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Mar 4, 2004 02:25 PM

Trip from Chicago to Iowa City - pork tenderloin sandwiches

  • j

i've done extensive research on chowhound trying to find out a place that has pork tenderloin sandwiches on the drive from chicago to iowa city. what i've uncovered in some that said, "I know there is a truck stop on I-80 in Iowa which is legendary for its pork tenderloin sandwiches. Someone on the midwest board will know." and "My favorite non-breaded tenderloin is at the I-80 Iowa Truckstop (Amoco) just outside of Davenport. Would make a great lunch."

does anyone know the exact location of this truck stop? does anyone here disagree that these are good sandwiches? does anyone have any other ideas?

thanks in advance!

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  1. Hope this helps.....Enjoy.

    Walcott (far E mid, I-80 exit 284, just W of Davenport)

    Iowa 80 Truckstop - I-80 exit 284, Walcott, IA 52773 - 563/284-6512, ( - Truck stop diner serving country-fried steak with gravy, 50' salad bar, daily lunch and dinner specials, bakery goods (apple dumplings) - "World's Largest Truckstop" since ~1964 - Open 7d>24h

    1 Reply
    1. re: SBCochran

      Being a midwesterner, I just love 'em. Practically every sit down restaurant or bar has them.

      I like to make my own. There is a meat market nearby that sells breaded pork tenderloin patties in the meat case. I'll deep fry the patty in a combination of lard and shortening in my cast-iron skillet, then take it out, put it in a 250 oven, melt some swiss cheese over it then top it with lettuce, pickles, relish and a couple strips of bacon. Mayo on the buns is mandatory.

      A heartbuster of a meal for sure, but a good tenderloin is like good sex--you never forget where you got it and you always go back for more!

    2. SBCochran is right - that's the truckstop you've read about. BUT, if you don't mind driving an extra 15 minutes or so from Iowa City to Solon, IA, (right up Highway 1) you should definitely try Joensy's Restaurant for a very tasty, expertly fried and HUGE pork tenderloin sandwich. They also do a mean patty melt and decent cheese balls. Not good for the arteries, but great for the soul!

      101 W Main St Solon, IA 319-624-2914

      8 Replies
      1. re: iowagirl
        Sweet Willie

        Joensy's in Solon is a tenderloin that is the bar for many Iowans I've met (I went to college in Mt. Vernon, 25 miles north of Iowa City).

        While I do like breaded and unbreaded, I believe my favorite would be the unbreaded at I-80 truckstop.

        This may be blasphemy to some, but the pork tenderloin sandwich that is served at various Casey’s almost everywhere is sure decent in my book. Casey’s usually has Cookies BBQ sauce as a condiment to put on them as well. I will only have a Casey's tenderloing if made fresh for me and if I am not familiar with any local places, as there are some piss poor tenderloin sandwiches out there.

        1. re: Sweet Willie

          i just got back and wanted to report on my tenderloin. i got the breaded on at the truck stop because i had to get it to go, and they said it would be ready a lot quicker. it was quite tasty. i bit salty, but delicious. next trip, i will try joensy's.

          thanks for the help, everyone!

          1. re: jblagg
            free range diner

            As a U of Iowa student in the 60's, we found the best pork tenderloin sandwiches at A & W drive-ins along with the aforementioned truck stop. I do remember, however, that the old Hamburg Inn # 1 had a terrific tenderloin too....though I usually consumed one on Saturday night long after midnight. I was in Iowa City about 4 yrs ago and tried one at #2, the surviving Hamburg Inn. Not being 19 anymore, it didn't agree with me all that well. That, however, is more a sign of lost youth as opposed to suspicions about a great sandwich.

            1. re: free range diner

              I'm chuckling about your current Hamburg Inn experience. Their food has caused gastric distress for many over the years.

          2. re: Sweet Willie

            I'm more a fan of Casey's donuts and pizza. I have very fond memories of their bbq beef pizza...yum!

          3. re: iowagirl

            Joensy's is closed ...maybe for renovations??

            1. re: o.lynne

              Only if the renovations include extensive roach removal.
              Jonesy's was closed by the Health Dept.

              1. re: Bobfrmia

                Ah, I see this was a quite old thread until the subject of Joensy's closing came up. Yep, closed by the Health Dept. I've been to Joesny's and if it is considered to be a good tenderloin then maybe its closing is a good thing. It is one of the most over-hyped I've had. I can name you seven others I've had in Iowa that were better. There most likely would be more but I have only had seven others to date. ;-)