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.
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Just as Thomas Edison stumbled through useless prototypes of light bulbs and movie cameras before perfecting the phonograph, the alchemists at Qdoba Mexican Grill took 47 attempts before landing on the franchise's signature blend of three cheeses, known simply as queso. That attention to detail still pervades every aspect of the menu, as employees spend hours each day chopping, dicing, and simmering the fresh ingredients that find their way into burritos, taco salads, and grilled quesadillas. Beyond the marinated bites of chicken, beef, and pork and hand-crafted tortillas, cooks protect their ripe, fragile avocados from harm by smashing them into batches of fluffy guacamole.
Guests find instant gratification at Kurry Xpress, where classic Indian meals are served in a fast-food environment. Housemade cheese cubes simmer alongside veggies and spices in the eatery?s vegetarian curry dishes. The chef also coats pieces of chicken and lamb with distinctly Indian spices, including cumin, fennel seeds, and coriander.
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 favorites such as piping-hot pizzas, sizzling steaks, and pastas drenched in sauce alongside a wealth of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. Recently under new management, customers can expect to experience Cosi Cucina Italian Grill's signature authentic flavors and dedicated service. 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.