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Any food in Ames or Ankeny? Or do I have to go to Des Moines?

I'll be in Ames and Ankeny, IA next week and am looking for anything decent/unique to eat. In the past, I've gone into Des Moines for Big Daddy's BBQ, but I know that's closed. There's a decent Vietnamese restaurant in Des Moines also - at least an interesting option compared to anything else I've found.

So... I'm open to suggestions for what/where to eat in this part of Iowa. For example, is it worth a trip to Rube's in Waukee if I can't find something special any closer?

Thanks!

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  1. Well Ames isn't too tough. There's quite a few places around campus. I'm partial to Battles BBQ on Welch and Bali Satay House on Lincoln Way. My favorite place is "The Cafe" (2616 Northridge Pkwy). I'd describe it as an upscale coffee shop/bakery with a very good dinner menu. I haven't been there in quite a while myself though. A lot of people really like Hickory Park on S. Duff for BBQ but I don't really care for it myself as the place feels like a train depot. The food's ok too.

    Ankeny is tougher. Chain restaurant hell. Believe me - I know. I live there. There's a couple of decent places downtown in Ankeny. Leaning Tower pizza makes one of the better pies in town. Bear's Restaurant is also pretty good if you're into pub food. It gets pretty busy sometimes though.

    Hope that helps.

    1. I'll second Battles BBQ. Might be best in the state. Also Aunt Maude's in Ames is owned by the same folks who do the Cafe.

      1. I ordered 10 different take-out dishes from Bali Satay House, and none of them were worthwhile. They are supposed to be Indonesian, but the food tasted like bland Chinese.

        There is a Thai restaurant in Ames, do not remember the name, but they did a wonderful tofu dish for me last year...

        1. I'm surprised. Bali was always a favorite. But I don't get there very often anymore. Probably not more than once every few years. I wonder if they changed ownership? They used to have an incredible lamb soup of some sort. I don't remember the name. I liked their satay a lot too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dg2445

            Hicory Park,Great Plains Pizza,Aunt Maudes and save atrip to DesMoines.If great steak but little else Rube's, but in Montour.

          2. Thanks for the suggestions. I ended up at Stomping Grounds today, taking advantage of good food and free wireless. Not sure what I'll do in Ankeny this evening... still feeling full from a late lunch!

            1 Reply
            1. re: dimsumfan

              You might check out Rannallo's on Third (that would be "old downtown") Ankeny. Owner is second generation food purveyor who was trained at the local community college in Ankeny. Have only been once, but had a quite nice experience.