Monday, June 29, 2015
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Long before burrito crafters such as Bandit Burrito, Fighting Burrito, Tacopocalypse, and the chains Abelardo's, Panchero's and Chipotle began to dominate the local landscape, El Rey Burritos in West Des Moines was known for their legendary big burritos, culminating in the two-foot-long Rey Rey. But El Rey also makes great guacamole, along with enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, breakfast dishes and more.
Having a hankering for some good guacamole after sampling the disappointing goo at Abelardo’s [see blog post], I visited El Rey to reacquaint myself with the food after a long absence.
The table salsa served with tortilla chips is thick, tomatoey and mild. In appearance and texture its like eating a thick tomato sauce mixed with pico de gallo. The burly tomato overpowers the cilantro and onion. Guacamole is chunky, yet velvety. Onion comes through with a nice crunch. A delight to eat.
The Burrito Vegetariano is a fiesta of starch, with potato, beans and rice all within a large flour tortilla. The abundant lettuce that all of El Rey’s burritos sport adds a much needed contrast in texture, but doesn't provide much for flavor. The chorizo in my second burrito had a vinegary bite that stood out over the otherwise dominating lettuce and sour cream.
Salsa verde is tangy and vibrant with the refreshing tart taste of tomatillo. What little heat it boasts fades quickly on the palate. Little dabs to every other bite of the chorizo burrito compliments it. The spicy salsa roja is the very essence of red chile. Good heat that builds fast in the throat, and lingers long. My favorite of the three salsas offered and an excellent addition to the otherwise mild veggie burrito.
El Rey’s service on this visit was very friendly and accommodating. I asked for my burritos to be cut in half so that I could save half of each for carryout. The server brought out the halves to go after I had finished my meal, each half wrapped tightly in foil and obviously kept warm. A nice touch.
Monday, June 22, 2015
Its all 'smiles' at the Donut Hut on the corner of 50th and Douglas. The most popular baked good here is the apple fritter, and I can taste why. Crisp glazing, lightly sweet. Solid, balanced flavor throughout. Magnificent!
For doughnuts the Coconut Crunch, left, is substantial with a dense, moist cake, enrobed with a simple glaze affixed with toasted coconut. The Cinnamon Crumb, right, easily sates a jonesin' for cinnamon toast.
Donut Hut's Double Chocolate, left, is a little on the sweet side. Hiland Bakery's offering is the clear superior in this town [see blog post]. The Red Velvet, right, is much better than Dunkin' Donuts offering, but Topped Doughnuts' over-the-top build is still my favorite [see blog post].
The Chocolate Chip, left, has a few mini chips dashed about, only a hint of chocolate flavor comes through. For raised doughnuts I tried a fine lemon bismarck, right. Boasting structure while giving up a soft chew, the tart lemon filling perks things up.