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LV Recommends: Gumption.

Gumption. has achieved and perfected the chic, family-friendly breakfast spot with its farm-to-fork food and drink menus. Those menus caters to many different diners, with each plate highlighting local ingredients, from fresh seasonal produce to fresh breads.
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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: Black Sheep Social Club

When Black Sheep Social Club recommends reservations, they aren’t kidding. The new Cedar Rapids restaurant hummed over the lunch hour on a recent Tuesday. Located in the former Great Furniture Mart building on First Street downtown, the social club opened for business Apr. 19 and has generated plenty of conversation among the city’s foodies. The […]

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LV Recommends: Bashu’s twice-cooked pork

We sat down to lunch at the newly opened traditional Chinese restaurant Bashu. The waitress brought us a pot of oolong and my buddy, a native Iowan, said, “How do you know if somebody is from New York?” “I don’t know, how?” I said, pouring him some tea. “Oh, don’t worry,” he said. “They always […]

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LV Recommends: Trumpet Blossom Café

If you’re anything like me, you know there is no greater tradition than brunch. It’s the perfect midday gathering of friends to top off your weekend. You get a satisfying meal, drink(s) and above all: bacon. My friends and I were a perfect example one recent weekend. After visiting Trumpet Blossom Café and trying an […]

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LV Recommends: Lebowski’s Bar & Grill

As a connoisseur of both stoner flicks and all vodka-related beverages I was thrilled to learn of a Big Lebowski-themed restaurant opening in Robins, Iowa (925 Robins Square Dr.). Advertised as a bar and grill, this establishment, opened in February by Shawn and Nola Bodensteiner, was practically begging me to come judge their White Russians […]

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LV Recommends: Sauce Bar & Bistro

If there is a grapefruit-infused beverage, I’m probably going to order it. Overtly fruity beers should be illegal, yet I’ll drink an IPA with hints of grapefruit all day long. So it was with great rejoicing that I discovered my new favorite drink at Sauce Bar & Bistro: Rosemary’s Salt of the Dog features Hendrick’s […]

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LV Recommends: Bar’ber Shop

If I hadn’t looked at the reviews online, I would have flown right by it. “Bar’ber Shop? I searched restaurants!” But upon more investigation, it appeared this place (located at 218 1st Ave. in Coralville) wasn’t serving up a shave and a haircut, but meals made from locally sourced foods at an affordable price. So, […]

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Chicken Little Reviews: Pho Zaika

The flavors of Vietnamese food — garlic, lemongrass, ginger, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, chilies, fish sauce — are some of my favorites. Thankfully, and at long last, there is delicious, complexly flavored Vietnamese food in the Iowa City area, at Coralville’s Pho Zaika. Pho Zaika, also known as “I ♥ Pho,” opened early this year […]

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Chicken Little Reviews: The Lost Cuban

Since 2012, The Lost Cuban in Cedar Rapids has been consistently serving flavorful Cuban favorites, garnering well-deserved buzz along way. The restaurant’s dining room is colorful and clean, free from the clutter of knickknacks. Customers order at the register, and friendly, helpful servers bring the food out to the table when it’s ready (which doesn’t […]

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