According to People magazine, this Des Moines restaurant has the best sandwich in Iowa
Brad Magg, owner of Goldie's Ice Cream Shoppe in Prairie City, has earned several \u0022best tenderloin\u0022 honors throught the years. Magg talks about the elements that make a good pork tenderloin sandwich. Bryon Houlgrave/The Register
A Des Moines restaurant is in the spotlight this week for having the best sandwich in the state.
On May 15, People magazine published an article titled "The Best Sandwich in Every State and Washington, D.C." Food writer, Madison Roberts listed Smitty's Tenderloin Shop at 1401 Army Post Road in Des Moines as having the best sandwich in Iowa.
"Crowds flock to this old-school diner for fried-food favorites, including the King Loin: a massively wide, breaded-and-fried pork tenderloin placed inside a pillowy bun," Roberts wrote.
To come up with the list, People teamed up with The Infatuation, an online restaurant guide, and gathered expert reviews from writers and editors to find the best in each state — "paying special attention to eateries serving regionally-inspired dishes and using locally-sourced ingredients."
"We feel really honored to get that," said owner, Ben Smith, 40. "We've worked really hard. It's a three-generation family business and to get recognition like that is overwhelming and we feel very humbled by it. We're very thankful to be able to be part of the community and still serving a good sandwich."
Smith said the pork tenderloin sandwich is light and crispy but not greasy. The coating is made from cracker crumbs which provide a great pork flavor and is on the large side. "In the tradition of the pork tenderloin sandwich, it really fits the bill," Smith said.
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Smith said the fourth generation is now working at Smitty's with the addition of his nephews to the staff. His 12-year-old son is looking forward to working at the restaurant when he turns 14. Smith started working in the restaurant with his father when he was 10 — today, that's 30 years of experience making more than 3,000 tenderloin sandwiches per week.
Smitty's Tenderloin Shop opened in the winter of 1967 and is in its 52nd year of operation on the South Side of Des Moines.
The print edition of the article will appear in People magazine when it hits newsstands on Friday, May 17.
"About three weeks ago, we were contacted by People magazine through an email and said we were being considered and they asked if they could have some photos of the interior of the restaurant and some of the sandwiches and told us to keep it quiet," said owner, Ben Smith. "Usually, when you get a reach-out like that, you know something's going on."
In addition, Smitty's Tenderloin Shop was mentioned on ABC's "Strahan & Sara" show on May 15 broadcast on the third hour of "Good Morning America".
Smitty's Tenderloin Shop
Location: 1401 Army Post Rd., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; closed Sundays.
Contact: (515) 287-4742; Facebook