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gazing from the shadows
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I happened to be in Des Moines for the past few days, and while walking to a brewpub to get a beer, I passed this place:

http://www.djangodesmoines.com/

They had the word "charcuterie" on the window. I had to eat there. Good in house cured stuff. Sweetbreads were tasty, nicely house cured bacon went well with them, and the sauce was incredible! They were doing gangbuster oyster business too.

Plus the non-house cured options included selections from this place: http://www.laquercia.us/

Seriously good food, french technique done well with high quality ingredients (including pork sourced from Iowa locations that are in the Niman network). So if you ever find yourself in Des Moines, Iowa, and want someplace nice but not fussy to eat, consider this place. Django.
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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Man. I love charcuterie. There are two places in the DC area (that I know of) that have a charcuterie platter as an every day appetizer offering. One's in my neighborhood, even. Can't really afford to go there too often, but every time I go to either one, I have the platter--it's a little different set of offerings every time. Pate, terrine, confit, galantine, house-made sausages, I love it all.

And when we were in Italy, I had the salumi platter wherever I went.

I loves me some cured/preserved meats.
 

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Old enough to know better
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Lets face it food in Iowa just pwns face.
 

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...?
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1,481 Posts
Mmmmmm.... I havn't had a good salami in a long time. Or real black forest ham.

I used to work a charcuterie counter. Learned a lot, but the tourists were such a pain sometimes. I don't miss the constant explinations of the difference between the prosciuttos, pate's vs terrine, salami, salmon.... the case was huge with stuff a lot of customers had never heard of. Bresaola anyone?

"I need a quarter pound of prosciutto"
"Ok.... which kind would you like"
(blank stare....)"Parma?"
"Veccio, classico, rotundo... Do you like it saltier, or more of a mild flavor?"
(Pointing to the Jamon Serrano) "Can I try that one?"
I quickly gave up on explaining that the Serrano is from Spain and technically not a prosciutto. Most of these people had no clue.
 

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had it in the ear before
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i like fried bologna sammiches
 

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still shedding season
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We were in Des Moines in February and looked for a really great breakfast place we found there a few years ago - gone... Still, there's some really good eats in Des Moines, and the Farmer's Market was very good.

Did you happen to stop in Gong Fu Tea? I just had some of theirs this afternoon. If we make it back I'll totally look for Django.
 

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Zaphod Beeblebrox
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randi_526 said:
Mmmmmm.... I havn't had a good salami in a long time. Or real black forest ham.
Totally K0d3...
 

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Quiet, daddy's drinking
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5,887 Posts
Going to be in Des Moines in about three weeks so we will probably check it out. Thanks for the heads up.

Kind of funny you mentioned La Quercia. On Friday the wife and I were discussing placing an order for the big sampler.
 

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tofurkey hunting
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get yer iberico and serrano from latienda.com

man, i miss travel-suspension-of-vegetarianism....
 

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Just Plain Bitter
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8,602 Posts
Henry Porter said:
The prettiest girls in the world live in Des Moines”

Jack Kerouac
Have you ever been to South Orange County? I am sure the cured meats in Iowa are great, I won't take that honor from you. But I'm pretty sure we get the pretty girl award here!
 

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gazing from the shadows
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27,287 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Turtleherder said:
Going to be in Des Moines in about three weeks so we will probably check it out. Thanks for the heads up.
One suggestion. Skip the bouillabaisse. It was good, properly made, but the variety of fish they have on hand to go in the stock is not diverse enough for it to be great.

I had my bouillabaisse jones on long before we walked in the door. But if I had to do it over again, I would go towards something with a traditional sauce. The demiglace based sauce on the sweetbreads was that good.
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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dr hoo said:
I had my bouillabaisse jones on long before we walked in the door.
Dude??? Bouillabaisse when you're 1000 miles from any coast? What were you thinking?
 

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Shirtcocker
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dr hoo said:
I happened to be in Des Moines for the past few days
Am I wrong to feel sorry for you after I read this?:D
 

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Shirtcocker
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randi_526 said:
Mmmmmm.... I havn't had a good salami in a long time.
Oh schweet jesu!!! CODE OVERLOAD!!:D
 

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Shirtcocker
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60,639 Posts
deastin said:
Lets face it food in Iowa just pwns face.
Umm....maybe. As long as you aren't vegetarian and avoid church socials.
 

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gazing from the shadows
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Fredke said:
What were you thinking?
Generally a question people learn to avoid asking me... on any topic. But since you asked.


I was thinking "Get stuff I can't get at home, and can't make at home". That limits my options. I can make a burre blanc, Hollandaise, Bearnaise, bechamel, etc. Beef, chicken, and other meat based stocks, we have them. Heck, I dry age my own steaks and roasts on occasion. I have cassoulet in my freezer, cassoulet that took 3 days to make, in fact. The French make a great chicken, but I can hit the perfect roast chicken 90% of the time (and I use french technique when I do make it).

Two things I never have and never will have in the house, demi-glace and fish stock.

For appetizer, I ordered sweetbreads in a demi-glace and white wine sauce. So I really did not want a demi-based sauce for the dinner. Otherwise the pork might have been the option.

So, bouillabaisse. I don't have a fish monger in my little town, and I would never order it here. But DM is a good sized city, fresh fish is flown in daily (whereas in my town fish flies in 2-3 times a week), and the place was serving tons of seafood, so they had good turnover. And it was Friday, a good fish day.

The soup was good. The fish and scallops done perfectly, the shrimp got a bit overdone by the END of the bowl (cast iron bowl), and the taste of the stock was clean and complex enough. Good, not great. $20, I think fair, not great deal.

The sweetbreads, now THAT was a dish that was cheap for the quality!

Next time? I'm thinking the onion tart, the Niman pork or 1/2 chicken, the mushroom crepe (maybe split up for an appetizer), or maybe the short ribs poutine to get some frites. Beet salad? On the list.

But those sweetbreads, that's on my list for "every time". Assuming they still are open next time I get back to DM, which will probably be 5 years or so.
 
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