How good bread and coffee revived Des Moines’ food scene!!


Des Moines restaurateur/entrepreneur George Formaro samples a challah loaf as he displays the many types of artisan breads that are made at his South Union Bakery, which is located in the basement of the Gateway Market, 2002 Woodland Ave.

Interesting story today by Jennifer Miller, who has been doing a terrific job of covering the burgeoning food and dining scene in Des Moines and Iowa, about the advent and progress of artisanal bread making in Des Moines since the 1990’s.

My theory – – not yet substantiated but that hasn’t stopped me from sharing it with many a visitor and newcomer to DSM  — is  that finally getting excellent bread and coffee ushered good food/dining into Des Moines. The restaurant/grocery store scene was pretty dismal when my husband (then boyfriend, I guess)  arrived here in 1990 but the emergence of not only decent bread (Pain Pane) but later terrific bread (South Union), as well as good coffee/coffee houses (even before Starbucks) gradually led to better places to eat and shop and finally find things like a good cheese selection.

George Formaro (the South Union guy)  first made sandwiches and soup to sell with his bread at little shop behind the Register (that I visited almost daily when I was a Register reporter during the 1990s) and then onto pizza and one restaurant after another and, of course, Gateway Market. It was interesting to learn from Jennifer’s story that George’s quest to perfect the burger bun  led to George’s latest successful restaurant, Zombie Burger in Des Moines’s East Village. (I rest my case.)  I’ve watched the Logsdons’ progress (most recently with the terrific La Mie Restaurant in the Roosevelt Shopping Center) in a somewhat similar fashion.

Of course, work remains – DSM still needs a decent bagel!

Leave a comment

Filed under Des Moines, DINING

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s