As far as BBQ, I don't think that Battles cuts it. I'm just not buying a BBQ place without ribs on the menu. Get me a Jethros or even a Bandanas and I'd be happy. As far as HP, I've voiced my opinion on it before. It's NOT a BBQ joint. The ribs at HP aren't special, the sauce isn't great, the smoked meat is good, but not outstanding. Why HP is so good is that it has a big selection and small prices. Everyone leaves there full and very few are disappointed. It's a place you can bring your kids even if they are loud. And, their ice cream selection is good. For a family, you can get out of HP for half the cost of most (non-fast food) restaurants in town. And I'd put HP's burgers up against pretty much anyone's in Ames and probably win.
Think about this...we ordered two 1/4 lb burgers with fries (except I substituted cheese balls), one kids meal, which comes with ice cream and a drink, one extra side, two adult drinks and a malt to go and the price was $23. Where else are you gonna get that?
If you are gonna go, Plan ahead and go at 5. No wait at all. The chicken critters and chili cheese fries are to die for. The beer is always ice cold. Its by far my favorite restaurant in dsm. Also gotta love the murals of isu/iowa(ok, maybe not iowa) on the wall. Hiawatha on the goal post brings a smile to my face everytime
If it's anything like the one in Des Moines, no thanks. We showed up at 415 on a Saturday afternoon and there was already a 1 1/2 hour wait. We haven't been back and I doubt we will. There's no way I'm waiting that long for any place at 415 for dinner.
Call ahead seating is the way to go for TR. I've never went there and actually waited, I always use the call ahead option, get my name on the list, and then go about my business. Get there about 15 before your time and at the most you will wait about 20 minutes. Find a spot at the bar and have a beer.
I am glad that Ames has BW3. I would be pleased that Ames gets a Texas Road House.
Not entirely sure I would do a lot of business there, but I am glad to see that Ames is generally perceived as a place that will support businesses like these at last.
I love to bag on Ames. Out side of the positive experiences I had as a student at ISU and gamedays it's the most stifling, stubborn, 'old man shaking his fist at a skateboarder' of a community I've ever been in. It needs a lot of work and this is part of it.
I have to give credit where it's due, and Ames has phenomenal restaurants for a town its size. The food options in Ames are perhaps it's greatest strength. They are just not easy to find. There's not necessarily a big lit-up sign on Duff Avenue easing your fears by providing you with safe, nationally marketed franchised foods
You need to do some research and talk to people but they are there.
I also agree about the local restaurant scene. Outsiders, newcomers and visitors know about HP and what's on Duff...that's it. The problem is that everything else is spaced throughout town. Great Plains may have the best pizza in the state, but I hardly even knew where Main St was as a student. How would visitors know? The Cafe is out in Sommerset which is not only hard to find, but hard to get to. Maybe the best Italian in town is the new chophouse WAY out west on LW. Aunt Maudes is hard to find. Wallaby's is somewhat out of the way. Most people who live in town don't even know where Cafe Shi is.
Living 8 miles away I can't say I will eat there much but it will be another option when friends and family come into town for football and bball games.
And you are spot on, Ames has awesome food choices, you just need to know where to look. But this place will appeal more to the game day fans and the fans of visiting teams. If I'm after a steak i'm still going to be heading to Gilbert.
I don't trust any man who, non-ironically, uses the phrase "to die for" in reference to food.
...unless he's actively involved in the hunting of an animal that could actually kill him, like a lion or gorilla or something. Then it's ok. Chicken critters do not qualify.