You can't quite call it a hole in the wall, but it's also not the biggest showstopper...but their food is. 

I was off to Des Moines to work the Iowa State Fair - now most people would be eager to get to the fair and have a fried frenzy of the day, however that is not what I was looking to do. I am fortunate enough to have a good work friend (James)that seems to love food almost as much as I do and we both decided, if we are going to DSM we are going to get some damn good food. 

Walking into Tacopocalypse, its nothing special - some cool art on the walls, walk up to order, serve yourself drink station, and you have to go through the kitchen to get to the bathroom. Of course I had looked at the menu before and planned on getting the taco bowl - a little boring, but I had a full day ahead. Thank goodness for my foodie co-worker, as we sat down he told me he ordered the ginger beef burrito & the Korean pork masa fries to share. Not quite sure what to expect, I was excited. 

First dropped off was my Korean chicken taco boat with a fried egg on top....

It was not only beautiful but delicious. I may be a little biased because I would probably eat anything with a fried egg on top, but the flavor of the chicken really came out to play too. 

Next was James' Ginger Beef Burrito...

They definitely use some magic when it comes to their presentation. It may have been a little daunting in size, but James powered through. Don't worry, he let me sneak in a bite or two. Being a ginger lover (the root, not the hair), I was pleasantly surprised that the ginger flavor was the lasting flavor after these bites. 

Last, but most definitely NOT least were the the Korean Pork Masa Fries...

Holy hell...I still think this may be one of the best things I have ever tasted in my life. The fattiness from the pork, the spicy from the asian dressing, the cool from the slaw, the creamy from the cheese sauce, and the texture from the masa fries. HOME. RUN. I just can't. 

All in all, I am obsessed. So if anybody needs a ride to Des Moines, I'm your girl. You can pay me in Tacopocalypse. 

Clinton Street Social Club

It's pretty rare that I haven't tried a new place in iowa city. However there is a tiny little spot downtown Iowa City that I hadn't been to yet, so when my friend mentioned it I was 100% ready to go. 

This classy gastro pub speakeasy is the last thing that you would expect to be squeezed in between a burger joint and a nail salon in the heart of downtown Iowa City. You walk up a small flight of stairs and get taken back a decade (or century) or so, definitely has a jazzy, laid back, classic vibe. 

The diversity in the cocktail menu is less intimidating and more intriguing.  I literally wanted one of everything, so being posted up bar side wasn't the worst thing in the world. 

Blood Money:  Ridgemont Reserve 1792 Bourbon, House Made Blackberry Mint Shrub, Fresh Lime

I started off with the Blood Money, the blackberry flavor definitely shines through and there is just the slightest punch from the bourbon. 

She wore lemon:  russian vodka, st. germain, ginger liqueur, lemon, ricard, bitters

Next up, She Wore Lemon, this was amazing. It was light and refreshing with a licorice kick at the end. The bartender let us try the Ricard alone, I was so in love. 

Mussels: white wine, fennel, roasted tomato, Niçoise Olive, baguette

In between all the delicious sips a little substance was in order. I feel like I'm usually not accompanied by those who would like to order up some Mussels (excluding my family), so I was pleasantly surprised - not only by the order but by the flavor too. Everything on point, and who doesn't love soaking up that juice with pieces of crostini?! 

Then came one of my go to's - SAZERAC :America’s Oldest Cocktail Rye, Peychaud’s Bitters, Herbsaint . This is just a simple whiskey drink with all of the flavors. At this point, I forgot about pictures and was too in deep with my cocktails.  

Last but not least, the à La fille: El Mayor Blanco Tequila, Fresh Cucumber, Fresh Lime, Agave Syrup, Soda. At this point, I just wanted something refreshing and for me, that means cucumber and tequila! This cocktail wasn't in a dainty glass like the others were, so I was a little taken back by this large cocktail after I was already 3 deep. No worries, it was just as light and refreshing as I had hoped. 

Overall the experience at Social Club was stellar, our bartender was informative,fun, and knew just when to chime in (Thanks David!). The cocktails did not disappoint and the mussels left me just wanting more.

Can't wait for the next round and I have my eye on that poutine.