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On the edge of town

Places to explore while you’re here By Jim Duncan   The Iowa high school version of March Madness is not what it used to be in downtown Des Moines. Of the four big weeks of competitions, only the state individual wrestling championship still sells a significant number of tickets, and it’s now held in February. […]

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Disbelief and incredulity in the local food scene

By Jim Duncan   To borrow from probably the most populist novelist of all time, “It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.” Charles Dickens could have been writing about the U.S. as 2016 became 2017. The last four […]

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A festive time of the year

By Jim Duncan For the food and hospitality industry, this is the season of seasons. Holidays are — more than ever before — occasions when families spend time in restaurants rather than at home cooking. Mike Whalen, both a former Iowa Restaurant Association president and a National Restaurant Association president, says the greatest blessing of […]

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Prairie Meadows: A million square feet of Hospitality

By Jim Duncan In a recent conversation amongst long-time restaurant people, someone mentioned the stress involved preparing a 1960s wedding feast for 100 guests. At the time, that number of guests was extravagant. Last month, Prairie Meadows Racetrack, Casino, Entertainment Center and Hotel’s Hospitality Director Clay Willey laughed about that. “During the Christmas party season, […]

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Holiday Traditions: Treat your taste buds to something tasty

By Jeff Pitts   Do you need a restaurant that is open on the holidays? Or are you looking for the perfect pie to take over the river and through the woods while being a guest at someone’s holiday feast? Or maybe you’re after something you can only find during food’s favorite time of year? […]

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