Monday, January 31, 2011

A Foodies Guide to Iowa

Did you hear? Flavor Flav is opening a restaurant called Flav's Fried Chicken in Iowa. Does this make him a genius or an idiot? He is a genius if he can figure out how to make a mark on one of  the most forward  thinking culinary markets in the U. S. He's an idiot if he thinks its going to be easy. Here are 4 reasons why.

Taco Pizza
While you are putting ingrediants like gorgonzola dolce, fingerling potatoes, radicchio and olive tapenade on your pizza's (I'm talking to you, Santa Monica), Zeno's Pizza in Marshalltown, Iowa is putting taco fixings (pronounced fixins') on top of a pizza crust. It goes something like this (this is from memory as there is no website to confirm ingredients) : Pizza crust, taco sauce (I'm not sure how to explain other than to tell you what it is not, it is not pico de gallo nor is it salsa nor is it found in any other state but Iowa), taco meat (ground beef season with taco spices), shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheese and topped off with crumbled up taco chips (think Doritos).  It is brilliant. Good luck topping that one, Flavor Flav.

Taylors Maid-rite (  in Marshalltown is home of the loose meat sandwich (ie, Maid-rites). This is a hamburger that is crumbled up, not patty style. You get your choice of onions, mustard and/or pickles and finally, after 70 years, ketchup is now offered. It is served in a wrapper and with a spoon. Taylor's Maidrite offers only a few other items that compliment loose meat sandwiches....pies and shakes. Do you have pies and shakes, Mr. Flav? (a picture of a maid-rite is not as good as it please, enjoy their sign)

Paying to Cook Your Own Steak
I'm not sure what makes Rube's Steakhouse ( in Montour, Iowa more brilliant: The fact that you are escorted to a meat locker by your waitress to select your cut of meat or the fact that they have convinced you that cooking it yourself only makes it taste better thereby, saving thousands of dollars on labor and avoiding the complaint that my steak is over/under cooked. Honorable mention goes to the 12 loaves of Texas Toast and the big bucket of melted butter at the grill that is all you can eat as long as you toast it yourself. Flavor, you may want to steer clear of this idea....I'm not sure you want your customers frying their own chicken....out matched again!

The Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
If in the distance you see a fair haired, rosey cheeked waitress carrying what appears to be a sandwich with a little tiny bun,  1. You are in Iowa 2. That is a pork tenderloin sandwich and 3. That bun is not tiny, it only looks that way because the size of the pork tenderloin (a pork tenderloin breaded and fried) on the sandwich is about the circumference of your head. As the sandwich gets closer, you will be face to face with greatness...not sure whether to eat it or worship it. Flav, if your chicken is not pork nothing can help you.

So in spirit of Iowa kindness let me officially welcome you to Iowa, Flavor Flav! Good luck!

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