Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mary Jo's Hobo House in Britt

While driving through northern Iowa, I found a whole restaurant dedicated to hobos. Its across from the old movie theatre turned into a museum to Hobos. This owner-operated cafe had to be place for a tenderloin.

Location: 72 Main Ave S in Britt, Iowa (population 2,052) about 122 miles north of Des Moines.

Directions: You take the state Highway 18 to get to Britt, and turn south on Main Street. The Hobo House is across the street from the Hobo Museum. Both are located just south of the business district, by the train tracks.
The Tenderloin: This seemed to feel like the typical 8-ounce jumbo tenderloin upon lifting. It had a shape like a big bent rectangle. The meat was barely tenderized and had minimal trimming of fat. The grain of the pork loin was felt while chewing. The breading had enough seasoning to make the whole thing interesting. Served with choice of fixins on a toasted bun. Overall 7.0 out of ten.

Price: $5.25, with fixins and side item.
Also on the menu: a full breakfast, burgers, and a "hobo philly" sandwich.

Service: Its table service, there weren't any other customers when I arrived early for lunch.
Ambiance: The walls are covered with picture of hobos and railroad junk. Many photos are autographed by members of the Hobo Hall of Fame, which I guess is in the museum nearby. For a place dedicated to hobos, it was perfectly clean and well-lit inside.

Final Thoughts: I guess this tenderloin was rugged and unsophisticated like the travelling clientele that come here each summer for the National Hobo Convention.

Mary Jo's Hobo House & Centerng on Urbanspoon


  1. As Grand Duke of Hobo's, delegate to the National Hobo Convention and occassional cook at Mary Jo's, you've made my mouth water with memories of good times and good food each August in Britt. See you at the Convention.

  2. I go by the handle of Hot Pepper Dave, I am Snapshot's brother. I have eaten at Mary Jo's but at the time I did not know anything about a Pork Tenderloin Sandwich, here or anyplace else. I have to go back and try one.

  3. Try the Red Roosters up the street.