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801 Grand Prix Fixe Menu

Ok, So I’ve written about this once before, but it’s worth another mention.  801 Grand Chophouse.  Aptly located at 801 Grand Avenue in Des Moines, has this super awesome Prix Fixe menu only offered on Sunday evenings.  It’s not an every Sunday type of meal, but if you’re celebrating a special occasion, you are sure to wow the pants off your date, mom, brother, long-lost cousin (you get the point), etc. with this meal….

For only $36 (waaay back when I first moved to Des Moines about 11 years ago, the price was $25, but alas, we understand inflation), you get a choice of salad, choice of prime rib or filet Deburgo WITH two sides (a veggie and mashed potatoes) and a choice of sorbet or creme brulee for dessert.  This is a lot of food!  And the best value you can get at 801.  And don’t forget that you can still add one of their signature rubs (free) and sauces to your steak to glam it up a bit.  The cognac mushroom sauce ($4) is out of this world and makes the prime rib maybe the best thing I’ve ever tasted.  Their wine selection is of course phenomenal, but you can enjoy this meal and not have to spend extra on alcohol, though Rick thoroughly enjoyed his martini as well!

So like I said, this may not be in the budget for every Sunday night, but you have to give it a shot at least once.  Just look how happy we are after eating! =)

Bonefish Creole Menu

I was lucky enough to be invited in to try Bonefish’s seasonal menu this month!  They are featuring a New Orleans Creole-Style menu with lots of Cajun spices and we were excited to try it.

Of course you know we are super fans of the Bang Bang Shrimp, Crab and Corn Chowder and martinis, so I tend to stick with my favorites, but I love when they encourage me to try something new.

We started with the bacon-wrapped scallops (yum) where the mango salsa was the star of the show. As you all know, being from New England, I’m pretty particular about my seafood and Bonefish always does a good job.

I had the Creole-style Redfish which was very tasty and the flavor was amplified by the spicy, crawfish-filled sauce.

Rick got the soft-shell stuffed Maryland crab, which was something new to both of us.  Once he figured out how to eat it he really enjoyed it!  Apparently most of a soft-shell crab is edible.  who knew?  Well, I suppose people who eat crab often….anyway….The stuffing was flavorful and delicious.

They are featuring a Strawberry Shortcake dessert (yum) and a few interesting martinis (Pomegranate Sage and Wild Orchid Hawaiian-double yum).

Don’t miss this seasonal menu!  We always have a great meal at Bonefish in West Glen in West Des Moines.  The staff is always friendly and attentive and the food is always great.

While they got me to stray from my favorite entrees this time..they weren’t able to keep me away from my favorite dessert on earth…the Jamaican Coconut Pie….OMG!  Worth a visit just for this dessert….and worth a visit just for the Bang Bang Shrimp….Wait. Also worth a visit just for the Crab and Corn Chowder.  Ok, everything is good!  Just go.

And I’m just kidding, there are some super entrees on the seasonal menu, I love the Creole theme this season and love that I get to try things I normally wouldn’t, so go check them out and try something new!   You’ll be pleasantly surprised!

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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! http://barntownbrewing.com

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Winter Update!

Hello friends!  Whew!  Is December really almost gone?  I feel like we say it all the time, but time really does fly.  I wanted to update you all on our December happenings, so today you get a compilation post of everything from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  We’ll leave New Years for a separate post since we have a fun night planned on New Years Eve with some new events we haven’t tried before and will want to fill you in on how they went.  Let’s just say, country line dancing in high heels may be in my near future! Not sure if you’ll get a photo of that….Eek!

 

Anyway, we kicked off Thanksgiving with a drive through the Jolly Holiday Lights.  We had a feeling it would be pretty busy this season with it being at the new location at Adventureland in Altoona and we wanted to make sure we got it in, so we went early in the season.  This turned out to be a good plan because there were upwards of 2 hour waits closer to Christmas! So awesome to see such a great charity event doing well!  Hope you made it to Altoona to see them this year!  If you didn’t, get there early next year!

 

We spent a lovely Thanksgiving here at home with lots of family.  Cooking a turkey with all the fixins’ makes me not want to cook ever again.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally satisfying to occasionally cook a meal that everyone enjoys, but, there is a reason I blog about restaurants.

Anywho, we also got in another annual tradition of going to the Festival of Trees.  The kids love the scavenger hunt and I love me a good silent auction.

 

 

The kids did a super fun painting class with El Arte Uncorked at Cupcake Addict in Johnston (yummy cupcakes) where they got to paint a holiday penguin and eat a cupcake.  One woman even brought wine and cheese for the adults to snack on while the kids painted!  So fun. Check out their future classes at www.elarteuncorked.com.  As you can see, Nathan nailed his painting.  Just kidding….sort of.  The instructors do such a good job of walking the kids (and adults for the adult classes) through the steps that it’s ALMOST foolproof that you’ll walk away with a masterpiece…..unless you are related to me apparently.

 

 

The next week brought the opening of the much anticipated Hurts Donuts in West Glen Town Center in West Des Moines. This place is awesome!  You can watch them making donuts and they are definitely the most unique donuts around since the closing of Djonuts. The prices were reasonable and the donuts are huge!  You can also get donut milkshakes which we will try on our next visit.

 

 

We also had a great time hosting our annual Ugly Sweater Party!  Maybe some day I’ll dedicate a post to all things Ugly Sweater Party and give you some tips for hosting your own.  But for now, I’ll leave you with some hints…Don’t forget the candy cane shots, photographer (so you can be in the photos. Hiring a family member who wants to earn $50 will do the trick.), prizes for sweater categories, and tacky food.  Fun times.

 
We were able to get in a couple of our favorite restaurants when we didn’t feel like cooking.  I dream about Woody’s ribs often, so I was happy to get my fill.  We celebrated my Mom’s birthday this month with some Hu Hot. And we made sure to get a few Winter White Cosmos from Bonefish Grill.

 

We also can’t forget to give a shout out to our Christmas Eve tradition of eating Chinese food and having a flaming volcano at Shanghai in Waukee.

 

Our month of holiday bliss was only thwarted with one unfortunate ER trip for Nathan.  Note to self: 9 year olds who
are working on their whittling badge for cub scouts shouldn’t be given a knife after 9pm.  And that’s all we’ll say about that. Whomp whomp.

 

So!  I think that about sums up our holiday season. All-in-all, a successful year.  Lots of life changes changes for us, but we are all happy and healthy (aside from the 4 stitches in the thumb) and looking forward to 2017.

 

Thanks for reading! Wishing you a wonderful New Year!

Bonefish Winter Menu

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Luckily Bonefish Grill West Des Moines was gracious enough to invite us in to try their winter menu, since so many of you on social media already knew about this and didn’t tell me!

When I posted this photo from the restaurant, I was flooded with messages saying it was everyone’s favorite!

img_1223Well, I too have my new favorite drink of the season ever, now!  This deliciousness is the Winter White Cosmo and it’s at Bonefish Grill.  Go!  It’s sweet for those of us who like girly drinks, but not overly so, since it’s balanced with white cranberry juice.  My sweet-drink despising, cranberry-hating boyfriend even loved it and ordered one for himself!  And BTW, they are only $5 on Mondays!

img_1227We of course had to try some of the other winter items like the Lobster, Crab and Artichoke dip, YUM!  It was no joke, it was chock full of lobster and crab.

We also had the catch of the day (Swordfish) which is my favorite fish, and Cody (our waiter) was nice enough to bring out a sampling of all of the sauces for us to try!  Rick’s fave was the Pan Asian.

img_1209I don’t think a visit to Bonefish is complete without just a little Bang Bang Shrimp, so we also got an order of the Bang Bang shrimp tacos. So good!

Make sure to try the pumpkin creme brulee while it’s here for the winter!  And look for us enjoying img_1229more Winter White Cosmos this winter, because we plan to live here while they last!

 

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Harvey’s

cd603ee8-8f7b-45ad-81cc-8d2f2b9365a3 cfbfbac6-24c1-411c-89f0-27b315804a29We legit have a new favorite restaurant!  It’s probably a good thing that Harvey’s is in Redfield, because if it were down the street, we may be there for every meal!

I got a tip that Harvey’s was under new ownership and the new owners had hired an amazing chef and we needed to try it out…so we did!

We went in on a Friday night and they were busy, but there was no wait for a table. We were greeted by Katie, the owner, and when I say greeted, I mean welcomed like we were family.  She is the sweetest thing and I’ve never felt like an owner cares more about e6923608-2ed0-4051-8b5d-614c14271df6how we enjoyed our experience than she and her husband did. She treats every customer like family. Our waiter was friendly and accommodating. This place is special!

We started with the watermelon margarita (which we may have each had three of) and we went with the smoked prime rib special and the fried chicken for dinner.  We couldn’t get over how delicious the prime rib was.  Everything was so good.  The fresh seasonal veggies, the perfectly seasoned mashed potatoes.  All. Of. It. So good.

c88acb55-1dae-4f07-a3ec-7f9155a02a81We got to speak with the chef and he explained how he worked on perfecting his prime rib smoking technique for months.  It was truly amazing.  They have a pastry chef named Tricia Foster who makes the desserts.

We ended our meal with the most delicious banana creme pie.  Katie told us to come back for the Sunday Brunch and we can’t wait!

So worth the drive to check out this hidden gem!  Do it!

https://www.facebook.com/harveysdinerandpub/

DSM Social Club-Culinary Loft

4d8798b1-a361-4988-8e82-85fb67a122cb 1a81678b-f762-4fe6-a410-28b65b1ecf3cWe had a great time last week checking out our first class at the new(ish) Culinary Loft at the Des Moines Social Club.  The Culinary loft was specifically designed with the intention of hosting cooking classes and other food related workshops on the second floor of the Des Moines Social club.

The particular class we chose to attend was was a”South of The Border” class, and it was delicious! It was focused more on the fun of cooking a recipe together with your new friends (the other class attendees) and then sharing a meal together, then leaning about certain cooking techniques.  So it definitely helped break the ice when they broke out the endless wine right away.

9c62248a-8e20-4da5-bb72-ef881d33991f7873bf32-085f-4ada-b5aa-9e05efe3ec53After getting acquainted, we broke into groups and each group followed a recipe to prepare a course of the meal, and then we all got together to chow down.  Our class instructor came around to help with questions and give us tips. Some of the items we prepared were flank steak, beef stew, empanadas, and dulce de leche cookies.  Everything was delicious and a little more special because it was prepared with love…awwww.

They offer adult and children’s cooking classes at the loft in addition to all of the other great programing at the social club.  If you’re looking for something new and fun to try to spice up your date-nights or a new activity for you or your 4a484dd6-002d-4db7-82ed-80395abfd2ddkid to do, check out the programing at the social club (including 73770f0d-a8c4-4607-b374-ee4ee3cc991bcooking classes at the loft)!

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Bonefish Grill

img_0022img_0024Being from Boston, I normally steer clear of seafood restaurants in the Midwest. The taste of fresh caught lobster and scallops just can’t be replicated this far from the ocean.

So when Bonefish Grill invited me in to try out their new fall menu, I thought it would just be okay.  Boy, was I wrong!  Bonefish has a location here in the metro in West Des Moines at the West Glen Shopping Center.

We started our mid-week date night visit to Bonefish with $3.50 glasses of Merlot, which were fantastic. We caught the tail-end of happy hour and got in on this sweet deal. And how cute are the Bonefish wine glasses?

img_0021Our, waitress, MacKenzie, has been working at Bonefish for SEVEN years! She was outstanding.  She was super knowledgeable, friendly, and ultra-sweet.  They are very accommodating to special diets, so she said all of the staff need to be super educated about what’s in each dish.

img_0030It was recommended to us that we try the “Dine and Discover, Dinner for Two” menu, and who are we to argue?  $50 includes an order of Bang Bang Shrimp to share for an appetizer. And OMG the Bang Bang Shrimp. If you haven’t tried them, you must. They are lightly-battered and pan-fried and served covered in the most addictive sauce. EVER.

The second course gives you a choice of two entrees from a list of four (which is shown above and which all sound amazing) and then you get a dessert to share.

img_0036Here is where we were start to get really impressed…. We ordered the Fresh Swordfish with Pumpkin Ravioli and Fresh Rockfish and Shrimp.

img_0032The swordfish was by far the best we’d ever had.  If you blindfolded me and did a taste-test, I may have mistaken it for beef.  It was cooked perfectly with no “fishy-ness”. We loved it. Rick was raving about the blackening on the shrimp and I thought that it was great as well.  There was nothing healthy about the butter-laced green beans and that’s ok by me, delicious. The whole meal was satisfying and we were talking about coming back for it again before we were even finished.

img_0041And the dessert….Rick quickly proclaimed this one of his favorite desserts ever. It’s called Jamaican Coconut pie and it’s served with rum sauce. It was incredible. Think big, warm coconut macaroon with whipped cream and rum sauce.

I hope they don’t mind me sharing….because Food.com says they got it off the the official Bonefish website, but you’ll love this so much when you try is as part of the three course menu, that you’ll want to make this at home, immediately when you get home:  http://www.food.com/recipe/jamaican-coconut-cream-pie-415547

So thanks again to Bonefish Grill for treating us to an awesome date night! We think you should treat yourself to a date night this week and go try the Dinner for Two, which is a bargain, at Bonefish!

 

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Vines to Wines