Most of my recommendations are for restaurants in rural Iowa, there are tons of people with opinions about places in Des Moines. Let me know if you are going through any odd part of Iowa.
I would only hit Findlays
if I had already eaten at B&B Grocery
The Full Court Press
places are a lot of things, but they are all Bar/Restaurants that put equal emphasis on beer or other libations along with food. They can handle groups, but get busy at odd times, especially the after work happy hour time. They serve large menus at each place some items are served at multiple locations for no apparent reason, lots of average stuff goes along with the specialties at each place. http://fullcourtpressdm.com/
There was some sort of weird mind merge in the voters of the latest Cityview Best of Des Moines lists:
Best Restaurant: Centro
Best Italian Restaurant: Tursi's Latin King
Best Pizza: Gusto Pizza Co.
It seems legitimate at first glance, but Centro is the best restaurant overall by selling mostly pizza and Italian food. Gusto serves meatball sandwiches and pasta with pizza. The the best overall restaurant wasn't the best pizza or Italian place, while the best pizza place also serves Italian.
Beaverdale landmark ice-cream place Snookies Malt Shop
is expected to be sold after this summer season is over. It could really be something if the new owners took care of the interior and served good food or anything special instead of just waiting for the loyal crowds to show up every summer. The owners claim to get offers to buy the place once a week during the season.