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LV Recommends: Vivian’s Soul Food

In honor of Galentine’s Day, and to cheer us up in the face of bitter cold temperatures, my daughter Isabelle and I headed to Vivian’s Soul Food for dinner. I had been once before, and was impressed with the amazing food and the warmth and attentiveness of their staff, so I was excited to check out their new space and expanded menu. […]

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Have a snack of aphrodisiacs this Valentine’s Day

As any Iowan can attest, Midwestern winters are long and bleak. After the merriness of Christmas subsides and the glitter of New Year’s fades, we are left with a damp gray-brown slog that can extend all the way until April. Add to that the emotional slog of an election year and it becomes doubly important to find an enjoyable way to fill the time. […]

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Eat like your favorite 2020 candidate

Due to an influx of aspiring presidents every four years, many classic Iowa foods have been imbued with politics, from Iowa State Fair pork on a stick to Hamburg Inn pie shakes — even ranch! But Iowa has more to offer than the Midwest staples consumed on-camera by candidates pandering to the nation’s first caucusers. As White House […]

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LV Recommends: Get Fresh Cafe, Iowa City

Food is imperative to a dining experience, of course, but in my opinion, it’s the windows that really define an eating establishment. Hear me out: When a ray of sunshine enters through a pane of glass and accentuates the dramatic peaks and valleys of a scoop of curry chicken salad? *kisses fingertips* Perfection. […]

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LV Recommends: Laos Cafe

Iowa has long suffered from a chronic lack of traditional Asian cuisine. With an overabundance of greasy Panda Express-like food and subpar California rolls, it’s difficult to find a restaurant delectable enough to satisfy the palates of true Asian food enthusiasts. However, a game-changer resides in an unsuspecting building on the fringes of […]

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LV Recommends: Avanti Foods

For over a decade, Avanti Foods has had a presence in Chauncey Swan Ramp for the Iowa City Farmers Market, ready to go by 7 a.m. on Saturdays with a cooler full of over 30 assorted cheeses. The Avanti booth is always well-stocked with staples — mozzarella, Havarti (try the dill, green olive or jalapeño varieties) and various cheddars and Monterey Jack cheeses. […]

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LV Recommends: Sing-A-Long Bar & Grill

The Sing-A-Long Bar is a comfort food pub at the crossing of Highway 1 and Mount Vernon’s main street. A 1910 player piano is the first thing you see when you walk in. On busy evenings, pub-goers gather around the piano as rolls of paper dotted with little holes tell the piano what notes to play. Patrons can pick a roll from the shelf […]

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