Photo credit: @beaster1
Each month, we highlight some of the most buzzworthy places and events in Greater Des Moines in a feature we call Des Buzz. Guaranteed to up your street cred, or at least give you some topics to switch to when someone brings up politics at a gathering. You’re welcome!
The latest answer to the question, “What makes the East Village so hip?” is this burgeoning foodie mecca from owner and chef Chris Hoffman. Don’t let the diner moniker fool you, this is more New York chic than it is Nighthawk painting (while still retaining that diner charm). Serving up reimagined classics like a Fried Green Tomato BLT, Shrimp and Grits and their popular Not Nashville Hot Chicken, it makes for great people watching while sipping on a mezcal cocktail. You’ve made some questionable decisions in your life. Going here won’t be one of them. Now open for lunch if you’re into that sort of thing.
You know you’re doing something right when all the beer nerds (anyone that uses the term “quaffable”) have already proclaimed you one of the best breweries in Greater Des Moines after a few short months. Where else are you going to be able to get white sturgeon caviar and a pushpop, smoothie-esque sour beer? Have you ever even seen the words together in the same sentence? Brought to you by the former lead brewer at the formerly-underrated-but-now-just-great Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City. Wear a floral shirt to match their cool mural (this won’t really get you anything except the admiration of your peers).
The latest exhibit at the Des Moines Art Center from Scottish artist Karla Black employs a pastel palette using paint, plaster, glitter, cellophane, lipstick and bath bombs to express play, tactility, and creative expression. We’re pretty sure it means we need to unplug and hug our kids more, but that’s why art is subjective, right? (And you should do that anyway.) To describe it any further would just sound pretentious. It’s free, just don’t break anything.
Hey, it’s books! You remember those, right? On Saturday, March 28, head over to Capital Square for the 2020 DSM Book Festival, with best-selling authors, book discussions, children’s activities and more. Winner of the Best New Festival (International Festivals and Events Association 2019) and featuring authors such as Oprah fave Tayari Jones (An American Marriage) and Chuck Kloseterman (Sex, Drugs and Coco Puffs), your husband’s favorite author even if he doesn’t know it yet. Admission is free, but you can purchase premium workshops and VIP packages that allow you to mingle with authors who can turn a phrase better than you can. Put down the phone and make books (or Kindles) cool again.
Chicago dyes their river green. We…well, we have a downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade, so take that! Wait, I’m being told they have a parade too, and it’s probably bigger. Well, parking is much easier here! Throw on your kitschiest green outfit that you bought from Target and head on downtown towards Grand Avenue on Tuesday, March 17th at noon. If you’d rather celebrate and not have to go back to work right after, head to The Hall on Saturday, March 14th with Dueling Fiddles from 3-5 pm featuring selections from Lord of the Dance, Dropkick Murphy’s and traditional Celtic songs. Celebrate with green beer and party like that shamrock tattoo you got in college wasn’t a mistake at all.
We are of the mind that every festival should include a bacon component. Which is probably why we think this is pretty much the best festival ever. An entire festival dedicated to bacon. How Midwest and delicious is that? This isn’t just a festival it’s a party (21+), with things like a Bacon King and Queen, bacon contests, crazy bacon-inspired dishes, beer, bands, and a disco. This year’s theme is “Baconritaville”. Let your hair down and be a ham on Saturday, March 7 at the Iowa Events Center.
For all you coupon clippers, basketball beholders or beer chasers, you’ve got one last chance to imbibe in the best deal in Des Moines. On Saturday, March 21st, the Iowa Wolves host their last Hoops and Hops event of the season. For $40, you get a courtside ticket, a commemorative pint glass, four drink tickets, complimentary apps and the opportunity to meet brewers, win prizes and sample exclusive beers from Peace Tree, Firetrucker and Iowa Brewing Co. Since we’re not above using terrible puns, we’ll call this deal a slam dunk!
From the people who brought you the underrated Angry Goldfish comes The Dam Pub in Beaverdale, a place so steeped in 80’s and 90’s nostalgia that you’ll consider, however briefly, feathering your bangs again. Located in the former spot of Reed’s Hollow they serve up rib-sticking fare like burgers, nachos and meatloaf alongside era-appropriate cocktails. Don’t quote us on this, but we’re pretty sure this is the only place in town where you’ll find murals with both ALF and Eddie Vedder. That’s a pretty small intersection on the Venn Diagram.