Helmed by a pair of Iowa State University graduates, Family Pet Veterinary Center keeps furry friends in good health at three locations across the Des Moines area. A third-generation veterinarian, Dr. Jen Emerson-Mathis joins forces with Dr. Ashley Williams to deliver medical, surgical, and diagnostic services to beloved animals. With their team, doctors Jen and Ashley go the extra mile by making sure clients understand every facet of their pet’s medical condition, and every step of the treatment process. Even more, the Family Pet facilities provide boarding packages, as well as on-site grooming for dogs, cats, and CEOs who need a break from making so many decisions.
Inspired by trips to the state's northwestern lakes, Okoboji Grill conjures the wayfaring spirit of summer vacation with hearty American comfort food. Chefs marinate chicken strips in beer before hand-breading them in a secret blend of spices, crown crispy onion strings with Iowa-raised pork chops, and stack thin-sliced meats into towering club sandwiches and edible replicas of the Chrysler Building. Okoboji Grill also culls recipes from international cuisines, adding an American take to greek gyros, housemade tzatziki sauce, and italian bruschetta and pastas.
The chefs at Cheese Castle Pizza hand-hurl dough sky-high, preparing nine specialty pies that headline a menu of cheesy sub sandwiches, house-made baked beans, and piping hot pastas. Classic or thin-crust foundations anchor pizzas slathered in a traditional, spicy, or alfredo sauce and peppered with fresh toppings that include ham, mushroom, and sauerkraut ($5.39+). The taco pizza’s blend of Mexican-spiced ground beef, cheddar, and nacho chips throws sensory fiestas for taste buds ($8.69+), and the ham- and pineapple-flecked hawaiian pizza ($6.49+) evokes a seaside luau without the mandatory dance breaks and sand-filled socks. Alternatively, peruse the menu at BurgerTime and SpeedyTaco, which pairs 100% Angus beef burgers with tacos sheathed in hard, soft, and flour shells. Single- ($3+), double- ($4.25+), and triple-stacked ($5.75+) patties lay a foundation for bacon, mushroom, and swiss architecture alongside chimichanga abodes leased to steak and chicken tenants ($3.75). Today’s deal can be used for dine-in, carryout, or delivery, offering homebound guests an appetizing alternative to the imaginary crumpets served at children’s tea parties.
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 étouffée 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.
Bennigan’s evokes a spirit of Irish hospitality with Celtic-inflected fare and generous portions, evidenced in their half-pound burgers and overflowing pints. The eatery’s focuses on hearty meat dishes such as the pot roast doused in red-ale gravy, the new york strip steak, and baby-back ribs. Half-pound single-patty burgers, such as the Guinness-glazed bacon burger, kneel before The Big Irish, a two-patty tower interspersed with three bun slices. Alternatively, groups can share plates of snacks such as bacon-cheeseburger chips—kettle chips topped in ground beef, bacon bits, and cheese—as they cheer for their favorite team or shout the species of their favorite mascot during televised games.
It's usually Mullets' mascot that first catches guests' eyes, flashing its gill-to-gill grin from its post-top perch. Then there's the big neon sign, which further befits the establishment's roadhouse atmosphere. Situated at the confluence of the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers, Mullets draws in patrons with pub staples such as burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas as well as plentiful seafood options that include catfish, bluegill, crawfish, and frog legs. Servers can bring these dishes out to the wood-paneled dining room or up the stairs to the two-level outdoor patio, where banners for the Chicago Cubs and Boulevard Brewing Company ripple in the wind like the tongue of a skydiving dog. The staff encourages patrons to make their own marks on the pub’s playful atmosphere by posting photos of their mullets—whether haircuts or state-fair-winning fish—to the Mulletin board.
When the owners first laid eyes on the 117-year-old house that would later become Capital Pub and Hot Dog, they viewed it as an opportunity to accomplish a long-lived goal rather than as an archaic, dilapidated building. Today, the once-condemned structure stands completely renovated and now serves as a dining hotspot where neighborhood regulars furnish their bellies with 100%-all-beef Klement's hot dogs and signature cocktails. The laid-back eatery's 13 Capital Dogs bear such unique toppings as homemade chili, crispy Fritos, and buffalo hot sauce, and its hearty sandwiches punch hunger in the gut with Angus beef, marinated chicken, and american cheese. Headlining a hefty appetizer menu, sweet-potato fries drizzled in honey and accompanied by marshmallow-cream sauce charm taste buds with bites sweeter than love notes written by Oompa Loompas. Capital's sleek, intimate space treats stompers to warm wooden floors that glimmer beneath burnished dining islands and beer-inspired signage.