The area between Iowa Falls and Waterloo is home to the Townhouse Supper Club in Wellsburg. The winner of the 2006 IPPA Pork Tenderloin Sandwich Competition is found here. Since Highway 20 was rerouted a few years back, this place is now closer to the state highway. This is a town you won't want to drive past.
Location: 520 North Adams St. in Wellsburg (population 716 in 2000 Census), on the edge of Grundy County a couple hours drive north and east of Des Moines.
Directions: Take Highway 20 between Iowa Falls and Waterloo, go south at Wellsburg exit, look for tenderloin sign in picture.
The Tenderloin: The first thing you notice about this is how thick it gets. It must be an inch thick at one side of the sandwich. The breading is exceedingly crunchy with many crumbs falling out. The meat is tenderized, but still firm, forming its own layer which separates from the breading on both sides upon entering your mouth. It will take a while to chew through any bite of the thick portion. There was a moderate amount of fatty parts in the tenderloin which don't take too much away from the sandwich. Served with fixings on a toasted bun. 9.0/10
Price: $7.25 for dinner with side, $4.80 a la carte during lunch.
Also on the menu: Regular diner fare, including burgers, steaks, fish, chicken, and onion rings.
Service: Seat yourself with waitresses always closeby.
Ambiance: There is pride in the tenderloin, evidenced by the clearly displayed newspaper clipping of the IPPA award. Tank tops and shirts pronouncing the best tenderloin award are everywhere. The wood-paneled walls are covered in pictures of race cars. Speed Network is playing on the TV in front. Many patrons were making orders for takeaway.
Final Thoughts: This is an amazing tenderloin. It is definitely worth turning off of the state highway. It is incredibly thick and big. This establishment is closed from 3 to 5PM, so plan accordingly. There must be some form of small industrial organization here, as they claim to have sold over seventeen thousand tenderloins in just over two years. This is in a town of just over seven hundred people. The owners of this place take it on the road in for County and State Fairs, it may come to a town near you. If that won't happen soon enough, you can order by mail from their website: http://townhousesupperclub.com/index.htm