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Tenderloin Crusade Episode I - Goldie's in Prairie City

Saturday, June 2 2012 - Let the games begin!

Just to refresh your memory we decided to try all the best tenderloins in the state of Iowa (click on "The Tenderloin Crusade" link on the navigation menu,) and review them to take out all the leg work for the website followers.

Our first tryst takes us to Prairie City, a small town about 20 miles east of Des Moines. Goldie's won the tenderloin award in 2009 and I have heard that that this is probably the place to beat. "The tenderloin to which all others would be measured," I was told.  You can trust me on this since the individual that gave me this nugget of info can eat at least 6 Big Mac's in one sitting, pausing briefly only to take more blood pressure medication.

We arrived in Prairie City withought a hitch.  It was a beautiful early summer evening, and the main (and only) road running through this little town looks something like this:


And just across the street from this picturesque Iowa grain bin (or whatever that thing is) sits Goldie's!  It's a tiny little diner and Ice Cream Shoppe.  Notice it's 'shoppe' and not 'shop.'  The extra 'pe' at the end adds an aura of Olde Middle English to the establishment, as well as a lot of street cred to those types that frequent events like The Renaissance Fair. 

Gina and I sat belly up at the little diner.  We asked our server if he could recommend a quality appetizer before dinner, since we were both quite hungry.  And by quality appetizer, I mean something from the shakes/malts side of the menu.  He produced an outstanding hot fudge/peanut butter shake for us that tasted like a Reese's peanutbutter cup.  Gina was nice enough to let me have about three sips of what seemed to be 'Jesus in a cup' before it was gone:

We ordered two plain tenderloins, with condiments on the side.  I like a little pickle, mustard and onion while Gina likes it with ketchup only.  We asked what the best fried side was, and our main man told us to try the 'Goldies Fries.'  They did not dissapoint:

Here is a picture with my minature Darth Vader LED keychain light. Since size is a category for judging we need a quality item for scale.  Rumor has it The Emporer almost named Anakin Skywalker 'Darth Tenderloin' but apparently it was too long to engrave on a lightsaber, so he just went with Vader instead.


And now to the judging:


55 points for loin TASTE  - 50 points.  great hunk of meat. I would have liked a bit more seasoning in the batter
15 points for the quality of the BUN - 8 points.  Average bun.  Not bad, not great
15 points for the quality of the ‘FRIED SIDE’ - 10 points - Goldies Fries were like a crispy home fry. Tasty!
10 points for AMBIANCE - 8 points - lots of windows. tiny diner, not to be confused with Elton John's Tiny Dancer
5 points for loin SIZE - 4 points - only ate half.

That makes for a grand total of 80 points


55 points for loin TASTE  - 51 points. It may have been the best tenderloin to hit these taste buds.  9 out of 10 buds agree.
15 points for the quality of the BUN – 8 points.  I didn’t really notice it as it was a run of the mill bun, nothing spectacular.
15 points for the quality of the ‘FRIED SIDE’ – 13 points.  Those were delish!!  Not to mushy, crispy, flavorful and overall quite enjoyable.  Especially with a side of ranch!
10 points for AMBIANCE – 8 points.  Loved the friendly service, the ma and pop feel, the counter where we sat, the option for outdoor eating and the walk up window.  Great place
5 points for loin SIZE – 3 points.  Not the biggest I’ve had, but clearly size didn’t matter with this loin.

Overall it was a very enjoyable experience- especially with the appetite suppressant (AKA Peanut Butter fudge shake) prior to the tenderloin.  Loved this place and can’t wait to go back!

Seriously, when are we going back?   

That makes for a grand total of 83 points

Total Score (average) : 81.5

I really think we will be heading back to Goldie's quite a bit this summer.  It's a great little Iowa treasure, and it ranks as one of the top 10 restaurants in all of Central Iowa (according to the Des Moines Metromix poll.)  This would be a great place to take out of town visitors to give them some Iowa flava.



We drove the Mazdaspeed3 for this crusade. Zoom Zoom!