Skip to main content

Only in Des Moines can you... an obscenely large breakfast burrito while petting as many strange dogs as your heart desires

I can’t believe that I stood in line for an hour to get a burrito. It only happened to me one time, at the Downtown Farmers' Market in May of last year. The May dates, with their beautiful weather, and while we are all still trying to forget that winter happened, are always State-Fair-on-East-Side-Night level packed.

Thankfully, as any market regular will tell you, that while the Farm Boy Burrito line each Saturday morning is a long wait, it's generally not a full turn of the clock, particularly if you get there when the market opens. Then they’ll tell you to stop whining. These burritos can be as big as a baby’s head, packed with freshly cooked eggs and bacon and loads of local produce. I’m not alone in my quest for one, or even really as dedicated as the many Iowans that plan their trips to the Farmers' Market around a Farm Boys fix.

Once I’ve got the burrito, the next challenge is not to feed to it every dog that I walk past. Second to the burrito, the dogs are what brings me out to the market. The Farmers' Market is like dog prom: friendly dogs and shy dogs, worn in doggie bjorns and pushed in strollers and walked on leashes and on harnesses and head halters. Now and again you might see a cat or even a pig.

I don’t have to tell you how amazing the DTFM is. You know. You’ve been there. You’ve seen the glowing write-ups and colorful photos. You see your entire Facebook and Twitter stream light up with photos of flowers, fresh eggs and heirloom tomatoes. You’ve dragged yourself out of bed after a too-late night at the High Life to get a samosa from Saloo’s. I swear, they have medicinal qualities. But all of this feels like a pretty specific-to-Iowa experience, and one that just can't be beat.