Shockingly bad performance by the Kansas Jayhawks (our in-house favorite) at Iowa State University’s cavernous Hilton Auditorium in Ames – the Jayhawks lost by 17 points. But it was fun to go to a game at Hilton for the first time. We sat high in the nosebleed section so the noise from the increasingly joyful ISU near-capacity crowd was slightly less deafening and we had a good vantage point to see all the flashing lights, arm- waving fan cheers, perky pom-poming cheerleaders and the amusing half-time show with little kids doing somersaults while spinning basketballs.
We returned to our favorite Ames restaurant Provisions, sitting in what seemed like a new dining area near the bakery, a table away from a large party that included ISU’s new president. I dared to try an Asian-flavored duck sandwich rather than my usual favorite, the salmon sandwich. The “five-spice” roasted duck was good –served pulled pork style with crispy bits, plum sauce and scallions in the same thick dark black brioche roll that makes the salmon sandwich so good. The side salad, broccoli slaw and raisins, was too sweet. Dirck had excellent beer-braised short ribs served atop creamy polenta made with goat cheese. We shared a lemon meringue tart that was delicious but the cookie crust was too hard. We had to pick it up to eat. Cutting it, especially with a fork, was too challenging and we risked sending flying projectiles of sticky crust toward each other. Or beyond.