Friday, November 15, 2013

Kerp's Pub in Carroll, Iowa

Kerp's Tavern does not look like much from the outside, just a sign reading KERPS FOOD COLD BEER DRINKING WISKEY. I couldn't find much about this place on my internet searches. A recent tip on foursquare about homemade tenderloins here put this tiny bar on my radar for my next stop in Carroll.

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

Also on the menu: Its a real basic bar food menu with low prices. There are burgers and fried stuff, and pizzas with names like "Pizza Lovers" and another pizza that claims to have nine meats piled on top. Daily specials are just $6.00

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. 

Kerp's on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Hub Towne House in Burlington, Iowa

I was looking at the website of the Burlington Hawkeye newspaper and found an article about an old restaurant being brought back to life with new owners or refurbishings. The Town House menu claims the family restaurant has been in business since 1947. I don't know the details of who has relaunched this place or how much has changed, but they claim to have the "Towne's Best Tenderloin" so I had to make a stop.

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.

The Tenderloin: Described on the menus as the Towne House Tenderloin, The pork loin was cut wide open before intense tenderizing and the butterfly shape was clearly visible. The breading formed a darker golden brown color, and had a seriously salted and seasoned breading with good crunchy texture. The trim job that left too much fat in the meat, and the super thin parts that dried out left this feeling like it could have been better. Overall 7.2 out of ten.

Price: $7.99 with a side of fries:

Also on the menu: The menu is huge with steaks, pizzas, pastas, burgers, fried foods, sandwiches, and salads. I think the reopening has added some new stuff like Buffalo Chicken Empanadas or giant homemade tacos.

Service: There is table and bar service. I was in a hurry and the place was too dark for photos, so I had to grab the sandwich to go.

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.

Final Thoughts: My guess is that people with a last name of Towne must like to name their restaurant the "Towne House." By extension, calling a homemade tenderloin "Townhouse Tenderloin" makes sense too. I wonder if any other places are doing this?

Hub Towne House on Urbanspoon