Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Raccoon River Brewery

Raccoon River Brewery, brew pub in Des Moines

Going through the midwest, we were reluctant to try any ethnic cuisines without a local guide, for the obvious reasons. Brew pubs, however, were pretty midwestern (second only to steak houses, perhaps), and so we found ourselves in one after the other, from Colorado to Iowa to South Dakota to Davis, California.

Given that we were going to be in Des Moines for dinner, and that there was a place there called "Raccoon River Brewery," well, we couldn't NOT stop. The Brewery is located at the corner of 10th and Mulberry, or perhaps 11th; the directions were vague and the street signs not much more help. Still, downtown Des Moines was more hopping than we expected, and we had to wait a bit for a table.

The interior space is very nice, a large two-level restaurant with the bar facing you as you enter and the main seating area behind it. Back and to the left, slightly raised from the first level, is an area whose wooden floor was reclaimed from a local historical gymnasium.

The beer (according to Mark) was good, not outstanding. The hot artichoke and asiago cheese dip was good, but the pub bread (as good as what we were given at the table, but with garlic!) was outstanding. Sadly, we were a little disappointed with the Mediterranean pasta. The sauce was rather bland and there were few of the veggies promised.

Overall, we liked the atmosphere and, of course, the name and logo. It's possible that some of their pizzas and burgers are better than the pastas, or that the rest of the pastas are good. Seems like a good place for atmosphere and drinks, and take your chances with the food.

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