Friday, January 30, 2015

Annual Manual

Posted November 19, 2014in Food Dude

November — the best month for dining out

In the local food scene, November anticipates the holiday season with a bevy of special events. Nonprofits try to squeeze fundraisers in before people’s discretionary income is distracted by Christmas shopping. Chefs need to adjust their menus for what is available after the first hard freeze of the year. These

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Posted November 12, 2014in Food Dude

World shrinking at Rolling Wok

Years before Prasong “Pak” Nurack would open Des Moines’ original Thai restaurant, and decades before he would become a Thai national senator, he ran a diner on Court Avenue called Little Joe’s. That place served lunch cafeteria-style, and one day’s advertised special, veal parmigiano, seemed to be exhausted. “No more

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Posted November 05, 2014in Food Dude

The scoop on soup

Readers have been asking about my favorite places for soup. I also recently ran across Fiona Kirk’s latest book, “Soup Can Make You Thin.” Kirk amused me a few years ago with her “What the F**k Should I Eat?,” so I paid attention. She is not advocating the dreaded cabbage

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Posted October 29, 2014in Food Dude

Clay pots star at H’s Pho & Restaurant

For whatever reasons, geography has swayed the way restaurants cluster in the metro. Local independents thrive in the inner city, and big chains in the far-flung suburbs. It’s been so dramatic that after the opening of the all-chain Jordan Creek Town Center, one Des Moines restaurateur proposed that downtown needed

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Posted October 22, 2014in Food Dude

Woody’s — The Ultimate Place for Barbecue

Each of the last five years, Cityview has asked readers’ what they consider to be the ultimate place to go for a certain type of food. Four years ago, you chose B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli as the ultimate destination for sandwiches. The following year Gusto was your selection for

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Posted October 15, 2014in Food Dude

Lucky choices at Meskwaki

The Meskwaki Casino is imbued with delicious irony. The Lincoln Highway’s course was only altered in one place — between Marshalltown and Tama. In 1955 the powers there moved it several miles north of its original course through the Meskwaki settlement. From 1918 till that move, the highway had delivered

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Posted October 08, 2014in Food Dude

Taste of New York

It’s becoming a common story that Iowans find endearing. New Yorkers visit here, discover that public schools actually work, that the quality of life is less stressful and that they can buy twice the house for half the money. Then they move families and friends here and open an outstanding

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Posted October 01, 2014in Food Dude

Ryan’s does it southern style

The chain restaurant industry is reinventing itself. McDonald’s applied for a trademark on the term McBrunch, leading to considerable speculation about what that sagging giant has in mind. They also promoted free coffee at breakfast. Wendy’s countered with free drink cups for seniors at all hours. Applebee’s went to Instagram

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Posted September 24, 2014in Food Dude

Irish gastropub comes to Ingersoll

If Ingersoll were human, she would be my favorite, eccentric aunt. No other street in town represents such democracy of commerce — tattoo shops and massage parlors next to doctors’ offices and pet spas, dive bars next to French bistros. Where else in Des Moines would one find an exclusive

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Posted September 17, 2014in Food Dude

Bustle and quiet, can you have both?

Des Moines has generated some media noise this year. The latest was made by “Women’s Health” magazine and Yelp. Anyone who has felt the savagery of bad Yelp reviews probably puts little credence in any survey that website takes, but at least this was good news. Des Moines was named

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