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Restaurant Review: Smoke N’ Antlers BBQ October 24, 2006

Posted by Sarah in Ames Restaurants.


In Ames, the southwest side of town is really starting to develop. There are lots of apartments for students to live in and the bus runs right through the area, making it a great place for students to live. However, it also is developing a very nice residential area with single family homes.

Naturally, new restaurants are going to pop up in this area. One of which is a new barbeque place called Smoke ‘N Antlers. It is right next to the West Town Pub where Buckets used to be.

The restaurant is owned and operated by a man who has spent a lifetime barbequeing. He started out in Texas barbeque contests and cooking for large church groups. Then, he opened a restaurant in small town Roland, Iowa. Now they have moved it to Ames to bring the goodness of their barbeque to the college masses.

What They Offer

Smoke ‘N Antlers offers Texas Style barbequed meats and sides. They have reasonably priced sandwiches in three different sizes (1/4 lb., 1/3 lb. 1/2 lb.). They seem to have more sandwich selections than one of the other local favorites, Battles BBQ. They have sliced brisket, pork, ham, BBQ pork, BBQ beef, a brisket, pork and ham mix, as well as a two meat option.

They also have several supper options that feed anywhere from 4-6 people. They offer pork and beef ribs, lamb riblets, pork, ham, brisket, and chicken. They have a reasonably priced children’s menu with many options for kids.

Some options of ordering food from Smoke ‘N Antlers are through delivery (minimum order $15), carry-out, dine in, and even catering. They have excellent hours as well. They are open Monday-Friday 11am – 2pm & 4pm – 11pm. Saturdays they are open 11am – 11pm and Sundays they are open 11am – 9pm. You can also check out their website at http://www.smokenantlers.com/


Since this is a new restaurant and they just moved, I wasn’t really taking the ambiance into account. It looks like a fine place to eat and there was country music playing which makes sense since it is a Texas barbeque place. It is kind of smallish, probably a little bigger than Battle’s before they moved, if that helps.


The service was good and they were very friendly. The food was ready to carry out in maybe 10 minutes and there is always the option of calling ahead for faster carry-out.


We got the Chicken Special which had 2 white meat pieces and 2 dark meat pieces, 2 sides and a choice between 6 slices of Texas Toast or 4 garden salads. For our sides we chose coleslaw, baked beans, and Texas Toast.

Let me say, the chicken was excellent. It was nice and smoky and moist, for the most part. The white meat was a little dry, but still delicious. The meat alone is worth the trip.

The Texas toast was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It was a lot crunchier than Battle’s Texas Toast (but I really am partial to Battle’s delicious, soft, slightly sweet, Texas Toast).

The baked beans were pretty decent, if not a little too sweet. The coleslaw was a little too onion-y for my tastes and not sweet enough, but my husband liked it.

Paying, Price and Portion Size

We paid $12.99 for the whole chicken dinner and it fed us for 2 1/2 meals. I used the smoky leftover chicken for some tortellini and chicken in a garlic-sun-dried tomato cream sauce. It was great. Then, my husband had the rest of the leftover chicken the next day.


So, you definitely get a good deal when you go here. The portions and prices are good, they are friendly, and they DELIVER! Ames really needs more food delivery options (other than pizza and Golden Wok), so I’m glad this place stepped up to the plate and I hope they continue to do so!

I would definitely go here again. I am really excited to see what their sandwiches are like and even what their ribs are like too. Definitely a great new place to check out in Ames next time you are hungry!


I went back again to pick up some of their sandwiches to try for dinner and they are awesome. I had the sliced brisket and it was the juiciest, most flavorful barbequed sandwich I had had in a long time. My husband had the BBQ pork and that was really good. Their sliced, smoked meats are exceptional!



1. extrapolater - October 25, 2006

God I love food blogs. I’ve never been to Ames, but if I go, I’ll remember this blog! There should be something like this for every town.

2. Chris Haywood - November 11, 2006

You make reference to Buckets Fast Italian restaurant that I purchased in Ames recently. I and many people thought Buckets was a great place to eat and I personally ate there many times and loved the food. Even though this may be your reveiw, when reviewing places you should be neutral and give opinions that are constructive and not destructive or opionated.

Thank you for recommending Smoke ‘n Antlers Bar-B-Q.

We are glad you liked it!

Chris Haywood
Smoke ‘n Antlers Bar-B-Q

3. Sarah - November 11, 2006

Chris- I am glad to have your advice about reviewing restaurants. I certainly didn’t mean any harm with my comments about Buckets. Everyone has their own opinion about what tastes good and I truly did not enjoy what I ate at Buckets. I’m glad a lot of people did and I’m sorry that they are upset Buckets is gone. I’m also sorry that the business did not work out for the owners of Buckets. I will take feelings such as these into consideration next time I do a review. I have edited my page accordingly.
I think your barbeque is great and I will continue going to your establishment and telling everyone I know to go to your establishment. Keep up the good work.

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