Since we’ve started this column we’ve focused on locally owned restaurants and focused on brand new establishments, or restaurants we had not been to previously. Our focus is to always showcase the restaurants that are owned by locals and not the national chains that send their revenues to other cities. Also, we’ve tried to stay away from reviewing the same restaurant twice, but today is the exception.
Flarah’s, the well known spot in Beaverdale that is as known for their catering as they are for their deserts, has a new location downtown, in the Greater Des Moines Partnership building (7th and Locust). I ate at the Beaverdale location last June and provided this glowing review at the time. I really loved their lunch menu and promised to return to try their deserts, which is actually more what they are known for. Well, I haven’t made it back to try their deserts, but don’t hold that against me.
Their new location downtown just opened last week. I saw a day where they were Tweeting a Free Cookie deal, but I wasn’t able to make it to get mine. I did, however, make it over earlier this week to try out their lunch. This is not your typical downtown restaurant, actually it is just a quarter of the space the previous restaurant inhabited. They put up a wall that cuts the main kitchen area and truly just have a little sliver of the building to vend their products. Yet, the set up is perfect for what they have intended. Really, the new management company did the right thing attracting a well known local brand to that spot after so many others have failed to attract the downtown workers.
Flarah’s in Beaverdale is a quaint little restaurant that has a big following, with a rustic clean theme that includes simple colors. The Flarah’s in downtown does what it can to follow suit, with a few (3) tables provided for dining, but their theme is intended to be a stop and pick up type of establishment. Flarah’s has cold sandwiches, salads, and a daily soup, which I have to imagine is warm. I tried their Turkey Sandwich with Provalone Cheese. Now, it was a cold turkey sandwich so I was not expecting to have my taste buds squelching with joy. The sandwich did the job, it quenched my hunger and got me back to the office quickly, which was just what I needed. The best part about the meal was the price point, I got it for $5.50, which is a price generally not found downtown. I was very pleased with the meal and plan to go back to Flarah’s often, it helps that it is just across the street from my office. Oh, yes, I will try their deserts next time, they had a full assortment of desert items including cookies, etc.
The interesting thing to me is Flarah’s obviously gets it, they have very minimal overhead since they bring in their lunches from their Beaverdale location and only have two people staff the downtown location. They even kept their overhead down by using Square on their Ipad rather than investing in an expensive POS system. They get it, I just hope the downtown workers do to so they stay right where they are.
After all, why would you want to eat at a national chain when you can eat at Flarah’s?