Takekawa's Favorite 10 Local Restaurants:
1. Mi Mexico (University Ave and I80/35 WDM). There are plenty of good Mexican restaurants in Des Moines, but Mi Mexico is by far our favorite. We always share the beef fajitas with corn tortillas. The flavor is out of this world. Warning- if you like the typical "white folk" Mexican, like Tommy would say, this is not the place for you. The cheese dip is not that great and the waiters are all Hispanic and the English can be somewhat difficult to understand. Beef fajitas are about $10.00.
2. Jethros. (Drake Neighborhood) The first time Tommy and I went here we didn't think it was that great. We have since learned to love this place. Try the Drake location on Tuesdays for half-price wing night (Thursdays for Altoona). We always get the bbq rub and Parmesan garlic wings. Also, the waffle fry nachos are to die for! on Tuesdays 20 wings is $9.
3. Hickory Park. (Ames). This isn't exactly local since its a good 20 minutes from Ankeny, but Hickory Park is always a fantastic choice. Tommy and I generally share the pork baby back ribs. They are smoked perfectly. Also, try to the sweet potato fries. Try not to get too full so you can enjoy the ice cream menu made with Blue Bunny Ice Cream. A full order of BBQ ribs runs about $18.
4. Tasty Tacos. (multi locations in metro). Who can resist a flour taco with the fresh grated cheese on top?! It almost makes you forget about the beans that are mixed in with the meat. This is always a great lunch choice. The only thing that would make this place better is a drive thru. (1 flour taco is around $3).
5. South Union Bread Company (Downtown). This place is only open from 11 to 2 M-F. Go early or late but don't go between 1130 and 1- the line is out the door. Lovely toasted sandwiches on fresh bread is fantastic. I always get the philly cheesesteak sandwich. Be sure to order one-half sandwich as they are quite large. (1/2 sandwich is about $5).
6. Miyabi 9. (East Village). Tommy was so pleased when he learned about this place from one of his Japanese clients. Tommy loves this place even more because of its strong resemblance to sushi restaurants in Japan. I generally am not a sushi fan, but this place is great. We generally order a few sushi rolls to split amongst ourselves. I think the average dinner is about $20. If that is over your budget, try lunch. The bento boxes are fantastic and run about $10. Whatever the case, make sure you get the tempora veggies!
7. Johnny's Italian Steakhouse. (Jordan Creek Towncenter) We have only been here once but the food was out of this world! I ordered the ribeye steak. I cant remember what Tommy ordered. The meat was so tender and cooked to perfection. (Average meal runs between $40-$50).
8. HyVee Breakfast. (multiple locations). I know this may not count as local since there are HyVees all over the midwest, but we have made it a tradition to eat Sunday breakfast there. Tommy and I always share the Number 8 (2 eggs, 2 pancakes, 2 sausage) and we add a side of hashbrowns. (Runs about $6 for a breakfast meal and $2 for the side of hashies!). I usually do not like breakfast, but HyVee has changed my mind.
9. Jade Garden (Ankeny). This was a favorite place of mine growing up. We would always meet friends after church for the Sunday lunch menu. The ownership changed a few years ago and since that time the place has suffered some business loss. If you are looking for a traditional Chinese buffet- this is not your place. The egg drop soup and crab rangoons are the best I have ever had. (Dinner meal is about $8).
10. ???? Tell me your favorite local restaurant so I can fill in this slot soon!