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.

Chips

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.

Chimichanga

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.

Quesadilla

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