Category Archives: Good Eats

Stone City’s General Store will be your new favorite hangout

I found a new favorite place to have a bite.  A place with good food, a cozy atmosphere and live music.  A place where even my five-year-old has fun and isn’t out of place dancing. It’s a bit off the beaten path, but well worth the drive.

Nestled on the bank of the Wapsi River in Stone City, IA the General Store is a little piece of history.  It’s had many names and provided different services to the community, but the iconic building is as much a landmark in the town as the famous quarry down the street.
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Bike riding and Bluegrass

Central City showcases two festivals this weekend – CC Rider and the 33rd annual Bluegrass Festival.

The decorated bikes have adorned lawns and businesses for weeks. Some were spray painted purple from rim to rim, some held flower baskets, and others sparkled in the summer sun. Regardless of the artist’s intention, each drew attention and encouraged passersby to participate in Central City’s 8th annual CC Rider festival.  Finally, on Saturday, August 23rd, the bid day arrived.

The Central City Main Street organization puts on the CC Rider Community Festival and Bike Ride every year, which began in 2001. The heart of the festival revolves around a number of bike rides. Participants could choose from either a 14, 34, 62 or the new 100 mile route through scenic Grant Wood Country. The Festival also features a 5k Run/Walk for adults as well as kids. There is also a bike safety “rodeo” and scavenger hunt for the kids.
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The Mill and Catfish Keith

For our date night this month my husband and I ventured back to an old stomping ground and saw one of our favorite performers.

The Mill in downtown Iowa City has forever been one of my favorite spots.  When I was young, my mom would drive to Iowa City to go shopping and we’d always stop at The Mill for all-you-can-eat spaghetti.   So, when I attended the University of Iowa , I found myself naturally inclined to frequent the familiarly of The Mill (although most of my girlfriends preferred the dance clubs.)

The Mill has all the things I love in a bar – it’s dark, it’s unpretentious, and they have live music.  Continue reading

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The Iowa State Fair is Here!

Iowa is famous for a few things. Corn. The Field of Dreams. And the Iowa State Fair. Ok, we’re famous for more things than that, but I’ve traveled enough to know these are three near the top of the list.

Yesterday marked the opening day of the Iowa State Fair.

It’s one of the only places in the world you’ll see such pillars of Americana as

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August Means Downtown Getdown in Marion

When the calendar changes to August it means one thing in Marion – time for the Downtown Getdown.  Held annually in City Square Park, Downtown Getdown in an event that showcases great local music and food.

The event is sponsored by the Marion Business Committee (of the Marion Chamber of Commerce).

And best of all… admission is FREE!  Food vendors open between 5:30- 6:00 p.m. and live music will run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Here’s the schedule for the 2008 Downtown Getdown:

  • Aug 7th – Dogs on Skis (classic rock)
  • Aug 14th – The Trux (60’s, 70’s, 80’s rock)
  • Aug 21st – The Cedar Island Band (Jimmy Buffett-style rock)
  • Aug 28th – Swing Crew

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I found the beef and it’s in Solon!

This weekend (July 18 and 19) the community of Solon will swell as residents return to this prideful hometown and others come to see what all the fuss is about.

Solon Beef Days features bands, pedal tractor pulls, hay bale throwing contests, carnival rides, and beef of course! Check out the website for a full schedule.

Beef Days got it’s start back in 1971 when four local organizations came together to start an “old time celebration.” Because the Johnson County Cattlemen’s Association cooked steaks for the event, it seemed like “Beef” should be in the event’s name.

Come enjoy the fun, get to meet some of your neighbors and witness another first-class community in the Corridor come together with pride.

posted by: danaengelbert

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Iowa’s Wineries: Some of the Best in the Heartland

We’re not Napa Valley, but that doesn’t mean Eastern Iowa isn’t home to a number of amazing wineries.  I’ve had the pleasure of sampling a few and The Gazette recently unveiled a special section “A Toast to Eastern Iowa’s Wineries” which has helped me update my ever-growing list of new wineries I’d like to try. 

Daly Creek Winery and Bistro – 106 N. Ford St. Anamosa, IA

I was originally enamored by this winery when I heard stories of their fabled “Penitentiary Red” – their best selling wine which is named after the prison that also makes Anamosa its home.  After a taste test and a wonderful New Years Eve meal, I’ve decided my favorite is the Winemaker’s Reserve – (Cabernet Sauvignon) and I recommend buying a bottle to take home with you. 
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