Shenandoah Iowa is a small town (pop. 5,500) in Southwest Iowa. I didn’t know until now that it’s the home of The Everly Brothers AND The Blackwood Brothers. It’s nicknamed “The Garden City” and has a rich history in gardening and crop hybrids. It’s a cute little town that Holly and I passed through on the way home from our 7 state tour.
We were hungry for hours on the road, and were looking for someplace to eat when Mondo’s came into view. We’d both choose a locally owned eatery over a chain restaurant any day, so we decided to give it a try.
It’s obviously a gathering place for locals, and we were greeted by a friendly enough, if somewhat quirky, waitress took our seats. There’s a small salad bar in the restaurant, and the walls are covered with some photos of local folks, the surrounding farmland, and even a piece or to of Route 66 art.
We looked at the menu and were at once struck by how reasonable the prices were. Most of their sandwiches were priced at $4.95-$5.50 and that included your choice of potato. We were off to a good start!
And, when I saw their “hand cut, hand breaded” tenderloin on the menu for $4.95, I knew what I was ordering!
I’d love to tell you that I sat down in Iowa and had a tenderloin that simply knocked my socks off….but that isn’t the case. Matter of fact, even though the menu said “hand cut and hand breaded”….it tasted an awfully lot like an out of the box pork fritter. The meat was pretty much flavorless and paper thin, and the breading was…well, it was breading, that’s about all I can say about it. On the plus side, the bun was nicely toasted, and the onions were plentiful, just like I asked. The fries were fine…nothing special…just fine.
Iowa seems to pride itself in their Breaded Tenderloins, but this one fell far short of the mark. I’m going to give it a 2.5 out of 5….just average. If you’ve been hours on the road like we had…it’ll fill you up….but it’s nothing to write home about.
Mondo’s restaurant is located at 309 S Fremont, Shenandoah, Iowa.