New Afghan joint in Des Moines
Anyone in the Des Moines area try the new Afghani place in Beaverdale yet? It's where India Star used to be, next to Cooney's. Hoping it's good.
I went there for lunch today. I don't have time for an in-depth review but I did enjoy the visit. It appears that they only offer a buffet for lunch and have a menu for dinner. I'm not familiar with the cuisine but it was very similar to Indian. If I get a chance I'll write more later.
Haven't been, but yesterday's paper says they will serve traditional Afgan foods, lamb, shrimp, chicken kebabs, curry etc.
No alcohol for now.
My most recent find is the Bosnian Grill on Merle Hay and Urbandale. They make a Gyro on grilled Bosnian bread that is full of nicely spiced meat and big enough for 2 meals. $4.99 it's one of Des Moines best sandwich deals. I'm looking forward to trying some of the other things on the menu.
The place is on Beaver Avenue just south of Douglas on the west side of the road. Very small so you might miss it easily. It's called Aryana. bobfrmia might have a different opinion but I am also a fan of El Aguila Real for good, inexpensive and fast Mexican in a nice decor. We have a pretty good restaurant scene in Des Moines, I think. At least it's improved greatly from the time I moved here 16 years ago.
Star Bar on Ingersoll is good. I just at at the other Tapa bar in town last week. It's called the Continental and it's in the East Village, which is just east of downtown and in the western shadows of the State Capitol. Lucca's is also very good. Continental seemed a little pricey to me (plates were between $5 and $10 and not all that generous of servings.) Mondo's seems to be the place everyone goes to these days downtown. I like it but don't love it. If you are on an expense account you might try 801 Steak and Chop. I love the Steak Del Monico; it's always perfectly prepared. The service is good there. Everything is ala carte and so it is VERY expensive. There's a newish Tapas place in the suburbs that gets great reviews but I am NOT a suburb type of person so I've never been. Waveland on University has pretty good breakfast. I also like Michaels on Beaver for biscuits and gravy. I also think they have the second best tenderloin in Des Moines.
My web site (www.essentialiowa.com) has a little bit about the food scene in Iowa. E-mail if you have morequestons. Sorry if I told you more than you want to know. Looking forward to Bob's response since I think he knows a lot more about Des Moines food than me. Wish I could get him to write for my website.
Michael's has the 2nd best tenderloin in Des Moines?
Who tops your list?
El Aguila Real is ok. Haven't been for a few years. I prefer El Rodeo's Chile Colorado. Can't seem to get away from it when looking for Mexican. There is a mexican grocery strore on E. 14th a couple blocks south of Euclid. When the weather is warmer they set up a tent outside and cook pork to either buy by the pound, or they'll make you tacos. A buck each, and the meat is fantastic. Try it this Spring.
My knowledge of the Des Moines food scene is not nearly as extensive as you may think. There has been so little participation from Des Moines, that I get asked a lot of questions. I try my best to answer them, but I rely on friends I trust for a lot of info. Truth be told, I don't eat out that often, mainly because I love to cook. When I do go out, I'm more of a bar and grill guy. Given the choice between Tapas at the Continental, or a Tenderloin from Michaels, it'll be the tenderloin 9 out of 10 times.
I avoid chains at all cost, although I got a gift card for Biaggi's so I'll try it out.
One of my favorite meals is an F&O's combo and onion rings from Felix and Oscars. Don't care much for the pizza, but the sandwich is one of the best in Des Moines, imo.
Best sandwich deal in Des Moines? Gotta be the Sausage sandwich from Kelly's Little Nipper on e.17th And Grand. A true dive bar they put a full 1 lb slab of Grazianos Italian sausage on a 1/2 loaf of Rotellas bread, smother it in cheese, sauce, and hot peppers, for about $5.50. That's the kind of find that makes me happy.
My son just had dinner at Chefs Corner Kitchen on Beaver and Franklin. Said he had a fantastic Steak De Burgo. I trust his taste, after all, he likes my cooking.
I haven't found the best tenderloin,yet. But I know it's out there. I think the Library is awfully good, especially the wings and the tenderloins (both breaded and w/o). I am also a big Chef's fan. I love the hash browns and the smoked prime rib, a trick I stick haven't figured out.
We went there for lunch today and thought the buffet was quite good. There's not a great variety of offerings, but the food is fresh and it has good flavor. We wanted a little more spiciness, but we're familiar enough with Afghan cuisine to know what role, if any, chilis play in it. We'll likely go back for dinner soon.
Intriguing. It's not my first time through Des Moines--I live about a hundred miles away and have to go there for meetings and other things from time to time--but that sounds worth trying. Don't know that I've ever thought about Afghan food, much less in the middle of Iowa.
I found it! I had to stop in Des Moines on my way home from a meeting in Newton, and after a trip to Dahl's for some groceries I can't get at home, I headed on up Beaver and found the place.
I was pleased with the food, although for the most part I had no idea what I was eating or just how it was supposed to be eaten. They had some chicken (I knew what to do with that), some okra in a spicy broth, a stew featuring chickpeas, kidney beans, green limas, and some other beans & grains I couldn't necessarily identify, and then these things that were like pierogies, with cheese and herbs inside, smothered in a sauce that included yellow split peas, spices, more herbs, and I think some yogurt. Then there was a sweet lumpy stuff that I assume was like rice pudding--although I didn't really know for sure when I first picked it up, and tried a little of it as a topping on some raw cabbage before deciding that wasn't probably what was intended.
Cardamom seems to be a very important spice at this place. There was lots of it in just about everything, including the cup of hot tea I had.
I liked it. Seemed to be just these two fairly young guys running it, and one or two other people in the kitchen. Hope they can make a go of it.
Dang. I live one block from there and still haven't made it. (But threw together some crab cakes for dinner so that was a nice alternative. I am going for lunch tomorrow and will share my opinion. That spot was the launch pad for a good Indian joint that moved six blocks away. It's nice to see our ethnic choices broaden some. I like the pho places, the Thai places, etc., but with such a large population of Sudanese here I would think that we could support more African restaurants. (The new one in the Drake Neighborhood is spotty, but very good when they are on.) I miss the old Korean joint downtown. Cheap, fairly good food. We do need to support these places.