Monday, July 23, 2012

Passing thru the Quad Cities

Eating like a local:
Regional food specialties

-Old World Butcher/Ice Cream Shops and Burmese Cuisine

I was in the Quad Cities for a few hours this spring and knew that a trip to the original Lagomarcino's in Moline would be in order but wasn't expecting a delight like that in which I got just down the block from the old time ice cream shoppe. Back to that in a minute. I continue to be fascinated with the Mississippi River and all of the towns located along it throughout the country and the Quad Cities remains a place I'd like to further explore. I remembered Grubseeker mentioning a couple meat markets around there so I looked them up and enjoyed my stop in at each.

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Davenports Meat Markets

Golick's and Johnnies in Davenport, IA are about a three minute drive from each other and each different in their own ways. I'd be alright with having either or of these places as an option for grilling meats so its nice that the folks near there have both. Golick's is housed in an old building and was once a general store but has been a butcher shop the past decade or so. The grill outside was going and the guys inside there were both really nice and happy to talk and see pictures of their place being taken. I got some really nice Iowa pork chops and housemade brats. Both were great on the grill earlier this week. The brats had a distinct flavor to them, not in a bad or unpleasant way, just unlike other butcher shop brats I've had.

Grilled Brats

Johnnie's is another cool place and was really hopping the afternoon I walked in. They're def. the choice for the locals from around that way and reminded me of a smaller version of Peoria Packing here in Chicago. There's some other interesting old time bars/halls to be further explored on Washington ave where Johnnie's is at. After Davenport it was over to Moline and Lagomarcino's an old world Ice Cream Parlor known by many. There is a 2nd location in Davenport but Moline is the original, since 1908, a year I hate when I hear it. I know others do too...maybe next year Cubs fans?

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A legend in Moline. Since 1908.

Lago's was a classic stop and the type of place I seek out while riding the American roads. Opened by an immigrant from Northern Italy it'll take you back into another time upon stepping inside. There's some beautiful old booths but I had to have a seat at the "bar" and plopped down at a stool there. The service was very pleasant and all the ladies working in there, some 20 something some 70 something years old, brought a great vibe to the place.

View Inside

I started with a chocolate egg creme soda which was great and couldn't pass on what their known for in their hot fudge sundae. OK so I don't really eat all that much ice cream or desert (I'd rather just eat more appetizers and entrees) but I would had I lived near Lagos. So simple and so good. Obviously the quality of both the vanilla ice cream and the hot fudge they serve it with is what makes this great. I look forward to getting back. I even found Sunkist Fruit Gems in their candy bins, one of my favorites as a kid, I hadn't seen those in forever. Cool place.

Ice Cream Sundae

Before going into Lago's I saw a red draped place on the corner down the block. I was wrestling back and forth with my food demons about the idea of trying the QC loved 'Taco Pizza' from Happy Joe's. Well I was alot happier than Joe could of made me when I decided to walk down and check the place out. At first glance upon it I saw what looked to be your typical Chinese-American place that you already see in every US city, suburb, town and outlet malls included. Even the name 'Little Rangoon' turned me off as I thought it was a lame play on the 1960's Jewish grandmothers of Miami favorite, Crab Rangoon. But nope upon further look it was Chinese AND Burmese food and upon further education, Rangoon aka Yangon is Burma's largest city and former capitol.

Moline, IL

I talked to the guy inside and asked him how or what led him to start cooking Burmese and that's where his wife is from and shes responsible for the recipes. He said they've gotten a really good response from the locals and people there love it. I think they opened in 2006 so its nice to see they're still around and going good from what I could tell and read. Upon getting back and looking around the internet I was glad to see Little Rangoon has already got some love over at LTHforum and on Yelp! too. I'm here to give it more.

Mini Egg Rolls with their crack like sauce

Everything sounded great as far as the Burmese selections go. I mentioned I was from Chicago and he said, "You don't even have this over there huh?" I said no and asked what he thought I should get. On his rec I tried the shan khuak swe aka pork over noodles (lo mein). Served with a really wonderful spicy cabbage salad, the pork itself wasn't spicy at all but had subtle notes of curry, peanut butter and pig. The homemade sauce they offer is special so get an extra one of those. Truly terrific! Fantastic! If you're not a picky Peggy eater and you ever find yourself near here you need to go. I'm now hooked and wondering when my next trip to the Quad Cities will come, hopefully soon enough. Stay tuned. See ya next time at S'C'&C.

Excellent Burmese Cuisine in Moline, IL

Golick's Meat Market
1141 East High Street
Davenport, IA 52803
(563) 322-2142

Johnnie's Meat Market
1302 Washington Street
Davenport, IA 52804

1422 5th Avenue
Moline, IL 61265
(309) 764-1814

Little Rangoon
1401 5th Avenue
Moline, IL 61265
(309) 736-7770

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