Tag Archives: food

An Expanded Grilled Cheese Tour of Des Moines

It’s been two years since my first Grilled Cheese Tour of Des Moines, and I think it’s time I enhance my listing of cheesy finds in the 515.


Caribou Coffee (Ingersoll Ave) That’s right, The ‘Bou now has some lunch items, including a not-too-shabby array of grilled cheese sandwiches. I personally prefer the Three Cheese Classic.

Americana (Locust St) Easily my restaurant of choice now in Des Moines, Americana has a killer panini with cheddar, gruyere, and muenster that’s available for lunch and dinner. But if you happen to hit them up on a Saturday or Sunday for brunch, be prepared for the ultimate grilled cheese affair: their Bombshell Brunch includes a grilled cheese bar where YOU pick what accents your traditional grilled cheese. Things like bacon, veggies, more cheese, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

South Union Bread Co (Ingersoll Ave) Hot Cheese Melt pepperjack, Swiss, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and banana peppers on a mayo’d focaccia is one tasty treat (from one of the hottest sandwich spots downtown!).

The Cheese Shop of Des Moines (42nd St) Des Moines has gotten a lot cooler, since last we dined, with the addition of The Cheese Shop. Not only can you order a grilled cheese from the pros, you can come in and the friendly folks will help you pick the perfect cheese for your own masterpiece. The gift that keeps on giving, even when it’s not Grilled Cheese Month.

Louie’s Wine Dive (University) The menu changes on occasion, but they team up with The Cheese Shop for some killer GC noms. Like now: Fontina and cheddar on some of La Mie’s life-changing bread. And those non-purists are allowed to add  veggies, bacon or capicola.

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Well gang, after 10 hours in airports/planes today, I’ll be done with my traveling binge for the year. This final surge started in October with a quick trip to Omaha to see family, and it ends with a LAS-PHX-DSM return from vacation.

The trips have all been enlightening in their own ways. San Fran’s wine country experience left me feeling uncultured–I know next to nothing about wine. And Vegas is so full of attractive people and nightlife that it makes one feel very plain and uninteresting. After Lubbock I am confident in my choice to leave grad school, and every trip confirmed that that my friends and family are good shit.

In all these places I’ve gotten to do a crapton of awesome things: from shopping at Those Iowa Girls, to touring Anheuser-Busch and the Zephyr showroom, taking in the mountainous Red Rock Canyon area at sunset, hanging from trees at Wash U and walking down Las Vegas Blvd. I ate at Fuzzys Tacos, Empress of China, Capriotti’s and Le Thai – to name a few. I enjoyed Bud Light at the O Bar, a Hemingway Daiquiri or two at Herbs & Rye, multiple pumpkin chai at Daybreak, a Grey Goose + Sonic special a la Megan Hansen, a quickly-downed fruity and delicious somethingorother at Frankie’s Tiki Room, and a sip of a bad-behavior-inducing drink called the “Amen” made by a bartender named Jim.

Thanks to everyone who made it happen. I’d be lying if I said I wanted to go home right now, but at least I can happily and exhaustedly surrender myself to working through the holiday season and into the new year… where a fresh batch of vacation days awaits.

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Grossery Disappointment

A couple months ago when I started blogging, I wasn’t ready for the real world. In fact, I was a bit frantic and all kinds of unprepared. So how am I now?

Survey says: Not Ready.

Case in point: I went to the bank today and dropped off a hefty freelance check. I went to work, tanned, hung out at the library and did more work. Then as I turned on to Mills Civic Pkwy, I had to decide: Home or Groceries? An epic battle that I’m sure we all fight regularly. I’ve been out of town so much that the last month I’ve been buying minimally (read: 4-6 yogurts, one random item, a small prepackaged fruit dish and a small prepackaged macaroni salad) and living off what I previously purchased (all things frozen and microwaveable). I knew this week had to be the big spend. So I took a wide right onto MCP and sent myself to Walmart.

Still, not the problem. I’d vote me up in the responsibility category for getting off my ass and buying nourishment. The adult downfall was when I got to the store. No I didn’t buy snacks and sugary sweets (I’m not buying that shit unless I’m going to bake with MTK). What I did was grab a cart. What an AMATEUR move. Normally I go with the handy basket, but today I was toting my life in a large bag and I thought I’d treat myself to having a place to shove it while I shopped. Worst idea, ever. Your shoulders don’t hurt so you don’t mind moseying around the “Food Center.” (Good thing I was starving or I might have gone to get that Tilex and Liquid Plumber I needed, too. Lord knows what I would have left that building with.) Plus, your cart is so big you think you can just grab anything, whereas the basket keeps you quite contained. ::sigh:: I over-bought.

I did manage to fight off the urge to buy new cereal (which actually turned out to be a mistake. I have one bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats left) and fresh asparagus. Small victories in the big picture of my callow grocery grossness.

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