Wallaby’s Bar and Grille has been an Ames fixture since 1988, serving tasty eats and drinks in a sports bar atmosphere. Owners decided it was time for a change, and the restaurant relocated recently to the Somerset neighborhood in the northwest part of Ames, with a brand-new look and fun and inviting atmosphere, including 34 televisions to cheer on the Cyclones or watch other sporting events.
With the new digs, the menu did change a bit. Since El Azteca is so close, the Mexican items were eliminated in favor of some new Creole items such as jambalaya ($11), shrimp and grits ($14), and a po’ boy sandwich ($11.50). The slightly smaller menu will allow kitchen staff to focus on better quality for each item rather than quantity. The bar menu has also been revamped, and several speciality cocktails have been added, including a selection of mules made with ginger beer.
We decided to check out the new place on a Sunday afternoon recently. Because they had just reopened, they were only serving appetizers when we arrived. We decided quickly on the Iowa State Flappers – traditional wings done with a variety of house sauces (12 for $15.50) – and the spinach artichoke dip ($9). We happily munched on those until the kitchen started serving dinner at 4 p.m.
Our threesome was in the mood for beef, so two of us ordered cheeseburgers. My husband had the Deburgo Burger ($9.50), with an herb and spice basted patty. Our dining companion got a traditional cheeseburger ($10), and I ended up with the Ames Philly Cheesesteak ($11).
The food came out fresh and hot and artfully plated. We were all happy with the traditional bar favorites, especially the tasty crinkle-cut fries. There were quite a few people enjoying the various football games going on that Sunday afternoon, and it was evident that the new spot would soon become a popular hang-out for those wanting to enjoy some good food and drinks while watching the big game. I’m sure our first time at this new spot won’t be our last.
2733 Stange Road
Ames, IA 50014
Hours: Open daily at 11 a.m.