Iowa Stories and Tips

Buzzard Billy's Flying Carp Cafe - Great Cajun Food in Des Moines

Blackened Chicken and Beans & Rice Photo, Des Moines, Iowa

Buzzard Billy’s – Des Moines, IA
100 Court Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
PH: 515-280-6060

Perhaps my favorite place to dine in Des Moines, Buzzard Billy’s Flying Carp Cafe is always a welcomed treat even though it’s an hour drive from our home in Ames. Located downtown on Court Avenue, this is one of many outstanding restaurants in the area.

I was surprised to learn that this restaurant is one of several in a small chain that includes locations in La Crosse, Wisconsin and Lincoln, Nebraska. The Cajun cuisine is some of the best outside of New Orleans that I’ve ever had. The menu features all the usual dishes including po’boys, jambalaya and shrimp creole.

When you enter the restaurant, you will immediately see the large bar with televisions throughout. Whether you choose a seat at the bar or one at the television and movie themed tables, you will not be far from a TV if you want to keep tabs on a sports event happening during your visit.

We always start our dinner with the shrimp stuffing filled mushrooms, topped with a nice cheese. They come up piping hot, still sizzling and bubbling. As for dinner, both David and I are rather predictable. For me, it’s always the deep fried shrimp with a side bowl of rice and beans and fries. And David typically orders the blackened chicken with jambalaya and beans and rice. Both also come with crisp hush puppies and a basket of sliced French bread. I always pass on the bread in favor of their hush puppies. They really are very good.

When we first started going to Buzzard Billy’s, they used to do a wonderful Bananas Foster tableside for dessert. They stopped serving that over a year ago, so the choices are now more traditional like cheesecake and chocolate layer cake. While very good, they are just not enticing enough for me to take in the extra calories, especially after a big meal.

The meals are very affordable here, with our total check typically coming to $30 plus tip for two. If you choose to have an adult beverage, you can expect to pay average prices for beers (bottles and tappers), wine and mixed drinks. If you dine on Thursday nights, you can enjoy “cheap beer night” when they feature really cheap canned beers for $1.00 each.

If you plan on making Buzzard Billy’s a regular dining spot, you should join their birthday club which will provide you with a complimentary dinner during your birthday month. We have enjoyed our annual birthday dinners there for the three years we’ve been living in Iowa. It will be one of the few things we will miss once we have made our permanent move back to Milwaukee.

Additional information, including menus, may be found at: www.buzzardbillys.com .

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