Saturday, February 24, 2007

Food on the mind...

I take pride in having experienced a variety of foods, and I'm always up for trying something new. That's why I found it kind of interesting and inspiring when the latest video game I've been playing, Brain Age for Nintendo DS, suggested trying a new restaurant every week. Now for those of you unfamiliar with this game, it's just a series of little training programs that are timed, and then you are given a "brain age," a number that's supposed to represent how well your brain is functioning (my brain age is currently 23, with the optimum being 20. I'm so close! But I guess my brain is "fit" for its age.) It sounds kinda silly, and it is, but it is a lot of fun, and hey, if it helps the fitness of my brain, it can't be too bad. But this suggestion for trying new places said that it is supposed to exercise your brain, by trying new things. So really, this is all in the name of health. And deliciousness.

My goal this weekend is to brave the weather and make it to a new restaurant. (I have my sights set on Thai Spice, after falling in love with a Thai dish while I was in DC.) I figured this would be as good a venue as any to make a list of eateries around town I want to hit, and then maybe post a little bit about each one after I dine there. Without further ado, here's the list (and places will probably be added in subsequent posts as I think of more)

  • Thai Spice
  • Linn St Cafe
  • Atlas
  • India Cafe
  • J's Fish and Chips
  • New York NY Deli
  • Baldy's Wraps
  • David's Place
  • Jimmy Jack's Rib Shack
  • Peking Buffet
  • Venuto's World Cafe
  • Jade Sisters
I'm sure there are more that will be added later. But that's a pretty solid list for now, at a rate of one per week it'll take a few months. Sure, there may be a week or two where I hit more than one, and probably a few weeks where I won't go to any new place. So it'll all even out.

Since we're on the subjects of local restaurants, I may as well post some of my favorites right now.

  • Hamburg Inn - Awesome atmosphere, great diner-style food, and pretty reasonable prices. Plus, it's like two blocks away from my house. A winner all around.
  • Oasis - The first place I've ever had falafel, and my favorite. Also a couple of blocks from my place, and just delicious food. If you've never tried a falafel sandwich, you're really missing out.
  • Oyama - It was hard to choose one sushi place, I like them all pretty well. But I feel like I know a couple of the chefs here, and they're always very nice. Whenever I sit at the sushi bar, they give me free kani salad. I like to think they do that just for me, but it's probably for a lot more people.
  • The Pit - It's my favorite barbecue place, kind of by default, but still delicious. I haven't tried the other BBQ (See Jimmy Jack's above), but I love the sauce here, the pulled pork is amazing, and the fried Oreo's hurt my heart just thinking about them. It's no Battle's, but few places are.
  • Java House - Not so much a restaurant, but one of my favorite places to go and just hang out, drink some hot chocolate, and eat a peanut butter cookie, while reading a book.
  • Old Chicago - Probably the place I've been to the most around town. Finished up one World Beer Tour, and 12 beers into my second. Most likely won't finish it, but it's still a good excuse to try different beers. Plus, the pizza is usually pretty excellent, as are the pepperoni rolls. Sure it's a pretty big chain, but who cares.
  • Falbo Bros Pizza - My favorite pizza place in town, and they have an awesome lunch deal with 2 slices and a can of sodapop for $3.50. The deep-dish crust is amazing, and the toppings are usually delicious, with plenty of cheese.
  • Quinton's - Have only been here a handful of times, but always enjoy it. A great place to get a soup/sandwich combo, with some of the best broccoli and cheddar soup I've had.
Those are just a few of my favorite places around here. So everyone come to Iowa City. I'll take you to few spots, show you around my town. We'll eat well, I promise.

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