Let’s Take a Big Bite of Loose Meat … Shall We???

by Jay Hood on November 16, 2013


Tastee Inn Out

Sioux City, Iowa is one of those places you typically breeze right past while headed one way or the other on I-29. With a population just above 80,000 and little more than 50 square miles you would be easily forgiven. When considering the near 200 mile stretch from Omaha, Nebraska to Sioux Falls, South Dakota it barely registers as a speck on the map.

Sioux City Iowa

However, if you are driving along the highway and have thirty minutes to kill, Sioux City is a must stop. Pulling off the main highway onto Gordon Avenue deposits you into an industrial nightmare. A bridge crosses the Floyd River which seems like nothing more than a large gutter. Just a little beyond what appears to be a rail loading yard is the Tastee Inn & Out. The building is a classic drive-in diner.

Tastee Inn and Out

You pull up to the window and order your food. The menu is sparse. But what they do, they do right. Options are limited to loose meat sandwiches and either fries or onion chips. The hardest decision seems to be the quantity desired. These options include a ‘Big Pail of Onion Chips’ a ‘Bucket of French Fries’ and a ‘1/2 Gal. of Root Beer’. Take your cholesterol medicine before arriving.

Tastee Inn and Out

Once you’ve ordered, you can either sit at some picnic tables that are adjacent to the highway or you can sit in your car. A third option might be take this stuff to go, but I can’t imagine how it would fare if not eaten immediately.


The billboard across the street for Dr. Mick Hurley – Triple Board Certified seemed a bad omen for this type of food. We chose not to have him looking down at us with scorn as we ate and just sat in the car.

Tastee Inn and Out Onion Chips

Instead of the artery clogging big pail, we went for a more modest cup of onion chips. Yum!

Tastee Inn and Out French Fries

We opted for a smaller bag of french fries instead of the gut busting big pail.

Tastee Inn and Out Loose Meat Sandwich

And finally, the piece de resistance. The loose meat sandwich. This is why we stopped. It seemed like a sloppy joe but no sauce. It seemed like a hamburger, but with a different type of spice. It had a little mustard flavor to it perhaps. Whatever it was, we were sorry we didn’t order the ‘Shopper Special 12 Tastee Sandwiches’ because they were darn good.

So let’s take a big bite out of some loose meat, shall we?

Tastee Inn and Out Loose Meat Sandwich

Jay Hood (Section Chief Shea Garage/Contributing Editor)

Jay Hood has lived in Baltimore, Maryland for the past 25 years.  He likes to travel and is an avid photographer.  His photography has been featured in several obscure and unassuming locations, such as John Ball Zoological Gardens.  He does not eat vegetables and is learning to enjoy seafood.  He strives to keep his DVR no more than 40% full.  Comfort is paramount and he is not above a little slacking.

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