If you're looking for perfectly smoked meats and some innovative dishes with a Caribbean flair, you're looking for the Flying Mango restaurant. Located at 4345 Hickman Road in Des Moines, Flying Mango Restaurant and Catering is one of our favorite restaurants in town.
Owned and operated by Mike Wedeking and Suzanne Van Englehoven, the Flying Mango started catering in 1997 and brought their award-winning barbeque and unique flavor combinations to a Beaverdale neighborhood restaurant in 2003. The dining room walls feature the art of nationally recognized Mississippi artist H.C. Porter and the Flying Mango supports up and coming blues musicians with great live music nights.
And the food, well, if you've eaten there, YOU KNOW. Ribs, chicken, brisket, and The Big Chop - the smoked goods at Flying Mango encompass a wide range of deliciousness and are complemented by the homemade BBQ sauce available at every table.
Other entrees include Latin Strip Steak, Cajun Catfish, Lime and Garlic Shrimp with Mango Salsa, Red Neck Surf and Turf (Cajun Catfish & Ribs with Red Beans and Rice), and so much more. I could go on and on but I'm getting hungry already. Suffice to say that Flying Mango offers one of the most inspired menus in the DSM area, including sandwiches and desserts.
Their side dishes are just as good - crispy sweet potato pancakes, the always interesting potato of the day, Red Beans and Rice, creamy coleslaw, they offer several flavorful choices - how about corn on the cob with lime juice and ancho chili powder? But don't miss the cornbread. Mmmmm, the cornbread - it's divine.
On our latest visit I couldn't pass up the "24-hour Beef Brisket because 23 is just not enough." Thick slabs of pure smoked genius. This is seriously the best brisket I've ever had, anywhere. The flavor of the beef shines through that 24 hours of smoke and it is heavenly. For my sides I went with the potato of the day which was manchego and cheddar - rich and creamy, it was the perfect combination - and you've already been privy to my love of the cornbread.
Grant decided on the Chicken Dinner, which the menu spotlights as "half of an entire chicken." An excellent choice, Grant raved about the juicy meat with a hint of smoke and how the crispy skin was decadent. He enjoyed Cowboy Beans and coleslaw on the side. I did manage to wrest a few bites from him to taste and I had to agree, it was some seriously good bird.
The Flying Mango does offer a full bar, a wonderful beer list chock full of interesting craft beer, and a wine list with great variety and reasonable prices. We enjoyed a nice Malbec from Argentina, the 2010 Goulart Classico, with our dinner.
Oh, and don't mess with this chick.
Plan a night out soon to visit the Flying Mango restaurant. Every time we go there we wonder why we're not there a whole lot more often. Mike and Suzanne are fun, friendly hosts and the food is outstanding. We're sure you'll agree.
Flying Mango Restaurant and Catering
4345 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA 50310
Dinner is served Tuesday - Saturday from 5:00pm
Menus and more information at www.flyingmango.com