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.