A CR don't miss


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It’s a Mexican restaurant turned speakeasy club, serving amazing Iowan food and artisan recipes.

I’m talking about some delicious, ingredient-inspired, chef-created entrées and appetizers.

Sold, right?

If you’re willing to make a quick trip up 380, Syndicate Epicurean Pub lies in the heart of downtown Cedar Rapids.

I know that might sound far to some of you, but sometimes, you might need a change of pace. Iowa City felt familiar pretty quickly after break.

Opening in November 2013, this pub has the enthusiasm and service of a four-star restaurant, and the preparation of the plates only further validates this. The size of the glasses for drinks would scream this, being probably fewer than 5 ounces of drink after the ice. But our server wouldn’t let them get past half empty before coming to fill them back up.

That’s service. I would’ve felt comfortable asking them to keep my seat warm while I ran to the restroom.

I went here on the suggestion of a friend who loves the foods of CR. But make sure you have the time for the full lunch hour and maybe a little more. The atmosphere is so inviting that time just flies by.

Whether you ordered an appetizer (I would suggest the hummus plate) or are just waiting for your main course, you completely forget how hungry you were when you ordered until the server comes around with your food.

Their lemon and cilantro hummus is served with crumbled goat cheese and the standard pita chips and veggies to dip. The lemon and cilantro are a powerful combination that remind you of the name, as the flavor of the lemon is only accented with the massive bite of cilantro. Absolutely amazing for hummus not made in Iowa City.

The main course put the hummus to shame. A Portabella mushroom sandwich served on sourdough with caramelized onions, Swiss, and pesto aioli on top.

Some people would doubt a Portabella mushroom’s ability as a feature topping on a sandwich, but after one bite, that argument would be redacted. The smooth and complementary texture of the vegetable allows the crunch of the bread to be the staple of the sandwich.

The taste reminds you why you choose to live in Iowa, the fullness of the mushroom is sometimes so delicious that you forget it isn’t a steak sandwich. The caramelized onions, which I would normally put on a steak myself, just confuse you more.

Even the cooked in-house kettle chips were amazing. Just the right crunch with enough tenderness that you remember they were cooked from actual potato slices by the chef.

Easily one of my new favorite restaurants in the Cedar Rapids area, I would encourage you to find an excuse to visit.

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