There are a lot of barbecue joints to choose from here in Ames, but if you’re looking for some good ol’ home cooked food, Down Home Cookin’ is the place for you. While it may not be the fanciest sit down restaurant Ames has to offer, it does have some some kick-arse ribs, voted #1 in Iowa. Located where Capanna Coffee used to stand, it’s in a convenient location that’s easy to access and not unknown to locals.
Upon entering the restaurant, we weren’t sure what to expect. It had a fast food feel to it and certainly lived up to our initial impression, getting us our food in a surprisingly short amount of time. While the atmosphere wasn’t great and the music was barely audible, the menu made up for it. The expansive menu of classic (and some original) tailgate and barbecue foods took awhile to choose from, and that didn’t include the entire OTHER café menu on the wall next to it, listing an endless amount of beverages. But the coffee is not what you come to Down Home Cookin’ for.
The owner himself was right up at the counter and ready for us to order, a friendly man who checked up on all his customers and even gave us a loyalty card (with three punches already gone!). Our food was brought out to our table where we chose between two barbecue sauces: Mild and Sassy. We suggest Sassy, which had a little kick to it that tasted great on my pulled pork sandwich and Jake’s ribs. And how were the award winning ribs? “Best ribs I’ve had all day,” said senior Jake Stone, “they tickled my taste buds all the way down to my deformed sternum….in a good way.”
Overall, Down Home Cookin’ is a great place for grab-and-go barbecue food, but we wouldn’t say it’s the best sit down barbecue restaurant in Ames. However, the speedy service and friendly employees ensured us a fun experience. “I give it a star out 6,” concluded Jake. We aren’t really sure what that means, but either way it was good!