Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wellmans Pub on Ingersoll and the Fatboy Tenderloin

Wellmans Pub is a neighborhood bar that has been on Ingersoll for as long as I can remember. I could have sworn I came here once for a special Garlic Chicken Pizza when this place was a little different. The people who own this place operate a few other bars, and I think they changed chefs and started a new menu here recently. Wellman's Pub on Ingersoll is related to Wellman's Pub & Rooftop, the trendy dance club and singles bar in West Des Moines.

Location: 2920 Ingersoll Ave. in Des Moines

Directions: Its right on Ingersoll Ave under the big sign.

The Fatboy Tenderloin: I can't remember the menu description but this thing came out sd a tenderloin with a layer of sliced ham, two slices of cheese and a pile of onion rings on top. There was a small container with what seemed like a special sauce for the onion rings. The tenderloin underneath it all felt like a good eight ounces, and was pounded out into a butterfly shape. The breading tasted like regular bread crumbs without seasoning. The onion rings, combined with sliced red onions on top meant lots of onion taste in this sandwich. Served with all the fixings on a toasted bun.

Price: $9.99 with a side, the Sweet Potato Fries in the pictures were a dollar extra. Still a good value for so much food.
Also on the menu: There is a Cajun seasoned tenderloin, as well as burgers, salads and other stuff.

Service: I came by during the off hours and there were more servers than people. I think the patio are gets filled during the summer.
Ambiance: I could have sworn this place was renovated at some point not too long ago. The old sports stuff seemed to have moved, it was more exposed woodwork in booths with a full bar and patio seating in warm weather.

Final Thoughts: Does this sandwich make any sense on any level? A tenderloin topped with ham, cheese and onion rings? I like having a tenderloin available on Ingersoll more than just about anybody else, but I think I will stick with a regular size sandwich next time.
Wellman's Pub on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bluebird Diner in Iowa City

While cruising through restaurant websites looking for places to try, this diner in Iowa City reminded me of a place I had visited earlier in Waterloo. Bluebird Diner has a mission to serve homemade comfort food made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Between this place and Newton's Paradise Cafe in Waterloo, Eastern Iowa seems to have a couple of better, new, retro self-styled "diners" than any of the new diners I have found in Central Iowa.

Location: 330 East Market Street in Iowa City, Eastern Iowa.

Directions: Its across the street from Johns Grocery on the north side of downtown Iowa City.

Online at: their website is HERE.

The Tenderloin: In the dim light that made my photos turn out bad, the sandwich had a medium size and shape that was between a mitten and the triangular loin cut. The white meat was cut with the grain and didn't feel like it had been tenderized. There was a good cracker crunch and just a little seasoning in the breading. The whole thing just wasn't tender enough. Served with all the fixings on a soft toasted bun. Overall 7.1 out of ten.

Price: $8.75 with a side, also available grilled or blackened. They gave me a mountain of lightly seasoned fries with my sandwich.

Also on the menu: Comfort food including a full breakfast menu with burgers, sandwiches and daily specials for dinner.

I sat right in front of the Cinnamon Rolls, and figured they were worth taking a picture:
Service: It looked like two student waitresses and a cook when I visited during the off-hours. The receipt included cute phrases like "It was our tweet to serve you" and "have a pheasant day!"

Ambiance: I think this building was a paint store when I went to school in Iowa City long time ago. The exterior was designed to resemble Edward Hopper's 1942 painting Nighthawks, my camera couldn't really capture the dark light after the sun went down. The diner in Nighthawks has no door, but the Bluebird has a door with a curtain inside.

Final Thoughts: I would come back to this place to try the breakfast items that sound good like the Biscuits & Gravy or the Egg Omelet choices. I haven't spent enough time trying tenderloins in Iowa City since I last wrote up Midtown Family Restaurant a couple years ago. My list of places to check includes Hamburg Inn No.2, Shakespeare's Pub, and a long list of small town cafe's in the area. Bluebird Diner on Urbanspoon