Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Posted June 01, 2016in Food Dude

Bistro Montage becomes a teenager

    Each time I visit Bistro Montage, I see several of the same people. One of them explained that recently by saying, “Hey, it’s the neighborhood café.” Indeed, it fits South of Grand like a velvet glove. Enosh Kelley’s French bistro has shaken things up during his 13 years

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Posted May 25, 2016in Food Dude

Business is bustling at Safari

  At 5 p.m. on a recent Sunday, three hours before closing time, I tried to order a few things from Des Moines’ newest African café — Safari. Fish? Sorry, sold out. Goat, then, with plantain fufu? All gone. Which is gone, the goat or the fufu? Both gone today.

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Posted May 18, 2016in Food Dude

Local Bites redefines food courts

Food courts changed the world’s feeding habits, but not in good way. From their 1971 origin at Plymouth Meeting Mall in Pennsylvania, they brought Dairy Queen, McDonalds, Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Sbarro’s, Subway, Orange Julius and many other fast food chains to the far-flung world. Food courts even replaced cafeterias in

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Posted May 11, 2016in Food Dude

Joe’s relentless pursuit of perfection

I’ve reviewed so many good new restaurants the last two months (Gilroy’s, Kue’d, Jetheroni Pepperoni, Reed’s Hollow, etc.) that readers said I was getting soft. I figured that was an excuse to revisit a standard-bearer of Des Moines excellence for perspective. At this time, that means Alba to me. Chef

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Posted May 04, 2016in Food Dude

Candela Modern Mexican

  Cities are dynamic organisms. Empires have been built upon the ruins of previous empires in scores of places. In super young Des Moines, one can observe similar dynamics in the character of the food scene. Ace photographer Andy Lyons recently posted a shot on social media of a vinyl

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Posted April 27, 2016in Food Dude

Reed’s Hollow fits Beaverdale

  Beaverdale marches to a beat that few outsiders even hear. The neighborhood still supports an independent bookstore, a mid-century-style Chinese café and an independent sporting goods store. Its restaurant scene might not draw the buzz that Western Gateway, East Village and Ingersoll do, but it should. Flying Mango, Christopher’s,

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Posted April 20, 2016in Food Dude

Eighth Street’s redheaded savior

  During the final quarter of the 20th century, Eighth Street in West Des Moines was the epicenter of Central Iowa’s restaurant scene. Cork & Cleaver, Jimmy’s American Café, Eighth Street Seafood, Cabo San Lucas, Pain Pane, Tandoor, Garcia’s and Fratello’s all brought something new. The street rose to prominence

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Posted April 13, 2016in Food Dude

Great food, bargain prices

  Spring came in like a lion this year in the local food scene. After two-and-a-half very quiet months, several fantastic new things announced they are here. Perhaps the one that will touch the most people is the first local Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in central Iowa. Its store in

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Posted April 06, 2016in Featured Story, Food Dude

Kue’d jumps to front the queue

From nowhere, Des Moines became a solid barbecue town in the last two decades. Beginning with Flying Mango’s opening in 1997, central Iowa and barbecue initiated a sudden love affair. Woody’s, Jethro’s, Smokey D’s, Uncle Wendell’s and others followed soon behind.  Other than Jethro’s, those stores all evolved from the competition

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Posted April 01, 2016in Food Dude

The stupidest food lists in Iowa

  Des Moines has fallen head over heels for lists. If a blogger, magazine, newspaper or Tweeter wants to grab the attention of the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, or the Greater Des Moines Partnership, they simply need to include the town on a list of the top 10 to

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