Location: 304 W 2nd St in Prairie City, about 18 miles east of Des Moines in Jasper County, Central Iowa.
Directions: You take East University from Des Moines, it turns into Highway 163 and Goldies is just past Casey's from the Prairie City exit.
Online at: There is a facebook page
The Tenderloin: This has to be at least eight ounces after cooking. The lightly seasoned breading forms some gigantic crumbs on the edges. The meat is very tender with a consistent texture. According to the IPPA press release, the pork loin is cut and tenderized at the meat department at Fareway in Pleasant Hill. Served with all the fixings on a large untoasted bun. Overall 8.63 out of ten.
The Mingo Special: this is made with seasoned Italian Sausage from the Mingo Locker, and a slice of provolone cheese on top. I had trouble trying to eat one of these while driving, the sausage was all over the place.
The Magg Combo: This is a tenderloin topped with a cheeseburger. The ground beef is from the nearby family farm run by the Magg family, processed at the Mingo Locker. This one works better as a sandwich than the other combo deal. Each one gets a good melt job on top of the beef.
Price: $5.50 for the regular tenderloin a la carte, or $7.75 for one of the combo sandwiches. The prices haven't changed since at least 2008.
Also on the menu: There are daily specials to go with the usual burgers and salads, a full ice cream selection. The feature dessert item seems to be the Suicide Twister. The drive-thru window sells coffee in the morning. The menu used to have a note reading "we sell farm raised steaks!"
The PC Dog: This is a cheese stuffed hot dog wrapped in bacon:
The Chili Cheese Fries: these came in a little bowl. For a small extra price you can get lightly battered "Goldies Fries".
The Fried Cauliflower: I never forget the vegetables.
The Tenderloin Strips: This was described on the menu as a tenderloin without a bun, cut into strips. I guess this is for people allergic to buns, or on low carb diet plans:
Service: Its table service with mostly old ladies waiting tables. There is a walk-up window and drive-thru for ice cream orders. In the mornings this place serves coffee, PC PERK, from the drive-thru window.
Ambiance: Its not much from the outside, but the interior is brighter with the classic ice cream shop look, and specials written on a chalkboard. There are a few booths and tables, plus a counter for seating. When the weather is good you can sit at picnic tables outside. Since the IPPA award last fall, its been tough to get a place to sit.
Final Thoughts: I put this place on my own list of the best tenderloins near Des Moines after trying the two sandwiches that were tenderloins with toppings. I've seen the owner a few times running around the kitchen, and understand he is an advocate of small towns in Iowa. As a general rule, I think you get a better sandwich experience in the small town cafes and places like this then at any big or expensive restaurant in Des Moines. I recommend picking up the Magg Combo to anyone on the road to Pella.
Update April 2011:
Goldies was featured on the second season of IPTV's Iowa's Simple Pleasures, the above screengrab is the former owner and founder, Golda.
Check out the video here.
Or visit the show page: