dsmWeekly: April 27, 2022
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April 27, 2022

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The menu at Gazali's includes Mediterranean dishes like lamb chops and sides inspired by the owner's travels throughout the region.

Gazali’s Offering New Special Dinner Event

Writer: Karla Walsh

Middle East meets Mediterranean at Gazali’s. Now located in Clive (15700 Hickman Road; No. 110) as of July 2021 after spending 18 years in the Drake neighborhood, owner MJ Gazali is expanding his following and his offerings at his larger, bright and airy west-side location.

Order ahead online or by phone at 515-309-9167 for a lunch or dinner of well-balanced fan favorites such as falafel rice bowls, shawarma wraps and Greek salads any day. Then definitely mark your calendar for Saturday, April 30—and after that, Saturdays once per month or so—for “A Night on the Mediterranean.” The inspiration arose from the nearly six years that Gazali was a flight attendant for Emirates airline and, when he wasn't on board, traveled throughout the Mediterranean eating and exploring.

Gazali describes the special dinners as an opportunity to “learn about the culture and history along the Mediterranean through food. We showcase our lamb chops and another option from somewhere along the sea,” he says, adding he hopes to host the dinners every four to six weeks.

Beyond his current restaurant staff, Gazali brings in his “A Team” of partners for the special dinners, including chef Easton Wade from Delirium Gallery in Winterset and sommelier Dana Swasand, who competed in Winefest's recent Iron Somm event.

The price is right, too. It’s $59.95 for a cocktail, starter, main course with five small sides, dessert and coffee or tea. (Wine and other cocktails as well as tax and tip are additional.) Reservations via phone are suggested for seatings at 5 p.m. or 7 p.m., but a limited number of walk-in spots are also available.

Watch for more details about future events, or dine in or take out food any time Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-8 p.m., or Sunday noon-3 p.m.

Meg (played by Becky Scholtec) and her daughter Ellie (Kaci Conetzkey) get ready for Meg's bachelorette party in "Girls' Weekend 2," the new comedy by Karen Schaeffer.


Iowa Stage to Premiere 'Girls' Weekend' Sequel

Following the success of the first “Girls’ Weekend,” the comedy by Des Moines playwright Karen Schaeffer, Iowa Stage Theatre company will present the sequel, "Girls' Weekend 2: The Bachelorette Party" at Stoner Theater in the Des Moines Civic Center beginning Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The play will continue the story with the same cast. After the shenanigans of “Girls’ Weekend''--in which boyfriends and husbands show up to the cabin where the four women are staying and effectively ruin the vacation and cause chaos--the friends are making a return trip.

The story picks up at Meg’s bachelorette party, where friends and family have gathered to celebrate. Familiar hijinks ensue as the weekend continues, with the help of a few beverages.

The show will run through May 15. Tickets and showtimes are available on the Des Moines Performing Arts
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“Tiny Beautiful Things” (Friday, 7:30 p.m.): Head to Tallgrass Theatre Company (2019 Grand Ave., Suite 100, West Des Moines) Friday for opening night of the play, based on the book of the same name by Cheryl Strayed. A look into the relationships between advice columnist Sugar and those seeking her counsel, “Tiny Beautiful Things” examines some of life’s toughest questions. The show will run through May 15. Tickets are available here.

Drake Relays (all weekend, times vary): The well-known sporting festivities return to their traditional, in-person forms this weekend for the first time in three years. Along with a full lineup of sporting events, there will also be opportunities to socialize. The Relays Carnival kicks off today, and the Alumni Tent Party and Relays Concert will take place Friday.

Fundraising activities (Saturday, times vary): Give back this weekend while enjoying the fresh spring air. The Victims’ Rights 5k and Central Iowa Heart Walk are Saturday at the Des Moines Water Works Shelter House and Iowa State Capitol, respectively. The Victims’ Rights 5k will raise money for National Victims’ Rights Week (April 24-30). The Central Iowa Heart Walk benefits the American Heart Association.

Immersive Film Series (Sunday, 1:30-3:30 p.m.): Film buffs and casual watchers alike can enjoy “The Night of the Hunter'' at the Des Moines Arts Center, followed by discussion and commentary by Dina Smith, film scholar and an associate professor of English at Drake University. The film, produced by Des Moines native and Drake University graduate Paul Gregory in 1955, chronicles the story of a suspicious traveling preacher intent on marrying a widow, until her children discover his ulterior motives. Find details for the free event here.
Symphony season: The Des Moines Symphony has announced the lineup for its 85th season, dubbed “City of Music,” beginning this September. The Masterworks Series and Pops Series will include names like rising star Gabriela Martinez and returning Grammy-nominated pianist Joyce Yang (pictured). Also back by popular demand, the symphony will perform “The Music of Queen'' accompanied by a rock band (Oct. 15). For complete season details, visit
Dew Tour 2022: The annual pro skateboarding competition and festival, Dew Tour, is returning to Lauridsen Skate Park July 29-30 for the second year. Free to attend, this year’s event will feature finalists-only competitions in men’s and women’s individual Street and Park, as well as Adaptive competitions in men’s and women’s Street and men’s Park. There will also be the Battle of the Shops, with Des Moines’ Subsect Skate Shop competing as a team against other local shops from around the Midwest. Visit to learn more.
dsm events: Join us for two upcoming dsm events: May 3 will be our unveiling of the May/June issue; register here. Then on May 17, Discover Diverse Des Moines will feature local insiders and community leaders sharing the best spots to enjoy the city’s diverse offerings in arts and culture, food and dining, shopping and more.

Upcoming concerts: The Drifters, Cornell Gunter's Coasters and The Platters will join together for a concert at Hoyt Sherman Place June 25. The three groups will perform some of their most well-known hits, including “Stand By Me,” “Yakety Yak,” “The Great Pretender” and more. Also just announced: Todd Rundgren will perform July 6 as part of his "Unpredictable" tour. Tickets for both shows go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. through the Hoyt Sherman Place website.

Book drive: An annual community book drive, Stuff the Bus, will be May 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Athene (7700 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines) to collect new and gently used books for children. The books will be distributed to child care centers, schools, in-home child care providers and United Way’s partner programs. This year, organizers are especially asking for books for pre-k through second grade levels. Find more information about the event here.

Find colorful graphic aprons like this one from Kiomi, which, in addition to being practical, would be a fun Mother's Day gift.

Fit to be Tied: Shop Aprons by Local Makers

Whether you’re gearing up for grilling season or a spring reboot in the kitchen, a new apron sets the tone that it’s time to get serious. These affordable options from local makers and retailers step it up from the ordinary.

Made by Des Moines-based Maria Garcia, creator of the Kiomi brand, the graphic-pattern apron pictured above might just want to stay on as a fashion statement when your guests arrive. Find the heavy-duty aprons by emailing Garcia at or by checking out her Instagram at @kiomi-dsm. Retailers Des Moines Mercantile and Porch Light also carry her products.

More fun apron options, pictured from left: This whimsical embroidered piece from Kitchen Collage is perfect for shaking up spring cocktails. Step aside Roberta Flack. Raygun kills it with their witty grilling slogans. Another Kiomi original, this lightweight cross-back apron features deep pockets; we think it would make a great artist smock. Heavy-duty canvas and leather accents help create a sophisticated look for this apron from Give DSM.
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