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From Food Reviews to Community Engagement: A Conversation with Leo Kaalberg, Creator of 'Out to Eat with Leo'

In this episode of "What's Happening QC," host Marc Zyla sits down with Leo Kaalberg, the creator of the popular Facebook page "Out to Eat with Leo." Leo shares the story of how he started the page in 2020 during the pandemic as a way to support struggling local restaurants. His elaborate and captivating food reviews quickly gained attention, catching the eye of the cities of East Moline and Silvis, who began sharing his posts.

As time went on, Leo's page expanded its focus beyond food reviews. It now covers important topics such as mental health, veterans issues, and community engagement. Leo, who is a veteran himself, opens up about his own struggles with alcohol and drug addiction after serving in the military and undergoing multiple surgeries. By showcasing his ability to have a fulfilling social life without substance abuse, Leo hopes to inspire other veterans to do the same.

Leo also shares some humorous anecdotes, like being recognized by fans in grocery stores and attempting to dine out incognito with little success. He highlights lesser-known restaurants that he highly recommends, such as Taste of Ethiopia and Sabor Catracho, a Honduran eatery. Additionally, Leo shares some of his personal favorite spots, including Floyd's Burgers, Stevie's Eats BBQ, and the new Mexican food truck Mi Oaxaca.

The episode concludes with Marc expressing his excitement to have Leo back on the show in the future to discuss even more new and exciting places to explore in the local area. Don't miss this engaging conversation about supporting local businesses, overcoming personal struggles, and discovering hidden culinary gems.

Follow Out to Eat With Leo on Facebook: Out to Eat with Leo

Marc Zyla joined WVIK, Quad Cities NPR in May 2022 as the Director of Community Engagement. Prior to that Zyla had been the Director of Education and Community Engagement with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, where he continues to perform as Principal Horn. Zyla believes that there is something for everyone in public radio and brings passion and creativity to his position as Director of Community Engagement.