Sunday, June 26, 2016


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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Posted March 02, 2016in Food Dude

Fish fry season

Lent inspires restaurants to experiment with temporary offerings, showing regular customers that they understand their dietary restrictions while testing new items at minimum risk. Few people will be angered when Lenten specials are discontinued. Church fish fries are the best-known Lenten food deals. They offer the community mingling, which brands

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Posted February 24, 2016in Food Dude

Doors close, others open

Many places in town think lunch is not worth the effort or cost. When Alba owner Jason Simon opened Eatery A, he said the main lesson he learned at his first restaurant was about being open for lunch. “Once you do it, you are stuck. Your customers depend on it.

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Posted February 17, 2016in Food Dude

Teriyaki House Japanese Grill

New Year’s resolutions are obsolete. The real temptations toward gluttony come in the weeks after the drunken singing of “Auld Lang Syne.” Burns Night, Lunar New Year, Mardi Gras, Super Bowl parties, Bacon Fest and Valentine’s Day all demand that some of us indulge in unusual gastronomical pleasures, and all

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Posted February 10, 2016in Food Dude

Gateway Café: The anti-Pizza Ranch

The caucuses drive me nuts. I’m embarrassed that Iowa eschews the secret ballot for a system where everyone goes back to middle school to stand publicly with whomever they perceive to be the cool kids. The entire season is this state’s closest equivalent to a red carpet event where people

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