Des Moines burgers: How Lachele's creativity shines in their specials
We all know what to expect when ordering a burger: a patty, buns — maybe, a slice of cheese and a squirt of ketchup.
But just off Ingersoll Ave., in a pink and blue diner, Lachele's Fine Foods takes America's favorite meal and turns it upside down — transforming it into whatever zany theme or pop-culture reference they have in mind for their Special of the Day.
- Plus, specials break up menu monotony, keeping chefs energized and customers hooked on a you-must-come-in-now experience.
How it works: Lachele's owner Cory Wendel and executive chef Jake Cole bounce ideas off each other and the restaurant's cooks for what should go on the specials list that week.
- Some concepts come from cultural references like Honey Boo Boo, In-N-Out or "Clifford the Big Red Dog." Others are creative plays on familiar favorites, ranging from gas station food to lobster.
- Flavor profiles and textural contrasts are considered. And there is such a thing as too much. No more than two sauces or two proteins is the general rule of thumb.
The fans: Dishes often sell out, especially on weekends. It's not wild to see people line up outside or for the restaurant to close early.
- And their Instagram — which documents all their burger-flipping fun — has amassed a cult following.
Yes, but: The real driving force behind Lachele's are their classic flat-top cooked patties, sizzling in grease.
- Menu burgers are simple, but that means every facet is carefully considered, from the vegetables sourced to the hand-shaped patties, Cole said.
The biggest compliment they can receive? Being told their burgers remind them of a bowling alley. That's love, baby.
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