Monday, March 30, 2009

Kay's Kafe in Corning

On a late night driving back from Nebraska, this place greeted me with a bright neon "Open" sign. The first place I tried on a cold Monday night was closed, so this was my last chance in this trip to grab a tenderloin.

Location: 608 Davis Ave. in Corning, Iowa (population 1,783). Its about 70 miles southeast of Des Moines in Adams County.

Directions: Corning about a mile north of the busy state highway between Creston and Red Oak. Take 148 into town and follow signs marking the business district.
The Tenderloin: This was described on the menu as "Homemade Breaded Loin" sandwich. My plate arrived with a steak knife to cut the sandwich into easily lifted halves. The edges clearly bent upwards. The breading was a little to fine for me, meaning no crumbs fell to the table. The meat was bright white and soft. Served with fixins on a toasted bun. Overall 6.5 out of ten.

Price: $4.25 ala carte
Also on the menu: The fries are homemade, also serving steaks and hot beef with daily specials.

Service: Seat yourself table service with one waitress and one cook when I arrived towards closing time.

Ambiance: This is a small town diner in a cute main street with furnishings to get a homestyle look with family pictures and simple decorations. The "Kafe" is connected to a bar next door.Final Thoughts: Corning is an alright place to stop off while driving through southwest Iowa. The mainstreet are has many small shops to check out. This isn't exactly a destination tenderloin, but it kept my craving in check as I drove home.
Kay's KAFE on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 9, 2009

No Name Cafe in Promise City

Promise City may have the most optimistic name in all of Southern Iowa. I had looked in every restaurant in the nearby metropolis of Corydon, but found no notable tenderloins. A trip to Seymour meant I had to drive past this cafe twice. The owner's of the No Name Cafe refurbished a vacant building and now operate the only restaurant for several miles around. Sure, they had a hand-breaded tenderloin. But further down the menu was a colossal pork sandwich that I could not refuse.

Location: 101 N Center St in Promise City (population 105) in Wayne County, Iowa. Located between Corydon and Centerville.

Directions: Take Highway 2 East from I-35, past Leon and Corydon. The cafe on the main street, the only busy street in town, facing the parking lot the the community center.
The Tyson Whole Hog Tenderloin: I ordered this and sat down for a while as it cooked. Soon I heard the younger waitress asking the other what to do with a sandwich that wouldn't fit in the to-go container. I took it without closing the lid over, because I had what I wanted. This was a big sandwich packed with pork. The tenderloin was hand-breaded, tenderized at the local meat locker. It was much thicker in the center with good chewy consistency. the ham was thick and moist, the bacon was fatty and good. The two slices of cheese tasted like Kraft singles, but were melted just right to make the meats stick together. All served on a bun that was cold, but the bun was just an edible napkin here.

Price: $6.50, regular tenderloin $4.50, "Cajun Tenderloin" also available for $4.75.
Also on the menu: Full breakfast, with burgers and sandwiches. Today's special was sweet-potato fries.

Service: Seat yourself wherever you want, I think this was a husband and wife operation, with a twenty-something daughter who helped with working the tables.
Ambiance: The Cafe itself was about as humble as its name implied.There were tables, booths, and a counter for seating. The high ceilings of the old building were nice, good natural light come through the windows.

Final Thoughts: This is a dangerous sandwich. I eventually recovered from eating this gigantic hunk of hot pork. These sorts of things are just goofy additions to the menu for people who can't get enough. I do not recommend eating a sandwich like this while driving. Its best enjoyed in an environment where a heart attack can be treated promptly.
No Name Cafe on Urbanspoon