We were attending the final Iowa Barnstormers Arena football game of the season in downtown Des Moines with Jo's sister Michelle and her husband, Terry. Where to eat? We decided on a place that has been in Des Moines for many years, and is just down the street from Wells Fargo arena (where the game is played). Let's check out Buzzard Billy's!
Buzzard Billy's serves "the best of authentic New Orleans and American cuisine". What's not to like about that? Get some good food and a few beers, then walk up to the game.
Now, Buzzard Billy's has a huge menu. From appetizers, wings, soups, salads, dinners, and sandwiches, I count 92 different choices! While trying to decide what to eat, we choose the "Cajun Nachos" for an appetizer.
Certainly a great way to start the night..."Corn tortilla chips smothered in cheese sauce, topped with a spicy Cajun sausage blend, mozzarella cheese, banana peppers and fresh pico de gallo." It comes with salsa and sour cream on the side. The serving size is huge!
While I was drinking a beer, Jo opted for the "Category 5 Hurricane", a New Orleans legend. It must have been pretty good, because she told me we need to learn how to make these at home.
Category 5 Hurricane
After much thought, we finally decided on what to eat for dinner. Terry likes spicy burgers, so he chose the Swamp Thing..."A 1/2 lb. Certified Angus Beef topped with coleslaw, Creole honey mustard, jalapeno bacon and Jalapeno Muenster cheese, served on a jalapeno bun."
He said it was good, but he would have like some more spice on it. Those are sweet potato fries on the side.
I chose the "Louisiana Purchase"...Fried crawfish, Fried Alligator Tail & Fried Oysters served with Creole Honey Mustard, cocktail sauce, Remoulade and Tartar sauce. It comes with French fries, hushpuppies and coleslaw.
The crawfish were good. The fried gator and the oysters were pretty small and mostly breading. Fries were thick and good. Great taste on the coleslaw, but it was room temperature. Coleslaw is one thing I think needs to be served cold. I'll probably pass on this one next time and go with the dinner Jo got...Chicken Tchoupitoulas. "A fresh chicken breast seasoned with Cajun spices and grilled, served over a hash of diced fried potatoes, ham, mushrooms and green onions. Topped off with a New Orleans Barnaise Sauce".
Chicken was cooked perfectly, the ham was excellent, and the sauce brought it all together. Very tasty. And the corn side dish was very different, but very tasty...although it could have been hotter (spicier AND temperature).
Michelle opted for the fried gator strips with sweet potato fries...
Dinners are in the $12-$20 range. Our food took quite a while to get to the table, but the place was getting busy with people coming in before the game.
After dinner, a short walk up the hill to Wells Fargo Arena for the game. The Barnstormers lost...again.
But we had a fun night, and some good food at a restaurant we'd never tried before. We liked Buzzard Billy's, although it didn't necessarily "knock our socks off". It will probably warrant another visit in the future...and I can guarantee that visit will include the Cajun nachos and the Chicken Tchoupitoulas!