Shot Tower Inn

by Xavier Sanchez

Each week when deciding what place to try, I like to look at a few things. I look at the history, the ambiance, and of course, the food. Most often the restaurant I pick checks of all three boxes, but I do not limit my pick solely based on those three things. This week I traveled to downtown to the Shot Tower Inn.

The restaurant got its name from Dubuque’s Historical Shot Tower, which was used during the Civil War. The family business began in 1967 and continues to serve the same great tasting food to the greater Dubuque community. The restaurant allows you not only to dine-in but also has delivery, catering, parties and a full service bar for after-dinner drinks or watching the big game.

Shot Tower Inn has quite the selection of food. The menu ranges from appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pizza, their chicken bucket, dinner and pasta, and desserts. So if you bring a picky-eater, they will likely find something that they will want to eat.

Doing my pre-eating study, I kept coming across their chicken wings as a go-to item on the menu so I made sure I got those. They have nine different sauces which include BBQ, Bourbon, Caribbean, Chipotle, Garlic Parmesan, Hot, Sesame, Sweet Chili and Teriyaki. I was hoping to get half BBQ and half Hot but they only do that on the 20+ or more orders, not the 10. They were crispy and had great flavor. The sauce let you know its presence but also did not over-power you while eating the wings. People that walked by me kept saying, “Man I can smell those all the way over here.” (It was only about a two or three step diameter but still very noticeable).

For my main meal item, I went with the Reuben. It comes with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and mayo on grilled Russian rye bread. I swapped out mayo for the Thousand Island Dressing, because I prefer it and it completes the sandwich best. You can also get fries and coleslaw added for $1.95 extra. They give you a mountain of fries for the price.

While you are visiting, take a look around at the decor as they have plenty of unique pieces to look at from antiques, newspapers and even model cars. For the dessert lovers, before you leave try their fried ice cream to top of your day/night.

Shot Tower Inn is open all week long. The restaurant is open on Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10pm and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. or later if needed. Shot Tower Inn is located 390 Locust Street and offers free parking to all customers.

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