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Desperate in Des Moines
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  • Post #31 - June 12th, 2010, 11:18 pm
    Post #31 - June 12th, 2010, 11:18 pm Post #31 - June 12th, 2010, 11:18 pm
    David,

    I saw Breakfast Zombie, then everything else looked like lunch. I just checked to see they open at 11 am, which may make this a breakfast, brunch or lunch place for some.

    I was seeking information for a genuine breakfast beginning at 7 am or so.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #32 - June 12th, 2010, 11:42 pm
    Post #32 - June 12th, 2010, 11:42 pm Post #32 - June 12th, 2010, 11:42 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:David,

    I saw Breakfast Zombie, then everything else looked like lunch. I just checked to see they open at 11 am, which may make this a breakfast, brunch or lunch place for some.

    I was seeking information for a genuine breakfast beginning at 7 am or so.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Regards,


    Breakfast is the first meal of the day, and yours clearly comes much earlier than mine. :wink:

    But whatever time of day you have your first meal, I'm stunned that you don't think pizza is a genuine breakfast.
    “We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
  • Post #33 - June 13th, 2010, 12:04 am
    Post #33 - June 13th, 2010, 12:04 am Post #33 - June 13th, 2010, 12:04 am
    Hi,

    I have eaten pizza for breakfast, though usually leftover.

    If I ate too much the night before, I am ready for an early breakfast. If it is just an average day, I tend not to eat too close to awakening. I check my e-mail and make a few phone calls, then an hour or two after I get moving I eat something.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #34 - December 1st, 2010, 1:07 pm
    Post #34 - December 1st, 2010, 1:07 pm Post #34 - December 1st, 2010, 1:07 pm
    jjbinfl wrote:IMO, if you talk about local favorites you have to go to B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli. They've been around forever and happen to have some of the best burgers you'll ever eat! I'm addicted. In fact, I'm also addicted to their breaded tenderloins. They're much better than Smity's!!!



    One-post jjbinfl speaks the truth. As does LTHer Tyrgyzistan in his Des-Loines blog. I was just in Des Moines for a day and made it to B&B Grocery for a monster tenderloin washed down with Mexican Fresca. To be honest, B&B aside, Des Moines was more depressing than I'd hoped. I chalk it up to post-holiday, bad weather, early week doldrums. B&B's energy, the exceedingly welcoming and friendly staff (I honestly thought they were messing with me at first) and the great food stood out all the more. B&B is like Des Moines' Bari, Riv, Tenuta's, Freddy's, Manny's, etc. Lots of old timers and regulars shooting the bull in a real old-timey butcher shop (since '22) and general sundries store with some Italian items and some Mexican to reflect the changing demographics of the neighborhood. A counter with a few stools completes the picture. I dug reading the original Des Moines Register coverage of Bonnie & Clyde Barrow's local exploits and downfall, lacquered and stuck to the counter. This was an audible at the line when Kelly's Little Nipper (documented by Da Beef and others) was closed up tight. I'm no tenderloin super fan, but I did appreciate the expertly-fried schnitzel of tender white meat on a cheap burger bun that circumscribed a comically small subset of the massive cutlet. The hamburgers and deli sandwiches looked outstanding as well. To make things a tad healthier, a buck-fifty side of 3 terrific deviled eggs rounded it off.

    Also ate at Fong's chinese pizza. Liked the vibe, the tropical drinks were OK, the crust on the pie a not-bad tavern style, but I found the Chinese fast food toppings plain nasty.

    No LTHer should visit Des Moines without stopping by B&B.

    http://www.bbgrocerymeatdeli.com/

    B&B Grocery Meat & Deli
    2001 S.E. Sixth St.
    Des Moines, IA 50315
    515-243-7607
  • Post #35 - May 13th, 2011, 2:03 pm
    Post #35 - May 13th, 2011, 2:03 pm Post #35 - May 13th, 2011, 2:03 pm
    JeffB wrote:One-post jjbinfl speaks the truth. As does LTHer Tyrgyzistan in his Des-Loines blog. I was just in Des Moines for a day and made it to B&B Grocery for a monster tenderloin washed down with Mexican Fresca. To be honest, B&B aside, Des Moines was more depressing than I'd hoped. I chalk it up to post-holiday, bad weather, early week doldrums. B&B's energy, the exceedingly welcoming and friendly staff (I honestly thought they were messing with me at first) and the great food stood out all the more. B&B is like Des Moines' Bari, Riv, Tenuta's, Freddy's, Manny's, etc. Lots of old timers and regulars shooting the bull in a real old-timey butcher shop (since '22) and general sundries store with some Italian items and some Mexican to reflect the changing demographics of the neighborhood. A counter with a few stools completes the picture. I dug reading the original Des Moines Register coverage of Bonnie & Clyde Barrow's local exploits and downfall, lacquered and stuck to the counter. This was an audible at the line when Kelly's Little Nipper (documented by Da Beef and others) was closed up tight. I'm no tenderloin super fan, but I did appreciate the expertly-fried schnitzel of tender white meat on a cheap burger bun that circumscribed a comically small subset of the massive cutlet. The hamburgers and deli sandwiches looked outstanding as well. To make things a tad healthier, a buck-fifty side of 3 terrific deviled eggs rounded it off.

    First off, a correction: the deviled eggs at B&B are three for one dollar. Wouldn't want to scare off prospective customers because of price. B&B was the highlight of a recent trip to Des Moines; thanks for expanding upon others' recommendations.

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    I'm not a tenderloin super fan either but this is a very good sandwich. Real meat, simply prepared and simply presented. Good eggs too. I also tried Zach's Italian Killer, pictured here in front of the Barrow gang coverage (that's Blanche Barrow washing her hands after being fingerprinted on the day her husband was mortally wounded).

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    A surprisingly tasty sandwich and more than the sum of its parts. Toasted bread and the red and banana peppers make all the difference. I ate some later cold and it wasn't nearly as enjoyable.

    I tried to visit Kelly's Little Nipper but, like JeffB, found it closed. I was under the impression that it had reopened with new owners. Does anyone know the current situation? [it has reopened; see 17 Aug 2011 post]

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    Wandering around the neighborhood I passed one of several interesting taco trucks. But I wasn't interested in authentic Mexican food; I was in search of Des Moines-style tacos.

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    Tasty Tacos is a small local chain, in business since 1961. I think the Grand restaurant is their original location. Tasty Tacos is known and loved (by some at least) for their puffy fried tacos.

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    I was impressed with the frybread shells—not too greasy, with a satisfying chewy texture. Unfortunately the fillings (both the original beef & bean and pork) were as bland as could be. The house made tomato salsa was of little help. A shame because this bread could easily support some robust stuffin'.

    Iowa's love of loosemeat sandwiches is well known so it shouldn't be a surprise that the local Italian sausage sandwich is commonly presented in the un-encased format. As I understand it, in Des Moines the term grinder usually refers to a loosemeat Italian sausage sandwich.

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    Jennie's has been selling their unfortunately-named sandwiches at the State Fair since the 1940s. About a year ago the family opened a small place (no seating inside) up on Hubble, behind the Git n Go. The menu is simple: tenderloins, burgers, hot dogs, grinders.

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    A real monster, with probably almost a pound of sausage in there. Fortunately it's very good sausage—not too greasy, not dry, not too spicy, not bland. Cheese and roll don't add a lot but don't detract much either. That sandwich has me interested to sample more of Des Moines' many grinders.

    B & B Grocery, Meat & Deli
    2001 SE 6th St
    Des Moines IA
    515-243-7607

    Kelly's Little Nipper (closed??) [it has reopened; see 17 Aug 2011 post]
    1701 E Grand Av
    Des Moines IA
    515-265-2031

    Tasty Tacos
    several locations including:
    1418 E Grand Av
    Des Moines IA
    515-266-4242

    Jennie's Original Grinder
    3765 Hubble Av
    Des Moines IA
    515-265-1944

    Edited to mention reopening of Kelly's Little Nipper
    Last edited by Rene G on August 17th, 2011, 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #36 - May 14th, 2011, 9:16 am
    Post #36 - May 14th, 2011, 9:16 am Post #36 - May 14th, 2011, 9:16 am
    Fortunately for us, Peter posted the above recently, and we're planning to use his pix/commentary to direct us to post-graduation-exercise snacking.

    The nice people we're staying with (new acquaintances) were shocked that I (being a "foodie," their term) would want to eat at places like those that Peter mentions rather than, you know, fancy places downtown. White tablecloth places are so dull compared to these other soulful seeming joints.

    About white tablecloth places, ate at Django's, a French place downtown last night. They serve fresh oysters which, I'm sure, were filled with water to simulate abundant liquor. Food cheating: it's everywhere.
    “We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
  • Post #37 - May 14th, 2011, 2:42 pm
    Post #37 - May 14th, 2011, 2:42 pm Post #37 - May 14th, 2011, 2:42 pm
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    Sopes at La Rosa, made with pork, hidden in the Drake Neighborhood. Few students make it this far east of the campus, its a secret spot filled with spanish speakers and serving food with low prices.

    La Rosa
    2312 Forest Avenue
    Des Moines, IA 50311-3160
    (515) 255-9520

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    Loco Moco at Alohana in Clive tucked away in upscale strip mall. Carbo-loaded Hawaiian entrees with macaroni salad served in a place with the heat cranked up and Don Ho blasting from the stereo. Loco Moco is fried egg with hamburger and gravy over rice, real Polynesian treat.

    Alohana Hawaiian Grill
    12931 University Avenue
    Clive, IA 50325-8282
    (515) 225-2279
  • Post #38 - May 15th, 2011, 1:25 pm
    Post #38 - May 15th, 2011, 1:25 pm Post #38 - May 15th, 2011, 1:25 pm
    Random Des Moines Area Photograzing:

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    Llapingachos and Horno Chicken on Ciabatta Sandwich from Mi Patria just off the highway in West Des Moines. This location has housed a bunch of different places, and the current users have been doing the food festivals and events for years now.


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    Pollo Rostizado has brought the Mexican tradition to the Des Moines area previously untouched by this kind of chicken.



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    Fried Fish Poor Boy Sandwich from Patton's. Patton's on East Grand is the latest entry on a new mexican shopping district close to the state capitol building.


    Mi Patria
    1410 22nd St.
    West Des Moines
    (515)222-2755


    La Casa Del Pollo Rostisado
    2734 Douglas Avenue
    (515) 255-9953


    Patton's Restaurant
    1552 E. Grand Ave Suite D
    515.265.2203
    http://www.pattonsrestaurant.com/about.php
  • Post #39 - May 15th, 2011, 7:03 pm
    Post #39 - May 15th, 2011, 7:03 pm Post #39 - May 15th, 2011, 7:03 pm
    At B&B yesterday, I was able to do a side-by-side tasting of regular tenderloin and chorizo tenderloin (below).

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    I perferred the slight spiciness of the chorizo tenderloin, which has the housemade sausage mixed in with the breading and a little dab of salsa on top.

    I also witnessed the Killossal being served. It was awesome/silly.

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    Will post more when I recover from watching people drive me around all weekend.
    “We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
  • Post #40 - May 17th, 2011, 8:41 am
    Post #40 - May 17th, 2011, 8:41 am Post #40 - May 17th, 2011, 8:41 am
    This was the first Killossal ever served, having been invented days before:

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    It was ordered for a family of five.

    Co-owner John Brooks performs proper pre-consumption compression of the sammie:

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    “We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
  • Post #41 - May 17th, 2011, 4:33 pm
    Post #41 - May 17th, 2011, 4:33 pm Post #41 - May 17th, 2011, 4:33 pm
    Wow guess I never bother getting around much in DM--other then stopping at a couple budddies BBQ places all we have ever done is pass through on our way somewhere else--next time may just forgo bbq and try some of these ideas!
  • Post #42 - May 28th, 2011, 9:09 am
    Post #42 - May 28th, 2011, 9:09 am Post #42 - May 28th, 2011, 9:09 am
    My daughter Josanna's senior project was a guide to local farmers and the restaurants that source from them in Des Moines: http://capitalpalate.wordpress.com/
    “We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
  • Post #43 - June 12th, 2011, 3:21 pm
    Post #43 - June 12th, 2011, 3:21 pm Post #43 - June 12th, 2011, 3:21 pm
    Tyrgyzistan wrote:Random Des Moines Area Photograzing:

    Those are some good-looking places and ones that don't seem to get much attention. I passed Patton's (and a couple other Mexican places that were busy) while walking along Grand from Kelly's Little Nipper to Tasty Tacos. I probably would've eaten better somewhere else but I needed to try those puffy tacos.

    David Hammond wrote:I perferred the slight spiciness of the chorizo tenderloin, which has the housemade sausage mixed in with the breading and a little dab of salsa on top.

    I considered ordering that but decided to stick with the classic tenderloin. Had I known the chorizo is in the breading I would have ordered it for sure.

    David Hammond wrote:I also witnessed the Killossal being served. It was awesome/silly.

    I didn't notice that sign (not that I would've considered ordering a Killossal). While waiting for my sandwiches, someone ordered a Quadzilla (four burgers on one bun). "Are you sure?" they were asked. I wanted to get a look at it but was in a bit of a hurry. Most of B&B's sandwiches are more modest, well-thought-out constructions.

    Speaking of awesome/silly tenderloins, Centro, an upscale downtown restaurant, offers the Kill Bill Tenderloin: Niman Ranch tenderloin, ham, bacon, pepper jack cheese, red onion, fried egg and garlic mayonnaise on ciabatta ($12.99). It was on my list of possibilities but, although I stayed nearby, I never made it to Centro.

    I forgot to mention a couple bars I enjoyed (not breaking any new ground here). Hessen Haus has a truly excellent selection of German beers. I'm not sure there's anywhere in Chicago with a better German beer list.

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    Only a tiny corner of the menu, the selection of the high-octane brews is especially impressive but they were out of the question in the day's 95° heat. I settled on a liter of Weihanstephaner Hefeweizen, on draft for an exceedingly reasonable happy hour price of $7.75. I spent a very happy hour there.

    Leaving Hessen Haus, I unexpectedly passed Fong's (mentioned earlier in this thread) and decided to stop just to see the interior. The bar was far more pleasant than I expected and I stayed for a couple beers (Madhouse from Newton IA—not bad at all). Plenty to look at including lots of old details from the previous restaurant as well as their impressive selection of tiki drink vessels.

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    David Hammond wrote:My daughter Josanna's senior project was a guide to local farmers and the restaurants that source from them in Des Moines: http://capitalpalate.wordpress.com/

    I'll probably be in Des Moines again later in the summer so this will come in handy. Thanks for posting the link and thanks to Josanna for putting it together.

    Hessen Haus
    101 4th St
    Des Moines IA
    515-288-2520

    Fong's Pizza
    223 4th St
    Des Moines IA
    515-323-3333
  • Post #44 - June 13th, 2011, 3:28 pm
    Post #44 - June 13th, 2011, 3:28 pm Post #44 - June 13th, 2011, 3:28 pm
    The problem is that Des Moines actually has some pretty good ethnic fare, but those restaurants don't seem to be frequented by anybody but the ethnics & maybe the Drake crowd. Native Iowans like their staples & their chains.

    That being said, my sister-in-law found a Bosnian place in West Des Moines called Saraj that, while cuisine-wise not my cup of tea, seemed authentic & quite good. Maybe the best mushroom soup I've ever had, and the Bosnian gyros looked every bit like a torta with shawarma meat--decent. I had the grilled meat platter which basically consisted of a huge amount of cevapcici (sausage) and a chicken breast--the former was tasty, the latter dry as toast. Other items like lamb shank or Bosnian-prepared tilapia are only served on certain nights (and we were there at lunch) & I probably would've preferred either of those.

    Saraj
    1300 50th St., Suite 206
    West Des Moines, IA 50266
    515-255-1133
  • Post #45 - June 13th, 2011, 4:41 pm
    Post #45 - June 13th, 2011, 4:41 pm Post #45 - June 13th, 2011, 4:41 pm
    Centro isn't the only one of George Formaro's restaurants to have a tenderloin topped sandwich, Django has one too:
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    Flour Pizza is a straight forward pizza by the slice lunch-only place opened by an acclaimed and successful local chef. The crust is thick focaccia, baked in giant oven pans, they always have some out-there slices like pear with gruyere or rosemary potato to go with the usual pepperoni or sausage,
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    Lamb with Goat Cheese and olives slice:
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    Below skirt photo, its cooken on a pan, then reheated to order, makes the thick pile of cheese warm to your order
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    Flour Pizza
    1220 Locust Street
    Des Moines,
    (515) 288-2935
    http://flourpizza.com/about



    Fat Tuesday on the South Side is the longest running Cajun restaurant in town. I didn't get an exterior pic, but its an ugly building that once housed Cheese Castle Pizza.
    Spicy Pork Po Boy:
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    Shrimp Po Boy:
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    Fat Tuesday Cajun Restaurant & Catering
    6112 SW 9th St
    Des Moines
    (515) 285-3552
    http://www.fattuesday-restaurant.com/
    Last edited by Tyrgyzistan on August 18th, 2011, 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #46 - August 17th, 2011, 1:15 pm
    Post #46 - August 17th, 2011, 1:15 pm Post #46 - August 17th, 2011, 1:15 pm
    In May 2011 Rene G wrote:I tried to visit Kelly's Little Nipper but, like JeffB, found it closed. I was under the impression that it had reopened with new owners. Does anyone know the current situation?

    The Little Nipper has reopened!

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    We were twice warned the tenderloins are no longer as big and flat as they used to be (it seems the previous owner took the schnitzel machine) and that adding condiments would be our responsibility (the cook had been known to overdo things a bit). Furthermore we were advised we'd probably need to add salt. Honestly, I was getting a bit worried.

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    I don't think it was merely from lowered expectations but this is among the best tenderloin sandwiches I've had (apologies for the atrocious photo, lit by a yellow neon beer sign). Smaller and thicker is fine with me. No need to add condiments, thanks to expert seasoning and slices of good tomato. Even better than the top-notch tenderloin were the onion rings, freshly sliced and encased in a light tempura-like batter. Great stuff.

    Kelly's Little Nipper
    1701 E Grand Av
    Des Moines IA
    515-265-2031
  • Post #47 - August 17th, 2011, 8:06 pm
    Post #47 - August 17th, 2011, 8:06 pm Post #47 - August 17th, 2011, 8:06 pm
    For anyone visiting the State Fair, I strongly suggest skipping the 30-minute lines for the latest fried food fad. Head to an intersection of paths between the Riley Talent Stage and the Varied Industries Building to find Jennie Grinder opposite The Gizmo Stand. There are other Italian Sausage sandwiches and grinders at the fair, and Jennie Grinder has opened a year-round location recently.

    My last visit was on a strict diet, so no food photos:

    Jennie Grinder:
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    Carl's Gizmo:
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    Also:
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    Gizmo was on the news last night:
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    http://www.kcci.com/video/28902762/detail.html
  • Post #48 - August 19th, 2011, 2:09 pm
    Post #48 - August 19th, 2011, 2:09 pm Post #48 - August 19th, 2011, 2:09 pm
    Tyrgyzistan wrote:For anyone visiting the State Fair, I strongly suggest skipping the 30-minute lines for the latest fried food fad. Head to an intersection of paths between the Riley Talent Stage and the Varied Industries Building to find Jennie Grinder opposite The Gizmo Stand. There are other Italian Sausage sandwiches and grinders at the fair, and Jennie Grinder has opened a year-round location recently.

    My last visit was on a strict diet, so no food photos:

    I was on a three-hour diet*, having just judged a culinary contest, so was unable to try a grinder at the Fair. I did have one from Jennie Grinder's permanent location during my visit last spring. Beside Jennie Grinder I noticed Carl's Gizmo and Aunt Mary's Great Grinder but missed Zag's. Is there a favorite among the many choices?

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    I spent a little time watching the operation at Jennie Grinder and was fortunate enough to witness the mashing of the loosemeat. The smell and heat of the spicy grease, while appealing, was about enough to knock you over.

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    * My diet wasn't quite so strict that it prevented me from visiting the Iowa craft beer tent, pouring a good selection of local beers, where I sampled Corn Dog Ale (Court Avenue Brewing, Des Moines), Hefe'R'weissen (Millstream Brewing, Amana) and a bunch more. Every state fair ought to have something like this.
  • Post #49 - October 17th, 2011, 3:03 pm
    Post #49 - October 17th, 2011, 3:03 pm Post #49 - October 17th, 2011, 3:03 pm
    The World Food Prize, Hall of Laurestes, and World Food Festival:

    The World Food Prize is compared to the Nobel Prize, but describes itself as:
    honoring outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world

    Luiz Ignacio Lula Da Silva voluntarily got on a plane and flew from Brazil to Des Moines to accept the prize this year. The ceremonies are surrounded by a pomp and sophistication uncommon to the city of Des Moines. Youth Choirs, professional dance routines, live orchestra music, and visits from former or current heads of state are broadcast on public television from downtown Des Moines when the prize is awarded. The noteworthy news of this years ceremony is the completion of the Norman Borlaug Hall of Laureates. The old Main Library has been renovated into a permanent home for the Prize, along with space for a museum, and educational facilities. Several artists were commissioned to create pieces dedicated to Borlaug and the fight against hunger. Decorations include statues, murals, and elaborate metal sculptures of the major grain crops. The expensive renovation reflects the longstanding feeling among the Agriculture intellectuals and their private sponsors that this sort of thing is overlooked by the public at large. They want people to visit, and look at the artwork and interactive exhibits, but to appreciate the contributions of the agriculture scientists and public officials awarded the Prize. Judging from the artwork in the photo galleries, its pretty clear the decisions were made by someone from Iowa.





    The World Food Festival is held around the same time as the Food Prize activities are starting. In previous years I had spotted the Laureates in the crown, although they never looked impressed by the whole deal. The local sponsors who want to impress the big agriculture/academic crowd visiting get their name on the festival. But the sponsors are generous with low, or perhaps zero, fees for vendors. Nothing is priced over $5.00, and each vendor must have one item for a dollar. Local foodies recognize most vendors from opening (and closing) grocery stores or local catering companies or grocery stores.

    Chocolate Soup: this is sold by the same people who operate a Filipino Grocery Store in the dead mall on the south side of Des Moines.
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    Cabbage Rolls are $1.00, from operators of a Bosnian/European grocery store:
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    Zeljanica: spinach and cheese in phylo:
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    Reptiles:
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    Cheburekie: this is more dough, stuffed with pork sausage:
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    Salchipapas: This looked better than it tasted, just a deep fried hot dog:
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    Taco Loco: These people have a food truck and a restaurant:
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    US Cellular Des Moines World Food Festival
    Oct. 7-9, 2011
    Downtown Des Moines East Village
    http://www.worldfoodfestival.org/

    Norman E Bourlog Hall of Laureates
    Open to the public sometime in 2012
    http://www.worldfoodprize.org/
    Download Brochure:
    http://www.worldfoodprize.org/documents ... 7566B8.pdf
  • Post #50 - August 26th, 2012, 3:33 pm
    Post #50 - August 26th, 2012, 3:33 pm Post #50 - August 26th, 2012, 3:33 pm
    A few miscellaneous notes from a recent short visit to Des Moines . . .

    At the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, we stopped at The Wooden Shoe, a stand from Pella, a Dutch town 40 miles southwest and world's record holder for the largest wooden shoe dance. They were selling a couple of the town's signature foods: Pella bologna and Dutch letters. Pella bologna (on a stick!) is a tasty sausage indeed, without a lot of similarity to what usually goes by that name. Is this the same as rookworst?

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    Dutch letters are tubes of flaky puff pastry filled with almond paste, usually bent into an "S" shape. Wooden Shoe's version is simple but surprisingly good, tasting like they'd just come from the oven. Reportedly, other stands at the Fair were selling the pastries impaled on sticks. Have a look at this excellent essay on Dutch letters from the Iowa Arts Council.

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    Pella bologna and Dutch letters are exemplary State Fair snacks—real food with a real story. The other food choices were nearly overwhelming, even by State Fair standards. We passed on the "grotesque" beef sundae at Cattlemen's Beef Quarters (seemed to be packing 'em in) and also walked by the (equally grotesque?) veggie corndogs at Veggie-Table.

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    After admiring the life size chocolate moose (and of course the butter cow), we left the Fair and drove a couple miles to Kelly's Little Nipper. The Nipper is more bar than restaurant but their tiny kitchen puts out some awfully good chow. The drunk but friendly pool players seem drawn by cheap booze but we'd come for the tenderloins that impressed so much a year ago. Things have changed a bit.

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    It's still a good tenderloin (and a good deal at $8, including onion rings) but the surface area is at least double what it used to be and the thickness has decreased. It's getting close to the ridiculous dimensions I've come to dislike in giant tenderloins ("My loin is bigger than yours"). The excellent fried onions are unchanged (definitely choose rings over fries or chips). KLN is still a worthwhile stop but I wish they hadn't given in to the pervasive tenderloin inflationary pressures. It was a better sandwich a year ago.

    Kelly's Little Nipper
    1701 E Grand Av
    Des Moines IA
    515-265-2031
  • Post #51 - August 26th, 2012, 4:57 pm
    Post #51 - August 26th, 2012, 4:57 pm Post #51 - August 26th, 2012, 4:57 pm
    Tyrgyzistan wrote:Llapingachos and Horno Chicken on Ciabatta Sandwich from Mi Patria just off the highway in West Des Moines. This location has housed a bunch of different places, and the current users have been doing the food festivals and events for years now.


    Mi Patria
    1410 22nd St.
    West Des Moines
    (515)222-2755



    Another vote for Mia Patria. Its location is in a lifeless strip mall.

    I recommend the Lomo Saltado which is flank steak and vegetables sauteed over french fries.

    The pulled pork is excellent.

    Mi Patria
    1410 22nd St
    West Des Moines,IA 50266



    Also, Buzzard Billy's. While the food is not as good as what you'd find in Cajun country, what we had was very good.


    Buzzard Billy's
    615 3rd St
    Des Moines, IA 50309
    (515) 288-2520


    And the only restaurant that seemed to be open for Memorial Day:

    Lunch at Pho 888. They serve very solid Vietnamese food, although being a family run place, the service can be slow. Of course, when a place is packed at lunch time on MEMORIAL DAY, they are doing something right.


    Pho 888
    (515) 288-1595
    1521 2nd Ave
    Des Moines, IA 50314
  • Post #52 - August 27th, 2012, 10:25 am
    Post #52 - August 27th, 2012, 10:25 am Post #52 - August 27th, 2012, 10:25 am
    jlawrence01 wrote:Lunch at Pho 888. They serve very solid Vietnamese food, although being a family run place, the service can be slow. Of course, when a place is packed at lunch time on MEMORIAL DAY, they are doing something right.


    There have been Vietnamese people in Des Moines since the seventies, and 2nd Ave is a hub of small businesses. Their old neighborhood used to be an area on Cottage Grove just south of the freeway. A Dong is the one restaurant that moved and stayed in business.

    Mekong Sandwich Shop, where Mekong Haz a Sandwich?
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    Banh Mi is not my normal every day sandwich, served toasted:
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    Very normal North Des Moines house turned into sandwich hut:
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    Mekong Deli/Mekong Sandwich
    3308 N 2nd St
    Des Moines

    Rene G wrote:A few miscellaneous notes from a recent short visit to Des Moines . . .

    At the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, we stopped at The Wooden Shoe, a stand from Pella, a Dutch town 40 miles southwest and world's record holder for the largest wooden shoe dance. They were selling a couple of the town's signature foods: Pella bologna and Dutch letters. Pella bologna (on a stick!) is a tasty sausage indeed, without a lot of similarity to what usually goes by that name. Is this the same as rookworst?


    I was in Pella recently, took a couple pics at some of the places I head back to. The shops on the square all offer free samples, so you can load up on tiny bits of bologna, cheese, and sweet stuff.



    Ulrich's Meat Market:
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    If you aint Dutch you Aint much, unless you are a bag of potato chips, then you need to be Dutch Crunch:
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    Diverse choice of bologna:
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    Bologna sandwich:
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    Jaarsma Bakery
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    Bee Hives:
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    Can't remember the name of this almond thing:
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    Raspberry Dream Boats:
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    Jaarsma Bakery
    727 Franklin Street
    Pella, IA 50219

    Ulrichs Meat Market
    715 Franklin Street
    Pella, IA 50219
  • Post #53 - August 28th, 2012, 1:00 am
    Post #53 - August 28th, 2012, 1:00 am Post #53 - August 28th, 2012, 1:00 am
    Rene G wrote:After admiring the life size chocolate moose (and of course the butter cow), we left the Fair and drove a couple miles to Kelly's Little Nipper. The Nipper is more bar than restaurant but their tiny kitchen puts out some awfully good chow. The drunk but friendly pool players seem drawn by cheap booze but we'd come for the tenderloins that impressed so much a year ago. Things have changed a bit.

    Image

    It's still a good tenderloin (and a good deal at $8, including onion rings) but the surface area is at least double what it used to be and the thickness has decreased. It's getting close to the ridiculous dimensions I've come to dislike in giant tenderloins ("My loin is bigger than yours"). The excellent fried onions are unchanged (definitely choose rings over fries or chips). KLN is still a worthwhile stop but I wish they hadn't given in to the pervasive tenderloin inflationary pressures. It was a better sandwich a year ago.

    Kelly's Little Nipper
    1701 E Grand Av
    Des Moines IA
    515-265-2031

    Hi,

    A year ago, I liked this sandwich. I believe I ate the whole thing.

    I was not as fond of this year's sandwich, because it was more like eating a breaded pork chop rather than a pounded thin schnitzel. I barely ate half a sandwich. If I had known how grandiose this sandwich had become, I might have suggested one sandwich for the three of us.

    My pork tenderloin sandwich in at the Wheel Inn in Sedalia, MO was perfect in thickness and breadth. I did quiz them before ordering, because I wanted it fresh and not fresh from the freezer:

    Image

    I had really looked forward to visiting Kelly's Little Nipper, though I will ask a few questions before ordering next time.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #54 - August 28th, 2012, 1:19 am
    Post #54 - August 28th, 2012, 1:19 am Post #54 - August 28th, 2012, 1:19 am
    A few more images of the Chocolate Moose from the Iowa State Fair. A life size moose just over 10 feet tall of chocolate on a steel frame:

    Image
    Chocolate Moose by cal222, on Flickr

    I thought it was quite dignified, especially the face:

    Image
    Chocolate Moose by cal222, on Flickr

    This was originally destined for the agricultural products building, where the butter cow resides. However all the refrigerated cabinets are reserved with few chances to nudge their way in. Last year, they decided the Culinary Arts building was cold enough to keep the chocolate moose cool and stable. If you missed it this year, I expect it will be there next year and beyond.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #55 - August 29th, 2012, 1:27 pm
    Post #55 - August 29th, 2012, 1:27 pm Post #55 - August 29th, 2012, 1:27 pm
    More Iowa State Fair: First, the 2012 Butter Cow:

    Image
    Butter Cow by Josephine2004, on Flickr

    and the reigning Pumpkin Champion, at 933 lbs., a comparative lightweight, in historical terms, according to Rene G, who recalled that the previous year's winner was significantly larger. Nevertheless, in this dry year, there were a number of giants present.

    Image
    Pumpkin Champ by Josephine2004, on Flickr

    Image
    Stem as Thick as Your Arm by Josephine2004, on Flickr

    Here's a shot of Cathy2 peeking over a pale mammoth:

    Image
    Cathy2 and a Great Pumpkin by Josephine2004, on Flickr

    Here's my favorite cake from the Home Ec Building:

    Image
    Turtle Cake by Josephine2004, on Flickr

    and a close-up of my pork tenderloin sandwich from the Nipper:

    Image
    Close Up by Josephine2004, on Flickr

    This was my very first pork tenderloin sandwich, and I have to say that it exceeded my expectations in taste and crunch. I'll thus defend it against the somewhat disappointed comments upthread from Rene G and Cathy2, and thank them for their discretion in not mentioning online their surprise at my finishing the whole thing after our shared tater-tot bacon and chile appetizer:

    Image
    Tater Tot App by Josephine2004, on Flickr
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #56 - January 2nd, 2014, 3:29 pm
    Post #56 - January 2nd, 2014, 3:29 pm Post #56 - January 2nd, 2014, 3:29 pm
    End of the Year: Does anybody care about Des Moines?

    2013 in Des Moines food news: Zombie Burger got a lot of attention, Hotshots Hot Dogs opened and closed, a bunch of other places opened or closed, Jethro's continues to expand. A couple food trucks opened, they are all boring. Taco Trucks are banned from the South Side of Des Moines. Flickr removed their photo limit cap so I can slowly upload more and more of my photos of local food without going through six different websites to sort through them all.

    Unofficial Best Mexican place in Des Moines 2013 goes to La Pena on Indianola

    Image
    La Peña in Des Moines, Iowa by Tyrgyzistan, on Flickr

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    Sopes from La Peña in Des Moines, Iowa by Tyrgyzistan, on Flickr

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    Birria Revolcada menu sign at La Peña in Des Moines, Iowa by Tyrgyzistan, on Flickr

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    Birria Revolcada from La Peña in Des Moines, Iowa by Tyrgyzistan, on Flickr

    Birria Revolcada is the house specialty and its translates to "tumbled goat", that gets turned and turned while cooking with jalepenos.

    Image
    La Peña in Des Moines, Iowa by Tyrgyzistan, on Flickr


    The people behind the best pupusa truck in Des Moines started their own restaurant on the Eastside, La Cuscatleca. The classic Salvadoran dishes are at rock bottom prices served by nice people with a table next to a window for perfect light for photos:

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    La Cuscatleca Pupuseria in Des Moines, Iowa by Tyrgyzistan, on Flickr
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    Fried Tilapia from La Cuscatleca: Pupuseria & Restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa by Tyrgyzistan, on Flickr

    The Pesca Frita is fried tilapia with sides for ten dollars.

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    Antojitos Salvadoreños from La Cuscatleca Pupuseria in Des Moines, Iowa by Tyrgyzistan, on Flickr

    Appetizer plate with corn tamale which is like solid chunk of cornmeal massa and very filing.

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    Nuegados from La Cuscatleca: Pupuseria & Restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa by Tyrgyzistan, on Flickr

    Nuegados are like fried yuca doughnuts served with syrup for dipping.

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    Salvadoran Flag at La Cuscatleca: Pupuseria & Restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa by Tyrgyzistan, on Flickr



    La Pena
    2010 Indianola Ave,
    Des Moines, IA 50315

    La Cuscatleca
    1832 E Hubbel Ave.
    Des Moines, Iowa
  • Post #57 - January 2nd, 2014, 4:34 pm
    Post #57 - January 2nd, 2014, 4:34 pm Post #57 - January 2nd, 2014, 4:34 pm
    Those look great -- thanks for posting that! I also think that the Cheese Shop (right next door to La Mie) has had an impact on Des Moines dining far out of proportion to its small size.

    The Cheese Shop
    833 42nd St, Suite B
    Des Moines, IA 50312
    http://thecheeseshopdsm.com/

    I also have a question for you: have you tried Baru 66? A friend of mine who lives in West Des Moines has said good things about it, but I have yet to give it a try.
  • Post #58 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:35 pm
    Post #58 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:35 pm Post #58 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:35 pm
    The Cheese Shop is probably the most specialized food shop in Des Moines, even more than Allspice or Gong Fu Tea. The cheesemonger used to work at Gateway Market and traveled to study cheese.

    Image
    Cheese Shop of Des Moines by Tyrgyzistan, on Flickr
    Image
    Macaroni and Cheese from Cheese Shop of Des Moines by Tyrgyzistan, on Flickr
    They sell a ton of their mac and cheese, craft beer, and meat trays.

    I haven't made it to Baru but the guy behind it seems to have the local newspaper food and wine writers salivating over everything he does. Chef Baru was also a co-conspirator at a fast casual place in Clive, Tartine, that closed last year. He took over the Art Center Cafe this fall, and should have a pasta restaurant in Valley Junction open soon.

    The people who left the Art Center Cafe took over a new project called Hub Spot at the Riverwalk, but its not a full restaurant just a building with only a small oven for baked goods. This was part of a large renovation of the river area to make it more pedestrian friendly and the weekend crowds during the summer farmers market are huge.

    Image
    Riverwalk Hub Des Moines by Tyrgyzistan, on Flickr

    Architecture worked into the artwork in a long overdue public renovation project. The public art installations around the building are still unfinished.

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    Salami Baguette from The Riverwalk Hub in Des Moines by Tyrgyzistan, on Flickr

    La Quercia Salami and havarti cheese on a baguette for grab and go snack.

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    The Riverwalk Hub in Des Moines by Tyrgyzistan, on Flickr

    The Riverwalk Hub
    215 Water Street,
    Des Moines, Iowa 50314
  • Post #59 - January 13th, 2014, 3:50 pm
    Post #59 - January 13th, 2014, 3:50 pm Post #59 - January 13th, 2014, 3:50 pm
    Thanks Tyrgyzistan - I care, and appreciate the photos! Any chance you have any input/photos from Tacopocalypse and Wasabi Tao?

    You should absolutely get in to try Baru 66 - even if you sit at the bar - it's worth it.
  • Post #60 - July 15th, 2014, 8:37 am
    Post #60 - July 15th, 2014, 8:37 am Post #60 - July 15th, 2014, 8:37 am
    jjbinfl wrote:IMO, if you talk about local favorites you have to go to B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli. They've been around forever and happen to have some of the best burgers you'll ever eat! I'm addicted. In fact, I'm also addicted to their breaded tenderloins. They're much better than Smity's!!!


    Rolled into Des Moines as a pitstop on the way to KC with Dabeef - B & B has been on my list since this reference back in the day & then ReneG's follow up:

    old school neighborhood market:

    Image

    Image

    whole damn menu looked good, but had just had some tacos so.....

    went with a turkey tenderloin off the Breaded Killers portion of the menu... :

    Image

    I thought the turkey tenderloin was great - id take one of these over a breaded pork tenderloin any day - much juicier and flavorfull than the pork. Id be curious to try out their breaded Ital. sausage sandwich from this section of the menu, as well as a burger and quite a few other things. Great spot.

    B & B Grocery
    2001 SE 6th Street
    Des Moines.
    Your funny, like a clown.

    Twitter: @GrubSeeker

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