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Truly on tap.  I hadn’t fathomed such a thing until I arrived at the Vine with T Roth & MG in Iowa City on Friday night.  The 11am game meant we got to visit our alma mater for 2 nights, which is awesome.  If you’re not familiar with Truly – it’s the Pepsi to Whiteclaw’s Coca-Cola.  If you’re not familiar with Whiteclaw – get with it, first off – but it’s a malt beverage like Zima once was – albeit with far better marketing.  It feels to the drinker like a LaCroix with Vodka in it – even if those aren’t the ingredients – that’s the feel.  I like ’em in the summer.  MG deemed it the perfect boat drink. That’s why it’s on tap on college campuses and every student sitting at the bar had – not a beer in front of them – but a Whiteclaw instead.  Before long, MG pulled the trigger and ordered one.  I followed suit shortly thereafter.

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Better out of the can, but had to try it from the tap.  They add in a flavored vodka when you get it on tap.  We opted for blackberry.

Food at the Vine is really good – best exemplified by their wings.  MG will put ’em up against any wing – and he’s right.  They’ll hold up to the harshest wing critic.  The sauce and the chicken wing itself…mmm-mmm!

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BJ RETURNS!

He’s not just a 3-time NBA Champion with the dynasty Chicago Bulls; he’s not just a super agent who represents stars like Derrick Rose; B.J. Armstrong is also a Hawkeye.  You could argue he’s the most famous Iowa basketball player of all time.  Was really cool to see him visit Kinnick Stadium for homecoming during the Hawkeyes 26-20 victory over Purdue.

B.J. also visited the kids in the Stead Family Children’s Hospital – famous for the most touching tradition in sports – waving to the kids after the 1st quarter:

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After an uninspiring, rainy, field goal-reliant first half (during which these three guys still managed to have fun: IMG_1986.jpg

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The Hawkeyes turned up the noise and got into the end zone a couple times.  The Boilermakers didn’t quit, however.  Ended up a close game, considering the 17.5-point spread quoted to me by T Roth.

IS THIS CALZONE HEAVEN?

We hopped a cab to Sam’s Pizza for beer, pizza and nostalgia.

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That’s an Iowa City Lager pictured above.  MG ordered a sausage, onion & green pepper – well done with extra sauce.

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Roth took issue with the extra sauce, which he found overwhelming, dripping down his hand onto his plate.  Didn’t affect my heroic intake of squares.  Still hungry after one 16-inch pizza, we doubled down – Roth got a 14-inch cheese while MG & I couldn’t resist Sam’s famous calzone.  One of my favorite Iowa City food items – they cut it up and give you dipping sauces – marinara & ranch.  Pepperoni & green pepper, this is Iowa City food at its finest:

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2 pizzas and a calzone (oh, and a salad Roth ate) gave us just the energy boost we needed to launch a postgame tour of the Ped Mall and all it has to offer an alumni on homecoming week.

The following morning, a Bloody Mary from Micky’s was definitely in order before the 3 1/2 hour drive back to Chicago.

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Remains top Bloody in town – because they don’t try to hard. Not too spicy, not overstuffed with ingredients…it’s just right.  Like Iowa City itself.