Foodie 515, 4/29/2024: Des Moines Food News

Des Moines Foodie 515 4-29-2024

What’s your preferred grocery store, Des Moines? Let’s compare in the comments!

Disclaimer: Any affiliate links below help support this blog! Please remember to subscribe to G3 as well!

Neato Stuff for Des Moines

Spring Fiction Book Trade, Saturday, May 11th, 1-4 p.m., Franklin Library Meeting Room in Des Moines
Books, no-pressure activities, and community!

Openings, Closings, and Such

Non-alcoholic mojito in a glass from the now closed Pots and Shots in West Des Moines
Nojito from Pots and Shots

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Bits and Bobs

  • Trailside Tap has a new chef AND is expanding. I’ve not yet been, so I’m curious what others think of it.
  • The Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival is next weekend.
  • I’m relatively new to stock investing, but I’m happy with how Dave and Buster’s is doing! Has anyone been to the one at Jordan Creek yet?
    • I invest through Wealthfront, and it’s not a complete investment tool, but it’s super easy for beginners.
    • I wonder how long the Dave and Buster’s boom will last. As soon as it settles down, I’m selling my stocks.
    • By the way, my Wealthfront affiliate link is for an interest rate boost on high-yield savings accounts through Wealthfront. It’s VERY worth it! More money, more eats!
  • Sometimes, I feel like saying, “Quit trying to make 515 Day a thing,” but meh. If it means celebrating local food, I’m for it.
  • If you’ve not yet tried G.G.’s Chicken and Waffles, you are absolutely missing out. It doesn’t hurt that G.G. is super nice!
  • Hey! Guess what? The Drake Relays are going on right now, and it’s pouring outside!

WTF, Des Moines?

  • The gentrification of Highland Park continues.
    • I’m of two minds on this:
      • Of course, so many of the shop owners in Highland Park are wonderful people, and I do love some of what’s being offered there.
      • It feels like white women are descending en masse there, and it bothers me. I don’t even live over there. Many folks heading there have good intentions, but there’s a disconnect between what they think they’re achieving and what they’re actually doing.
  • On our way back from our recent travels, Hubster and I stopped in Pella to see the tulips. As it isn’t formally Tulip Time, we thought the crowds would be lighter. We were hilariously wrong. And folks were not in good moods.
    • The line at Jaarsma was at least 40 people deep. It was 2 p.m. on a Wednesday, y’all. This is why I prefer the Jaarsma in Oskaloosa. It’s not as quaint, but I’m there for baked goods, not the tchotchkes. (What’s the Dutch word for “tchotchkes?”)
    • After an uncomfortable exchange with a host at a different eatery, we had a late lunch at #DutchFix. I’ve been wanting to try DutchFix for ages, and I’m so glad we did! The poffertjes are as delightful as expected.
      • I can’t wait to go back when it’s less busy. Hopefully, I won’t need my Loops again because holy screaming children, Batman.
      • Regarding that uncomfortable exchange, Brown and Black folks know when our business isn’t wanted. Here’s what I want that eatery to know:
        • When I walk up to the host’s stand, make eye contact with you, smile at you, and you make eye contact but don’t say a word or smile back . . . then you say hello when my white husband walks up, I know what’s going on. I’ve dealt with it many times before.
        • I’m glad y’all were on an hour wait because I was more than happy to eat elsewhere after that gross vibe.
        • I’m disappointed because your ownership is much better than that, and I had looked forward to eating there.
  • Please keep saying say no to this, DMPS.
    • When I start The Mind and The Meatsack, I’ll devote an episode to the negative mental health impact of guns in schools. Because I got thoughts, y’all.
Cinnamon rolls and other prepackaged baked goods on the shelf at Jaarsma Bakery in Pella, Iowa
Massively long lines at Jaarsma are good for my bank account.

About Gems, Guides, and Goodies (G3)

G3 officially launches on the first, and maybe you’re like . . . OK, but what is it?

  • Gems: Every month, I’ll share a local eatery and discuss what does and doesn’t make it a gem.
    • Coming on May 1st: Why Mayalu Coffee Is a Total Gem!
  • Guides: In addition to handy guides for weirdly specific dining requirements and requests, I’ll highlight restaurants owned by historically excluded social groups in the Des Moines metro.
    • In May, you’ll see my local drive-thrus list, but in June, you’ll see the guide to LGBTQ+-owned food businesses!
  • Goodies is in the spirit of the Coolest Thing Made in Iowa, but for food.
    • If you’re wandering in a grocery store and see Big Daddy’s Barbecue Sauce, and you’re like, “Wait. That Big Daddy’s?” I’ll be all, “Yup!”
    • Later in May, I’ll share my favorite lazy eats: olive oil and soft Italian bread from two local businesses!

It’s only five bucks a month for all of that, which is a damn good deal! You can also save some cash by subscribing annually for $50.

And if this isn’t the best time for you to subscribe, no worries! These weekly updates will remain free! However, only paid subscribers will have this early access. Everyone else gets the news on Mondays. So, it’s worth the price, Des Moines!

Subscribe now

Life in General

  • You’ll notice this edition was much longer than usual, and that’s the goal from here on out! If you prefer shorter versions, do share that feedback with me.
  • I’ve made it a personal goal to be free of social media by January 1st, 2025. Or at least the day after I launch the podcast.
  • I’m raiding the clearance section at Reading in Public for Independent Bookstore Day. It’s mine. Go away.
  • Hubster and I stayed at our beloved Marriott Marquis in Chicago last weekend. I’ll leave you with a visual reason why I adore this hotel.
A view of the Chicago skyline from the southside
The view from the Marriott Marquis Chicago

Until next week!

Love, chai, and donuts, Seeta Lee

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