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Restaurant of the Week: Coach’s Corner

Coach’s Corner is one of the most popular sports bars in Iowa City, most known for its wings but also serving up a vast menu including burgers, sandwiches and wraps. Plus, Coach’s Corner is conveniently only two miles from Kinnick Stadium.

Opened in 2010, Coach’s Corner was built to be a neighborhood spot for the surrounding community. It isn’t uncommon to see one of the Iowa coaches enjoying some food or beverages and, nearly every Friday evening, the West High football coaches are there after the game. It’s no surprise that Coach’s Corner is the place to go to watch any Iowa sports game.

This casual environment offers a great for a place to grab a drink after work, dinner with the family or to enjoy some appetizers while you cheer on your favorite team. The atmosphere is very much like “Cheers,” where everyone becomes family and you see the regulars night after night.

On almost every inch of wall space is some sort of Iowa picture, sign or memorabilia, which gives a retro feel. When there isn’t a game on, the upbeat music will definitely have you dancing in your chair. The restaurant becomes electric as the crowd grows. There is vast seating inside, but also an outdoor patio with bistro lights that makes for a perfect summer evening.

A must have, as mentioned above, are the wings. Diners have their choice of bone-in or boneless and pick from the 10 sauce options. The wings are tender and juicy, with a crisp outside evenly coated with sauce. The Korean Bang Bang sauce is a crowd favorite that is slightly sweet but has a kick to finish. Wings are served with choice of bleu cheese or ranch and celery sticks.

For the main entrees, fan favorites include the Cajun pork tenderloin and the Lisa Bluder Special Wrap. The Cajun pork tenderloin is a thick-cut loin that certainly packs the spice, but the Cajun mayo balances out the spice and adds a sweet component. The Cajun rubbed pork is grilled and served with pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion, all on a toasted house-made roll. Add a side of tater tots, and this hearty meal is complete.

The Lisa Bluder Special Wrap is named after none other than head Iowa women’s basketball coach, Lisa Bluder. This wrap is packed to the brim with flavor and fresh ingredients, including lettuce, cheese, bacon, sautéed onions, peppers and tomatoes. The grilled chicken is so flavorful and tender, that it is terrific on it’s own, but you can also add any house-made sauce to add even more interest. It is very light and refreshing but highly satisfying. Get a side of perfectly golden brown onion rings, and you are all set.

Coach’s Corner is open Sunday to Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Thursday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The restaurant also has daily specials and happy hour every day from 2 to 6 p.m.

For more information on Coach’s Corner, www.coachescorneric.com .

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