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Chicken Little Reviews: Heirloom Salad Co.

As I enter downtown Iowa City’s newest lunch spot (the Java House’s recent expansion into the space next door) I find myself in a pleasant space painted a sophisticated charcoal gray with enlarged vintage photos of Iowa City hanging on the walls. It has the feel of being decorated by a Midwesterner who loves catalogs […]

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The Hops: A Moose Walks into a Bar

At first, Brian Sekafetz thought the Moose Lodge was a place where old men drank beer. However, since becoming a member in 1996, he has learned it is about more than drinks with buddies. So much more, in fact, it gives him goosebumps to talk about it. From caring for 220 underprivileged children at the […]

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The Hops: Pabst Blue Ribbon

For me, summer is synonymous with lawn mowing and lawnmower lager. As a kid, my summer breaks were spent playing basketball in the driveway and mowing lawns up and down my block. I mowed a neighbor’s lawn just about every day. The heat was oppressive and sometimes the grass was ankle-deep and littered with (doomed) […]

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Good Eggs

As the weather warms and backyard gardens begin to sprout, locals are asked to consider a very basic question: Where does our food come from? To some, there’s an easy answer, which is “the grocery store.” It is, however, a bit more complicated than that. Eggs often have a starring role on many shopping lists, […]

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The Hops: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale – Chico, CA

Serving temperature: 50-54º F Alcohol content: 5.6 percent ABV. Food pairings: Bill Manley, a product development manager at Sierra Nevada, told me the chefs at the brewery’s restaurant commonly pair Pale Ale with grilled meat, mushrooms and fresh garden vegetables. For cheese pairings he suggested Colby and Edam. Where to buy:It is almost universally available […]

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Who will be the next Top Chef?

On March 28, the 2nd annual Top Chef: Downtown competition will be a live version of what all of us merely witness on Bravo.  Iowa City’s top chefs and bartenders will be exhibiting their culinary talent and mixologist wizardry from 5 to 7 p.m. at Hotel Vetro, 201 S. Linn St. Tickets are $25 which secures a sampling […]

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The Hops: Paulaner Brewery’s Salvator

Like a good Catholic and Bavarian, I imagine the Pope will relax with a brew or two after Saint Patrick’s Day Mass—and I guarantee he will not be drinking Guinness. Instead, he will probably kick back a couple bottles of the beer of the month: Paulaner Salvator. Sometime around the seventeenth century, it was decided […]

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The Hops: Duvel's Maredsous Brune 8

Ironically, a beer once brewed by celibate monks is an ideal beer for Valentines Day: Maredsous Brune 8.

Though it is now contract-brewed by Duvel, Maredsous Brune 8 is still a showcase of Benedictine abstinence. It is a dubbel that can be served in a tulip glass or chalice. The color is very deep brown. Three fingers of slightly tinted, thick head will settle to a thin lacing. It smells a little wine-like, but thankfully it is all beer with scents of yeast, caramel, toffee, fig, plum, apple, red grapes, brown sugar, spice and molasses. The taste is surprisingly dark and roasted with flavors of caramel, toffee, brown sugar and molasses. An earthy hop bite lingers on the cheeks and tongue after each sip and black pepper spice eventually emerges. The dark fruits, especially the red grape flavor, sneak in as the beer warms, but they are not as prominent as they are in the smell. […]

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Remembering The Red Avocado

In the midst of this season of affection, it is with regretful hearts that we commemorate the closing of one of Iowa City’s most beloved eateries, The Red Avocado. As we reflect on the loss of our premier vegan/vegetarian/organic sanctuary, we think back on summer hours spent lounging on the patio, sangria in hand, Dustin Busch strumming the mood. Or huddling in the entryway mid-winter, stamping snow off our boots and greeting our neighbors, anticipating a fantastic meal in the company of good friends. […]

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The Hops: Millstream Brewery's Back Road Stout

Politically speaking, Rick Santorum and I are a couple universes apart. However, to my amazement we apparently have one thing in common: an appreciation for good beer. Last month Santorum made a campaign stop at the Millstream Brewing Company in Amana and enjoyed a pint of Back Road Stout–an excellent oatmeal stout I coincidentally decided to make January’s beer of the month. […]

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