The Gateway market and café in Des Moines is a visit to which I always look forward. There is nothing more pleasant than browsing their interesting and diversely stocked shelves, enjoying the ample samples with which they thoughtfully provide their patrons along the way, and then settling down by the fire in the attached café with a big bowl of their delicious ramen.
Gateway Market was started by George Fomaro, the same genius behind Django, one of my Des Moines faves, and South Union Bakery. His talent and business acumen extend to the stores; the bakery is delicious, and the selection of food manages to mix practicality with diversity. It is the kind of place where you can do everyday shopping for your bread, butter and produce, but still find new and exciting things with which to spice up dinner. I do not know who looks for their products, but he or she should be given a metal.
The café is similarly good. I have had the opportunity to sample most of their selection, but in the winter I cannot resist the appeal of their ramen. The broth is rich and hearty, although I had one unpleasant experience (at their West Des Moines store, which I would not recommend) in which the broth was much too salty from soy sauce- something that has yet to happen to me in their downtown location. Their slider sampler is similarly excellent, containing 3 different sandwiches in small portions, and their breakfast options all are sure to please.