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this is where you’ll find my favorite recipes, what we’re up to behind the scenes, and adventures in starting a new business. click on “mdj marketing” for more info on the latter.


IMG_6499-0 The eighth wonder of the world is definitely bottomless brunch. No doubt about it. There's no better way to spend a weekend morning than posting up at a local establishment with your ladies or significant other, and I never miss an opportunity to eat eggs Florentine and drink champagne before noon. Des Moines is full of amaaaazing brunch deals—here are the best ones.

Americana // The Bombshell Brunch at Americana is toooo good. The best part of the deal is obviously the bottomless part—endless glasses of champagne and/or vodka that you take down to the make-your-own-mimosa-and-or-bloody-mary-bar over and over and over again. The best way to tackle this is to figure out how many drinks it will take to make the deal worth it. (Hint: it's three.) As far as food goes, all of your standard brunch fare is there, with eggs, cheesy potatoes, prime rib, a salad bar, and a taco bar. The main event: A GRILLED CHEESE BAR. Yes. It's real, and it's really good. Drink-wise, Americana is the way to go. $28 unlimited food + drink combo, $18 unlimited food only, $14 unlimited drinks only

Centro // I spent the beginning of my 21st at Centro with my parents and boyfriend and wouldn't have had it any other way. Centro has an incredible Bloody Mary lineup—you can put just about anything in there, from bacon to celery to pickles to big hunks of mozzarella. Though their menu isn't unlimited, there's an Italian spin put on each dish and you can't go wrong with any of it. Bonus points: if you're dining with someone who isn't as into brunch as you (those people do exist, wrong as it may be), Centro serves their full lunch menu at brunch as well. $8.99 – $20.99 food, $8 drinks

The Library // This Drake neighborhood hidden gem has the best crab cake Benedict AND a ton of beers on tap. They serve up your traditional Bloody Mary with a back—or a lowball of Guinness. The kitschy decor (think a mural of PBR cans), low prices, and filling menu (smothered breakfast burritos and hangover hash) keep loyal customers coming back to this dive week after week. $5.99 – $8.99 food, $4 – $6 drinks

Louie's Wine Dive // Louie's definitely has the best drink deal if you're in a mimosa mood. The bottomless deal is the cost of two drinks at normal price—you do the math. Choose from orange, grape, cranberry, or grapefruit juices, or make your own combination. Favorite brunch dishes include the croque madame and mile high omelet. $9 – $13 food, $6 – $8 drinks, $12 bottomless mimosas

Malo // This Latin restaurant new to downtown boasts an all-you-can-eat buffet of traditional dishes like tacos, made-to-order burritos and omelets, and fun twists on chicken and waffles and biscuits and gravy. Try the sangria, a mimosa, or a bloody Maria. $5/$6 drinks, $16.99 food

Gateway Market & Cafe // Gateway might not have cocktails, but their amazing food made from locally sourced ingredients makes up for it. Order a market egg sandwich or french toast, and pick up a fresh baked good for later. Major bonus points: the cafe is connected to a market with a cheese counter, floral department, beer and wine section, and hundreds of other goodies. $1.99 – $3.50 baked goods, $6.99 – $8.99 food

Tacopocalypse // This themed taco place has a little something they like to call Brunchpocalypse. They have such classics as the "Breakfast Thing"—a quesadilla topped with scrambled eggs and Chihuahua cheese—and the Breakfast Banh Mi—combination of Korean beef, kimchi, sriracha aioli, and a fried egg on a crusty French roll. If you're feeling something on the sweet side, try the Nutella Stuffed Waffle. Oh, and it's BYOB. $6 – $8 food

Eatery A // This Mediterranean-themed restaurant has one of the bolder menus for a weekend brunch, and you won't regret trying everything once. Sample poached eggs with asparagus, prosciutto, and Marcona almonds, or try the crab-stuffed piquollo peppers with poached eggs, avocado, and harissa aioli. $9 – $15 food, $5 – $8 drinks

Waveland Cafe //  If you're after more of a classic diner feel, the ever-popular Waveland Cafe is your place. The line for weekend brunch is out the door each time, and for good reason. Classic standbys like everything hashbrowns and biscuits and gravy are done to perfection, and the service is sincere and familiar. All food under $10

Hy-Vee Market Grille // I couldn't not include this amazing addition to a favorite Iowa-based grocery store. This is nothing like your typical grocery breakfast spot. The Market Grille boasts a deal with an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, complete with build-your-own-omelet-and-Benedict-bar and fresh pastries. If you're not feeling eggs, the Hy-Vee Chinese and other counters are available as part of the total cost. They also have a full-service bar and menu service. $16 food, $5 drinks, $9 bottomless drinks

Where are your favorite brunch spots? If you're not in DSM, I'd love to hear about places I should go on my next trip! :)

xo, Morgan