Big Steer Restaurant & Lounge

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by bryan's family

delicious breakfast(dutch apple creme brulee french toast:-)

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by Noah

Nasty fried chicken bake potato was dry it was bad!

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by paul

Awful! I never review these places but i had to for this one. I used to go here all the time but in the last month my family and i have been there twice and it was horrible. My steak was awful and my wife's chicken was undercooked and tasteless. The food took close to 45 minutes and we didn't even get all of it at the same time. I dont know what happened in the last few months but i hope it gets fixed soon.

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by Kyle

Things that are bad:
1. Way too much money
2. Small portions
3. My steak got burnt bad
4. Steak was half the size of my neighbors who ordered the same meal
5. Made no attempt to accommodate for people with gluten allergy

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by Tom Moreland

I can't agree less with some of these comments, the positive ones are truly on target. I have been eating here for 20 years and I have NEVER had a bad meal. There prime rib is the best in Iowa, it is one of Iowa's best kept secrets.

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by bthing

Went yesterday for 45th wedding anniversary. Thought the food and sevice was good. But last night and today 3 of the four of us came down with severe stomach virus and the puks. The 3 of us had the soup of the day and the forth didn't. Has anyone else experienced this?

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by Bob

Food was good, service was excellent, just don't like having a 20 percent gratuitiy added to a party of 5. Also the prices seemed a bit high for what we had. Don't think I will go back as there are other restaurants with good food and lower prices in area.

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by Melody

Oh my gosh; best steak place ever AND, never had nothing but good service. The atmosphere is neat and comfortable. I think they should expand but all I can say is the food is excellent and we enjoy going there. Never had an issue.

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by j

it was tasty

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by Tappy

Have no idea what the previous 2 reviews are talking about. I've eaten there at least 20 to 30 times and never and I say NEVER been disappointed. I can't say that I've even had a marginal steak always above par. As for sides the cheese corn is awesome!!

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by Foodcents

We must have visited the Big Steer on an off night based on other reviews. Our experience was not positive. Three of four steaks were OK but not exceptional and the fourth was a disaster, tough and over cooked. Our server was abrupt and unfriendly. We found nothing special about the sides, menu options or atmosphere. For us there are better choices around.

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by deana

awesome place great staff wonderful amazing food!!!!!

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by Peter Garner

It has been several years since I passed thru and enjoyed this. I still think and tell my friends about it. Absolutely the best steak I have ever found.

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by kyotadog

I've been to B.S. many times and I'm never disappointed. Best steak in Iowa (Bar None). Always grilled to perfection and served with a smile. Took some friends there last time and they're still talking about it. A+++++

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by quietriot

If you've never been here you must try it! It is SO GOOD. One time I even got Orange Roughy and it was delicious too. love it!

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by Spur Of The Moment POA'S

It is well worth the ten hour drive from Oklahoma! The food and service is fantastic! Be prepared to wait in line.

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by JessicaM

This place is so good. I was slightly embarassed to haul my boyfriend there for the first time, because it's about as cheesy of an atmosphere as one can imagine. I think the large cow in front of the building is a good indicator of this. But the food! The best steaks around. Always cooked perfectly, incredible flavor in this meat. At a recent trip to Mojos I found myself wishing I was having a steak here. The Saturday night special of filet and lobster tail for only $25 is absolutely unbeatable. The service is unfailingly EXCELLENT. This is a staff who knows what they are doing and do it right every time. Pleasant surprises are a pretty good bar that can make anything and has more of a wine selection than you might expect, and homemade desserts that are great to take home later, because you will never have room after your meal. Probably not the place for an upscale "fine dining" type of experience, unless a cowboy boot vase of silk flowers is your definition, but always an expert, impressive quality meal and dining experience from folks who know how a steakhouse should be.

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by A and D

The Big Steer
1715 Adventureland Dr
Altoona
515-967-6933
5-9:30 Monday thorough Thursday
5-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday

“A” and “D” stopped in at The Big Steer about 5:45 p.m. on a Saturday evening. After managing a salmon-like swim upstream through the throngs of assembled waiting diners, we got our name on the wait list and headed to the bar. The bar was jammed with people, but everybody seemed to be enjoying the opportunity to visit and have a drink while waiting for their table to be called. The bar offers a nice selection of beer and wines by the glass as well as mixed drinks.

We waited about forty minutes for our table and again, managed to weave our way through the now really packed bar and waiting area. While we were waiting for the hostess to show us to our table, a lady came in to add her party to the reservation list and was told the wait was about 1 ½ hours. She didn’t even flinch which was a clear indication to us that the food was well-worth any wait. This is a restaurant frequented by regulars, and they obviously enjoy the experience.

Watching the wait staff at The Big Steer is fascinating. They are a well-oiled group of superb wait staff without an ounce of wasted motion. As soon as a table empties, the bus boys are on it and, if a hostess happens to be passing by, she grabs empty glasses for the bar and deposits them on the way back to the front of the house. Wait staff does not make you feel you are being rushed in any respect and, despite the huge crowds, they are efficient and attentive. Nothing fancy, just great service and efficiency. The restaurant seems to do about 400 people on a Saturday night.

Of course, the big item on The Big Steer menu is beef so we ordered accordingly. “A” got the 16 oz prime rib and “D” tried the special for the evening of a 6 ounce filet mignon and 4 ounce lobster tail. While we waited for dinner, we ordered a half basket of onion rings which were delicious. They are thinly sliced, lightly battered, crisply fried and almost impossible to stop eating. A half order would comfortably serve four people but the two of us put a pretty decent dent in it.

We both ordered the house creamy garlic for our tossed salads. Both salads were comprised of a nice assortment of glistening, crisp, cold greens. “A”’s was beautifully tossed with just the perfect amount of dressing and the surprise of garlic melba bits in lieu of the usual croutons. “D” asked for his dressing on the side and the melba croutons were also provided on the side, making the addition of carbohydrates the diner’s preference.

Each meal is accompanied by a loaf of fresh and hot from the oven bread. The bread is soft and yeasty bringing back memories of loaves lovingly made at home in days of yore.

“A’s” prime rib arrived perfectly prepared – a huge cut of beautifully marbled beef cooked to a rosy medium rare, as requested. A steak knife was provided for the meat but it was unnecessary as the prime rib was absolutely fork tender with a flavor rarely found in restaurants in recent years. The beef was accompanied by a side of pasta with red sauce which was very good, but the beef was the main event.

“D’s” filet and lobster entrée were also fork tender and loaded with rich flavors. The lobster was so sweet and flavorful it scarcely needed to be dipped in the butter sauce that accompanied the plate. “D” opted for the vegetable du jour which was fresh green beans cooked with bacon, adding a great flavor to the usual offerings in many restaurants.

The Big Steer offers cheesecake and ice cream sundaes for dessert but the dinner portions are so generous, we didn’t even attempt a selection.

The Big Steer’s menu includes several fish and seafood offerings along with fried chicken, chicken livers and/or gizzards and a smattering of Italian dishes. We observed several of those dishes being served at other tables and they all looked worthy of a try on a future visit, especially the fried chicken which is a large portion of beautifully dark, crisp and not greasy pieces.

This is a well-rehearsed restaurant that delivers quality and value without being overly fancy. The customers have packed the place for years and they keep coming back. The Big Steer is “THE” place to go for Beef in Iowa – no doubt about it!

Rating 5 Absolutely
Quality Excellent
Service: Top quality
Value: Excellent
Recommended: Yes

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by Dana

We have driven 45 minutes several times a year to eat at the Big Steer for 15 years. We celebrate our birthdays and anniversaries here. The food is always delicious and we have NEVER had anything prepared incorrectly and/or taste badly. The employees remain, so it has to be a good place to work and it shows! Customers dress as casual or dressy as they want, all are welcome! The bar is cozy, and the bartenders are easy going and good at making drinks. The only place in the Des Moines area that we have found to be dependable EVERY time. GREAT choice for a good meal out!

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by Jeff

An awesome place to eat a great big steak or slab of prime rib! We love going there. Use the call ahead seating for the shortest wait-time on the weekend. We stroll in about anytime during the weekdays with no wait at all.

Best steak de burgo in des moines area.
Biggest large lobster tail I've ever seen.

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by NicoleK

Altoona is certainly growing and although new restaurants are popping up in this community, The Big Steer keeps serving hearty steaks and wonderful side dishes. To start, it isn’t much from the outside. In fact unless you are from Altoona you might be puzzled by the huge steer statue outside and the very bleak exterior of the building, but don’t let that stop you from going in. The Big Steer may lack pizzazz, but it makes up for it in food and that is what keeps people coming back time and time again.

The interior is definitely cozy with a hint of sophistication, which is hard to find in a steakhouse. Your steak will always be prepared they way you like, which always makes me happy. And all the beef is incredibly tender and juicy. However, if you are not a beef lover they also have delicious chicken and seafood. It’s a win, win situation.

If you don’t want to eat in give them a call or look on the Steer statue they usually have great “pick-up” specials. Also they are one of the few places still taking reservations, take advantage because this petite building can be pretty busy come Friday/Saturday.

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by Julie Verdon

Good eats, steak is outstanding!

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by Deb

Worst service ever! Ordred grilled sandwich, came out deep fried, sent it back, rest of party ate their meal, never got sandwich. Called next day to let them know and was told by owner, Randy, that customers like me, who are liars are not wanted in their restraurant. Apparently Service is not a priority let alone good service. Randy, I feel sorry for anyone who enters your doors.

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by Robert devlaeminck

me and my wife were passing thru and stoped at the casino. asked were was a good steakhouse someone said big steer. It was the worst I have had. The wifes steak was old tasting awful. My ribs were anything from being fresh awful and the sauce whatever they call it was the worst I have ever had. Will not tell anyone about this place. And I will never be back unless I get alzimers.

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The Big Steer The Big Steer sign