Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ted's Coney Island West in Urbandale

Ted's Coney Island has been serving Greek American fast food in Des Moines for decades, first downtown and later on Ingersoll Avenue. The Ingersoll location has advertised tenderloins on their sign but has served the pre-formed frozen ones for as long as I can remember. Their location in Urbandale has been around for just a couple years. Recently, a chalkboard reading NOW SERVING HOMEMADE TENDERLOINS appeared beside the menu board.

Location: 2667 86th St in Urbandale, in the Des Moines Suburbs. I thought this was in Clive, then I looked at a map and found out its in Urbandale.

Directions: This is in the Westmark Plaza II strip mall with Hobby Haven and its toy race car dirt track on the corner.

The Tenderloin: You get a real good size pork loin for your money, it feels like about eight ounces. The meat is only slightly tenderized, the grain is still visible. The breading forms a thick layer. The whole thing has good thickness, only thin on the edges. Fried to a golden brown with ketchup, mustard, onions, and pickles. Overall a good 7.0 out of ten.

Price: $4.85, add $3 to make a basket with fries, onion rings and slaw to make a complete meal.

Also on the menu: Greek American fast food favorites including gyros, coney dogs, grilled burgers, chili, and falafel.

Papa Joe's Pizza Loin: This sandwich includes a Italian Sausage patty with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and Italian Peppers on top of a tenderloin. The Italian Sausage is served at more places in Des Moines than the pork tenderloin, so it is only natural to combine the two. Its priced to sell at $5.95.

Service: Its counter service with food brought to your table.

Ambiance: Both locations have an upscale fast food setting with high ceilings and good lighting. This place is not a dive.

Final thoughts: Its always good to see a restaurant replace a frozen tenderloin with a homemade one. The Pizza Loin is a good addition to the topped tenderloin selection, because it uses the next most popular sandwich in Des Moines. I would like to see the Ingersoll Avenue location serve these homemade sandwiches as well.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Glenn in Manchester

I have visited Manchester several times before and had never found much of anything to eat beyond the Pizza Ranch before I found this place. Its tucked inside a high rise office building in downtown Manchester.

Location: 222 S. Franklin St. in Manchester, Eastern Iowa.

Directions: Its a block south of the main east-west street through the center of town, on the first floor of a tall building.

The Tenderloin: The dim lights meant my photos turned out poorly. The meat takes the classic three point pork loin cut shape. The menu describes this sandwich as "hand pressed", and a guy who looked like the manager or owner told me he personally presses the seasonings into each of the pork loins after tenderizing. What you get is layers of crunchiness in the breading and more noticeable taste in the seasoning. There were no gaps between the breading that occur in the larger, thicker tenderloins. Overall I prefer the thicker varieties, but this one was worth checking out 7.0 out of ten.

Price: $5.25 a la carte, served on a toasted bun..

Also on the Menu: Its the regular diner fare for breakfast and lunch with some Mexican entrees available for dinner. Since my visit they added a huge sandwich, the Westcott Tower, which they claim is the tallest sandwich in Delaware County.

Service: Table service seemed to be the only way to go.

Ambiance: This is another family restaurant that looks like it was decorated by someone's grandmother. They seem to pride themselves on cleanliness.

Final thoughts: The website claims The Glenn is "A Relaxing Place to Dine", and promotes the family friendly atmosphere. I can't argue with that. Their tenderloin takes an approach that is thin with pork but packed with crunchiness and seasoning. If there is a better tenderloin in Delaware County, I have not found it.