Battle’s BBQ was my place of employment for most of my college days. I loved that place! We had humble beginnings at the first location on Hayward if anyone remembers that. The whole place held about 4 tables, 5 or 6 employees could squish in the back if we were lucky and there was always a line out the door. Doesn’t sound great, but those were the good old days.
A little more than 3 years ago Battle’s picked up and moved a couple blocks away to the top of Welch Avenue. The dining room tripled in size and we could actually fit all of our employees comfortably. We even got AC! George Battle (founder and owner) continued to work away at his store until his health took at turn for the worse. He really enjoyed the people, he loved his store and he was a master of BBQ.
Since George passed away the place stayed in the family, but didn’t stay the same. The originial kitchen manager (worked there for more than a decade) was pushed out and with that left the years of experience and training he got personally from George. The skill and care that was once put into the food wasn’t the same.
On the plus side Battle’s continues to entertain and feed good BBQ to the Ames community. The sauce is still made in house and the pit (meat smoker) is still run manually and filled with hickory logs. They still squeeze lemons daily for the homemade lemonade and are family owned (a big plus to me).
The pork loin is juicy and tender with a crispy dry rub skin. Everything at Battle’s is dry rubbed so you won’t see any sauce near the pit. You can order pork or any of their other meats (beef, ham, turkey) sliced with sides on as a sandwich. The favorites while I worked there were the BBQ beans, coleslaw, half chicken dinner and the texas toast.
A couple notes:
Order at the counter and your food will be brought out to your table. Make sure to know your number or be aware of what your ordered. Sometimes it gets busy in there.
The beef is a beef brisket, so if you like leaner meat make sure you ask for bottom cut. If you like the fattier part ask for top cut. If you don’t specify they will give you what is available. Both parts are smokey and favorful.
They don’t smoke the turkey, but they do heat it up. It is just deli sliced turkey which they do slice fresh every morning, but it doesn’t go in the pit. Still good with the house BBQ sauce.
They only cut a certain amount of ribs, rib tips and chicken in the morning so don’t be disappointed if they’re out for they day.