Monday, October 15, 2012

Trojan Inn in Toledo, Iowa

The Trojan Inn recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, operating first on the Toledo square and in its current location since 1994. That is a long time in any community, and this small cafe has some clear staying power. A recent write up in the Cedar Rapids Gazette claimed visitors from other states would return to the Trojan Inn to buy tenderloins. Another local paper gave the Trojan Inn an award for best tenderloin in the area.

Location: 127 E High St in Toledo, Tama County, in Eastern Iowa

Directions: E High runs south of the square, and the cafe is half a block east of the Courthouse. Toledo has some odd traffic lights attached to the ground in the middle of the street, so be careful.

The Tenderloin: The lady serving me claimed that these are usually wider, but the preparation and tenderizing was done by an old lady who couldn't hit the pork loin as hard as she used to. I really didn't know what to think about a story like that, the loin looked perfectly huge already. It felt like eight ounces of pork in a triangular cut of loin meat. The breading felt thick and crunchy but had little seasoning. The edges were a little dry to my taste. Overall 7.0 out of ten.

Price: $7.20

Also on the Menu: There is a large menu of scratch cooking that included burgers, melt sandwiches, ice-cream and a full breakfast selection. There was a window fridge with homemade pies to choose from that looked great.

Service: It seemed to be just a couple old ladies working when I was in. One was waiting tables, the other was cooking.

Ambiance: This is another place that is clearly old but the current location hasn't been a restaurant for too long. There is an old counter and aging woodwork along with wood paneled booths for seating.

Final Thoughts: I always sympathize with the small cafes that have the bad luck of a casino opening nearby. The casino hits a local place two ways: first by taking the disposable income of so many locals, secondly by opening competing food places that serve at below cost as competition. Its a hard time finding good places to eat in the many casino towns. I recently read the visually iconic King Tower Cafe in Tama has come under new ownership. My last visit didn't go so well, but it may be time to try it again.
Trojan Inn on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment