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LV Recommends: Gianna’s Italian Beef

Don’t tell Chicago, but Gianna’s stole their sandwich. Signature sandwiches are an edible work of art. Done right, they make our mouths water and our bellies happy. They leave us with warm memories of past road trips, vacations and experiences. Eastern Iowa has a number of restaurants where one can order an Italian beef sandwich. […]

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LV Recommends: Pho Lucky

Recently, three Little Village staffers lunched at Pho Lucky to get a feel for Iowa City’s newest pho restaurant. Imagine, on a cold winter day, sitting like a warm cat in a big sunny booth right by the south windows of a tidy restaurant while you sip a sweet Vietnamese iced coffee or hot tea and wait for a big bowl of soup. […]

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LV Recommends: Geyer’s Oven

There’s nothing more “Iowa” than eating in the middle of a cornfield. At Geyer’s Oven in Oxford, Iowa (1259 Rohret Rd SW), cows passively watched me enjoy delicious wood-fired pizza made with fresh ingredients such as summer squash and roasted beets. Visitors brought picnic blankets, dogs, wine and other wonderful things to enjoy along with the summer evening outside on the farm. […]

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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

Photo by Jordan Sellergren

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

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

Photo by Adam Burke

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

Trumpet Blossom Cafe

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

White Russian

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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