Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Iowa Cuisine

I had a delightful speaking engagement over the weekend at small liberal arts college in Iowa, and my companion decided to come with me. With the help of overnight delays both coming and going (Thanks, American Airlines!) the trip turned into a nice little weekend getaway. Some memorable food sightings and culinary experiences:
  • In Iowa City, a woman walking down the street, licking an ice cream cone. (Not a particularly interesting sighting in and of itself, but keep in mind the local radio d.j. had recently said, "Folks, good news--it's going to warm up into the 'teens today." Now, that was a woman who loves her ice cream.
  • We had a nice lunch at a Vietnamese-Thai restaurant with our friends Kent and Laura. I'll have to remember for future reference that hot, sweet-spicy Thai food really hits the spot on a cold day. (December weather in the Midwest just doesn't make you think, "Hmm, I really feel like a cold turkey sub today. ")
  • The motto of the college where I spoke is "Be orange." (As in be unique, be different, stand out, etc. It's a reference to their school color, which appears absolutely everywhere on campus--even all of the campus Christmas trees were decorated in orange lights and all-orange decorations.) In keeping with the whole "be orange" theme, at the end-of-semester dinner where I spoke, they handed out these fantastic orange-chocolate truffles with the name of the college stamped on them.
  • Lesson learned: If, in the case of inclement weather, you are stranded at the HoJo's near the St. Louis Airport, do not, I repeat, DO NOT order the patty melt from the hotel restaurant. Ever. 'Nuff said.


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