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Road Trip: Iowa (cont.)

Posted: Wednesday October 18, 2006 11:48AM; Updated: Wednesday October 18, 2006 12:01PM
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By Brendan Stiles

The famous pink visitors locker room at Kinnick Stadium.
The famous pink visitors locker room at Kinnick Stadium.

Biggest quirk in Kinnick Stadium: The pink locker room. This became a popular topic again when the stadium was going through renovations last year. When Fry first took over, he put his psychology degree to work and asked for the visitors' locker room at Kinnick to be painted pink as a way to mess around with the opposing team's psyche. I've taken a tour of it, and believe me, the lockers are pink, the walls are pink, the showers are pink, everything is pink.

Best pizza: Pagliai's. I've lived in Iowa City my entire life and pizza is my favorite food, so this is as good as it gets here. Pagliai's, on E. Bloomington St., only serves pizza (i.e. no side dishes), but it is far and away the best pie in town. It also has frozen pizzas to take home and cook. It's a sweet deal!

Most popular place when the bars close: Panchero's. Located on the corner of Clinton and Washington Streets, this is your big burrito joint, and because it is one of the only food places still open when the bars close, it is packed with students all the time. I heard stories about how there was a line out the back entrance the night before the Iowa - Iowa State football game in September.

Best place to grab breakfast: Hamburg Inn #2. One of the most famous restaurants in all of Iowa City is a block away from Pagliai's. Hamburg Inn serves breakfast all day, and provides the opportunity to create your perfect omelet. The burger platters are real good, and the inn also has high-quality milk shakes. Former U.S. Presidents such as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton have been seen eating lunch there -- at the same table.

Neatest building on campus: The New Art Building. It has been in existence for a little more than a year, and has a great view from inside and out. It's located on N. Riverside Drive and is definitely worth checking out, even if art isn't your thing.

Best bar for dancing: The Summit. If your idea of going to the bars includes getting your groove on, then The Summit is the place. It's located on S. Clinton Street and has an entire dance floor with a stage and platforms upstairs. With the laser lights and steam, a night there can be pretty wild.

Best place to watch the game: Buffalo Wild Wings. Yes, it's a chain. It has also evolved into probably my favorite hangout in Iowa City. "B-Dubs" is in the Old Capitol Mall downtown, and whether you enjoy the food, all the big-screen TVs definitely make it the best place in town, especially if you like the NFL. B-Dubs has NFL Sunday Ticket, so you can always watch your favorite team.

Where to spot Iowa athletes: The Field House. I'm referring to the actual Field House lat the end of Burlington Street, not the bar in the Ped Mall. The Field House is an athletic haven. Both gymnastics teams and swimming teams hold practices and meets there.

Best place for student activities: Hubbard Park. In recent weeks, Hubbard Park, adjacent to the Iowa Memorial Union on Madison Street, has been a hot spot. It was the site of "College GameDay" on September 30, when the Hawkeyes hosted Ohio State. It also held a concert featuring the bands Kansas and Guster, as part of Homecoming Week on campus. You'll find students playing catch with footballs and Ultimate Frisbee, and it's where many poster sales take place.

Biggest rivalry: Iowa - Iowa State. Iowa -Minnesota is a close second because the Iowa athletes I've talked to over the years love beating the Golden Gophers. However, you've got to go with the in-state rivalry with the Cyclones. It felt really good watching the Hawkeyes take the Cy-Hawk Trophy back last month, and just to give you an idea of the hatred of ISU around Iowa City, a good friend of mine once referred to the Cyclones as "ketchup-and-mustard wearing bastards!"

Best place to work out: The Field House. If I were talking about Iowa City as a whole, I would definitely say Core Fitness is the best gym. It's located on Lower Muscatine Road, on the east side of the city. On campus, the same Field House where you can find Iowa athletes is a great place to get into shape. It has an indoor track, basketball courts, rooms to play racquetball, and free weights if you want to lift.

Best restaurant: 126. It's located on Washington Street, and while pricey, it's still the perfect place to take a date. This restaurant has a good variety of food, and if you like steak, there is a filet mignon dish to die for, especially if you get it with the roasted garlic mashed potatoes. 126 is an excellent option if you're going out to celebrate a special occasion.

Best place to tailgate: Olive Court. Anyone in Iowa City would tell you that this is completely obvious. Olive Ct. is right outside Kinnick Stadium, and is by far the most popular tailgating spot. It's so well-known that politicians such as John Kerry have gone there to stump and enjoy the game day atmosphere.

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