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Des Moines questions

I got lots of ideas from the "Des Moines Update" thread, but some of the posts in that thread are quite old, so I'm wondering if Kelly's Little Nipper (for the sausage sandwich) is still a good choice.

We love "hole in the wall" places with delicious food, so if you have other suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Also, for a breakfast of coffee and good scones or pastries, are there other good places in addition to La Mie?

I'm not sure we'll be in the mood for steak, but just in case we are, is the 801 Steak and Chop House still a good bet? (I do realize that this does not fall into the "hole in the wall" category :0)

Thanks

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Kelly's Little Nipper
1701 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50316

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  1. The Little Nipper changed management and remodeled the interior recently, I haven't been there since.

    La Mie is exactly what everyone says it is.

    1. If you want a good steak, and would prefer to keep it under a 100.00 for two, Jesse's Embers is good. I've had the sirloin and the ribeye, and enjoyed them both.
      Here's a menu.
      http://www.theoriginaljessesembers.co...

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      Jesse's Embers
      3301 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312

      11 Replies
      1. re: Bobfrmia

        Thanks so much to both of you.

        So is the Little Nipper worth a visit? And can you recc. any "holes in the wall" with delicious food?

        Thanks.

        1. re: soccermom13

          I love hole in the wall restaurants. Fat Tuesday is a gem. It's really authentic. When they first opened, I struck up a conversation with a waitress. She told me she only worked there because she was from New Orleans and the food was spot on. La Mariana is my favorite for Mexican. The bierra and carnitas are my favorite. Cactus Bob's is my favorite bbq in town. I really like Uncle Wendells, but have gotten some really bad bbq from there too. A few sandwiches that I've gotten were nothing but the dried out burnt outsides of the smoked butts. I still go there. Across the street from Uncle Wendell's is a place with dim sum on Sundays. I went there with a girl from Hong Kong, and she thought it was so so, but I was impressed for the midwest. In Johnston, China Cafe will make you szechuan green beans and shrimp. It's not on the menu, but it's my favorite. Saraj is really good too. The bread they use for the sandwiches and gyros is amazing. I'm pretty sure it has about two sticks of butter in each loaf. But it's a good thing.

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          Saraj
          3811 Douglas Ave, Des Moines, IA 50310

          1. re: soccermom13

            ajb is right in mentioning Saraj - try the cevapi.

            I think the best pot stickers I've ever had are at Chopsticks in Johnston. They are seriously awesome (and large). I have tried a half dozen places in Chicago since I've moved and nothing has compared yet.

            Tacos Marianas is fantastic authentic Mexican street tacos, as does El Chisme in Valley Junction, although I'd order the pizza at El Chisme if I were to go there. Go to Tasty Tacos if you've never been and get an original flour taco - not Mexican, but more of a Navajo Fry Bread type of taco. So good that I have dreams about them.

            Sam & Gabe's does a good steak, but I prefer to sit in the bar and listen to live jazz on the weekends and eat the Italian Nachos.

            Fong's Pizza downtown Des Moines does some good pizza, including a crab rangoon pizza that I love. Wig & Pen in Ankeny is also a favorite of mine, serving a Flying Tomato pizza that I get every time.

            Cafe Fuzion on E 14th has awesome crab rangoon and pad thai.

            High Life Lounge has great retro bar food.

            The Q in West Des Moines has very good fried chicken.

            I've never been to Kelly's Little Nipper, but you can get tenderloins around Des Moines and its surrounding areas, including Cactus Bob's ajb mentioned. For an Italian Sausage sandwich just go wherever sells a Graziano's version.

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            Fong's Pizza
            Des Moines, IA, Des Moines, IA

            Kelly's Little Nipper
            1701 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50316

            High Life Lounge
            200 SW 2nd St, Des Moines, IA 50309

            Cafe Fuzion
            1240 E 14th St, Des Moines, IA 50316

            Saraj
            3811 Douglas Ave, Des Moines, IA 50310

            Tacos Mariana's
            1305 University Ave, Des Moines, IA 50314

            El Chisme
            2920 Merle Hay Rd, Des Moines, IA 50310

            1. re: soccermom13

              When will you be coming through?
              I'm curious about the new ownership of the Nipper. Maybe there's time for me to check it out.

              1. re: Bobfrmia

                Wow. What a great list of suggestions. Thank you so very much.

                The potstickers sound awesome as does the pizza at El Chisme. Actually, these all sound awesome..... Decisions, decisions....

                Now some questions:
                What is cevapi?
                What is retro bar food (at High Life)? Are the drinks there good too?

                We leave for DM early tomorrow am.

                Thanks again. YOU RULE!

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                El Chisme
                2920 Merle Hay Rd, Des Moines, IA 50310

                1. re: soccermom13

                  Cevapi are little beef sausages. They serve them on their homemade Bosnian "pita" (more like a ciabatta if you ask me) and a side of sour cream. They also do a killer gyro (it's big).

                  Chopsticks is a hole in the wall, with spotty service. Might be fun to just go in and get the potstickers as a snack or appetizer before heading somewhere else.

                  Retro bar food = meatloaf, tater tots, fried chicken, deviled eggs, sloppy joe, etc. They serve cheap bear, basically, but right next door (attached) at El Bait Shop (not a Mexican joint in really any way, although I do like their margaritas) is a beer selection of over 100 beers.

                  If you go to El Chisme, tell Jesus (chef/owner) that you're with the Greater Des Moines Pizza Tourney (http://gdmpizzatourney.posterous.com/ - you'll get 15% off) and order either the al pastor pizza or the carne asada pizza.

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                  El Chisme
                  2920 Merle Hay Rd, Des Moines, IA 50310

                  El Bait Shop
                  200 SW 2nd St, Des Moines, IA 50309

                  1. re: jhojati

                    I'll just add that High Life has bacon wrapped tater tots. Everything is better with bacon.
                    The chicken is Broasted.
                    You can take your beer from the Bait shop over to High Life. If you enjoy beer, it's a must. They keep the tap lines clean, and really know their stuff.
                    Here's a review of High Life.
                    http://desmoines.metromix.com/restaur...

                    1. re: Bobfrmia

                      I am so excited about eating in DM!!!

                      Two more questions---
                      Is Fat Tuesday out by the airport? I think it is, but just wanted to double check.
                      Any happy hour suggestions? I HATE beer, love wine, but lately I've been liking mixed drinks a whole lot.

                      My only concern is how we are going to "fit in" all the foods I want to try :0)

                      Thanks, DM hounds, for these terrific ideas.

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                      Fat Tuesday's
                      1121 University Ave, Dubuque, IA 52001

                      1. re: soccermom13

                        Just in case you do decide you're in the mood to spend a lot of money, I wouldn't go to 801. I'd try Baru 66. Not a steakhouse, but they do serve steak, and in my opinion it's the best restaurant in DSM, and would fit right in here in Chicago. It's really quite good.

                        1. re: soccermom13

                          Fat Tuesday's is a mile or so straight East of the airport, 6112 SW 9th.
                          Not going to be much help on happy hours, sorry.

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                          Fat Tuesday's
                          1121 University Ave, Dubuque, IA 52001

                          1. re: Bobfrmia

                            Thanks for all the terrific suggestions. We only had two meals in Des Moines, so we did not get to try as many places as I wanted to. We ate at Saraj and El Chisme.

                            We LOVED the salad at Saraj. I loved the meat in the gyros but I must be the only person in the universe who did not like the bread. I don't think the fat on it was butter or olive oil or any other delicious fat, and it just didn't seem very flavorful to me.

                            El Chisme was fabulous. Great margarita and we thought the Al Pastor Pizza was heavenly.

                            Thanks again for the tips.

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                            Great Plains Cafe
                            408 Willard Ave, Genoa, NE 68640

                            Saraj
                            3811 Douglas Ave, Des Moines, IA 50310

                            El Chisme
                            2920 Merle Hay Rd, Des Moines, IA 50310