The list of stupid lists would be the longest list of all-time.
But there’s a reason why lists are so popular on the World Wide Web. They get reactions. So it is with this list ranking the best food/drink states from 1 to 50 on Thrillist.com, a site I’d never heard of before this week.
Let’s cut to the chase. Iowa is No. 47. That ranks lower than any other state with a school in the Big Ten or Big 12 conferences. In fact, it’s lower than any state other than Utah, North Dakota and South Dakota.
That simply isn’t palatable. I know Iowa food is sort of, well, basic. But I’ve been in a lot parts of the U.S. where the beef wasn’t especially good. I know someone who lives in California and buys his meat in an Iowa supermarket, transporting it home in dry ice.
But every list is subjective and Thrillist’s says this about Iowa:
Your most iconic food is meat that a person was too lazy to pack together.
That refers to loose meat sandwiches, otherwise known as Maid-Rites when you’re dining at a Maid-Rite. Two decades ago in Eldon, Iowa, Roseanne and then-husband Tom Arnold opened Roseanne and Tom’s Big Food Diner, with loose meat sandwiches the specialty.
I like loose meat sandwiches. I also enjoy filet mignon. So there.
But what makes Nebraska food or Indiana food or Minnesota food any better than Iowa’s? What do you even think of when you think of Nebraska food or Indiana food or Minnesota food?
The Thrillist Big Ten states with their national rankings: 5. Illinois (deep dish pizza, Italian beef, Chicago dogs), 18. Maryland, 20. Michigan, 21. Pennsylvania, 22. Wisconsin, 23. Minnesota, 28. Ohio, 41. Indiana, 43. Nebraska, 47. Iowa.
The Big 12 states: 2. Texas, 29. Oklahoma, 36. Kansas, 45. West Virginia, 47. Iowa.
What does it all mean? The other night, I ate coconut shrimp in a place called Montana Jack’s. It was in Illinois, a few miles from the Mississippi River.
Meanwhile, there’s a new sushi restaurant in downtown Cedar Rapids. I don’t know where I am anymore, anywhere.