Mexican Food – West Des Moines

We’d been looking for our perfect Mexican restaurant. Something that offered authentic Mexican food was compatible with our young daughters, and if possible would be reasonably priced and easily accessible to us. We found this with Agave Grill in Clive, but still wanted something more, something that they didn’t offer and something that was different so we could avoid becoming bored. Enter Abelardo’s. Abelardo’s has three locations in Central Iowa, two in Des Moines, and one in West Des Moines. So when we had decided on trying Abelardo’s the other day, we decided to try their West Des Moines location which happens to be closest to our home.

I immediately knew we had found a great restaurant when we arrived — the menu was vast, and it included items that I haven’t generally found in other Des Moines area Mexican restaurants. The chorizo was featured prominently on their menu in a number of dishes and they also offered tortas, Mexican sandwiches that I haven’t seen at any other Mexican restaurant in the Des Moines area.

We started with their chips and queso. I still feel confident that the best queso in the Des Moines Area can be found at the Fighting Burrito, but Abelardo’s comes in a close second. What they may just have on the Fighting Burrito though are their chips…perfectly crunchy and chewy, quite delicious.The lady working the register was very kind and patient with us. She was willing to help us navigate their menu and gave us plenty of time to ensure we found just the right things to order.


Their tortillas are worth mentioning here. They are the largest tortillas I’ve ever seen. This beauty came with my Chorizo Plate. I figured I’d been given a few tortillas, but no, it was one giant one! And from what I can tell, it’s made there in the house. Absolutely outstanding… it reminded my wife and me of a very thin Roti bread that you would get at an Indian restaurant. Flavorful and chewy. You might be thinking this sounds silly, and I assure you that you’d be right, but if Lady Gaga can wear a meat suit, I figured I could wear this tortilla as a poncho. It was that big…and had I not eaten it so promptly, I would have tried, you can believe that.

They have a number of complimentary hot sauces available. Unfortunately, they were not labeled, so I went boldly where others may have stupidly gone before. But alas, they were all excellent and were fresh and light. Read our facts about Bacon that you should know before cooking.

My wife went with their Chimichanga. This is generally a go-to choice for her at many Mexican restaurants, so she would be a good judge of a good one. She claimed it was the best one she’d ever had. It’s insanely large, has a wonderfully crunchy outside, was stuffed to gills, and had an outstanding flavor.


Chorizo Plate I just had to try their Chorizo plate. I love Chorizo and between that and the picture above the register, I knew it was what I had to order. So order it I did! It was outstanding, great flavoring, lots, I mean LOTS, of food! But of course, not enough for me to not finish…although I may have lost my pride in doing so. Nevertheless, it was incredible and I will certainly be ordering it again in the future!

For our daughters, we skipped the choices on the kid’s menu and went straight for a full sized, no frills, Cheese Quesadilla. And it was a perfect choice. They absolutely loved it. It had the same wonderful home-made tortilla and it was so wonderful with a very healthy helping of cheese! And, it was nice and large and easily shared between the two of them.

Really, how can you go wrong? Great, authentic Mexican food, healthy portions (correction: large, not “healthy”), and VERY reasonable prices. Seriously, how could a person go wrong? We absolutely love this place and will continue returning.



D’Jango, pronounced Jango (the D is silent), is a Des Moines area French restaurant that started it all for the Iowa Food Blog. Sometime in 2012, a good friend of mine encouraged me to try a number of different local Des Moines area restaurants, and it was D’Jango that we tried first. After trying D’Jango, we were hooked on local restaurants, which led to starting the Iowa Food Blog to share these local gems. Because of this, D’Jango has always held a special place with us.

So when we recently had our babysitter watch our girls, we decided to revisit our old favorite.

For those unfamiliar, D’Jango is located on the first floor of the historic Hotel Fort Des Moines, which in itself is quite remarkable. The hotel, built in 1919 and added to the National Register of Historic Buildings in 1982 has had many famous guests including twelve US Presidents and Charles Lindberg, among others. The atmosphere is wonderful, classic, tasteful, and timeless. Tall ceilings, worn floors, and beautiful woodwork. It reeks of a place that is just begging to talk and to share its stories.

The service at D’Jango is always impeccable. The staff is well trained, very prompt, attentive, polite, thorough, knowledgeable, and accommodating. Never have I had to ask for a refill. Their timing is always spot on, and their presentation is professional as is their demeanor.

We’ve found with restaurants there is eating and then there is dining. You eat at McDonald’s–it’s functional and efficient, but you dine at a restaurant like D’Jango–you want it to be an experience, to be drawn out, a chance to visit with someone. So when dining at D’Jango, we always take our time.

D’Jango 1

We decided to begin with their Cheese and Charcuterie Flight. Many restaurants around Des Moines feature these flights, but our favorite is from D’Jango. First off, the presentation is different than what others are doing. Rather than served on a typical plate, they’ve opted for a piece of tile. Also different than many others is they let you decide which meats and cheeses you want. At D’Jango we’ve had fun with this including selecting only meats and cheeses from Iowa. This night we chose what sounded best to us. For cheese, we selected a Manchego from Spain, a Taleggio from Italy, and a Gruyere from Switzerland. And for meat, we chose Prosciutto and Cuppa Piccante from La Quercia in Norwalk, Iowa, and a D’Artagnan Le Saucisson-sec.

Besides their Cheese and Charcuterie Flight, often times we opt for their poutine… can’t beat gravy with cheese curds over hand cut fries.

For drinks, we went with their Devereux and French Pearl.

The complimentary bread is worth mentioning. Besides D’Jango and a few other restaurants in Des Moines, George Formaro also owns South Union Bakery, which in my opinion is the best bread available in the area. This means that a major upside to dining at any of his restaurants is you know the bread will always be amazing.

For dinner, Lissah chose their Fillet à Rossini, which is a beef tenderloin with foie gras, truffles, and demi-glace, and then it’s served with Dauphinoise potatoes. We’ve had these potatoes before and they are absolutely incredible. It was also served with broccoli spears.

French Pearl

I decided on their Hanger Steak with Duck Frites and ordered a side of grilled asparagus. This is a post of reflection, and I’d be leading you astray to leave out the fact that until 2012 I’d never heard of a Hanger Steak. It wasn’t until I’d heard about Alba’s Hanger Steak that “Hanger Steak” entered my lexicon. The beef comes from the Plate, which is just behind the front legs “hanging” above the ground. And apparently for years it was thought to be a very undesirable cut of meat, but if my research yielded any truth, it turns out it was known to be the best cut by butchers and the cut they would take home to their families by choice…” of course you don’t want that piece”.

D’Jango has shown me that not much goes better with a steak than some great fries, and D’Jango fries that are fried in duck fat, “duck fries”, are nothing short of perfect. I also love me some asparagus, so anytime a credible restaurant has it on their menu you know I’ll be ordering some. And ordering some I did.

It goes without saying that the vegetables we received throughout our meal were prepared well. But what’s really impressive is how all the vegetables we were served were perfect. But it should be no surprise as another business that George owns is Gateway Market. It appears that George has learned how to leverage his previous investments and successes — after mastering bread and dough with South Union Bakery he opened Centro which is known for its pizzas. Own a number of restaurants that feature dishes with lots of fresh ingredients? Start a grocery store.

D’Jango is a restaurant that I’m proud to have in my backyard. It’s a safe recommendation to anyone looking for a nice place for lunch or dinner. And it’s a place that will always hold a special place for my wife and me.


What is the Most Comfortable Bedding On a Low Budget

Winter is coming near and after that summer will hit the country making everyone dehydrate to the point. You have to be prepared for a good night sleep as well. A lot of people are the thing the ways of bedding and preferring thicker bedding.

There is nothing wrong with buying bed sheets which have produced from high-quality of fabrics, and they don’t even break your bank vault, or you have your card to pay the bills off. There are many quality bed sheets which you can get your hands on and decorate your bedroom with it.

But not many many people know what things they need to look at before buying the bedding, and linen sheets. Shopping is easy when you have plenty of money in your hands, but when you are on a tight budget, then you have no other choice but to look when buying a quality of the product. Here is the list of best memory foam mattress which you can use to make your sleep more comfortable.

What is The Most Comfortable Bedding On a Low Budget?

Decide The Cloth Type

If you are on a budget and want to buy high-quality material then it is advised that you choose what type of equipment you want to use for your bedroom. There are many fabrics you can choose from, and the wide range of materials are available in the market. There are materials which are worth more than you can imagine but when you look for more, you can find fabrics which are high-quality and long-lasting. Cotton-poplin, Polyester, Pure Cotton are high-quality cloth.`

Cotton: Sateen & Percale Weaves

In the western side of the country, many Americans are using Cotton Percale, which is much more affordable than the Sateen. If you want to experience Cotton Percale which is known for have soft and sheen, then you should go for it. There is no doubt that both of the cloth is better than one and other if you look at it properly. You can get Percale which has more soft and breathable fabric.

Silk & High-Quality Threading

Currently, in the Asian countries, many people are buying Silk bed sheets as they are available for an affordable price and the benefits of having the silk bed sheets are high. Many brands are producing the Silk fabric and adding attractive colors to it. The colors and high-quality of threading added to it makes the piece marvelous. On the top of that, you can get such a high-quality product for less price when you compare it to the other expensive bed sheets.

Take Care Of The Cloth

The number of people who have complained that why doesn’t the bed sheets last longer? Well, every material has a set of instructions on “How To Was,” “Warm Water Or Cold Water” and more. The maintenance of the fabric extends the life of the bed sheets or any material. Read the benefits of a Pre-Rinse Kitchen Faucet written by me.


Make sure to look at the Washing Instructions, which you can follow on daily basis and try to buy every bed sheet with similar washing instructions.  If your budget is low, you can also go for the comfortable sleeper sofa.You will save money and also extend the life of the material. What do you think which material is best for you? Share your thoughts with everyone.

Benefits of a Pre-Rinse Kitchen faucet

Have you ever noticed those big pull-down type kitchen faucets in a hotel or a restaurant? This big version of a pull-down faucet is known as a Pre-Rinse Kitchen faucet and although, it is more prominently used for industrial purposes, lately, it has been started being used in a lot of households too. This is because it provides you with a powerful and quicker cleaning than other faucets and it can easily cover a large area in just a few minutes. That is not all though, it has several other benefits too.

Some of these are as such:

  • It is highly durable

One of the greatest advantages of using a Pre-Rinse kitchen faucet is that they are more durable than your other faucet types. This is because they were constructed keeping a commercial purpose in mind due to which they are made to last longer without any scratches or stains. In fact, you can be assured that they wouldn’t lead to frequent leaks too. You can see some best kitchen faucet at KitchenGuyd.

  • It provides you with a quick and efficient cleaning

Another important benefit of using a pre-rinse kitchen faucet is that it makes your whole cleaning work more convenient and efficient. This type of kitchen faucet provides you with a strong sprayer which can be used for cleaning various dishes and vegetables quickly. You are also offered an option to change the mode from spray mode to stream mode and with its high arc, you can clean your deep sink in just a few minutes.

  • It gives your kitchen a professional look

Another reason to buy this kitchen faucet is the fact that it increases your kitchen’s attractiveness and provides a more professional and classy look to your kitchen. It high-arc design and pull down feature provides it a modern look and these faucets are known to match most kitchen themes and styles.

  • It comes in various options

This type of kitchen faucet also provides you with versatility by giving you the option of choosing a wall mounted faucet or a deck mounted faucet for your kitchen. If you want to save space in your kitchen, then you can get a wall mounted kitchen faucet but you will need to make sure that the water lines run through the wall and are properly connected to your faucet. In case a wall mounted faucet is not possible, you can still go for a deck mounted faucet which will be quite helpful in cleaning your dishes and utensils efficiently. Here is some best Copper chef pan for your kitchen, check it out.

  • It is perfect for large gatherings

A Pre-Rinse kitchen faucet is an asset in cleaning a large sink full of dishes in just a few minutes. So, if you are one of those who has a lot of parties and needs to clean and cook quite often, then a pre-rinse kitchen faucet is the perfect choice for you. It will provide you with a better and convenient cleaning and with its flexible arc, you can be sure to hit your mark every time. With its long neck, you would also be capable of covering your deep sink with greater ease.

Top 3 Bacon Cupcake Recipes

Ever since I started working in the professional world as a chef, I learned that a lot of people enjoy desserts that have bacon in them. I tried some of the cake recipes, but eventually, I figured that it is best to enjoy bacon in a cupcake.


And today I bring you, my top three bacon cupcake recipes. You will find information on everything right from the prep, to the ingredients and finally to the execution.

Dark Chocolate Bacon Recipe 

If there is one thing that pastry chefs love is ‘dark chocolate’ and if you add bacon to it, you get that foodgasm we all crave for.

Here are the Ingredients you will need-

Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcake

Wrote down all the ingredients? Let’s move to the preparation –

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is power up your oven and preheat it to around 375 degrees. While the oven is heating up, take all the slices of bacon in a pan and start heating. Once they reach brown consistency, crumble them and put them aside.

Step 2

In this step, we start preparing for the cupcake. Take a large bowl and cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda along with salt and start stirring the mix. You now have to create a small opening like a well in the middle of this mix to add eggs and all the other liquid ingredients. Now stir thoroughly until everything is blended nicely. You can probably use a mixer for this purpose. Now is the time to add the bacon we all have been waiting for. Just keep some amount of aside as we will be using it later for garnishing.

Once everything is mixed, start pouring in cups.

Step 3

Now, bake these in the oven for around 25 minutes. Once baking is done, you must allow these cupcakes to cool down. You then can garnish with crumbled bacon and cocoa powder. I suggest you keep these in the refrigerator for some time before serving.

There you have it, the recipe along with my tips on how to make the most amazing dark chocolate bacon cupcake.

Bacon Cupcake with Maple

If there is anything that can win a man’s heart, then it is probably maple. And once you team that up with bacon, you have an all-star pair that can single-handedly win the super ball.

Here are the ingredients for this cupcake: –

Bacon Cupcake with Maple

Now let us move to the preparation of this-

Step 1

First, you have to turn on the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then you have to mix sugar and butter together. If you are using a hand mixer, you won’t see the consistency that we need. I use a stand mixer. If you are having an issue choosing the one, you can read stand mixer reviews for 2017, and buy one for your need. While the mixer is running add eggs along with flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix all these for at least 5 minutes after which you can add vanilla into it.

Step 2

In the next step, you have to place the cups in muffin pans, and you also have to coat it with preferably cooking spray. Bake this for around 15 minutes. A real test to see if your cupcake is ready is by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake, and if it comes out clean, then your dish is ready. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 15-20 minutes.

Step 3 – 

Now is the time you prepare your frosting. Take a pan and melt butter in the same. Once it starts boiling, you can add brown sugar. After some time add milk and corn syrup. Transfer this stunning caramel mixture to a bowl. Now add this to the mixer bowl and start whipping cream. Gradually add sugar to it. Don’t use high speeds; you can get that job done even at medium speeds. Then gently stir in maple-flavored syrup. You can easily get three cups from this mix.

Finally, frost all the cups with maple frosting and garnish it with crumbled bacon.

Bourbon Cupcake with Bacon

The third and final cupcake in my list is the bourbon cupcake with bacon. Bourbon is perhaps one of the drinks that I enjoy and pairing it with sugar and bacon, is one deadly mix. It is surely a treat for your taste buds. Here is a list of ingredients you will need to make this cupcake-

Bourbon Cupcake with Bacon

Preparation –  

This is a fairly straightforward recipe, and you essentially have to follow the same steps used in earlier recipes, but I will still walk you through it.

First, preheat the oven to a temperature of 180 degrees Celsius. Then take some flour and baking powder in a bowl and stir the mix gently.

Then power up your mixer and whip cream along with butter and sugar for about 4-5 minutes. After that add eggs and milk and continue beating the mix. Finally, add bourbon to the mix.

Now is the time to add dry ingredients and continue mixing until everything is blended nicely.

Fill the mix in the cups which are coated with vegetable oil. Bake this for 20 minutes until they reach golden brown color. Finally, allow them to cool down for some time.

Finally, garnish with crumbled bacon (which needs to be cooked too).

And there you have it your very own bourbon cupcake with bacon garnishing.


This complete my lists, if you have any other ideas, and you want to me share the recipe for them, you can comment below.

Till then,

Enjoy the Holy Bacon – Bacon Babbler Jing

10 Facts about Bacon You Didn’t Know about

There are so many good things to say about bacon, but at the same time, there are many unusual facts that surround this holy dish. In my last article I tried to bust some myths and today I will share some surprising facts, which I am sure you have no or little idea about. 

Fact #1 – Different Countries use different Bacon Cuts 

If you read the last article, you must know that different cuts are used in different countries for bacon. In America, we mostly get cuts derived from pork belly. But Canada uses the pork loin, and England uses the shoulder. The meat derived from loin is comparatively healthier, but it still needs to be cured.

Fact #2 – There is Bacon on your Drinks

This is perhaps the most unusual fact that I have come across about bacon. Yes, they are now infusing bacon in your hard drinks like vodka and beer. If you fancy cocktails then smoky bacon bloody Mary, is one of the most well-known bacon-infused cocktails you can find. If you fancy bacon beer, then you can try out Rouge Ale’s beer.

Fact #3 – Bacon is good for your unborn child 

So much has been said about the harmful effects of bacon on our health but some studies have shown that bacon can prove to be good for your unborn child. Bacon constitutes Choline, a micronutrient, which helps in better brain development and can also boost memory. It also helps in reducing heart-related problems. So if you’re pregnant it is fine to eat some bacon, once in a while.

Bacon is good for your unborn child

Fact #4 – Bacon is actually patented

Well, the first sliced and packed bacon was patented. It was done by Oscar Mayer, back in 1924. He then literally dominated the bacon marketplace until 1984 when Dr. Basil released a paper that linked fat consumed with increased heart risk. All this forced Oscar Mayer, and other manufacturers to rely on advertisements which pointed that they were using “lean meat”. The reality is different, though, even in present times.

Fact #5 – Denmark consumers more Bacon than the USA

I know most of you think that the USA is the biggest consumer of pork in the world. But you are wrong. In fact, USA ranks at 12 in per capita consumption of Pork. Denmark eats the most pork in the world. We can’t blame them as that country is freaking cold.

Fact #6 – BLT is the favorite sandwiches in the USA

We all love bacon, lettuce, and a tomato sandwich, right? Well, this is the favorite breakfast sandwich of the USA, according to an independent survey. In my restaurant, the BLT sandwich has to be one of the favorites. Apart from quality bacon, we make sure that our lettuce and tomatoes are fresh and healthy. We started growing some of our produce, through hydroponic systems, like Aerogarden Bounty, and so far we love the results.

Fact #7 – Average American eats 18 pounds of bacon per Year

17.90 lbs. To be exact. If this seems too much, well then let me tell you that we are par with our British counterparts who consume 17.86 lbs. of bacon each year. These figures are out there, but still, Americans are blamed for making the unhealthiest food choices in the world.

Fact #8 – Bacon is only 11% of pig

11% of Pig is Bacon

On an average, a 200-pound pig will give you close to 20 pounds of bacon. You can give or take 4 to 5 pounds depending on the butchering process, but you can’t get more than 11-13% bacon from a pig. Now you can guess how many pigs are slaughtered each year for your bacon.

Fact #9 – New York consumers the most bacon

 They are followed by Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Chicago. Going by these two trends, I don’t know how the women in New York Or Los Angeles look so good. I guess they indulge in a lot of physical activities too, like your boy Jing.

Fact #10 – You can also eat ‘Cheek Bacon.’

You can do this in Italy, where you get Guanciale, which is essential bacon derived from Pork Cheeks. I have never tried it, and to be honest I have no interest in doing so, but you my friend could be a risk taker, so I thought I should mention this.

This ends my list, and I am sure there are several other Bacon Facts that are dancing around in the world. If you come up with any of those, do share in the comment section below.

Some more articles from us for Bacon things:

Till then,

Enjoy the Holy Bacon – Bacon Babbler Jing

Some Myths about Bacon – Busted!

Bacon has had quite a journey from being a poor man’s survival meat to being called as ‘America’s Breakfast Dish.’ There is so much said today about bacon and sometimes (or rather most of the times) it is pure myth.

Your buddy, Jing, here will try to bust few myths that you might have read about in the past. So lets Jing ahead to that – 

Myth #1 – Bacon is Delicious

Bacon is delicious this is a myth. Now I know, you all are going like, Jing what the hell are you talking about, well there is a big fast reason for me saying that. You see in earlier times bacon was nothing more than food that was essential for survival. Diets mostly consisted of grains and protein was apparently missing. In those times, pork meat was a cheap and easily accessible too. At those time bacon was cured and stored in questionable conditions and clearly that had affected how the meat tasted. The techniques of curing bacon evolved in the mid 20th century and that clearly paved the way for the ‘delicious’ meat that we all love and enjoy today.

Myth #2 – Bacon is Only Belly Meat 

In America, the word Bacon is almost synonymous with pork belly, and this is where most of the bacon meat comes from. But there are different sources from where you can get the perfect meat. Our friends up in the north, use pork loin to get a lean cut of bacon. The English do the same but add an extra layer of fat. Both of these taste better than the traditional meat and are also comparatively healthier. It ‘s hard to find these, and you would have to go to upscale stores to find one in your cities. I use bacon derived from pork loin in my restaurant, and my returning customers love every bite of it.

Bacon Myths

Myth #3 – Bacon makes you Fat 

Is bacon the healthiest dish? Absolutely not, in fact, many other kinds of meat can be considered ‘a lot healthier’ compared to pork, especially bacon. So does bacon make you fat? Again no!

Most of you by now know that weight of the body is determined on how many calories we consume. Consuming 100 grams of bacon at once will amount to around 500 calories. During my childhood, I used to eat twice of this daily, but I also indulged in several physical activities. If you fail to do so, bacon like any other ‘heavy food’ will have a negative effect on your body.

Furthermore, bacon is also highly recommended in paleo diets so if you have any misconceptions that bacon is unhealthy, simply drop it.

Myth #4 – Celery Processed bacon is Nitrate-free

Bacon being processed meat comes with its fair shares of threat. One of those is the fact that mostly bacon was cured with nitrates. And according to few major studies, nitrates can increase the risk of heart disease. Many manufacturers then started to claim that there are offering nitrate free bacon. It is nothing but a scam. Most ‘nitrate-free’ or so called unprocessed bacon, is coated by celery powder, which being a vegetable naturally contains nitrates.

So don’t fall for this as you might be paying extra to consume the same amount of nitrates that you might consume from regular bacon.

Myth #5 – Bacon Consumption is limited

I am flabbergasted by the sheer number of people that think that bacon can be consumed in limited ways. On the contrary, you can find bacon everywhere now. They are infusing it with vodka too. I love to cook bacon based cupcakes, and I will share many recipes on my blog. So if you want this myth to bust simply follow my blog and read all these scrumptious recipes.

These were the top myths that I have come across in my life. If you have any other myth that I have not covered in this post, feel free to share it in the comment section below.

Enjoy the Holy Bacon – Bacon Babbler Jing

Babbling About Bacon

Jing Hello Everyone,

That was an odd greeting, right? Well, if you are going to follow this blog better get used to it. My name is Jing and over the years, I have developed a habit of using my name as an adjective. Ok, you are probably going to “this guy needs to see a therapist” and you are probably right. But this blog is not about my mental state it is more about my love for bacon.

I was born in the USA, but my parents moved from China. They obviously weren’t big bacon fans, and chicken & duck dishes were primarily made in my house. Luckily I had Justin, who knows my best friend, and his mom cooked nothing but pork dishes. I loved bacon so much that it was all I talked about. I even joined cooking classes which initially didn’t go well with my parents who wanted me to take cello lessons. (I am reinforcing all your stereotypes right?)

Anyway, I won’t bore you will all the itty-bitty details of my childhood. But one thing, though, I loved to talk about food everywhere, even when the guests were coming. So much so that my grandmother gave me the nickname of ‘Bacon Babbler’.

To be honest, I loved this name and over the years this is one thing that has stuck with me in regards to my family and friends.

Talking about the present, I am a chef in an upscale restaurant in Tucker, Georgia. In my free time, I love sharing my Ideas on Pinterest. But recently I decided to get a blog of my own and decided to shower my Chinese Wisdom regarding the love of my life i.e. bacon.

In this website, you will find ideas on what you can do with bacon, and fun stuff related to it and also some kickass recipes.

So with this preface kind of page on my blog, I welcome you all to my website (Which like Preface of a book, no one will read).

Keep eating my friends.

Read more about us and Contact us for more.

Bacon Babbler Jing