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Quad Cities ‘Booming’: New Recruits, BBQ, & A Gift From Ethiopia


Quad Cities: Scott County

New tradition for Team Goodvin. We never stay in one place two years in a row on Independence Day weekend. We never stay in one place anyway! We were craving just about everything you could ask for when it came to a weekend out of town for the 4th. Great food, water rec, great food, cold pints, powerful fireworks, great food, and a sweet look at some flying monkeys. Less than an hour from our Hills, IA headquarters is a place that has more of this offered with every passing year. We celebrate America-2016 in the Quad Cities! As you may have guessed we didn’t start our gallivant on empty stomachs. But this time we called an audible and split up to cover more ground. We take on one of our old favorites and a QC newbie! A burger with a view at the Corner Kitchen in Davenport!

The first salute of the day. You didn’t think we’d get past Independence Day without a burger did you? Corner Kitchen in Davenport, IA.

New habits forming. What do we do when the locals tell you to try a place for breakfast? We go for lunch naturally! The Corner Kitchen serves up classic American fare with your traditional stick-to-your-ribs breakfast portions served all day. The food did the trick and we enjoyed their primo view from our corner table overlooking Centennial Park and the nearby bridge over the Mississippi River. I enjoyed The Tangler Burger. A grilled all beef burger with spicy chipotle sauce and heaping portion of fried cheese balls. Leah knocked back a huge Grecian salad loaded with fresh veggies, boiled eggs and house-made feta cheese Greek dressing. (Click on pictures for descriptions)

Old habits are hard to break. Especially when you’re not even trying to break them. The rest of Team Goodvin launched themselves to Fresh Deli by Nostalgia Farms. Charlie and Gigi smashed a cheesy flatbread pizza while Monie immersed herself in Fresh Deli’s popular taco selections. We’ve ordered the Thai Tacos on an early visit to Davenport so today Monie went vegetarian. One grilled corn taco and one taco with lighted battered fried avocado wedges. Both featuring their always fresh veggies, black beans, cheese, and soft corn tortillas. A QC tradition is born for The Iowa Gallivant!

The day was still young, but there was a lot of ground to cover. One group to the museum and one needs to get in the middle of a lake. Like right now! Leah and JayJay headed to West Lake Park while Monie, Gigi, and Charlie explore The Land of Oz at the Figge Art Museum!

They found Dorothy and much more at Figge. The kids loved the interactive kid zone while Monie preferred the selections in the Mexican Colonial Collection. Thanks to a grant, trips to the Figge are free through September 25. Go explore it!

Leah and I found a very busy camping area on this holiday weekend and we could see why. West Lake Park was buzzing with campers enjoying the fresh air, enjoying the many activities you can find at this Scott County managed park including one of the best disc golf courses in Iowa! Leah and I hit the water an paddled our way through West Lake.

We met in the middle and regrouped at the Village of East Davenport and took a cruise on the Mississippi River aboard the Channel Cat Water Taxi. The absolute best way to get to all four downtown districts on the Quad Cities! Because of this convenience, our number group dwindled down to four for a while. Monie hit the video poker at the Isle Casino in Bettendorf at one of the ports while we drifted away. The one armed bandits didn’t do too much damage.

After the taxi service on the old Miss-A-Sip we checked into our top-notch hotel room. Once again we were staying at the Radisson-Quad City Plaza. Just a few minutes of a walk to everything in Downtown Davenport.

*Our stay here was complimentary. The opinions expressed on this blog post are of our own.

The dinner bell was calling and we could hear it coming from the Freight House Marketplace just down the road from the Radisson. First it was time for cold Iowa craft beer. Right at the center of the Marketplace’s activity was Front Street Taproom!

There was plenty of food to choose from tonight. Local vendors were crawling with customers and we made two very good choices. The first was one of the greatest brisket sandwiches we’ve ever experienced. Johnnie’s Meat Market is a QC staple and their mobile venue was on point with some amazing BBQ!

One of the most memorable meals we’ve had during our travels was at another outside foo vendor at the Marketplace. The kind and hard working ladies at Taste of Ethiopia truly impressed us. With their cuisine and their customer service. Leah ordered the vegetarian meal and they took the time to educate her on all that was offered. Taking the extra time to show my daughter just what to expect even as the line grew. Taste of Ethiopia is there on Saturdays during Farmers Market hours. This is a must-have!

Just across the street would be our venue for the annual fireworks display at Modern Woodman Park. Surrounding the ball park was kids activities, more food vendors, and interactive US Army displays.

Inside Modern Woodman Park was a ceremony that is a once in a lifetime experience for most people. A new group of young men and women were talking their oath to the United States as they entered the US Army. All who could stood up and cheered with a lot of emotional tears going around. This was a very moving display and I was proud to see my kids witness the commitment of these new recruits.

Late night has come and Downtown Davenport has the goods on that. I figured I could squeeze in one last meal while we were in the QC. You would too, right? Just down the way from the Radisson was the Barrel House and they were packed! Nick was bar-tending and doing a great job of keeping with the drink orders and took the time to recommend one of his favorite apps. The masterpiece that is Poutine! A comfort food inspired by our friends up north in Canada. House cut French fries topped with Italian Sausage, melted cheese curds and a rich demi-glace. I washed the entire portion down myself with a lager from Exile Brewery. Now I think I’m ready for bed. Check please, Nick. And a memory foam pillow if you don’t mind.

Let’s recap our time in the QC shall we. In 24 hours we hit the lake, discovered the Land of Oz, saw some spectacular fireworks, watched some very brave recruits take a giant step in their lives, drank some awesome Iowa craft brews, devoured some BBQ, cheeseburgers, a salad inspired by the Greeks, a pile of Canadian French fries with Italian sausage, and a platter of Ethiopian food. America, BABY! See you again and again, QC!

Be sure to read more of our articles on the QC area like Le ClaireDavenport, and Rocks Anchor Grill!

Now for some huge thank yous…

To Jessica Waytenick of Visit Quad Cities! She helped us plan our trip and made sure we had a great time.
Radisson logo high resolution
*Our stay here was complimentary. The opinions expressed on this blog post are of our own.  To the Radisson-Quad City Plaza who provided our great room overlooking the riverfront. The staff was more than helpful and professional. Our experience will bring us back again!

Thanks for reading! -Team Goodvin

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