town house

Town House Supper Club

Owner: Terry Town

Address: 520 North Adams, Wellsburg, Iowa

Hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Known for: Named Iowa’s No. 1 Pork Tenderloin for 2006 by the Iowa Pork Producers Association. A tenderloin with a salad and fries is $5.95 at lunch and $7.25 for dinner. A half size tenderloin is available at lunch time for $3.95.


Contact them at: (641) 869-3848 or

WELLSBURG, Iowa — When the Town House Supper Club’s breaded pork tenderloin was named the best for 2006 by the Iowa Pork Producers Association, owner Terry Town decided to use the honor to market his business.

A lighted sign outside the Wellsburg eatery announces the title and keeps a running tally of the tenderloins sold since he won the honor. The count is up to 12,561. The restaurant’s Web site also keeps count of the tenderloins sold, and Town sells T-shirts and sweatshirts announcing the honor.

Wellsburg resident Bernice Harrentstein nominated Town’s tenderloin, and judges came unannounced two times to try it.

"I figured I had a pretty good chance, and the judges really seemed to like it," Town said. "I have friends from Des Moines who tell me my tenderloin is tremendous."

What makes the Town House tenderloin so good?

"It’s the combination of ingredients," Town said. "It’s my special recipe. The seasoning is just right. I’ve done some experimenting. A lot of people make their tenderloins from frozen. They’re never as good when they come out of the freezer. All our tenderloins are fresh. We trim all the fat and gristle. We start with a six ounce piece of meat about three-eighths of an inch thick. We use plenty of meat. That’s part of the reason why it’s good. The breading is nice and crunchy and light."

Town is taking the tenderloin on the road.


He bought and equipped a concession trailer and is going to sell tenderloins to the lunch crowd several days a week on a friend’s property on Army Post Road in Des Moines. If it goes well, he hopes to sell at other venues.

Town, and his wife, Linda, have owned the Town House off and on since 1980. The restaurant offers a full menu and is also known for its prime rib, which is served on Fridays and Saturdays, and its steaks, broasted chicken and batter-fried cod.

The tenderloin title has helped put Wellsburg on the map. Other business owners have told Town that they’ve had more customers with all the people coming to town for tenderloins.

-- Jean Caspers-Simmet

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