Sully’s on Grand

1423859072590Have you checked out Sully’s Irish Pub’s revamped website lately?!  They’ve been doing a great job appealing to all ages and making the Pub welcoming and fun for everyone.  You may have remembered when we first introduced Sully’s on Grand in West Des Moines as sponsors and fantastic supported of EPLDSM.  You can check out that post here.

1422454987247They’ve made the Pub super biker-friendly and have been hosting bike-ride events!  They had one this winter and keep an eye out for many more this summer I’m sure!   They’ve been offering fun Happy Hour specials and bringing in the most in demand beers and spirits!

sully's-120x36-list+of+eventsThe Pub and website look great and they have tons of fun events planned!  Of course their most popular event is coming up soon and that’s their annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration.  But they aren’t just celebrating it one day this year, they are having a “Practice Day” on February 14th, an Irish Pub Sing along on February 18th, a whole two weeks worth of St. Patrick’s Day “warm-up” specials and more!

14224552363771423779542894And  don’t forget about the 32nd Annual Friendly Sons of St. patrick 5k & 10k Run/Walk on March 29th!

Check out their events calendar for more details about all of these fun events at and just stop in to say hi to two of the most friendly Pub owners in town, Amy and Bill!



Bar Louie

get-attachment-57.aspxget-attachment-46.aspxThere’s a new kid in town and I have a feeling this is going to be a popular friend in Jordan Creek Town Center.

I know that these are popular all over the country, but since it’s new to Des Moines I thought I’d share.  Plus, it’s always great to have another place open on Sunday nights!  We needed a late night snack at 10:30pm on Sunday and just couldn’t find many places open, but Bar Louie, which celebrated its grand opening this week, (and offered $2 martinis and free appetizers to each guest this weekend) is open until 2am everyday.  A big plus.

get-attachment-55.aspxget-attachment-54.aspxSince they were offering this incredible deal, we were able to sample, and I mean, stuff ourselves with (because these portions were huge) a lot of the menu and taste 8 out of 10 of the martinis!  You really can’t go wrong with any of the martinis.  They use freshly squeezed juices and they are just awesome.

This isn’t typical bar food.  The salmon sliders were thick cuts of juicy salmon and the wings weren’t the least bit dry. The Schezwan sauce was particularly tasty.  Fresh salsa, guacamole and cheese sauce were tasty on huge servings of nachos and $5 specialty burger night lures in visitors on Tuesday nights.

get-attachment-52.aspxget-attachment-51.aspxThey provide a totally fun atmosphere with dark wood tables surrounding the enormous bar.  Outdoor space is generous and comfortable outdoor furniture make this a great place to relax with friends and enjoy food that is a notch above your typical bar cuisine.

Check it out for a great cocktail, a meal fit for sharing and fun place to hang out.


get-attachment-56.aspxget-attachment-48.aspxOh, and we brought our son with us too on our return visit in the afternoon and he was mighty impressed with his giant chocolate milk and the cheese quesadilla.

Exile Brewing Co.

get-attachment-8.aspx get-attachment-9.aspxI like Exile Brewing Co. more and more every time I visit.  My first visit was for a Dishcrawl event a while back and I fell in love with the “float ur boat” cocktail. Basically an alcoholic root beer float.  I seriously have dreams about it.  You can read more about that event here.


Obviously their main attraction is the hand crafted beer, but the restaurant is equally as good.  I’d been itching to come

get-attachment-11.aspxback for lunch and last week we got the chance!  They are located downtown at the corner of 15th and Walnut and have ample parking in a lot on the side of the building.  They have an awesome selection of salads (including a meatball topped salad), sandwiches, appetizers and other items to compliment their popular beer selection for lunch and an even larger menu for dinner including impressive dishes like braised local pork shank and a blue cheese filet.

They were busy for lunch, but they have a large


restaurant and the service was very good and very prompt.  The hubby and I both ordered sandwiches.  He got the lamb sliders which he really enjoyed on our last visit and I had the chicken sandwich, though far from an ordinary chicken sandwich with avocado, bacon and a garlic-y mayo.  Both sandwiches were highlighted by the tasty exile fries which add herbs, parmesan, truffle oil and truffled aioli to their fries.  Yum.

My next venture to Exile will be for their weekend breakfast!  They offer items like biscuits and gravy, pork belly hash (yum), french toast and steak and cheese breakfast burritos on weekends from 11-2 on Saturdays and 11-4 on Sundays. Man, any of those sound great with a tall glass of Betty! ps. their beers are named after girls…Betty, Ruthie, Hannah, Gi Gi…..


Cocktail Wars Des Moines

I hope you made it out to Cocktail Wars, hosted by Dishcrawl Des Moines at Iowa Distilling Company in Cumming on Tuesday!

What a fun event!  Four local Mixologists whipped up some yummy cocktails using Iowa Distilling Company’s Iowa Shine Whiskey, Steel Drum Rum and Prairie fire Whiskey.  So fun!

There were two ticket options, The VIP which included early admission as well as a behind the scenes tour and goodie bag and General Admission.  Both were under $40 (with $10 coupon floating around) and both included 4 nice sized servings of the 4 cocktails.

Mixologists included Nick Eldrige form Americana, Dave Murrin-Von Ebers from Hessen Haus, Angel Cotten from Cattoors on Grand and Hailey Workman from the Lime Lounge.

Party-goers had the same idea as me when it came to judging!  I thought Angel Cotten’s Burnin’ Pink Lady was the most creative, Dave Murrin-Von Eber’s Bumpin’ Granny was the tastiest and the all-around favorite was the Hot Toby.

Emcee Ben Gran provided some comedy, Rogue Sweet provided some kick-butt cupcakes made with the Iowa Distilling Co.’s whiskey and other local vendors provided snacks, candles, jam and even jewelery for the gift bags.  Great event Dischcrawl Des Moines!

To the left are the recipes for the 4 cocktails sampled at the event!  Pick up some Iowa Shine or Prairie Fire at your local grocery store, or stop into The Iowa Distilling Company for some samples and a free tour!  The totally nice owners would love to show you around!

Then you can try some of these recipes out at home!  Read more info about The Iowa Distilling Company here.


Iowa Distilling Co.

If you saw the photo on Facebook of me sampling some whisky and rum on Friday, you know, my average day at work…You might have been wondering just what I was up to.  Well, even if you weren’t, I’m about to tell you all about it anyway!

I was just taking a tour and meeting the awesome guys at Iowa Distilling Company.  Of course sampling the goods was necessary as well.

The guys have a great story about starting out distilling in one of their garages (with proper license of course) before eventually ending up in their current location, a 100-year old building in Cumming, Iowa, They opened here about a year and a half ago.  It’s conveniently located right across the street

from The Cumming Tap.

The guys have come up with some stellar concoctions including all local grains.  They have Caribbean molasses shipped in from Barbados for their rum, but they use local ingredients wherever possible.

We got to sample the Iowa Shine, which is a 100% local corn

whisky that is smooth and exciting for those who don’t do wheat gluten.  We also tested the Steel Drum rum, which was lovely and their very popular Prairie Fire whiskey (my personal favorite) which is cinnamon-y and spicy and fantastic in warm apple cider.  You can find their products at most local stores who carry liquor as well as a lot of bars and restaurants around Iowa.


They do tastings and tours on Saturday afternoons and Tuesday evenings, which is totally convenient since Tacopocalypse serves up tacos on Tuesday nights just across the way at the Cumming tap (who also carried their product).  They also do tasting by appointment since they guys have flexible day jobs that allows lots of days spent at the Distillery working remotely.  Tastings are free and Todd, Tom and Phil and truly nice guys who are excited to show you around, so you the process and share their knowledge and local product.

I’m also excited to announce that they are teaming up with Dischcrawl Des Moines to bring you “Cocktail Wars” on December 10th.  5 local bartenders will come up with a cocktail using an Iowa Distilling Co. rum or whiskey and participants get to vote on their favorite to crown the winner.  Read more about Cocktail Wars and get tickets here.

Take a a short ride to Cumming and check out this awesome operation.  Support local!

Fong’s Pizzeria

If you’ve been to Des Moines, you’ve probably heard of Fong’s Pizzeria.  It’s an Asian restaurant turned pizza joint.  Well, I guess I can’t really say “turned” since the menu, including the pizza, is mostly Asian inspired as is the decor of the restaurant still.
With pizzas like Thai Chicken, Fongolian, Beef, Happy Family and even Crab Rangoon (which is wildly popular), you’ll think you are ordering off a Chinese food menu, but what you get is truly unique. You can also get most pizza’s gluten-free by the way!

On my latest visit, I tried the Kung Pao Chicken.  It was really very tasty.  Not overly spicy, but it definitely had a kick.  Picture a plate of Kung Pao Chicken in a zippy sauce with veggies, but on a pizza crust instead of served over rice.  My dining partner had the veggie taco pizza and was also pleased.
Even though it was 11am, it’s hard to resist Fong’s tiki drinks, so we didn’t!  My friend ordered her go-to drink, the Mai Tai and I chose

the Bahama Mama.  Really, I ordered it just because of the cup it is
served it in.  —->
The menu has an array of salads, sandwiches, appetizers, pizzas and even desserts.  The bar is well stocked and the atmosphere is fun.  They are also one of the only places to get some late night slices in the Court Ave area downtown.  They are open til 2am most days!
They offer lunch and happy hour specials as well and you get a good bang for your buck here.  The restaurant is quite family

friendly for lunch and dinner and turns more into a bar in the late hours.  They of course have more traditional pizza and sandwiches if you aren’t feeling so daring, but check it out and try something new!  You might be pleasantly surprised at how good crab rangoon on your pizza is!

Up-Down Vintage Arcade-bar

The newest addition to the ever-growing East Village area in downtown Des Moines, Up-Down, is best described as a playground for adults.  It’s located at 500 E. Locust St.

You must be 21+ to enter this “Barcade” that boasts just about every video game from your youth that you can think of like Mortal Combat, PacMan and The Simpsons.

Life-sized Jenga games and Connect-four can keep you busy for hours as you enjoy the wide craft beer selection as well as retro-inspired drinks like “Princess Punch” and “Super Mario-garitas”.

Play some Skee-ball or see how your pin-ball machine skills are holding up.  I have faith that I was much better at Street Fighter when I was 15 than I am now.  But it’s looks like I’ll get to practice a lot more now that Up-down is open.

Games are all a quarter except for a corner where a Super-Nintendo has a spot in a complete

living room set-up with coffee-table and all, where you can choose your game and play your heart out for free.  Jenga and Connect four are also free.

Drink prices are reasonable and that’s a total plus since I can see a lot of young professionals spending many evenings getting reacquainted with the games of their childhood here.

The “Barcade” will be open 5pm to 2am every day starting Friday, October 11th.  On the 11th they’ll

hold a grand opening where the first 50 customers will get 10 free tokens each to play.

Check out Up-down for your next date-night, girls night out, or send the guys out for an evening of bonding.  You’re sure to have some fun and most likely take a trip down memory lane.


The Standard Martini Bar

Our first visit to The Standard Martini Bar last year was good, but despite an impressive martini and cocktail menu it was not particularly stand-out-ish, so we didn’t find ourselves there quite often.

That will change after out latest visit.  I purchased a groupon because I knew we’d be over that way for a performance at the Civic Center.

We were pretty hungry so we ordered a few meals to share and they were all excellent.  My favorite was the vodka chicken and pasta.  The chicken with alfredo risotto was delicious and the Cajun shrimp were also very tasty.

To drink, I had a Crango Mule Cocktail and it was awesome.  The hubby just liked the name of the Honey Badger Martini and had one of those, along with a chocolate martini and a Strawberry Jammer and had no complaints with any of them.

We really enjoyed the Parmesan fries as well.

They have live music often and have tapas on special during happy hour.

The Standard is a fun place for a date-night or a night out with friends.  The food is was very good and the drinks are great.
Our waitress was outstanding and very friendly giving us drink and food recommendations.

We’ll definitely be back, especially since it’s in such a convenient spot.  You can park in the adjacent lot before a show at the Civic Center and walk to both spots easily.  Great place for dinner or tapas and drinks.


Our first restaurant week visit was to Centro.  (More about restaurant week in DSM here.)  While we all know and love Centro, I think restaurant week gives you a great opportunity to sample some dishes that the Chef wants to showcase.  It’s also just a good reason to go out and enjoy some local restaurants.  Especially restaurants like Centro that use lots of locally-grown, seasonal ingredients.
I started out with a white sangria which was perfect on a warm summer evening.  Our super-friendly waitress added that it was one her favorite drinks they served.
I knew I was going to try the restaurant week menu, but my hubby decided on the chicken and prosciutto pasta.
I really liked the menu they offered for restaurant week.  You can view it to your right.  But it included herbed goat-cheese ravioli, grilled pork tenderloin and a chocolate crepe with vanilla gelato and spiced pecans.  I enjoyed all three dishes.  I really liked the balance of the rich sauce and sweet corn with the ravioli.  It was wonderful. The sauce was actually very similar to the cream sauce on Josh’s pasta.
I normally don’t order pork in restaurants because 3 out of 4 times I

order it, it comes out over-cooked.  But not this time.  It was perfect.  I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of collared greens, but the succulent slices of pork more than made the dish.
The dessert was fantastic as well.
A rich chocolate-filled crepe with vanilla gelato and spiced pecans.  It came out warm and was a great ending to the meal.  Yum.

Centro also offers a weekend brunch with items like crab-cakes benedict and breakfast pizza.
They have a great pizza special on Monday nights too.  Their brick-oven pizza is very good.
While Centro is fancy enough to celebrate any big occasion, they offer a kids menu if you have the little ones along. We

haven’t brought our kid with us because we usually come down before a performance at the Temple for Performing
arts that it right next door or on a lunch break.  But, the staff has always been friendly and accommodating and I’m sure it would be the same if we had kids along too.Love Centro and loved their restaurant week menu!


Sully’s Irish Pub

Not every locally-owned bar can claim that it’s been around for over 35 years.  But, Sully’s Irish Pub in West Des Moines can.  It’s been in the same spot near the Burger King at Grand and 63rd street the whole time.  You might know them from the fantastic St. Patrick’s Day party they host every year.

The pub has
had a few owners, and recently Bill & Amy Boggs took over the location after being “regulars” for years and even met and started dating at the bar!

Sully’s owner Amy says that “it’s more than just a bar.  it’s like family to her.”  “When someone has a problem, everyone is here to talk and help out”.  Amy and Bill knew right away that they were the right folks to take over the bar when the previous owners were ready to retire.

Amy & Bill are keeping the bar just as it is, but are trying to get the word out that Sully’s is a fun, friendly place to hang out and everyone is welcome.

Check out their website for a list of all of the daily specials, like steak night on Thursdays and free hot dogs on Saturday afternoons from 12-3.  That have happy hour specials every day as well!  They serve pizza daily and Q their master griller serves up great BBQ on the weekends.

They are looking to get more involved in local events and activities, so if you are looking to host a  bike ride, an event or just need a new place to hang out, check out Sully’s!