Saturday, April 26, 2014

Restaurant Review: Zombie Burger

Zombie Burger has been around for a few years now and we've been saying that we need to go for almost as long. We had to head downtown so I suggested we finally visit.  It is in the East Village of downtown and is surrounded by quirky and interesting shops. We got there right at lunch time when it opened and it was a good thing we did, because it was soon very packed. 

It had quite a selection of drinks and we knew we had to try one since the second half of the name is "Drink Lab". I went simple and had a root beer float.

Chris had a Zombie Joe, which was ice cream and espresso. I took a sip and it was very good.

John had been craving a Rice Crispy Treat shake since he'd reviewed the menu and it was so thick, he could barely get it through the straw. It was like a premium vanilla shake with some marshmallow flavor and those rice crispies floating.

We started with some deep fried cheese curds. They were good but nothing special.

With our burgers we got some of their Blue Cheese Garlic Bacon fries. They were totally AMAZING! They should be a controlled substance. They were so good. Crispy shoe-string fries covered with blue cheese, bacon bits, and chopped garlic. I wanted to bury my face in it, but even at a zombie themed restaurant, it would be in bad taste.

We got some of their regular plain fries too. We didn't know how many fries came with it, but there was more than enough in one order. We would only need one order next time. It may be one of the only times we left fries on the table.

I had the La Horde burger. It had goat cheese, bacon and caramelized onions. The burger was cooked perfectly and so juicy. Great flavor combo. It was really tasty.

Chris had The Walking Ched. Those big brown discs are deep fried macaroni and cheese acting as the bun. Then there is more mac and cheese, bacon and mayo. Chris loved it and said that even though he'd love to try other burgers on the menu, it would stay on the docket for future meals.

John had They're Coming To Get You Barbara.  The buns were two grilled cheese sandwiches, bacon, cheese, caramelized onions and Zombie sauce, which is kind a ketchup blend.

This was a great meal and we loved it. We will definitely be making the trip downtown again. Zombieburger is a great place to take friends or relatives from out-of-town for a great take on burgers that's not available anywhere but in Des Moines!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Best Italian Sandwiches EVER! And I'm not kidding!!!!

For a few months, a guy I worked with, a fellow foodie, kept bugging me to get this special sandwich called "The Fireman".  It wasn't on the menu and was only advertised by Twitter on days it was available. Finally one day it was available and I had cash on me, so I said yes.

He listed the ingredients which all seemed to be prefaced with the word "spicy". I asked if it was tasty spicy or "melt my face off" spicy.  I like spicy, but only if it enhances the flavor, not to prove anything.  He said it was tasty spicy. So we got them to go and brought them back to work.

I opened the box and it was a beautiful sandwich. It was on garlic foccacia.  It had capicola, pepperoni and a spicy ham. It was topped with a guardinaire.  It was also MASSIVE.

I took a bite and it was amazing.  It also melted my face off.  Thank goodness I was wearing layers that day.

I brought half of the sandwich home to John. He warmed it up and fell in love.  Next thing you know, we are creating our own version.  After a couple of tweaks to tone it down, we have created the BEST ITALIAN SANDWICH EVER AND I'M NOT KIDDING!

We tried with some garlic foccacia, but found that a simpler bread was the perfect compliment to all the complex flavors in the sandwich. We went to the Italian market and got some meats for our sandwich.

First we heat the rolls a little.  It makes the outside a little crusty and the insides soft and warm.

John pulls them out with his asbestos hands.

Sliced in half.

A little spread of garlic aioli.

Sandwich pepperoni.

Salami.  John just tells the Italian market guy he wants salami for sandwiches. We trust our guy.

An extra slice of pepperoni. John decided it need a touch more.

Capicola.  So tasty.

A slice of boiled ham. It helps marry all the flavors together.

Then comes the giardiniera. This is the hard part. We get it at the local Italian grocery store. The hot kind is super hot, and I am very delicate. The mild doesn't have enough kick for John. For some reason they don't make a medium...I don't know why. So we bought a big jar of mild and a little jar of hot and made our own medium.

John drained the oil off and topped the sandwiches, well, he topped four of them, Chris likes his without.

Then half a slice of provolone.

Tops on.

We cover it with foil and it is ready to steam to perfection. Pop them into the 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes.

And they are delicious.  Spicy and warm and just plain perfect.

Seriously...the BEST Italian sandwiches! We could eat these every day for weeks!