Apr 14, 2012

Tenderloins Bigger Than Your Face


Pigs are plentiful in Iowa.  
Five oinkers for every human in the state:  15,000,000+.

Toss a cow chip any direction and you'll peg a restaurant serving tenderloins, pork chops and slow-smoked ham.  Cuts of hog are inexpensive and delicious around here.

A buddy of mine claimed a 20 minute drive brings me an ice-cream shoppe battering the best tenderloins in these here parts.  I've eaten tons of tasty pork fritters in 35 years, so he was making a tall claim.  

Pigtails, Curls and I set out Friday night in search of the famous golden loins to prove him out.

There it was squatting beside a cluster of grain-bins in a town of 1,400.  The simple whitewashed shack of Goldie's was packed with locals, you could smell fried onion rings from the gravel parking lot.

 




Five tables, a string of bar stools and a smiling waitress, the weekly ice build-up of stress from work and life melted in minutes. 









We ponied up to the bar and ordered two tenderloins, Goldie fries and a side of rings.  Pigtails split with us, I rarely order her a separate meal.

The waitress delivered two steaming baskets of tenderloins, topped with dill pickles and sliced red onion.  I was starving, it smelled so good, my mouth watered.





The loin had a light crunch on the edges, tender white inside, and the pickles and red onion rings gave it a crisp salty bite.  One chomp and it was clear why the Iowa Pork Producers crowned it the #1 tenderloin in the state.





Goldie fries are double-battered and generously seasoned.









Pigtails ticked a couple photos, she smirked and said "Daddy, these will never work, the pictures are terrible and you look angry."











The basket felt like pounds, I was sweating while gnawing off the last hunk of meat.   

Be strong Beard, don't go soft now.  

Stomachs bloated, this place is an ice-cream shop after all, so Pigtails did a strawberry slushy, Curls a caramel soft serve, and a brownie/walnut mixer for me.  The brownies were made from scratch that morning.




Brain freeze:





Ice cream tastes better when you watch her build it in front of you.


 








So was this the best tenderloin I've ever eaten?  Without a doubt.  

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I encourage readers to step away from Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Texas Roadhouse and Applebee's to seek out local Mom 'n Pop diners.  You'll be pleasantly surprised, and may never go back to chain food again.


-Beard

28 comments:

  1. yo momma4/14/2012

    You never mentioned where it was?

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    Replies
    1. Goldie's is in Beijing China, of course.

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  2. We're Orthodox and haven't celebrated Easter yet (tomorrow!), so no meat 'til then ... and now I'm ravenous. It all sounds delicious. My mom's from Iowa, and I will agree: the best pork I've ever eaten was in Iowa.

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    1. Happy Easter, happy meat!

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  3. Holy cow! I mean pig! I love a good pork tenderloin and this looks incredible....where is it man! YOU ARE KILLING ME!

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    Replies
    1. Head east to P.C. and give it a try sometime.

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  4. How could my parents have left Iowa when I was a little girl? I love bacon. That food looks delicious.

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    Replies
    1. Did they at least move you to somewhere nice by the ocean?

      There's a Bacon Festival in town each year, all you can eat bacon-based treats, including bacon ice-cream. They limit it to several thousand tickets and sell out in minutes, I'll fight for a ticket next year and write a post on it.

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  5. Looks like great food! Did I miss the low down on Curls somewhere? If not, you should give one! She seems very pretty.

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    Replies
    1. Just got back from a trail ride, still burning off that giant tenderloin.

      Come back in a few days, more Curls coming your way.

      Delete
  6. Mom and pops are the best. I have found the less seats even the better. Drooling!

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    Replies
    1. You got it, I'm hoping to take a week off work this summer to do a big driving loop around the state, visiting a bunch of small-town festivals and diners.

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  7. We love to seek out the mom and pop joints ... have never been disappointed for doing so! Looks like we'll have to make a detour on our next trip to St. Louis from Rochester, MN!

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    1. Worth a detour in my opinion.

      If you're heading to St. Louis, have you stopped at Lambert's Cafe where they throw hot rolls at you? The place isn't small anymore, but I'd like to check them out next time we head south.

      http://www.throwedrolls.com/default.asp

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    2. Oh man... Lambert's was a staple of my childhood. We stopped every year on the way home from church camp. If you hold up a salad plate, they'll peg it with a roll with an accuracy that rivals a sniper! I love local joints. They way we tell it's good eats is by the number of massive pickup trucks out front. Roughnecks and farm hands have impeccable taste in home-cooking.

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  8. Whenever my husband and I travel, we ask local people working in stores or on the street to tell us their favorite places to eat. We have had some amazing food in places that aren't in the guide books.

    HOLY PIG that brownie sundae looks good!

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    Replies
    1. I do the same, that's a surefire way to find the best eats. Locals know best.

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  9. For those of you asking, I just Googled Goldie's Ice Cream Shop. It's in Prairie City, IA. If we ever make it to Iowa for RAGBRAI (it's on my bucket list of things to do with my kids), then I'm definitely going to have to stop in. Otherwise I'm afraid that traveling to Iowa just to eat at a diner isn't going to happen.

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    Replies
    1. Ding ding, we have a winner. Hope you can ride RAGBRAI with your kids someday, they'll never forget it!

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  10. Could not agree more on the Mom and Pops! We rarely, if ever, eat at a chain.

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    Replies
    1. Same here, other than an occasional greasy Micky D., I haven't touched chains in ages.

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  11. My husband travels to Iowa almost monthly, I am going to tell him about this place! He is a sucker for pork and ice cream. Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Warning: Your husband is likely to get tight around the waist after discovering this place.

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  12. WOW........that looks good :)

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  13. I love that everyone calls this a mom and pop place. i am good friends with the owner and while it is family run, he is an early thirties bachelor. a great guy and great family. and beard he appreciates this more than you know. Goldie's... well worth your time. And if ever in need of an event caterer check into Magg Family Catering... even more fantastic food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Sir, owner Brad would knee me in the 'nads if he heard me calling him a Mom or Pop. Whoops, too late:

      http://www.facebook.com/goldiesicecream

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  14. Great post! I agree, the food is wonderful!

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    1. Right now I'm craving breakfast food for dinner and a tenderloin. Could also quite possibly squeeze in a brownie mixer, will try and take care of that this weekend.

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Thanks for the note, check back for my response!