Metromix ranked Claxon’s Smokehouse and Grill as one of the five best barbecue spots in Des Moines—but that’s just the start. More than a decade's worth of accolades trail behind the restaurant like drops of warm barbecue sauce, leading all the way back to 2002, when a perfectly cooked pork loin nabbed the eatery first place at the World Pork Expo. Today, grill maestros Adam, Andy, and Ronald helm the kitchen, hand-rubbing turkey, chicken, and baby-back ribs in their signature black gold rub before slow-smoking each succulent cut over hickory, oak, and smoldering cook books. Claxon's open dining room, complete with a mammoth stacked-stone fireplace, surrounds guests as they tear into ham, sausage, and tender brisket. Modern lights hang above the full bar, casting plates of pan-seared shrimp and fried pub pickles in a tobasco-colored glow, while umbrellas shield diners from the sun and rain on the outdoor patio.