Just returned from Des Moines and have mixed results to report:
A DONG was a major disappointment. Exciting and promising menu. Ordered Stirfried Quail with spicy lemongrass. The sauce was weird/rancid tasting. I love fermented Vietnamese fish sauce but this sauce tasted like the essence of old squid. Quail did not seem fresh. The imperial roll was boring and contained mainly minced iceberg.
SMITTY'S was, well, I just don't get it. Maybe I'm missing something, but I ordered the heralded tenderloin sandwich (King Tenderloin that was the size of a frisbee). First the waitress went to the upright freezer, and using a CHISEL, attempted to separate a frozen tenderloin to throw in the fry-o-later. The chisel slipped, and cut her hand, and another worker had to come and extract the tenderloin from the freezer.
The tenderloin itself was thin, hot, and crispy on the outside, soft and gelatenous on the inside. Mustard and ketchup helped, but I couldn't even choke down a quarter of the greasy saucer of alledged pork tenderloin.
I guess you gotta be from Iowa...
On the plus side, I had an excellent grilled pork tenderloin at RACCOON RIVER. Perfectly cooked, tender, and served with a ricecake and mushroom sauce.
I have to go to Des Moines again in two weeks. ANY SUGGESTIONS?