Good stuff keeps coming to Des Moines and this longtime resident remains thankful. Even Graziano’s, the old Italian specialty store on the south side has spiffed up with some major remodeling – and is now surrounded by new apartment complexes.
I didn’t think we’d have many people to watch as we ate on the patio at Akebono, a Japanese restaurant with good sushi, in downtown Des Moines last Saturday night but the streets were hopping. Part of it had to do with a food truck event nearby at the Des Moines Social Club, some Kentucky Derby partygoers, some Prom kids and a crowd at the restaurant Malo but it still amazes me to see so much happening in a once obscure corner of downtown. We enjoyed Akebono’s food and service too (although the poke didn’t resemble the kind I’ve enjoyed in places like Hawaii and LA.)
The farmers market opened to a huge crowd (the weather was gorgeous) and I was pleased to see new vendors such as 5 Borough Bagels from Clive and Scenic Route Bakery from the East Village. The new HyVee also fit right in, which is a relief. People on the HyVee patio were eating what looked like good brunch entrees including French Toast.
We stopped at Zombie Burger during a bike ride and were a bit disappointed by their new recipe for fries and the cranberry-Gorgonzola salad. We preferred the less crunchy fries and the salad with a less sweet dressing and bacon (although Zombie kindly added bacon to our salad anyway). Sitting on the patio, we took note of all the new buildings surrounding us, which makes the place feel more urban and busy, including the AC Hotel which has what we’ve been told is a great rooftop bar.
On the Great Western Trail, we were relieved to see that the changes in the trail to accommodate the Microsoft server plant and a highway near Orilla have not messed up our favorite trail. Also pleased to see that the pub Outskirtz looked more open for passing bikers on a Sunday than I’ve seen in the past.