On the Table: A visit with Iowa City herbalists Wild Rose Apothecary

Ansel Cummings is a friend of the bees

Most people go to great lengths to rid their yards of plants they deem to be “weeds.” These so-called weeds are invasive and unattractive and might as well just be wiped out, right?

An Iowa City herbalist group, Wild Rose Apothecary, is looking to change that perception; it’s their mission to inform weed-haters that wild-foraged herbs like dandelions, cleavers, plantain and chickweed actually have a place in our homes. […]

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Chicken Little Reviews: Brix Cheese Shop and Wine Bar

Brix Wine and Cheese

On a rare rain-free afternoon in early June, I was feeling peckish and decided to risk crossing the road for a bite at Brix, one of Iowa City’s newest Northside eateries. Brix is a place I often overlook for lunch, partly because it’s only been open since last December, and also because I have never […]

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Pilsner Urquell is our July brew of the month

Pilsner Urquell

For July, my instinct tells me to recommend a Czech pilsner. Light, refreshing, grassy and perhaps a touch skunky at first, I think the style not only suits hot, humid days, but also complements the aromatics I associate with summertime. After being disappointed by other versions of the style, I am falling back on the […]

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The Hops: Quality assured?

Beer Freshness

Beer freshness dates are an inconsistent hodgepodge. While brewery A prints a month-day-year bottling date, brewery B prints an internal batch code—a code which only the company can easily decipher—and brewery C does not print any information at all. While some beers benefit from a controlled aging process, many taste best fresh, and a date […]

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Chicken Little Reviews: Farmers’ Market brunch

Iowa City Farmer's Market

Every Saturday from May through October, Iowa City’s main brunch event is served outdoors on a closed-off block of Washington Street, where the smell of bacon wafts over lines of hungry, stroller-wielding market goers. Here at the Iowa City Farmers’ Market, one can feast upon a dinner plate-size blueberry pancake from Griddle Me This for […]

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The Hops: June brews of the month


Last summer’s recommendation of PBR, my favorite lawn mower lager, disappointed at least one reader. Feeling the need to redeem myself this June, I am recommending two refreshing and tasty brews that even my mom likes: Stiegl Grapefruit Radler and Lindemans Framboise. […]

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On the Table: Take a bloody break

Bloody Mary

Here’s the conundrum: I’ve found myself at an unpleasant crossroads. I’m in my 30s, have high blood pressure and need to lose weight; but I am, by nature, an epicure. Until a little while ago, this joie de vivre served me relatively well—but I had a health scare recently and have been forced to question […]

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The Hops: Gears and beers

Gears and Beers

For Ray Bennett, an avid bicyclist and 27-year RAGBRAI veteran, it is always nice to have a destination at the end of a long, hot bike ride with friends—especially a destination with cold beer. Bennett, who lives in North Liberty, notes that “if you ride 15 or 20 miles, you might want to stop and […]

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Chicken Little Reviews: El Banditos


El Banditos is a Northside restaurant that is capturing authentic fiesta flavor in their inventive, fresh cuisine. Holding its own in a growing pool of quality Mexican joints (La Michoacana on Hwy 1, along with new-ish arrivals to downtown Cactus and Mami’s Authentic), El Banditos is affordable, laid back and fun. […]

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Rampant IPA is our May brew of the month


With supplies of spring’s seasonal brews dwindling, I’ve decided to suggest a spring-ish beer that is not only brewed year-round, but also offers a level of hop bitterness that exceeds anything else I have recommended: Rampant IPA, brewed by New Belgium Brewing. […]

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