Iowa Eats: Goldfinch Tap & Eatery; Marion, IA


Last night I was lucky enough to attend a soft opening at Goldfinch Tap & Eatery (740 10th St. Marion) and I’m already eager to get back and try some more things on their menu.


Goldfinch is headed by Andi Sofranko (Lincoln Winebar fame) and Chef Brandon Banaszek (Pullman fame) and is located in the old Louie’s Scoreboard location in Marion. With the addition of Goldfinch, Marion has a lot of beer/food offerings. Ramseys, Uptown Snug, Zoeys, and Tomasos are all located in the same area, so definitely an up and coming spot!

Let’s get to the nitty gritty. First thing on my mind…..

What looks to be an ever changing tap list that appeals to every beer drinker. Many local brews from Lion Bridge, Big Grove, SingleSpeed, Clockhouse and more to go along with the domestics of a Busch Light. Easy Eddy was my pick and it went down great with the apps we had.


The appetizer selections at Goldfinch are going to be a hot spot. A lot of great options to choose from, at the time they were out of the Buffalo Cholouah wings so we went with french onion dip, cheese balls, and loaded fries. Great pub food selections. The french onion dip was outstanding. I was worried it would be too sweet but was not, excellent starter. Cheese balls were good and crispy on the outside and served with a side of ranch..what’s not to love? The cheese fries were a nice combo of crispy bacon, green onion, and then a cheddar cheese/ranch combo which played together nicely. My kids loved them all!


At the time we arrived, they were out of their main entrees, which wasn’t a problem, although every one of them sounded great. Cavatelli with a sweet corn sauce??? YES PLEASE!! We went with some mac and cheese, pork tenderloin, and their burger. All tasty, all packed with flavor. The pork tenderloin will no doubt be an item they sell a lot of and this one is crispy and not over breaded. The burger was wonderful. I love a burger where the meat shines and this one does! Mac and cheese with crumbled bacon is just something that everyone should have!


Tip of the cap to the chefs and staff at Goldfinch, a busy soft opening night that they pulled off. They will be opening their doors to the public this Friday (9/13) @ 3:00 p.m. and then 2:45 on Saturday for the Iowa/Iowa State game. Happy hour is everyday from 3-6 so make sure to take advantage of their awesome list of cocktails, beers, and wine! Check it out!

Bar Review: The Map Room; Cedar Rapids, IA


Add The Map Room to the ever-growing list of great bars/restaurants in Cedar Rapids. What used to be Stella’s, located at 3rd St. SE right across from the Backpocket Pilot Pub, The Map Room is the perfect place to meet up with co-workers, have a quick drink, an order of one of their unique fry baskets or even grab yourself a burger.

This place is what you want your local bar to be; cozy, comfortable, friendly wait staff, good beer and booze list, and some very good fries and burgers. The prices on the food were very friendly and the unique offerings make it a great place to try their different burger and fry basket toppings. I was pleasantly surprised to see they had SingleSpeed/Pulpit collab Coconut Migration, which has become my favorite beer of the summer so far, along with an Alpine, Lion Bridge, and many more offerings. Around 10-12 tap lines and a nice booze selection as well.

On my visit I enjoyed a Coconut Migration (or 2) and although I wasn’t very hungry the fries were calling to me. I went with the Cusco Fries, which come with a beef gravy, onions, tomatoes, and a cilantro type pesto. They were terrific with the perfect amount of spice and went perfectly with the beer. The Map Room is the perfect place to go before a Kernels game, meet for post work beers, have a quick bite to eat and enjoy the comfort that this cozy bar creates. This is a bar that I will be stopping at when I’m in downtown CR. Check it out if you get to the area, you won’t regret it! Cheers!



Restaurant Review: Daisy’s Garage; Cedar Rapids

IMG_0059.JPGGive me Po’ Boys or give me death! Thankfully, Cedar Rapidians have a great place to grab an excellent po’ boy! Daisy’s Garage and Filling Station‘s shrimp po’ boy left me impressed and craving more!

Going out with some friends is always a good time and thankfully Kizz and Diesel are two friends who are willing to try new restaurants and enjoy a few drinks or ten. They called this place last night and I couldn’t have been more satisfied. Located in the old Butcher Block location (I think), Daisy’s has a cozy atmosphere, some fine tap brews, and a menu that has so many excellent sounding options that it was difficult to pick what to eat. This is my type of bar!

IMG_0060.JPGStarted the night out pleasantly surprised to see Royal Wee from Lion Bridge Brewing on tap. One of my favorite beers of the new year and a perfect sipper to get the night going. We decided to start with some appetizers you can’t go wrong with fried pickles. They were good, but the star of the appetizer show was the Oil Spill; a basket of fries topped with tender pot photo 1.JPGroast, pepper jack cheese, green onions, and brown gravy……PHENOMENAL! My mouth is watering as I type this! My wife and I then decided to just split a po boy. I’m a sucker for them and am always intrigued when I see them on a menu here in Iowa, but I have yet to have one that has blown me away. That all changed last night! The key to this po’ boy is the bread. You need that french baguette that has a little crunch on the outside and is soft and chewy on the inside and that’s exactly what this was, perfect bread! Fried shrimp, (a shit ton of fried shrimp), tomato, lettuce and a cajun remoulade with a side of slaw made this one of my favorite sandwiches in the area!

IMG_0061.JPGOur friends went ahead with the steam pot and had their work cut out for them. 1 pound of crab legs, sausage, potatoes, corn and potatoes. It takes a little work but you reap with benefits with some delicious crab meat! We washed it down witphoto 2.JPGh a few Turner Alley Pale Ale’s and you just sit back and smile after a meal that satisfying! Will I come back to Daisy’s? Hell yes! The difficult thing is going to be trying not to go 3-4 times a week! Check it out folks, great stuff!



New to Shelves: Barrel-aged Buffalo Sweat, Eric’s Ale, Ovila Dubbel, Pecan Pie Porter!

the sausage foundryQuite a few tidbits to get the week started. So much great stuff going on in the area. Many new restaurants out and open. I’m hoping to hit up the Sausage Foundry in NewBo sometime this week. Steve does great stuff! If you’ve ever had any of the sausage from Lion Bridge, Steve is responsible for those, so get out and support him! Everytime I’m at Lion Bridge I make sure to check what the week’s sausage is and when they had that mushroom sausage available, holy shit, one of the best things I’ve eaten in some time. This week they had Zivawurst, he’s making blueberry sausages using Oregon blueberries, last week he had lamb, polish, cheddarwurst, and I believe chorizo. I can’t wait to get there and buy 2 of everything.

And courtesy of Steve, I recently read about Sauce Bar and Bistro which is located at 1507 C St in CR. It looks like that will be my next date lunch with my wife as their hours are currently only 11-2 but I believe that will change soon. And we have a new double IPA coming from Big Grove this Friday! If you haven’t had Fear get out and try it! A delicious black double IPA, very reminiscent to Blakkr for me. Lion Bridge has their Untitled Saison back on tap and it is tasting mighty wonderful. Quinton has hit a home run with this brew!  On with the tidbits!

buffalo**Tallgrass Bourbon Barrel Buffalo Sweat** I think this one will make many people happy. Tallgrass taking their beloved Buffalo Sweat stout and aging it in bourbon barrels. This beer will be available in 12 oz cans and will be available this fall.

**New Belgium Brewing Eric’s Ale** – the sour peach ale returns to eric's aleshelves (and probably already has) this month! Eric’s Ale comes in at 7% and is a member of New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Series. More from the brewery:

Eric’s Ale, named for long time New Belgium brewer Eric Salazar, combines a dry, sour beer aged up to three years in oak foeders with a semi sweet, higher alcohol base beer. The resulting blend is re-fermented with peach juice, creating a smooth ale with subtle peach tones and a warm, spicy finish. The aroma has pleasant hints of vanilla and tropical fruit, the wood characteristics are present but nicely muted.

clown shoes**Clown Shoes Coffee Pecan Pie Porter – this beer will hit distro this fall and come in 22 oz bottles coming in at 8% ABV. I’ve really been digging Clown Shoes offerings lately and am looking forward to this one.

**Sierra Nevada Barrel-Aged Ovila Dubbel – the last time Sierra Nevada released sierrathis beer it was only available in California. With the expanding footprint and another brewery it looks like this might make a larger distro. Fingers crossed we get to see this in Iowa as this falls’ version will be aged in red wine and bourbon barrels. This brew will check in at 7.5% and will be available in 750ml bottles.