Monday, February 15, 2016

Midtown Cafe in Newton Iowa

 A lot of places have come and gone over the years in Newton but this little place with the words CAFE visible on the square has been around for as long as I can recall. This is an older diner that specializes in burgers and breakfasts that had a bunch of families eating here when I visited.

Location: 120 1st St North in Newton, Jasper County in Central Iowa.

Directions: this is on the East side of the square across the street from the County Courthouse.

Online at: facebook page is HERE.

The Tenderloin: The description simply states that this sandwich is big enough for two. This came with two buns and a side along with the fixings. The first thing is that this is big and well bigger than the usual eight ounces that most places describe as "jumbo". The problem was that this seemed to lack moisture inside and the edges were especially dry. The middle had some good white pork loin meat that was soft enough to chew through easily. The breading was crunchy but not tasty and the whole thing felt like too much time in the freezer had sucked the moisture out. Overall 7.0 out of ten.

Price: $8.99 with a side

Also on the menu: Diner food classics like burgers or sandwiches. There is a full breakfast selection with an dish named The Annihilator, and more than one food challenge.

Service: its seat yourself table service with tables and booths and a counter in the back.

Ambiance: This is an old space with old fixtures and furniture in an old building known as The Midtown Building.

Final Thoughts: I had driven through Newton so many times over the years that I couldn't count. but finding a good tenderloin has eluded me. I had tried an old diner beside the Maid Rite, and I wanted to stop at a racing themed bar on the East side of town. But that place was closed on a Sunday when I was driving through, like how many racing themed bars are closed on Sunday? I remember when there was an Argentine steakhouse called Gauchos just a block of the square and I never made it in and now its been gone for ten years now.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Westside Family Restaurant in Grinnell Iowa

I haven't had the best of luck searching for tenderloins in Grinnell. I had a lousy tenderloin at the Dari Barn years ago, and lots of places have come and gone since then. Westside Restaurant seems to have persevered as a family dining option on this part of Grinnell for a long time now.

Location: 229 6th Ave West in Grinnell Iowa about an hour east of Des Moines.

Directions: This is on old Highway 6 on the western side of Grinnell.

Online at: Website is HERE.

The tenderloin: The cut was a little on the thin side but the meat was moist throughout. The breading had a light crunchiness and not much taste but had a good golden brown color. Served on a soft bun with your choice of fixings overall 7.5 out of ten.

Price: $6.95 a la carte

Also on the menu: full breakfast in the morning, homemade pies and a huge lunch and dinner selection like steaks or burgers or seafood.

Service: Its table service by some long serving waitresses.

Ambiance: The website says this location was a A&W Drive-In a long time ago, and it looks lika a dated eighties or older renovation. There are booths or tables in the dining area.

Final Thoughts: My attempts at finding a good tenderloin in Grinnell had been mostly frustration, I think I had one at a pizza place a long time ago, and I had tried Montgomery's Sandwich Shop but they didn't have a homemade loin. I may have to try the racing themed bar down the road in Newton on Highway 6 for my next stop.