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“Wooden go again!”

Woody's Smoke Shack
Ranked #34 of 574 Restaurants in Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
Restaurant details
Atenas, Costa Rica
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Wooden go again!”
Reviewed 15 August 2014

Disappointed! New to Woody's, I asked the server what the Shack did best. She recommended the ribs and sides of beans and cheesy potatoes. Woody's may be best of breed in Des Moines, but some more breeding is in order. You would think that a restaurant in state that produces more hogs than any other would treat it with more respect in the Temple of BBQ. My ribs were nearing the dry side and nearly flavorless. While I did not come for the sides, I expect them to be good eats. The beans seemed to have come from a can without cookery intervention. The cheesy potatoes were bland and tasteless. I do not like giving critical reviews, but this one is well earned.

On the good side, I enjoyed the ambiance and helpfulness of the wait staff.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Peter P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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75 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    48
    19
    6
    2
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Des Moines, Iowa
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Delish”
Reviewed 8 August 2014

Not much to look at, and very small-there is outdoor space, but it has some great BBQ. Four of us went there this wk and had Brisket and ribs. I have had the brisket before and loved it. This time I opted for the ribs and they didn't disappoint. Fall off the bone tender and moist-no need for sauce. Cornbread is included as are sides to pick from a long list. The sides are mostly ok, some are very good but you come for the meat. Get there early and enjoy!

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MaMa_C52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Ask the locals”
Reviewed 17 June 2014

While on business in Des Moines, I mentioned to a local that I was looking to get some brisket before I left. They sent me to Woody's Smoke Shack.
I ordered the brisket sandwich with two sides.
One dilemna with brisket is that it can be either too fatty or too lean (in other words DRY). This was perfect. Not a trace of fat but not a hint of dryness either.
Only reason I didn't give it a 5 is the potato salad was uninspired.

Other than that, a GREAT local find!

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Rdub56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Des Moines, Iowa
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“What your BBQ shack would be like -- Woody's”
Reviewed 16 April 2014

Woody's Smoke Shack is downright homey. You walk into a small dining area that is about half the size of the seating area out on the patio. A big tray of complimentary delicious cornbread is on the right as you enter. Walk straight ahead to place your order. Pulled pork, baby back ribs, beef brisket, smoked ham, pulled chicken, smoked turkeys, pork loin, smoked pork chops, chicken wings, smoked creamed chicken over biscuits, potato salad, collard greens, cheesy potatoes, hot wings, smoked salmon, homemade soups, and delicious pies. Woody's smokes every day and when it's gone, it's gone, so get there early or phone ahead. I had ribs and pulled pork with potato salad and baked beans. The ribs were so good that I had finished them before I realized I hadn't reached for the sauce. I added the sauce to the pulled pork. It was the best finished pork shoulder I've had at a restaurant. It was probably a combination of perfect timing in the smoking/finishing process and Woody's premier dry rub. Of course, his prize-winning BBQ sauce is delicious, but purists will bypass it because the meats are soooo good. Woody or his wife Cheryl will likely take your order and may even stop at your table to chat while you are there.There are plenty of big BBQ joints in the Des Moines area serving mass-produced meals, but if you want the good stuff, be sure to include Woody's on your itinerary. Oh, yes. At Woody's, you can BYOB.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Leonard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kissimmee, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Best BBQ in Iowa”
Reviewed 15 April 2014

This place is not fancy and will never win any awards for decor, but it's the best BBQ in Iowa - hands down. I've never had a bad meal there.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Mark R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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