by Greg Wright Wallingford’s loss is Des Moines’ gain. After nine years operating the highly popular Smash Wine Bar, proprietor Dana Hannon has moved her shingle to the prior location of Blue Vanilla and Blue Whale Bistro on the alley level behind Scotch & Vine, opening Dana K’s Kafe just last week. Dana K’s is open 11 AM to 8 PM seven days a week–a highly attractive schedule for those, like me, who don’t keep very good track of the time of day or day of the week. I can’t remember the number of times I have stopped by various local casual eateries only to find them closed. I caught the announcement of Dana K’s opening on Facebook, and promptly stopped by to grab a take-out dinner. (Okay… so it wasn’t lunch, my usual outing. But it was a very early dinner, so it almost counts!) I found owner and operator Dana K (the K is for her middle name, Kristeen) behind the counter, and in a talkative mood. (She tells me that’s normal!) An Auburn resident, Dana decided on the Des Moines location for her new venture (rather than Ballard, as originally announced) in part because it’s only a ten-minute commute for her and her co-operator husband. It also helped that the former Blue Etc. location comes fully equipped with commercial fixtures for the full-menu operation. Dana K’s menu is stocked with sandwiches, a couple pasta entrees, soups, espresso drinks, and a wide array of fun desserts. As I was in dash-and-dine mode, I opted for Dana’s signature White Cheddar and Truffle Macaroni ($7.00). The pasta of choice is a fun Cavatappi-style spiral, and the sauce is to die for. Yes, I know you can get wild Mac and Cheese just about everywhere these days, but Dana’s is every bit as good as any you’ll find. I also took away some fun desserts including candy-topped peanut butter cookies and a chocolate ganache treat the name of which I fail to recall but the taste of which I will remember for a long, long time. The main takeaway is… stop by Dana K’s and welcome the Hannons to Des Moines. You’ll get great food and great conversation… and the time will soon come when Dana will be so busy the latter will be hard to get! Chat her up while you still can! Dana K’s street address is 22341 Marine View Drive… but remember, the entrance is on the back side of the building!]]>