If you're in the mood for some great bar food, Kelly's Little Nipper on Des Moines' east side won't disappoint. Located at 1701 East Grand, Kelly's Little Nipper has been around for ages, but has changed hands a few times recently. We hadn't been there for awhile, but I was craving a breaded tenderloin and Kelly's has one of the best in town.
Kelly's is decidedly a bar, albeit a bar with excellent grub. And while it's not much on atmosphere, you won't even notice when you're eating! There are 3 booths, 1 table and the bar for your dining pleasure. They also have a great happy hour from 4 - 7.
The menu features a variety of appetizers, sandwiches, and baskets, and they do serve breakfast on the weekends. The onion rings are a local favorite, sliced thin and hand breaded. You'll also find bacon-wrapped tator tots and wings. As for the sandwiches, the Sausage Sandwich made with Graziano's sausage is huge and always popular. They also have burgers, philly steak, a meatball sandwich, lots of great choices. All sandwiches come with a choice of fries, onion rings, or chips.
We started off with a cold Miller High Life tallboy.
For this trip to the Nipper, I ordered the Homemade Breaded Tenderloin. OK, who am I kidding, EVERY time I go to the Nipper I get the Homemade Breaded Tenderloin! This tenderloin is pure pork heaven. Not too thick, juicy and tender, the breading is crispy, crunchy, and delicious. Served on a french loaf with pickles, onions and lettuce, it is huge. At only $8.00, this tenderloin could easily feed 3 people.
Grant went with the Guinea Grinder - ground sausage and hot peppers covered in melted cheese. With a side of homemade onion rings, a very nice lunch for $6.00.
We hadn't been to Kelly's Little Nipper in over a year, so we were happy to see that the quality of food is still as great as it ever was - the beer is still cold and the service still friendly. Do remember that they get busy over lunch with take out orders and everything is cooked on one small grill by one person - patience is appreciated. But you'll be more than satisfied when you take that first bite - Kelly's Little Nipper is awesome bar food.
Kelly's Little Nipper
1701 E. Grand
Des Moines, IA 50317
Monday - Thursday 10am - close
Friday - Saturday 8am - close
Sunday 9am - close
More information on their Facebook page here