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RATINGS
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Value

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PRICE RANGE
US$7 - US$20
CUISINES
American, Barbecue
Special Diets
Gluten Free Options
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meals, features, about
Reviews (79)
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38
30
7
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1
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LanguageEnglish
Traveller rating
38
30
7
3
1
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All reviews cheesy potatoes brisket baked beans burnt ends pit master texas toast seasoned fries mac cheese sandwich bread on tap des moines service was a little slow the wait staff nice atmosphere ledge sides
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We were camping nearby at Ledges and this place was recommended. The food was fantastic. The beans had meat in them - the slaw was delicious. We had the lean brisket (they were out of the fatty brisket and the burnt ends - go early)....Most of the parking is out back so don't be fooled when you pull up. This place is busy with a wait for tables frequently.More

Date of visit: July 2022
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Gwen P, Owner at Whatcha Smokin' BBQ + Brew, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thanks so much for your kind review, we look forward to seeing you again!

Reviewed 7 July 2022 via mobile

We arrived at the restaurant early for a nice Friday evening meal. We ordered and 2 out of the 3 meals were cold just like they were sitting there for hours or just came out of the refrigerator. We ordered cheesy potatoes and 8 oz...of turkey and cheesy potatoes and 8 oz. Of pulled pork. The portion sizes were more like 3 oz of meat, not like what they should be. This is honestly the first time I have left a restaurant still hungry!!!More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed 27 May 2022 via mobile

Pork belly burnt ends were awesome. The double smoked sausage was good. Sauces and sides were fantastic. I would highly recommend. Worth the drive out to it

Date of visit: May 2022
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Reviewed 16 September 2021 via mobile

Great food, great service. Crazy busy for a Wednesday evening at 6pm, so out of a few of our #1 choices. Between 3 of us we had turkey, ribs & pulled pork. All were fantastic! Sides of Mac & cheese, cheesy potatoes & beans were...also tasty and plentiful. Will visit again earlier in the day to get brisket & sausage….we hear they are wonderful….so understandable they were sold out.More

Date of visit: September 2021
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Reviewed 4 July 2021

I love finding a great place that is seemingly otherwise in the middle of nowhere. The food here was great. My husband had brisket and I had pulled pork. The setting is sort of unique and laid back, I felt a bit like we were...on vacation even though we live 15-20 minutes away. The service was a little slow, and all the items came in to-go containers (possibly a post-pandemic hold-over?). But it's a charming place. A little gem on the side of the road. The mac and cheese is pretty good. I personally prefer a baked mac and cheese, but for a white sauce style mac and cheese it's a good, mild-flavored, creamy option. My husband and I have very different tastes in cornbread, and this was really a nice compromise. The top was a little wetter and sweeter, the bottom was a little dryer and denser and overall I really liked it. The fries were seasoned and crispy.More

Date of visit: July 2021
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Reviewed 26 June 2021 via mobile

Great BBQ! Nice atmosphere. Comfortable on a hot day with the garage doors open. Ample parking. Easy drive from Des Moines area. My brother pronounced his brisket the best he's had in a long time. My ribs were perfectly cooked. The fries were delicious and...cooked to perfection. The sweet corn nuggets were a surprise discovery. Everything was served in to go containers. Next time, I'll bring some hand wipes with me.More

Date of visit: June 2021
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Reviewed 15 May 2021

We have driven past this restaurant many times on our way to Polk City and this time we had extra time to stop. It's an interesting restaurant and seems to be very popular with the locals. The food was good and the wait staff was...efficient. We had the special which was pork burnt ends and the food was tasty. It was fun to try once, and we probably won't stop again. But I think many people are true fans and stop frequently.More

Date of visit: May 2021
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Reviewed 12 May 2021

My wife had a smoked turkey breast sandwich and cole slaw, and I had pulled pork sandwich ,both with sweet barbuque. Both were excellant. We will be back! Wish we lived closer!

Date of visit: May 2021
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Reviewed 25 April 2021

The smoked meat at WSB&B definitely wins over any I've had around Des Moines or its burbs. My sandwich contained a huge amount of actual pulled (not chopped or sliced) pork, with a couple chunks of pulled fat - which I deconstructed into a separate...pile, still leaving me a very filling juicy and tender meal. Ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender.  Its nice to have a choice of fatty or lean brisket. The cheesy potatoes were excellent, had some chopped green onion tops baked in. Their beans were good; had a different flavor we couldn't ID.  I prefer my potato salad a little spicier. Several craft beers are on tap, served in fill-from-the-bottom plastic cups like at baseball parks. Prices are decent considering the quality of smoked meats WSB serves. Waitstaff was friendly and efficient.More

Date of visit: April 2021
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed 4 April 2021

ALERT: OUR TOP CHOICE IN IOWA. Writing for Food & Wine, David Landsel named Whatcha Smokin' the #1 BBQ restaurant in Iowa. On the strength of its menu from top to bottom, we agree. We laid out $42.80 + tip for lunch here--a half rack...of very meaty baby backs, a "Pit Master" plate (6 oz. of the fatty brisket, with sides of baked beans, cheesy potatoes, corn bread and Texas toast), plus a half pound of seasoned fries, a peach cobbler, and 2 refillable soft drinks. We were hungry, but there was still enough food left over for a second meal, so on the grounds of quantity alone, this is good value. Ah, but the brisket with its traditional central Texas rub was the best we have eaten in Iowa-- moist, with well rendered fat, and full of flavor. The ribs were perfect, separating cleanly at the bite; both the hot and mild sauces complemented the meat well. The seasoned fries were well above average, the corn bread excellent, and the beans and cheesy potatoes acceptable as well. Finally, the peach cobbler supplied a nice finish, and it was large enough that we could share it across 2 meals. We are looking forward to a return visit, preferably on burnt ends Tuesday. Through the grapevine, we are hearing really good things about the burnt ends ...More

Date of visit: April 2021
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Whatcha Smokin' BBQ + Brew

Yes, Whatcha Smokin' BBQ + Brew offers takeaway services.

Whatcha Smokin' BBQ + Brew is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4