Saturday, July 4, 2009
Woody's Smoke Shack (Des Moines, IA)
2511 Cottage Grove Ave, Des Moines, IA, T: 515-277-0005
I had recently seen a news item on the best bbq joints in the US, and one of them was on our way from Oregon to Indiana, so I made sure we would hit Des Moines, Iowa, at dinner time. As Woody's closes real early, 8 PM, I had to speed a bit, but we did make it in time. The place looks pretty new, which is not that surprising, as they only opened in 2002. Since then, Woody's Smoke Shack has won many rewards, including the Iowa State Barbecue and making the last four in The Best of the Best, national bbq competition.
Thus, with great anticipation I awaited my order: a two meats combo of ribs and pulled pork with sides of slaw and potato salad (only $9.95). M. had pulled chicken, beans and coleslaw. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed. To be fair, the ribs were very tasty and came clean off the bone, but they were not very juicy (in fact, they were rather chewy). Similarly, the pulled pork was good, but rather dry -- their own bbq sauce was tasty! The slow was creamy and tasty.
Don't misunderstand me, Woody's does damn good barbecue! But it was not out-of-this-world, like Dinousaur Jr in Syracuse (who, incidentally, won The Best of the Best), or Rendez-Vous Ribs in Memphis. In fact, I personally prefer the chain Famous Dave's over Woody's. I know, heresy to the reall bbq-fan, no doubt, but I'm just a simple fastfoodie. :-)