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Angry Goldfish

While we are on the subject of bars with good food….(See last week’s post about Barn Town Brewing), let’s talk about the new and exciting addition to the South Side, Angry Goldfish.

We had heard they’ve been busy, so we called ahead and surprisingly, they let us make a reservation.  Brownie points right away for taking reservations.

It wasn’t too busy when we showed up on a Tuesday evening, but there was plenty of friendly staff and we immediately noticed the updates they have made from the previous bars that used to live in this location. It still felt like your local bar, but it was clean and bright and had a nice feel.  Nice touches like an empty whisky bottle for hand soap in the restroom, didn’t go unnoticed.

We had seen a recent special on their Facebook page of tater-tot nachos and even though it wasn’t on the menu this evening, the chef happily made them for us anyway for our appetizer.  Thanks again! So good!  The the addition of bits of bacon to the diced onions and tomatoes along with the crispy tots made these a hit at our table.

I was debating between the Graziano meatloaf and the brisket dinner, so I asked our waitress and she said to go with the brisket, and I’m so glad I took her advice, because it was flavorful and tender and everything brisket should be.  It came out without sauce, which was a little odd, but it was good without it and I’m sure they would have happily brought me some had I asked.  The skin-on mashed potatoes were great but the corn was lacking in flavor a bit.  The corn bread with honey-butter was very good.

Their Tuesday special is a pint of beer and a burger with fries for only $10.  Do this!  The burgers are great.  Also, the two people at our table who got coleslaw said it was up there with the best they’d ever had.

We didn’t have a chance to try the signature “Angry Goldfish” appetizer which boasts Sriracha covered goldfish for $1 or the tenderloin which features a pork tenderloin actually breaded with the “Angry Goldfish” but they seemed intriguing, so if you try them, let us know what you think!

We were celebrating a birthday and the birthday girl couldn’t decide between the two flavors of cheesecake they were offing this evening, so our waitress brought both, one on the house, which was very sweet.

At around $4.50 for a beer or spirit w/pop, $10-$16 for entrees and under $4 for dessert, Angry Goldfish is an affordable, fun place to hang out and eat.  They’ve replaced the karaoke area with some video games and have done a good job with the new decor.  The food is way better than your typical faire of fried food and pizza that most bars offer!  Work a trip to the South Side if you’re looking for a bar with good food!


Barn Town Brewing


Barn Town Brewing is a new Brewery/Restaurant that just opened up on University in West Des Moines (on the Waukee border) near Jethros.

Since we live close by, we were itching to get in to try it.  We love the local tap rooms, and love that you can bring your own food in, but sometimes….you just want it all, good food and good beer all in one place.  They are open every day starting at 11am and the location is pretty convenient if you live on the west side.

What sold me was how awesome they were when we hosted a 40th birthday party there last week.  They don’t take reservations, but we really wanted to host it here because they were nearby, had something (drink-wise) for everyone, serve food (and they were able to accommodate everyones food allergies as well and vegetarian items) and the prices were very reasonable.  So, Lisa the manager worked with us to get everything arranged and get in early enough to grab seats for our party.  We were assigned two servers who were knowledgeable and friendly and we had a great time!  The food was great, the service was great and we really loved their selection of beer.  They have a cider option and a stock of liquors/wine for non-beer drinkers.  They also brew their own root beer!

As for the food….We went once before the party to sample some items and we thought they were just ok.  I was really excited about the brussell srpouts, but they came out slightly undercooked but with a great flavor from the bacon and we tried the cheesy garlic wings and they came out with buffalo sauce on them and when we asked if we got the wrong order, they said they mix the buffalo sauce with the cheesy garlic sauce, which I had never heard of.  We left the first visit with the idea that, it was a cool place that had good beer and we would come back for a burger/appetizers because it was so conveinent, but it wasn’t out favorite place ever.

BUT, I’m so glad we were back for a second round, because they more than redeemed themselves with the great service and the outstanding food.  We tried the brussel sprouts again…because I just couldn’t let it go…I wanted to love them….and they were fantastic!  Bits of sweet and salty bacon and perfectly cooked sprouts and my boyfriend was over the moon with the Brewer’s burger.  The Iowa gold cheddar sauce and runny egg made the burger.  And everyone raved about the mac and cheese.

They did actually run out of cider the night we were there, but the cider drinkers found a good alternative with the  Jefferson County Oaked Sour Cherry which was actually a guest-draft.   But, another hit of the table was the Iowa Gold which was light and easy to drink.

They were nice enough to serve our cake that we brought in for the birthday party even though they serve their own desserts as well.

We love that Barn Town Brewing has joined this side of town and hope that they are here to stay!

Stop in and try it and let us know what you think!  Oh and bring the kids, Barn Town is definitely family-friendly with a good kids menu and coloring pages.  Check it out!

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Winterset Cidery

d097c3e2-f796-4fcb-b9bd-ac32dfb80ba13a8e7b07-49a1-4d88-80b7-cf5422085ea1We, of course, love to support our local breweries, but when you have Celiac Disease and can’t drink beer, hard cider is usually your tap drink of choice. So, you can imagine how excited we were when we heard Winterset Cidery had opened in May of last year!

It’s just a short ride from Des Moines to Winterset.  The owner and his wife moved down here and built the barn themselves! You have to see the craftmanship that went into the bar, tables, and chairs of the tasting room.  They built it all, it’s amazing.

cc137db8-2a3c-4316-9b16-7d7e0346cdb2 cee5b703-4246-48eb-918e-f7879a4cf566After admiring the venue, we decided to try some flights to get a sample of everything they had to offer.  They had so many choices from different kinds of traditional hard cider to flavors like cherry, peach, and blackberry.  They were all delicious and they have something for all tastes.  I prefer my cider on the sweeter side and the Winterset was perfect me.  My boyfriend prefers not-so-sweet and he was a huge fan of the semi-dry.

They also carry some beers on tap for those who aren’t cider fans because you are going to want to come visit to hang out here with a group of friends either way.  Like most tap rooms, they don’t serve food, but they have free popcorn and they sell chips and you can bring your own food if you need something more.  They also have a patio to sit outside and enjoy b954cdd4-7c58-4ef3-ab18-5c48c34641acyour beverage on.  Hopefully the food truck will jump on this location next year to provide some food options.

They sell bottles (when they are in stock) and hope to have growlers next year.  They definitely didn’t expect to be so wildly successful their first season, but they’ve been greeted with open arms and we’re so glad!

Unfortunately, when we visited last week, it was the last week of their season, so you’ll have to wait until May of 2017 for your first visit if you haven’t been there already.  But add it to your calendar now, because you have to check it out!

At $5 a glass and $7.50 for a flight, you can’t beat it!  “Like” them on Facebook to get “off-season” updates and more info about the 2017 season opening!

Hurricane Grill & Wings


Taco Hangover

Guttenburgers..however you pronounce it.

IMG_6650 IMG_6648So up until today, I assumed this new restaurant, Guttenburgers, which I of course was at my table ready to eat at 11:00 on opening day, was pronounced “Goo-tenburgers”.  As in, the German meaning (and pronunciation)…Good.  It made sense…Good-Burgers.  Then, someone on our Facebook page pointed out that the owner is from Guttenberg, Iowa…So it’s Gut-enbergers.  And all along I thought it was also pronounced “Goot”enberg, Iowa.  Of course I thought Nevada, Iowa would also sound like the place that houses Las Vegas and Madrid was like the place in Spain….I digress….back to burgers…


IMG_6649 IMG_6653I loved the feel of this new burger restaurant.  It’s located right near Jethro’s Jambalaya (West des Moines/Waukee). It is set up a little like Zombie Burger where you can either order at the counter to-go or dine-in for full-service.  Or heck, just stop in for some ice cream or a milkshake.


My burger was solid.  My dining partners and I agreed that the burger toppings stole the show as the hamburger patty was good, but wasn’t the standout item.  My favorite part of the Orchard Burger was the caramelized apples.  I’d order it again, bacon, brie and glazed apples…on a burger…how can you go wrong?


The fries are IMG_6660Hawkeye/Cyclone themed and are darned tasty.  The cyclone fries are more like the spiral cut potato chips you get at the fair with parmesan cheese, garlic and ranch dip.  Nice that you can IMG_6663get a small serving for only $3.49… Fried goodness at it’s best.  The crispy-battered fried pickle chips were also great.  The homemade bacon mac & cheese stood out and would be lovely as a meal by itself.


IMG_6669 IMG_6666My friend really enjoyed her buffalo chicken sandwich.  They also have an impressive selection of ice cream flavors such as Kitty Kitty Bang Bang (I didn’t ask), Bourbon Pecan Pie, Superhero and more…they also have a sweet potato fry dessert that sounds heavenly and comes with a scoop of ice cream on it.  If I wasn’t so dang full, I would have totally tried it.  Next time for sure.


Our waitress, who also happens to have a sister who could be her twin working there (It took me half way IMG_6672through my meal to realize there were two of them), IMG_6684was very attentive and friendly.  I can’t wait to try more menu items here.  Fun to have a burger/ice cream joint in this part of town!  As you can see, the Oreo ice cream was a hit with our littlest table-mate today.

Family friendly but also great food to nurse a hang-over.  I liked it!  Guttenburgers will be entering our casual dining out rotation for sure!


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!



Baconfest 2015 – BaconMania VIII

get-attachment-78.aspxget-attachment-77.aspxThe much anticipated Baconfest 2015 has come to an end.  I wish I could say I’m baconed-out for a while, but it’s just not the case! I just can’t get enough! EVEN after trying 29 of the savory entries, I’m looking forward to making bacon-wraped chicken for the big game tomorrow night.  Anyway,  I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite photos from the event!

I loved the new venue (this year the event was moved to the Iowa Events Center if you hand’t heard) and even though there were more people (upwards of 17,000), it didn’t feel quite as crammed.  Well, we were also there at 9am and got in everything we want to do before it got too crazy, but still…

So, since there aren’t quite enough words to describe all that is Baconfest, I will just leave you with this gallery of photos.  Enjoy!


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Iowa State Fair

The Fair is here!! The Iowa State Fair funs August 7th to 17th in 2014.  From cows made from butter to everything you ever wanted that you didn’t know you’d ever want on-a-stick, it’s fair time!

Some people like to avoid the

craziness, but I like to dive right in.  Have you ever seen so many mullets in one place before?

Kids love it too.  There are the over-priced carnival-rides of course.  But, if you can keep your kid occupied


with the plethora of animals, the free give-aways (mostly fake tattoos that they want to be covered with from head to toe) in the varied industries building from hundreds of vendors and the little hands on the farm exhibit which is one of our favorites, you can possibly avoid spending too long in line for

a $4 ride that they may or may not puke on. The hands on the farm exhibit is where kids go through the motions of being a farmer and milking a (fake) cow to earn (fake) money to buy something in the store at the end.  I’d say kids at least up to age 9 or 10 would like this.

And then there is the food….ahhhh the glorious food.  Three things I never miss are 1. A pork chop on a stick.  That hard to find french cut of goodness smothered with BBQ sauce. 2. A frozen apple cider slush.  Overly sweet, yet tart and perfect for the hot days at the fair.  They sell them in the same building where you find the butter cow and get your

egg on a stick.  3. those darn buckets of chocolate chips cookies that you can’t resist.  Why are they so good!? With so many choices, why would we pick cookies?  Because they are that good!  We finally came to our senses that we don’t have to eat the whole darn bucket in the few days following the fair, they actually freeze really well and pulling out a Ziploc bag of cookies 3 months after the fair and popping them in the microwave for 20 seconds is like re-living the fair all over again.  Do it I tell you.

Well, that’s all you are going to get about the fair from me….I am far from a fair expert, but I know there are some of you out there with tried and true tips, like “make sure to come on Eat Side night” so, please share with the rest of us what YOUR favorite parts/foods of the fair are.  Thanks!

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.