Friday, December 16, 2011

Eating My Way Through Iowa City

In late September, Tom and I headed north to Iowa City (our “second home”, where we met at the University of Iowa) for the wedding of our friends Mitch and Jess. You're right, I should be embarrassed by how long it took me to post this vacation recap.

I love so many things about Iowa City: the University of Iowa campus, the downtown Pedestrian Mall, the river front/walk, the Farmers' Market, the Newman Catholic Student Center, the independent clothing and gift shops, the Coral Ridge Mall (perhaps it's shallow to mention the mall as a great feature of Iowa City, but you too would start dreaming about malls from your past if you visited the mall in College Station), the independent book stores and public library...I could go on and on. And I will, for just a moment longer, because this list wouldn't be complete without adding to it bars and restaurants.

Old Capitol (Iowa City used to be the Capitol of Iowa) 
on the University of Iowa Campus

We stayed at the Sheraton, which opened out onto the Ped Mall.
The Ped Mall straight ahead.

The Ped Mall to my left.

The Ped Mall to my right.

The University of Iowa Foundation, where I worked during my junior, senior, and super senior years.  I know my association with the Foundation was the boost I needed to earn my first job at the Red Cross.

Outdoor booths at the Farmers' Market.

Another view of the Farmers' Market - it's grown exponentially 
since I went to school in Iowa City.

We were in Iowa City to celebrate Mitch and Jess, but I ended up (over) celebrating the food and drink Iowa City has to offer as well.

I arrived in Iowa City on Thursday Night and left for home on Sunday afternoon. Call me the Very Hungry Caterpillar, because in those 68 hours I ate/drank my way through:

- Atlas (drinks and dinner with Melanie and Jamie)
- Panera (breakfast with Tom)
- The Wedge (spinach artichoke pizza all by my lonesome)
- The Java House (a long-anticipated root beer cream soda)
- Motley Cow (for Mitch and Jess' rehearsal dinner)
- Bo James (for FAC - college friends, did you know FAC isn't a big deal anymore?!)
- Whitey's (a chocolate-covered banana, which was just as funny to eat as it was when I was 22)
- Starbucks (we have Starbucks here, but in Iowa City it was chilly enough to actually enjoy a hot drink)
- The Farmers' Market (oh, the pastries)
- Mickey's (drinks and lunch with Leslie)
- Panchero's (1:00 am - heck yeah, I made it to 1:00 a.m. - quesadillas and burritos)
- Quinton's (NOTHING beats their creamy potato bacon soup in a bread bowl)

I realize this list only means something to readers familiar with Iowa City, but since I know there are quite a few of you out there, I wanted to provide specifics.

And that list doesn't include Mitch and Jess' wedding reception, where I indulged in (as if I hadn't already indulged up until that point) the best wedding reception dinner I've ever tasted. So you can add "Mitch and Jess' wedding reception catering company" to the list. I had also intended to include Bruegger's Bagels on the list, but on the morning we'd planned to eat there we discovered it had burned down just hours earlier. So sad.

I'm hoping that when I return to Iowa City (please, someone get married there - we seem to travel only for weddings and work conferences) Bruegger's will be back on it's feet and I'll be able to add it - along with The Hamburg, Taste of China, The Sports Column, The Airliner, and Mondo's - to the list.

Well, now I'm pretty hungry, so I'm off to scrounge up some grub in my kitchen. I'll leave you with a couple more pics from our trip.  (For some reason I can't find any of my pictures from Mitch and Jess' wedding, which is why they're so obviously missing from this post.  I'll keep looking!)

The sunrise view from our hotel room.

A new store in the Coral Ridge Mall.

My home for my junior and senior years - good times...

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