Sunday, September 15, 2013

Classic Deli & Ice Cream Shoppe in Brooklyn

Brooklyn Iowa, the Community of Flags, the town with a sign on the Interstate that people mistake for a borough in New York City. The Classic Deli aims to recreate the old roadside Ice Cream Shoppe experience along old Highway 6 in Brooklyn. I think this place only opened in 2012, a recent comment told me to check out this place and its tenderloin sandwich.

Location: 120 N. Jackson St. in Brooklyn, Iowa just an hour west of Des Moines.

Directions: Jackson St is the Main St. reaching town from Highway 6, or you can get here from I-80 and taking county roads.

Online at: facebook page is HERE.

The Tenderloin: Listed as The Low Rider on the menu, the description claims this is cut fresh and pan fried to order. Only a handful of places make the pan fried claim, and nothing on the menu here is deep fried. The breading was crispy and flaky in some areas, and warmed to a "toasty" texture without much flavor in other parts that turned a deep black. The juiciness was great, and every part was thick with pork and juice. Overall 8.0 out of ten.

Price: $7.00 with a bag of potato chips.

Also on the menu: The full ice cream menu and deli sandwiches and paninis make up most of the menu. They don't just churn out the usual fried stuff. Check out the Pie Board for homemade pies:
Service: I think there is table service but I just grabbed takeout from the counter.

Ambiance: This is an old Main St building that was renovated and reopened in 2012. There is a long counter along with tables for seating. High ceilings, old fixtures, and Grant Wood prints on the walls make this place look good.

Final Thoughts: The Insterstate offramp for the Brooklyn exit used to have an old fashioned service station and a diner named Brooklyn 80. It had been there for a long time but I never got around to making a stop. One day it was gone and replaced with a new gas station that since shuttered its doors, so I never made it there. Its always great to see a new place open up in a town you've driven past over and over again before. 

Classic Deli on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Appanoose Rapids Brewing in Ottumwa

The number of craft breweries in Iowa has grown over the years, and several operate restaurant pubs in towns small or large. These brew houses are popping up here and there and everywhere. Many rehabilitate huge historic Main St. spaces into upscale dining and drinking destinations. Its not a mistake when the same business model works in nearby Knoxville and Albia along with other places across Iowa.

Location: 332 E Main St in Ottumwa, Iowa.

Directions:  reach Main St by turning off the viaduct just north of the river.

Online At: Website is HERE

The Tenderloin: A little crown on the menu meant this was a house specialty. The meat was in the classic pounded out triangle shape cut of pork loin. One side was twice as thick as the other, but this was juicy throughout. The breading could best be described as flaky and had a good crunch quotient. I couldn't remember any distinct flavor to the seasoning, but it had a golden brown color. Served on a toasted bun with all the fixings. Overall 7.2 out of ten.

Price: $8.95 with a side of perfect crisp beer battered fries, the crown on the menu means its their specialty.

Also on the menu: The brewpub menu is eclectic with the usual burgers, pasta, and salads but some inspired stuff like thai wanton tacos.

Service: There is table service available but I just ate at the bar.

Ambiance: The renovation of the historic building to open the brewery restaurant is impressive. The ceilings are high, the lighting is good, and foreign liquor posters hang from the walls. There is seating in the back and a bar service area near the entrance.

Final Thoughts: My internet searching indicates there was once a place named Ellis' that served tenderloins in Ottumwa. I guess its long gone by now. My next stop here will probably be Noe's Bar on the south side of town.

Appanoose Rapids Brewing Company on Urbanspoon