Locally Grown

Zingaro, Flour, Allspice, and Every News Nice

It is amazing how that one holiday that happened last week, which was given too much attention by a certain cook, has turned into something of a week long celebration like Hannukah, Festivus, or my Fake Birthday.  Well, it’s not really celebrated proper past its Thursday do-date, but the SHOPPING party lasts from Friday until today, which has become what we confusedly refer to as “Cyber Monday.”  “Cyber” was used more as a term for adult-oriented interweb chat activities back in the AOL days or the toddler stage of remote digital exchanges, but now it has been “re-branded” to focus us on the salacious act of bargain shopping until dropping.  Rest assured that today’s internet shopping holiday will no doubt cap the end of our economy’s reccessing, and will net a whole crap load of shipping jobs for the USPS, FedHex, and UPS.  I heard they could all use a little help.

Speaking of help, it’s time for those of us here at LG to put on our Monday News And Interdork Shopping Pageant.  You may want to use the restrooms now.  There is no intemission.

First up is the opening of Chef Hal Jasa’s new “popup” restaurant Zingaro this Thursday night (Dec 2nd) at 1605 Woodland avenue in the glorious Sherman Hill district of the DMZ.  Hal has some great ideas and I am excited to see him have a chance to realize those ideas unhindered from the control of others.  The format is 20 people at a time, 3 courses, $30 dollars, and is BYOB.  This is a great deal for a meal prepared and presented by professionals (I hear that Jenny Smith aka Butcher Crick Farms and the one and only Chef Leon will be helping out from time to time) using local products, cutting edge techniques, and served in a beautiful historic building.  Sounds like a win win win win win…win.  Zingaro will only be serving on Thursday and Friday evenings, and you need reservations.  Step outside the Des Moines Dining Box and check this spot out.  www.zingarocuisine.com / 515-661-4371  Don’t forget to hug your chef.

And now you are thinking “what is a “pop-up” restaurant?”  I am glad you asked.  Pop-ups are popping up in larger cities (shocker) and play on a chef’s creativity.  It’s a way for those chefs without big money backing to expose the world to the product of their obsessive culinary nature.  The goal of these places is not to become a fixture, but to burn brightly then move on to something new.  Sometimes these ventures are a testing ground for the viability of a concept or to showcase an intended static restaurant concept to the public and especially to people who may want to invest in the particular chef’s future.  Did you catch that one?  This is awesome semi-guerilla dining at its rawest.  Here is an article from the NYT which gives a run-down of the POR scene in San Francisco.  Did I mention that I am excited for this to start happening here in Des Moines?

A few weeks ago a valued and LG reader Matt suggested that a petition be started for the repeal or re-revision of the new City of Des Moines Food Cart Rules.  I hear that is in the works.  Spend the winter letting the City council know that when spring hits, you want them to keep their laws off your body…of dining options.  Remember, food carts don’t cause drunken shenaningans, drunks do.

I Still don’t even know how to address this Relish issue.  Maybe a letter to the editor about checking the qualifications of that Miller fellow…

Carly Groben of Proof is about to open a pizza spot called Flour (and is rumored to be opening an MMA workout gym called Rolling Pin.  Ok, nobody laugh at that.) between Smokey D’s BBQ and Jimmy John’s at 1220 Locust Street in the Western Gateway.  The seating is communal, the atmosphere sparse, and the pizza is served in square slices.  Flour is slotted to open sometime between today and Dec 6th.  You can reach the Flour headquarters at 515-288-2935 or on the dork-sphere at www.flourpizza.com

I will be there for their opening day (unless it happens on Friday, as I have a hot lunch date with the DMACC/ICI Bistro folks.  You will be reading about that next Monday), pretty curious about this downtown New Pizza Boom ala the Sushi Boom of ought 8 and the current tail end of the BBQ Craze.  Former Groben cohort Steve Logsdon opened Bagni Di Lucca in the old East Village Basil Prosperi spot this summer, and Cafe Di Scala owner Tony Lemmo’s Gusto Pizza (the new “Frank’s Pizza” of Dogtown fame) is slated to open soon in Ingersoll Square, then you have Fong’s, Mullet’s, and all of the pizza on the skywalk…hm.


There is also a new Sheriff of Spice in the East Village, Allspice.  I will be going there this afternoon for a little shopping trip.  Here is an article about Allspice and one of my favorite shops, Kitchen Collage from my favorite newspaper in the world, the Des Moines Register.  Anyone need a tissue after that one? contact/visit Allspice at 400 E. Locust St., Suite 5, 515-868-0808  www.allspiceonline.com


That wasn’t so hard, was it?  Nice and easy.  I am on the way to lunch at Proof and to find a little more about this mysterious floating open date for Flour.

And to eat some Felafel.

The Cook.



7 Comments so far
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I was at a dinner party at George Cataldo’s house six months or so ago with a bunch of guys with loads of money. Knowing I was in the business, one guy asked me if I knew Hal Jasa, as he was being asked to finance a restaurant for him. I said, oh yeah, I know Hal, then I told him a few things about Hal that he had no idea about. Needless to say, he didn’t give Hal one dime.

Comment by Pat Mearson

Were you their towel boy?

Comment by locallygrown

Believe it or don’t, I was actually a guest. We got pretty hammered that night, and I think I bought a piece of Paddy O’Prado. Let Hal know, and when Paddy is put down, I’ll sell my piece to him. I think braising and a nice port demi would be nice. He could call it, Paddy O’Porto.

Comment by Pat Mearson

Ok, that was actually funny.

Comment by locallygrown

Nice and easy. ME LIKEY.

Comment by Holly Worthy

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Samuel Auen, Samuel Auen. Samuel Auen said: Zingaro, Flour, Allspice, and Every News Nice: http://wp.me/pE2qf-5e […]

Pingback by Tweets that mention Zingaro, Flour, Allspice, and Every News Nice « Locally Grown -- Topsy.com

[…] Anyway, after further research I discovered that Zingaro 515 is a “pop-up” restaurant. Local chef/blogger Sam Auen gives a superb explanation in his blog, Locally Grown. […]

Pingback by Zingaro 515 «

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