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Dec 17, 2008 11:56 AM

Great Deli in Des Moines, Iowa

You have to give B&B grocery/deli a try if you're in Des Moines, Iowa. This place has been around forever. They have absolutely fantastic breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches. IMO, they're the best in Des Moines.

In fact, they were named for having the best deli sandwich in Des Moines by the local newspaper. The food is great, the place is nostalgic, and the staff will make you feel like a regular. Even their menu on their web-site is cool...

There's other deli's in Des Moines, but this one keeps me coming back for more.

B & B Grocery Meat & Deli
2001 SE 6th St, Des Moines, IA 50315

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  1. Thanks so much for that. I am from Iowa City and will hit B&B the next time I'm in the area.

    1. I agree that B&B is a great place to grab a sandwich. I'm not a big tenderloin fan, but I do know they are poplular there. I think their Dad's Killer is to die for. Pardon the pun. It is what a deli sandwich should be.

      The other great thing about B&B is the staff. They are the real deal!!

      6 Replies
      1. re: Budair

        We stopped in the day before Christmas for a couple sandwiches. It's hard to believe that I've lived here my entire life, and have never had a sandwich from B&B.
        We stared at the menu for some time, and then went with the obvious, Papa's Killer, and Zach's Italian. These are damn fine sandwiches. Fresh made by people who really seem proud of what they are doing.
        If you want them heated they go into a toaster oven, not a microwave. While we waited we were treated to a sample of the fresh sliced, deep fried, bacon. We left with a lb.
        We both prefered the Italian, just because we like the spicier meats. I could also do without Miracle Whip on the Papa's, but it somehow seemed to belong.
        I would like to see a little more meat on a sandwich that goes over 5.00, but it's far more than any of the chains, and far better quality. I guess I'll just never get over Rappaports closing.
        I will be sampling my way through the menu over the next few months, as the Rib Eye sandwich, and the Tenderloins, look very good. I'll squeeze them in between the Zach's Italians that I'll have trouble passing on.
        Oh, and the Triple Burger they were making looked just like the picture on the website.
        The staff are the friendliest people you'll ever meet, and I'd return to just to hang out with them. It may have been my first time in, but I felt like a regular.
        A gem in Des Moines I should have been to long ago.

        1. re: Bobfrmia

          First, I got the name wrong. Not Papa's Killer. Obviously, Dad's Killer.
          Second, after throwing that review out there, I got hungry. Ice covered roads can't deter the quest for good food, so cross town we went.
          Today we decided to try a couple of the Fried Killers. The Pork Tenderloin, and the Chorizo Tenderloin.
          First I would have to ask the OP, where have you had Pork Tenderloins in Des Moines that you would compare these to? Just curious.
          The Pork tenderloin was battered, not breaded, and was small, thin, but well dressed. The Chorizo loin was a bit over cooked, thin, but again, well dressed.
          I'm not a fan of really thin loins. What I could taste of the pork was very good quality pork.
          They were good sandwiches, but they will never contend for "Best in State", let alone best in town. A bit of a letdown. I would give these a C, where the Previous sandwiches get an A.
          Still, I like this place and will be going back for, I think the Ribeye sandwich next.
          I bought some Italian sausage while there, and will be trying it out tonight.

          1. re: Bobfrmia

            I grew up eating tenderloins and taverns at Bob's Drive-In in Le Mars. Moved to Des Moines some years ago. In fact, I loved Millie's tenderloins before they burned down. That date's me a little. I've tried a few place; Smitty's (good), Mr Bibb's (good), B-bops (horrible) and many more. I just find I really enjoy the tenderloins from B&B. I really don't know if they "bread" or "batter" their tenderloins. I just know I like them.

            By the way, I really (and I mean REALLY) like their grilled hot italian sausage. I buy sausage from B&B now too. You hit it on the nose on how friendly these people are. That may be why I love their sandwiches.

            Look forward to hearing more of your reviews.

            1. re: sparkeye

              I took a picture of part of the menu for another forum over a year ago.

              If you want to know about tenderloins from Central Iowa, you can visit my blog at

              1. re: trza

                I just spent an hour or so reading your blog.
                First, I want to apologize for eating a frozen pizza while reading such a comprehensive tribute to such a wonderous sandwich.
                That said, while I almost never eat frozen pizza, Palermo's Ham and Pineapple is passable.
                Thank you for the time and calories you have put into this. I can't believe I haven't found it before. The places I've been so close to, yet didn't see, amaze me. I can't wait for the warm weather to return, and I will hit the road with my new found Bible.
                You are a God to me. ;-)

                1. re: trza

                  Wow!!! You've been everywhere. It'll take me a while to go through your site. Cool stuff!!

        2. Not sure if anyone caught this article. B&B was listed as a manly place to dine by the Des Moines Metromix.

          7 Replies
          1. re: sparkeye

            I'm sorry folks. There is no such thing as good deli in Des Moines. Those of you that think there is have never had truely good deli. I grew up in Detroit where we have good deli and have visited Carnegie and Katz's in N.Y.. Stick to the pork tenderloins and Maid-Rites. In fact, any of you who would even think a great deli would let pig through the door have never visited a traditional deli.

            1. re: Iowaboy3

              I went to Manhattan Deli for the first time last weekend. Don't know what I was waiting for. I had the Mamma Mia. Best deli sandwich I've had since Rappaports left many years ago.
              The quantity and quality of meat and cheese was perfect, , and the value was great.
              I was extremely happy to have finally tried them, and looked forward to going back. Many, many times.
              But now you've screwed that up for me. You had a better sandwich in Detroit, and New York, so I shouldn't go to Manhattan Deli.
              Maybe since I don't know good deli anyway, can I get a pass?
              Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for a tenderloin.
              To the rest of you, don't make the mistake I did. Don't wait for 25 years to try Manhattan Deli.

              1. re: Bobfrmia

                Bob: I can't believe that you had not been there. Do return and try a "Betty's", my favorite, or a "Zach" special, named after Iowa's most famous pro golfer. Zach frequented the place while at Drake.

                PS: The cheese soup is killer.

                1. re: DrWine

                  I can't believe it, either. I have no excuse other than that they are just quiet. No ads, no website, no hype. After watching a line all the way to the door at 1:30 in the afternoon, that didn't diminsh, I can see they don't need any of those things.
                  I will be back, but I can't commit to any sandwich yet. I changed my mind in line about 6 times. I plan to try the Vito and the Zach, but I won't know for sure until I'm at the cash register.

              2. re: Iowaboy3

                a traditional kosher deli, maybe.

                The big Italian guys who run the deli here in the KC City Market would be interested to know that they have to get rid of their salamis and prosciutto.

                1. re: Iowaboy3

                  Ever tried Maccabee's on Polk Blvd. in Des Moines?

                  1. re: DrWine

                    I went to Maccabee's a couple years ago. Once.
                    Really liked the Rabbi, the corned beef couldn't have been better, but I sensed disappointment when he started meticulously weighing the meat.
                    My concern was justified. If I had to guess, I think I got about 2ozs of meat. I could have ate 6 of those sandwiches. Disappointing.
                    At 7 dollars, not worth it.

              3. Made another stop at B&B's today. Was in the area, and thought it was time to try another Tenderloin, and I've been wanting to try the Rib Eye sandwich.
                Let me preface this telling everyone that the people working here make me want to move to this side of town. Just good people. But...
                The ribeye steak sandwich was 4.39 thrown down the drain. I can't believe you can slice a steak so thin, and still end up with so much gristle. Pretty much just went in the trash.
                I know, steak can be tough, but they should be able to spot it a little better.
                The tenderloin was good. Much better than the small version we sampled before. It bailed out lunch, since the ribeye got tossed. While I still hesitate to put it among the states best, it does the city well.
                I'm kinda torn on this place right now. I've had some really good sandwiches, and some that failed. But I still just love the people that work there.
                I guess it's like any other relationship, personality can only take you so far, then you have to perform.
                Let me also state that the deli sandwiches I've had have been A+.

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