513 S Main St, Council Bluffs
Cost: $100 for two appetizers, two drinks, two meals, extra sides and dessert
Reservations: We made them for our Tuesday visit, but weren’t needed. However, we suggest making reservations if you go on a weekend!
Greetings, Eaters and Readers!
‘Twas my turn to pick this month’s food venture – and I had no idea where I wanted to go. So I ventured to Omaha Food Lovers – a Facebook group with a large following and plenty of recommendations – for inspiration. I kept noticing Boxer Barbeque showing up in the feed.
Now, I rarely crave BBQ, but we hadn’t blogged about smoked meats in a while – so it seemed like a good time to check out a buzzed-about barbecue joint right next door in Council Bluffs.
And if you haven’t already scrolled to the bottom of this post to see our rating … spoiler alert: Boxer Barbeque earned our esteemed Certified Good Bite.
Cinnamon Roll Martini ($9.50)
Tropical Mai Thai ($9.50)
It may have been an odd thing to drink with BBQ, but Martha couldn’t ignore the words ‘Cinnamon Roll Martini’ on the table top drink menu. So when the server came back and asked if we wanted anything besides water, she ordered one of those and I ordered the Tropical Mai Thai. Martha noted it felt like she had liquid dessert before dinner and she really enjoyed it.
My Tropical Mai Thai was strong – I suppose they’re known for that. It wasn’t quite as sweet as I hoped, but it was still good. I gradually sipped it throughout our meal.
But I agree with Martha – a bit of an odd choice to drink with BBQ. Next time I’ll opt for beer.
BBQ Nachos ($13) – crispy tortilla chips, smoked pulled pork, baked beans, nacho cheese sauce and a drizzle of sweet BBQ sauce
The BBQ nachos are what first caught my eye when I glanced at the menu. I debated getting them as my main meal, which I’ll totally do in the future. But, I got it as an app because, you know, research.
Fun – weird? – fact about me: I always dip chips in my baked beans. Sweet. Salty. Perfect. So, seeing that baked beans were featured atop these nachos – I was sold.
As simple as these non-traditional nachos were, the nacho cheese, pulled pork and beans were a tasty concoction for me. I was really happy with this choice.
Not a fan of beans, Martha still found a few prime chips, piled high with meat/nacho cheese/bbq sauce to enjoy. She agreed these could be an entire meal and mentioned that she was impressed how much meat was piled on the plate.
The server also mentioned the Smokin’ Hot Pig Nachos were a solid choice. Noted!
Bavarian Pretzels ($8.50) – salted Bavarian pretzels with pub cheese and Carolina mustard sauce
The only thing we could (but won’t) ding Boxer’s on is that the first two appetizers we tried to order were not available. Both items seemed to be affected by the nationwide supply chain issue, so it’s not something we can hold against them. Martha settled on the three mini Bavarian Pretzels, served with hot cheese sauce and a honey mustard dip. The pretzels hit the table piping hot and although she couldn’t stop thinking about the unavailable sweet potato fries with walnuts and goat cheese (curse you, supply chain!) – they were a delicious start to the evening.
Jaclyn’s Two meat combo ($23) – pulled pork, certified angus beef brisket, coleslaw & honey corn bread
When I tell you their meat falls apart like butter in your mouth … *inaudible drooling nomnom sounds here* I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed such tender meat! Simply put: WOW. This had to be the best pulled pork and brisket I’ve ever had. It was then that I looked at Martha and said, through a mouthful of juicy delicious morsels, “I think this place gets a Certified Good Bite.” She nodded in agreement between her own forkfuls; if she didn’t know exactly what words I said, she still understood – this place was gooooood.
I was delighted with my sides, too. The honey cornbread was moist like cake, as the menu promised. And the coleslaw – which I ate with bites of meat – was cool, crisp and sweet just like it should be.
Martha’s Two meat platter + extra side ($21) – pulled pork, sliced smoked chicken, mac & cheese, cheesy hash brown casserole and honey corn bread
Always a lover of all things BBQ, Martha knew she would be enjoying the 2 meat plate since I told her about my restaurant of choice a few days earlier. The question would be WHICH meats. We also both agreed that the harder decision, perhaps, was settling on just two sides. After all, isn’t loving and experiencing good BBQ as much about the sides as it is the meats?
With a full and glorious line up including potato salad, honey corn bread, cheesy hash brown casserole, baked beans, elote, baked potato and more – it was hard to choose. For a moment, I thought I’d propose we order sides to share and experience as many as we could – but Martha’s aversion to beans and an unwillingness to share these yummy sides killed that idea.
Martha ended up ordering the pulled pork and sliced smoked chicken for her two meats. She loved every bite and trying each sauce as she went. The server even brought out a local favorite – hot honey garlic – which was delicious. Martha’s sides were cheesy hash browns, mac and cheese and a slice of corn bread. All of the sides were delicious and hot – and none of them lasted very long!
Deep-fried caramel apple bread pudding ($8) – marinated apples, caramel, sugar and vanilla bean ice cream
Damn, we were full. But being the bread pudding sluts we are, we couldn’t say no to a slice of the fried caramel apple bread pudding with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Before the server could even finish asking, “Full portion or half?” we both firmly stated, “HALF!” And what a delicious belly-suffering experience it was. You had to roll us out of there, but man was it worth it.
We rarely take our food ventures to the other side of the river. We try to stay true to our motto of “finding the good bites in the good life state.” And say what you want about CB, you Omaha/Nebraska-loyalists: they have some damn good BBQ. We strongly encourage you to make your way to Main St., plop down at the community table, chat up the Boxer team, connect with our state-ly neighbors, and savor every bit of meaty heaven you can!
The Good Bite Gals