With the end of the outdoor farmers market season, I had to share a few more bites from the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market.
Extraordinary cheese can be had from Maytag Dairy Farms of Newton and Frisian Farms of Oskaloosa. Both operate stands at the downtown market. Maytag is famous for its world-class blue cheese while the folks at Frisian specialize in all things gouda: young, aged, curds, and smoked. I bought some of the smoked to share with friends at a nearby coffee shop, and it disappeared rather quickly, though I must confess to eating the lion's share. Rawr!
Though officially not part of the Farmers Market, many businesses in the neighborhood are open to offer their own delicious fare. Java Joes with all things coffee, Fong's with breakfast pizzas [see blog post], The Royal Mile with kick-ass burritos and omelets [see this blog post, and this one too], and now the Riverwalk Hub cafe with beverages, ham and cheese croissant sandwiches, and their signature pastry, sweet and savory Dangos.
The Dangos – named after artworks outside on the adjacent plaza [see blog post] – are a pâte-à-choux, i.e., a light pastry dough used to make profiteroles, croquembouches, éclairs, French crullers, and beignets. These were much drier.
The savory Dango sports a sprinkling of bacon. The bacon on the Dangos I tried were over-toasted and flavorless. Sweet Dangos were more appealing and complimentary with the Hub's fresh brewed coffee.
For as long as I remember going to the Downtown Farmers Market, Saloo's has always operated a stand there, offering samosas and potato cutlets filled with curried meat or vegetables. Cutlets are adorned with a lightly spiced tomato sauce. Its comfort food at its best.
I've been enjoying sausages at Strudl Haus' sausage stand, but I never got one on a pretzel bun. On my last visit there I finally got to try both the pretzel bun and the hot link sausage, with sauerkraut on top. Just plain delicious!
My hands-down favorite at the Downtown Farmers Market is the spinach pupusa from Pupusas El Salvador. With a heaping of curtido (slaw) and their picante salsa verde, it's a complete meal. I would eat these all the time if I could wake up early enough to avoid the queues that quickly build at their stand.