The Map Room

 

The Map RoomTaste the flavors of the world without even leaving Cedar Rapids.  How?  Simply by visiting The Map Room!  This new pub recently opened up downtown.    The atmosphere is warm and cozy inside, almost like stepping into your grandfather’s study.  Interesting maps of all kinds hang from the walls.  The beer and wine list is well-rounded and is not so long it makes it hard to choose what you would like.  Creative craft cocktails are also available.  The best-kept secret about this place is how good the burgers are.  Oh my goodness, they are awesome! 

 The Map Room uses locally sourced meat for their burgers.  Each one is named after a major city around the world.  My husband ordered a New Orleans burger made with mortadella, ham, salami, mozzarella, provolone, and a spicy olive relish.  I ordered a Saigon burger topped with ham, mortadella, cucumber, pickled carrots and radish, jalapeños, cilantro, and mayonnaise.  It has a bit of a kick to it!  One of the most popular burgers served here is the Memphis.  The Memphis is topped with American cheese, pulled pork, French-fried onions, pickles, and a house-made BBQ sauce.   Gluten-free buns are available.  The salads change daily, based on ingredients the chef has available.  Broccoli salad was the choice available for us.  Some days, a kimchi potato salad is available.  I can’t wait to come back and try it!

New Orleans
The New Orleans burger on a gluten-free bun.
Saigon
The Saigon burger on a gluten-free bun.

Not so adventurous when it comes to your food?  You also have the choice to build your own burger.  If you don’t feel like eating a full meal, you may choose from a variety of appetizers served over fries or crostini bread.

I definitely recommend this place for a unique experience.  Curiosity will draw you in, comfort will bring you back.  The Map Room is located at 416 3rd St SE in downtown Cedar Rapids (formerly known as Stella’s).

 

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

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Ah, summertime. Hot dogs, ice cream, and baseball!  You can get all 3 at Perfect Game Field when you watch the Kernels play!  Cedar Rapids is lucky to have a Class A baseball team in town.  Going to games to see the Kernels play is always a fun time.  The staff is so nice.  Silly games and entertainment keep people engaged between innings.  Many of the weekend games have a fireworks display afterwards.

If you’re not into the traditional hot dog fare, other food choices are grilled burgers, brats, chicken, philly cheesesteaks, and salads.  There is even a Mexican food vendor!

We have been to the Kernels games many times.  We’ve sat just about everywhere.  The Mezzanine Level is great when you have a big party such as a corporate event.  The kids love to sit on the side lawn and run around (that’s right—expend all that energy kiddos!  You’ll sleep better when we get home!).  Recently, I was lucky enough to win suite tickets from my employer ( a sweet deal, no pun intended).  That was quite the experience!  We rode the elevator up to the suites, and ours was right behind home plate.  Great View.  Opposing team hit a grand slam right away and it got everyone quite excited.  When the heat was too much, we could go inside and watch the game from the stools by the window as the TV’s broadcast what was happening.  Only thing missing was the recliner…

The Kernels are affiliated with the Minnesota Twins.  Now, this is a bit tough for me because I am such a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan.  However, I love to see the players hone their skills and we get so excited when they move up to the next level.  The players have always been friendly guys.  My kids have been able to go on the field with the players at the beginning of the game and participate in activities with them.  Every summer the Kernels sponsor a reading program and when you finish, you get to meet the players and get their autographs at a special recognition event.  What a positive experience!

 The Kernels play at the Veteran’s Memorial Stadium complex at 950 Rockford Rd SW in Cedar Rapids.