Friday, February 27, 2015

Annual Manual

Posted December 17, 2014in Food Dude

Wobbly Boots BBQ

Theme restaurants originated with the best of intentions. By using trappings and menus from another time or place, they transported diners into a more romantic experience. New York City’s Russian Tea Room, opened in 1927 by Russian expatriates from the Imperial Ballet, became an escape to Tsarist times for émigrés

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Posted December 10, 2014in Food Dude

Eatery A — new place of the year

Good new ideas enriched the local food scene this year. The Drake Law School premiered Second Course. Students learning about hunger, waste and food insecurity partnered with Sodexo and Eat Greater Des Moines to develop a network that redistributes food that would otherwise go to waste. At press time, they

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Posted December 03, 2014in Food Dude

Female empowerment — trend of the year

This year has been one of rising food prices and falling energy prices. That is an odd couple of economic indicators that are rarely allowed to hold hands in public. Other national trends included the strong arm of government inserting itself into public school kitchens, mandating soft drink cup sizes

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Posted November 26, 2014in Food Dude

Hy-Vee Market Café

After touring northern Arkansas, I came home with a new appreciation for the basic comforts of our local food scene. For instance, I ate 13 meals in the Delta and Ozarks, and only three places offered butter. Most served cornbread and biscuits. How does one eat those without butter? Two

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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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