Tuesday, July 26, 2016


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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Posted March 23, 2016in Food Dude

Indian cuisine moves west

Most ethnic cuisines in Des Moines began in the inner city in neighborhoods attractive to immigrants. Italian restaurants spread from the south side, Vietnamese from the Drake and Riverbend areas, Jalisco/Michoacan from the east side, and Chinese from downtown. In most cases, it took several decades before any reached the

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Posted March 16, 2016in Food Dude

Marianna’s shines

The first round of 2016 restaurant openings began in synch with the high school basketball tournaments. Twice I tried to eat at Iowa Tap Room in East Village but moved on after finding an hour’s wait. That’s a stunning opening weekend for a place with 7,200 square feet and 120

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Posted March 09, 2016in Food Dude

Not reinventing the wheel

Do not mess with perfection. Why do so many cooks think that adding ingredients to legendary recipes improves them? In Des Moines, this often manifests itself in the form of cheap cheese. Whether you want it or not, cheese will be included on your hamburger, sandwich, broccoli, mashed potato, hashed

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