Smoked & Sauced


Instead of telling you about the Chicken Enchilada Crock Pot Soup that bubbled away all day and ended up tasting like nothing (??) I thought I’d tell you about the incredible meal Ben and I had last Friday night (do it allll again!) at Flying Mango!



Ben and I have dined at Flying Mango several time in the past couple of years, but last Friday night (do it alll – ok I’ll stop) was a showstopper.

Flying Mango combines "succulent BBQ" with the "bold flavors of the Caribbean" and serves it up in a dining room that’s cozy and comfortable, yet classy and Caribbean-chic. Guests fit in wearing anything from casual to dressier clothes.


Perhaps the reason I feel so at home here is because the walls are the same color as my kitchen’s – ORANGE! ;)

Funky, Caribbean-esque touches are everywhere,

and you can even dine al-fresco on the patio out front.

One feature of the restaurant that we greatly appreciate is you can bring in your own wine to drink for a $10 corkage fee. 

Don’t mind if I dooooo! ;) PS this wine was great. Sometimes Chardonnay’s are a bit too intense for me – but this was on the milder side, for a Chardonnay.

Flying Mango has a great wine list if you don’t want to bring in your own, and they also have an awesome hand-picked beer selection that Ben enjoyed.

They don’t even sell Miller or Bud products – so don’t ask! ;) (Whale with a halo, anyone?!)

We knew last Friday night (…) was going to be a special visit, when the owner (who is always present, talking to customers, busing tables, etc) brought out a plate of their special Orange BBQ Ribs for us to dig into before we even ordered!

Spicy, saucy and citrusy – these were off the chain. I could have licked the plate clean.

If Ben hadn’t beaten me to it…! ;)

Flying Mango is known for their smoked meats, and that deep, smoky flavor spiked with the sweet heat of the orange BBQ sauce was unREAL.

After devouring the ribs, we were tasked with placing our actual order and… things got a little nuts. The menu has this terrible quality where you want EVERYTHING YOU LAY YOUR EYES ON so instead of trying to pick and choose, I got, um, it all. Literally, almost all the kinds of meat they offer. (More) Smoked Ribs, Chicken and Brisket!

It was insane!

There’s no such thing as too many smoked ribs at Flying Mango and my 1/4 rack, doused in house BBQ sauce, was fall off the bone tender.

The chicken reached new heights of juicy, and the 24-hour smoked brisket was arguably the most delicious thing on the plate.

All it needed was a fork tap to fall apart. These people KNOW what they are DOING.

I always make sure to get Flying Mango’s house cornbread with honey butter to have as dessert, and to make sure that there’s, uh, something besides meat on my plate. Incredibly moist, dense and not too sweet – this is a real treat.

Ben ordered the Red Neck Surf & Turf, which came with Red Beans & Rice, more Smoked Ribs (what rib problem…) and Catfish. The crispiest catfish I ever did have, actually. Gahhh.

I you haven’t been to Flying Mango – get there!

Their menu ranges in prices from $$ to $$$, is great for a nice weekly meal or any special occasion, and is high on FLAVOR, FLAVOR and MORE FLAVOR. It’s definitely tied for 1st place with Miyabi 9 for my favorite restaurant in Des Moines (tied because you can’t compare sushi to smoked, Caribbean BBQ, imo.)

In non-smoked meat news – LOOK WHAT’S BACK!!!!! 


I found this pup on our way home from Omaha this weekend and snatched it up quicker than you can say largest peanut butter to chocolate ratio of all the holiday Reese’s Cups! Which actually isn’t that fast…

Anyways, it was amazing but I should have stocked up when I found it as they were nowhere to be found at the gas station I went to today. Bummer!

Off to walk, walk, walk the night away – it was 92 degrees today! 8)

Have a great night!


How often do you go out to eat?

Ben and I eat typically eat out 2-3 times a week – 99% of the time it’s during the weekend!


The winner of the Mr. Bar-B-Q Grill Skillet is:

Debbie (Accidentely Delish): I liked Mr. Bar-B-Q’s on facebook!

Congrats, Debbie! Email and I’ll get your skillet right out to you!

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  1. That honey butter looks insane!!

    I usually cook Sunday through Wed, and by Thurs night, I’m done. Haha. We usually just do dinners out Thurs-Sat—perfectly reasonable IMO! (I’d eat out every night of the week if it was boyfriend-approved. Hehe.)

  2. Shain Brown 09.12.2011

    And he didn’t get any on his shirt? What a grown up he is.

  3. I would also say we dine out 2-3 times a week. I’m trying to cook more for us on weekends, but we still manage to eat our once or twice.

  4. That’s why I stopped using the crockpot. I felt like everything ended up tasting the same and it was such a waste of good meat! haha

    Counting lunches, we go out to eat about 4 times per week. Dinners – about 2. We both love going out to eat and currently can afford to do this a couple times a week so we roll with it!

    • Machelle 09.12.2011

      i agree Stacy….most times it does end up all tasting the same. i use mine ALOT by removing the crock and baking stuff in it in the oven (mac & cheese, scalloped corn, baked beans, etc), then plunking it back into the heating element and taking it to pot lucks. i also use it to cook just the roast and cook the rest on the stove.

  5. Emily 09.12.2011

    You’re too funny, I always go for the largest-chocolate-to-peanut-butter ratio!! I love the Reese’s Bells at Christmas time because it’s all chocolate with just a dab of PB in the middle :)

  6. Machelle 09.12.2011

    SHOOT!!! no grill pan for me!! :( ~ i ate at Flying Mango one time. maybe it was just an unlucky “off” nite. the ambiance was great, the service top notch, the presentation beautiful, but the meat was just so-so. can’t remember now what my date had (i had the special, smoked pork loin) but it was all a bit overcooked and dry. i really should go there again and give it another shot cuz i’m sure they can do better than that unfortunate nite.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 09.12.2011

      Oh you tooootally should! I have never had a bad meal there!

    • sms 09.12.2011

      My husband had the same thing (pork loin) and had the same problem. He has no desire to go back because of it. I think the ribs and brisket are the way to go there.

  7. There is no such thing as “bad” barbecue in my book… But those ribs look on another level!

  8. Ha ha, you crack me up with the Reese’s holiday eggs. Before we know it, it will be Christmas and then easter and you’ll have those babies all over again!

    John and I eat out probably twice a week for budgeting reasons. But even then it’s usually something simple like Chipotle or Quiznos. We reserve dining out at restaurants for uber special events like anniversaries and birthdays : )

  9. Lauren 09.12.2011

    I love the name of the restaurant! So cleaver.

    Wait, are these Reese Pumpkin flavored or just shaped??

  10. We try to only eat out about once every two weeks, but sometimes we get on a “roll” and eat out way too much. Really though, I am picky and would much rather eat at home. (Oh, and I am not counting the times I have to eat out because I am on the road for work, some weeks that could be 2-4 times!!)

  11. Mer @mersworld 09.12.2011

    That looks so yummy! Makes me want to go out to eat! We probably eat out 2-3 times a week as well. Friday night is usually the hit or miss- sometimes I just want to come home, work out and plop on the couch! Other times, it’s cocktails and dinner out…

  12. Kim 09.12.2011

    I LOVE Flying Mango! Their BBQ sauce and corn bread are the absolute best! And their brisket… amazing! My husband always gets the chicken and has me make Buffalo Chicken dip with the leftover chicken. The smoky flavor makes it even better!

  13. Laura 09.12.2011

    We probably only eat out once a week together – trying to save $$. Hubby goes out to eat without me pretty often though. This is weird, i know, but i miss hearing about what you ate for breakfast and lunch1 ;)

  14. We eat out at about the same rate as well, 2-3 times depending :)

    I haven’t been eating meat lately because I haven’t really felt the desire, but man I could go for a big plate of ribs. :) That looked amazing!!

  15. what a fun restaurant!

  16. that cornbread looks to.die.for. and i had noooo idea pumpkin reese’s even existed!! off to hunt some of those down :)

  17. Afton 09.12.2011

    I love love LOVE flying mango! Ben and I have been there 5 or 6 times I think. The food is always amazing- but I hate how long the wait is to get in! Even with reservations we’ve always waited 20-45 minutes- ugh. Does IGE get special seating treatment or do you have to wait as well? :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 09.12.2011

      Well we are geezers and get ridiculously reservations (5:30pm!) so the big dinner hasn’t come yet!

  18. Amy 09.12.2011

    Love Flying Mango! I don’t get there much since I have 3 little boys but it’s my go to place for my birthday and my wedding anniversary. LOVE the cornbread and butter!

  19. Crockpot fails are the biggest disappointments! But I’m glad you still got a good dinner :)
    Loooooooove reese’s pumpkins.. and reese’s pb eggs!

  20. Shannon 09.12.2011

    Just noticed today that I accidentally “liked” Mr. Bar-B-Q’s on my daughter’s FB page (she’s 12!) oops. She likes to cook and loves food, so I don’t think she’ll mind too much!

  21. Jennie Morton 09.12.2011

    Jealous! I only get Flying Mango when I accompany the hubby to his drill weekends. The jerk pulled pork is off the hook! It’ll clear out your sinuses but won’t burn your throat – just the right balance!

  22. Katelyn 09.12.2011

    As a Des Moines girl turned Chicagoan, I must say the Flying Mango is one of the things I missed the most — white chocolate bread pudding?!? Your post has inspired me to make a special visit there next time I’m home!

  23. sms 09.12.2011

    Should you ever find yourself in Evanston, Illinois (random, I know), stop at a place called Hecky’s. THAT is the single most incredible barbecue joint I’ve ever been (barbecue in the spirit of sauce, not grilled/smoked).

    But yes . . . Flying Mango is good. I’ve only been there twice, but I’d like to get back, specifically for the cornbread.

  24. It depends…normally my bf and I eat eat out once or twice an may take out once o twice as well. Depends on if we feel like cooking, if we have time to cook and whether we’re both home.
    That BBQ looks out of this world!

  25. Ashley 09.12.2011

    I love Flying Mango! My cousin lived in Des Moines for a few years and we went there for dinner when we visited. The food was delicious and the cornbread was unreal! So funny to see literally the only restaurant I’ve been to in Iowa. Small world!

  26. Allison 09.12.2011

    All of the BBQ looks delic! My Dear and I typically eat out once or twice a week and it’s usually on the weekend, it’s hard to coordinate our schedules during the week…

  27. Jenna 09.12.2011

    Your last picture (of the Reese’s) reminded me that I needed to share a recipe with you. These bars taste eerily like Reese’s and are super simple!!

  28. Lindsey 09.12.2011

    I usually eat lunch out once a week for work or with girl friends. And the me and my hubby might eat out once a week, but we rarely do. We do go out for coffee once a week though!

  29. Jen 09.12.2011

    BBQ is my favorite, so I am so jealous I live nowhere close to you! It is making me CRAVE BBQ now, but glad you had a great time! I rarely go out to eat, maybe once every other week or so.

  30. kelsey 09.12.2011

    IOWA GIRL, that looks SO delicious. I love that you love (well prepared) meat.

  31. mike 09.13.2011

    thanks for all the kind words… all those pictures, I never noticed your camera… glad you enjoyed!
    re-posted on the Mango facebook page

  32. Angela @ Momethis 09.13.2011

    I just had a dream about Brisket. I was saying “Pile it high and load it up”…is that weird? LOL
    Ohhhhh Pumpkin Reese’s!!!! Me <—–Mouth watering.

  33. Hope 09.13.2011

    Looks like a cool restaurant! That honey butter looks so yummy!

  34. Whitney 09.13.2011

    WOW. That cornbread! Sounds divine. And I am rather curious at the orange bbq sauce … think you will duplicate?

    Hubby and I eat out 1-2 times a week. Baltimore has some UH-MAZING eateries and beers, so once a week taps our budget. We love to cook, experiment and borrow ideas from our favorite places, so it ain’t no problem!

  35. I love Caribbean food and cornbread. Oh man, do I love cornbread!

  36. Lesley 09.13.2011

    I just ate breakfast, but reading this post has made me hungry all over again darn it! I mean, orange glazed ribs, what?! And the cornbread, omg. Honey butter can do no wrong! :) You know I would have never thought of Des Moines being a vacation spot before, but now I really wanna go!

    I probably eat out a lot more than this, but I try (because I really need to stick to my budget) not to eat out no more than 3 times a week. That includes trips to Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts – I am right next to a DDs, so this is very hard!!

  37. Linda Kidd 09.13.2011

    Never – isn’t that sad??

  38. Laurel 09.13.2011

    We eat out waaay too much and are trying to cut back. Sunday we had one of my favorite recommendations from your blog – Granite City Pretzels with Beer Cheese Sauce! Drool… But then we tried Yo2Go and were so let down. Kristin, if that was your first self-serve fro-yo experience you HAVE to try Lemon Tree in Ankeny or Orange Leaf in Ames! They are so much creamier and flavorful. Yo2Go seemed watery and unsatisfying to me. But they had an amazing topping selection! P.S. My faves are NY Cheesecake at Lemon Tree and Peanut Butter at Orange Leaf! :)

  39. Caribbean flavor in BBQ??? Sign me up!

  40. Ahhhhh! The Reese’s pumpkins are my favorite. They kick off my favorite time of year – fall and the start of the holidays!

    I very rarely go out to eat… A few times a month maybe.

  41. Depends on the week. I would say a max of 3 times for dinner (and that’s a lot for us for a week), but then again if I do lunch with friends that number goes up! I try to cook at home as much as possible or do leftovers.
    This past year for Lent we gave up eating out, and let me tell you, that was TOUGH. However, we noticed a LOT more money in our pockets. I just had to make sure I had some FFYN (fend for yourself nights) so I didn’t get too burned out on cooking :)

  42. dawn 09.13.2011

    Yes, I see it!!!

    I am coming to Des Moines to eat there! Just for that alone!
    Mmmmmm…. mmm….mmmm…mmmmm

  43. Carrie 09.13.2011

    We love Flying Mango! But $10 corking fee? I’d rather bring my own wine to Django where there’s NO corking fee.

    We dine out maybe 2-3 a month.

  44. Iowamom 09.13.2011

    The Flying Mango looks great! We’ll have to try it when we go back to DM in a million years. ;) We never eat out and I truly mean never. The last time our family went to a restaurant was for Mother’s Day. Yep, 400 months ago. It’s too $$ with 3 kids (two are boys with big appetites) and our small town doesn’t have a lot of options. When we do go out to eat it’s a big deal for the kids and we all really enjoy it. I especially enjoy it because I don’t have to cook! :)

  45. Josh in Upstate NY 09.13.2011

    My wife and I were driving cross country this summer and tried to stop here for lunch…but didn’t realize they weren’t open for lunch…so disappointed!

  46. Mmm that restaurant looks de-lish! I eat out about 2 times a week…all of those are on weekends!

  47. Lindsey 09.13.2011

    We probably eat out for two suppers on the weekends. I try to make a supper Monday through Thursday, and then always pack my lunch for work. That bbq has me craving a place in a cool neighborhood in Dallas now… might have to forego homemade pizza for supper and head there. :)

  48. esther@thatswhatshesaid 09.14.2011

    Yum! I love me some good BBQ. Since I live on the west coast though it is harder to find authentic BBQ. My husband and I reguarly visit Southern Illinois each year in the summer and hit up 17th Street BBQ every time. Their brisket is to die for as well as their pulled pork! WE may have gone 3x while we were there this past summer :)
    Thank you for sharing!!

  49. stacy 09.15.2011

    ok, so i made these flourless peanut butter cookies last night, and added semisweet chocolate chips …. they seriously tasted JUST like Reese’s peanut butter cups!!!! mmmmmmm

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