Curbside Options, Holiday Events, Local Exhibitions
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November 17, 2020  |  VIEW AS WEBPAGE
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Dough Pizza Co.'s New York-style-crust pizza is one of the options you can order for contactless curbside pickup.


Writer: Wini Moranville

As the temps go lower and COVID-19 cases go higher, I know I’ll appreciate curbside pickup more than ever. But to be honest, I’ve occasionally experienced some hiccups, especially when ordering via phone. That’s understandable—I can only imagine what a disruption it can be for multitasking skeleton crews to take phone orders (including cumbersome credit card info) and deliver the food outdoors while also serving dining-in patrons. It can’t be easy.

Nevertheless, some restaurants have smoothed it over. A few of my most successful forays are listed below; I also leaned on dsm dining contributor Karla Walsh to fill out the list.

The Gold Standard: Order and pay online, pick up curbside. The most convenient, hassle-free way to get food from a restaurant is to order and pay online, specify the time you’d like to pick up the order and pick it up curbside. These spots let you do just that. And you can stop clicking around—links go directly to each venue’s ordering page.

Lucky Lotus: This Southeast Asian venue recently unveiled a new menu. While my personal favorite dish has vanished, Karla Walsh recommends the recently unveiled Laap Salad and Bing-Bing Wrap—the menu gives details on these great-sounding dishes.

Table 128: Consider this spot for a special-night splurge (e.g., beef tenderloin or lamb shanks). Or not—I’ve enjoyed the fabulous Brussels sprout salad with salmon as a casual, any-night entree.

Dough Co Pizza: Karla Walsh particularly applauds the Big Mo Cason barbecue pizza at this relatively new Drake-area venue. “The quality chicken and roasted corn really elevate the typical barbecue chicken pie,” she says. She’s also a fan of the hand-tossed New York crust: “the perfect chew—not too thin, not too thick—just right.”

Basic Bird: I’ve discovered two developments since I wrote last spring’s article on the Korean-fried chicken by way of Harbinger’s kitchen: You can order online and you can order more than chicken, including sticky ribs, dumplings, vegetarian options and steamed buns.

The Next Best Thing: Order and pay via phone, pick up curbside. We’ve had glitch-free experiences at these places. Links take you right to the menus.

Alba: The current menu features upscale cold-weather comfort picks like osso buco and New York strip steak beef stroganoff. Phone-in ordering and curbside service have been exceptionally on the mark.

Cheese Bar: No reason to let winter get you down! Not when you can enjoy fondue or raclette—two of the world’s best-melted cheese dishes—for a cozy fireside dinner at home. Creative cocktails to go will also brighten a dark, cold night.

Eatery A: General Manager Jared Hess says online ordering is on the horizon; for now phone-in/curbside pickup has worked just great. Personal favorites on the menu include the skewers (both the lamb and the chorizo always make me happy) as well as the No. 7 pizza (merguez, red pepper, crispy shallots). This is a place to splurge for dessert—the salted caramel budino slays me every time.

Aposto: Karla says, “You can't go wrong with the polenta, mussels or any of the handmade pastas. And of course, you must order whatever cake is on the menu—dessert is pretty mandatory with any Aposto visit.”
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    The Salisbury House partners with local designers and retailers every year to create a holiday experience.


    Writer: Allaire Nuss

    Many of the city’s annual holiday festivities are returning this winter with adjustments to safety protocols. Here’s what to look forward to this holiday season.

    Holly and Ivy Home Tour: The Salisbury House is decking the halls for the 24th annual Holly and Ivy Home Tour, beginning Dec. 4 and running through the month. Every room in the 1920s-era house will be decorated by local designers and retailers with their own spins on holiday cheer.

    “This has always been a signature event of the Salisbury House—showcasing the unique architecture and creativity of the people of Des Moines,” says Events Director Lynn Halldorson.

    And now for the 2020 twist: Tours are semi-virtual. For $20, patrons can enjoy an online guided exhibition of both the decorated house and various private homes. The first 250 tickets come with a free pass to tour in-person. Time slots are spaced every 75 minutes between noon and 5:30 p.m. daily, with groups limited to 20 masked guests. Want to skip the online portion all together? In-person only tours are $15 each. Purchase your tickets for the Holly and Ivy Home Tour here.

    Christkindlmarket: This popular German-style street market returns as a curbside pickup event. Its online marketplace is open until Nov. 22, connecting customers with local vendors selling food items, home decor and more.

    After ordering, you can pick up from the safety of your car Dec. 3-6 at Principal Park. Despite the new format, director Suzanne Hull hopes the market can help lift holiday spirits. “Success to me looks like getting the customers their orders and being cheerful about it,” she says. “I’m proud of our team for putting something together so quickly.”

    Learn more about the Christkrindlmarket here.

    Brenton Skating Plaza: And what would winter be without ice skating? The Brenton Skating Plaza opens on Nov. 20 in the East Village. Skating sessions are 90 minutes long, but be sure to pre-register to ensure your spot on the ice. The rink’s capacity is limited to 110 visitors, and all are encouraged to social distance and wear masks. Reserve a time slot for you and your family here.
    “Sambhavana Girls” (detail) by Swoon will be one of the works in the new Moberg exhibit, “Sway.” Swoon has become known for combining whimsy with strong realism. Her works can be found on the sides of buildings worldwide and also in prestigious museums, such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art.


    Moberg Gallery will open a new exhibit Friday showcasing works from an intriguing group of 11 internationally renowned street artists. The show, “Sway,” is curated by New York-based artist Jason Woodside, who paints interior and exterior walls around the world; in Des Moines, he painted the outside wall of Silver Fox on Ingersoll Avenue.

    We’re especially looking forward to checking out works by Adam Lucas, who creates with vibrant color and strong lines that pop off the canvas; Ruben Sanchez, a self-taught artist from Madrid, Spain, who has a bold, colorful graphic style; and Swoon, a Brooklyn-based mixed-media artist whose portraits, prints and public installations explore humanity and healing and who is one of the first female street artists to gain international recognition.

    The exhibit also marks the first one in Moberg’s new home at 2411 Grand Ave. Because of COVID, there will not be a reception; a video will be released Friday. Learn more about the exhibit here and read about Moberg’s move to Grand here.

    Also on Friday,
    Liz Lidgett Galleryand Design is opening “The Space Between,” featuring landscapes by Charleston mixed-media artist Karin Olah and by Des Moines artists James Navarro and Olivia Valentine. The exhibit will be launched through digital channels; you can follow along on Instagram.

    Thursday's dsm Lifting the Veil event is the final installment in our fall series.


    Our fall dsm Lifting the Veil: Life Interrupted by COVID-19 series ends with a virtual event at noon Thursday. The conversation will focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and how it affects mental health. We'll also unveil our annual special Lifting the Veil publication.

    The virtual event is hosted by local business owner and dsm contributor Deidre DeJear, and expert guests will answer questions submitted by our audience. The guests are:

    • Rich Salas, chief diversity officer at Des Moines University.
    • The Rev. Eileen Gebbie, ordained Christian priest at United Church of Christ. (You can read her profile here, from our 2020 LGBTQ Legacy Leader Awards.)
    • Reyma McCoy McDeid, executive director of Central Iowa Center for Independent Living.
    Des Moines Community Playhouse is helping illuminate Black voices with the new Onyx Script Reading Series, which begins Sunday.


    Des Moines Community Playhouse is bringing the audience behind the scenes in a new virtual series. The Onyx Script Reading Series, which features virtual live play readings, begins at 6:30 p.m. Sunday with "Widows" by Gillian Flyn and Steve McQueen. The event is free and presented on Zoom.

    The Onyx Script Reading Series focuses on scripts that illuminate Black voices. Hosted by actor/director Miriam Randolph, the reading will be held on the first Tuesday and third Sunday of each month until Feb. 2.

    "Widows" tells the story of four women connected by their dead husbands' criminal activities. The widows band together to take control of their collective debt and futures.

    "I am excited to start a script reading series at the Playhouse as it will give us a fun and relaxed environment in which to hear new stories from new perspectives," Katy Merriman, artistic director, said in a release. "Miriam is a talented and welcoming artist, and she has already proven ... that she can bring people together to learn from each other and also just enjoy their time together."

    Upcoming script reading presentations include "Stranger Things" on Dec.1, "Insecure" on Dec. 20, and "Fences" on Jan. 5, 2021. Find the full lineup and link information on the Playhouse website.
    Bishnu Rai, originally from Bhutan, farms through Lutheran Services in Iowa’s Global Greens program based in Des Moines. She’s photographed here in her kitchen. Photo: Kathryn Gamble.


    Writer: Jody Gifford

    Leya Neema remembers a time, not long after she and her family settled in the United States in 1998 as refugees from Burundi, when they would sit down to a dinner of raw ramen noodles.

    “We didn’t know how to make ramen noodles … so for a long time we’d eat them uncooked. And crunch on them,” recalls Neema, now a case manager in the Refugee Resettlement Program with the Catherine McAuley Center in Cedar Rapids, which serves refugees from more than 50 countries. “We would dip it in tea and then eat it.

    “The problem isn’t that we were not getting food,” she says. Instead, “we didn’t know how to eat it. A lot of the food available at food pantries are things in boxes, cans or precooked.”

    There were times, Neema adds, when this type of food insecurity would lead to health challenges. “A lot of families didn’t have a lot of food in Africa and ate simple with fufu [a common staple in West Africa] and vegetables, which are not in a lot of food banks,” she explains. “Here, we’d get boxed foods and canned foods, but when you’re being introduced to a new culture and new foods, it can be upsetting to your stomach. It’s a new thing introduced to your body and can make you sick, which can scare you from trying other things.”

    Neema and her family’s experience with the U.S. food system is one shared by other immigrant and refugee families. It’s estimated that more than 24% of immigrants experience food insecurity, about twice the rate of the general population, according to Bread for the World, a national organization that advocates for policy changes to end hunger. They are often forced out of their home countries because of war and persecution, only to face food insecurity here.

    Read the rest of the story here, from our Iowa Stops Hunger publication.

    Iowa Stops Hunger is a yearlong Business Publications Corporation initiative to bring awareness and action to food insecurity in Iowa.

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