Little Bohemia Tavern

Review by: Roadfood Team

Little Bohemia Tavern’s pork tenderloin is near perfection, a generous slab of ‘loin that is pounded flat, breaded, and fried to order. It is just the right thickness, the subtly herbed breading helping retain the ‘loin’s succulence.

The Little Bohemia Tavern was a landmark by the 1940s, when noted Midwest regionalist artist (and local boy) Marvin Cone immortalized the corner bar in the painting that bears its name. Nearly 70 years later, Cedar Rapids arts and cultural organizations adopted Cone’s painting as a symbol of the neighborhood’s hoped-for recovery from the epic, devastating Cedar River flood of June 2008.

Happily, both the neighborhood and its namesake tavern have come back from the disaster. The river, less than a city block from the Little Bohemia Tavern, swept decades worth of historic photos, posters, and other local memorabilia from its walls (the big front windows were miraculously unscathed), but not the recipes handed down by the bar’s original owner.

What to eat at Little Bohemia Tavern

For that menu, just know the bar was located within blocks of one of the world’s largest pork slaughterhouses, a plant whose heavily Bohemian workforce appreciated a rib-sticking meal with a cold pilsner or three. Little Bo’s pork tenderloin is near perfection, a generous hunk of pig cut, pounded flat, and breaded on premises. It’s just the right thickness, the subtly herbed breading helping retain the ‘loin’s succulence.

There’s also the hot loin variation on the Midwest favorite: the same breaded tenderloin served over sliced bread and a couple scoops of mashed potatoes, topped with excellent gravy. The menu also includes the more-standard beef version. Little Bo’s goulash is an authentic bowl of neighborhood heritage, an aromatically porky stew that’s a perfect winter warmer. You’ll want it with the large dumpling slices and just maybe the sliced green onions and shredded cheddar cheese.

There’s also the standard, but well-rendered, tavern favorites – various burgers and appetizers – including a standout grilled cheese supreme with green onions, tomato, and hot mustard on marble rye. Again in keeping with the neighborhood, there’s an excellent bratwurst – made here – with kraut.
There’s always at least one regional brew on tap, and at least one appropriately Czech bottled lager in the cooler.

Children are welcome, and there’s a menu for them, too. You may want to call ahead if you’re coming for lunch. It’s easy to while away an afternoon when the Little Bo becomes the neighborhood social center it’s been since Prohibition, but be warned – you could end up looking like the big-bellied clientele in Cone’s painting.

Original post by Steve Gravelle

Directions & Hours

11am - 10pm
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

What To Eat

Breaded Pork Tenderloin

DISH

Little Bohemia Tavern Recipes

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What do you think of Little Bohemia Tavern?

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