Sunday, December 15, 2013
Noticing a pork tenderloin served hot beef style, with mashed potatoes and gravy, on the menu made this place a must stop on my latest trip through Redfield.
Location: 904 1st St in Redfield, Dallas County, just West of Adel in Central Iowa.
Directions: Redfield is on Old Highway 6 just a few miles West from Adel, it can also be reached from Exit 100 off of I-80 to the south.
Online at: Website with menu is HERE.
Also on the menu: Its a small diner and pub menu with burgers, sandwiches, prime rib, and some healthy options like salads or wraps. There was a special cooler filled with homemade pies that looked delicious.
Service: The place was not two busy but there were two servers working the tables and a cook in the back.
Final Thoughts: The height made for good presentation, but I would get the regular tenderloin next time I am here.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
The Suburban Cafe had been serving up homemade American comfort food for fifty years now. Its a significant milestone that few places reach, and few communities can claim a place like this one. The facebook page announced a closing on October 31, and KCCI reported a closing date of Novermber 16th soon after. Visiting the restaurant in its last week meant being greeted with a placemat with this message:
Location: 17029 Highway 69 North in Gilbert, just north of Ames in Central Iowa.
Directions: You can take Grand Ave. north from the mall in Ames, and come from Highway 69 to Gilbert Corner just outside Gilbert.
Online at: Looks like their website is down, but their Facebook page is HERE for now.
|Grilled Pork Tenderloin|
|Breaded Pork Tenderloin|
Price: $8.50 for the grilled loin, and $9.50 for the breaded loin each with a side.
Also on the Menu: The specialty is fried chicken, but there are daily specials like hot beef sandwiches or chicken fried steak. The homemade desserts are listed on a Pie Board by the door, including triple layer cakes, brownies and cream pies. I was able to grab a slice of the Peach Pie topped with whipped cream on my last visit:
Final Thoughts: I have to admit I was a little slow in getting around to writing about Suburban Restaurant. I always seemed to be driving past in the late afternoon when the restaurant was closed. The midday sun always cast some awkward shadows that made the exterior pictures look bad. I just didn't get it together until the place had already announced they were closing. Places like this never actually get replaced and they never last forever anyway. Ames has been a consistently tough place for me to find what I am looking for, but I hope to have something new to blog about from Ames soon enough.
|Its all over.|
Friday, November 15, 2013
Location: 223 E. 5th St. in Carroll, on the Lincoln Highway in Western Iowa.
Directions: This is on the east side of the main business area, get here from Highway 30 and turning south on Clark or Court streets
The Tenderloin: this one was not big upon initial inspection. It had been butterfly cut yet the loin meat was extra thick. The juiciness was above average and the grain of the meat was only partly broken by the tenderizing. Breading had some salt and pepper and a crisp exterior. Served on a steamy warm bun, this was good bar food. Overall 7.9 out of ten.
Price: $4.50 a la carte
Service: Its small town bar service from the counter, I guess there is table service too. I think the other people here were regulars and the waitresses made conversation.
Ambiance: This is a low key bar with a dark interior, beer signs and sports stuff on the walls, and a pool table in the back. There is seating at the bar or tables.
Final Thoughts: I think I had tried tenderloins at a sports bar and an ice cream fountain in Carroll over the years and neither seemed worth writing about. I wouldn't put this one on the same level as the places farther south on Highway 71, but it a good tenderloin at a good price in an unexpected place.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Location: 112 N. Main St. in Burlington, Des Moines County in Southeast Iowa.
Directions: Its the last exit before the bridge over the river, on the east side of downtown Burlington.
Online at: facebook page is HERE.
Price: $7.99 with a side of fries:
Ambiance: The outside looks old, like the vintage decades old signage in a yellow and blue color scheme. The interior was recently renovated with a long bar area, flatscreen televisions, and tables for groups.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I've driven through Boone once or twice but rarely made it North from the main intersection with the freeway or the Dutch Bakery on the South edge of the downtown area. The Legal Limits won an honorable mention in the 2011 Best Tenderloin Contest held by the IPPA. This meant I had to drive up north of Mamie Eisenhower to check this bar out.
Location: 702 Allen St in Boone, Iowa, about an hour drive north and west from Des Moines.
Directions: You drive up Story St from the 4 way stop on Highway 30, through downtown, and turn right on Allen St.
Online at: Facebook page is HERE.
Price: $8.25 in a basket with a side, I went with the seasoned waffle fries..
|Seasoned Waffle Fries|
|Eating in at the Legal Limit|
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Is there any single tenderloin place more legendary than the original Joensy's in Solon? These people had been promoting their claim to the Biggest and Best Tenderloin in Iowa for as long as anyone can remember. The other locations have been thriving for years in Cedar Rapids and Center Point, operated by members of the Joens family. The old location was a true small town dive that I always had on my list of places to visit eventually. Its closure came as a surprise, I had only visited the Center Point location and hadn't made revisiting enough of a priority. The convenience of the Iowa City location made a visit incredibly easy while driving through Eastern Iowa.
Location: 2563 N. Dodge St in Iowa City in Eastern Iowa, its just 9 miles south on the road from the original location in Solon.
Directions: This is just a half a block off the Interstate at the Highway 1 North Dodge St. exit north of Iowa City.
Online At: Facebook page is HERE.
Final Thoughts: Joensy's goes way back, and its Solon location was a destination for Iowa City and Cedar Rapids people for years. The claim of Biggest and Best Tenderloins drew plenty of visitors but I don't know how many were regulars or just passers by. Its almost a sign of the times that a microbrewery could afford to buy out their old building, raze it to the ground, and construct a new one in its place. The attentive manager told a few patrons about Hawkeye football players stopping in recently, that might explain some things.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Location: 120 N. Jackson St. in Brooklyn, Iowa just an hour west of Des Moines.
Directions: Jackson St is the Main St. reaching town from Highway 6, or you can get here from I-80 and taking county roads.
Online at: facebook page is HERE.
The Tenderloin: Listed as The Low Rider on the menu, the description claims this is cut fresh and pan fried to order. Only a handful of places make the pan fried claim, and nothing on the menu here is deep fried. The breading was crispy and flaky in some areas, and warmed to a "toasty" texture without much flavor in other parts that turned a deep black. The juiciness was great, and every part was thick with pork and juice. Overall 8.0 out of ten.
Price: $7.00 with a bag of potato chips.
Also on the menu: The full ice cream menu and deli sandwiches and paninis make up most of the menu. They don't just churn out the usual fried stuff. Check out the Pie Board for homemade pies:
Ambiance: This is an old Main St building that was renovated and reopened in 2012. There is a long counter along with tables for seating. High ceilings, old fixtures, and Grant Wood prints on the walls make this place look good.
Final Thoughts: The Insterstate offramp for the Brooklyn exit used to have an old fashioned service station and a diner named Brooklyn 80. It had been there for a long time but I never got around to making a stop. One day it was gone and replaced with a new gas station that since shuttered its doors, so I never made it there. Its always great to see a new place open up in a town you've driven past over and over again before.