The great city of Des Moines has some odd things but make it truly unique. Being odd is good – literally. Some of the best pizza comes from an old Chinese restaurant, there are some questionable names but that doesn’t deteriorate the delicious flavors that come from their kitchen. There’s even a drink in town that causes anxiety just to find it. Those things, though, make Des Moines a treat to us locals and the people who visit from out-of-town. Occasionally you have to do some explaining. Here are 7 things you have to explain to out-of-towners about Des Moines’ food scene.
I’m Craving A Dong Right Now!
Now, let’s be real. You didn’t think of a Vietnamese restaurant the first time you heard that name/saying. In fact, A Dong is one of Des Moines’ most favorite places to grab a great Vietnamese meal.
We are floored and honored to be once again recognized as Des Moines’s Best Vietnamese Restaurant by @dmcityview pic.twitter.com/aZOWW2a2Yc
— A Dong (@ADongDM) February 25, 2015
Their menu has over 140 entrees to try.
Vietnamese, yes please. #adongdesmoines #breakinthemidwest A photo posted by dusti_k (@dusti_k) on
One of my favorite lines on a Yelp review states, “You’d be a dong to not like A Dong.” Try their #107. It’s Stir-fried marinated beef cubes topped with a dash of vinaigrette
Yes there is a Tacopocolypse going on in Des Moines – daily. Help!
Bulgogi burrito at Tacopacolypse! #tacopacolypse #desmoines #iowa A photo posted by Melissa Kotter (@melissarehon) on
Tacopocalypse is home of craft tacos, burritos and a killer brunch. You won’t have to do much explaining after you leave with an attack of flavor and fullness.
It’s also one hipster place in Des Moines that is worth visiting.
Just if a Tacopocalypse wasn’t enough, how about a zombie attack? Okay, not really brains but some of the best beef and bun combos you’ll ever eat. It’s one hipster joint that has some crazy burgers but well worth the average 45 minute wait.
They do have a quick counter but why not enjoy the atmosphere of zombie murals, scary movies and a great bar.
In case you were wondering what’s currently on tap… here you go! pic.twitter.com/LSxrDsRIX5 — Zombie Burger (@ZombieBurgerDM) April 7, 2015
Do you say the D or is the D silent?
If you’re new to town or a local that hasn’t heard of this restaurant you’ll hear a variety of ways to say this french restaurants name. If you want to know, it’s simply Jango. The D is silent. 😉 Django features classic French dishes and no corkage fees, ever!
Crab Rangoon Pizza
One of the most glorious pizza’s you’ll ever eat. Everyone enjoys a crab rangoon with their Chinese meal but everyone really enjoys a good pizza. That’s what you can find at Fong’s Pizza. Most people have never heard of this pizza combo but when you take your out-of-towner here they’ll completely understand what the hype is all about.
TG PseudoSue is at Hy-Vee
Toppling Goliath is one brewery that is part of the “Great Beer Hunt.” Let the Des Moines Brewster explain:
Admit it, craft beer junkie: we’ve all been there. Religiously stalking twitter feeds, scheduling your work breaks accordingly, driving to the store with heightened anticipation…Toppling Goliath is delivering liquid-hop gold today, and you want in on the take.
While their website lists 2009 as the official opening, I’m still unsure of when exactly the madness began. Maybe it was back in 2013 when they installed their bottling line and began their limited distribution. Maybe it was the constant presence of beers like PseudoSue on the Beer Advocate Top 250, or being named as one of the best breweries in the world by RateBeer the following year. Yet maybe it was just Iowans across the state started realizing that such a hot commodity existed right here in our own backyard.
Regardless of when, it’s now a mad-rush to get in on the action and score some of the good stuff for yourself. Sometimes, even with all the proper planning, you strike out…beaten to the punch…find nothing left but rows Dorothy’s Lager, or worse: empty shelves. But occasionally (and even more so now with increased production) you get lucky and are rewarded with that which you seek.
Do You Want #HyChi?
Since when did this become a thing? I used to be a hater for Hy-Chi but now I think it’s really good. They definitely improved their orange chicken recipe. All it is, is simply Hy-Vee Chinese, but short. There is a whole hashtag that was started by fans of it (#HyChi) and then Hy-Vee jumped in on it and now it’s the grocery store’s trend.
There are numerous of other things that make Des Moines’ food and drink scene unique. What are some others that you really enjoy that you have to explain to your friends that don’t live in Des Moines? Leave a comment below!
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