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Get religion -and a great meal

STEVE POPE / Street Smart Fat Boy
Fatboy sings the praises of church breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

I got myself chuckling real good the other day. I realized that rather than just calling myself Fatboy, I could now be referred to as "multi-demoninational Fatboy"!

My wife, Lori, and I were married at, and have attended on and off over the years, Windsor Presbyterian Church at 6301 University Ave., just up the road from our home in Windsor Heights. It has that small-town feeling that I like. Last Sunday at the church, Ron and Glena Grohe cooked up another of their first-Sunday-of-the-month, can't-be-beat, only-$4-including-dessert-and-a-drink lunches! I can sometimes be found there when I haven't been prodded into going with my wife to the great big church named Point of Grace in West Des Moines.

Sometimes we worship at St. John's Lutheran Church at Sixth and Keo, where my son Ian is currently enjoying the experience of confirmation class. That same place, as luck would have it, holds an event every week during the school year called Super Wednesday. Every Wednesday, they offer laughs aplenty, a chance to sit and visit with some outstanding youth types, and LeaAnn Knecht's super weekly meal. Knecht and a group of able-bodied volunteers put together some really fun meals. For three bucks, you get drinks, desserts and the better-than-even chance of getting seconds. Can't be beat.

Although the Windsor folks welcome visitors for the service and the meal at anytime, you should call St. John's at 243-7691 by noon the Monday before Super Wednesday to make a reservation (mostly church members attend, but you're more than welcome). I haven't gotten a chance to feast at Point of Grace yet, but I will, I can assure you.

And speaking of church food, although I haven't been there in years, Plymouth Congregational Church at 4126 Ingersoll Ave. puts out a pretty darn good breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. the first Sunday of each month in the church basement for just $2.50. Also, the last time I was in St. Peter's Lutheran in tiny Toeterville, the church I grew up in, they were serving up the best fish dinner money can buy. (Rest assured I will give that a shameless plug with plenty of warning next spring as that date approaches).

For not being an official member of any church, I get my fill of church in more ways than one. Did anyone but me notice a theme there? Seems like the churchgoing folks are a hungry bunch. I like that in a church!

If your church serves up a heavenly breakfast or dinner, let me know via e-mail or regular mail (see address below). Get out and enjoy a church dinner as soon as you can, folks.

Gobble, gobble

Church dinners are a cherished tradition in Iowa, but Thanksgiving is a tradition across the country, a tradition that involves stuffing a turkey bird with bread crumbs and having it with pumpkin pie, scalloped oysters, green bean casserole, whipping cream, pecan pie, more stuffing and black olives! I still can't believe that during the four years of my high school wrestling and the weight-cutting that went along with it, I ate nothing but a couple of carrots and a glass of water the entire week of Thanksgiving! It's safe to say that won't be happening again anytime real soon.

I am now in search of great turkey and trimmings. Problem is, most of the best places are like your house or mine, and you don't bother with a turkey and such unless it's Christmas Day or Thanksgiving Day. I am hoping that someone out there somewhere will hear my cries and help stop the whining by calling me up and letting me in on their secret. If at all humanly possible, I will visit and write about any and all the places where great turkey can be found in this very space two weeks from now -just in time for the big day! I am looking for the real deal -not canned or processed turkey breast, and I'm not really into buffet-line turkey either.

So get out the turkey vote. I relish the thought of a list as long as a table for 20

I always encourage feedback, complaints and bellyaching.Weather you agree or disagree, I want to hear about it. And most importantly, if you have someplace you think I should visit please get in touch with me. You can reach me 24/7 at (515) 770-1869 (cell phone), e-mail at Leave feedback or your own rant on my web