Sunday, March 31, 2013


In the continuing series of south side eating I've done, I had to make a stop to Baratta's or I wouldn't have been able to look at myself in the mirror. It's hidden in the neighborhood of the south side but well worth the search. Probably the best Italian Food in Des Moines for its price range. The only Italian food I've had that is better is Sam and Gabe's and it is pretty pricey. To make Barattas an even better value, they have a Dinner Duo special for $20 on M-Th which gives a ridiculous amount of awesome food for a pretty good price. I absolutely recommend you check that out.

Menu and site at: Barattas

I had never ordered the Chicken Parm and spaghetti so I chose that. I don't think I've ever ordered that at any restaurant before so I have no basis of comparison but I know it tasted great. With the Onion Ring appetizer (which tasted almost as good as La Pizza House's Onion Rings), huge side salad and a 22oz Ruthie, I was pretty much done for before the Parm came out. Still, I had a couple bites and the chicken breast was huge and juicy. Very good breading but not too dry. The sauce and spaghetti was also very good for simple spaghetti. I love my sauce thick and their saucy was not runny at all. They don't mess around there.  Since I had so much for leftovers, I actually made a chicken parm sandwich breakfast for one meal and had the rest of the spaghetti for another meal.

Got the Onion Ring appetizer and a Ruthie from Exile.
Chicken Parm and Spaghetti...great leftover for breakfast.a

Note, that you can also get a soup instead of the salad and I've heard amazing things about the Pepper Cheese soup AFTER I ordered the salad.I definitely plan to try the soup next time. What is your favorite Italian restaurant?

Friday, March 15, 2013

El Aguila Real

As far as Mexican food goes, I admit that a lot of the restaurants in Des Moines taste similar to me...delicious! One of my favorite places though is Aguila Real in Beaverdale. Like most of the other restaurants, they are quick, cheap and good. They moved to a bigger location across the street from their old building a couple years back which I feel hurt the quality of the food a little bit (or it could be I don't delicious greasy Mexican food like I did in college). It is still good but I don't feel like it is as good as it was when it was in the small Long John Silver's building.

Normally, I get the chicken nachos which are the best in Des Moines (yes I've compared them to other Mexican restaurants before) but I thought I would switch it up. I got the #3 on the lunch menu which is a chicken enchilada, rice and a chicken taco.

Enchilada, rice and a taco
I rarely get combos but I enjoyed this one. It was a ton of food, but not overly greasy so I didn't feel miserable. I still don't know if any restaurant can beat the enchiladas my family and I make  but this one wasn't too bad. The taco was pretty crisp but it didn't shatter like shrapnel when I bit into it. I have always liked their chicken and I normally don't like the grainy beef that most of the Mexican restaurants have so I recommend chicken or steak for meats.

The combo is probably a better meal than the chicken nachos which are slathered in cheese sauce atop a huge bed of carbs. Probably the healthiest thing to eat at a Mexican restaurant would be chicken fajitas and skip out on the tortillas--and Aguila's are very good. What is you favorite Mexican restaurant?

Monday, March 11, 2013


I stopped over to the B&B: The Home of the Killer Sandwiches which, fortunately, is down the street from me. I've been coming here since I was 4 years old and not much has changed....which is good because they are doing things right. B&B has won tons of awards from Cityview for their sandwiches and has been featured on a couple shows such as: Outrageous Food and Bizarre Foods w/ Andrew Zimmer. Those shows probably don't do them justice because while they have some big sandwiches, they should be commended on the quality of the food.  Check out their site and menu here: B&B

Since I had the day off, I decided to stop over for lunch with Chris and his daughter Mara. I always like to try something new but I couldn't bring myself to try the Quadzilla because I knew I had to be alive the rest of the day. I had the spicy breaded chicken sandwich and it was really good as the chicken was juicy and the breading was tasty but light enough to not dominate the meat. I am not sure a better sandwich bun exists, they are soft and melt in your mouth like cheese.

Breaded chicken, pepper jack cheese, veggies, mustard and epic bun!

Mara loved the grinder but ordered the ham and cheese.
Most people on the south side know about this place and if you follow the top eateries in Des Moines, you probably have heard of B&B. It's definitely a must check out place if you like sandwiches or need to pick up some fresh deli meats. Fortunately, it's close enough to downtown to grab a bite over lunch so check it out. What is your favorite sandwich there?