In our first week in Iowa one of our priorities was get get Iowa drivers licenses as soon as possible. I have to say the Iowa DOT office on Edgewood is the nicest, friendliest license renewal office I have ever visited. I’ve had to get drivers licenses in six different states in my lifetime and this is the best one yet. It took an hour but in that time The Wife searched on MapQuest for a lunch option and said we should go to Joensy’s up the street. Good, because we were all starving!
I think Joensy’s began in Center Point but we were at the Cedar Rapids location, Joensy’s was a little better than a hole in the wall. You had to look for it or you’d miss it.You order at the counter and seat yourself wherever you can find a table. Drinks are self serve and a neat thing I had never seen before was the ability to add a flavor to your drink. For example, I could add a splash of cherry to my Diet Mountain Dew. So Cool! Daily specials are written on a whiteboard. The Child immediately saw Cheddar Nuggets and requested them to go with her chicken tender basket. The Wife followed and ordered the Fried Mushrooms. The Wife said Joensy’s was reknowned for it’s IBT. If you aren’t familiar with the IBT visit my post about Jerseys Downtown. That may be true, but the entire menu looked fantastic! Both of us ordered IBTs, though she ordered hers all the way, mine was unadorned.
How can you not love this place! The appetizer ordered were HUGE! We ended up taking home half of the Cheddar Nuggets. I regretted not getting my IBT with lettuce and tomato, or at least a pickle but some mayonnaise did the trick. The pork was tender and juicy under the crust. It was so good that picky eater Kiddo ate a quarter of my pork rather than eat her chicken tenders. And while they weren’t crinkle cut fries, the waffle fries were really good making them a close second.
On our way out, The Wife ordered a butter pecan milk shake. WOW! If you like butter pecan ice cream this thing was amazing. I might have to get one myself next time.
After a long Sunday driving around the area looking at houses we decided that none of us wanted to get back into the car to go out to dinner. And it was late. Jerseys was a one block walk from out hotel so we set out with that as our destination.
Another sports bar. I can’t say the place was warm and inviting. It felt like a dive without looking like a dive. It may have just been an aura from being mostly empty late on a Sunday night. It may have been family members with a negative attitude. I don’t know.
The menu was much more appealing than what I had been eating for the past eight years but at the same time nothing quite moved me. Again, probably just a vibe in the air.
Being starved we ordered two appetizers, Cheddar Balls and Mozzarella Sticks. I guess we were feeling cheese deficient. The cheddar balls were fantastic. They tasted just like deep fried cheese curds and for all I know that’s exactly what Sysco sells them as. I think part of what made them so good yet different than a cheese curd was their generous size. Back home, we have one mediocre restaurant that sells the absolute best cheese sticks. They are tempura battered in-house and dusted with Parmesan cheese. The homemade cheese sticks at Jerseys were equally as good, breaded instead of battered. Nice big planks, soft stretchy cheese. I’d order them every time I eat here in the future.
I don’t remember what the rest of my family ordered. I ordered the pork tenderloin sandwich, AKA IBT. Being of strong Hoosier stock, I know the IBT as Indiana Breaded Tenderloin. Of course in Cedar Rapids, the “I” is for Iowa not Indiana. Same sandwich, I don’t know who has more authentic claim. My sandwich was a little thicker than I was used to, but the menu description said it would be so it didn’t come as a surprise. It was fried to a rich chestnut brown. I found it to be a little dry. I don’t know if I committed blasphemy or not, but I asked for some mayo and that made the sandwich go down much easier. It was served with a side of fresh cut fries. Ordinarily I don’t like fresh cut fries. I find then usually too bland, too floppy, too greasy, too undercooked. These were amazingly good. I hope they are just as good next time.