At Twin Peaks, everything sounds dirty.
From a mixed drink called Sex on the Peaks to a sandwich dubbed the Mile High Club, Des Moines’ latest shameless ‘breasteraunt’ leaves little to the imagination, and that’s the point.
We arrived at Twin Peaks at about 5:15 p.m. on its first Friday night. We were greeted with a high-pitched welcome from an enthusiastic group of “lumber Jills,” the nickname given all female workers, which is, well, pretty much all of them. One of my two dining partners was lassoed with a hoola hoop by one of the hostesses, trapping him inside the plastic ring with a lanky local dressed in a red plaid bikini top and cheek-hugging, belted khaki shorts with a gigantic bedazzled belt buckle. We were led through the cavernous mountain lodge-inspired space, past the sign prohibiting beaver trapping to a low-top table near the back of the restaurant. It’s admittedly a lot of ridiculousness to fit into the first two minutes of our experience at Twin Peaks.
The West Des Moines locale is the latest in a franchise spanning 10 states; the first was opened in Texas in 2005. The concept is relatively simple: provide a manly and rugged atmosphere adorned with taxidermy and fill it with half-naked female waitresses and bartenders, 29 degree mugs of beer and a sea of televisions on the walls, suspended from ceilings and accessorizing booths. Get the idea? Twin Peaks is the ultimate man cave.
From my seat in Twin Peaks, I could easily and comfortably watch 17 different televisions. That’s not an exaggeration. We ordered “man-size” beers, a Sam Adams seasonal and the Dirty Blonde, which were so cold that ice crystals formed inside our gigantic frozen mugs and quickly flooded our hopeless coasters.
A dining partner and I decided to split two appetizers, opting for the Average Joes and chipotle queso and chips. Average Joes are three mini jalapeno and cheddar bratwursts on fresh buns adorned with Dijon mustard and smokehouse pico, served on a cast iron skillet. It’s a perfectly-sized appetizer that’s tasty and has a kick that won’t overwhelm even the most sensitive of palates. We immediately regretted our decision to not opt for the spicy taco meat in our queso. Without it, the cheese is just, well, cheese; some of it didn’t melt and was clumped at the bottom. But the flavor was there and it’s a promising start to an app that definitely requires an add-on.
Still hungry and with our mouths watering at the sight of the soccer ball-sized mounds of pulled pork nachos arriving at nearly every table but ours, we give into peer pressure. At $7.75 they’re a steal, with a tower of chips covered in saucy pulled pork, smokehouse pico and chipotle sour cream. Pulling chips from the pile was like a game of Jenga — though a fresh and welcome spin on a classic, all of the toppings were relegated to the top of the pile, so when the toppings ran out we were left with plain old tortilla chips.
The building that now houses Twin Peaks has been a veritable revolving door over the years, but between the sexy uniforms, the ice cold beer, the sea of televisions and food that easily trumps the other breasteraunt in town, this chain has plenty of reasons to be embraced by Des Moines’ male populace. And if you think about it, you could likely come up with one (or two) more reasons.
Find it: 4570 University Ave.
Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight
Sunday through Thursday;
11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday
Info: 528-8294; www.twinpeaksrestaurant.com