Hi!!! As promised, I’m back. My first week as a junior is over and it is definitely WAYYYY busier than freshman and sophomore year. Anyways, it’s the weekend now, and I want to finish my summer recap before fall sets in, so let’s get started! Part 2: Food
Honestly, I didn’t get much of a chance to explore the amazing food scenes of some of the cities I visited, but I still hit three standout spots.
1. Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack (Iowa City)
At camp, I mentioned to one of the counselors that I liked smoked meats/bbq, and this was the first place he recommended. The next day, I walked over for lunch, and discovered just how lucky these college kids were. I wanted the 3 meat platter, but there was no way I could finish everything 😦 I ordered a pulled pork sandwich instead.
It was AMAZING. The meat was tender and incredibly smoky. So, the next week, I came back and got a half rack of ribs
No disappointment here. The ribs were not fall of the bone, but they had such flavor I actually appreciated the extra chew. They were also not too fatty, so I didn’t feel uncomfortable, despite the nearly pound of meat.
Other notes: The service is amazingly fast and the people are courteous. They also have a complementary toppings bar with housemade pickles and over 15 types of sauce!. However, as a trade-off, it’s not exactly college- budget friendly. Still, I highly recommend it
2. EMC Raw Bar
We go to Irvine every summer, but since we stay in an apartment complex thing, we don’t really go out to eat. When we do, it’s usually to the Chinese places down the street or some sushi place we happen to drive by. One day, after doing some shopping in Heritage Plaza, I noticed a new building
Seafood and raw bar? Now that’s my type of restaurant. It was already noon, so why not try it out?
The menu was small but extensive with a large variety of quite creative dishes like uni(sea urchin) avocado toast as well as more traditional soups and pastas. Before any of that, oysters to start!
These were the Chesapeake bay oysters, which were very tasty and fresh, but small. I would recommend some of the larger (but more expensive) varieties.
For mains, I got charbroiled whitefish filet and my mom got the spicy seafood soup
(I was too excited and started eating before remembering to take a pic)
I’ll start with the soup. My mom didn’t think it would be enough to fill her up for lunch, but she could not have been more wrong. It was loaded with clams, muscles, shrimp……and just to satisfy those who just need carbs, the soup came with some garlic bread.
Mom thought she hit the jackpot, until my dish arrived. The whitefish was not only fresh, it was JUICY. yes, a juicy fish. Even better, I could still taste the char.
Other notes: For sides, I highly recommend the grilled corn or one of the toasts. This is definitely more of a fancy dinner place (perfect for date night!)The food also took a while to arrive.
While in Philly visiting UPENN, I was really craving seafood, so I did a quick search on Yelp and found that this place called Pinefish had $1 oysters during happy hour. Yep, $1. We were going.
It took a while to navigate all the one ways, but we eventually arrived to this:
Turns out, the happy hour oysters actually existed! Even better, cocktail shrimp and clams were also included in the deal!. So, we did the logical thing and ordered a dozen of each.
(our first batch)
I must say, the oysters were a bit disappointing, but GET THE CLAMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oysters, clams and shrimp are great, but not enough for dinner. The waitress brought us the menus. My dad and brother aren’t seafood people so they got overpriced meat dishes (not worth discussing). My mom and I took advantage of the place. Strangely enough, we ordered almost the same things we did at EMC.
(grilled fish of the day- I don’t recall what fish)
(Spanish spicy seafood soup)
This place was like EMC, but 5x better. I swear the fish I ate was still swimming this morning. Basically if you’re ever in Philly, find this place.
Other notes: They bring seafood in fresh everyday and once it’s gone, it’s gone. Come early. The service was actually pretty fast, but the highlight was the great attitude of the staff.
Well, I hope you get a chance to check out the AMAZING restaurants. I’ll be back soon with the final installment. See you then!