Our Top Stories This Year
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December 28, 2022

To some it's a place of solace. To others, a stage where family dramas are played out on a nightly basis. For most of us, our experience of 'home' lands somewhere in between.
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News of the Breakfast Club opening a second location was dsm's most popular food-related story this year. We're celebrating with a stack of these melty samoa pancakes and a steaming s'mores hot chocolate.

The Top 5 Most Popular dsm Food Stories of 2022

Writer: Karla Walsh

Two facts have become very clear about dsm readers in the past two years:
  1. You love being among the first to know about new restaurants.
  2. Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day.

The top 10 stories of 2021 included seven food-related pieces, and the top three were about the opening of comfort food spots that serve breakfast and brunch (The Breakfast Club East Village, Little Brother and Tupelo Honey). This year, the trend continues: The top five most-read stories in our food and dining coverage all focus on what’s new and next, and once again, the Breakfast Club dish is tops. We really must love our flapjacks and fried eggs! Counting down from five to one, here are the most popular food stories of 2022:

No. 5: dsm Exclusive: Table 128’s Lynn Pritchard to Open New East Village Spot
Last February, chef-owner Lynn Pritchard debuted 503, a “cocktail lab and tasting room” where he and his team could host a more intimate crowd and test out recipes for the still-to-come downtown location of Table 128. Now home to cocktail classes, weekly live music, art events and beyond, 503 is much more than a bridge to carry fans through until Table 128 opens; it’s worth the trip itself.

No. 4: Four New Restaurants to Check Out
In the September/October print edition as well as online, writer Seeta Mangra-Stubbs offered a tour of her four favorite recent discoveries—and what to order at each. Visit Blu Thai and Sushi for the chicken fried rice, cozy up at a table inside Cafe Con Leche as you savor a concha and coffee, and at Cajun Belle, a kolache is a must. Just be sure to save room for chicken and waffle tacos at Pura Social Club.

No. 3: Kolaches and Gumbo Star at New Restaurant
Discover more about the aforementioned Cajun Belle. At the time this piece ran, gumbo was a goal to add to the menu that started with kolaches only. Now, Chicken and Sausage Filé Gumbo is a regular option on owner Zack Hollier’s menu, as is the party-ready Boudin Queso Kit.

No. 2: Exclusive: Meet Crème’s New Owner
Founder Christina Moffatt passed the torch of her bakery brand, Crème, to Sammy Mila, an experienced food pro, in July. Before taking over the Ingersoll shop, she was a food stylist and recipe developer for Dotdash Meredith and also has worked for dsm. Since taking the reins, Mila has added her own signature to the space and to the menu. Don’t miss the “local wall,” featuring a curated selection of Central Iowa food brands, or anything Mila makes with milk bread. (The milk bread cinnamon rolls are outstanding.) And keep an eye out for late-night hours and “Midnight Munchies” coming in early 2023.

No. 1: The Breakfast Club to Open Second Location
Filling a big breakfast gap between Early Bird farther west and Little Brother in Windsor Heights, you can now find this fan favorite in West Glen Town Center to cure all your cravings for Benedicts, biscuits and beyond.

Vocalists Capathia Jenkins and Tony DeSare will join the Des Moines Symphony for its New Year's Eve Pops performance this year. Photo: Des Moines Symphony.

New Year’s Eve With Sinatra and the Symphony

No need for bells to ring in the new year this weekend. Instead, try American classics like Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me” to set the tone for 2023.

For its annual New Year’s Eve Pops concert, the Des Moines Symphony will be joined by award-winning vocalists Capathia Jenkins and Tony DeSare at the Des Moines Civic Center Saturday night to perform tunes from the Great American Songbook. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are available on the Des Moines Performing Arts website.

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Dance party at xBk (Saturday, 8 p.m.): Local multimedia band Lvvmaking is running the show at xBk’s New Year’s Eve bash. Enjoy high-energy sound and a groovy dance floor with a champagne toast at midnight. Choose the upgraded ticket option for reserved seating in the Party Loft for up to 24 friends. Get them here.

NYE Party at Wooly’s (Saturday, 9 p.m.): Headlined by dueling piano duo Tony Bohnenkamp and Jerry Lorenson, known together as Pianopalooza, this New Year’s Eve party is all about the music. The event will also feature special guests and local cover band the June Bugs. Get tickets for the show here.

A wild night at Noce (Saturday, 8 p.m.): The party is on at Nocethe Wild Party that is. Tickets are still available for this annual New Year’s Eve event, which will include music from the Max Wellman Big Band and the Nate Sparks Band, with catering from Tangerine Food Co. There will also be game tables hosted by professional dealers. See ticket options here.

Teehees’s New Year’s Eve Comedy Kickback (Saturday, 9:30 p.m.): Comedy group Black Iowa Streams Inc. will perform their fourth annual NYE Kickback show. So why not go out laughing and end 2022 on a high note? Tickets are available here.

Reading ready: Get out those reading lists; the Greater Des Moines Partnership announced the 2023 DSM Book Festival will be held March 25 at Capital Square (400 Locust St.). The festival is currently taking applications for local authors and publishers, nonprofits and other vendors for booth space at the event. Learn more about the Book Festival and find event updates here.
Specialty sandwiches: A new Vietnamese bakery and coffee shop will bring fresh, unique eats to Windsor Heights in the new year. Paris Banh Mi, coming to 6601 University Ave., Suite 100, will serve traditional Vietnamese banh mis and other sandwiches on freshly baked baguettes and croissants. The shop will also serve milk teas with boba, coffee and their signature “slush” blended drinks. Check their website for details.
Art for awareness: Sunny Porch, a local nonprofit focused on creating greater mental health awareness through art, will open its second annual art exhibit, “Enchanted Illusion,” Jan. 3 at the Polk County Heritage Gallery. The exhibit will feature 11 Iowa artists, with an awards reception Jan. 8 from noon to 2 p.m. Enchanted Illusion will remain on display through Feb. 3. Click here to learn more about the exhibit.
The Subsect Kids Skate Crew poses for a group photo, boards in hand. Photo: Joe Crimmings.


If You Missed It: Our Favorite dsm Stories This Year

This year we’ve produced a variety of stories in our magazines and newsletters, including coverage of food and dining, the local arts scene, fascinating people and hidden gems. Here are three of our favorites:

1. Getting on Board. This heartwarming and visually captivating feature on the Subsect Kids Skate Crew was shot by contributing photographer Joe Crimmings. But make no mistake, these kids mean serious business. Beyond learning to skateboard, see how they’re increasing their self-confidence and teamwork skills, and how the skate park scene is thriving in tandem.

2. One Day in Des Moines. In this feature produced by writer Chad Taylor and photographer Betsy Rudicil, see the myth of Des Moines as a “boring” place fade away. Armed with cameras and positive attitudes, the duo explored 22 venues over 15 hours to find the city teeming with people, unexpected events and good times.

3. Home Is Where the Art Is. Published in October, our annual ia magazine showcases the best of our state. This story zooms in on an Iowa City’s arts nonprofit, Public Space One, which is celebrating 20 years of uplifting local artists. Meet Anaïs Duplan, one of the originators of the Center for Afrofuturist Studies at Public Space One, and Dawson Davenport, an Indigenous artist and curator, and learn how the space is moving into the future.
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