Above: Black bean mole humus, served at Provisions Lot F in Ames.
By Karla Walsh
One of my life mottos is “Will travel for food.” Luckily, each year, Iowans are scoring more and more options that are within reach—and within drivable distance—of our homes.
Take Provisions Lot F, the Cafe’s sister restaurant that’s been open for two years in the Research Park area in Ames. I recently made the 40-minute drive from downtown Des Moines with two friends and found the trip oh-so worth it for the delicious culinary liberal arts education. With many students away for summer, now is an ideal time to follow suit. In addition to treating your taste buds to a delicious feast, here’s what you’ll learn:
● Nutrition. Salads are far from boring at Provisions, showcasing the dietitian-adored 80/20 rule of 80% healthy (shredded Brussels sprouts, grilled salmon, sliced almonds) and 20% “treats” (fried Brussels sprouts “croutons”).
● Horticulture. Seasonal ingredients are always on display. While shifts aren’t like clockwork, expect a handful of new offerings at brunch, lunch, and dinner about once a month.
● Finance. Breakfasts and lunches range from $5 to $15; dinner items on the menu peak at $25.
● Statistics. The probability you’ll finish your meal: 100% (+/- 5% to save room for dessert).
● Negotiation. With homemade desserts as swoon-worthy—or should I say spoon-worthy?—as the triple-layer Salted Caramel Cake, buttery Rhubarb Galette, and refreshing Lemon Mascarpone Cake, you’ll have to enlist all of your negotiation skills to earn the last bite from your dining companions. One trick sure to win you the final forkful? Promise to bring your allies back for another Provisions master class soon.
Provisions Lot F; 2400 N. Loop Drive, Ames; 515-598-1783; provisionsames.com