Filed under: Local Food Commentary | Tags: a-holes, Banh Mi, Bathory, black friday, datebook diner, des moines, downtown, local, Relish
Here it is, the yin to T-day’s yang, the number one shopping day of the year and the most ironically placed “holiday” on our current holiday calendar (A day of thanks followed by a day of trampling strangers in the name of greed or giving). I know that most of you celebratorians of the Turkey probably think that whatever you ate yesterday will carry you through the rigors of draining your holiday savings today, but you are kinda sorta wrong. At some point today you are going to feel a little bonk from all those laps around Mal-Wart waiting for those timed specials to drop and you are going to need some real food.
I urge you to either stop in at a local eatery for a bite of lunch or a small snack, or to pack a sandwich or similar portable item to take with you along the road to bargain shopping. I know, this is all information you could have used YESTERDAY. I understand.
With all of that said, I hope that if you are out in the Thunderdome we call Black Friday you are being safe and exercising compassion towards others. I have already read via Twitter of a few people being trampled early this morning and of security guards having to use force to keep crowds in check. Come on, people. Even though this is a tough time for finances and you want to get the most for what dollars you have to spend, don’t drive up health care costs by injuring other people. Next thing you know the Insurance Industry will recognize the danger of Black Friday shopping and require special insurance coverage for just that day, sort of like flood or fire insurance. Then saving a little money off your LCD TV turns into more national debt, as the less fortunate who are currently receiving Medicare or Medicaid will benefit most from the sales on Black Friday, but the government will have to pay a higher premium to insure those people for said day. It’s not that far fetched, and my speculation here put into the wrong hands may be the butterfly effect that pushes this insurance nonsense forward.
But I digress.
This year our Lovely Datebook Diner, formerly known here as She Who Shall Not Be Named, compiled a list of restaurants which have closed during her twelve year tenure at the super awesome Des Moines Register. Since that list was released, so were a few more eateries released from the hands of their owners. One of the closings that has been buzzing on my Twitter Feed (sounds like a very inappropriate gathering) is the closing of none other than Ban Thai (normally I would list the contact info here, but they are closed), a Thai restaurant in the southern quadrant of the DMZ’s East Village. I used to frequent this spot often, and have a really wicked scar on my left leg from a bicycle accident/failed attempt to make it to Ban Thai in time for lunch service. I never did make it there for lunch that day, and now there will forever be a void where those vegetable spring rolls once occupied. Rumor has it that the food had gone way down hill over the last few months before its final demise, and I had noticed the parking lot growing emptier during my travels through that neighborhood. The owners had been shopping around for a new location (rumor has it that it was to be located in a vacated 4th street dining spot), and some people had been trying to sell off the Ban Thai business for about a year. Well, all problems aside, you are missed, Ban Thai. Sorry you had to make “The List.”
Another rumor has dropped that A-dong (1511 High Street,Des Moines, IA 50309 515-284-5632) has decided to throw their hat into the Banh Mi circle. You may remember this Vietnamese sandwich from such moments as the Banh Mi Craze of Summer ’10, and from numerous articles written by your various food critics (and myself). A-dong will be selling these happy little sandwiches in to-go form only from a cold case. I am really excited to see what the A-dong Banh Mi will entail, I have been a fan of that place for years and pass by it every day on the way to Cafe Di Scala, where we have been known to devour our share of Banh Mi. Banh Mi. I am not sure when A-dong will officially drop their sandwiches, but rest assured you will be kept posted.
OH yeah, I still haven’t wrapped my tiny brain around how to address this Relish issue. Maybe Monday.
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