≡ Menu

The next edition of Iowa City Eats Gluten-Free: Big Grove Brewery & Taproom.

I am really liking these posts, you guys.  I mean, how could I not?  Who doesn’t love eating out and checking out new restaurants in their city?  Funny joke, right?  Everybody loves doing that!

Iowa City Eats Gluten-Free: Big Grove Brewery & Taproom

Today’s rundown on eating gluten-free in the Iowa City area features a hip, new-to-me (and to the area) restaurant, brewery, and taproom.

Big Grove Brewery & Taproom

Jeremy and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary on Sunday, April 9th.  Generally, our big life celebrations involve food in some way.  So naturally we decided to gift ourselves a nice meal out as a one year married couple.  Some say paper is the anniversary gift, but I guess for us it was just food!

If you are familiar with the Iowa City area, you may have heard of Big Grove in Solon, Iowa.  Jeremy has checked out their beer, but neither of us have eaten there.  We’ll just have to add that to our bucket list!  But for now, we’ll talk about their new sister restaurant that just opened in Iowa City, the Big Grove Brewery & Taproom.

Iowa City Eats Gluten-Free: Big Grove Brewery & Taproom | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comThe restaurant/brewery is located in southern Iowa City in an old warehouse building.  When we arrived, the place was PACKED.  We had to hunt for parking and were amazed by how many people they fit into both the taproom and outdoor space.  I’m sure it did not help that it was the first nice weekend since they opened a few weekends ago, but it was literally nuts how busy they were.  We hunted around for about five minutes once inside and then settled for two seats at the bar.

Iowa City Eats Gluten-Free: Big Grove Brewery & Taproom | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comThey have a somewhat interesting concept when it comes to their beverage and food service.  The taproom is seat yourself, and they have bar tenders/waiters/waitresses (depending on where you are sitting) to collect drink orders.  If you want to order food, you will be left to serve yourself, as they offer a “cafeteria style” restaurant model.  There are definitely pros and cons to this model.  On the one hand, when the taproom is as busy as it was, I cannot imagine that the traditional concept of being waited on would be very effective.  On the other hand, if you are planning to grab food during peak meal hours, be prepared to wait in line.  When we ordered our appetizer around 4:30, the concept was great.  When we ordered dinner around 6:00, I stood in line for about 15 minutes.  Regardless of the wait time to order, they are super quick about getting the food ready (we’re talking five minutes tops)!

Iowa City Eats Gluten-Free: Big Grove Brewery & Taproom | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comOne thing I really appreciated about the menu was that they had gluten-free (and vegetarian/vegan) menu items marked.  I just love it when restaurants do that.  It makes things so much easier for us folks!

Iowa City Eats Gluten-Free: Big Grove Brewery & Taproom | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comShortly after we arrived and Jeremy ordered a beer, we decided on the Queso Fundido appetizer to share.  It consisted of melted Chihuahua cheese, poblano rajas, and chorizo rojo all broiled into a perfectly warm and flavorful dish.

Iowa City Eats Gluten-Free: Big Grove Brewery & Taproom | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comWe chose the corn tortilla chips for dipping, but fresh corn tortillas were also an option.

I had the hardest time deciding what to order for my main meal.  I went back and forth and back and forth, but ultimately chose their House Salad and one of their Pork Belly Al Pastor tacos.  The two combined generally would not be enough for a full meal, but with the appetizer it was the perfect amount.  Plus, I snuck some of Jeremy’s french fries!

Iowa City Eats Gluten-Free: Big Grove Brewery & Taproom | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comI was really impressed by their house salad.  Generally, house salads consist of iceburg lettuce, croutons, and dressing.  Instead, their salad was made with butter lettuce and topped with toasted pumpkin seeds, queso fresco, avocado, radish, and a green chile dressing.  I really liked that they didn’t skimp on the avocado and gave me about four to five slices!

Iowa City Eats Gluten-Free: Big Grove Brewery & Taproom | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comThe taco I selected was made up of crispy pork belly, adobo, slow simmered salsa verde, grilled pineapple, white onion, and cilantro.  I was a little disappointed in the size of the taco (especially when I saw others eating the fish tacos- which are not GF), but the flavor definitely won me over.  I loved the addition of pineapple for the perfect sweet and spicy combo.

Iowa City Eats Gluten-Free: Big Grove Brewery & Taproom | cleaneatingveggiegirl.comP.S. Their french fries were perfectly crispy and delicious, but they were not fried in a separate fryer.  You’ll want to avoid these if you have Celiacs or are highly sensitive to gluten.

Overall, we enjoyed the vibe of the place, thought the customer service was great (especially for how busy they were), and found the food to be delicious.  Some of it is a bit on the pricey side, though, so do not go in expecting to get out of there for under $10 per person.  We’ll definitely be back, and I cannot wait to try some of their international street food next!

A word to the wise: always check with this establishment about their current gluten-free offerings, as changes could have been made after this post was published.

Iowa City Eats Gluten-Free: Big Grove Brewery & Taproom #Iowa #IowaCity #glutenfree Click To Tweet
{ 0 comments }
Week 22 Pregnancy Update | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com

And just like that we are at the 22 week pregnancy update!  Time is flying (especially since I am actually 22 weeks and three days today). A lot has happened over the last month.  The body is changing, baby is growing and making his or her presence known, and we have been checking things off of [...]

{ 1 comment }
Paleo Breakfast Ideas for Meal Planning | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com #Paleo #breakfast #glutenfree

32 Paleo Breakfast Ideas to help with meal planning for the week.  Remember, breakfast does not have to equal "breakfast" foods!  It's time to think outside of the box a bit. Scenario: You've adopted a Paleo diet.  Finding lunch and dinner ideas are quite easy.  But figuring out what in the heck to eat for [...]

{ 2 comments }
Gluten-Free Chili Soup Recipe Roundup | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com

15 healthy, flavor-packed gluten-free chili soup recipes for every time of year! Talking about chili on the last day of February may seem a bit strange, but I happen to believe that soup can and should be eaten year round.  Who else is with me on that?  I know I cannot be the only one! [...]

{ 4 comments }
A Day of Pregnancy Eats | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com

Now that I am nearly 20 weeks pregnant, I am happy to say that my days of nausea are basically gone.  But those darn food aversions have still been sticking around!  I think they are getting a wee bit better, but what remains has made my desire to cook pretty minimal.  And very little cooking [...]

{ 8 comments }
A Gluten-Free Day in Des Moines | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com

Happy Valentine's Day, friends!  I can't say I have ever been much of a V-Day "lover," but ever since Jeremy and I started our own Valentine's tradition last year, I may just have to add it to my favorite holidays list. Last year we celebrated Valentine's Day by taking a day trip to Decorah, Iowa. [...]

{ 8 comments }
18 Week Pregnancy Update | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com

Eek!  It's my 18 week pregnancy update already.  Kind of crazy, right? I feel as though the first trimester absolutely drug on forever and ever.  Probably for two main reasons: 1) I felt terrible, and 2) very few people knew I was pregnant so I had to hide my excitement.  But now that the second [...]

{ 3 comments }
How to Bake Sweet Potatoes in the Slow Cooker | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com

A step-by-step tutorial on How to Bake Sweet Potatoes in the Slow Cooker... aka the easiest way ever! Side note: I photographed these potatoes for this post all the way back in November.  Like three months ago.  I distinctly remember it because it was the weekend my morning sickness first hit.  It's safe to say, [...]

{ 3 comments }
The Reason I Have Been MIA on the Blog... We're Pregnant! | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com

In case you missed it, on Tuesday I shared that Jeremy and I are expecting our first little babe.  To say we are excited would be an understatement! In an effort to get everyone all caught up to speed, I'm sharing a recap of the first trimester through a question and answer format.  Some of [...]

{ 4 comments }
The Reason I Have Been MIA on the Blog... We're Pregnant! | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com

Hello?  Is this thing on?  Lord, I hope some of you are still around and have stuck with me through the silence these past two months!  Other than one Friday Favorites post in December, it has literally been that.  Silent.  A silent blog.  Silent social media accounts.  Heck, I wasn't even approving/responding to comments! But [...]

{ 20 comments }
Friday Favorites: December 2, 2016 | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com

Happy Friday and Happy December!  It's hard to believe we have reached the last month of 2016, but I'm definitely not upset about it.  December is easily one of my favorite months of the year since I am a bit holiday obsessed.  What can I say?  This time of year just makes me feel so [...]

{ 9 comments }