Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Menlo Cafe in Menlo Iowa

I had driven along the White Pole Road without ever really knowing the significance, just wondering why the poles were painted white. The road connects five small towns close to the interstate in West Central Iowa. On the main drag through Menlo, the coffee cup painted on the window is an indication that the Menlo Cafe is the local gathering place for small town people wanting a big breakfast.

Location: 502 Sherman St in Menlo, population 352, about forty miles west of Des Moines in Guthrie County.

Directions: Menlo is along a stretch of State Highway 925 known as White Pole Road, and is about 2 miles off of I-80. Menlo Cafe is along the main street through town.

Online at: no website for the Menlo Cafe, but check out the White Pole Road.

The Tenderloin: The sandwich felt like six or seven ounces of pork when I lifted it up. The meat inside was bright white and moist throughout. The fine textured breading had a light yellow color and just a touch of seasoning. Served on a huge flour-dusted bun with your choice of fixings, overall 7.8 out of ten.

Price: $6.00 with ridged potato chips.

Also on the menu: This place does breakfast six days a week, including a Sunday buffet. The usual burgers and sandwiches are here, along with daily specials. My research leading me to this place led me to believe there would be butterscotch pie on the menu. But the dessert board had only slices of cake

Service: There were a couple kids waiting tables when I was in. Each table had a pitcher of water frequently refilled.
Ambiance: This is a main street small town cafe that has been redone over the years and just looks out of date. The seating area is large and can accommodate groups.

Final Thoughts: The Menlo Cafe gives people the small town Iowa cafe experience in a place not far from Des Moines. If you want a more impressive tenderloin, you have to drive further west to get to the award winning places out that way.

Menlo Market & Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. Anyway you have all these in a spreadsheet? I'd like to make a "Point of Interest" file for my GPS.

  2. I only have the google map and flickr page, links should be on the side of the blog. Every "good" loin should be on the map, and each flickr image is geotagged.