Where to find some of the best hamburgers around Des Moines

Hello friendly readers. This week the entertainment team takes you through some of their favorite things to do in the Des Moines, from our entertainment editor Susan Stapleton talking about the adventures of burgers, retail reporter Hana Rodriguez sharing her favorite meals and drinks, and entertainment reporter Isaac Hamlet talking to a butcher in Waukee.

Susan just bought a home in the Oak Park neighborhood, so be prepared to learn all about the daunting task of unpacking and decorating a new home in a future number of work hours.

Welcome to Off Hours, a free weekly newsletter on all things entertainment from the Des Moines Register. You can sign up for free.

This is what I wanted to find in Badger Creek State Recreation Area.  I will have to try again soon.


Here’s the deal: I love going on adventures in Iowa, especially on the weekends. I’m going to spend a Saturday with a morning that starts with “Let’s go have lunch” or “Let’s go to the farmers market” and ends with who knows where.

There are no sunflowers yet in the Badger Creek recreation area but some beautiful views of the Iowa countryside.

This past weekend, my mom and I decided to check out the Badger Creek State Recreation Area in Van Meter for sunflowers. The Wave app decided to take me down a complex road over many cobbled roads with some lovely farms along the way to get to the back entrance to the park with the boat launched. Sunflowers weren’t on that side.

We wandered down more gravel roads to find the main entrance, and unfortunately, the sunflowers were barely knee high with blossoms in sight. It was still a great trip and now we know how to find sunflowers the next time we go. My mom even taped a mark on her passport from Travel Iowa to visit the park.

The Middlebrook Mercantile used to be a fine shop in Cumming.

Then the adventure began. Just a short one this time took us to Cumming to visit Middlebrook Mercantile, the new store that has local produce. My mom bought a bar of locally made soap and we saw a different part of central Iowa that we hadn’t explored in the past.

more:Middlebrook Mercantile opens in Cumming, serving Oregon wines off the Great Western Trail

The Dulce de Leche Café Con Leche Crepe comes with banana, strawberry, dulce de leche, lechera and whipped cream.  Yes, it is very decadent.

One weekday, I brought a friend to try a new restaurant, Café con Leche, on Hubbell Street. We had breakfast burritos, a dulce de leche crepe and an omelette before I said, “Where are we going next?” Let the adventure begin.

Since we were already on the east side, we ended up in Altoona and went to Prairie Meadows Hotel and Casino. We checked out the horse race on Belmont Stakes day and then bet a bit on the Buffalo slots and won. We left with a coconut cake.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.