B & B Grocery

Butcher Shop | Grocery Store | Hamburgers | Sandwich Shop
One of the best

B&B is primarily a grocery store. Meal service is a do-it-yourself affair: step up to the butcher counter and order what you’d like to eat, from breakfast burritos to heroic “killer sandwiches” and a terrific Iowa tenderloin. The tenderloin is what we would call Des Moines-style, meaning that it is fairly thin and ridiculously wide, so wide that many customers fold it over once or twice inside the bun so the sandwich can actually be picked up. Still, that ribbon of pork inside crunchy crust is juicy and sweet.

You don’t find too many places like B&B any more. It is an old-fashioned neighborhood market with butchers who do everything from making sandwiches to processing deer. Signs above the counter advertise the “whole hog special,” which is 73 pounds of pork in various forms, and the “1/2 of 1/2 beef,” which includes steaks, ribs, roasts, and burger meat. Dining takes place at a makeshift eating annex of counter and stools to which you tote your sandwich. Décor includes newspaper headlines from years past as well as a vintage advertisement for the Des Moines Register titled “Business Success is achieved by those who early learn to manage money.” The ad shows how John and Archie Brooks got their early business education as paper boys, starting in 1917.

What to Eat
B & B Grocery, Tenderloin
You know you are in Iowa when the tenderloin is comically huge. A sandwich of this girth demands strategizing: How do you get condiments on the parts of the pork beyond the bun? Some people fold the meat over once or even twice so that it is held in a closer orbit to the bun.
B & B Grocery, Deep Fried Bacon
Deep Fried Bacon
We were given these pieces of deep-fried bacon as a lagniappe while we waited for our tenderloins to fry.
B & B Grocery, Hashbrown Sticks
Hashbrown Sticks
We were intrigued enough by the hashbrown sticks to give them a try. Pretty good, but this side dish probably won't be sweeping the country anytime soon.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Tuesday9am - 5pm
Wednesday9am - 5pm
Thursday9am - 5pm
Friday9am - 5pm
Saturday8:30am - 3pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
4 stops | 93 MILES | 1 hr 53 min

There are excellent tenderloins in Indiana, and some in Illinois, but no state has as many great ones as Iowa. By tenderloin, we don't mean a roast that requires marinade or seasonings, then gets carved, plated, and eaten with knife and fork; in Iowa tenderloin means sandwich. Sometimes abbreviated BPT for breaded pork tenderloin, it…

6 stops | 16 MILES | 39 min

Even if you are not in town for the annual Iowa State Fair, which offers days worth of good food, Des Moines is a city of eating opportunities far more colorful than suggested by its old nickname, "Hartford of the West." After coffee and a mighty cinnamon roll at Java Joe's Coffee House, a visit…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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