I went to graduate school in Fort Worth, TX, and during my time there I acquired a taste for barbecue. My favorite BBQ joints down in Texas were Railhead and Cooper’s because of the food and the atmosphere. I loved walking up to the counter, ordering my foot and watching it sliced in front of me. I’ve never liked messy BBQ, so the dry rub used at these places gave me a great chance to eat while dipping into the sauce rather than having it slathered over my food. The cold beer, rustic wooden floors, and rolls of paper towels rounded out the experience. As someone who grew up thinking that barbecue was the oft-burnt pieces of chicken my dad put on the grill, these places were a revelation. Since moving back to Iowa, it’s been hard to find a good place that comes remotely close to the taste or feel of my favorites in Texas.

Enter House of Q. House of Q opened just under 3 years ago in it’s standalone location; before it opened on Transit, it existed as a food truck that roamed the city. I had only been a couple times before I went with the class, and I’m surprised I haven’t been there more. It captures the taste and some of the ambiance of the best Texas BBQ.

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One of the reasons I knew I would enjoy House of Q before I even walked in was that I saw they had a sense of humor, like all the good BBQ places seem to have. Railhead sold shirts saying “Life is too short to live in Dallas.” House of Q not-so-subtly reminds you of what you will be eating as you step in the door with this lovely drawing

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And, I was excited as I was greeted by more good news in marker. The daily special was the first thing I saw, and I probably would have ordered it regardless.

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The “Left Over Sandwich” contains a bit of every meat House of Q serves on one sandwich. I have chatted with the owner (Big D) on previous occasions, and he was more than happy to chat again about everything in the sandwich.  I learned that the seasoning they put on all their meats, Big D’s own secret recipe, is showcased in the sandwich. The seasoning can also be found on the fries, which is wonderful because it has some spice, some salt, and some sweet in it. Crunchy french fries with a touch of salt and a touch of sugar with a bit of a kick to finish are a wonderful compliment to all the juicy, tender meat. Big D makes a dry rub BBQ that would fit in, nay, shine at any Texas joint I’ve been to.

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To compliment the sandwich, House of Q provides four varieties of tomato-based sauces and a special chipotle mustard. I’m a sucker for mustard, so after I tried all the sauces, I stuck mainly to the chipotle mustard. (All the sauces are good, though I didn’t care for the honey BBQ. To be fair, I never like a honey BBQ sauce. Personal preference, not House of Q’s fault.)

Accompanying my incredibly cheap, extraordinarily tasty sandwich, was a beer from the Founder’s Brewery, one of my favorites, called Double Trouble (9.4%), an Imperial IPA. House of Q keeps over 100 beers on hand, all bottled, none tapped. The (of age) students and I tried a good variety of beverages to accompany our meals, and all were good, though one student’s beer seemed especially equipped to compliment the smoky BBQ of House of Q.

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My entire meal–enormous sandwich, incredible fries, and sensational beer–cost just about $10. Not only is the food tasty and the cold beer selection the best in Sioux City, it’s CHEAP! If you’re on a budget, you can still get everything you’d want out of a BBQ place.

Here’s the ceiling:

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Bob Roe’s Point After

I’ve been to Bob Roe’s Point After many times, though truthfully, I rarely eat the food. It is a popular spot for post-meeting gatherings of faculty members, so I usually frequent the restaurant to have a reasonably priced drink or two, which always come in these unique mugs.

All beverages, including the frothy kind, come in these mugs

All beverages, including the frothy kind, come in these mugs

I’ve eaten the wings and the pizza (both good), so I decided to try a new approach. I did what I plan to do for the entirety of this May Term experience: I ordered the daily special. The specials at Bob Roe’s are static (except for Saturday); every day of the week has a certain menu item designated. As this was a Monday, I ordered the steak sandwich, cooked medium. Luckily, some of the students ordered appetizers and wings, which they let me sample. I’ve eaten the wings many times, but I had no idea they also came in a honey mustard sauce. I was pleasantly surprised. The wings at Bob Roe’s are always cooked perfectly–the blend of crispy skin, tender chicken, and a slathering of sauce is consistent. The honey mustard sauce had just the right blend of honey and spicy mustard, with an emphasis on spicy.

After the wings and onion rings were consumed, my steak sandwich arrived at the table. I was surprised and confused.

I was expecting something less "lump-of-steak" and more "sandwich"

I was expecting something less “piece-of-steak-on-white-bread” and more “sandwich.” Also, the wings were excellent (remains on the right).

What arrived at the table definitely resembled steak, but the concept of a sandwich seemed to elude my plate. The menu did not aptly describe the open-faced nature of the sandwich very well (*Update, if I had the good sense of finding the actual menu item on the LEFT side of the menu, instead of just reading it on the special, I would have seen that it is, in fact, described as open faced). Having my expectations dashed isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, so I soldiered on, crunching my way through the perfectly crisped fries and slicing my way into my “sandwich.” The flavor of the steak was good. Seasoned with the right amount of salt and a minor, tasty charring of the exterior, the steak was also surprisingly bacon-wrapped (again, not on the menu). It tasted great, but it was a bit tough. I’m not sure if this is the case for all the cuts of meat they used, or if the steak was just too far past “medium” for tenderness to be an option.

No pink to be found

No pink to be found.

Even though it was a bit tough and overcooked, it was quite tasty. I had a bit of trouble finishing it because of the large portion size, which was unexpected based on the reasonable price of $7.75.

Final Thoughts: Bob Roe’s Point After is a Sioux City Staple. It’s been around for 30 years, and it’s a great place for families, colleagues, sports teams, or any other group of people to get together. It’s a fun atmosphere, and the wait staff was incredibly helpful and deftly served our large group. Most of the students ordered wings and pizza (though some ventured into steak sandwich territory with me), and if it is your first time in the restaurant I would suggest sticking with the wings and pizza: it’s what they do best.


This is the ceiling!

This is the ceiling!