Bad times for pigs, good times for Farm Bureau4/3/2019
Travel industry trade magazine predicts visitors will spend $8.5 billion this summer in Iowa.
A new “ag gag” bill was signed into Iowa law making it a crime for journalists and advocacy groups to go undercover at meatpacking plants and other ag operations to investigate working conditions, animal welfare, food safety and other concerns. This led animal rights groups to call for a boycott of the state. Lawmakers said the bill was needed to help protect pig, cattle and other livestock operations from “biosecurity threats.” It had widespread agricultural support from the Iowa Corn Growers Association and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.
“Laws like this help further the security and safety of our farmers,” said Gov. Reynolds. She didn’t mention consumers or animals. Mercy for Animals suggested a boycott of Iowa similar to that of North Carolina after their governor signed a bill restricting the bathrooms transgender people could use. The law was repealed and replaced in 2017.
THE GOOD NEWS
A travel industry trade magazine predicted that visitors will spend $8.5 billion this summer in Iowa with Okoboji area visitors spending about $1 million a day over June, July and August… The Health House opened in Johnston in the former Okoboji Grill… IHOP, no longer IHOb, opened a large store on what is no longer Alice’s Road in Waukee… Harbinger launched a new Asian noodle bar and Sunday brunch menu. The restaurant serves a variety of Asian noodle dishes and bowls at the bar, which has its own menu. Potato and kimchi waffles, Chè tapioca pudding with fermented aronia berry syrup, coconut-almond granola and pandan-infused coconut milk, grain bowls and steamed buns star… Court 7 Munchery opened in West Des Moines with Chester’s Waffle Sliders… Al Punto opened in the former Saison venue in Windsor Heights with Argentine grilled meats and fish. Argentine grills are angled so that drippings perfume the restaurant. This is central Iowa’s first Argentine restaurant in more than 10 years. It differs from a Brazilian steakhouse in that meats are served on plates, not carved by gauchos tableside. Basque partner Marc Navailles is a seasoned restaurateur with experience on four continents… Scenic Route Bakery will open its second location, this one at the Des Moines Social Club at 900 Mulberry St. in Des Moines. It is expected to open in early May… Website Big 7 Travel recently revealed its list of 50 Best Places for Pizza in America. Zipp’s in Adair was recognized as the best place in Iowa. Roadtrip… Wasabi group of sushi restaurants announced plans to open its fifth location, this one on Ankeny’s Prairie Trail. Wasabi Asian Grill and Lounge will be located on Main Street in The District… Elixir opened in Escape Chambers with axe throwing, BBQ, tacos and gimmicks… Five19 Restaurant and Bar opened on Birchwood Court in Johnston for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, serving comfort classics, wings, salads, burgers, sandwiches, entrees and desserts… La Cabaña Mexican Bar and Grill opened on Army Post Road… Main Street Cafe and Bakery of Ankeny expanded to the skywalk level at 801 Grand… Lzaza Food and Snacks opened a convenience store with Pakistani lunch buffet on Sixth Avenue downtown… Aldi, a German grocery chain known for its discounted prices, opened a 14,000-square-foot Ankeny location.
THE BAD NEWS
RIP to Ralph Compiano, a dear soul who owned multiple restaurants in Des
Moines named Compiano’s.
The New York Times has predicted several new food trends this year. The most interesting is “Peganism,” which it described as a cross of Paleo and vegan. The venerable newspaper said it would be a good year for mushrooms, for recipes for foil pack foods, for Pacific rim flavors and Middle Eastern spices. If you are wondering what the next kale is, the paper is calling celtuce just that. Sea-grown vegetables, salad-making robots, Spotify playlists in restaurants, and cheese tea are all predicted to take off this year. Sour flavors, Georgian (former USSR) cuisine, and UberEats can expect good years, according to the Times. ♦