Wednesday, July 1, 2015
I was able to try a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich at The Spot Food Truck last year, and one from Chuckie's Iowa Tenderloin Truck at the Iowa State Fair the year before, and even earlier at the mobile unit of the Townhouse Supper Club when it came to Des Moines several years ago. The latest food truck to sell breaded pork tenderloins is the Little Red Food Truck parked downtown for this summer.
Location: They have only been around for a couple months and may move around, check their social media page to know where they will be.
Directions: You can drive downtown on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and they will probably be in the sculpture park area where the other trucks are parked.
Online at: facebook page is HERE.
The Tenderloin: This was described as pork ribeye loin meat, and the bright white meat was very juicy. Panko bread crumbs gave this sandwich a classic crunchy texture. The first problem was that the loin meat was not entirely coated in the breadcrumbs, parts were just bare meat. Another was the trim job that left hunks of fat in the loin meat that were a little too big. The panko had a little salt in the taste, so something could have been added. Served with your choice of fixins on a soft bun. Overall 7.30 out of ten.
Price: $7.00 a la carte
Service: Just a walk up food truck service. There were two people inside when I stopped by.
Final Thoughts: This isn't the first food truck to try selling tenderloins in Des Moines, and there is another truck with tenderloins on the menu parked across the street. Fixings some problems with the sandwich could make this one competitive with the other tenderloins in town.
Monday, June 15, 2015
A few months ago the facebook page of The Rusty Duck in Dexter announced they would open a bar and restaurant in West Des Moines named BW's Burgers Shakes & Spirits. The Rusty Duck in Dexter had once won an award from the Iowa Cattlemen for having the best burger in Iowa, and had a runner-up award from the annual IPPA tenderloin contest. I would guess that BW is the initials of the owner of the two places.
Location: 3701 EP True Parkway in West Des Moines, Iowa
Directions: This is in a strip mall with three other restaurants that haven't been here very long, you can get to EP True by taking Grand Ave. from Des Moines.
The Tenderloin: This one had a wide oval shape with a butterfly cut in the middle. I had been here before and had a different shape. Each loin I've had here has been very thick and juicy. I've heard pounding noises from the kitchen, but the texture of the meat feels undisturbed by tenderizing. The meat inside is a bright white loin meat, and the breading is a thin crunchy layer with a hint of pepper. Served on a large and soft toasted bun with your fixins. Overall 8.2 out of ten.
Price: $10.00 with a side of fries. I got mine with cheese sauce:
Also on the menu: The menu isn't big but has steak sandwiches and burgers and other bar foods.
Service: There is a take-out counter and table service.
Ambiance: This space has had a couple restaurant tenants, the last one being a place trying to sell loosemeat burgers and hot dogs. The dining area has tables, and the patio area is open for the season.
Final Thoughts: I had been to Dexter a few times over the years, but the Rusty Duck is only open evenings and I never made it inside. If the burgers here are the same as the ones these guys serve in Dexter, then I would be interested in coming back to try one someday.
Monday, June 1, 2015
"Home of the Tool Bar" reads the entrance to 209 Bar and Restaurant in Paton. This is a relatively new sports bar that aims to bring the taste of the bigger city to tiny Paton.
Location: As you would expect from the name, it is at 209 Main St in Paton, Iowa.
Directions: Its best to take Highway 144 from Perry and take a County Road one mile into Paton.
Online at: website is HERE.
Price: $7.99 with a side.
Also on the menu: Big bar food menu with sandwiches, a salad bar, burgers and some uncommon stuff like poutine or steaks.
Service: There is a bar area and a restaurant area with table service. I got takeout from the bar.
Ambiance: This is a new place in a huge building with a dining area, a huge bar and private rooms. The bar area has televisions and beer signs and the bar itself is very modern.
Final Thoughts: I was really surprised to see such a big and new place in a small town like Paton. The locals seem to like this place enough to fill it up, as it was packed when I stopped in.
Friday, May 15, 2015
I hadn't made it to Madrid since my trip to the Town & Country Cafe in 2013. A recent recommendation to try Elmo's Bar & Grill meant that I could stop in here after a short drive from Des Moines
Location: 605 S Kennedy in Madrid, Boone County, Central Iowa.
Directions: Kennedy is the main drag through town when driving from Des Moines on Highway 17.
Online at: website is HERE.
Price: $9.50 a la carte, I went with some hand cut fries on the side for an extra two dollars.
Also on the menu: Bar food like hand pattied burgers and a giant sandwich named The Elmo. There is also Taco Tuesday and a Steak Night.
Ambiance: This is a small town bar that looks renovated with beer signs and video game machines and televisions.
Final Thoughts: Elmo's is a nice small town bar that isn't a long drive from Des Moines.
Friday, May 1, 2015
Location: 108 East Maple St in New Sharon, Mahaska County in Central Iowa.
Directions: New Sharon is best reached by taking Highway 63 from Oskaloosa or the Interstate. Scooters is half a block off the main drag on Maple Street.
Online at: Facebook page is HERE.
Price: $7.99 with a side.
Also on the menu: the menu is a gigantic with multiple pages of steaks, pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and bar foods. There is also a cajun tenderloin.
Service: There is table service in part of Scooter's or bar service at the bar.
Final Thoughts: I've been to a lot of small town bars and roadhouses and Scooters Pub is a relatively new place with a good tenderloin. I may have to update my list of the Best in Central Iowa soon to account for some new places that have opened since my last update.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
B & S 529 is a bar with a confusing name in a building that says Don's Place in the front. I've driven through Carroll Iowa plenty of times, and I couldn't remember this place being here. The IPPA listed its tenderloin as a finalist in its 2014 Best Tenderloin competition. Its right on the main drag through town, so a stop to grab a tenderloin was easy.
Location: 529 North Main St in Carroll, in Western Iowa.
Directions: Its right on one of the main corners of downtown Carroll, but watch for the storefront marked as "Don's Place".
Online at: facebook page is HERE
Price: $7.95 with a side.
Also on the menu: Its bar food with fried stuff and burgers with toppings
Service: I was in during a basketball game and the place was packed and service was slow, but that is like every bar in Iowa during basketball season.
Ambiance: This is a remodeled old bar with tons of televisions and lots of beer signage. The exterior still has the name of the last tenant, Dons Place.
Final Thoughts: This is a decent tenderloin that might be good or great if there is some kind of variance in quality or if I just caught them on a bad day. I don't think the bar itself was any better than the dive known as Kerps Pub that I visited in Carroll not too long ago.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Location: 1112 Willis Ave in Perry, Dallas County, Iowa.
Directions: Take Highway 141 north and west of suburban Des Moines, turn up Highway 144 the main road into Perry.
Online at: Website is HERE.
Price: $8.99 with a side, I went with the homemade chips.
Service: Full service with a hostess seating you, and there is a counter selling "pattee cakes" and other things.
Final Thoughts: I don't pretend to know if this incarnation of the the Hotel Pattee will stay open for the long haul. But I do know that this tenderloin will not be the make or break menu item that keeps its diner busy. Perry has some good Mexican and Latin places, and this diner seems to be banking on nostalgia to get people to visit. The space is beautiful, but the sandwich was nothing special.