Gastronomic Fight Club SM

Mischief. Mayhem. Soup.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

First Annual Rock, Stock and Barrel

posted by snekse
I'm heading to Rock, Stock and Barrel this weekend. Are you?

I do have some updates on the event. The cost is now $15 for admission. This gets you access to 7 different bands playing throughout the day. Food and drinks will be available to purchase from Metro's Institute for the Culinary Arts and Soaring Wings Vineyard. I'm told food will be about $3-6 per item. Wine should be reasonably priced as well.

The band lineup for Saturday is:
2:30 - Kyle Harvey
3:30 - Matt Cox
4:30 - Brad Hoshaw
5:30 - Scott Severin & the Milton Burlesque
7:00 - Holy Smoke (parts of the The Jazzwholes with Mo Jo Poe)
8:00 - Whipkey 3
9:00 - Sarah Benck & The Robbers

Here's the (slightly modified) press release for the event.

Food & Spirits Magazine Announces Rock, Stock & Barrel Sept. 13

Food & Spirits Magazine, of Omaha, is pleased to announce its first event, Rock, Stock & Barrel, which will be held at Soaring Wings Vineyard on September 13th . The event, held from 2-10:30 p.m., will be a benefit for the Omaha Food Bank and feature seven top Omaha bands and musicians, wine from Soaring Wings Vineyard as well as food from the Institute for the Culinary Arts at Metropolitan Community College.

"For our first event, we really wanted to bring together food, spirits, music and a good cause to just have some fun," Erik Totten publisher of Food & Spirits Magazine said. "All of the people involved are volunteering their time to make this a good event for the Food Bank so I hope we get a lot of people out there to enjoy some good food and wine and listen to some great music."

Rock, Stock & Barrel's musical lineup includes Sarah Benck & the Robbers, The Whipkey 3, Kyle Harvey, Matt Cox, Brad Hoshaw, Scott Severin & the Milton Burlesque and Wholey Smoke. Tickets for the all-afternoon event are $15 and can purchased at and at all Etix locations or by calling 402-203-6145. Tickets can also be purchased at the event.

Food & Spirits Magazine is a locally owned full-color glossy magazine dedicated to all things food and spirits in Omaha, NE. After releasing their premiere issue in September of 2007, which won four awards, the publication has released their fourth issue and has launched their website ( as of September 2008. For more information contact Erik Totten at 402-203-6145 or through email at .

Rock Stock and Barrel 2008 Poster

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Iowa State Fair

posted by snekse
For those who have never been to the Iowa State Fair, I thought I would post a bit a visual guide of some the tastes and sights to be explored at the fair as well as cover two very cool restaurants to stop by while you're in the Des Moines area.

The Iowa State Fair

The Iowa State Fair is one of the largest and most popular fairs in the world. The fair attracts upwards of a million visitors during it's 11-day run. During this time nearly 200 food stands serve almost every kind of food you can fry and/or put on a stick. Don't believe me? At last count there were over 20 different kinds of food being served on a stick including corn dogs, cheese, pickles, honey, candy bars and of course pork chops. Being Iowa, the pork chops are a fan favorite at the fair, gobbling down 5-6,000 chops daily.

Besides the prepared food, it's also very interesting to see all of the unprepared food with the hooves still on them. I enjoyed seeing all of the technology and work put into the agricultural industry that so many of us take for granted. And I would be remiss if I failed to mention the butter cow. A 550 pound block of butter sculpted into a life size sculpture of a dairy cow. All of these things make the Iowa State Fair a prized foodie badge that's hard earned with almost 240 acres to explore. Tiring, but well worth it.

Because of the size of the fair grounds, I recommend arriving early and staying late, or splitting your visit into 2 or more days. The population of Des Moines swells each weekend during the fair, so I highly recommend planning in advance and booking your hotel room in January to get the best deals.

If you do stay for a bit, you're going to want to visit some of the local dining options you won't find anywhere else. To help you with that, I'm going to share two of my favorites so far.

The Machine Shed

The first is The Machine Shed. Think Cracker Barrel, but better. The front entry is very similar to Cracker Barrel with knick-knacks and crap galore to sell you while you wait, but with an Iowan agriculture theme. You find jams and honey to pink John Deere trucker hats to coffee table books featuring black-and-white photographs of rustic barns. Once seated, you'll notice the wait staff are dressed like picnic tables in denim overalls and the decor is basically old farm signs and equipment nailed to the wall. All a little funny, but somewhat charming at the same time. The food, however, is just plain good.

Every table is given some unusual starters: banana bread, coleslaw and cottage cheese. A little strange, but it's not unlike what I would expect to find at my grandma's house when I was little. The menu is almost exactly what one would expect with some more upscale touches thrown in here and there. Top quality pork is featured heavily and prepared in tender mouth watering succulent ways. Yep, it's that good. Far better than one should expect for the setting and prices. A must stop place for any city slicker.

Rube's Steakhouse

The other unusual stop I wanted to highlight is actually just West of Des Moines in Montour, IA. Rube's Steakhouse claims to be the "The 'Original' Grill Your Own" steakhouse. I know a lot of people don't see the appeal in going to a restaurant just to make your own food, but it's really about two things: the social aspect and the quality of the ingredients. Rube's has both of those down pretty well. They offer some really nice aged corn fed beef that you prepare to your liking on giant indoor hardwood charcoal grills. Standing around a grill with a beer in your hand shooting the breeze with who ever happens to be next to you is really what it's all about. The fact that the steaks are excellent and include unlimited salad bar, soup, Texas toast and potato is just icing. For those intimidated by the 28 oz. Top Sirloin, they do offer a smaller 10 oz. version as well :-)

The Machine Shed of Des Moines
(I-80/35 - Exit 125 at Living History Farms)

Rating: 85

Iowa Machine Shed on Urbanspoon
11151 Hickman Road (map)
Urbandale, IA 50322
Phone: (515) 270-6818

Hours of Operation
  Monday — Saturday: 6:00 am — 10:00 pm
  Saturday Buffet: 7:00 am - 1:00 pm
  Sunday: 7:00 am — 9:00 pm
  Sunday Buffet: 7:00 am - 1:00 pm

Rube's Steakhouse of Montour
(Montour, IA)

Rating: 84

118 Elm Street
Montour, IA 50173
Phone: (641) 492-6222

Hours of Operation
  Monday — Thursday: 5:00 pm — 9:30 pm
  Friday — Saturday: 5:00 pm — 10:00 pm
  Sunday: 4:30 pm — 9:00 pm (Seasonal or by Reservation)

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

2007 Testicle Festival

posted by snekse
Not much to really say on this one. We went. We ate. Once was enough. I might post more commentary later. Bookmark this page if you care.

Nut Nibblin'
The Testicle Cookbook - Cooking with Balls

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