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Chef's Gwen Page, Sean Wilson and Wade Thompson talk about the hard work it takes to live your dream. Brian Powers, bpowers@dmreg.com

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Looking back over the past six months, we've seen quite a few new restaurants join the Des Moines dining scene.

The first half of 2019 saw at least 25 new restaurants opening in the metro. Some restaurants opened new locations or rebranded.

New restaurants include a Peruvian restaurant, an Argentinian steakhouse and a poké restaurant, just to name a few. And there are plenty of new restaurants still to come in 2019.

Interested in Iowa food news? Follow @briantaylorcarlson on Facebook, @BriinDSM on Twitter and @briindsm on Instagram.

3 Sons Bar & Grill

This new sports bar and grill opened in April and is named for the owner's three sons who also work in his restaurants. Try an order of the Irish Nachos — seasoned waffle fries topped with taco meat, shredded lettuce, black beans, nacho cheese sauce, pico, sour cream and guacamole. Or go for open-faced Big Texas Burger topped with brisket with Sriracha-bourbon sauce and onion tanglers and topped with a cheese blend.

Location: 5906 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines

Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-12 a.m.

Contact: (515) 362-8168; Facebook

More: A father's promise of sobriety to his 3 sons is behind launch of West Des Moines restaurant

Al Punto Argentine Restaurant

The menu at Al Punto rallies around the meat — beef in particular, with cuts served on parrillada, a mini-barbecue heated with wood embers, with dipping sauces and side dishes like empanadas are served alongside. Try the full gaucho experience with grilled Argentinian chorizo, assorted cuts of beef and chicken.

Location: 6611 University Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, 4:30-9:30 p.m.; Thursday, 4:30-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4-10 p.m.; Sunday, 4-8 p.m.; closed Mondays.

Contact: (515) 279-4310; Facebook

More: Carnivores, rejoice: A new Argentinian restaurant has opened in Des Moines

Bistro Nomad

Enjoy colorful dishes of the Mediterranean with Grecian, Italian, Spanish and Moroccan influences at this new restaurant across from Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Start with the buratta with roasted tomato and olive jam and then share the grand paella for two made with Valencia-style paella rice with paella seasoning, octopus, calamari, chorizo, chicken, clams, mussels, prawns, roasted vegetables and lemons.

Location: 1430 Locust St., Des Moines

Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1: 30 p.m. and 4 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 4 to 8 p.m.; closed Mondays. 

Contact: (515) 282-6622; nomad-restaurant.com; Facebook

More: Bistro Nomad: New Des Moines restaurant overlooking sculpture park offers Mediterranean options

La Cabaña Mexican Bar & Grill

La Cabaña Mexican Bar & Grill on the south side offers plenty of Mexican specialties and combo plates. You can even get Mexican breakfast dishes all day like huevos con chorizo. And of course, there are plenty of margarita specials.

Location: 1435 Army Post Road, Des Moines

Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

Contact: (515) 630-1677; Facebook

Court 7 Munchery at Smash Park

Located in Smash Park, a game and entertainment complex in West Des Moines, this restaurant serves a full menu of appetizers, sandwiches, burgers and more. Try the Chester's Waffle Sliders — Flaming Hot Cheeto waffles filled with red cabbage-fennel slaw, fried chicken, bacon jam and boomin’ blue sauce. Or have some poutine made with tots.

Location: 6625 Coachlight Drive, West Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Contact: (515) 313-0700; smashpark.com; Facebook

More: This new Iowa eatery is serving Flamin' Hot Cheetos waffle sliders with fried chicken

Elixir Pub and Grub

Hidden away inside a games complex in downtown Des Moines, Elixir offers plenty of appetizers, sandwiches and flatbreads. After escaping from a chamber or throwing an axe, be sure to try the Annihilation Station. Order a Brownie Bomb dessert from your server or bartender. Your prize is then loaded into a wall-mounted "bomb" with a two-minute timer to figure out the six-digit code before the bomb blows up and you lose the prize.

Location: Escape Chambers, 338 SW Sixth St., Des Moines

Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 4-10 p.m.; Friday, 4-1 a.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; closed Monday and Tuesday.

Contact: (515) 528-8414; escapechambers.com; Facebook

More: Defuse a bomb for a free dessert or drink at this new downtown Des Moines restaurant

Ernie's Boondock

Ernie's Boondock opened in March and is located in the former Daniel Brothers Super Service Station, built in 1929. Enjoy greasy, diner-style burgers and fries served from a renovated 1972 Winnebago parked outside on the 3,000-square-foot patio with picnic tables for outdoor seating during the warmer months. A 40-seat bar can be found inside.

Location: 440 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Open daily, 3 p.m.-2 a.m. 

More: 'Small-town bar' with cheap beer and greasy burgers opens this weekend in the East Village

Fuel'd Cafe

From the husband-and-wife team that brought you Beefcake Fuel in West Des Moines just more than a year ago comes Fuel’d Café, located on the lower level of the Wellmark YMCA. Look for healthy wraps, sandwiches, avocado toast, acai bowls, salads, flatbreads and entrees. Don't forget to grab some monster cookie energy balls. 

Location: 501 Grand Ave., Ste. 2, Des Moines

Hours: Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Contact: (515) 630-3809; fueldcafe.comFacebook

More: 'Fuel up' at this new restaurant in the Wellmark YMCA off the downtown Des Moines skywalk

The hare + the hound

Enjoy fresh takes on Napoli-style pizza and pasta dishes from chef and owner Sara Hill of Baru 66 fame. Located 30 minutes away from Des Moines in the Bricker-Price Block in Earlham, The Hare + The Hound also serves barbecue and steak specials, quesadillas, salads, hearty entrees and brunch. Share a specialty pizza with friends — but don't forget about ordering a piece of homemade cake.

Location: 105 S. Chestnut Ave., First Floor, Earlham

Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Contact: (515) 360-2109; Facebook

More: A new pizza restaurant is now open in the historic Bricker-Price Block in Earlham

The Health House

Treat your body like prime real estate at this restaurant in Johnston where you can order fresh bowls and salads based with rice, salsa and salad mix topped with your choice of vegan or animal proteins, seafood, vegetables, cheese, eggs and other toppings. A full line of homemade dressings and sauces will top off your custom creation. Desserts and protein shakes are also available. 

Location: 8481 Birchwood Court., Johnston

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Contact: (515) 410-9699; healthhousefoods.comFacebook

More: Treat your body like prime real estate at this new healthy restaurant in Johnston

Lemon Grass

This popular Thai restaurant once located in West Des Moines has reopened its doors in Adel with a streamlined menu and weekday hours. Enjoy pad thai noodles, spring rolls and stir-fry dishes with varying heat levels.

Location: 909 Main St., Adel

Hours: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; closed Saturday and Sunday.

Contact: (515) 993-2031; Facebook

More: Lemon Grass Thai Restaurant reopened in Adel with a streamlined menu and shorter hours

Lindo Mi Mexico Mexican Restaurant

A taco truck has expanded into its own storefront in the former space of Scornovacca's serving plenty of recognizable Mexican fare from its popular menu but also Mexican-style pizzas. Along with tacos, enjoy breakfast platters, soups, burritos, tortas, chili rellenos and entrees. 

Location: 3900 E. 14th St., Ste. #17

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 6 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Contact: (515) 803-0925; Facebook

Main Street Cafe & Bakery

A huge selection of breakfast and lunch dishes lies just off the Des Moines skywalk including salads or pastas with baguette, naan flatbreads, griddle melts, wraps, paninis, signature sandwiches and burgers. Sides like green salad, fresh fruit, kettle chips and cups of soup are served with all sandwiches and wraps. Fresh pastries and cakes are brought in from the original Ankeny location and can be ordered in advance.

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

Hours: Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; closed Saturday and Sunday.

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

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

Panka Peruvian Restaurant

Enjoy a blend of cultures at this new Peruvian restaurant on Ingersoll Avenue. The menu is laid out in six sections: share plates, salads, soups, tiradito (Peruvian sashimi), ceviches and Peruvian entrée classics. Plenty of seafood and meat dishes make the menu, as well as a few vegetarian/vegan options. There's even a glossary to explain some of the sauces and condiments served with the various dishes. Try the lomo saltado — stir-fried beef with onions, tomatoes and a touch of cilantro, served with rice and potato fries.

Location: 2708 Ingersoll Ave., Suite B, Des Moines

Hours: Tuesday -Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-11 p.m.; Sunday, 12-5 p.m.; closed Monday.

Contact: (515) 244-1430; pankadsm.comFacebook

More: Here's your first look at Panka Peruvian Restaurant in Des Moines

Pleasant Hill Diner

Enjoy affordable breakfast, lunch and dinner at this new diner that's sure to bring a nostalgic vibe to the east side. Most items on the menu are less than $10 with the exception of steaks and barbecued pork ribs. Try the biscuits and gravy for a filling breakfast or go for a hot and hearty open-faced sandwich served with mashed potatoes and gravy with a choice of soup or salad.

Location: 5015 E. University Ave., Pleasant Hill

Hours: Open daily, 6 a.m.-9 p.m.

Contact: (515) 263-4341; Facebook

More: Classic 1950s diner opens its doors for breakfast, lunch and dinner in Pleasant Hill

The Poké Company

A new fast-casual restaurant has joined the culinary ranks of Des Moines, serving Hawaiian-style cubed raw fish salad for lunch and dinner. It's like sushi in a bowl. Pick your protein, then pick your base, like white or brown rice, baby kale or cauliflower rice; and then pick your toppings, sauces and flavorings. 

Location: 300MLK Building, second floor; 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy., Des Moines

Hours: Open daily, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Contact: (515) 288-7653; eatthepokecompany.comFacebook

More: The Poké Company is now open in Des Moines, offering made-to-order sushi in a bowl

Riverwalk Hub

With daily specials and breathtaking water views in downtown Des Moines, Riverwalk Hub is a great new lunch and evening social hour spot. The lunch menu includes a variety of sandwiches and salads that can be turned into combo meals with the addition of chips, beverage and a cookie. Happy hour includes drink specials, four kinds of made-to-order focaccia pizzas and charcuterie plates with cheese.

Location: 215 Water St., Des Moines

Hours: Lunch, Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Happy Hour, Tuesday-Friday, 3 to 6 p.m.

Contact: (515) 330-1517; riverwalkhubdsm.com; Facebook

More: This scenic riverfront venue in downtown Des Moines will offer lunch and evening socials

St. Kilda Surf & Turf

Located on the west corner of the first floor of the new building at 111 E. Grand Ave., the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch daily to diners looking for an elevated eating experience with a modern, healthy vibe. Try the ricotta hotcake or the modernized fish tacos — battered and fried cod with cilantro slaw, pickled radish, spicy lime mayo and flour tortillas — or a souvlaki dish. 

Location: 111 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.

Contact: (515) 288-1086; stkildasurfturf.com; Facebook

More: Your first look at St. Kilda Surf & Turf, now open in Des Moines' East Village

Tangerine at the Art Center

The menu at this lunch restaurant, part of The Tangerine Food Company, at the Des Moines Art Center is small but mighty with a selection of soups, salads, quiche, sandwiches and a hearty burger made by chef Dave Malfara. Try a vegetable panini with caramelized onions, oven roasted tomatoes, artichoke hearts, Swiss cheese and basil pesto. During the warmer months, enjoy lunch on the outdoor patio.

Address: 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays.

Contact: (515) 271-0332; tangerinefoodco.com; Facebook

More: This popular catering company has opened a new lunch spot at the Des Moines Art Center

Union 29

Union 29 is a modern American tavern serving locally sourced Iowa pork and beef with strong influences from Midwestern cuisine. Enjoy featured dishes like crispy pork wings, tenderloin strips, pork macaroni and cheese and house sausage. The menu also features a variety of pastas, flatbreads, steaks and unique dishes like a chicken and doughnuts appetizer and Des Moines' beloved Steak De Burgo.

Location: Jordan Creek Town Center, 101 Jordan Creek Parkway, Ste 12520, West Des Moines

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Contact: (515) 274-3045; union29iowa.com; Facebook

More: A Jordan Creek restaurant is showcasing Iowa cuisine, a doughnut robot and crazy shakes

Urban Cellar - Wine Bar, Grille, And Market

Serving lunch and dinner, Urban Cellar is a restaurant and market with an Italian-influenced menu and an extensive wine program located in the former space of Legends American Grill. Lunch consists of a variety of appetizers, salads, entrees, sandwiches and pizzas. The dinner menu combines the lunch menu with more extensive offerings of entrees and cuts of beef. Be sure to stop by the market side to pick up something for later.

Location: 640 S. 50th St., Ste. 2110, West Des Moines

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; closed Sundays. 

Social Hour: 3-6 p.m. and includes $3 drafts, $4 glasses of house wine; $5 classic cocktails and $6 appetizers

Contact: (515) 226-3230; urbancellarwdm.com; Facebook

More: A new restaurant, gourmet food market and wine bar has opened in West Des Moines

New Locations

Here are places in the metro that have expanded into new locations:

1908 Draught House - Norwalk

1908 Draught House opened its fifth location in Norwalk close to Echo Valley Golf Course in March. The small Des Moines bar-restaurant chain is known for its pub food including pizza, appetizers, burgers, wraps and sandwiches. Beverages include daily drink specials and beer on tap.

Location: 9500 Marketplace Drive, Norwalk

Hours: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Contact: (515) 630-3369; draughthouse1908.com; Facebook

More: Des Moines sports pub known for its game day specials opens its 5th location in Norwalk

Fong's Pizza - Drake

Fong's Pizza's newest location at 3018 Forest Ave. is now open, serving pizza by the slice and by the whole pie for dine-in, carryout and delivery through Grubhub. And that means there will be plenty more of the popular crab rangoon pizza made with surimi, green onion, asiago and mozzarella and topped with crispy wontons and a sweet chili lattice. You can even order online. Fong's has three other locations in Iowa.

Location: 3018 Forest Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Contact: (515) 277-3664; fongspizza.com; Facebook

More: Fong's Pizza near Drake University is now open for all your Asian-Italian flavor fusion cravings

St. Kilda at The Temple for Performing Arts

St. Kilda Cafe & Bakery at the Temple for Performing Arts has opened in the space formerly occupied by Starbucks. The restaurant serves the same menu for breakfast, lunch and coffee as its original location at 300 SW Fifth Street. Look for items like mushroom toast — local mushroom fricassee, truffle-queso spread, chives with toasted sourdough. An outdoor patio is in the works for warmer days.

Location: The Temple for Performing Arts, 1013 Locust St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact: (515) 282-4458; stkildadsm.com; Facebook

More: St. Kilda at the Temple for Performing Arts has opened in downtown Des Moines

Rebranding

One restaurant in the metro underwent a rebranding of its existing location:

Saints Pub + Patio

It's not a new restaurant in the metro, but rather a new location.

The former Taco Hangover was rebranded as Saints Pub + Patio in January (they're part of the same regional company). You can now enjoy pub grub like beer cheese queso, burgers, wings, and their signature Maverick Shrimp with Boom Boom sauce. 

Location: 3701 NW 86th St., Urbandale

Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m.

Contact: (515) 528-2039; saintspub.com; Facebook

More: Taco Hangover in Urbandale will close briefly to become a Saints Pub + Patio

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Did your restaurant open this year and you don't see it on this list? Please contact Brian Carlson to have your restaurant added. 

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