Saturday, April 25, 2015

Random Bits of Detritus: Snails, 'Vice', flaming T.P., cords, and Doctor Who bling.

Snails taking advantage of the recent rainfall to cross a relatively perilous bike trail, just west of S.E. Sixth.

Its a lifestyle.

A nova is a cataclysmic nuclear explosion on a white dwarf star. Hmm.

Connectivity at Firetrucker Brewery.

Doctor Who fridge magnets.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fast Times at the Des Moines Social Club

The media came a calling! Djonuts' Joe Formaro whipped up frosting for a KCCI News segment, filmed at Capes Kafé. The Something Italian T-shirt Joe wore was badass. The colors practically glowed!

At Capes Kafé, from right: Not tipping is highly illogical; Despite being legless, Godzilla rules the castle; Watching Man of Steel from the cheap seats.

Artwork at Viaduct Gallery.

At Capes Kafé, from right: Star Wars magnets from The Sara Initiative on sale; "Three were AWOL!"; Mugging with Travis.

Catering for Djonuts' start-up fundraiser party at the Des Moines Social Club, Chef George Formaro of Malo cobbled up an epic coney sauce, served atop all-beef hot dogs. Later, I was graced with a Mother-in-law sandwich featuring a Malo fresh masa pork tamale nestled within. Make it stop!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Recent visits to Gong Fu Tea.

Left and center, Organic Green Tuocha: a slightly smoky, vegetal puerh with a wee bit of maltiness. On the right, an oolong tea with snacks.

From left: Wasabi peanut smile; Green Snail Spring – the earliest buds are plucked for a very light malt flavor, no snails were harmed; Wuyi Shan Red Cape – a dark oolong with a smooth, rich, woody liquor.

Users of HandyBrew tea makers: note new design. Less utilitarian, more whimsical; the lid now resembles a tea leaf. The smaller HandyBrew tea maker remains unchanged for now. Both are for sale at Gong Fu Tea.

Gong Fu Tea on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A wintry scene at the Rotary Riverwalk Park in downtown Des Moines.

Whimsical fishing rod & bobber swings. Playground surface emulates a pond.

The Rotary Foundation Four-Way Test.

Stone benches representing each of the ten sponsoring Clubs and the local District.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Set sail to the Yankee Clipper for 'Tuesday Tacos' and Clipper Burgers.

What can be said about the 'Tuesday Tacos' at the Yankee Clipper, nestled in Ankeny's Uptown neighborhood, i.e. the part of town that isn’t a strip mall.

For one thing they're more like a cross between fry bread and a fried pirozhki. You could easily confuse it with a Tasty Tacos' puffy taco on first glance, but in essence its basically a lump of dough, shaped into a flattened half-moon, deep fried, then split and filled. The ‘shell’ may be huge but its not excessively bready in texture. Its taste is lightly sweet but not distracting.

As for fillings, you’ve got two choices.

There’s the Mexican Taco with seasoned ground beef, shredded cheese and lettuce, tomato; extra for a slather of sour cream.

And then there is the American Taco, a true melting pot – in your stomach; with ham, shredded cheese and lettuce, lovingly garnished with ranch dressing. This rough beast can be best summed up to paraphrase Chief Wiggum, "If we can keep [this] down, we'll be sitting pretty."

As this special suggests, the Yankee Clipper only offers these tacos, plus a taco salad, on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m (or until they’re gone). If you really want to try one, you might want to beat the dinner crowd.

The Mexican Taco at the Yankee Clipper.
The American Taco at the Yankee Clipper. In essence, a deep-fried ham and cheese sandwich. 100% evil.

Another signature item of note at the Yankee Clipper is the Clipper Burger: a deep-fried breaded beef patty topped with bacon and pepper jack, served on a toasted bun. If you like chicken fried steak, you'll love this burger! Its the closest thing to the chicken fried steak I used to enjoy at the Y Not Grill on Sixth Ave. several decades ago. Crunchy rings made with a surprisingly strong onion and a fine Bloody Mary rounded out this excellent meal. The Yankee Clipper also makes a pretty good White Russian, IMHO.

Yankee Clipper on Urbanspoon