Monday, July 18, 2011

Meatless Link Love and Places to Eat Meat (or not) in Iowa City

Greetings! It's Monday and it has been a manic one.  I finally finished up most of my work for the semester and have the next three weeks off to soak up the last few baby-free moments I'll have to myself for a long time.  My nesting instinct is in overdrive and there's tons for me to do both in and out of the house, so needless to say the last thing I've felt like doing is sit in front of the computer.
I'll update with more recipes, bump pictures, and garden progress soon, but for this Meatless Monday I'll be sharing some of my favorite meatless blogs and the places in Iowa City where I feel comfortable eating meat or have ample choices for meatless options.

Meatless Link Love

If there's one thing the internet is great for, it's inspiration.  The following websites are ones that I browse regularly to get ideas.  Some are entirely meatless but others are mixed.

The Ordinary Vegetarian
Oh She Glows
Post Punk Kitchen
Smitten Kitchen
Mark Bittman's Blog
101 Cookbooks

Places to Eat Meat (or not) in Iowa City

Sometimes I just don't feel like cooking, but I still want to enjoy a meal out with my friends.  Unless I'm aware of the sources of the meat being used in the restaurant, I usually order vegetarian dishes.  This is fine by me because there are many excellent meat-free options that one might otherwise overlook.  Here are a few places that have great vegetarian or vegan food, and a few that offer meat that I am willing to eat.

Red Avocado:  While the portions can be a little small, they make up for quality what they might lack in quantity.  (And I'm a firm believer that we need to adjust our expectations about portion size anyway.)  Red Avocado is a vegan restaurant near downtown Iowa City.  Check out their fresh juices and sweet patio.

Oasis Falafel:  When I come here, I almost always end up ordering a fully vegan meal without intending to.  The falafel is very good, as are all the side dishes.  Try the pita fries and don't miss the cabbage salads.  If you like spicy food, hit up the mango curry and hot sauces in the bottles by the soda machine.

El Bandito:  A newish Mexican restaurant, El Bandito uses pork from Pavelka's Point and beef from Grass Run Farms, two great local sources.  Their dishes are simple and slow cooked, and I've always been happy every time I've eaten there.

Masala:  There are two Indian buffets in Iowa City, and this one is meatless.  You can stuff your face with delicious Indian food, leave totally satisfied, and never ask where the tandoori chicken was.

Fair Grounds Coffeehouse:  Every once in a while, I want to eat a special breakfast out.  This is one of my favorite places to go because they have great coffee and rich meat-free breakfasts.  Try their smoothies and waffles.

Short's Burger and Shine:  While I was really (really) sad to see Baldy's go, I have grown to love Short's, the burger place that replaced the old wrap restaurant.  While it's corn fed (not grass like I'd prefer) their beef is local and delicious.  They also have one of the best selections of Iowa beers on tap in the city.  Their fries are just ok, but the burgers and beer make up for it.

Lou Henri:  Named after Iowa's only president's wife, Lou Henri's is mostly a breakfast place, but I really enjoy their tempeh reubens.

Pizza On Dubuque:  By the pie or by the slice, this place uses local ethical meat and has a great crust recipe.  They also offer a good organic green salad to have on the side.

New Pioneer Coop:  Though they're pricey, the Coop offers good quality sandwiches in vegan and vegetarian options, or with ethical meat.  If you order at the deli you can get just what you like.

So the next time you're in Iowa City and thinking about going out to eat with friends, consider trying one of these places for meatless options, or try some good quality local meat.

I'll be back soon with more, but until then, enjoy the heat, eh?


Kierstan said...

Love all the links and your restaurant list! I've been to or heard of all of them except Lou Henri's - I think we'll have to give that a try the next time we are in Iowa City.

On another note - are you at the Farmer's Market every week? I've been meaning to get up there, but haven't had the time yet this year.

Alicia said...

Hey Kier! You should check out Lou's sometime, we could meet up!
This year I am not at market every week. I'm just a non-season vendor who gets a spot when there are farmers who can't make it or don't have enough to sell. It's likely that I'll have more opportunities later in the season (though the end of market coincides with my due date, so I'm not sure how much I'll be up to!) and will post before if I know!
If you want to try some granola you can hit up the coop downtown, or you can order from me by email and we can meet up here in town to save you shipping. Let me know- culinarybliss AT gmail
Enjoying running in this heat?! I have never been more thankful for my treadmill.

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