I know what I need to order the next time I'm in the Des Moines area!

The website Love Food recently created a list of the "most legendary dishes" that were created in each state, and the pick for Iowa is a delicious-looking dish called "Steak de Burgo." Legend has it, Steak de Burgo was created at a Des Moines restaurant called Johnny & Kay's.

According to a 2019 article from the Des Moines Register, Johnny & Kay's was opened by husband and wife Johnny and Kay Compiano back in 1946. They report that their iconic Steak de Burgo recipe was featured in Better Homes and Gardens' 1964 recipe book ‘Famous Foods from Famous Places,’ which gained it even more popularity.

So, what exactly is Steak de Burgo? The website Hungry Browser says that the original recipe from the 'Famous Foods from Famous Places,’ cookbook calls for two four-ounce slices of beef tenderloin, two tablespoons of butter or margarine, one minced glove of garlic, one tablespoon of sweet basil, and salt/pepper, although other area restaurants have created their own variations over the years. For example, the recipe from Rube's Steaks also includes white wine, thyme, oregano, sea salt, cream, and garlic paste in place of minced garlic.

Unfortunately, the restaurant Johnny & Kay's no longer exists, but their creation lives on! Catch Des Moines lists several restaurants where Iowans can go for Steak de Burgo. Here are a few of them:

The Rusty Duck, Facebook
The Rusty Duck, Facebook

I was genuinely surprised that the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich wasn't the pick for Iowa, but Love Food's list credits Indiana for that popular dish! Some of the picks for other Midwest states include:

  • Illinois - Deep-Dish Pizza & Brownie
  • Minnesota - Juicy Lucy
  • Missouri - Toasted Ravioli
  • Nebraska - Reuben & Tin Roof Sundae
  • South Dakota - Chislic
  • Wisconsin - Butter Burger

You can check out the rest of the popular dishes invented in each state HERE.

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