Des Moines foodies won’t be at all surprised to learn that the Tursi name behind Exile Brewing Company is the same family who runs the popular Latin King eatery. Located on the western edge of downtown Des Moines in the former Fitch Soap Company warehouse, Exile is quickly gaining a reputation for high-quality microbrews and delicious food served in hip, urban loftlike digs featuring soaring ceilings and sturdy tables made from reclaimed barn wood.
Well-portioned, flavorful lunch choices like the Philly cheesesteak and homemade chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes fall in a reasonable $9 to $13 price range; dinner entrees skew slightly higher at $12 to $29 for a seasonally changing roster of upscale gastropub grub, including lasagna, fish and chips, veal schnitzel, braised pork shank and a 14-ounce ribeye. Exile also offers a short but impressive weekend brunch menu on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Let’s not forget the beer—European-influenced quaffs commemorated with women’s names, such as the Betty honey blonde lager, the Gigi dunkel lager and the Hannah weissbier. Ruthie, the flagship offering, is a smooth Munich gold lager served in liter ($6), pint ($5) or sixer ($2) sizes. Exile brews are also available at other bars, restaurants and markets throughout Des Moines; curious visitors can tour the brewery every Sunday at 1 p.m. (advance registration is required).