Saturday, October 23, 2021

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The Dish

A roar to the end of 2018


The impending demolition of the Kaleidoscope building displaced many a longtime lunch spot.

December went out with a roar, as usual in the food business. It seems there are tax benefits to opening a restaurant before a year’s end. This year, BAH Brazilian Steakhouse, Terra Grill, Teddy Maroon’s, the area’s first Wahlburgers, and Pad Thai Garden all opened before 2019 celebrated its beginning. BAH and Terra are the area’s first all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouses, with gauchos carving grilled meat tableside. Teddy Maroon’s is a Roosevelt and Dowling themed café and sports bar by the partners who brought us Bubba. Wahlburgers is a celebrity-backed burger joint in partnership with Hy-Vee to conquer the Midwest. Pad Thai Garden is a quick replacement for the popular Lemongrass.

Too late for 2018 but committed to the greater Des Moines area were Giordano’s and Steak & Shake. The former is a rather famous Chicago pizza chain, and the latter is a beloved, inexpensive Midwest burger chain.


The impending demolition of the Kaleidoscope building displaced many a longtime lunch spot. Panda Chinese Food, one of the first businesses to open in the Kaleidoscope food court, will re-open in Capital Square in the former Amigos Mexican Restaurant. Owners Jongin and Pyongtu Chang moved in November. Panda Chinese Food was an original food court presence, eight of them under the Changs… Michael and Anastasia Walsh, the original Panda owners downtown now own The Marketplace, a convenience store on the skywalk level. That place planned to re-open in Capital Square on the north side of the skywalk in the former offices of Two Rivers Hospitality Group… JJ Jasmine Thai Cuisine closed in the food court and planned to reopen elsewhere downtown by 2019… Pho’s Vietnamese Cuisine closed in the food court and began looking for a new downtown venue… Michelangelo’s Pizza and Pasta relocated to the Local Bites food court in the lower level of the Des Moines Partnership Building… Keith and Judy Sparks closed their Sally’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers, which had been in the food court for 21 years… Subway’s food court store closed but there will probably be more Subwa’s in Des Moines… Suk Hatfield closed AJ’s Popcorn, a popcorn and ice cream shop on the skywalk level, after 18 years. She will continue operating her Sook’s Korean Barbeque tent at the music festivals in Iowa… Spice Rack Indian, which just opened last year, closed… Both Gringo’s Mexican and Taste Spuds stores, each owned by the same couple, closed permanently… King’s Pretzels closed… Still operating at press time were the ground level Burger King, Palmer’s Deli and Bruegger’s Bagels on skywalk level.


Prep Iowa

Turmeric, salmon, eggs, dandelion greens and jícama were all touted for growth in 2019… Seafood for breakfast is a real thing… Greens like parsnips, Brussels sprouts and, regrettably, kale also were predicted to continue to grow… West African and Peruvian cuisines were also predicted to find new popularity. Locally, Panka Peruvian cuisine planned on a January opening on Ingersoll. Fabiola Carlin and Mariela Maya, both originally from Peru, will own the eatery in the former Pita Pocket… Timut pepper, from Nepal, was touted to be the next hot spice.


Meghan Markle, who made several food shows on TV before she met her royal husband, shook up the royal house of England. She and Prince Harry broke with tradition and went with a lemon elderflower cake at their wedding rather than the traditional fruit cake. If ever there was a tradition in need of change. Markle backed a cookbook that benefits a place started by victims of London’s Grenfell Tower Fire. She also volunteered at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving. ♦

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