So…what should we do on a nice sunny Saturday? Road Trip! We’re quite fond of just jumping in the car and heading out somewhere within a couple of hours drive. Especially if that somewhere has something spectacular to eat. Today, another attempt to find the best breaded pork tenderloin in Iowa. Grant did a little research on Des Loines and we were off to Jamaica. Jamaica, Iowa, that is.
Of course, you don’t want to drive right to your destination. We try to plan a route that takes us through a town or two so we have a chance to maybe add a bar to our Bar Book. Ahh, the Bar Book – our little black book of 480+ bars, taverns and lounges we’ve visited throughout Iowa. Besides, it gives us a reason to drink before noon. As if we need one. The Bar Book is another post in itself, but today we stopped in at the Rockin Horse in Perry.
There were a few guys watching a western on AMC, but otherwise, it was pretty quiet. We sat at the bar and enjoyed our first Miller Lite of the day. Only $2.75 each.
There were even some actual rockin’ horses. Another Iowa bar true to it’s name.
Back on the road, we drove west on Highway 141 out of Perry. After about 8 miles or so, we took a county road into Jamaica.
If you weren’t expecting to see this, it could seem slightly weird.
There wasn’t much going on in downtown Jamaica, but there were several cars in front of this place – Tojo’s.
Tojo’s has a real tropical vibe with palm trees and beach scenes, even a nod to the real Jamaica. No reggae music though, darn it.
But while the décor is nice and all, it was time to get a beer and eat! A very nice young lady brought us some menus and there it was – the Famous Tenderloin.
We each ordered one with a basket of onion rings to share. When we saw the cook toss one of the tenderloins into the fryer we realized it was HUGE and we could have easily shared one. Oh well, who diets on Saturday? It was a big cut of pork and they hand bread each one to order. Thick and juicy, the crispy breading has just a hint of seasoning – it was a thing of beauty.
The menu also features burgers, sandwiches, a bunch of fried appetizers and even a few dinners. But seriously, should you find yourself in Jamaica, Iowa, you need to try the breaded tenderloin at Tojo’s. Maybe even skip breakfast, you’ll need the extra room. These deep fried pieces of perfection are a great deal, too, only $6.75. Adding on a couple of beers, it was a reasonably priced yet delicious and very satisfying lunch.
Take the short drive from Des Moines to Jamaica – a little road trip is just the ticket to beat these almost end of winter blues. Plus you can pretend you’re in the tropics.
We did make one more stop on the way home at the Harvest Moon in Dallas Center. The friendly bartender, Jeff, whipped up a spicy Bloody Mary for Grant and we met the chef, Joan, who is treating her customers to some of the best food around. We’re planning to feature all of the tasty goodness coming out of the Harvest Moon very soon.
Let us know where your latest road trip took you and what places we need to visit!