When Debbi Fields opened the first Mrs. Fields in 1977, it wasn?t all sunshine and cookies. Between her lack of business experience and the unorthodox business model?selling only cookies?not many people believed in her. More than 30 years and a global franchise later, it?s safe to say the doubters are eating their words, at least when they're not busy stuffing their faces with one of Debbi's signature semisweet chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin and walnut cookies.
The wild popularity of Mrs. Fields's cookies can be attributed to the richness of their basic ingredients: real butter, whole eggs, and special blends of chocolate. Classic flavors include chewy fudge, peanut butter, and white chocolate macadamia, and seasonal flavors complement the lineup throughout the year. Select varieties can also be made into cookie cakes of various sizes and shapes that add a delicious twist to any celebration or milk-truck spill.
Since 1981, TCBY has been synonymous with frozen yogurt. The company spearheaded the guiltless consumption of low-fat, chilled dairy treats with iconic flavors such as white chocolate mousse topped with fresh fruit and candy. Today, TCBY yogurt shops across the country continue the tradition with classic and specialty flavors such as caramel supreme, greek honey vanilla, and sugar- and fat-free mountain blackberry. Patrons can also enjoy real fruit sorbets, sugarless options, and more than 35 toppings and choose from soft-serve and hand-dipped flavors.
When George Rivera-Davis first tasted coffee from beans grown on his uncle?s farm in Panama, he was amazed?it tasted nothing like the brown liquid he?d been taught to call coffee in Des Moines. Inspired by the delicious brew, he ventured into the coffee business. Now, George and his wife, Jan?herself a certified tea blender?grow their own coffee in Panama with the aid of their family, bringing gourmet brews to Des Moines through their award-winning coffee shop and caf?, Grounds for Celebration. Grounds for Celebration?s coffee connoisseurs roast beans onsite before brewing fresh cups of java, blending espresso creations, and flavoring lattes with Monin syrup and Ghirardelli chocolate. Thirsty patrons can also opt for yerba mate, chai, and smoothies, or venture into Jan?s area of expertise and gulp tea in varieties that range from gunpowder green to ginger peach.
While sipping from steaming mugs, patrons can also munch croissants and cinnamon rolls baked fresh each day. At midday, they fortify themselves for afternoon paperclip jousts with lunch sandwiches, salads, and wraps. Some take their time to savor natural, from-scratch gelato while sitting amid the caf??s local art and connecting devices to free WiFi.
The Alohana Hawaiian Grill revolves around the plate lunch, a staple of Hawaiian cuisine that consists of an entree, a scoop of macaroni salad, and a scoop of steamed rice. In the restaurant’s entrees, you can see the American and Asian influences that converge in Hawaiian cuisine: spam musubi, for instance, features a slice of grilled spam atop a block of rice and cinched with nori seaweed. In another dish, strips of deep-fried chicken come with bowls of katsu dipping sauce. Diners can also sample a variety of ramen-noodle bowls as well as piquant barbecued pork and beef dishes.
Hailed in Metromix as the top-ranked Italian restaurant in Des Moines, Sam & Gabe's Italian Bistro earns its crown of laurels with a menu that features Northern Italian pastas, house-made Italian-American entrees, and a robust selection of wines. Servers ferry entrees of veal piccata and fresh gulf shrimp to tables as diners toss back bottles of imported beer. Spaghetti strands slither into the shapes of quarter notes as live musicians pepper the air with the sounds of modern jazz and baroque opera Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
Chefs flex their culinary skills in Cosi Cucina Italian Grill's kitchen, churning out piping-hot pizzas, sizzling steaks, and pastas drenched in sauce alongside a wealth of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. The romantic enclave boasts a menu of more than 36 wines available by the glass, letting diners find the perfect harmony for their meal's delicate flavors and pitchy singing voice. Outside of its amorous atmosphere, Cosi Cucina Italian Grill shares its house-made dishes with the masses, catering salads, pastas, and saucy chicken entrees for all manner of peckish partygoer.
Bombay Bicycle Club, a vintage rock 'n' roll bar, fills up starved stomachs and eardrums alike with its decadent menu and floor-stomping live musical acts. Hum along to an eternally rotating roster of blues, punk, and country artists through a crunchy mouthful of deep-fried pizza dunked in homemade batter ($5) or pickle chips served with chipotle ranch ($3.50). Rhythmically wash down decadent eats with a cascade of one of 30 tap beers ($3–6) or a brown paper bag-clad 40-ounce brew ($8). Nose-ringed nostalgists can relive their mohawked childhoods with the After School Special, a deep-fried peanut butter and jelly ($4), while famished impersonators can use the peanut butter and bananas of the deep-fried Elvis sandwich ($5) to smear gourmet sideburns on their cheeks.