity, Urban Greens has expanded their offerings and taken on new clients selling their pre-packed mixes of micro-greens in grocery stores and to additional restaurant partners in the area.

Look for these pre-packed blends at New Pioneer Food Co-ops and Bread Garden Market: Superfood Mix: beet greens, broccoli sprouts, kale, cabbage and bok choy

Bold and Spicy: mustard greens, baby greens, and leafy greens

82 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

Lettuce Medley: butterhead, crispy, oak leaf, lollo lettuces


Abbe Hills Garden

Ebersole Cattle Co.

Mt. Vernon, 319-895-6924, abbehills. com Contents: Vegetables, eggs Season: Late May through the middle of October Distribution: Mt. Vernon

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

Ambleside Farm


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

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

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

Bountiful Harvest Farm Solon, IA, 319-512-644-1623, ascharny@ or dschwab@southslope. net Contents: Fruit, vegetables, eggs Season: May through October Distribution: Iowa City, Solon

Family Farm CSA Iowa City, 319-936-1317 Contents: Vegetables, fruits, herbs Season: Late May/early June through midSeptember 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


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

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 Mt. Vernon, IA,, (319) 895-8944 Contents: Fruit, Vegetables, pumpkins, firewood Season: April through October Distribution: Mt. Vernon, Solon, Coralville

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

Season: May through November Distribution: Iowa City

Oak Hill Acres 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

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

Sass Family Farm Riverside, 319-648-3788, Contents: Vegetables, herbs, eggs, jams and jellies, honey, baked goods Season: May through October Distribution: Riverside

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

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

TD n’ Guy Garden Oasis

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

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

Maharishi Vedic City CSA

The Little Red Barn

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

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

Life is Sweet

The Millet Seed Farm Iowa City, 319-471-0807, themilletseed. com Contents: Vegetables, herbs, fruits, mushrooms, ferments and cider

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

Echollective Farm


f you know you want local, fresh food every week and you love to cook, participating in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) makes so much sense. CSA’s are a better monetary value than simply shopping at the farmers market or buying from your local co-op, and they provide crucial support and seed money to farmers who invest many months planning and growing the food that will one day be on your plate. A CSA also helps you connect with our seasonal and local food system and assures you will have plenty of healthy produce in your diet. Echollective is one of the many local CSA services available to consumers in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. Owners Derek Roller and Molly Schintler say, “...committing to support a farmer by taking part in a CSA is the single best way to support local farmers and the local food system.” Echollective offers customers a choice of what to include in their weekly produce box. Each week, members might get the choice of a few bundles of collards, arugula, chard or other greens, a few different bunches of parsley, mint, rosemary, chives or basil and a wide variety of other produce that may include cabbage, leeks, heirloom tomatoes, beets and sweet potatoes. Known especially for their delicious asparagus in the spring, additional selections range from sweet heirloom tomatoes, garlic and shitake mushrooms, to colorful mouthwatering root vegetables. While you’re choosing your produce, be sure to chat with Derek and Molly for recipe ideas and learn about their latest favorite seasonal dishes. BREAD & BUTTER 2018 83



Roasters Coffee House

handmade goods. Options rotate but include

by, with supper club and tavern vibes. Come

1059 N Center Point Rd, Hiawatha,

baguette, sandwich and sourdough loaves,

in for inspired modern Midwestern fare and old

319-393-6001, $

cinnamon rolls and doughnuts.

supper club favorites like Burch’s raw oyster bar

1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids,

with a daily oyster happy hour. Downstairs, The, $


Den offers a relaxing space to unwind serving

Friendly staff will set you up with freshly

301 N Dubuque St, Solon,

cocktails, beer and select food in an enticing

roasted beans for your morning cup at home

319-624-2870,, $

lounge setting.

or prepare you a perfectly brewed drink. The

Visit Ruzicka’s for an array of homemade

plush seating and cozy interior of the Hiawatha

sausages, steaks and roasts—a meat locker

Saloon Tequila Bar

location encourages a moments pause to savor

full of top-quality cuts of meat direct from

112 E College St, Iowa City, 319-354-3837,

the balanced jolt of caffeine.

local farmers, right here in Iowa awaits you., $$

Their famous Jalapeno Salami has been made

Located on the Iowa City Ped Mall, Saloon

Rollipop Rolled Ice Cream

using the same recipe since the 70’s. If you’re

offers a Southwestern menu to be enjoyed

1608 Sycamore St, Iowa City, 319-569-1019, $

planning a large event and don’t feel like

at any time. For the best experience, sit on

This newly opened ice cream shop specializes

cooking for a crowd, Ruzicka’s does a bang up

their patio while enjoying one of their many

in trendy Thai-style rolled ice cream. Situated

job catering graduation parties, family reunions

margarita offerings while you watch the Ped

in a minimalist-inspired space in the Iowa City

and weddings as well.

Mall action.

right in front of your eyes on a frozen surface

Sag Wagon Deli & Brew

Salt Fork Kitchen

and formed into spirals for a unique take on this

827 Shaver Rd NE, Cedar Rapids,

112 E Main St, Solon, 319-624-2081,

classic frozen treat.

319-366-3265, $$, $$

This small cycling-themed watering hole is a

Open 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

Ruby’s Pizzeria

popular spot for bikers at the end of a trail ride

Wednesday-Saturday; 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday;

223 2nd St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-200-4800,

around Cedar Lake. In warmer months, send

closed on Monday and Tuesday. Got it? Good., $$

a location scout or come early as the small

Now go to Solon and eat the food at Salt Fork

Accessible via the skywalk, Ruby’s is a quick-

capacity bar fills up quick. A spacious outdoor

Kitchen, among the area’s first true farm-to-

casual spot in downtown Cedar Rapids for a

patio handles bar overflow and entertains with

table concept restaurants. You’ll find plenty

lunchtime slice or for a whole pie dining in for

life-sized Jenga, cornhole and sand volleyball.

of traditional items (but the specials are really

Marketplace, each order is made from scratch

dinner. Rusciano’s Authentic Taste of Napoli

where it’s at), and if you want to buy a dozen Saigon Market

eggs or join the Salt Fork Farms CSA, you can

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

do it right there at the bar.

710 Pacha Parkway Suite 5, North Liberty,

A small store, but what they lack in square

319-665-2761,, $$

footage, they make up for in selection. Stocked

Sam’s Pizza

Under chef Gennaro Rusciano, a certified

with a plethora of southeast Asian grocery

441 S Gilbert St, Iowa City,

Pizzaiolo Verace, Rusciano’s offers North

staples, a great selection of instant noodles,

319-337-8200,, $$

Liberty a taste of authentic Napoli—true

kitchen supplies, sauces and unique well-priced

Get Sam’s pizza and calzones delivered to your

Neapolitan pizza baked in a wood-fired brick

produce. Staff is helpful and accomodating.

doorstep, or stop in and enjoy a beer at their

oven, Neapolitan fried street-food and even a mozzarella bar.

full-service bar with your meal! They offer a Saint Burch Tavern and The Den Lounge

wide variety of specialties, toppings and crusts

127 Iowa Ave, Iowa City, 319-341-7700,

to make your food exactly how you like it.

Rustic Hearth Bakery, $$

1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-200-4008, $

Thoughtfully reimagined and renovated, the

Sanctuary Pub

The crew at Rustic Hearth takes the extra step

former Atlas Restaurant and Bar turned Saint

405 S Gilbert St, Iowa City,

to set their product apart from the competition

Burch Tavern offers diners a taste of days gone

319-351-5692,, $$

by milling their own flour for their fresh

Founded in 1972, this casual pub offers 27 different imported and craft beers and happy

84 BREAD & BUTTER 2018


hour specials Monday through Saturday. Their

eats the cupcake for the frosting, you can make

food menu features interesting and delicious

a special order for their delectable buttercream

dishes like the Lamb and Gruyere Sliders and

with a bit of advance notice.

the Baked Brie. They even have vegan and gluten free options for those with specific diets.

Seoul Grill 201 S Clinton St, Iowa City, 319-338-5747, $$

Saucy Focaccia

Have you ever tried Korean food? If not, or if

1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids,

you already know how hard it is to find good

319-200-4019,, $

Korean food outside of Korea—check out Seoul

5100 Fountains Dr NE Suite 100, Cedar Rapids,

Grill! Their hours are limited so be sure to stop

319-294-6772,, $

by the first chance you get!

The menu cornerstone—classic burgers on focaccia buns—are delightfully messy and


equally delicious. Their house-made burger

819 1st Ave, Iowa City,

sauces let you dress up your basic burger

319-337-7275,, $$

however you like or go crazy with one of their

Wherefore art thou tater tots? This

inventive specials.

neighborhood bar serves some of the best pub


food in town. The friendly staff and reasonably The Sausage Foundry

priced drinks makes Shakespeare’s a must

1100 3rd St SE , Cedar Rapids,

for anyone looking for a laid back bar on the

319-202-1631,, $$

Eastside of Iowa City.

With a mission focused on local products and sustainable production, this NewBo Market

Short’s Burgers Eastside

retailer prepares handmade artisanal sausage

521 Westbury Dr, Iowa City,

and meat products many made from heritage

319-338-7743,, $$

pork breeds.

Short’s Burger & Shine 18 S Clinton St, Iowa City, 319-337-4678,

Scott’s Family Restaurant, $$

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids,

There are 26 different burger options Short’s,

319-550-4517,, $$

along with chicken and black bean alternatives,

From all-day breakfast to patty melts and

so it’s nearly impossible for the menu to ever

meatloaf, there’s something on the menu for

get old. The beef comes from within Iowa’s

everyone in the family. Hit the breakfast buffet

own state lines, and they pride themselves

on the weekend, treat yourself to all-you-can-

on their vast selection of Iowa craft beers

eat cod and shrimp on Fridays or Sirloin Steak

and ciders. Be sure to taste the stellar Short’s

Night on Saturdays.

Whiskey that they distill in partnership with

Host your wedding or special event at the Old Capitol Museum VISIT OLDCAP.UIOWA.EDU FOR MORE INFO

Cedar Ridge micro distillery in Swisher. Scratch Cupcakery 927 E 2nd Ave, Coralville, 319-359-2256,

Siamville Thai Cuisine, $

3635 1st Ave, Cedar Rapids,

With more than 125 cupcake flavors on the

319-364-1955,, $$

menu, Scratch rotates through a regular

This shopping-center eatery offers an

selection daily. Offered in mini and standard

impressive variety of authentic Thai plates.

sizes as well as gluten-free and vegan

Siamville offers a fine dining experience at a

preparations. If you’re one of those folks who

budget-friendly price.

Kim will help you find your way HOME 310.795.2133 V/T



Urban Greens provides the highest quality leafy greens for consumers, restaurants & local grocery stores right in the heart of Iowa City. @IC.urbangreens @urbangreensic

(319) 351-2907 • 1700 S. 1st Ave. Eastdale Plaza #11c, Iowa City, IA 52240

www. p r i smsscap

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 85


Skillet Cafe

jalapeño salsa, to prosciutto

101 1st St NE, Mount Vernon,

and stone-ground mustard. For

319-895-8540,, $

something a little different, try the

Occupying a corner spot on the

gumbo or jambalaya.

main drag in Mount Vernon, the

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Skillet Cafe serves up fresh made-

Stop On Bye

to-order breakfast & lunch dishes

1616 6th St SW,

in a comfortable environment.

Cedar Rapids, 319-362-0788,, $$

Sno Biz of Iowa City

The broasted chicken is the

812 S 1st Ave, Iowa City,

highlight on the menu at this local,

319-558-8012, $

family-owned restaurant and the

Sno Biz of Iowa City is shaved

small-scale bar allows every seat

ice made right. With an array of

to be the best in the house for

fruity flavors and a friendly staff,

watching the game.

this seasonal operation takes the classic sno-cone to the next

Studio 13

level. Mix and match your favorite

13 S Linn St, Iowa City,

flavors to create your ideal

319-800-1354,, $

summer treat.

As Iowa City’s only LGBTQ+ bar, Studio 13 has shows and specials

Sonny’s Northside Tap

almost every night of the week.

210 N Linn St, Iowa City,

Anyone 19 and older can come

319-337-4335, $

by for their infamous Drag shows,

Sonny’s has everything you’re

featuring seasoned professionals

looking for in a neighborhood

and beginners. Studio 13’s mission

watering hole—beer, pizza,

is to promote diversity and create

cocktails, pool, darts and plenty of

a welcoming environment for

televisions to watch the game on.

everyone in the community, so anyone of any background is

Soseki Sushi Cafe & Sake Bar

welcome to dance the night away

227 S Dubuque St, Iowa City,

in flashing lights and techno beats.

319-351-1800,, $$ Fresh sushi, poke bowls,

Sushi House

noodles and donburi—a little

2665 Edgewood Pkwy SW,

bit of everything is available at

Cedar Rapids, 319-396-1990, $$

this newly opened sushi joint

A long-running family-owned and

in downtown Iowa City. Visit

operated Asian eatery serving

for great lunch combos and a

Chinese and Japanese cuisine.

selection of sake as well.

Their inclusive menu ranges from sushi and sashimi, to rice and

Sparti’s Gyros

noodle bowls that are delivered

61 2nd St, Coralville,

by a highly attentive staff.

319-512-5005,, $ An extensive selection of

Sushi Kicchin

traditional Greek food and

201 S Clinton St, Iowa City,

Chicago-style American fare

319-338-1606, $

with a smattering of fried sides.

If you love sushi—and we know

Available for online ordering,

you do—stop by Sushi Kicchin

drive-thru service or delivery in

for their fast, affordable menu

the Iowa City/Coralville area.

that is sure to hit the spot. Their dumplings and rolls—both


available in veggie options—are

1006 Melrose Ave, Iowa City,

fresh and flavorful. This is a great


place to stop by for lunch if you, $$

are in a hurry to get back to the

Sink your teeth into a


mouthwatering burger made with Iowa-bred beef, a house-made vegetarian black bean burger or a grilled chicken sandwich topped with anything from mango

86 BREAD & BUTTER 2018


Sushiya 745 Community Dr # A, North Liberty, 319-626-6666, $$ This stripmall sushi place in North Liberty is everything you wouldn’t expect from a stripmall sushi place. With some of the most unique dishes (ex: broiled yellowtail collarbone, Wagyu beef) fresh nigiri, sashimi and small plates, Sushiya is as good as any sushi on the coasts, or anywhere, really. It has some of the freshest fish in the area, combined with great service and an exceptionally clean environment, a visit to Sushiya makes for a truly wonderful experience. Sun Cafe 1681 S 1st Ave, Iowa City, 319-351-2287, $ This adorable little hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurant is a great place for richly spiced pho pure in flavor and authenticity. Sykora Bakery 73 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-364-5271,, $ This family run bakery tucked in the historic Czech Village offers handmade rolls, bread, cakes and classic pastries, but be sure to save room for a bowl of goulash! Szechuan House 320 E Burlington St., Iowa City, 319-338-6788,, $$ The menu can be daunting, but the rewards at Szechuan House are worth the investment. The food is super authentic and is often sublimely delicious. Tabooleh Mediterranean Buffet 210 2nd St, Coralville, 319-338-9999, $$ The area’s Middle Eastern cuisine options expanded significantly in one fell swoop

Flap Over and Feed the Flock! Best Breakfast in Area • Featured in Midwest Living One of Thrillist’s Best Diners in America Bluebird Diner: 330 E Market St, Iowa City 52245 Bluebird Cafe: 650 W Cherry St, North Liberty 52317

88 BREAD & BUTTER 2018

(319) 351 1470 (319) 626 2603


with the opening of Tabooleh Mediterranean Buffet. Owned and operated by a local Egyptian family with food made from family and friends’ recipes, by family and friends’ hands and with local ingredients, the large buffet offers everything from the more familiar couscous and falafel to perhaps less familiar dishes like mesa’a’ah (Egyptian spicy eggplant) and kushari (rice, macaroni, and lentils). Options abound for vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike. Salad and dessert selections are varied and generous. Friendly staff will answer any questions about the food, and tasting is encouraged. Taj Mahal Restaurant Grocery 3939 Center Point Rd NE, Cedar Rapids, 319-294-4953,, $$ If you’ve never ventured into the grocery section of Taj Mahal Restaurant, this is some of what you’ve been missing: homemade Indian sweets and savory samosas, a kaleidoscope of colorful grains and legumes, and any kind of nut you can imagine. Smells of chicken tikka masala and saag paneer waft through the grocery from the kitchen next door and compel you to buy Aloo Bhujia, a spicy fried potato noodle snack, and Besan Laddu, sweetened gram flour balls, a favorite of the young woman working the register, who promises you can’t eat just one. Taj International Food 2419 2nd St, Suite 2, Coralville, 319-354-1901, $ Small store offering an extensive selection of Indian ingredients and imports. Find a small selection of produce and just about anything else you might need to make your favorite dish at home. Takanami 219 Iowa Ave, Iowa City, 319-351-5125,, $$$ If you are in search of sushi and a fine-dining experience, Takanami is the place for you. They

BREAD & BUTTER 2018 89



guarantee a quality meal no matter what you

Thew Brewing Company

in Cedar Rapids? This is your place. Food

order, and strive for a dining experience to

301 2nd Ave SW, Cedar Rapids,

is delivered in an unpretentious setting and

match. They use locally grown, seasonally fresh

319-343-8439,, $

portions are generous.

ingredients, as well as those from all over the

Opening March 2018, this new brewery in

world. If sushi isn’t your thing—no problem—

Cedar Rapids’ Kingston Village produces a

Tomaso’s Pizza

they also feature Asian-style dishes such as

wide variety of different beers using a system

3234 Center Point Rd NE, Cedar Rapids,

Korean BBQ ribs and soups, salads or sides.

is that lends itself well to smaller batches and

319-364-4313,, $$

experimentation. The taproom at Thew does

1111 7th Ave, Marion, 319-377-6102,

Taste Of India

not serve food but does allows guests to bring, $$

1060 Old Marion Rd NE, Unit D, Cedar Rapids,

outside food in from nearby restaurants. Stay

1061 N Center Point Rd NE, Hiawatha,

(319) 294-6999,, $$

tuned for regularly scheduled visits from local

319-393-5610,, $$

Large spacious Indian restaurant and buffet

food trucks during warmer months.

One of a handful of long-running pizza establishments in the area—Tomaso’s remains a

on the northeast side of Cedar Rapids serving Tin Roost

powerhouse on the Cedar Rapids pizza scene.

840 W Penn St, North Liberty,

Choose from a range of crusts from a thin New

TCB Pool Hall

319-626-2331, $$

York style, middle of the road Detroit crust

114 E College St, Iowa City, 319-887-2665, $

Tin Roost provides a relaxed and social

with a cheesy caramelized edge, or a thick

Great beer selection at this quality pool hall

atmosphere for customers to enjoy food and

and doughy Chicago deep dish. The original

with well-maintained tables, shuffleboard and

drinks with friends. Their extensive menu

Mombo Combo is a crowd pleaser, but feel free


includes American classics with a twist,

to create your own masterpiece.

generous portions of Indian favorites.

homespun cocktails and over 36 beers on tap. Teddy’s Bigger Burgers

Relax by one of their three fire pits in the winter

Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.

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

or on their spacious patio in the summer.

310 College Dr, Decorah, 563-387-6700,, $, $ Garlic fries. You need these in your life

Tip Top Cakes

This brewery got its start in 2009 after

immediately. This Hawaii-based fast-food

708 5th St, Coralville,

smashing success in homebrewing. Now

franchise makes creative burgers, sandwiches,

319-359-1191,, $

brewing over 30 beers and distributing to over

fries and ice cream.

Whether you need a high-end wedding cake,

eight states, the brewery’s previously small and

a cup of coffee, or a pastry to treat your sweet

humble taproom has been transformed into a

Thai Flavors

tooth, Tip Top Cakes has what you are looking

100-barrel brewery with canning and bottling

340 E Burlington St, Iowa City,

for. Adam, the owner and award-winning

lines, taproom, restaurant and event center all

319-339-8900,, $$

baker, strives to amaze his customers whether

under one roof.

Thai Flavors is Iowa City's go-to authentic

they come in for a custom cake or a dozen

Thai food destination for dine-in, carry-out or

cupcakes. There’s no need to travel all the way

Tropical Smoothie

delivery. The atmosphere is cute and casual,

to Carlo’s Bakery for a creation from the Cake

245 S Gilbert St, Iowa City,

and your check won’t break the budget. They

Boss himself—we have our own cake boss right

319-688-2949,, $

adhere to what Thai food believes in: flavor

here in Coralville!

After a workout at the University’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, swing through

building. Their entrees feature interesting and delicious mixes of flavor, such as their

Three Samurai Japanese Restaurant

the in-house Tropical Smoothie for quick

Red Curry which is cooked with carrots, bell

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

healthy meal options.

peppers, bamboo shoots, sweet basil and, $$

coconut milk.

Three Samurai is the area’s original hibachi grill

Trumpet Blossom Cafe

restaurant offering both sushi and Japanese

310 E Prentiss St, Iowa City,

Thai Spice

inspired entrees. This go-to spot for sushi also

319-248-0077,, $$

1210 S Gilbert St, Iowa City,

extend the traditional happy hour into “Happy

At Trumpet Blossom, being vegan does not

319-351-2581,, $$

Days” and offers discounted rolls, drinks and

mean sacrificing your favorite comfort foods.

Thai Spice is known for their authentic, flavorful


Their brunch, lunch and dinner menus have something for everyone at the table to enjoy.

dishes. Their menu is extensive, so you’ll be sure to find something you like. The friendly

Timmerman’s Supper Club

Come by in the evening to attend one of the

staff is happy to help if you can’t decide

7777 Timmerman Dr, East Dubuque,

many events they host and enjoy one of their

between the Kang Dang or the Red Curry!

815-747-3316,, $$

excellent cocktails as well.

Timmerman’s Supper Club has been a Thai Spice Noodle House

Northeastern Iowa institution for years.

Tuscan Moon Grill on Fifth

725 Mormon Trek Blvd, Iowa City,

Situated on the bluffs of the Mississippi River,

203 5th St, Kalona, 319-656-3315,

319-339-1999, $$

the expansive dining room has amazing views., $$$

This offshoot of the popular Thai Spice Gilbert

Expect classic steakhouse and supper club fare

It is more than worth the drive to Tuscan

Street location opened in 2017 with a noodle-

and you won’t be disappointed.

Moon—a fantastic surprise awaits you. Entrees are all top notch but order the lobster if it’s

focused menu ranging from soups to entrees with some favorite appetizers, salads and rice

Ting’s Red Lantern

available. The vast patio and a charming

dishes thrown in for good measure.

540 Boyson Rd NE, Cedar Rapids,

enclosed outdoor bar allow you to make use of

319-294-8666, $

the space even in cold weather.

On the hunt for traditional Chinese staples 90 BREAD & BUTTER 2018


Twelve01 Kitchen and Tap

kale, cabbage, broccoli and bok choy greens

1210 1st Ave, Coralville, 319-338-1201, $$$

and other lettuces. Find them at the Iowa City

Formerly the River City Beefstro (facepalm),

Farmers Market and look for them soon at

this is connected to the Radisson Hotel &

local grocers New Pioneer, Bread Garden and

Conference Center and Hampton Inn, just off


of I-80 at the First Avenue exit in Coralville. The rebranded Twelve01 offers breakfast, lunch


and dinner seven days a week, and it might

849 Quarry Rd, Coralville,

by all appearances be your basic corporate

319-338-3782,, $$

operation, but it’s actually locally owned by

Nestled in the Iowa River Landing, Vesta

North Liberty’s Kinseth Hospitality Companies.

features Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and

Recommended for the Amish Chicken with

offers both a gluten-free and dairy-free menu

Asparagus, Beef Brisket and Grilled Reuben.

for those with dietary restrictions. The spacious patio is a favorite perch during summer

Uptown Bills Coffee House


730 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, 319-339-0804,, $

Village Meat Market & Café

Uptown Bills is a gathering place where

92 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids,

individuals of all abilities are welcome. Part

319-265-6328,, $

coffee house, part performance venue, part

In the heart of the Czech Village in Cedar

community meeting place, Uptown Bills

Rapids, provides customers with a southern

is dedicated to encouraging those with

twist on a classic butcher shop. Everything is

disabilities to live their best life. The soda pop

homemade and of the highest quality and rest

selection is by far the most diverse in Iowa City,

assured you’ll be headed home with the best

giving customers an array of options when it

fine cuts, smoked meats, homemade brats and

comes to root beer in a bottle.

candied bacon around.

Uptown Snug

Vine Tavern & Eatery

760 11th St, Marion, 319-200-6996, $

330 E Prentiss St, Iowa City,

You won’t find any food at this upscale Irish

319-354-8767,, $$

pub, but beyond Guinness and a solid lineup

39 2nd St, Coralville, 319-338-7770,

of beers, the bar is well-equipped for whatever, $$

cocktail your night on the (Up)town might

Students and residents head to the Vine for

call for. Cozy up fireside during the winter and

the bar food options and daily food and drink

enjoy the back patio in summer, overlooking

specials. The Iowa City location has a more

the Uptown Artway—one of several Marion

classic college-bar atmosphere, with dimmed

alleyways activated with public art installations

lighting and giant TVs, while the Coralville

year round by ArtPlace America grantees

location is more family-friendly.

ImaginArt in the Alleys. Urban Pie

Vino’s Ristorante 3611 1st Ave SE, Cedar Rapids,

200 State St #101, Cedar Falls,

319-363-7550,, $$

319-260-2045,, $$

The surprisingly intimate setting of this strip

1138 7th Ave, Marion, 319-200-2399,

mall restaurant makes it a great place for a, $$

dinner date. Vino’s offers traditional Italian

This fast-fired personal pizza concept started in

dishes executed well, full bar and extensive

Cedar Falls in February 2017 and had a second

wine list. Stop by RG Books lounge, adjacent

location in Marion opened by fall. The menu

to Vino’s, after enjoying your meal, for an after

inspires with topping combinations you won’t

dinner drink and relax in comfy seating as well-

find anywhere else—even including a dessert

selected Jazz and Blues music plays overhead.

pizza and a breakfast pizza—but you can always build your own, too. (That goes for the


salad as well.) Breadsticks and wings round out

4100 River Ridge Dr NE, Cedar Rapids,

the menu of this fast-growing, family-friendly

319-393-8727,, $$


Visit this casual cafe atmosphere for your favorite Italian-American dishes like pizza,

Urban Greens

pasta and calzones and a full bar., $ A purveyor of delicate micro-greens and sprouts grown in a hydroponic environment, this year Urban Greens expanded their offerings to include a beautiful mix of beet, BREAD & BUTTER 2018 91



Vivian's Soul Food

Nutcracker features a basil pesto and is topped

White Star Ale House

4342 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids,

with pistachios, this pizza will change the way

305 2nd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids,, 319-396-2229, $$

you look at ‘za. Now serving breakfast.

319-362-2000,, $$

A family-owned restaurant

A popular downtown

specializing in traditional

hangout with creative

Southern-style and American

American food and almost

soul food. Good old- fashioned,

100 beers available! White

Things not on any menu

authentic comfort food for the soul.

Star has daily specials and free late night entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays.

The restaurants in Bread and Butter offer almost every kind of food a person could think of. But what about the foods nobody thinks about any more? For those we can turn to the work of Thomas F. De Voe.

VUE Rooftop 328 S Clinton St Suite A, Iowa City, 319-519-4650,, $$

located in the newly built Hilton Garden Inn, offers primo views of downtown Iowa City and beyond. Delight in that superior feeling that washes over you while casually sipping a martini

1451 Coral Ridge Ave, Coralville, 319-338-4776,

Iowa City’s first high-rise rooftop bar and restaurant,

Whitey’s Ice Cream

De Voe was a butcher in New York City, who had an inexhaustible curiosity about food. In 1867, he distilled his lifetime of learning into a book, The Market Assistant. The subtitle promises “a Brief Description of Every Article of Human Food Sold in the Public Markets of the Cities of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn,” and if the book fell short of that ambitious goal, it wasn’t for lack of trying. The book comprehensively covers meat, fish, fowl and vegetables, and De Voe either sampled every item he wrote about or interviewed people who regularly ate them. The sections on the more popular items, most of which are still common today, are exhaustive (the entry on duck features 26 different varieties of wild duck). But it’s what we’ve stopped eating that provide the most interesting parts of the book.

floors above all those regular folks below. Walker Homestead 3867 James Ave SW, Iowa City, This 85-acre farm is the

Thanks to De Voe, you don’t need to kill a dolphin to know it tastes “much like the common crab, but [is] rather dry eating.”

perfect backdrop to inspire an agricultural educational

appreciation for farm life, fresh foods, culinary sensations, and good wines, Walker Farmstand is a destination to put on your

Other entries covering items you won’t find on any menu include otter (“quite good eating, except being of a fishy flavor”), great blue heron (“when young and in good condition its flesh is well flavored, and not coarse, as its appearance would indicate. Best in the fall months.”) and remora or shark sucker (“For the table I found it quite indifferent.”).

Table, a seasonal dinner series

The only animal DeVoe refused to eat was the robin: “I, however, think that these birds are more useful to man living than dead.”

brings farmers and diners to a

creations. They’ve got the classics down—vanilla, chocolate, strawberry—but creations are expertly made as well. To get a taste of what they’re made of, try their Gummy Bear ice cream or a Pineapple shake the next time you stop by. Wig & Pen 1220 Highway 6 W, Iowa City, 319-354-2767, 363 N 1st Ave, Iowa City, 319-351-2327, $$ 201 Hwy 965 NE, North Liberty, 319-665-2255 Popular with families and sports fans, Wig and Pen is looking for Chicago style pizza while residing in the Hawkeye state. Take a seat

created by chef Chris Grebner of Provender fame, that

Whitney’s many ice cream

the perfect spot for those

radar. The Farmstand is also plays host to The Farmer’s

the main ingredients to, $$

experience If you’re interested and raising animals and have an

Quality and creativity are

their seasonal and specialty

and dining on steak twelve

in growing a variety of foods, $

The complete text of The Market Assistant is available online for anyone curious about the tastiest way to prepare muskrat.


common table. The Wedge Pizzeria 517 S Riverside Dr, Iowa City,

at the bar, all locations provide a classic pizzeria and pub atmosphere that will make your day or evening more enjoyable. Try the popular “Flying Tomato” style pizza, this award


winning thin crust pizza is cooked in a deep, $$ The Wedge offers takeout and delivery of

The Whippy Dip

dish pan with whole slices of tomato and

their many specialty pizzas, in addition to

121 College Dr, Decorah,

flooded with a variety cheeses.

a few calzone options. Made with local and

563-382-4591, $

organic ingredients whenever possible, the

The Whippy Dip’s long lines through the

Wild Culture Kombucha

Wedge offers a large selection of pizza for

summer season are a sure sign of the town’s, $

vegetarians and even offers a vegan cheese

love for this Decorah institution. Operational

Get Wild Culture’s full-strength, fresh

option. If you’re searching for a unique pizza

since 1954, you’ll find the standard ice cream

kombucha on tap in Iowa City’s local

with a taste all it’s own, try “The Nutcracker”

shop favorites as well as “Tornadoes,” the

farmers markets, restaurants, breweries

pizza from The Wedge. An enchanting

Whippy Dip’s take on the patented Dairy

and grocery stores. They use exclusively

creation of cheese and peppers; The

Queen Blizzard.

fresh fruits, veggies, spices and herbs. They

92 BREAD & BUTTER 2018



brew everything with well-being and healthfulness in mind, so you can enjoy their brews guilt-free. Yumei’s Asian Market & Anime 901 1st Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, 319-378-2910, $$ Offering an excellent selection of fresh Asian produce that is hard to find anywhere else in Cedar Rapids, this Asian




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grocer stocks with a wide selection of fresh and frozen grocery items at great prices. Yotopia Frozen Yogurt 132 S Clinton St., Iowa City, 319-338-0500, $ This is downtown Iowa City’s only locally owned frozen yogurt shop. Whether you like your froyo sweet or tart, Yotopia has you covered. A wide variety of flavor options combined with a massive selection of candy toppings will keep your taste buds guessing every time you stop in. Zeppelins Bar & Grill 5300 Edgewood Rd Suite 500, Cedar Rapids, 319-393-3047,, $$


Upscale casual dining with in a contemporary ambiance. Their menu includes all of the American staples with a few notable standouts (like the Parmesan fries) and great happy hour deals. Zombie Burger 1451 Coral Ridge Ave, Coralville,, $ With a menu made for horror movie fans, Zombie Burger offers several options for their creative burgers. Stop by and grab one of their impressive burgers with a shake and split a meal while out at Coral Ridge Mall.



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