Yes, to all of you sceptics out there, there is some culture in Des Moines – who would’ve thunked
World Food Festival
A 3-day event sponsored by Wells Fargo, the festival was in the East Village neighborhood of downtown Des Moines. I ventured out on Sunday to see what it was all about. Fun!!! Food galore – wonderful variety of food from all over the world – Indian, Chinese, Salvadorian, Mexican, Southern, Russian, American, etc.
Wonderful marketing strategy - $1 tastes. In addition to offering full portions at $3-$5 each, many of the vendors offered $1 tastes of each of their dishes.
Best food find – pupusas. Not only is it fun to say the name of this Salvadorian dish, but it was a tasty treat. Pupusas are corn tortillas stuffed with a variety of toppings – anything from cheese, chicken, beef, pork, beans, etc. The stuffed tortillas are then deep fried and served with pickled cabbage salad on a side. I wish I was eating one now. Apparently there is a National Pupusa Day in El Salvadore every November 13th. Eat your pupusas
In addition to food the festival showcased dancing (belly dancing, African dance, Brazilian dance), singing, and crafts. And then there was a SalsaIowa booth – you know I had to stop there. I got to chat with the dance instructor briefly and saw him give several lessons in salsa and merengue…good stuff. I’m so excited to have a chance to dance in Iowa.
After spending a few hours at the festival, I strolled around the downtown – cute. Fun little shops, some restaurants. It’s definitely a growing part of the city. There are several brand new lofts/condos…I couldn’t resist taking a tour of one of them – absolutely beautiful, and so tempting to move into one. The prices shocked me – so high…people, you are in Iowa, remember?
There is a part of the city called Valley Junction. I first discovered it last week as I was searching for the farmer’s market – sadly the market was no longer there. I came back on Friday after work for the Gallery Night – many of the galleries and shops stay open until 9pm, serve refreshments and showcase their art. I was secretly hoping to spend some of my first paycheck on something special, but nothing caught my eye. What did catch my eye was the audience – it was rather interesting to sit back and observe. You could definitely notice a difference in how people were dressed, how they acted, etc. It was like a splash of New York city lightly sprinkled on the Midwestern wholesomeness and goodness.