Restaurant Review – The Machine Shed

“I’m from Iowa, we don’t know what cool is!” -Aston Kutcher

I spent my weekend in Des Moines, Iowa, attending the wedding of close friends of mine.  The wedding was held at the Living History Farms.

Although I wasn’t especially thrilled with spending a weekend in Iowa, I have to admit that the food at the Machine Shed was fabulous. I stopped by for some beers and an appetizer to tide me over until dinner time. Being in the Midwest, the bar stocks Fat Tire. That alone was enough to make me give them rave reviews. I ordered a bowl of baked potato soup and some “shedders,” good, sharp cheddar cheese deep fried. The soup was fabulous – it had fresh chives, huge chunks of two types of potatoes, and this amazing cream base. (I later found the potato soup mix in the attached store, and it calls for whole milk, heavy cream, and butter. No wonder it was delicious.) The “shedders” were…interesting. The cheese filling was good, but the whole concept was simply too greasy for me.

The rehearsal dinner was also held at this restaurant. The meal was served family style and we started with big bowls of cottage cheese, cole slaw, and fruit salad with marshmallows. The cottage cheese was amazing…clearly they served the full fat variety, not the skim milk stuff I eat at home. I don’t like cole slaw so I just tried a bite and had no real opinion on the stuff. The fruit salad was interesting. I don’t understand this Midwestern idea of putting marshmallows in salad. Or calling something with marshmallows a “salad.”

Then we moved on to the main course. Huge platters of ham and fried chicken were brought out, coupled with cheese potatoes and candied carrots. The potatoes were out of this world, perfectly cooked, browned at the top, and seasoned with just the right amount of onions.

The reception was catered by the Machine Shed. The spread was very traditional BBQ dishes; ribs, mac and cheese, baked beans, and broccoli salad. The mac and cheese was outstanding – like the potatoes, it was cheesy and perfectly cooked.

The last morning of the trip I had breakfast at the Machine Shed (seeing a theme?). They have a breakfast buffet that was fabulous. Platters of fruit, more of those cheesy potatoes, waffles, and made-to-order omelets. The omelets were so delicious that I nearly yelled at the waitress when she tried to clear a plate with a few bites of one still left on it. One of my dining companions ordered the carrot cake pancakes. I don’t even like carrot cake and these were out of this world.

I swear I gained ten ponds this weekend.