There's a reason why the sandwiches at Keller's Deli and Cafe have brought local customers and food critics back for seconds and thirds. Owner and head baker Cameron Keller studied artisan and sourdough baking at the French Culinary Institute in New York City, learning the ins and outs of classic European recipes. He begins his bordalais bread with a 100-year-old German sourdough starter to impart maximum flavor, and he tops the hot, chewy bread with deli meats. Of the house-brined corned-beef brisket, Cityview Food Dude Jim Duncan says, "No other corned beef in town compares for tenderness and flavor." And after biting into the thick slices of it on the reuben sandwich, the author of the Distilled Opinion food blog remarked, "I was amazed because I’d never had corned beef quite like this." Other sandwiches of note include the handcrafted meatloaf, which boasts ground beef and an apple-cider-vinegar tomato sauce. The outdoor patio is an ideal spot to read a book or construct a sun visor out of a baguette.
Named Best Florist by CityVoters, Pierson’s is a family-owned-and-operated flower shop boasting a cornucopia of blooms to complement tabletops, occasions, and sentiments of every sort. Celebrate a birthday in the company of a vibrant Teleflora fresh blossom potpourri ($29.99), or help a friend get well soon by gifting a daisy day dreams basket ($29.99) in place of a grab-bag of cybernetic implants. Season-savvy sniffers can sort through a large selection of autumnal options, including the fall for daisies arrangement, which serves up red and yellow daisies in a clear glass vase ($27.95), and the sugar maples arrangement, which flaunts nearly every warm, rustic tone of fall ($29.99) but never takes a chilly tone of voice.
Iowa City Fencing Center founder Judy O'Donnell has speared more than 30 years of experience in the Olympic sport of fencing. She has represented the United States numerous times on an international stage, and has taught beginners and global competitors alike.
In 2010, Judy opened ICFC to share with the community her lifetime's worth of dueling wisdom, offering instruction in all three styles of fencing: foil, epee, and saber. Her encouraging commands bounce off the walls of two large training rooms, where groups meet to practice blade work and churn out meticulously carved pumpkins. Classes at ICFC are available to students starting at the age of 5, and private lessons provide the opportunity to train with Judy one-on-one.
For more than four decades, Weed Man's licensed and trained lawn-beautifying experts have tended to local lawns with custom blends of fertilizer, environmentally sound pest-control solutions, and knowledge gleaned from both living and working in the community. Created exclusively for Weed Man, the technicians' slow-release granular fertilizer nurtures lawns over a period of several weeks, and seeding and aeration promote continued green growth. Advice that aims to assist with local lawn problems helps inform patrons online, illuminating seasonal troubles, gardening trends, and the astrological signs of various plants.
The fertile soil of the Loess Hills boasts a rich history, dating back to 1857, of sprouting wine-yielding fruit. Under the umbrella of the Western Iowa Grape Growers Association, a confederacy of local wineries opens its doors to host informative tours, tastings, and seminars on extracting rumors from grapevines. Palate-broadening enophiles can peruse the listings of area award winners, and at-home winemakers will enjoy Pick Your Own Grapes get-togethers and amateur-level awards. Other events include annual festivals, contests, and elegant wine dinners.
Howell's Dried Floral & Greenhouse is nestled in 800 acres of farmland that has been tended by the Howell family for six generations. There, the family grows more than 50 varieties of flowers, grains, and pods on a 5-acre plot. Inside the greenhouse, guests can peruse vibrant hanging floral baskets or pick up containers and yard plantings for home gardening.