Sunday, March 15, 2015

David's Milwaukee Diner in Hotel Pattee Perry Iowa

The Menu
The Hotel Pattee has closed and reopened more than once in the last few years. Its hard to see how a luxury hotel fits into this town in Dallas County with its packing plants and old railroad tracks. The website claims David's Milwaukee Diner is named for David Jackson Pattee, and the Milwaukee Railroad that once employed many in Perry. This diner is on the left hand side when you walk through the grand entrance.

Location: 1112 Willis Ave in Perry, Dallas County, Iowa.

Directions: Take Highway 141 north and west of suburban Des Moines, turn up Highway 144 the main road into Perry.

Online at: Website is HERE.

The Tenderloin: This had some very crisp and crunchy breading that had a cracker like texture and a darker brown color. The meat had been tenderized but wasn't soft to the touch. There was a little moisture and the meat was white throughout. This had average thickness. The lack of seasoning in the breading, or any flavor was almost alleviated by the inclusion of spicy mustard. Served on a very warm bun. Overall, this was a very average tenderloin. 7.0 out of ten.

Price: $8.99 with a side, I went with the homemade chips.

Homemade Chips
Also on the menu: Lunch is a modern version diner fare, so in addition to burgers and sandwiches you have four kinds of macaroni and cheese and several salads. There is a separate menu for Breakfast and Dinner.

Service: Full service with a hostess seating you, and there is a counter selling "pattee cakes" and other things.

Ambiance: The high ceilings and old fixtures, and dark woodwork added to the ambiance. The dining area is named The Arrow Room, made to look like a train's dining car. I had never visited this space over the years, but the interior was meticulously detailed with artwork and objects reflecting Perry's railroad history.

Final Thoughts: I don't pretend to know if this incarnation of the the Hotel Pattee will stay open for the long haul. But I do know that this tenderloin will not be the make or break menu item that keeps its diner busy. Perry has some good Mexican and Latin places, and this diner seems to be banking on nostalgia to get people to visit. The space is beautiful, but the sandwich was nothing special.

Hotel Pattee
David's Milwaukee Diner at the Hotel Pattee on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Oskaloosa Maid Rite

A sign on the road into Oskaloosa alerted me to a special one dollar off deal for a homemade tenderloin from the local Maid Rite franchise. I've visited plenty of Maid-Rites, and most serve frozen fritters instead of homemade pork tenderloins. I have found homemade tenderloins at Maid Rites in Cedar Rapids and Monroe, and at some family owned locations that ended their franchise agreements and don't call themselves Maid Rite anymore.

Location: 902 A Ave. West in Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa.

Directions: Ave A is Highway 92, the main drag from Highway 163 heading from Des Moines.

Online at: Facebook page is HERE.

The tenderloin: This had an obvious handmade pork loin shape, complete with a finger of meat sticking out on the side. The breading formed a tasteless and dusty layer with just minor crunch. The meat inside was a bright white that had been trimmed, it wasn't especially tender. Good moisture, but not juicy. This was a really okay tenderloin for a franchise restaurant. Overall 7.0 out of ten.

Price: These are usually $4.99 and available in a basket for $7.99

Thanks Gary
Also on the menu: The usual Maid Rite Diner menu, with loosemeat burgers and fried stuff. There is a pork fritter for people who want to save a dollar and eat a pork fritter.  If they serve nachos with loose beef on top, wouldn't they be Nacho-Rites?

I was pleasantly surprised by the homemade fries, they had just the right amount of crispiness and were warm and lightly salted.
Hand cut fries
Service: I ordered at the counter, food is brought to your table.

Ambiance: This is a recently built Maid Rite franchise in the Maid-Rite Diner template. Its stuffed with retro diner decor and neon signs, there is a counter and booths and a table shaped like the Maid Rite sign.

Final Thoughts: I had stopped at Maid-Rite when my first destination, Julie's Homestyle Cafe on Market St. was closed. It turns out Julie's has some short hours, and I will have to make it back to try to eat there.

Maid-Rite on Urbanspoon