A Morning In Des Moines: La Mie Bakery & Spam Musubi

One of my favorite things about living in Mason City, IA is its proximity to family and friends.

While Fargo-Moorhead was a 3.5 drive from the Twin Cities, Maosn City is no more than two. Plus, it’s a mere hour and a half south to Des Moines. Our move to Iowa has provided an opportunity to connect with old college friends and I remind Jake that he’s in “Wartburg Country.” It feels like a homecoming of sorts.

Breakfast At La Mie Bakery
I left bright and early on Wednesday morning to meet friends at La Mie Bakery. The author of Road Tips had suggested I stop there, anyway, for croissants. This past weekend, I had stopped at Rustica, a bakery near Lake Calhoun, and brought home a bag of croissants and kouign amanns. My family promptly devoured them and once we returned to Mason City, I wished for more.

La Mie was very busy, just as my friend had warned. Customers grabbed boxes or plates and hovered over trays of glistening pastries displayed on two large tables. I quickly grabbed a small box and filled it with croissants.

They had a pleasant lacquered crust and true buttery flavor, though their pastry layers were a little thicker than Rustica’s. Warmed in our microwave, they helped ease the monotony of hotel life.

For breakfast, I gingerly ate this salmon tartine in which a piece of toast was loaded with cream cheese, silky smoked salmon, avocado, sprouts, shaved red onion, and a hard boiled egg. An ideal breakfast for a savory-minded person and only $6.95. 

When I ordered a macchiatto ($1.85), the barista warned me their version consisted of espresso topped a little milk foam. This was exactly what I wanted. A friend asked me what my drink was called and expressed surprise when I called it a machiatto. She pointed out how different it looked from those offered at Starbuck’s. No wonder they provided a disclaimer upon ordering. 
Alahona Hawaiian Grille
On the way home, I stopped in Ankeny at the Alohana Hawaiian Grille for SPAM musubi. I was surprised read about this Hawaiin restaurant on the Slaking Fool’s blog before I visited the SPAM Museum in Austin, MN. 
I ordered two to go for $1.75.  They were tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and piping hot. I wondered if they were microwaved. 
Either way, the lightly vinagered sushi rice, oceanic seaweed, salty SPAM, and sweet soy sauce made for a guilty pleasure and there wasn’t much to dislike. I never imagined I’d try my first SPAM musubi in Des Moines, IA and look forward to returning for a Loco Moco plate lunch or short ribs.
We’re returning to Des Moines to spend the weekend with more friends. It’s Jake’s first visit. We’re planning to experience the amazing farmers market downtown (it’s where I tasted my first pupusa five years ago) and have been encouraged to visit Fong’s Pizza & Flying Mango
Where else should we visit? Please don’t say Potbelly. 


  1. KirkK

    A loco moco in Des Moines? I’ll be interested in that one!

  2. Jen

    I was very surprised to see a Hawaiian restaurant! Too bad I had just eaten when I visited.

  3. Suzanne

    Alohana Grill in Ankeny is exactly like genuine Hawaiian food. Excellent!! Does anyone in the DesMoines area make malasada sweet rolls?

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