I've been to some low-key places in my lifetime of eating well, but some places are more low-key than others. This place is humble in its exterior, without a proper name visible from outside. The only lure to the non-local is the words "Sandwich Shop" beneath a Pepsi logo on an aged sign. The locals claim this is the best tenderloin in Iowa, so I had to check it out.
Location: 14 Benton Ave. W in Albia (population 3,706), Monroe County, Southern Iowa.
Directions: This place is just off the main square in Albia.
The Tenderloin: I think they make these in batches during the lunch rush, because they had mine ready in about thirty seconds. The large bun was not toasted. The meat was warm and steamy, and tender with bright white color. The downside is the breading had seperated from the meat entirely, coming off the meat in several places. This one gets a break because of the low price, its one of the better ones you can get for less than four dollars. Overall 7.0 out of 10.
Also on the menu: Its a short menu with burgers, beefburgers, and shakes.
Service: I went to the counter, but I think there is table service too. I think the owner was behind the counter when I was there. There is a drive-thru window for ordering from the alleyway.
Ambiance: This is a small town diner. There are booths and a counter for seating.
Final thoughts: This place in Albia with a sign that just reads "Sandwich Shop" has an affordable, if unexciting, tenderloin to offer. I haven't found another good tenderloin in Monroe County, or anyplace else near here.