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A new breakfast and lunch spot has joined the downtown dining list — just in time for the Kaleidoscope food plaza to begin demolition.

The new Main Street Cafe & Bakery at 801 Grand Ave., Suite 370 in downtown Des Moines is bringing a widely-varied menu to the business crowd, including its signature turkey, bacon and avocado melt with tomato, Parmesan, Swiss, cheddar and its signature sauce on sourdough bread.

More: Main Street Cafe & Bakery opens location in Des Moines skywalk

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Even though this menu is a toned-down version of the location in Ankeny, it's still full of variety in the form of 60 lunch items and 42 breakfast items — not counting the modifications and substitutions like gluten-free bread and vegetarian and vegan options. 

Speaking of bread, with the exception of the gluten-free options, all the bread and other baked goods are made in-house in the Ankeny facility and brought to the downtown location. Whole cakes can be ordered with 48 hours of notice.

Main Street breakfast

Here's the breakdown of the breakfast menu:

  • Morning quick sandwiches — 10 varieties including a sausage, egg and American cheese croissant and egg white with Swiss, tomato, avocado, arugula and sun-dried tomato aïoli on multigrain ($5.95 to $7.95).
  • Waffles — seven different waffle varieties like caramel pecan creme brulee, strawberry-banana and blueberry (traditional with powdered sugar, $6.75; specialty with whipped cream, $8.75).
  • French toast — nine varieties like jalapeño cornbread, cinnamon roll and traditional brioche (traditional with powdered sugar, $6.75; specialty with whipped cream, $8.75).
  • Breakfast favorites — six items like açaí bowls, overnight oats, breakfast burritos, monster protein bites and parfaits with granola ($3.65 to $8.95).
  • Egg scrambles — 10 egg scrambles served with a choice or toast and a side of fruit like the All Iowa with bacon, turkey sausage, ham and jack cheese or the Fire Roasted Scramble with fire-roasted veggies, spinach, mushrooms and cheddar.

And there are plenty of freshly-baked pastries and croissants to choose from if you are in the mood for something sweet to start your day off.

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Main Street lunch

Lunch sandwiches and wraps are all served with a choice of a side like a cup of soup, green salad, fresh fruit, kettle chips or a specialty side of the day. Salads and pasta dishes are served with a choice of baguette.

  • Salads — 12 salads make the menu like the Chipotle Ranch Crunch Salad with Asiago cheese, craisins, peanuts, blackened chicken, wonton strips and chipotle ranch dressing ($9.95 to $10.65). Half salads can be ordered ($6.95), along with half salad and cup of soup combos ($9.95).
  • Pastas — 11 hearty pasta dishes including beef brisket mac and cheese with white cheddar, barbecue sauce, cheddar and brisket, topped with crispy French-fried onions ($8.45 to $10.65).
  • Naan flatbreads — seven topping combinations such as buffalo chicken with bacon, onion, pepper jack cheese, tomato and ranch or taco with refried beans, salsa, beef, cheddar, onion, tomato, taco seasoning, lettuce and Doritos ($8.49 to $9.25).
  • Griddle melts — seven melty griddled sandwiches are available like the salmon melt with lemon aioli, tomato, onion, avocado and cucumbers on Parmesan sourdough and the popular turkey, bacon and avocado melt ($8.25 to $10.65).
  • Wraps — five kinds of wraps are served on a tomato-basil tortilla including Asian with a Napa lettuce blend, cilantro, red and green peppers, Asian dressing, chicken breast, peanut sauce, wonton strips and sesame seeds ($9.45).
  • Paninis — nine kinds of paninis make the menu like a turkey Reuben made with rye bread, signature sauce, Swiss and sauerkraut or the vegan with red pepper hummus, cucumbers, onion, tomato, avocado and lettuce on naan flatbread ($9.45 to $9.95).
  • Signature sandwiches — four classic sandwiches round out the list like a turkey cranberry sandwich with cheddar, tomato, onion, spinach and cranberry mustard on a croissant ($8.25 to $9.45).
  • Burgers — five burgers are available including a Frisco burger with Swiss, cheddar, caramelized onions and signature sauce on Parmesan sourdough and a black bean chipotle burger with salsa, sour cream, wontons and pico on brioche ($9.55 to $10.35).
  • Soups — nine different soups are served for lunch in cups and bowls — eight permanent soups and one soup of the day. Choose from wicked Thai-style chicken and rice, gluten-free French onion and turkey chili, to name a few (cups, $4.75; bowls, $5.75). All soups are served with a choice of bread.

Beverages

Coffees galore can be found here in 16- and 20-ounce sizes including cold brew, lattes, flavored concoctions like dalmatian chocolate and toasted marshmallow, mocha drinks and good-old-fashioned brewed in dark and light roasts, hazelnut-flavored and decaf ($2.19 to $5.19). Also offered are assorted chai and hot teas ($2.59 to $5.78).

You can add flavors to any drink for 60 cents extra like vanilla, caramel, toffee, raspberry and salted caramel. Sugar-free flavors are also available.

If you're looking for a meal in a cup, frappes and smoothies come in the following varieties:

  • Original frappes — Enjoy candy bar or cookie varieties like Snickers, Butterfinger or Oreo. Or go for something different like white-chocolate strawberry, turtle, chai or double chocolate ($5.25). You can add a shot of espresso for 79 cents.
  • Fruity frappes — Choose two fruits like strawberry, mango, pineapple, raspberry, banana, blueberry and peach ($5.25).
  • Protein smoothies — Try five different flavors of protein smoothies like cake batter, Main Street granola and peanut butter-banana ($6.95).
  • Acai smoothie — Topped with half a banana and homemade granola with a choice of two toppings like berries, nuts, chia seeds, coconut, chocolate chips ($7.95). Additional toppings are $1 each. You can also order an acai bowl for the same price as the smoothie. 

Main Street also has bottled water and Coca-Cola fountain drinks available.

Be sure to bookmark these frequently-updated special dining features:

Behind the scenes

Main Street is owned by John and Bene Zehr and their daughter and son-in-law, Brooke and Ryan McCauley.

The new location was perfect timing for the family.

"We wanted to have plenty of options," said co-owner Ryan McCauley, 31. "Our focus is on freshly-cooked food and customer service — very hyped up on steroids." Kenzie Spensley is the general manager of the downtown location.

McCauley had never worked in a restaurant before working at Main Street at its Ankeny location.

Both couples are from Ankeny and live there still. The McCauleys were married in June 2016 and now have 11-month-old twin daughters.

"John is a great father-in-law and mentor," McCauley said, adding that he's always wanted to own his own business. Losing his own father, who was a firefighter who passed away at the age of 58, taught McCauley to do what he enjoys and to seek a sense of fulfillment, he said. 

Main Street Cafe & Bakery is the brainchild of John Zehr, who owned three IHOP locations — one in Waterloo, one in Cedar Rapids and one in Ankeny. He sold them and opened Main Street shortly thereafter.

Zehr took inspiration from a restaurant he fell in love with at Disney World called Main Street USA. The bakery was an add-on operation, but its business took off along with its catering program.

McCauley would like to grow the catering operation in the downtown location through private and special events with use of the conference center across the hall in the same building. 

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Main Street Cafe & Bakery

Location: 801 Grand Ave., Suite 370, in downtown Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; closed Saturdays and Sundays.

Contact: (515) 282-2796; mainstreetcafeandbakery.com

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