Have you heard of Dishcrawl Des Moines? I had heard of it, but one of our listeners gave me more info and asked if I would be interested in being a judge for Battledish Des Moines. I blogged about a few times in the past few weeks. But I had no clue about how amazing this event was until Saturday. I am writing a blog about an event that already happened, because I don’t want you to miss it next time if comes around. I won’t!
There was a Battledish preview a few weeks ago at Bos and I had invited some friends. We had a blast! And I met up a few other judges that I bonded with. (Ryan Kolder from ON THE SPOT and Nick Lucs, a local college food blogger) So on the big day I knew we were in for some fun. I had some friends join us again. Woz and his guest took part in the event and did it on their own schedule so we crossed paths occasionally with them. My friend Eva and her husband Mark joined us on the bus. My friend Susan was by my side for the entire day. And my friend Joy had to bail due to a bout of ill timed Strep Throat.
Dishcrawl arranged for us to have a party bus drive us to our locations for the majority of the day. Our bus driver rocked! (Thank you to American Party Bus for being available to haul our little butts around! I know we might have a little rowdy) We had a list of categories that we were judging on, and at most locations we had a dish, and a cocktail that paired with it.
Now I need to thank Ryan Kolder for allowing me to use his photographs. He has generously allowed me to post them in this blog and I’m very grateful! He did a great job capturing the magic of the day.
On to our first stop! We made our way to Proof, where I have never been. As we walked in we could see them using peppers for the drink we were going to be served. I was hestitant, but I WILL be back for this drink. My favorite drink!! And the dish was mindblowing! If anyone ever offers you fried corn pudding….say YES!
What an amazing stop. Proof is now on my list of places I will be back to. That drink is just stuck in my mind! Now let’s move on to Gusto. I’ve been here. Often! How are they going to compete with what I just had?
Here is how they will compete…with a slice of pizza that tastes like Fall. (This was how my friend Susan described it, and she was absolutely right! BTW, this pizza is at Gusto till Wednesday!) Served with a nice dark beer it was just perfect. The walnuts on top were divine!
Moving right along we hopped back on the bus and went to Tacopocolypse. Now I had heard about this place, but had never been there. I can’t wait to take my husband there. This was a very unique dish, as you can see for yourself.
We had this dish, with the poached egg on top, and we broke the egg and mixed it in the broth. So unique and flavorful with the pickled vegetables! I just kept thinking how much I wanted my husband to try this!
From here we walked over to Alba. Other judges we had passed told us to be ready to spend some time with the beverage at Alba. But they didn’t clue me into the menu. I knew we were trying Pork Belly, which I have never had. I watch Top Chef, and MasterChef etc….so I know it is something most people love. Would I? Yes, yes I would. I would fall in love with this.
I want more Pork Belly.
At this point we have had several cocktails and we are having a blast. There is laughing, joking around and a great sense of community. This restaurants are not just good places in Des Moines…they are outstanding in any city. We are so lucky!
From Alba we journeyed to our 5th restaurant…Liberty’s. Fell in love with a melon martini. And an amazing tostada! I love cilantro–and you can see in the picture how it is sitting right on top tempting my tastebuds!
Look at my flushed cheeks! From the melon martini or laughing…hard to tell.
Now on to Dos Rios! This is the one place we don’t have a picture of the food. I’m guessing because we had 2 of the drinks here. But the food was delish. I want a vat of that chimichurri sauce to spread on everything.
This drink had absinthe in it. And fruit. And love. I tasted love in there. Thankfully we had to walk to our next location because we were all a little swervy at this point. (I’m sure that is a word)
Final destination was Bos. Bring it on! While we were here we ran into Woz and his guest. So we got to chat and exchange thoughts. They had a great time and said they are totally in next time. Me too! I want to be invited back for anything Dishcrawl does, but we might have been a little too rowdy so I’m not ‘positive’ we will be invited back. Nick thinks we were just fun. Ryan was loud. I was the Mom cleaning up and keeping us on schedule. But we had a fun group. I wish I would have chatted more with the other judges on our bus! We had Sarah and Alex with us too.
Ok, so Bos. Amazing dish. Served without a knife. Because you didn’t need it. It was melt in your mouth fantastic. All I wanted Sunday was to figure out how to braise short ribs now!
Lemon emulsion? Oh my word. Amazing. We sat here as it was our last stop and indulged in another fabulous cocktail. This was just a mind blowing experience.
All of the chefs came out to our table and explained their dishes. Which I loved!! And hats off to all of them for putting together an amazing plate at each location. There wasn’t one dish that I didn’t like. To be absolutely honest…this was not fun to judge. How do you pick favorites from just a high caliber of delicious tasting food? I want to go back to each location and tell them face to face what a killer job they did. I tried things I never dreamed of trying. And all things I want to try again!
DO NOT MISS THIS EVENT! If they do it again next year, you need to be here. Worth every single penny! For me, I’m ready to back anything that Dishcrawl does! They have a bunch of different events throughout the year, and I have heard the next thing is a cocktail crawl! I have my fingers crossed that I get invited back!
After we were done with our official judging duties, we needed a little dessert so we headed to Creme cupcakes for a cupcake and a few more drinks. It was a great way to wrap up the day/night. We had so much fun!
I do want to take a minute to thank Producer Kurt for doing me a favor this weekend too. I had the Dishcrawl event on Saturday so I knew I wasn’t going to have time to hit up Pumpkin Fest at Earl May. Kurt was there for a remote and he was nice enough to pick me up three pumpkins for my family! Thanks again Kurt!!