Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Gasthaus Bar in Cherokee & the Wholly Pig

I went into The Gasthaus expecting an authentic German restaurant, or guest house, tucked into Western Iowa. Its turned out to be more of just a small town bar and grill. I was really hoping to get a chance to practice sprechen zie Deutsch, but it just wasn't meant to be. The Gasthaus won an Honorable Mention in the 2010 IPPA Pork Tenderloin Sandwich Contest.

Location: 214 W. Main St in Cherokee, Western Iowa.

Directions: Its right on Main St. in Cherokee and just half a block West of Highway 59.

Online at: Facebook page is HERE.

The Wholly Pig: This is described on the menu as their award winning tenderloin topped with sliced ham, bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion.The tenderloin and breading was already salty enough before the ham and cheese were piled on top. Juice from the pork loin combined with the bacon added a decent richness and fattiness that most breaded loins don't have. The cheese was just regular sandwich topping.

Price: $12.49 with a side of fries, the regular tenderloin with fries is $8.29

Also on the menu: No real German food but there are eclectic choices like German titled burgers named Heidelburger, Wurzburger, Burgermeister, Duesenburger or Hindenburger, seafood and steaks, even Mexican food.

Service: It was seat yourself and table service when I stopped in. Not much else to say here.

Ambiance: This is a small town main street bar with walls filled with old signs and antiques. There is a bar area and small booths for seating.

Final Thoughts: I always have to think about whether its worth loading up on the toppings and whether I will ever make it back to try the basic sandwich. So many places are putting the same thing on top of their tenderloins, I just wish someone would put something a little more interesting.
The Gasthaus Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dinky Diner in Decatur City, Iowa

Nothing beats visiting classic rail car diners while driving through small towns in Iowa. The Dinky Diner in Decatur City has been serving consonance and comfort food since the building was moved here around 2005. 

Location: 104 NE 4th St in Decatur City, Decatur County, Southern Iowa. Its about sixty miles south of Des Moines.

Directions: Just a few hundred feet East from exit 12 when taking I-35 into Southern Iowa.

The Tenderloin: This one felt like seven or eight ounces when I lifted it up. The meat was in an odd pounded out shape, I had had tenderloins here before in the usual triangle shape. The breading was crunchy and golden brown but some parts were cooked more than others and showed in the darker coloration. Served on a large toasted bun with your choice of fixings. Overall 7.5 out of ten.

Price: $6.50 with a side of ridged potato chips.

Also on the menu: There is a daily menu with the usual boring stuff like burgers, there is full breakfast made fast, and then there is the Menu Board:
Notice the choice of salads, including butter beans, pea salad, and broccoli & cauliflour. I was able to grab a picture of the pies waiting to be served:

Service: There have been at least three people here each time I visited. Its table and counter service with a register to pay by the door.

Ambiance: The Dinky Diner is a later model of the Valentine prefab diner known as the "Double Deluxe", meaning its twice as big as most others with straight edges and corners. There are small booths to go along with the counter seating, and the whole place is spacious compared to other pre-fab diners.

Final Thoughts: Decatur City is twelve miles north of the state line, the second exit from the state border on I-35. I was sure I could find another on my trip south. My next stop in this area will probably be the Sale Barn Cafe in Lamoni, off the first exit on I-35.

Dinky Diner on Urbanspoon