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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Though he couldn't have known it at the time, Adam Caldwell arranged what arguably could be considered one of the most successful first dates in modern history. He not only ended up marrying his date, Danna, but also had such a memorable time with her in the frozen-yogurt shop that the two of them were eventually inspired to start their own. They opened Menchie's Frozen Yogurt in California in 2007, and within just a few years, found themselves with a family of hundreds of thriving stores sprinkled all around the world and featured on Undercover Boss.
As the Menchie's brand grew, Adam and Danna kept a simple mission in mind: to make their customers smile. An adorable cast of animated characters is featured throughout the locally-owned and operated stores, including on the colorful spoons, and customers can have fun creating endless frozen-yogurt combinations or just grab a cup of freshly cut fruit for a quick snack. There are almost 100 rotating yogurt flavors, and of course, there are plenty of toppings as well, displayed in help-yourself bins filled with fresh fruit, nuts, cereal, and candy.
The yogurt is made from fresh milk from a California dairy, and it is free of the artificial growth hormone rSBT. All the yogurt is kosher with live and active cultures and probiotics, and certain flavors accommodate vegan and gluten-free diets.
The kitchen bustled behind teenage Enosh Kelley as he stood over the sink, dutifully scrubbing pots and pans while dreaming of becoming a chef. From those humble origins, recounted in his Metromix profile, Enosh has grown into an internationally renowned culinary artist lauded by reporters from the Wall Street Journal and nominated as best Midwest chef by the James Beard Foundation. Pulling from his training at the Culinary Institute of America, Enosh folds local ingredients into a French-inspired menu, favoring classics such as hand-cut pomme frites, duck orange, and g?teau marjolaine.
Nestled in the heart of the historic Ingersoll Avenue district, Enosh's restaurant?Bistro Montage?is a fitting canvas for his fine French creations. Plates pair with glasses from a distilled wine list on white-clothed tables decorated with freshly cut flowers. Nearby, framed artwork speckles the brick-red walls, and long, flowing curtains dangle from the windows to keep the lighting dim and intimate while providing a convenient hiding place for guests on disappointing blind dates.
The cooks at Quinton's Bar & Deli know the ingredients that make a good Reuben?corned beef, sauerkraut, melted Swiss, and housemade dressing. But they also know the Reuben's extended family, which is why their menu has a section entirely devoted to the sandwich. The Rachel exchanges corned beef for turkey, whereas the Patsy switches in grilled navel pastrami. They can even combine two or three of the meats to create a Combo Reuben with twice the cheese.
Sandwiches in general happen to be the deli's bread and butter. Their most popular is the TAC, which stands for turkey, avocado, and cream cheese. Other options include the beef and brie, whose house-seasoned roast beef is covered with imported cheese, and the Aloha chicken, stacked with grilled pineapple and served in the pocket of a Hawaiian shirt. Burgers make an appearance as well, featuring hand-shaped patties from Bud's Meat in Riverside, Iowa.
And if you'd like some soup with your sandwich, Quinton's serves up the combo with a twist, ladling the soup inside bread bowls. A sizable selection of beers, wines, and spirits?including cocktails with homemade ginger beer?wash down bites.
Throughout the year, shipments of live crawfish arrive at Fat Tuesday's doorstep. Newspapers spread across tables, customers pull up their sleeves, and baskets of boiled crawfish and corn arrive from the kitchen before the crack of snapping shells resounds through the restaurant. Accompanying the meal is a variety of drinks such as sweet tea and lemonade, and beers such as Blackened Voodoo and Abita.
In between their regular crawfish boils, the kitchen crew members whip up what they refer to as a "small but mighty" daily menu of Cajun specialties. Cooks layer poboys with fried alligator, oysters, and catfish, and pots of seafood gumbo and crawfish ?touff?e simmer on stovetops. Plates pair with Cajun craft beers beneath glimmering purple, yellow, and green streamers throughout the New Orleans?themed dining room. Testing their patrons? stomach capacities, the chefs challenge them to the occasional poboy-eating contest. The contestants must polish off a 2-foot-long poboy within 40 minutes while simultaneously whistling the sous chef's favorite blues song.
There's a dish to satisfy every taste at Spaghetti Works, where diners can customize meals to their hearts’ and mouths’ content. Plates of fettuccini or whole-wheat mostaccioli can be enjoyed with sweet italian sausage, beer-cheese sauce, and a wide variety of other toppings. Meanwhile, the restaurant's cooks also prepare classic Italian dishes, such as homemade lasagna and shrimp scampi, and craft gluten-free pizzas and pasta bowls. Diners can cap meals with beer, wine, a cocktail, or more than 20 flavors of Italian sodas.
Known as a family-friendly establishment, Spaghetti Works delights both children and adults with its quirky decor. All three locations feature red-checkered tablecloths and vintage model T trucks, the backs of which hold salad bars with all the fixings. And at all three locations, guests can admire the setting sun from an outdoor patio—a sight almost as beautiful as that of a kitten hatching from its shell.