Evacuate the Dance Floor!. . . Again: Jefferson Building

Warning this is an emergency. Evacuate the building. Warning: this is a declared state of emergency.  

he was a just as confused as we were....

Usually, I hear those words INSIDE of a building. However, today I did not. Instead I heard them outside walking down the Iowa City Downtown, followed by some sirens, and a lot of disgruntled people. Regardless of the situation, emergency was far from it. Huddled outside in the predicted (used loosely here) 50° F weather was no fun for these students and professors who were hauled out of their comfortably warmer offices for the bittersweet rush of cool air and a whole lot of fire trucks.

Cars drove into the shouldn’t be a two way street hoping to squeeze by. Ha! Dozens of vehicles began to clog the already too narrow street and what was everyone doing? Well, what normal people do in emergencies. Take photographs.

I myself took quite a few to commorate this event.

Making my way into this crowd of people, I found an old professor of mine. What’s going on?  I questioned, hoping for some juicy tidbit of an exploded toaster or a microwave bag of popcorn set just a little too long. No. Just an unknown cry of a faulty alarm that may or may not have said Iowan Springs shouldn’t be cold enough to make the boiler overheat.

oh that poor SUV mirror....

It may not have been worth my time if the fire truck–bless him–hadn’t at that moment made the entire thing worthwhile. Inching his way a little bit up to see if he could let one car escape the fray, his right back corner completely tore off the left side mirror of the SUV Police Car. As if the SUV Police Car didn’t have enough trouble in Iowa City’s vibrantly anti-gasoline, pro-environment culture driving around and parking in downtown IC.

Yes, I did burst into fits of laughter. Yes, I did take pictures. and Yes, I am one of those people that thinks emergency alerts are the funniest things to happen after you’ve gotten 40% off Iced Coffee [because that’s all your mouth wants], discounted apples [because fortune would have that you walk in when they’re mispriced], and still somehow heard the emergency voice over the numerous sirens.

Ah, yes, for a day that had nothing productive attributed to it because I just didn’t want to do any of it. It sure has been one incredibly packed day.

Meat Week Meat Ups! The Pit of Meat Heaven

You’ve all been waiting for it: the third and final night of Meat Week! Incredibly sorry for such a delay, but my immune system took a vacation this weekend. Leaving me all alone to fend for myself. On to the delicious consumption of tantalizing barbecue for the best price in Iowa City!

Iowa City isn’t known for its barbecue. It’s known for its vegetarian, gluten-free, small plates, sandwich shoppes, not to mention its coffee and bar-scene, yes, yes yes….Enough! When it comes down to logistics, Iowa City just doesn’t have a lot of barbecue places.

And why should it? The one it has on the corner of Market and Dubuque is the only one it needs.

With inventive names for its dishes such as the “Churger” (a beef burger patty and chopped chicken) or the “Coronary” (a pile of tater tots, melted cheese, pulled pork, sauce, and bacon), The Pit is as lively as it is local. With few seats to go around, it was hard finding a place for our Group Meat Up! Thankfully, a young couple stepped aside and we were able to all gather around a large bench-booth table.

The Coronary: Is it really bad for your heart, when all you can taste is the love?

They offered the traditional meal plans: brisket, pork, beef, chicken. And they also tended to the unique palates offering barbecued salmon, portebello mushroom, and even a ribeye steak sandwich. (Talk about some fancy tastes!) All for around the same all-inclusive price of $8.00.

That’s right folks.

You can get a steak for eight dollars. At least, that’s just the sandwich. Sides and drinks are extra. But for one who likes mixing their meat and not playing around. The Pit is that little piece of Heaven for all of us meat lovers. Want something cheaper? Get a basic one (aka just one meat) for around $5.75.

As for me, I got a “Chiglet.” Not on the menu, they let me customize it and gave me the same price as their “Churger.” Instead of the beef patty, I wanted pulled pork with their chicken. Topped with cheddar cheese and already mixed with barbecue sauce, my Chiglet turned out as it should have. Heavy on the meat. Lacking in any bread. I didn’t want it to take away from my lovely pork goodness.

Ohh come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant! oh come, ye oh come ye, the Pit waits for you!

Topped with two thick bacon strips in an X, my eyes marked the spot first to devour. Underneath it all was a lonesome lettuce leef. ‘Twas an unfortunate reminder of how unhealthy my dinner was. And as I bit down into each bite, I really didn’t mind too much. The meats should have been mixed more thoroughly, otherwise they were adequately proportioned. I got a whole serving of each meat (for only about $2.25 more than a regular sandwich! Brilliance~

Take Note: This place has great food at great prices. They spend all their money on meat though, because your food comes to you in baskets and with the cheap plastic wrapping. I had to throw mine away because I ended up shredding it with my knife. The tater rounds are very greasy. The wrapping does some to soak this up, but it can end up soaking through it if you’re not careful.

Also, they have a CHALLENGE called the “Quadruple Bypass.” It’s free if ONE person can finish it in ONE-HALF Hour. I’d like to see someone do it. If they don’t, they’re stomach’s bursting and their wallet is about $27.99 emptier.

Meat Week Meat Ups! Indian Night of Mega Multiple Meats

The usual meat week festivities include multiple visits to a variety of various locations that all share one thing: meat. However, this usually means trips to steakhouses, barbecues, and burger joints. But why confine ourselves to experiencing thick slabs of meat when you can have TRIPLE THE AMOUNT OF MEAT FOR THE SAME PRICE?!

Iowa City has two Indian Cuisine places–one that serves meat and the other that caters to the vegetable only crowd. Having been to the other one (Masala), I wasn’t impressed by their reheated, silver dished portion of Eggplant with “a mix of Italian spices.” The rice was dry, yet the naan was very excellent. Regardless, I was not willing to go there again. AND they didn’t serve meat, so it was out of the question.

Tandori Platter: served with lemon for extra juicy tang; the meat didn't need it, but citrus never hurts

Instead, Iowa City’s India Cafe was the most plentiful, incredible, and tasty Indian food ever to melt in my mouth and steam with Tandori oven fumes into my face. At first impression, it doesn’t look like a lot. The soup comes in tiny bowls. The lentil soup tastes a little like hummus without the lime and tends to be very dense. The chicken soup is tomato-based, a little spicier, and very succulent.

When they brought out the platter, the meat was stacked so neatly, my eyes deceived me. How much exactly did they give us? Wait. Next to the platter were three more curries: goat, lamb, and lentil. By the way, lentil means mashed or pureed black eyed peas for those curious. Unfortunately, I’m not much of a lentil fan. And when it comes down to it: the meat took Indian Gold.

The Three Side Curries of (in order) Lentil, Goat, and Lamb; succulent meats in spectacular sauces

Seasoned, not spicy, this Indian food is an Iowa City Treasure that appeals to multiple palates. The meat was tender and juicy. The chicken was incredible. I have never had such beautifully seasoned meat. Did I mention they give you the ENTIRE chicken? One wing, two legs, and then the breast cut up into many cubes.

Excellent.

The lamb cubes and their sauce was sweet and slightly tangy. Creamy and rich, it went perfectly with the warm and fluffy naan. The goat cubes just fell apart in your mouth they were THAT soft. Absolutely impecable. The sheer capacity of the meat filled us to the brim. We needed a box for the rice and naan. When wanting to consume all of the meats, bread only gets in the way. But we didn’t just get soup, copious amounts of meat, rice, and naan. Oh no; if it wasn’t enough already, we got dessert.

blurry, but still one of the best coffees I have ever tasted.

A sweetened and cinnamon-spiced chilled rice pudding. Oh and I thought I hated rice pudding. The Indian coffee–that was also included in our meal price–paired perfectly with it. I had to force it down. I couldn’t let it go. And despite being a cold dish, I couldn’t take it home. I knew it wouldn’t be the same.

This meal was lavishing in every aspect. It’s for people who want to just keep eating and eating and eating and. . . . all for the price of 39.99 US dollars. But don’t worry. There’s no way 1 person could finish it themselves. Instead, split between 3 people (with two food-induced coma satisfied and one very stuffed–although note they had eaten a tad bit before hand) the total plus tip comes down to only $15.06. So much more reasonable than that previous meat incursion AND

 

 

So.
Much.
More.
Vastly.
Worth it! 

pancakes, pancakes, pancakes~

for all of you who did not know, i am completely enamored with pancakes. 8D I love them so much.

When I first stumbled upon their pancakes, it was out of blind curiosity. I just thought it was so cool for a farmer’s market tent to serve pancakes! They had me a first bite. Something about their secret pancake recipe had me hooked. Was it the bits of lemon? The early-morning wake up? The sheer complete and utter joy of knowing I was eating pancakes?!

I still don’t care. -smiles- I am so just glad that I have found such a breakfast treasure in the heart of Iowa City.

Now, after our relationship has flourished, I attend this weekly ritual with the utmost care. Get up. Make a thermos of coffee. Starbucks, if you must know, because yes, I am one of those women who needs a legitimate cup of cooperation for breakfast. Send mind signals to me farmers’ market buddy, roommate and cohost of my life Y-. Then, we traverse through the vacant early morning streets to victory! but mostly, pancakes.

Seeing their bright yellow tarp, I just stroll over. Pancakes are not something to be rushed. However, this morning was a special morning. As I walked over, their faces, though excited to see me again, we disappointed. They had forgotten to bring a promotional t-shirt. I shook my head. Like they needed to. I had already given directions and commented to everyone in my classes to TRY THESE PANCAKES! Nevertheless, I pulled out a poem I was going to give them in exchange anyway. Why not? They deserved to know I wrote about them!

Glancing it over, I couldn’t quite accurately read the expression on their faces. Were they excited? Shocked? Happy?! I’m going to say a little of all three. Because before I knew it, the Griddle God, looked up and stated, “This totally deserves some free pancakes.”

WHAT?!

The Pancake Prince poured the batter onto the griddle immediately. asjelgkstgs!!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes ears nose mouth what ever. I so hope I looked as excited as I was on the inside.

Oh my fgsh~

Now, remember, this is built over a lifetime (weeks) of pancake eating and patronage. So it’s not a random person brings them poem and then they give them free pancakes. That would be silly! Still, I was flabbergasted! They make my Saturday morning to die for! I wait all week, undergo my stresses, just to know I am getting pancakes at the end of it all. and today?  Well, today I found myself with an extra $5 dollars, two new friends, and a belly full of two 12in diameter pancakes.

Yes, today has been and should continue to be a phenomenal day! I know when I go back next week; I will splurge. I’ll get pecans ON TOP of my pancakes. (: So what if it costs a little extra. They deserve the extra charge, because their pancakes–and their friendship–is worth every cent.