Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pump Haus in Cedar Falls

My last trip to downtown Cedar Falls was on a winter night when the sun went down early, but the streetlights and decoration made the business area lively and the nearly fully occupied storefronts are worth walking past and looking inside. There was even a horse-drawn buggy moving down the street that night. While browsing through online restaurant menus, one tenderloin from this area stuck with the option to have the sandwich dipped in BBQ sauce. I had to check this one out.

Location: 311 Main St in Cedar Falls, in Eastern Iowa.

Directions: Its on main street in the downtown area.

Online at:

The Tenderloin: This is listed on the menu as the PH Tenderloin. The thick layer of breading absorbed the BBQ Sauce and kept it close to the meat. The white pork had slightly above average thickness and juiciness. There was a little piece that stuck out like a finger of pork. Served on a large untoasted bun with all the fixings. Overall 7.0 out of ten.

Price: $8.49 with a side, plus 50 cents to dip it in BBQ sauce.

Also on the menu: There is a large menu with burgers, salads, and drink specials. I got the homemade chips with the tenderloin:
Service: Its table service that was typically slow as most sports bars seem to be these days.

Ambiance: This is a recently remodeled Main St. building, with exposed brick and good lighting, with tables and booths or a bar area for seating and flatscreen televisions everywhere.

Final Thoughts: The Pump Haus has a full title with Pub and Grill, and it is better than most sports bars I have visited. The lighting and small table I was sitting at meant I couldn't get any good pictures of this tenderloin. Next on my list in this neighborhood of Iowa is Newtons Paradise Cafe in downtown Waterloo. Pump Haus on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chatterbox Cafe in Audubon and the Hamburloin

The Chatterbox Cafe lives up to its name, the locals were talking up a storm with the waitresses. If you are a regular here then you can get away with calling it "The Box". The sign reads Down Home Cookin', and the menu is filled with homemade comfort food.

Location: 120 N. Division St in Audubon, in Western Iowa.

Directions: Its right on the Highway 71, the main north-south drag through town.

The Hamburloin: This isn't the biggest tenderloin you will find, but the meat is expertly trimmed and kept thick through the tenderizing process. The breading is a thin golden brown layer that locks in the pork taste. The hamburger was alright, it may have been locally grown meat. The whole thing dragged through the garden, topped with enough vegetables to add moisture to the bun and breading. The final product had a "leaning tower" effect that comes with many sandwiches with toppings stacked up. Served on a toasted bun. Overall 8.193 out of 10.

Price: 5.25, or $4.00 for just the tenderloin.

Also on the menu: Comfort food at affordable prices including a hot beef sandwich, full breakfast and homemade pies for dessert.

Service: There is a to-go counter and table seating.

Ambiance: There is a dining are with tables, decor is wood paneling with agricultural signage.

Final Thoughts: Driving past Albert the Bull on the highway through town, its easy to miss this little spot. It sorta fits you would find a tenderloin with a burger on top in a town with a giant bull beside the road. I think this one holds up against the Uptown Cafe a few blocks away in Audubon, as well as Darell's Place in Hamlin and The Red Barn further down Highway 71 in Exira.

Chatterbox Cafe on Urbanspoon