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Aug 14, 2011 09:56 AM

Des Moines Weekend

Hello Chowhounds,

My Husband , son and I are heading to Des Moines . I have seen that it will be restaurant week. I have also checked out Urbanspoon, many mixed reviews there. So my question for you is:

Where are the do not miss places to dine? Do we hit up the Restaurant Week scene or skip it?

We are staying Downtown, coming in Friday, leaving Sunday. Saturday we are headed to Adventureland so that leaves us with 2 dinners and possibly 1 or 2 more meals or snacks. It stinks because there looks like a lot of yummy places to go.


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  1. I'm not that much of a help, being new here and having eaten the majority of my meals away from home at the downtown farmer's market (which, if you can go it's a great place to eat and I recommend the chocolate brioche at La Mie bakery's stand, the Indian lady's spicy chana potato thing, and the breakfast pizza at Something Italian). But I can say that there is a fabulous ice cream place very close to Adventureland called Over The Top. 4 miles south on 56th st. They make their ice cream fresh daily and their signature is a tiny "over the top" scoop of whatever additional flavor you'd like to try. Fantastic ice cream, big scoops, great service, decent prices.

    Over The Top Ice Cream
    955 NE 56th St, Pleasant Hill, IA 50327

    1. I don't know if there is a 'can't miss' Des Moines icon, but there are lots of fantastic places participating in Restaurant Week. If you're staying downtown, I recommend Cafe di Scala, Alba, or Django for Saturday night dinner. Americana does a fun brunch and if you ask for a table by the window you can enjoy the view of the sculpture garden in the Western Gateway area. For happy hour or a mid-afternoon snack mojotos and guagamole can be enjoyed al fresco at Dos Rios. Proof is also highly recommended, but I'm not sure they do weekend dinner.

      The places I always take friends that are visiting from out-of-town are La Mie for Saturday brunch, Snookies for a malt or shake, the downtown farmers' market for pupusas or Saloo's vegetables cutlet, The Waveland Cafe for the best hashbrowns in the galaxy (this is the breakfast joint I visit when I've had too much fun the night before), 801 Chophouse for the Troon martini, Star Bar for the edemame, Sam & Gabe's out west for the italian nachos, Gusto for pizza near downtown.

      Django Restaurant
      210 10th Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

      1. I agree w/ "beaverdale", but...
        On a lower budget than those already mentioned;
        Italian: Latin King Hubbel & University, Gino's 6th AV, Chuck's 6th AV & Euclid.
        BBQ: Jethro's Drake Univ area on Forest, Jethro & Jake's across the street north of Adventureland, Claxon's in Altoona SW of A-land, Flying Mango in Beaverdale (brisket!), Hickory Park in Ames.
        Seafood: Splash downtown ($$$$), Waterfront (Clive & Ankeny),
        Funky pizza: Fong's downtown, El Chisme WDM
        Pizza: Chuck's, Orlando's, The Tavern, Big Tomato (thin), Felix & Oscar's (thick & thicker)
        Enjoy your weekend!

        Flying Mango
        4345 Hickman Rd, Des Moines, IA 50310

        Latin King Restaurant
        2200 Hubbell Ave, Des Moines, IA 50317

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

        Felix & Oscar's
        4801 Westown Pkwy, West Des Moines, IA 50266

        Hickory Park Restaurant
        1404 S Duff Ave, Ames, IA 50010

        1 Reply
        1. re: hamboney

          I never got the thing with Hickory Park, always seemed like a trough to me. That be said... my parents did love the place. I went to BARU 66 a couple of weeks ago in Des Moines. Can't say I've enjoyed a meal more as of late.

          Hickory Park Restaurant
          1404 S Duff Ave, Ames, IA 50010

        2. Well Thanks all but our trip was a week ago. I did , however on my own research , find and here good things about Fong's Pizza. And we weren't disappointed. That place ROCKS! We seat at the bar, got a brew, and ordered to go. The wait for a table was an hour and a half plus... But delish!

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