Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dairy Mart in Glidden

From the outside, Dairy Mart has all of the looks of a classic Lincoln Highway roadside Ice-Cream shack. The signs covering the building mention homemade tenderloins at least three times in large letters. This was not the kind of place I could just drive past. According to Wikipedia, Glidden is the hometown of Merle Hay, the man the mall in Des Moines was named after. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of a giant rooster across the parking lot.

Location: Google maps only lists a post office box, but one online index says 325 E 9th, but its on Highway 30 in Glidden, (population 1,253) in Carroll County, Western Iowa.

Directions: This is on the road to Carroll. Its on the south side of the highway, just east of town. Look for the rooster, or the giant ice-cream cone on top of the building.

The Tenderloin: This was a pretty good size, about eight ounces after cooking, for the price they ask for. The grain of the pork loin was still present after tenderizing, the whole thing just wasn't that tender. The thin pork bent upwards and extended just beyond the bun. The signs advertise this as a great homemade tenderloin, but its more of a value model based on my sample. Overall 7.0 out of ten.
Price: $4.19

Also on the menu: Broasted Chicken, Burgers, and a full ice-cream and malt dessert selection. I suspect the Triple Veggie Burger is just three hamburgers topped with vegetables.
Service: There is table and counter service inside, and a walk-up window during the summer.

Ambiance: The owner takes good care of this place to keep it looking like a classic Lincoln Highway stop for food and ice-cream. The inside is a little cramped with smaller tables and seats, but that is just how authentic roadside places are.
Final thoughts: The Dairy Mart is a well-maintained and classic-looking ice-cream stand beside the Lincoln Highway. The tenderloin is homemade, but not really anything special. This place is worth stopping in for the Ice-Cream or other menu items. There are a few restaurants in Carroll I need to check out on my next trip to this part of Iowa.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Kelly's Little Nipper in Des Moines

Sometimes known simply as Kelly's, or Kelly's Bar on Grand. This pub 'n grub in the Mexican Main Street of East Grand Avenue serves up big portions of greasy food at low prices for a working class crowd.

Location: 1701 East Grand Ave. in Des Moines.

Directions: If you get off the freeway around E. 14th and find Grand Ave. Kelly's is on the south side of the street.
The Tenderloin: This sandwich starts with about twelve ounces of pork loin, so size is not an issue here. Its pounded to get soft without being too thin. The breading is thick and crunchy, crumbs scatter all over the place. Soft edges of the sandwich are pulled off easily. Meat is white inside throughout. Served with the fixings on a large portion of soft bread cut in front of you. Overall 8.0 out of ten.

Price: $4.95
Also on the menu: The specialy is the one-pound sausage sandwich, there is also something named the Killer Burger. Onion Rings are hand breaded.

Service: you can wait at a table or booth, but its faster to go straight to the counter. Everything goes through the same tiny grill, so it can take up to half an hour to get your food at busy times.
Ambiance: This bar has been in operation for a long time, I think the sign says since 1929 or something. the age shows in the woodwork and the decades-old beer advertisements. There are booths, tables, and a counter to eat and drink. There is a picnic table in back for when the weather is warm.

Final Thoughts: This stretch of East Grand is packed with authentic Mexican restaurants, Kelly's is like a hold out here that has been around for a long time. Don't let the humble exterior fool you, this is a great place for greasy grub. Since Micheals in Beaverdale closed, this may have found itself in the rare company of the best tenderloins in the city of Des Moines.

Kelly's Little Nipper on Urbanspoon