Flatted Fifth Blues & BBQ @ Potter's Mill

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1 Rating

Type: Bar, Eatery

300 Potter Dr
Bellevue, Iowa, 52031-1300
United States

(563) 872-3838 | map

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Added by mynie on 08-10-2015

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4.25/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Bellevue is a cute little town about 30 minutes south of Dubuque and 45 minutes north of Clinton. Or, lemme walk that back. It's cute-ish. It's cute to drive through. It's cute to bike around. But if you actually engage the place beyond its adorable storefronts and gorgeous river view, it's a little oppressive. Unlike, say, LeClaire, Bellevue has no pretensions toward fanciness. There's no restaurant district, no active attempts to luring in tourists. And so while it's pretty, it's often just as creepy and smallminded as the other, less aesthetically pleasing river towns one encounters traveling up and down the Mississippi. The view might be nice, yeah, but god help you if you ain't white, or if you seem the least bit faggy, or if you have an accent the locals can't quite place.

So, needless to say, my expectations were low. This place is located in an adorable barn on the far north end of town. It's one of those kinda sorta inaccessible restaurants that seem to change hands every few years. I had gone there before, in the 90s, and the experience was shitty aside from the building's facade. But, hey, the website said they had craft beer. Whatever.

Inside, it's a barbecue joint. Straightforward, with woody aesthetics. Kind of like a less ersatz Famous Daves. This actually befits a barn quite well.

The food was good. Maybe the best BBQ you can get up and down the river.

The beer, shockingly, was very good. Semi-great. Capital-E Excellent, for the area. There were about a dozen taps and they were all local! Toppling Goliath, Backpocket, Millstream, Potosi, and Galena Brewing Co, among others. They also had Surly cans and Summit and all sorts of other good stuff. There were no rares or one-offs, but the demand for good draft beer is so low in the Mississippi valley that a relatively small account can score nice kegs somewhat easily.

The vibe was welcoming, but it was just me and my mom and we're white as can be, so who knows. All I know is, this is an oasis in a beer desert. It'd be a must-visit if it were in downtown Davenport or Dubuque. It'd even hold its own in Des Moines or Minneapolis. Definitely worth stopping by if you're in the area.

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Flatted Fifth Blues & BBQ @ Potter's Mill in Bellevue, IA
Place rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 1 ratings