IC BLOCK PARTY

Who knew drinking in the streets could be so much fun...

Iowa City Downtown District always has something going on - different festivals multiple times a year to get the community together. These festivals have lots of activities, beer gardens, food carts, and live music. This year, they threw one for the books...the Downtown Block Party. 

This "party" had lots of activities including a sand volleyball tournament, dueling pianos, a fashion show, ping pong tables, tether ball, and so much more...ALL in the streets of our downtown. Here's a glimpse at the layout of the whole day...oh and did I mention the best part?! YOU COULD DRINK IN THE STREETS!!

All you had to do is purchase a $10 cup, receive a wristband, and then you could purchase a drink from one of the outside vendors. A lot of the restaurants had tables set up selling food & booze...well beer & wine only. 

Like I mentioned there was a lot to do and see - like an on going beach volleyball tournament in the middle of the streets. I opted out of playing, but it was fun to watch...as long as you weren't getting hit in the head by a wild serve. 

First stop was outside of Java House for Clinton Street Social Club's $1 oysters...yup, you read that right. ONE DOLLAR. It was Ethan's first time to give them a try, I think it may have been his last. BUT, I sure enjoyed mine. 

Our go to for the night was Pullman's frosé. Probably one of the "pricier" options of the night, but $7 for a cocktail is never bad in my book. I think we each had 3 of these...damn it was great. 

Next up was PiZan Pizza. This is a new joint in town where you order Subway style - pick what you want and they cook it right there. We went with the Average Joe - red sauce, fresh mozzi, Graziano's sausage, Citterio pepperoni, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, 86 mushrooms (not my choice). Overall solid quick pie...and it was under $10. 

E was still a little hungry so he went for Mama's Deli . He grabbed two tacos - pulled pork and chicken. 

The best part about this event was that there was always something to do and people to see. I'm always a fan when I get to see this gem of a human and all of her Iowa City friends...

This was one hell of an event. Great food & drinks, plenty of things to do, being able to be free and walk around with some frosé in hand, while chatting with everyone around! I think they thought of it all, they even had FREE parking until 10 am the next day to allow peeps to leave their cars and get them the next day, safety first!

IOWA CITY...CAN WE DO THIS EVERY WEEKEND? 

Pullman Sundays

It's been one of those weekends...

When there isn't enough food that I can shove down my pie hole that will fill me up. So after a night of cocktails on the 30Hop rooftop (after a Hawkeye W), it was decided that my foodie friend & I were gonna go for some Sunday eats. 

James, my foodie friend, had never been to Pullman...well he has had the asparagus. Not to shoot down the asparagus, but it's not the showstopper of the menu. As y'all know, I have been to Pullman a time or two, however I have not had their burger.  Side note: Pullman's full ambiance is parallel to Au Cheval's in Chicago, which is also known for the best burger around. Long story short, when James mentioned Pullman, I was completely down to grub on a burger. 

James got the breakfast tacos: flour tortilla, scrambled egg, mojo pork, salsa, cilatro, cheese & fresno aioli

James was also very obsessed with this jalapeño garlic reduction that they served on the side. They looked beautiful & by James' face on the first bite...they tasted just as good. 

Contemplating if I wanted to really have a burger, I realized I hadn't ordered a burger out at a restaurant in over 2 years!! So, what did I do? I asked our waitress if I should go for the Pullman burger or just go for the Mo Burger...so I went for it. The mo burger had: TWO 4oz beef patties, smoked fresno aioli, avocado, cheddar, bacon jam. 

I don't think words are even necessary to describe how amazing this burger was. The bun was soft & doughy, the sauce & avocado were creamy, and that bacon jam brought texture and some insane flavor. 

Do yourself a favor & go get some mo'

Trumpet Blossom & Pullman Brunch

Mama Bedell came into Iowa City, so a girl's day/weekend was obviously in order. You could say I am a mini me (taller) version of my mom - taste in clothes, tv, and especially our love of food (her go to is mac n' cheese). 

Our first stop was to Trumpet Blossom Cafe, which is the cutest little vegetarian & vegan restaurant downtown. We had been there one other time and now its our favorite pit stop whenever dad isn't in town. 

They have a great beer selection and fun cocktails - Cindi went for a bloody mary & I had the special Wandering Sage. Since it is an organic joint they make their tomato juice in house, Cindi wasn't obsessed with the chunky freshness but still enjoyed it. My cocktail was amazing - muddled herbs, tequila, lemon, simple syrup, maple & grapefruit bitters. I'm a tequila drinker, but don't stray away if you're not, there is no tequila punch due to the citrus and sage. 

We were there during their limited menu time and got the Fresh Green salad with balsamic vinaigrette and Nachos to split. The salad was simple, just very fresh and crisp and the vinaigrette was very thin and had more of a balsamic vinegar base, which I prefer. The nachos were blue corn tortilla chips with creamy cashew cheese sauce, black beans, greens & peppers, served with cilantro-lime creme & mango-habanero salsa. Having not a clue as to what "creamy cashew cheese sauce" would taste like, but I was pleasantly surprised. The nachos overall were very light, but didn't lack any flavor. The mango-habanero was a great combination of sweet & spicy - but you should take my opinion on "spicy" very loosely.

Lastly, walking out the door instead of mints they serve ginger chews. If you like ginger (sushi ginger or anything ginger) give these bad boys a try - obsessed wouldn't even begin to describe it. 


Saturday morning we headed over to Pullman for breakfast. Cindi had never been and I had never tried their breaky, so we decided to give it a shot - and we were definitely not disappointed. 

Mama B went with bloody round 2 and I opted for an Irish coffee. I've only had an Irish coffee one other time and that was at The Buena Vista  in San Fran. It's the perfect way to warm up on a semi chili day, with a caffeine & alcohol kick, delish. In normal Bedell fashion, we scanned the menu beforehand...a few times. 

huevos.jpg

I went for the Huevos: two sunny side eggs, potatoes, sofrito, black beans, avocado, house salsa, fried tortilla. We all know that sunny side eggs & avocado is my ride or die. The sofrito (a Spanish sauce used as a base - typically onions, tomatoes, garlic, and oil) brought so much flavor to the rice & beans and also made the potatoes creamier rather than the typical breakfast potato. Even though you can't see them, the deliciousness is buried under the two eggs. Lastly, the tortilla - they crumbled the second I bit down and then instantly melted in my mouth. 

Mama B went for the Salmon Benedict: English muffin, smoked salmon, poached egg, hollandaise sauce (OTS), dill, served with potatoes O'Brien. I was too busy demolishing my own meal that I didn't try much of hers - but by her comments it was an A plus as well. 

This was a perfect way to end a Mama Bedell weekend in IC.