Food and Drink Feed

Millstream Brewing Co.

Millstream Brewing CoIowa's Oldest Brewery

Three Amana men decided to revive the art that had not been practiced in the Amana Colonies for years - the art of brewing beer. Carroll F. Zuber and brothers James and Dennis Roemig dreamed of building a small brewery to produce small batches of hand brewed beer reminiscent of Europe's finest.

To brew the best they needed the best, so they called on one of America's premier brewers, Joseph Pickett Sr., who helped in the brewery design, in the development of the beers, Millstream Lager and the robust, Schild Brau. Later, Millstream brewers, developed the zesty Millstream Wheat Beer.

In 1985 Millstream Brewing Co. opened its doors - the first brewery to operate in Amana since 1884. So the Millstream Brewery was born and so it has come to be recognized as the home of quality brews of rewarding taste.

The Story Continues in 2000 with the sale of the brewery to Chris Priebe, Tom and Teresa Albert. Chris is naturally handy and keeps the brewery in tip-top shape. Chris also is a trained brewer from the Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology and has brought many years of brewing experience to Millstream. Teresa is an excellent people person and handles all the sales and marketing. Tom is our warehouse and production manager. He is the "glue" that binds the place together. It takes a good team to run a good brewery!

These owners are committed to continually making quality brews, one batch at a time. With a current count of 33 national awards and 1 international award, Millstream speaks of some of the finest beer made in the Midwest today. The brewers have introduced many different styles of beer to Millstream Brewery and with the passing of the higher alcohol law change in spring of 2010, many more styles will be coming out! The Brewery hopes to be able to reach out to local consumers in new and exciting ways.

Millstream Beers - Year Round Beers, Seasonal Beers and the Brewmasters Extreme Series

Millstream Brewing
835 48th Ave Amana IA 52203
PH: 319-622-3672 


Falbo Bros Pizzeria

Falbo brosThanks for choosing Falbo Bros.! Get ready for a unique pizza experience. Before they try our pizza, people always ask us “What is your pizza like?” “Is it Chicago style? New York style?” The answer is...neither! Our pizza is unique. We have taken inspirations from New York style thin crust pizza, Chicago Style deep dish and stuffed pizza and created our own unique style.

We make all of our pizzas the old fashioned way, the crust is rolled by hand, using dough made fresh by hand every few hours. The sauce is made from scratch, fresh every day. Our philosophy on cheese and toppings is simple, we put a ton of both on every pizza...skimping is for the other guys.

2100 Norcor Avenue
Coralville, Iowa 52241

319 248-9090


Another Ramen Soup Hack - make your chicken Ramen into egg drop soup

By Mike Thayer

RamenRamen soup, it's cheap, a quick snack food, a budget food, a single-person's food, a plan 'B' food, a college dorm food, a don't-know-what-else-to-have-so-this-will-have-to-do food...

Don't just make it per the package instructions, liven things up!

Make a quick egg drop soup.

Prepare the Ramen chicken soup as normal....   Add a dash of garlic powder, a dash of black pepper and a green onion, minced.  Beat an egg slightly and slowly pour it into the hot soup, stirring clockwise for about a minute.

And there you have it, Ramen egg drop soup.....

I like to add a bit of Louisiana hot sauce to mine.  Enjoy.


Coffee vindicated: Caffeine doesn't worsen heart rhythm -

It may speed you up in the morning, but drinking coffee, tea or chocolate does not appear to cause heart palpitations, heart fluttering and other out-of-sync heartbeat patterns, researchers say.

Their report challenges a widely held belief that caffeinated drinks may cause irregular heart rhythms that can lead to heart failure or dangerous heart rhythm disorders. And it's another reason to enjoy that morning cup without guilt.


Southwest Iowa City's Java House reopens, adds Heirloom salad

Residents of southwest Iowa City, and coffee lovers across town, may have noticed that The Java House on Mormon Trek Boulevard has been closed for the past few weeks.

But local coffee fiends have a reason to celebrate: The Java House is reopening Friday with more seating, a guest service coffee bar and electrical upgrades. Soon enough, a conjoined Heirloom Salad Company will open up in the expanded space to provide another one-stop shop for those in need of coffee and a meal.


The Fast Food War: Competing for customers, who has the best fast food deal?

Mike ThayerBy Mike Thayer

If you've been paying attention to TV commercials lately, you've noticed another fast food battle taking place.

The #2 burger chain, Wendy's, fired the first shot with their 4 for $4 deal.  You get a Jr. bacon cheeseburger, four chicken nuggets, fries and a drink for $4.

Reacting to Wendy's shot, Burger King, the #3 burger chain then pulled the trigger.  Their deal also costs $4, for the same meal, but you get a cookie!   (that's feigned excitement).   And nice "creative thinking" there with the menu BK.....  Copying Wendy's idea, adding a chocolate chip cookie....  I know, it's a brand taste preference thing, meal for meal, mano e mano, I get it. 

And seeing their competition launching salvos for more market share, #1 fast food burger maker McDonald's came up with their "McPick 2 Menu" in response.    For $2, you can choose two items from a menu of four consisting of - The McChicken, the McDouble, fries, or mozzarella sticks (3 piece).  Kudos to McDonald's for trying to be creative with their menu ammo and pricing, but that raises another issue which I'll elaborate on later.

In this humble foodie's opinion, Wendy's offers the best deal.  It's not only the best deal in bang-for-the-buck dollar terms, more importantly, it's the better tasting meal.  A Wendy's Jr. bacon cheeseburger vs. a Burger King bacon cheeseburger is a wash, Wendy's has better nuggets (each restaurant serving you four nuggets), Wendy's has better fries than Burger King and I could really care less about a cookie.  Both meals give you a lot of food for the money, both meals are satisfying, Wendy's wins on taste.  Bonus:  Wendy's makes their burgers fresh, you know you're getting a hot meal, not a been-sitting-in-a-warming-bin meal.  Burger King is kind of hit or miss on that with the fries and nuggets.

When it comes to the McDonald's offering, sure, you get a lot of bang for the buck with the McPick 2.  And if you order two $2 orders, you can get quite a meal for $4 but here's the gamble with that....  You probably aren't getting a fresh hot meal.  McDonald's has the best fries, but ONLY if you get them hot out of the fryer.  Unless you specifically ask for fresh fries, odds are, you'll get some that have been in the rack for awhile waiting to be sold. McDonald's is notorious for racking/stacking/packing their food.  Their service is almost vending machine like.   You approach the machine (counter), put some money in the slot (pay the cashier) and the machine pushes/spins out/drops your selection that's been sitting there in the machine for who knows how long.  That's the McDonald's way.  And let's face it, a McDouble isn't as good as a bacon cheeseburger.  A McChicken may be more filling than four nuggets w/sauce, but it doesn't taste as good and who wants mozzarella sticks or fries that aren't fresh out of the fryer?

Prediction:  It won't happen with this particular menu war, but I do think McDonald's is going to eventually lose their #1 fast food chain ranking.  They've really gone downhill.   But instead of getting back to the basics in what got them to #1, they go for silly stuff, like run-of-the-mill mozzarella sticks with so-so marinara sauce.



Popcorn Shoppe

Popcorn Shoppe

Popcorn Shoppe, in North Liberty, IA, is the area's premier popcorn store serving all of Coralville, Iowa City and the surrounding areas since 2010. We have over 70 flavors of popcorn, including carmel corn, kettle corn, and custom mixes of popcorn. We also sell old fashioned candy, handmade fudge, salt water taffy, custom gift packages and more! Come visit Popcorn Shoppe in North Liberty for all your gourmet popcorn needs!

Popcorn Shoppe Display

We carry a large variety of candies that are sure to satisfy any craving!  Our stock changes regularly so be sure to stop in often!  We even stock hard-to-find, nostalgic candies, sure to bring back memories of your childhood!

We also carry a large variety of homemade scrumptious fudge.  We make several flavors sure to cure your sweet tooth!

Looking for that perfect gift?  Gift baskets and popcorn tins are a wonderful way to show someone you care!  We have a large collection of baskets and tins available.  Let us create something special for you!  Contact us for more details

Popcorn Shoppe
Located in Penn Landing
725 Pacha Parkway, Suite 4
North Liberty
PH: 319-665-2297


Food Review: Wendy's Gouda Bacon Cheeseburger & Bacon Fondue Fries

Mike ThayerBy Mike Thayer

Everything is better with bacon right?

After a hard day at work and finishing up some post-work shopping at Costco, it was time to find dinner.  I didn't feel like cooking or dirtying any dishes, but what to have....  Then it hit me, I've been wanting to try Wendy's latest creation, the Gouda Bacon Cheeseburger, so I said to myself, "Self, tonight is the night!" 

20160107_192926Using the drive-up service, I ordered the combo, the new burger along with a side of their also new creation, the Bacon Fondue Fries and a Mellow Yellow to wash it down with. 

Here's the Wendy's marketing plug for the burger:  The Gouda Bacon Cheeseburger is deliciously cheesy, with aged Gouda, Swiss-Gruyere fondue sauce, and crispy Applewood Smoked Bacon. Head to your nearest Wendy's® and try one today!

And the marketing plug for the fries:  Try our deliciously cheesy Bacon Fondue Fries covered in a swiss-gruyere fondue sauce and Applewood Smoked Bacon. So get to your nearest Wendy's® and try them today!

The Burger set-up:  A quarter-pound patty, topped with a creamy Garlic Aioli, Gouda Cheese and Swiss Gruyere Cheese Sauce. Wendy's then adds 3 strips of fresh-cooked, Applewood Smoked Bacon, red onions, tomato and fresh spring lettuce mix - all served on a Brioche Bun.

20160107_192951 (2)The rundown:  The meal was delivered fast and hot, service courteous.  The burger to Brioche bun ratio was good, the meat itself however was under-seasoned.  And although the Wendy's menu states the sandwich is served with three slices of bacon, I'm not convinced there were three on mine, I didn't get bacon in every bite, got a lot of 'spring mix' and cheese though.  Overall, this is a good, but not a great sandwich.  I was expecting a flavor explosion in my mouth, but the sandwich under-achieved. 

The fries out-performed the burger.  They were seasoned well, there was plenty of bacon and the cheese sauce complimented the side, wasn't overpowering.

Wendy's attempt at an upscale burger isn't worth the 'upscale' fast-food price of just over $9 for the combo.   The sandwich is only being offered for a limited time.  The bottom line:  It's not a repeat burger buy, but the fries are!  The next time I visit Wendy's I'd rather have their classic burger or another sandwich on their menu.

The Gouda Bacon Cheeseburger gets three out of five Metro Pursuit stars.




Grilling Good Eats: Ch. 4 - Beef Recipes

Chapter 4 - Beef Recipes

Grilling Good Eats

by Mike Thayer

Beef, it’s what’s for dinner, or lunch, and yes, breakfast too! Why not cook up a breakfast steak on a weekend? Without question, beef is the most aromatic meat to put over the fire. This chapter does not include burgers, they’re so special, they’re featured in Chapter 9.

And before we get into the recipes, remember Tip #10. How do you know when your steak is done? Give it the finger. No, not the middle one, well, you can use that one if you want….. Poke the steak with your finger. If the meat is soft to the touch and doesn’t bounce back, it’s still pink inside. If it’s got some give but bounces back a bit, it’s medium. If it’s firm when poking, it’s well done.

Mike’s Skirt Steak

Have you seen the price of beef these days? If you're craving a good steak and don't want to shell out the big bucks for a T-bone, try a skirt steak. It's a much cheaper cut of meat but packs a lot of flavor. It is a tougher cut of meat, so it needs a good marinade.

Here's a fantastic marinate for about two pounds of skirt steak:

Marinade ingredients

  • Half cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • The juice from half a lime
  • Tablespoon of dried, minced onion
  • teaspoon of garlic powder
  • One packet of artificial sweetener
  • Couple dashes of cardamom

Mix all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl or big measuring cup, set aside. Cut your skirt steak into four equal pieces (optional), place in a Tupperware bowl or a big zip lock bag, pour in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least one hour, four hours is much better, overnight is best. Skirt steak is great for the grill, remember to take the steaks out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes prior to placing over the coals. You’re doing this to inspect the meat, make sure it‘s well covered in the marinade. It’s not about letting the meat come up to room temperature like you hear some of the cooking show talking heads say, that’s just yada, yada talk to kill air time. The truth is, refrigerated meat won’t come up to room temperature in just 30 minutes, not even close. OK, back to the skirt steaks…..

Putting the steaks over medium high heat, let them sizzle for about five minutes, do NOT cover. This is a thin cut of steak so keep an eye on it and any possible flare ups. Flip after five minutes to a cooler spot on the grill and now you can put a lid on it, for about another five minutes (this is for a medium rare). Remove from the grill and let them rest. This recipe is a real crowd pleaser.

TIP: Never pour remaining marinade over meats or veggies you’ve just placed on the grill. It may sound like a good idea but it’s not. The spillage will cause flare ups - gas and charcoal grills alike - resulting in a blackened meat look and taste you weren’t going for. Spillage can also stir up the ashes down below on a charcoal grill, getting ash on your food. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of flavor in that meat, don’t pour.