|Sorry, I couldn’t pass this one up!|
First of all… Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours! Be good to your other half!
At this time I am in Iowa City hanging out. There were some employment issues (even in a van, I can’t live on 13 hours!) and I made yet another job change. That, family worries, and the painful rotator cuff had put me in a worn down, depressed state. A couple days out of town works wonders…
Thankfully, on Wednesday I met one of the coolest people on the planet. She brightened the day and sold me something fun to eat on this latest “van trek”.
|Lou, the “Meat Lady” is as fun as our products are tasty!|
Just before leaving Cedar Rapids, I decided to visit “Lou the Meat Lady”, a colorful, lovable character who runs a meat shop in Cedar Rapids. She is pictured to the left.
Lou is a super fun person. She is featured in the recent TV ads in support of Cedar Rapids getting a casino (The vote is in March). I won’t weigh in on whether or not we need gambling in town but would surely bet a twenty that it will pass. *smile*
Lou started the Village Meat Market and Cafe (a MUST VISIT) in that area of Cedar Rapids called “Czech Village”. Czech Village and its wonderful museum were inundated by the 2008 flood of the mighty Cedar River. The National Czech and Slovak Museum – the cornerstone of the settlement – was repaired and moved to higher ground. Gone forever is Polena’s meat market, a beloved icon of the area locals affectionately call “Bohemie Town”.
During this time, Lou had a vision – to open a meat market and cafe that would help breathe new life into the area. I think she is succeeding! Her vibrant personality and old world recipes are like nothing you’ll find anywhere. A quick check on Yelp.com will confirm how good the food is! One favor – if you are a fan of Czech food and check out her website, please let Lou know you read about it on “Brad’s blog”. I told her that her shop would be featured here. She will really appreciate it!
This is going to be a great place to hang out besides being a great place to buy food. Village Meat Market and Cafe has live music in addition to carryout “old world” style meat products that are perfectly seasoned and smoked. What a find! I’m excited about the entertainment! It might be a good motivation to walk or bike across town and back in the weight loss effort.
Here was another find. If you like good sauerkraut, I would recommend this brand. Unlike some of the others, it includes white wine. So what? When you cook it together with meat, the results are splendid.
I put the Jaternica links (they look like greyish polish sausage) in the van’s crock pot. Eventually they disintegrated and turned into a mushy, crumbly meat gravy type thing. No additional water was needed. It took about two hours to cook. And yes, it was salty…
We all know that sauerkraut gets a bad rap due to its preservation process. 1 cup has 560 or so milligrams of sodium. Have you looked at your canned soup though? How about sandwich meat? It’s often much worse than that. At least you can wash some of the salt off the kraut to make it a little healthier.