If you know me even a little bit, you know that quality eating is right up there with good racing on my priority hierarchy for a good road trip. That being said, I have been earnestly doing my gastronomic homework for the next race track trip on the docket. With only a few days until the Iowa Festival of Racing at Prairie Meadows, I feel a little lost as far as knowledge of the Des Moines food scene. I have a couple of solid establishments penciled in as good possibilities, but I am looking towards you, my readers, for a little help.
In an adults only trip, I will be lucky enough to have my wife, Candice, riding shotgun. How was I lucky enough to marry a girl who is actually excited to spend a few evenings at Prairie Meadows, you ask? That's another story for another blog. For now, let’s just concentrate on the food.
With the two of us making the approximately five-hour drive together, a good meal when we arrive to greater Des Moines will be crucial. I’m thinking some really good barbecue might be the ticket, and Jethro’s BBQ looks promising.
Perhaps you've heard of Jethro's, it was featured on Adam Richman’s Man vs. Food program on the Travel Channel. While I definitely will not be attempting the Adam Emmenecker challenge, as Richman did, I am always more than ready to sample some real kick-ass barbeque. It looks like Jethro’s will not disappoint. From plenty of interesting meat options, to an impressive array of sauces to accompany said carnivore delights, I have a feeling I will not leave this place hungry.
Another joint I have my eye on, and which seems to have nothing but positive reviews, is Centro. Located in downtown Des Moines, this one looks to be quite a bit nicer than a hole-in-a-wall. Their Italian centric menu stresses fresh ingredients, and I’m actually looking forward to trying their authentic New York style Pizza Napoletana. Yes, I know, expecting really good New York style pizza in the heart of Iowa may seem like I’m destined for disappointment, but what I’ve learned over the years is that it doesn’t matter where the food is as much as who is doing the cooking. And like I said, the reviews for Centro’s look solid without exception.
I’m really hoping this article sparks some talk about where to, and where not to eat in Altoona and Des Moines. Tell me, am I on the right track with Jethro’s BBQ and Centro? Would Candice and I be better served someplace else? Our tastes in food are eclectic, but we are not looking to spend an arm and a leg, (gotta save that money for a winning Pick 4 ticket.) I always say, “If you eat you’re a winner, and if you eat well, you’re a big winner.” Do you know a great place for us to try for breakfast, lunch or dinner? Let me know, I need help, and as you can tell, I take this very seriously.