Truly on tap; BJ Armstrong; and the legendary Calzone of Iowa City


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.



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!



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:


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


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.


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



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


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:




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.


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.



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