WestCyde Wings bastes their signature buffalo-style wings in a selection of 21 lip-smacking sauces. Canines first chew on decisions, opting for traditional bone-in or boneless bites, and mouths water mournfully when forced to choose between dipping cups of blue cheese or ranch dressing that accompany every wing platter and glass of water. Spice sensors with a need for heat can coat the crispy pinions in a spicier ensemble, selecting a sauce that is hot, x-hot, blazing hot, or inferno-ally hot, and milder temperaments with a taste for travel can sample sauces such as curry, Cajun, teriyaki, sweet & sour, or Caribbean jerk (one sauce/order; additional sauces $0.59). Eight beers—including brews from Boulevard, Fat Tire, Bud Light, and Miller Light—cascade from the tap at the bar, slaking thirst wrought from the saucy sustenance or while exchanging pleasantries about optometry with the larger-than-life referees projected on the 8-foot TV screen.
Wallaby's sports-centric atmosphere lures revelers with big-game broadcasts, daily drink specials, and an upscale pub-grub menu, which has led to a 10-time ranking as the Best Sports Bar in Story County by the Ames Tribune. Under the luminous glow of 34 sports-beaming televisions, kick off a meal with a group of friends or pet footballs by savoring a single order of ISU State Flappers, classic wings served in a choice of sauces including sweet asian chile, buffalo garlic, and inferno ($5.99 for 6 or $10.99 for 12). Open-faced Wallaby burgers use mushroom-and-marsala-wine sauce to incite incisors ($8.49), and the Wally dip's sliced roast beef and cup of creamy au jus provide fuel for choreographed homerun celebrations ($8.79). To quell inland blues, treat taste buds to underwater treasures, such as the grilled Atlantic salmon or the Cajun ahi tuna ($9.99 for each).
Cabaret Bar & Patio invites its clientele to shake off the stress of the workweek in a sophisticated nightclub environment, filled with perfectly balanced cocktails, tasty sliders and tapas, and live entertainment. Guests nibble on homemade roasted-garlic hummus, smoked-shrimp skewers, or sandwiches made with thin-sliced turkey or barbecue pulled-pork. Servers dole out elegant martinis made with flavored vodka and fruit liqueur, craft beers, or bottle service packages that include scotch, vodka, rum, and gin. Live acoustic and electric rock sets showcase the finest local and regional talent, while DJs fill dance floors with pulsing, bracing rhythms late into the night.
As reported by the DesMoinesRegister.com, Pickett's pub could be carved from the timber of an enormous tree, with stacked log walls, a fireplace, and a menagerie of mounted moose heads. Though moderately unobtrusive from the road, diners are greeted to pool tables, video games, darts, and a large horseshoe-shaped bar where mixologists sling beers as well as concoctions of mixers and fruity schnapps. Pickett's also grills up juicy full-pound burgers and daily specials such as jumbo shrimp and full-pound top sirloin steaks.
Viva La Bamba's saves flailing tongue buds from edible ennui with its menu of authentic Mexican dishes, specials, and mixed drinks. A combination of tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and vegetarian eats make for steadfast meal mates ($6.25–$7.75), while inventive house specials tantalize palates, such as the Viva La Bamba, a fajita love fest that marries chorizo, shrimp, chicken, and rib-eye steak in delicious matrimony ($12.50). Those looking to sturdy their sea legs sans restrictive sailor suit can choose a pescatarian plate such as the camarones a la diabla, a serving of shrimp piqued with spicy red sauce ($9.50), or the sautéed salmón Viva La Bamba ($9.25).
The skilled chefs at Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe whip up burritos, enchiladas, and sizzling fajitas to fill an extensive menu of south-of-the-border cuisine. Diners push aside still-steaming nacho and quesadilla starters as a waiter approaches, arms meticulously stacked with plates of enchiladas and burritos ($8.99–$9.99 each). Chefs slather spinach and mushroom enchiladas in butter garlic sauce, and the burro en fuego specialty burrito befuddles meat detectors by burying contraband shredded beef and spicy chili sauce deep inside a warm flour tortilla. Diners can also look over a gluten-free menu to bite into enchiladas and fajitas prepared on corn tortillas as, in the kitchen, blenders buzz up pomegranate and strawberry frozen margaritas into salt-rimmed glasses for frozen fruit consumption without fear of stuck tongue.