Des Moines/Chicago

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TwoJays
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2007/08/06 16:10:49 (permalink)

Des Moines/Chicago

My wife & I just returned from a 5-day trip to Des Moines & Chicago, and had some good eats along the way:

WED 8/1 - We arrived in Des Moines about 1:30pm, and by 2pm we were sitting in Smitty's having a king-sized Pork Tenderloin. Based on the numerous threads & postings here at RF, and in the book, we had high expectations. We were underwhelmed. I think it was the combo of pickle/onion/mustard - it just didn't send my taste buds dancing like I had hoped it would. Maybe w/ some different condiments, or a tastier breading on the pork.

THUR 8/2 - Our hotel in West Des Moines/Clive was right next to a Maid-Rite franchise, so we had to try it for lunch. We were again underwhelmed. Perhaps we should've visited the location in Newton IA (noted in the Sterns' book). It was good, but overall it was a bit bland. I'd probably eat it over a McD's cheeseburger, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

FRI 8/3 - After partying until 3am the night before (after a family wedding) and then driving all afternoon from Des Moines to Chicago, we were pooped, but Jill wanted some deep dish pizza. We were staying in the Mag. Mile area, so we walked over to Lou Malnati's on North Wells for dinner. All in all, it was good, but not spectacular. Jill got a pepperoni w/ extra sauce, while I had a sausage/mushroom. I've never been a huge fan of deep dish, as I've always thought it was too much bread/dough. I like the simplicity of a thin-crust w/ near-equal layers of crust, sauce & cheese. Next time we're in Chicago, we're going to try the Pizza Pot Pie from the Chicago Pizza & Over Grinder Co.

SAT 8/4 - After spending the morning walking through the Museum of Science & Industry, we went back to our hotel and then walked a few blocks up to Al's Italian Beef (the location across from the huge McD's and near the Hard Rock Cafe). Now THAT was some good eats! Jill got the classic beef while I got the beef/sausage combo. The sandwiches were outstanding and I would go out of my way for one of those again. The fries were also excellent - fresh-cut and perfectly fried.

For dinner on SAT 8/4, we had a great meal at Gene & Georgetti's. Not exactly Roadfood, but a great dinner nonetheless.

SUN 8/5 - Lunch at the airport consisted of a couple of CSD's from one of the places in the food court. I'm sure they wouldn't rate highly in a poll, but they certainly hit spot when the spot needed a good hitting.

John
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5 Replies Related Threads

    wanderingjew
    Sirloin
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    RE: Des Moines/Chicago 2007/08/06 19:19:07 (permalink)
    I felt the same way you did about the Maid Rites. I thought Smitty's wasn't bad, it was actually a significant improvement over the BPT Sandwich I had at Mug N Bun in Indianapolis. You should have tried the Stuffed Iowa Chop at the Iowa Machine Shed while you were in Des Moines- That's always been excellent!
    #2
    blizzardstormus
    Cheeseburger
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    RE: Des Moines/Chicago 2007/08/06 19:56:15 (permalink)
    Most Maid-rite restaurants no longer make their own maid-rite meat. It is delivered pre-cooked to the restaurants. A sad day for an Iowa tradition.

    Some Maid-rite restaurants DO make it the old-fashioned way. Treasure these places when you find them and LET US KNOW WHERE THEY ARE!
    #3
    TwoJays
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    RE: Des Moines/Chicago 2007/08/06 20:13:59 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    You should have tried the Stuffed Iowa Chop at the Iowa Machine Shed while you were in Des Moines- That's always been excellent!

    Yeah, we wanted to go to the Machine Shed for dinner on Thursday before the 8:30pm wedding we had to attend, but we had about 20 relatives all hanging out together and decided dinner "out" wasn't a good idea.

    There's always a next time, isn't there?
    #4
    Big Ugly Mich
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: Des Moines/Chicago 2007/08/06 20:18:44 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by TwoJays FRI 8/3 - After partying until 3am the night before (after a family wedding) and then driving all afternoon from Des Moines to Chicago, we were pooped, but Jill wanted some deep dish pizza. We were staying in the Mag. Mile area, so we walked over to Lou Malnati's on North Wells for dinner. All in all, it was good, but not spectacular. Jill got a pepperoni w/ extra sauce, while I had a sausage/mushroom. I've never been a huge fan of deep dish, as I've always thought it was too much bread/dough. I like the simplicity of a thin-crust w/ near-equal layers of crust, sauce & cheese. Next time we're in Chicago, we're going to try the Pizza Pot Pie from the Chicago Pizza & Over Grinder Co.
    Don't confuse Chicago Style with Deep Dish. If you get a quarter inch of crust with Chicago Style Pizza, you got ripped off, but those suckers are a good inch thick with toppings. The downsides:
    • You're not going to strut down the street like Travolta in Saturday Night Fever with Chicago Style Pizza. It's meant to be enjoyed.
    • You'll have to wait a while for it to cook because it's so full of pizza goodness. A good 45 minutes, or an hour if the place is crowded.
    http://chicago.citysearch.com/landing/traffic/45199411?raid=2179887&scid=121&brand=sem_profile_google_sclick will help you find a good one in Chicago or any other American city.
    #5
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Des Moines/Chicago 2007/08/10 13:51:42 (permalink)
    TwoJays-
    We weren't particularly impressed by the loosemeat sandwich at the Maid-Rite in Newton, either. Bland is a good word for it. If you want to get a really good one, you should try Miles Inn in Sioux City.
    #6
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