Food, glorious food

February 13, 2009 —

carbonaraWhat a joy! I think I found my new favorite restaurant in downtown Des Moines. The place is called Centro (pronounced Chen-tro) and they serve pastas and pizzas and everything I like. 

I started off with the steamed mussels appetizer which tastes like it’s bathed in butter blended with sweet roma tomatoes. Oh so juicy and savory!

Then, I had the Centro Carbonara pasta for my main dish and I was totally looking forward to it. I remember the first time I had pasta carbonara in Rome, Italy and it was mouth-watering, warm your tummy delicious and fresh! I salivate just thinking about my first experience with it. So, I set my bar up pretty high for any version of a carbonara in the states and I must say, Centro isn’t too shabby!

It was good but a bit on the greasy side but if you’re into that, you’ll love this dish. I also had a mild allergic reaction to the raw eggs they mixed into it (I do love sunny side-up eggs) but all the bacon bits (actually, it’s called pancetta) made up for it. David Lay said that bacon is the dessert of meats, and he is so right!

Although this carbonara didn’t meet my expectations (as compared to Rome), it was still very sinfully delicious. It’s best to eat the day it was made because once you pop the leftovers in the microwave, it loses its succulent texture. 

I look forward to trying their other dishes later this month!

Tea Nguyen is a dual degree D.P.M./M.P.H. student at DMU. She was born in Utah but raised in California and left the great state to be at one of the best podiatry school in the country.

She has aspirations in international medical service trips and hopes to hit several continents during this lifetime. Traveling is also on the top of her to-do list and she often reminisces about her prior travels to Italy, France and Greece. She also enjoys eating adventures with her boyfriend Paul and is a major food-snacker. It is not uncommon to find her lapsed in a food coma in the middle of her studies.


  • Dave

    Tea, if you like Centro, check out Django, in Hotel Fort Des Moines. Same chef, same ownership, but fantastic French food!