If you've been reading Iowa Foodie for long, you know we love a good burger. We'd been hearing about this cool new burger joint in Ames, so we decided to go check it out for ourselves. Oddfellows Burger Kitchen is located just north of North Grand Mall at 823 Wheeler St. in Ames. Owners Chris Patterson (who used to have Pazzesco Pasta and Chophouse on Lincolnway) and Sai Kiojai opened Oddfellows in the Northern Lights shopping center earlier this year.
The decor of Oddfellows Burger Kitchen is decidedly funky. The colorful walls are covered with interesting posters and bumper stickers, antiquey stuff and photos. You could hang around there all day just reading the walls. There is a dining room side and you can also eat in the bar area. Lots of TV's, too, to catch the game.
A peek at the dining room.
There's a lot on the menu - starters include some unique items like Bacon Wrapped Dates and Blue Chip Tots, plus they make Fresh Guacamole daily. And you've got to like a place that puts PBR on the starter menu for $3. They've got homemade soups, all of the salad dressings are housemade, there is a variety of lunch specials M - F, and desserts. A few interesting sandwiches and entrees round out the menu. But we were here for the gourmet burgers - so we ordered up the drink special of the day, a margarita, and took a look at the menu.
They grind the meat daily for the burgers and hand-form each patty to 1/3 pound. Burgers are cooked on a flat top grill to seal in those juices and are cooked to order. They even bake their own buns in house. Burgers are served with a choice of fries, tator tots, or mac and cheese.
Some of the burger choices include The Black and Blue, with cajun seasonings, bacon and loads of blue cheese, The Holy Guacamole, with jack cheese and fresh guacamole, and The Presley Burger, with chunky peanut butter and bacon. Then there's the Oddfellow - a burger topped with jack cheese and bacon, stuffed between 2 glazed donut "buns." Okay...
I chose The Makin' Bacon burger - a burger with cheddar cheese, 6 - yes, 6 - strips of applewood smoked bacon and their own BBQ sauce. A little bite to eat this was not. You would think that much bacon would over power the burger flavor, but noooo, it was awesome. The bun was good and yeasty, and all in all, this was a stellar burger.
Grant went with the Green Chile Burger - his burger came with roasted green chiles and pepperjack cheese. Very flavorful, not spicy, but nice chile flavor. And he really got a bunch of tots. A great sear on the burger with nice crunchy bits.
Our server, Maria, was also tending bar, and was a little distracted, but she apologized when she forgot to place our order and made it right with a comped cocktail. We sure appreciated her going out of her way to make sure we had a great dining experience. We're pretty easy going diners, but as old restaurant pros, that extra touch really makes a difference with us.
However, I thought this little greeter at the front door was a touch creepy.
We will definitely return to Oddfellows Burger Kitchen - there are still more burgers to try! If you find yourself in Ames, Iowa, stop in yourself and let us know what you thought of Oddfellows. It's hard to know what will make it in a college town, but this is one place we hope is around for awhile.
Oddfellows Burger Kitchen
823 Wheeler St.
Ames, IA 50010
Open 11am - 2pm Daily for lunch
Open at 4pm for dinner
Saturday open 11am - 11pm
Sunday open 11am - 9pm
Lounge open late
Menus and more information at www.oddfellowsburgerkitchen.com