Black-Owned Restaurants, Summer Meals, Nonprofit Schedule Changes
June 2, 2020  |  VIEW AS WEBPAGE
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We can all appreciate calm spaces. See how this Johnston family created a stunning water feature in front of their midcentry modern home.
A recent special at Veggie Thumper: the Everything Bagel Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich.


Writer: Karla Walsh

Black lives matter, and I am sorry that I haven’t made it a bigger priority in my reporting to showcase more businesses owned by people of color. I can do better, as can all of us at dsm.

I vow to make a concerted effort to aim for a more diverse mix in our local food coverage and beyond. For today, we’re focusing on six black-owned businesses that are open post-pandemic shutdown. We’ll be supporting them now and often in the months and years to come—because where we spend our money and how we use our voices matter.

Coaches Kolaches: Opened by a former Iowa State University and Iowa Barnstormer football player, this spot offers kolaches (a stuffed yeast bread pastry) that are a savory delight. For breakfast, you’ll find steak, sausage, bacon, egg and/or cheese hiding inside the fluffy dough, and come lunch, ham and sausage are on the menu. (8257 University Ave., Clive,

BLK & Bold: Launched by Pernell Cezar Jr. “to make purpose popular,” BLK & Bold is now sold at select Target and Whole Foods Market locations across the country. By buying their coffee or tea, your caffeine fix will be making a difference: BLK & Bold donates 5% of its wholesale proceeds to support programs that help youths, end homelessness and enhance workforce development. Order care packages (hint, hint: there are a few thoughtful Father’s Day options now available!) or subscribe to have a consistent supply of your favorite coffee beans or tea leaves delivered to your door so you never run out again. Read more about the company in this recent dsm article. (

Fat Tuesday: While most of us are staying closer to home these days, it is still possible to enjoy a taste of the Big Easy. New Orleans and Cajun fare is front and center at Fat Tuesday, where generous portions of jambalaya, etouffee, gumbo and po’ boys almost but not quite make it impossible to save room for the sides of Cajun greens, Cajun coleslaw and more. (6112 S.W. Ninth St.,

Wingz on Wheelz: With its fried catfish, homemade mac and cheese and wings (naturally), this food truck is known for its comfort food. Every Wednesday, wings are 50 cents each. Feeling really hungry? You can order 100 at a time. (1817 University Ave.; find menus and more on Facebook)

Veggie Thumper: Vegan comfort food does exist! With creative and colorful twists on classic recipes like a Philly “Cheesesteak,” Smoky Red Bean Burger and Hot “Sausage” Open-Face Sandwich, every homemade recipe served from this food bus is 100% vegan. Get your fix at the Beaverdale Tuesday Farmers Market from 4 to 7:30 p.m., and at Franklin Junior High (4801 Franklin Ave.) and Ace Hardware (4808 University Ave.) on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. (

Mustang Grill: Named after the DallasCenter-Grimes mascot, this neighborhood bar and grill offers everything from loaded breakfast plates to saucy ribs. If you’re craving a few fried snacks, flip to the appetizer menu and consider sharing some fried pickles, pretzel bites or Crispitos (stuffed and fried tortilla rolls). (213 S.E. Main St., Grimes,
Because our vendors are eager to go back to work – this is the perfect opportunity for you to create the room of your dreams! Private shopping appoitments.
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Combining local lamb with a salad makes for a gratifying summer dish.


Writer: Wini Moranville

The Iowa Food Co-op makes it easy for people who, like me, love to snag great farm products and support local growers—but prefer to do so from the inside of their car and with the windows rolled up. Members can order products from local farmers on a biweekly schedule; items can be delivered or picked up curbside.

Yes, it’s like having the farmers market come to your door (or trunk).

Recently, I’ve been especially grooving to the ground lamb from Tesdell Farms. I love the way the meat is
lamb-y enough to taste decidedly unlike beef, yet not at all gamy. Wanting to know a little more, I tracked down Lee Tesdell. Our conversation was held via phone, with sheep bleating in the background.

While Tesdell’s day job is teaching at Mankato State in Minnesota, he started raising lamb 30 years ago to provide his Jordanian wife with food of her heritage and also to help teach their then-young children where food comes from. His sheep and their offspring graze on 5 aces of hay fields near Alleman on land that his Norwegian ancestors first began farming in 1855. The mostly grass diet, he says, likely contributes to the great flavor of the meat.

I enjoy Tesdell’s ground lamb in simple lamb patties, which I sometimes season in the style of merguez (that bold and amazing Middle Eastern lamb sausage). For each pound of lamb, use about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon each of coriander, cumin, crushed fennel seed and smoked paprika, plus two minced cloves of garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

Spiced or not, the patties are fabulous on a Greek-style salad or anywhere you’d use a falafel (in a pita sandwich, for instance). Alongside, I serve two condiments: purchased harissa chili paste and a cooling mixture of plain yogurt, chopped fresh mint and parsley, and salt and pepper.

Locally grown greens from Bridgewater Farms plus Egyptian walking onions (akin to scallions) from Namaste Gardens (also available through the co-op) made my salad truly sing. And of course, such salads will only get better when I can get my hands on local radishes (coming soon!), cucumbers, tomatoes and other delights as they appear at the co-op.

Find out more about joining the Iowa Food Co-op on their website.

The Art Adventures treasure hunt allows individuals to explore Greater Des Moines while attempting to find art pieces they can keep. Photo: Great Outdoors Foundation


To recognize the upcoming Art Week, which will run June 19-26, Polk County Conservation, the Great Outdoors Foundation, Mainframe Studios and Art Week organizers are partnering to offer a self-guided art treasure hunt to help individuals explore parks and trails in their community while potentially adding to their art collection.  

The Art Adventures map can be printed or used digitally and can be found on the Great Outdoors Foundation website. Mainframe artist Ryan Topete has painted 10 commissioned wood art panels, which are hidden in landscapes throughout the county. Clues for panel locations will be released every few days now through June 19, and the first person to find the art can claim it.

“During COVID-19, we have rediscovered how increasingly important connecting to nature is for our well-being,” says Hannah Inman, CEO of the Great Outdoors Foundation. “We are excited to be able to add adventure in a safe and fun way for the community. This will be a great way to get outside and explore new parks, while discovering the amazing art each of our communities has.”

The art pieces are hidden in Altoona, Polk City, West Des Moines, Clive, Johnston, Urbandale, Windsor Heights, Grimes, Pleasant Hill and Ankeny. Clues for these panels will be released on Polk County Conservation’s social media. More information is available online.

Our final Lifting the Veil event will focus on equity and inclusion and mental health.


Lifting the Veil (12 p.m., Friday): Our weekly dsm Lifting the Veil: Life Interrupted by COVID-19 series closes this Friday, June 5, with a conversation around equity and inclusion, and how the pandemic has affected the mental health of people with disabilities, people of color and vulnerable populations living with mental illnesses. Given the events happening across the country, this conversation is as important as ever. Register here.

LGBTQ Legacy Leader Awards (3 p.m., June 18): Held in partnership with LGBTQ advocacy group One Iowa, the LGBTQ Legacy Leader Awards will honor five outstanding leaders in the LGBTQ community and one ally. The event will be held virtually, but you can enjoy the honoree's speeches and help celebrate the 2020 graduates of the One Iowa Leadership Institute. Register here.

July/August Unveiling (12 p.m., June 23): We are once again holding our dsm unveiling event virtually, but we're ready to connect with you as we release our new issue as well as showcase the vital role our host, Food Bank of Iowa, is playing in the community. Make a lunch, prepare to mingle and get a first look at the new issue via Zoom. Register here.
The play area at the Gregory and Suzie Glazer Burt Club, which is reopening June 8. Photo: Drake University


A few local nonprofit organizations have adjusted their summer calendars and events. Here a few announced over the past couple of weeks.

  • The Young Women's Resource Center says its annual gala, scheduled for June 27, is "couch-ed, but not canceled." That means it's shifting to a virtual platform, but still including a silent auction, wine pull raffle, community member stories, client-created artwork for purchase, and a celebration of the 2020 Louise Noun Visionary Woman Awardee, Katie Patterson. More information available on the YWRC website.

  • The Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa's Gregory and Suzie Glazer Burt Club at Drake University is opening its doors on June 8. The timing is critical because the club is "full of kids whose parents rely on us to care for their children in a safe environment while they head back to their places of work," the organization said in an announcement. The location provides programs for thousands of local youth.

  • Easterseals Iowa is canceling its annual Admiral's White Party gala, the organization said in an announcement last week. That's in addition to the closures of Easterseals Iowa's summer programs at Camp Sunnyside.
Check out individual pieces of art at the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park through the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation's app "DSM Public Art."


The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation has an app that makes social distancing and art touring relatively easy.

Called "DSM Public Art" (available at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store), the free app provides a self-guided tour of public art throughout Greater Des Moines with a detailed map and GPS tracking. By exploring, you can discover the bold and distinctive styles of public art by artists from around the world. You can also search a visual library by artist, title or location.

When in a hub of public art, like the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, you can zoom in to view each piece of artwork. Each point on the map is attached with more information about the art, as well as a link to more artist information online.

Also, for parents looking for educational materials during the summer, the Public Art Foundation offers free resources for kids pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. More information is on its website linked above.

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