Locally Grown

The New Best Banh Mi In The DMZ
2011/04/22, 5:52 am
Filed under: restaurant reviews | Tags: , , ,

Hello, tens.  I don’t usually review food, but I just had a sandwich so good that I had to stop what I was doing and write a post about it. 

I didn’t even get a picture of it, couldn’t put it down long enough! 

Vietnam Cafe is located inside the Merle Hay Mall, in the FOOD COURT, and serves up some great Pho in beef, chicken, pork, or even Vegetarian varieties.  They also have a small menu of noodle dishes, spring rolls, and chef specials.  All good. 

But the Banh Mi… perfect bread, perfect roasted pork, spicy mayo, pickled daikon and carrot, cilantro, and cucumber add up to the best sandwich I have eaten since Pho All Seasons closed down.  And it is a very traditionally priced $3. 

Tens, if you are a Banh Mi fan, you owe it to yourselves to visit this oddly placed hidden gem inside the Merle Hay Mall. 

The Cook

Super Kitchen Ultra Workout Video
2011/04/21, 1:20 am
Filed under: Total Rubbish | Tags: , ,

Ok, so. I talk a lot about what it is like to work in a professional kitchen.  It is a challenging (sometimes shitty) yet rewarding job that would send “common folk” back to their cubicles in one dinner service.  (This is true, there is a kitchen in town which employs one of those hopeful ex-cubiclist types.  He looks really out of place and miserable whenever I see him.  The same look I would have if you saw me in a corporate hamster cage). 

This is all about to change with the introduction of a new line of workout videos designed to get you pumped up about cooking. 

Your Humble Cook and Cafe Di Scala owner Tony Lemmo have joined forces to bring you…well…this:

Complete this workout twice daily and you will be well on your way to becoming a professional cook.

The Actual Cook

Locally Grown Monday News

I forgot to start the dryer last night.

As I sit waiting for my panticular clothing items to dry before heading out into the wild gray abyss that is our dreary little Monday, a few non-pants-related thoughts come to mind.  How is our food scene doing, DMZ?  I see some of our local food-blog types have stepped up their dining-opinion-spouting, most likely due to a constant cropping up of new or redesignated restaurants (thus is the circle of restaurant life, eating establishments begin anew only to be barnacled by the words of reviewers, or their own service/food ball dropping, business slows, and some other restaurateur purchases the failed business only to start the whole process over again). I still stand by my opinion that amateur restaurant reviewists, whether by Yelp or by Blog, are exactly what the name states, amateurs.  But some are slowwwwwly starting to get it.  And by slow, I mean evolution of the cosmos slow.  Oops!  Did I just say evolution?  Better watch it before I start getting attacked for violating the Separation of Church and Steak laws.

ooh.  that joke was almost as painful as reading some bush league foodie rantings.  On with the news.

-Chef Hal Jasa of Zingaro has stayed true to the “Gypsy” theme of his Pop-Up dining experience’s name (thanks to the Our Fair City’s City Officials) and has changed locations, taking up home inside of the Kirkwood Lounge (400 Walnut Street) (formerly Azalea).  Hal is using their abundance of kitchen space and mezzanine seating to offer his constantly changing menu to a select few who are able to snatch up reservations.

-You have probably already heard about this, but I am pretty excited for you to hear about it again. Chef George Formaro’s Zombie Burger will be opening in the near future (possibly August) at the e300 building in the East Village.  What the heck is a Zombie Burger?  Read about it here. 

-A new daily deal web site launches today, DSM Daily. DSM Daily offers an email based discount and incentive system to encourage you, the consumer, to frequent businesses but UNLIKE the established daily discount sites, DSMD is locally owned and features only locally owned businesses.  Their focus is keeping local dollars local and introducing people to businesses that would otherwise stay under the radar due to lack of “big marketing” dollars employed by national chains.  Their launch party is tonight at the Bombay Bicycle Club.  I encourage you to sign up and support this local business which supports local business.

Well, the pants-are-dry buzzer just went off, which means our news session is over for todah. today.  Remember to keep things really real you have to really keep things local.

We Love you, Des Moines!  Good Night!

The Cook

Locally Grown Is Back!
2011/04/15, 9:03 am
Filed under: Personal | Tags:

Greetings, Tens!  Maybe I took the April Fool’s joke a little too far, or maybe I have just been busy riding around the state of Iowa in a state of weatherly bliss, but the Locally Grown mute button has been toggled to the “on” position for far too long.  But let’s not mourn the time we spent away from each other, instead let’s celebrate the return of the world’s most Meh food blogger the same way we would celebrate a newborn kitten’s first steps into the rest of its life.

Go get em, Kitten!

That’s right, with a cute picture of a kitten.  What a great way to celebrate anything.

So…what’s new around the DesMoinesZone?  TONS of things are happening, including everyone and their business partner attempting to jump into the food cart/truck business, the eating scene is still chock full of ignorant a-holes (even after the amazing advice offered by your lovely cook), A local chef took the pop-up concept from cool concept to City Target to restaurant-housed-within-another-restaurant, the James Beard Awards passed over all local entrants, the Downtown Farmers Market is creeping towards its 2011 debut, and the Earth took a few more revolutions towards its demise. But we can address that all on Monday.  Today I just wanted you all to know that I haven’t left you out in the cold.  At least not from here on out.

Don’t forget to Rep Local!

The Cook

This Is The End (Of Locally Grown), My Tens…
2011/04/01, 6:53 am
Filed under: Total Rubbish | Tags:

Well, oh faithful tens who have been so dilligently checking your RSS feed-type apparatus in hopes of some Cookular words from your favorite The Cook, it seems that our ride together has come to an end.  My month long sabbatical has culminated in an offer from a major news publishing company, which has enoyed the lack of negativity towards a certain collumnist in their partial employ, to permanently silence this sexy otter of a food blog. 

I can’t disclose much information regarding this hostile buyout, but I will say the payoff will net me a new pair of kitchen tongs and a month supply of tacos. 

I will miss you, Tens.  Remember to be good diners and to avoid being assholes to your restaurant professionals!


The Cook