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LV Recommends: Beer Burger

I love a restaurant that doesn’t need a gimmick: one where the food is good and you can hear the person you’re speaking with—and it’s always nice when you can get a good beer or a milkshake with whiskey in it. Beer Burger in North Liberty is just such a joint. No pretense, just tasty […]

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LV Recommends: Sugapeach

There is an evident void in local cuisine: While there are quite a few great barbeque joints in town, the selection is far more limited when it comes to dishing up homestyle soul food. Enter Sugapeach. Following the closure of Sweetiepie’s in Cedar Rapids, the Iowa Soul Food Company opened this new establishment in North […]

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LV Recommends: Augusta’s turducken

If you’re at that phase of your life when you’re starting to branch out in your cooking (or you’re eating Totino’s pizza rolls while watching Food Network), you’ve noticed how good chefs team up several meats in one dish: jambalaya, paella (meat-lovers’ pizza, I see you) — and the autumnal variation: turducken. For those of […]

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LV Recommends: Millstream Bräu Haus

One of my favorite autumn activities in eastern Iowa is a visit to Amana. Quaint little shops, the down-home General Store, local theatre, Millstream Brewery and the village’s simple feel make for a great afternoon of shopping and relaxation, and, of course, eating. There are good options for dining in Amana, and the newest on […]

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LV Recommends: Red Vespa

Brick walls, industrial piping and stamped metal bar backing greet you when you enter Red Vespa in Solon. The vibe of the place is chic, cozy rather than cramped, with an open kitchen that lends a comforting transparency to the inner workings of the pizzeria. The telltale aromas of tomato and mozzarella mingling with basil […]

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LV Recommends: The Pig & Porter

Though the flood of 2008 devastated sections of Cedar Rapids, the rebirth of the downtown, Czech Village and New Bohemia districts make the losses easier to take. Post-flood, a restaurant renaissance has occurred. Diners less than enthused by chain restaurants are now spoiled for choice with new eateries featuring creative menus and eclectic beverages. The […]

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LV Recommends: Le Gourmet

By Ashley Chong I went over the phrases I would say in Korean, double-checking for any blatant errors in how I addressed the owner or how I pronounced the words. But when it was my turn to order, my carefully constructed phrases were instantly replaced with nostalgia when I suddenly noticed the row of pastries […]

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LV Recommends: Dumpling Darling

Dumplings — adorably bite­-sized pockets of dough packed with various fillings — excel in convenience. At Dumpling Darling on Dubuque Street in Iowa City (their brick and mortar location shared with Pops Old n’ New BBQ), an order of Korean-­style dumplings is steamed and ready to eat in about five minutes or less. But the […]

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LV Recommends: Sauce Bar & Bistro

When people ask me to recommend Italian food in Iowa, it prompts a string of questions that usually culminates in, “Do you mean real Italian, or, like, sickly sticky cream sauce and overcooked pasta like you’d get at a chain Italian restaurant?” Usually, thankfully, they mean the former, in which case, I often send them […]

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LV Recommends: Sun Café

Recently, my good friend suggested we venture away from downtown to find some good Vietnamese fare. Always the connoisseur of all cuisine, I trusted him. Sun Café (1681 S 1st Ave., Iowa City) didn’t disappoint. The first thing I noticed was the display of perfectly ­roasted hanging ducks in the rotisserie case. Recently, there has […]

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