Friday, November 13, 2009

Great eats

There have been some great new restaurants in the last year or so. I haven't had a chance to eat at all of them but I know that they're good stuff, so check 'em out if you've got the time and the cash.

Mama's Deli

Mama's is a great place to have a sandwich or some soup. They also have some great hot dishes, like the voodoo chicken. It's a little pricier than Subway next door but more than worth the difference.

menu and location

Short's Burger

Short's is on Clinton across from the pentacrest where Baldy's used to be. Amazing burgers and nothing but burgers. Black bean burgers for the veggie set. Hand cut fries. The only thing that could make it better is if it had a full bar and was open late. Oh wait... it does, and it is.


A little more upscale, see-and-be-seen type restaurant. Cocktails, interesting and ever-changing menu. They just added a lunch buffet which they've been advertising with a guy in a chicken suit? Not sure about the relevance but it is an attention getter. Dress nice and bring your wallet.

graze page on facebook


Authentic taqueria on the northside. It's a small location, where the Motley Cow used to be, but it's cozy. There's a window bar so you can watch the market street traffic and it's open until midnight.

Best part: they deliver!

Chef's Table

Another fine-dining establishment, focused on French cuisine. Classy interior, great food, great wines.



Two obvious entrants I left out.

Her Soup Kitchen


Orchard Green

Neither of which I know anything about.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gaming on the East Side

Attention wannabe knights and wizards! All anyone's been talking about lately is the flooding, and nobody seems to be mentioning its upside. That's right, I said upside.

Due to the virtual demolition of the Coralville strip, many businesses have temporarily relocated. Thanks to this relocation, I discovered a little shop called Critical Hit Games. Apparently this place has been in Coralville for some time, but I only found out about it because it's currently holed up in temporary digs at the 1st Ave. Mini-Mall, on the south east side.

It's been a while since I've been a hardcore dice & paper player, but this place does a lot of neat stuff. They have open boardgame demos every wednesday night. They are installing two big tabletops in the back of the store. They have a lot of seating, and are convieniently located across the street from a source of Doritos and Mountain Dew.

The owner said they're only going to be in this spot for around 6 months, so the decor is rather sparse. But it's no worse than your friend's mom's basement, and they have way cooler stuff going on. Check out the event calendar for upcoming sessions of your favorite CCG or RPG.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Apartment Hunting

Well if you haven't found a place by now, you're in trouble! Moving day is fast approaching, and soon we will lose the glorious peace that besets Iowa City every summer upon students' departure.

On The Daily Blog there's a good list of apartment rental companies' websites. The University of Iowa also offers a fantastic page on off-campus living with resources and apartment hunting tips and moving advice, useful for students and non-students alike.

If you're getting desperate, or unlike me, don't mind the company of other humans, remember to check ads in the Daily Iowan and craig's list for roomate-wanted listings.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Arcade and Pinball finder

Since the arcade in the Old Captiol Mall disappeared, I've been wishing there was a good way to find arcade and pinball games in Iowa City.

I guess I'm not the only one. Someone named Michael is now running a blog dedicated to keeping track of what games are where, with a current feature post on one of my favorites, "Medieval Madness" and other good ones located at the Deadwood bar, always a good spot for pinball.

Check out his blog over here:

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Online transaction monitoring - Contact Grassley

First, I apologize for the posting hiatus, but in case you didn't notice...


I had all these great ideas for posts about what to do and then I'd realize the place was flooded out.

Anyway, this post has nothing to do with stuff to do in Iowa City. This post is about Chuck Grassley being a dick, again.

This time around, ol' Chuck is pushing a housing bill with a buried provision that will require paypal, amazon, and other online services to report details of each and every online transaction to the federal government. As chairman of the Finance Committee, he is in position to get this bill to the floor.

The privacy implications of this provision are very serious, and there isn't a plan in place to deal with those risks, or to limit what the federal goverment can do with this information.

You can read more about it here:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Iowa Smoking Ban - what does it mean?

This piece from the Quad City Times answers some, but not all, of my outstanding questions about the Iowa state-wide smoking ban.

It implies to me, that since Tobacco Bowl a) is enclosed and b) has employees, it will not be exempted from the ban.

But I got to discussing this with a friend of mine the other night, and I came to an interesting realization:

The ban is ostensibly about public health. If consenting adults have nowhere to go to smoke in public, it will either cause them to quit or (more likely) drive them to smoke at home, espeically during the inclement weather at the peaks of summer and winter. Since certainly some of those driven home will have children, this may actually increase the health impact on children: the very group second hand smoke is shown to give the greatest risk factors to.

What do you folks think? Will the ban actually help anything?

Unsubstantiated rumor - Bar closings and more

Where would we be without unsubstantiated rumor? Oh sure you could rely on only having the "facts" but where's the fun in that?

Fitzpatrick's on the way out?

Fitzpatrick's, at 310 E. Prentiss, has been having slow business for quite a while now, and their liquor stocks are getting lower each day. Fitzpatrick's liquor license is set to expire in early November of this year, and the Insider has it on reasonably good authority that the licensee will not seek renewal. Rumor has it that a bidding war between some current local bar owners may erupt to try and acquire the location in November.

So Long First Avenue Club?

First Avenue Club, at1550 S. 1st Ave, a longtime East Iowa City bar and probably the only country&western bar in the city, may close or move this summer. Exact dates are unknown, but rumor is that the owner is seeking possible alternate locations. Maybe he'll shoot for Fitzy's old spot?

Send your unsubstantiated rumors this way!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Public Access Television

I was going to talk about some good-weather activities today, but I'm going to skip that topic for today and talk about what I've spent too much of my life doing: watching TV.

Not just watching it, but participating. Youtube has become all the rage because of its egalitarian nature and the ability to reach a wide audience. But before Youtube, lots of us got involved with video through public access television.

Public Access is funded by a combination of user fees, state funds, and support required by the city's charter with the cable company. The fees are very affordable, and PATV allows you use of video equipment, studios, and editing bays provided that you let them broadcast whatever you make, and it isn't commercial material.

Public access is a great resource whether you have your own recording equipment or not. People at PATV have a lot of experience in producing and editing video content. They can also help you get your message out to a good portion of the community that doesn't have internet access, or doesn't use it for video-watching. They can also help you find other people who are interested in helping you complete a project that might be much tougher to tackle on your own.

PATV is a great place to spend a rainy day and "Guidelines," their introductory course, is free. Hop on over and sign up for some courses!

PATV cablecasts on Channel 18 in Mediacom's Iowa City market.