Well, after all this talk we had to hit St Olaf for ourselves. Walked in at noon on Wednesday, and the place was deserted except for Jim in his bib overalls behind the bar. I told him we came for the best tenderloin in Iowa, and he said "You mean best in the world," and I suppose it was. He had the newspaper article that mentions your website handy on the bar to show customers. Three other brand new customers walked in shortly after us with a lot of questions, and Jim was doing some hustling to take care of all of us. He looked pretty relieved when his wife walked in and took over in the kitchen.
As you know, they have three sizes, small, medium, and tremendous. I ordered the medium and my wife the small. We noticed a definite difference between the two, apparently due to the amount of tenderizing each had received. My medium had a more fall-apart texture. It looked, I guess I will say more "shreddy" than her small one. It looked like the picture of St Olaf supplied above by Trzhotel. Her small one was not as fall-apart, somewhat chewier, and we both agreed that the larger one was better.
We liked them both, though. We asked Jim to serve them the traditional way, and he applied pickles and raw onion to the sandwiches, and offered ketchup and mustard on the side. We did not need either condiment, though. The sandwiches were fine by themselves.
He also suggested sweet potato fries on the side -- they were good!
Outside we chatted with a couple of elderly ladies sitting in the sun, who said we had to get to Gunder, which has, in their opinion, better food than St Olaf. They had just eaten there after dropping off some homemade quilts at a craft store near there. Seventy-something Lena (I swear that is her name!) said she turns out one quilt after another because "...it keeps me off the streets." And she had a devlish grin when she said it.
Afterward we stopped at the Jewish deli in Postville. Walking in there is like being in the Bronx. We had a nice chat with Mordy (Mordecai) who does the cooking. He is a good guy and likes living in Iowa. One caution about this place -- careful for freshness. Some things have been there long enough to gather quite a layer of dust, and a little work with a cleaning rag would help the place a lot. I bought some chocolate bars that looked OK, but were old and stale with I opened them. But I also found some East Coast salads with good dates, and they are very fresh.
Gunder next trip.