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“Been there, done that, likely won't return”
Review of High Life Lounge

High Life Lounge
Ranked #4 of 52 Nightlife in Des Moines
Attraction details
Reviewed December 27, 2012

I saw the High Life Lounge a few years ago on Man vs. Food. The thought of a bacon wrapped jalapeno tater tot made me absolutely giddy. When I found out I'd be in Des Moines on business, a stop at High Life was tops on my list.

The decor is great, like being transported to my Uncle's basement when I was a kid. Unfortunately the leather furniture and shag carpet seemed to have held onto every smell that has passed through the place, and the smell of cooking oil hung in the air. I had to get help on a beer choice, being a Canadian born in the late 70's ... pretty much all of the beers were "foreign" to me.

We ordered the tater tots and some deep fried pickles (WTF!?) Service was very slow, and at one point the waitress came out to tell us that they'd accidentally dropped our food on the floor so they were making a new batch. I was fine to wait, happy they hadn't just thrown the food back on a plate.

When our food arrived it was less than impressive. $7 got you 5 tator tots. Tiny ones. They were ok. Perhaps I'd spent too much time being excited about them. They were just so anti-climactic.

Our waitress was not very attentive and never checked back on us to see if we wanted anything else or more beer. I had to flag her down after she passed our empty plates several times.

1  Thank CDNJehn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (27)
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16 - 20 of 27 reviews

Reviewed June 28, 2012

This bar is as un-pretentious as they come, in fact, it's dated and tacky on purpose. The prices are also left over from the 60/70's in that you actually have money left when you leave. The food is comfort food at it's finest and again un-pretentious. You can get a cheeseburger basket for under $5 that includes fries or tater tots. I would like to try the chicken and noodles but I have always arrived too late as this sells out early. I am very comfortable here as this is the kind of bar I lived in during college. Try the broasted chicken and bacon wrapped tater tots!

1  Thank ja1800
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

If you want a place that reminds you of your Grandparent's basement, her it is. The decor is 70's beer culture. The don't serve any beer made after 1982. Thankfully, el Bait Shop is next door. The food is cheap and surprisingly tasty. The broasted chicken is fantastic, the roast beef is good, the bacon-wrapped tater tots are great, and the Velvet Elvis is just amazing. It's a fun place to take your older relatives, they'll appreciate the nostalgia.

Thank Michael R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2011

Heard about this place from co-workers decided to finally try it. I ordered the breast/wing with mac n cheese and BBQ baked beans - everything was delicious! No expensive at all the whole meal $9.00. Will definitely go back there.

Atmosphere is it looks like a neighborhood bar with old time decor but remember you're not there for the decor you're there for the food.

Full Bar


1  Thank cheeks1020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2011

Service is a joke, waitresses and bartenders are basically worthless - even by 'drive-bar' standards. Bartenders will just stare into space while you stand there waving a $20 and shouting for thier attention. Waitresses are even worse. They'll spend all their time talking with each other and not doing much else. Started a tab at the bar and then moved to a table after things opened up. We go to leave and she gives me only my bill from the table and refuses to combine the totals or to walk the extra three feet to the bar register to close out my bar tab. they also left a paying party of seven standing while a single individual held FIVE tables of four seats each for almost two hours -- and last week we were told that customers are not allowed to reserve tables.

Good cheap food and cheap beer on 'crappy beer night' but the staff are worthless.

1  Thank averagezak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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