Food and Drink

Linh Ta
Jan 11, 2022 - Food and Drink

Des Moines Vietnamese restaurant responds to pho beef criticism

A bowl of beef pho
A bowl of beef pho, Vietnamese noodle soup. Photo: Leisa Tyler/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Des Moines is trying to teach residents about how to prepare carryout pho following offensive comments from a customer.

Driving the news: Pho Real Kitchen & Bar recently shared instructions on how to prepare beef pho at home on Facebook after a customer left a review criticizing the restaurant for giving raw steak — the traditional way of serving pho.

Linh Ta
Jan 10, 2022 - Food and Drink

Slim Chickens coming to Ankeny

Slim Chickens tenders
A basket from Slim Chickens. Photo courtesy of Slim Chickens

A new chicken competitor is coming to town.

What's happening: Slim Chickens, a fast-food chain based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is opening its first Iowa location in Ankeny this May.

  • The 3,300-square-foot restaurant at 1730 North Ankeny Boulevard will have both indoor and patio seating, as well as a drive-thru.
Linh Ta
Jan 6, 2022 - Food and Drink

Dive into Vietnamese food at Des Moines' Pho 515

Bun Bo Hue at Pho 515
Bún bò Huế at Pho 515 ($14). Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

If you're a pho fan and want to try something spicier and richer, then run, don't walk, to order Bún bò Huế ($14) at Pho 515 inside C Fresh Market.

  • The meaty soup has a red chili oil broth that screams "spicy." But don't worry, it's actually pretty mild and 515's has a hint of sweetness to it.

Food delivery apps create a boozy problem in Iowa

Illustration of a liquor bottle and glass being served on an arrow cursor
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Ending "predatory practices" of third-party delivery apps is at the top of the Iowa Restaurant Association's list this year, according to the group's president, Jessica Dunker.

Why it matters: Some delivery apps are using restaurant menus and logos without owners' permission, resulting in false perceptions and misinformation, Dunker told Axios.

Hobnob Coffee and Wine Bar debuts in Des Moines

Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

Hobnob Coffee and Wine Bar opened inside Hotel Fort Des Moines on Monday.

State of play: It's across the hall from Proudfoot and Bird, which opened earlier this fall at 1000 Walnut St.

What I tried: A coffee ($2.50) and a quinoa bowl ($14), served with poached eggs, shallots and truffle relish.

  • Thoughts: Tasty.

Hours: Daily, from 6am-2pm for now.

  • The wine bar opens in February, a server told Axios.

Tito's Lounge brings Balkan dishes to Urbandale

The exterior of Tito's Lounge in Urbandale.
Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

Tito's Lounge opened in Urbandale last month and it has a Mediterranean-inspired menu that makes it especially worthy of a visit.

State of play: Owner Haris Zuljevic opened his first restaurant in Bosnia at the age of 16, he told us this week.

  • He moved to Iowa in 2013 to join some of his family. Tito's marks his first American restaurant.
Linh Ta
Dec 9, 2021 - Food and Drink

We tried it: Korean egg sandwich at West Des Moines pop-up Egg King

An "EggGogi" sandwich with scrambled eggs, bulgogi, a sunny-side up egg, house sauce and Texas toast.
An "EggGogi" sandwich with scrambled eggs, bulgogi, a sunny-side up egg, house sauce and Texas toast ($10). Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

There's nothing more enticing (and Instagram-able) than the sunny, yellow yolk of an egg.

Egg King knows this well, especially with its EggGogi sandwich ($10).

  • Stuffed between two thick slabs of toast, the quality of the bulgogi was exactly what I would expect from a Korean BBQ restaurant — tender, savory with a faintly sweet marinade.
  • One of the best parts was a smoky red sauce to drizzle that tastes similar to gochujang, a slightly spicy fermented bean sauce.

The bottom line: It wasn't the easiest to eat, but sometimes, that's part of the fun.

Where to find it: The Korean sandwich pop-up is at The Hall in West Des Moines every Saturday from 10am-1pm.

Linh Ta
Dec 4, 2021 - Food and Drink

The ultimate ranking of Midwest holiday foods

Green bean casserole
Green bean casserole. Photo: Mel Evans via Associated Press

I'm coming at you hot with my spicy takes for all the Midwest holiday food staples (though none of the foods are actually spicy.)

How it works: On a scale of 🌽 to 🌽🌽🌽🌽🌽 — one ear of corn is Chef Boyardee lasagna and five ears of corn is grandma-worthy cooking.

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