This post is titled D & S Grocery in Melcher-Dallas, but the tenderloins are supplied by Northcote Meats, a locker located next door. Northcote Meats handmakes these in their locker, and supplies restaurants in the area. Many tenderloin places get their meat supplied from a local locker, some have their pork loins cut there. An award winning tenderloin restaurant may even have their supplier tenderize the loins after having cut and trimmed off site. Northcote is not some giant food processor, its just a small locker employing locals in Melcher-Dallas and specializing in tenderloins.
Location: 104 SE Main in Melcher-Dallas, Marion County, Central Iowa about 35 miles Southeast of Des Moines.
Directions: Take County HWY S45 about nine miles south from the Highway 5 and Highway 92 intersection south of Pleasantville on the road to Knoxville.
Online at: Northcote Meats has a website HERE.
The Bigfoot Tenderloin: I am pretty sure I've eaten these before at more than one place in the area around Melcher-Dallas. The shape was nearly a perfect oval from above, although one side was slightly thicker than the other. The meat felt like seven ounces or more when lifting the sandwich. The meat was a bit on the thin and gray side, but felt like it was from one piece of meat. The texture of the breading had a good crunch, but with no seasoning or spices in the mix. The whole thing felt like it needed all the fixings plus ketchup and mustard to make it taste alright.
Also on the menu: There is a smaller tenderloin, tons of fried stuff and burgers. The rural Iowa versions of Mexican fluffy tacos and nachos seemed popular with the locals.
Service: The D & S Grocery has two ladies working the counter with another in the kitchen area, food taken to your table when its ready. Northcote next door will process your pork, beef, or deer.
Ambiance: This is a small town grocery and fast food stop which had a flow of locals in the small dining area.
Final Thoughts: My trip to Melcher-Dallas to check this out didn't change my mind about these things. They only seem fit for places that can't make one on site or don't have the combination of time, trained labor, or other things necessary to make a good tenderloin. This The Bigfoot is better than some tenderloins at places that don't make one right, and I guess its preferable to any other premade tenderloin I've found.