When I read the reviews on here I noticed a lot of them are very old. When I was here I was told the place has been remodled inside and out and that the remodleing included the food. The menu is different. Some of the staff is different and that the owner himself was back in the kitchen. The experience was great for me and my family and we love what they have done to the place it's now fun and makes for a good experience.
- 3131 8th Street Southwest, Altoona, IA 50009
- (515) 967-7979
Claxon's has a brand new menu and a revamped look. Tons of fresh new items on the menu as well as tons of old BBQ favorites. There's a renewed effort across the whole restaurant. Food is back up to the quality of the old days and new items like the beef brisket burrito are absolutely amazing. The staff was friendly and prompt and the new flavors really toppled my expectations which had dropped somewhat in past years. If claxons didn't wow you your first time give it another try. If it's an old favorite. You'll find it even better than you remembered!
To continue my epic review of the worst bbq I have ever had...
Upon arriving home, and inspecting my goods, I would have been overjoyed had I liked pepper, and lots of it. Unfortunately, I like pepper in moderation. Everything, I mean everything, including meats(both turkey and pulled pork) smelled of pepper. Even the potato salad reaked of pepper. Beans tasted like pepper with a hint of bean flavor. Driest pulled pork ever, tasted like pepper. Had no desire to place any of their sauce on my meat as, you guessed it, tasted like pepper.
Threw away pretty much everything left over after one brief meal. Turkey was palatable. Everything else was rotten. The best part though, is that the wait staff was just as unpleasant and unwelcoming as the food was horrid.
I will not waste my time and hard-earned money EVER again at this place. Should have known better. That lesson cost me over $26.
I live in the Des Moines area and enjoy bbq much. I grill and smoke food at my home often. Claxon's was a nice touch to the area, my wife and I don't eat out often but, we will stop by for some ribs there anytime! Overall nice work.:)
That Killer Combo I had last night was awsome!! How can you not love a plate of smokey goodness!! I'll be back and soon!!
Some of the best bbq I've ever eaten! Andy smokes the meat on-site, and my husband swears by the smoked prime rib, now a regular menu item. Interesting sides, friendly staff and ample portions make for a fun, delicious experience. Claxon's could use some help in the decorating department, and the bar can get rowdy sometimes, but the ribs are well worth the journey!
I went there after getting a groupon discount and i am so glad I went with out spending a ton of money. Their food was over priced for what you recieved and was some of the worst food I had ever had. I paid $18 for a 14oz ribeye and it tasted awful! They undercooked it, so i had them cook it some more and they ended up burning it! I have always finished ribeyes and this was one I couldn't even eat half of. Also their onions rings were smothered in oil that it would drip oil as you picked them up, GROSS! The only good thing I have to say was the waitress was friendly and tried to be some what accomedating. WOULD NOT RECCOMMEND YOU EAT HERE!
Cold Ribs the zucchini was inedible, and the scallops were sour. Top notch Prices for garbage food if you can even call it food. The only reason they got one star is I could not give less than one. How can they stay open. He needs to call Chef Robert of Restaurant Impossible and beg on his hands and knees for him to come save what is left. And that is not much.
Bad Service. Bad food. Giant waste of time. Waste of money too. We used to be great fans of Claxons. But no more. We have given them more than 1 shot to redeem themselves, but they just suck. The service is terrible, even if you are the only ones there. Can you say SSSLLLOOOWWW? If you go for lunch, plan on it taking 1.5 hours because it took us over 45 minutes to get our food AFTER placing the order. One person had the wrong food order brought to them TWICE, having to settle for whatever the server brought wrong the second time because we had to get back to work. Why do they write it down if they are going to bring you whatever they want anyway? We weren't offered drink refills until we were getting ready to leave. Another asked for ranch dressing repeatedly and it never came until one of us went up to get it. The server also never came back for the bill leaving us to hunt someone down to pay for it. And the food was nasty - several people ordered rarebits - the cheese was brown & slimy and stunk of rotten feet. Plus the food was cold. We have complained before and were offered gift certificates - who wants to waste their time again???? Sorry Claxons, but you used to rock. Now you just suck.
Tuesday night I had the worst meal of my life...seriously. The cold baked sweet potato was about the size of my thumb. It was about 3 bites large, but I asked that they nuke it just so the butter would melt on it. The ribs were like jerky. I couldn't chew most of it off the bones! I won't be back, and neither will my 4 friends. I walked away $25 poorer and still hungry. Pretty sad!
I have to agree with most of the reviewers. My wife and I have given this place multiple chances but won't bother going again. Each time the food has been good but the service could not be worse. The staff seems disinterested at best. One word to describe the service would be SLOW. But that word only works if you can somehow get them to visit your table.
Unbelievable! That's all I can say. Rude disinterested staff,painfully slow service,overcooked,overrubbed meat(ribs and brisket), and to top it all off an almost $60 check! Don't waste two hours of you life!
This place used to be pretty good. It sucks now! Skunky beer, barely warm side dishes. I was praying that the ribs would redeem the meal, but they turned out to be the worst part - tough, bland (not even a hint of smokiness) and not meaty. I don't know what's happened to Claxons, but I have to assume they stopped caring about the quality of their food. From now on, I'm going to Kin Folks...
This was one of the worst restaurant experiences I have ever had. My mom was in from out of town and staying in Altoona, so I wanted to take her somewhere local. I had a couple recommendations for this place and we decided to try it out. First thing we see if an all you can eat bbq rib special for $12.99 which came with two sides and sounded great. After we orderd they came and told us they were out of the special, and this was around 6:30 on a Wednesday night. So we ordered something else off the menu- Mom got a different order of ribs and I went with bbq pulled pork. I had switched my sides to french fries and baked beans for the sandwich, but received fries and a baked potato. I could have delt with that, but when she came back out to bring my beans she took the baked potato right off my plate with her hands, touching everything else that was still on my plate! The kicker was when eating my sandwich I found not one, but two large pieces of bone in my sandwich, enough to break a tooth! No apologies were given, but only an explanation of how that might happen. We never received water refills and all of our sides were cold. They did comp my sandwich, but overall it was a very disappointing experience, and I would never recommend it to anyone.
We were seated by an inattentive hostess, Very noisy place, The upstairs has to go! I have given them a second chance and atmosphere killed it both times. The food was standard, But I hate to say Applebee's is better. I try to support local places. I'll never go there again. $60 bucks I'll never regret spending, I learned my lesson!
This place has pretty good BBQ. Its not the best, but its up there compared to some of the other places in town. The food is somewhat on and off. Some days I'll have a great burnt ends sandwich or pulled pork, other days it will be fatty and not the greatest meat. I do really like their hot cinnamon sweet potatoes, and their jalapeno honey cornbread is excellent. This is one of the few bbq places in town that is nice enough to feel like im going to a real restaurant and not a quick pizza joint type place.
All in all a good dinner, I go back there frequently.
I think BBQman must be the owner or manager and instead of getting drunk at work you should focus on improving food and service. The reputation is that the staff parties at the bar while the customers wonder why they came?
We just got an order to go ... about half of our order was missing when we got home!! I called to get the rest of our food cooking so we could GO BACK UP THERE so the rest of our group to eat .. I got nothing but rudeness from the manager !!! What food we did get was everywhere on the scale. A couple of things were good .. the rest were not even fully cooked !!!! WE WILL NOT BE GOING BACK THERE .. EVER !!!!!! BAD SERVICE !!!!!! NOT SO GREAT FOOD !!!!!!!!!!
... i have no idea what you all are talking about when it comes to bbq and i know claxons has got to be the best in iowa...there new location is great... my service is always amazing the people are friendly and down to earth... there food is all real wood cooked none of that pellet fed smokers... which is realy rare any more... pork loin is a amazing prime rib ... everything... plus they have a website now www.claxonsbbq.com so you can see there ful menu and full picture menus... any one who says anything bad about this pace wernt looking fora good fun place to eat bbq... its def. not a upscale nose high in the air bbq joint and in my opinion that is what bbq is about having fun and enjoying goood food..i def. recommend this restauurant to all... familes. dates. bar goers, and everyone else. They have a great lunch menu and there day bartender is amazing to talk to... i dont think i could of had a better experience at any other restaurant... this restaurant is truly something rara to find in iowa... enjoy!!!
This place wasn't to bad, but this is just another one of those places that the appitizers and sides far outweigh the main course. My Margarita on the other hand was Tequilla and water, it was aweful, but I only had to order one, concidering I'm a regular drinker, I have to say that I was pretty buzzed with only one drink! Someone tell the bartender that you shouldn't have to get people trashed to enjoy their food. I loved the baked sweet potato, and I loved the okra cornbread, the beans were pretty good. I ordered the killer combo and I really enjoyed the pulled pork, but the brisket was very dry, and the turkey tasted and looked like simple sliced turkey I could get at a deli and the ham was about average! Overall the best thing that my wife and I got, had to be the pulled pork nachos. We did have halfway decent service. I would go back, but only after alot of hesitation!
Dont pay any attention to those reviews talking up this new building, the pictures at the top show the Claxon's I'll always remember. They switched up the smoker or something because those old ribs fell right off the bone and these new ones stick. Best bbq going for Altonna, tho.
I have always had a pleasurable experience at Claxons in the new building. (the old building was horrible!) This one isnt bad, its a little cramped when it comes to dining in a booth and the chairs are quiet uncomfortable. However, the food is pretty darn good by my standars and I am a super picky eater. Their Hot Ham sandwich is amazing! They also have a great baked potato. Ive never had cold food or a 'hard to find' waitress. I have always been greeted in a friendly manner , seated promptly, and attended to by the waitress in a fair amount of time. Not sure why all the reviews on here are so bad!
That's 2 hours of my life I will never get back!
It took forever to get seated; and I was not greeted with a "Hello" or a smile or a "how many for dinner?" or anything nice....it was more of a confused puppy look with a "can I help you with something?" (uh ... yeah how a bout a table so I can eat dinner?...you do that here, right?).
The food when it arrived was below average quality; toughest ribs I have ever had the displeasure of chewing through, I must have looked like a hyena with my head jerking from side to side trying come off of the bones!
Beers were few and far between I should have saved myself the trouble hunting for my waitress and just ordered 3 bottles all at once when I sat down.
Will never go back again!
I wasn't sure what to think when I read all of these reviews before my visit. Yes the decor isn't that wonderful, but if you are with good company it really doesn't matter. The food was excellent. I had the prime rib- very good. The house fries were awesome, the ribs that my company had were terrific too. The brisket- not good. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for something different in BBQ. The wait staff took care of all of our needs, were courteous, prompt, and made sure we were taken care of for everything. GREAT PLACE and I would visit it again and probably try something different.
Being a smoker myself the ribs are very good. The pulled pork O.K. The rest i wouldn't feed to my dog! I don't know why they called it brisket I've cooked hundred's and never had one look like what i was served. It looked like someone had painted the smoke on it and I thought the guys acroos the street with LOWERY'S for a rub was overrated. If these place's including the one in ames are suppose to be top notch award winning BBQ it shows people in Iowa have no idea what real BBQ is. I think its time being an average BBQer myself to open a place of my own after eating here i get big headed and think I'm a BBQ god. Save the money you would spend on eating here buy a smoker set it a 200 rub the meat with table salt and you'll save 20 bucks and have a better meal in less time.
Have you seen that place!! By far one of the best places to eat in the midwest! Good food, good folks, and good fun! Brisket, ribs, chicken, pork thats what i'm talking about.
The address changed its...3131 8th st sw!! I will be back! But what about the golf shoes?
Why did I bother? Food was marginal. Servers terrible. Children attrocious. Smelled like an ash tray when we left.
I can't believe how many bad reviews are on here. My family and I really loved the food and thought the service was pretty good. The greeter wasn't very friendly, but we were sat at a table immediately and our waitress came and took our drink orders and brought them back just as quickly. Just as we laid our menus down, she was back again to take our food order and she was very good at keeping our drinks full. We waited a very, very long time for our food to come, but once it did, it seemed well worth the wait. I had the prime rib philly with coleslaw and okra cornbread, my husband had ribs with baked beans and mashed potatoes, and my 2 1/2 year old had chicken strips with potato salad. We all tried each other's food and everything was awesome. It's definitely not a typical barbeque restaurant. Everything had a very unique, original flavor. Nothing was even close to being bland and boring. My son, who's been on a bit of a food strike lately, was gobbling up everything. He loved it. I couldn't believe every dish we had was as good as it was. I don't recall ever experiencing that at any other restaurant. It seems like there is always at least one item between the three of us that is bad. I'll agree with others about the atmosphere. It was very loud and there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the layout or decor. But I have to give them kudos for the outside architecture. It's what drew my attention to the restaurant. I needed to know what was in such a cool building. And now I know. And I will be back. I just hope it's as good as the first time. Oh, on a bit of a side note. Claxon's is landscaped with veggies and herbs, which at first I thought was pretty creative, until I started wondering if they actually use those veggies and herbs in their cooking. On the one hand it's great to think of them using fresh picked produce, but on the other hand, you wonder what they've been exposed to other than cigarette ashes and spit. After all, they do sell alcohol there, and we all know what drunk people can do.
Claxon's new building is appealing from the outside but a noisy institutional barn inside. We have tried them five times in the last few months and the only thing I could recommend is the pulled pork sandwich. Their signature BBQ sauce on the meat laden hoagie bun adds a nice touch. The only sides I would try again will be the regular fries and salads. Boring but way better than the other guys across the street. I would have given 2.5 stars but have called twice on weekend nights and they were out of pulled pork...just can't imagine that. Try them but don't expect great things and be ready to send your plate back for warming.
A great place to go if you enjoy watching the owner and staff celebrate at the bar while you wonder where your food is, where your waiter is, and why you gave them one more chance.
When the food arrives you realize the celebration must be that they can keep filling the building while serving lukewarm potatoes and overcooked meat.
Why do they have a drive thru?
Good food. All the side dishes have a bit of a "kick" which I found to be enjoyable. Unfortunately, their new building is an architectural disaster. It is VERY cramped and VERY noisy. Nothing to absorb sound in the new building and high ceilings make the dining experience seem like your eating food at a rock concert. Hope you don't have to use the restroom while you are there, I've seen larger restrooms in kindergarten classrooms.
My husband and I decided to go to this restaurant in order to try something new.
We were seated within a few minutes which was great. We sat underneath the upstairs seating area which was loud. All we heard the entire time was chairs being moved and kids running around on the floor.
We ordered our food and it came in a timely manner. The food was cold. The butter would not even melt in the potato. There was little flavor. The waitress staff was horrible. We never saw our waitress again after she brought our cold food. We had to track her down just to get our bill so we could leave. When we told her the food was cold, she advised us that it had just been brought out and that we should have informed her. That is hard to do when you can't find her for 30-45 minutes.
I can say we will not be returning.
Being a competion smoker myself, I had heard a lot about Claxon's. Some good - some not so good. I tried it myself wanting to from my own opinion. Unfourtunately, I have to agree with the latter. I think they are in over their head in what is a truly beautiful building. I think they spent too much on the building and not enough on the knowlege of the food. That worked up the street at the old location when it was mostly a place to drink, but this is supposed to be different with upscale pricing. They seem to just throw out whatever they can whenever they can. No pacing of the tables and and certainly no direction in the kitchen. A very long of wait for appeitizers and once the food did arrive it wasn't what I ordered and burnt. There is good BBQ on 8th Street in Altoona - too bad it isn't this place.
What a terrible dining experience!
Went to Claxons tonite with a friend. We were seated immediately, and that was the best thing that happened.
Had terrible service from the wait staff, which sometimes happens when a restaurant is busy. Unfortunately, they weren't busy tonight.
Figured the food would make up for the crappy service. Well, I was wrong. I ordered the combo with ribs and two other meats, so I got the pulled pork and brisket.
The pulled pork was acceptable, almost good. The brisket was drier than any meat I've ever eaten. The ribs were tougher than any ribs I've ever had. Beyond the toughness, they were burned and had no flavor on the little meat that was on them.
I wont even mention the warm beer.
A terrible overall experience, and on that I would highly recommend avoiding.
Best BBQ in Iowa. Love the staff...
I've been to Claxons several times. Although the atmosphere needs some help, the prices are reasonable and the food is good. One item that my husband swears by is the bone-in smoked pork loin. I've tried this as well and think it is great -- just arrive hungry as it is huge! They also have baked sweet potatoes with a zippy seasoning. A nice touch. I don't eat in the bar (way too smoky and noisy). Bottom line this is a good place to bring the family if in the main restaurant, have a good meal and not break the bank. An earlier review commented on the kids art on the wall (didn't like). I have to say that area children are thrilled to point out their artwork when they come back to the restaurant!
It seriously took me two days to figure out what I was going to write about this place without using deserved swear words.
First, we went on a Friday night…the place was not crowded, which at first I was super happy about, most places usually have at least an hour long wait on a Friday night. THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN MY FIRST TIP!
Okay, some places can pull off a meek, slightly bland décor, they do not. Not only were kid drawings everywhere…it reminded me of a state institution. White walls with random posters posing as art work and the tables/chairs were one step up from folding chairs. It was a cold atmosphere, not charming.
The service: discourteous, inattentive and disgusting. We asked for our onion rings to be boxed, the busser (who just got done cleaning the table next to us) picked up our food with his unwashed hands and kindly put them in the box in front of us.
The food: either over-spiced or under-spiced. My “salad” or as I call it “Lettuce out of a bag” was awful. The mashed potatoes were runny and completely over-spiced. My company had the smoked cheese sticks and a rarebit burger, disliked both. The only thing I found that saved this adventure was the Tobacco Onion rings.
The score: 1 ½ stars for two reasons, the onion rings were good and apparently they are known for their ribs and since I didn’t try their prize-winning ribs, I gave them the benefit of the doubt. Personally, I think they are over-priced and over-hyped. The bottom line, if you are going here for something other than the ribs, stay home.
Last ribs I got here were RAW. Called and was told that next rack was free and on the house. That was two years ago. Never collected on the replacement. Literally don't have the stomach for it. What happened Andy? Food and fun was the old locale. Sucks as this truly was the best BBQ in Polk county once.
WOT = waste of time...and money to boot, would sum up my experience at Claxon's.
Already was hesitant about going there after being very pleased with Kinfolk on a regular basis. Wanted carryout on July 3rd and Kinfolk was closed, so I decided to give it a whirl. Went inside and was instantly taken aback by the spacious surroundings...that is the last positive thing I will say. After first server walked past without a glance or greeting, I was approached by another with a vague look on her face. No "Welcome to Claxon's!" or "Hi, how are you? May I help you?". Just a tired look was given. Nice.
I asked if I might place a carryout order. I also asked if they had pulled chicken. You would have thought I asked her a question about quantum physics from the blank stare and befuddled look I received. After much thought, I was told they had chicken, just not pulled. Not a problem. I then asked a couple questions about other meats and sides. A finger was pointed towards the menu. Obviously, it was too difficult to give me a brief overview of offered meats and sides. Upon looking at the confusing and busy menu I asked if they had pulled pork. She also made a comment about turkey. I decided on turkey and a couple sides.
A short wait was endured and I gave CC for payment. The bill came back larger than I expected. Upon looking at the receipt, I had apparently order two pounds of meat, both pork and turkey, not the one pound of turkey. Oh, well, I figured the food would be good...wrong.
After reading the last review I headed out to Claxon's in Altoona hoping to sample some of that smoked BBQ and atmosphere described above. Unfortunately, I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
The bar portion of the "restaurant" is where all the action is... it's also where all the servers are and the owner is. The actual dining room is sparcely decorated or populated. We opted for a table in the smoking section near the bar. The staff were all drinking on the job and the owner himself seemed beyond the point of additional service. They all seemed more concerned with their smoking and shot drinking to be attentive to our table.
My hope was that the food would be worth the "atmosphere". The sweet potato was an excellent and unusual side dish but the brisket had a strange metallic/plastic aftertaste that I just couldnt get past. The BBQ ribs were fair.. but didn't really live-up to the hype of the advertizing or t-shirts the staff was sporting.
Bottom line... NOT a place for families. NOT a place for a date. NOT a place persons interested in attentive service. IS a place for drinking and little else.
All new menu! Yummy!