Monday, April 07, 2008

Quad Cities getaway

On the best spring weekend we've seen so far this year, we were enjoying a weekend in the Quad Cities with some friends.
Saturday StfRon and I made it into East Davenport mid afternoon and caught sight of the quaint business district, so we turned off to check it out.

Once I recognized where we were, I knew the Bier Stube would be right around the corner.
We stopped in at Avatar Books, Estate Wines and Calla then headed over to the Bier Stube. I had been there several years ago with my mom and dad, but StfRon had never had the pleasure.
This location of the Bier Stube is a cozy establishment with a couple of handfuls of tables and some wooden stools lining the bar. They serve some German drafts along with other beers, and sandwiches, sausages and Schnitzels. Someone was eating some red cabbage or sauerkraut that smelled divine, but we were in between meals. We'll have to come back with an empty stomach next time!

After checking in to our hotel and getting a free upgrade to a suite (sweeeeeet!) we met up with our friends and did some shopping near the hotel.

Then, on to the Blue Cat Brew Pub in Rock Island for some hoppiness.

Next stop: Moline for dinner. Our tour guide for the weekend Minney has an aunt who lives in the Quad Cities, and she recommended Pasteur as a favorite for dinner.
Celebrating almost 20 years in business, Pasteur serves Vietnamese cuisine prepared with fresh, local ingredients.
The owner was very friendly and seemed to remember all of his customers. He was welcoming and delighted to see us.
He told us that the location has recently been remodeled. The decor in the tidy restaurant was light and airy.
We all started with some of their golden egg rolls (vegetarian for one of us) and they were excellent. We also had an order of chicken wontons. These were delicious as well, as were the sauces accompanying these appetizers. We were surprised to find that one of the sauces we loved was a fish sauce.
For my entreƩ, I chose some pad Thai, wild rice noodles, served with beef. A couple of us had pork entreƩs and one had Minney's aunt's fave, the cashew chicken. Another tried the shrimp with almonds.
The freshness of the produce was noticeable with my meal, especially the onions in my noodles, which were crisp, sweet and spicy. The flavor of the sauce in the dish was wonderful. So much so that I stuffed myself silly.
The service during our meal was great as well.

After this pig out, we were so close to Whitey's Ice Cream that a few of us were game for dessert. There was quite a line of people inside. I made my way to the counter and ordered the cake batter ice cream on a sugar cone.
Upon receiving it, I was surprised to see ribbons of chocolate in the creamy yellow concoction. Sampling them, I found them to be like fudgy cake batter.
StfRon had a chocolate malt with extra malt. Whitey's, unlike some malt makers, apparently knows what extra malt means, as the malt had crispy crystals of malty magnificence throughout.

After this and the filling meal, I found myself starting to feel sluggish. We made it over to the Bent River Brewing Company, but I was never able to snap out of it. StfRon apparently had the same problem, because when I brought up geocaching (thinking that some walking might give me a second wind, and we could meet up with the group and go to the hotel bar or the casino bar later) he turned me down. StfRon turning down geocaching is unheard of!
So, party animals that we are, we were in bed by about 10:30.

The next morning, we couldn't find any notable local breakfast joints online, so we headed to the Iowa Machine Shed, established in 1978. It's a little corporate, but the location we hit, the Davenport restaurant, is the original location.
Our service was great and the food portions were huge. In the restaurant shop, I thought it was neat that they had a selection of "green" items, including household cleaners and bamboo plates, bowls and tableware, and I also saw some cookware made in the USA in the shop.

With stomachs full, we headed off for some geocaching at Vander Veer Botanical Park. We found one quickly, but spent probably forty minutes searching for another, only to find that it was M.I.A. Oh, well. It was a nice day, we saw lots of dogs and got to check out the botanical gardens.
After spending so much time looking for that last cache, we decided it was time to head home.

I enjoyed seeing Davenport and taking in some of the sights. This is a town that has tons of historic buildings still standing, making use of many of them while rehabbing many others. It's a great thing to see.


Friends said...

Glad to hear you guys had a good time! We were concerned about you, especially since you were leaving so early. You missed being with use when we summoned an elevator and the doors opened and a used toilet was sitting in the middle of the elevator with nobody else around. Quite hilarious!

Jeep2000 said...

Oh, now the elevator thing would have been hilarious!!
StfRon is already plotting a return to Pasteur...

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a good time. You hit several of my favorite spots. Next time you are at Pasteur's, be sure to get the tilapia in chili sauce. I've never had anything like it anywhere else. Not too hot, but very flavorful. You will NOT be disappointed.