Current weather conditions

Click for Dexter, Iowa Forecast

Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



One of the really cool things about my duties with the Iowa FFA Alumni board comes when I get to meet with other people who are enthusiastic about supporting their local FFA chapters and want to get an Alumni Affiliate together. I had one such meeting last week, which actually helped me mark off one of my “must do” places off of my checklist.

For faithful readers of this column you know that one of my favorite things to do is to search out those small local places that are known for good food and when my meeting site came up as Elk Horn Iowa, I knew that Larsen’s Pub had to be my stop for supper before the meeting.

I’m no stranger to Elk Horn and its little sister Kimballton. When you grow up on a farm and there isn’t much time or money to take vacations, its little places like this with interesting things like the windmill and the Little Mermaid that Mom would take us to at least give us a little culture. And you know that culture to me can be summed up in five words and one of those words is “tenderloin”.

I’ve had more than one tenderloin that could be or has been proclaimed the “best” and from what I understood the one at Larsen’s Pub was high up on that list. Don’t let the fact that it’s a bar dissuade you from making the trip. I would use the term bar lightly, as the place was airy and clean and the bar really didn’t overwhelm the rest of the room, although as you chuckle through the menu you will note that they don’t serve dessert but they do serve alcohol. In fact the menu is a work of art in itself, reminding new and old customers alike that they don’t do vegetarian, nor do they cook to order or toast your buns.

I started out with a tenderloin, fries and an ice tea, all which came quickly and the waitress checked on me a number of times without being stalkerish or making me feel like I needed to vacate my booth for another customer. The meal came out in a basket, they don’t use real plates, and the fries were not only crispy and well done, but the portion size was good and set the open faced tenderloin off quite well. The tenderloin, which was larger than my hand was expertly prepared and served on a bun with pickles and just enough red onion to make it pleasing. One complaint in the past I have had with breaded homemade loins, is that by the time I get to the middle of the sand which the loin has cooled enough and becomes soggy in the middle. This not only wasn’t the case here, but the last bite was as wonderful as the first.

The menu notes that they do charge for refills and my only complaint was that my ice tea was running out faster than my meal, but rather than ordering another I took a shot at their famous 1919 root beer on tap and ordered up a mug. The mug could have been just a bit colder for my taste as the ice floating in it, kind of drove me a little crazy, but from the first sip on I was hooked and the root beer flavor stuck with me like a root beer barrel piece of candy.

Besides the tenderloin, they have a Philly cheese steak which I understand is wonderful and a belly buster fish that one must try. My meal including drinks was just over $11 which was well within the range I was willing to pay for good food in a clean place. So if you happen to be over towards Elk Horn take time to stop at Larsen’s, but be sure to get there early, they open around 4:30 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday and as the menu says they are open until they decide to go home which could be as early as 8 p.m. A good meal and a fun time are just a short drive away and I would highly suggest making the trip.
Now if I could only talk them into serving a little pie or maybe an ice cream float I’d be in heaven, but at this point I hate to mention it and spoil the good thing they have going there. See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together.