7 Iowa Restaurants Have Been Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
One of the most popular show on the Food Network is Guy Fieri's series Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The show has been featuring tons of restaurants all over the U.S. and beyond since 2006, and all of those restaurants have been archived on the Food Network website!
I have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news? Seven different Iowa restaurants have been featured on the show over the years! The bad news? Only three out of the seven have stood the test of time. Four of the restaurants have closed their doors since making their debut on the show. Here are all the open AND closed Iowa eateries that Guy has visited:
Located at 1410 22nd Street in West Des Moines, Mi Patria is a popular Ecuadorian restaurant. The Food Network's website mentions their authentic South American ceviche, empanadas, chicken with rice, and pork with hominy. Opening in 2011, it is the first and only Ecuadorian restaurant in Des Moines. It was featured on episode 12 of season 21, which was titled, "Fresh Fish & Funky Chicken."
Smokey D's BBQ
Smokey D's BBQ was featured on not one episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, but THREE. Like Mi Patria, it was also seen on the episode "Fresh Fish & Funky Chicken," but it was also talked about in "Dynamite Desserts" and revisited during "Triple D Nation: Flavortown Favorites." Some of the menu items that the Food Network website mentions include the Smoked Pork Philly with Garlic Au Jus, the Apple Dumplings, and the Smoked Chicken Wings. Since they opened in 2006, Smokey D's has expanded to three different locations. The main restaurant is at 5055 NW 2nd Avenue in Des Moines.
George the Chili King
Unfortunately, George the Chili King is now permanently closed. The Chili King himself, George Karaidos, Jr., passed away back in 2019 at the age of 86. According to the Des Moines Register, the restaurant was first founded in 1920 and was known for its delicious tenderloins and, of course, chili. George the Chili King was featured during "Oldies But Goodies," episode 13 of season 21. The good news is, you can still get a taste of the restaurant with the recipe for George's Homemade Onion Rings! Check that out HERE.
More bad news! Tacopocalypse, which was featured during the season 22 episode "Fish, Fries and Feet," officially shut down back in 2018. According to the Des Moines Register, the restaurant closed after five years in business, but had plans to open a new location in the spring of 2019. It looks like that plan never came to fruition. But, like George the Chili King, there is a recipe online for one of Tacopocalypse's most popular menu items, the Pak Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Chicken) Tacos with Spicy Slaw and Sriracha Aioli. You can check that out HERE.
The Flying Mango at 4345 Hickman Road in Des Moines first opened in 2003, but they were around for catering beginning in 1997. The official website says that they are known for their "generous portions of BBQ, Southern, Cajun/Creole meals, plus a touch of Caribbean fun." Like Smokey D's BBQ, Flying Mango has also been featured on three episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: "Triple D Nation: Fried and Smoked," "Fish, Fries and Feet," and "Takeout: Sendin' the Surf & Turf." Some of the menu items mentioned include Shrimp Pontchartrain, Smoked Catfish Cakes, Memphis-Style Ribs, and Braised Collard Greens with Smoked Pork.
Patton’s Restaurant & Catering
The last two restaurants on this list are both closed now, with Patton's Restaurant & Catering in Des Moines shutting down back in 2017. The restaurant specialized in Southern dishes like fried fish, fried chicken barbecue ribs, and red velvet waffles. Patton's was featured on season 22, episode 11 "Chicken Chowfest." Even though it's now closed, you can still get the recipe for their Southern Fried Chicken Piccata online HERE.
And finally, there's Dixie Quick's. Dixie Quick's was located in Council Bluffs and was featured on the episode "Where the Locals Eat." The restaurant's Facebook page said they offered "a blend of Southern Cooking with Cajun, Tex-Mex and Southwest elements." According to the Food Network website, Guy Fieri said the Texas Chile Pepper Steak was one of the best pepper steaks he had ever eaten. It officially closed back in 2018 after 22 years in business.
Personally, I think Guy needs to head back to Iowa and try some more of our delicious food. Cedar Rapids, perhaps?! What restaurants do you think should be featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives? Let us know in the comments below!