Pub popcorn:

Country Inn Hotel and Conference Center

Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Salt and pepper. Popcorn and a beer. Some things just seem to go together.

Donít walk into the Country Inn Hotel and Conference Center hungry. Thatís because the smell of freshly popped popcorn emanating from Copperís Pub and Grill will drive you crazy. The good thing, though, itís available in a bag for carryout or customers can eat it in the pub.

What makes the pubís popcorn so good? ďItís not too salty so you canít eat it, but salty enough to make you drink,Ē says day bartender Betsy Boos. Boos ought to know. Sheís been making the popular snack five days a week for the past 12 years. ďI make it every day and when Iím not in, customers ask me where I was,Ē she says.

Boos uses Optima oil, which is 100 percent canola oil. The salt, a brand called Flavacol, is a special order. A brand of yellow popcorn seed called Goldmine makes the biggest kernels.

Although she doesnít partake of the flavorful treat too often - ďitís addicting,Ē Boos says - she does think that Coppers offers some of the best pub popcorn. And so do her customers.

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Contributing writers: Laurie Arendt, Kay Dahlke, Jordan DeChambre, Candace Doyle, Bob Gosman, Matt Hronick, JoAnn Petaschnick, Janet Raasch, Mary Lou Santovec, Amy Siewert Contributing photographers: Nathan Harrmann, Amy Siewert
Illustrations: Anjl Rodee