La Mie’s new location in the center of downtown Des Moines (SW corner of the Ruan 2 building on the skywalk) is a welcome addition to the dwindling supply of high quality options available to downtown workers wanting to find really good food in the core section of downtown. For anyone who has fought the morning crowds at La Mie’s main location on 42nd the chance to get food, at least during the week from La Mie is welcome. I am also relieved to finally see the old Winston’s location put to use. The renovation was quite complete. The problem with the previous business location was the absolutely tiny kitchen. The bar was of course legendary. It is no more. The La Mie configuration is much better for delivering a lot of breakfasts and lunches, something Winston’s struggled to do given its more traditional food service.
The bakery items available at La Mie are of course amazing and fabulous. Just be prepared to fall asleep after the carbs hit the blood. If you have the ability to order the office birthday or other special occasion snacks then La Mie should be on the list. The rest of the menu is sort of similar to Palmer’s Deli (soup, salad, and sandwiches or wraps) but a step above in my opinion. The prices struck me as very competitive even when paired against lower quality options. Based on the crowds, I’d say that La Mie is off to a good start.
But what about the Gateway area competition? The Gateway area has a number of higher-end options, including Django, Centro, Proof, American, and Magnolia Wine Kitchen, but they are better suited to more formal business or group lunches, where you present your order to the wait staff and wait for your food to be cooked. Most of the folks who work around the Gateway area get subsidized lunches courtesy of Nationwide, Wellmark, or Principal. Of course Aramark or Sysco foods can only take you so far. I have an opportunity to visit one of the corporate cafeterias downtown on a fairly regular basis and I’d rank the food (especially any “meat product”) as barely palatable. So, corporate drones, take note and find La Mie for a real lunch. The Court Avenue area also offers some lunch alternatives, but like the Gateway area they focus on sit down lunches with menus and wait staff.
I’m hoping that La Mie can stick around for awhile. Good luck.