George Formaro does it again, and again, and again. Beginning with South Union Bread, then to Centro, J’Dango, Zombie Burger, and Gateway Market. It seems everything he touches turns to gold. His creations are among my favorites. Gateway Market and Cafe is no exception. I love when a grocery store has a restaurant attached and serves up great food. As a customer it gives me the feeling that it’s fresh, that they’ve used their own inventory to prepare the meals, and that if I had the same recipes that I too could make this food at home using their groceries.
I’ve had the burger at D’Jango and at Gateway Market Cafe. Both of them use George’s Grind, ground beef that’s left nice and coarse. This burger features lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo on a toasted South Union sesame bun. Win, win, win. If you love this burger, these are all ingredients you can pickup there at the market. Fall in love with the burger at the Cafe, bring home the ingredients to make another one at home.
I’m no stranger to Formaro’s burgers. And of his offerings, this burger, along with D’Jango’s are on Des Moines’ short list for me. I do love Zombie Burger but more for its uniqueness than the food itself. Where Zombie’s burgers are intentionally over the top, the All American Burger at Gateway Market Cafe is crafted for satisfaction rather than novelty.
For a side, I went with their fries. Take fresh cut fries, fry them to a nice golden brown till they have that nice crunch on the outside. Then, perfectly season them with salt AND pepper.
My wife went with the Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad. She really enjoyed it, saying that the flavors were great. I tried the chicken and agreed that it was done well.
My eldest daughter went with the Mac ‘N Cheese. Unfortunately, that day it wasn’t as good as I had experienced in the past. But usually, it’s awesome with a rich and creamy sauce. They also offer upgraded Mac ‘N Cheeses, one with lobster and another with chicken and bacon. A friend of mine swears by the Lobster Mac ‘N Cheese.
To round out the meal, we grabbed a few of their cookies. Clockwise from the top left: ginger snap, chocolate with white chocolate chips, and snickerdoodle. My Favorite was the chocolate with white chocolate chips… it has a nice little crunch on the outside, with a super gooey and chocolatey inside!
We also snagged a few of their caramels, found next to the grocery’s registers. Honestly, these are the best I’ve ever had! Very sweet and buttery with a slight smokey flavor.
I’ve eaten at the Gateway Market Cafe numerous times, and have enjoyed everything I’ve ordered. From their Veggie Burger, to their Pad Thai, I’ve loved it all. The food is fresh and flavorful and the presentation is always thoughtful. Plus, the real upside is that it’s directly connected to the grocery store. Often times I’ve grabbed a snack for the road, or for the last half of my work day. This place, along with all of George’s places is an easy recommendation.