Memorable | One of the Best
Miles Inn | Northwest Iowa’s Legendary Loosemeats
Review by: Jane & Michael Stern
When you come to Sioux City looking for Northwest Iowa’s legendary loosemeats at the Miles Inn, do not search for the inn among any listing of “restaurants.” You will not find it there. Look for it under “taverns.” That makes sense in two ways. First, obviously, is that the Miles Inn is, in fact, a tavern. People come here for long, leisurely afternoons or evenings quaffing beer. They come to watch the overhead TV or to laugh at Saturday night stand-up comedians. They know the Miles Inn as a great place to gather with friends.
Eat a Charlie Boy
The kitchen offers just one hot food: a loosemeats sandwich, here called a Charlie Boy. Founder John Miles, who built the sturdy tavern in 1925, named it for his son, Charlie. The Charlie Boy is Reason Number Two that the Miles Inn’s listing as a tavern makes sense: Sioux Citians know the Charlie Boy as a variation of the sandwich that is known to many in this region as a tavern. Originally served in the 1920s at a place called Ye Old Tavern (hence the sandwich’s name tavern), the Iowa specialty goes by several other aliases. These include Big T, Tastee, Maid-Rite, and the most popular, loosemeats.
As a favorite sandwich snack in this part of the world, northwest Iowa’s legendary loosemeats outpace hamburgers. Dozens of restaurants serve them. Each has its own twist, but the basic recipe is simple. The kitchen cooks gently-spiced ground beef in such a way that it remains pebbly when piled into a bun. Pickle chips and mustard garnish it. A slice of orange American cheese often goes in there, too. In most places that serve it — the Miles Inn included — the sandwich does not arrive on a plate. It comes wrapped in wax paper. Unwrap it and the paper becomes a dropcloth to catch inevitable drippings.
Beef & Beer Satisfaction
Miles Inn’s loosemeats are well-fatted with a concentrated beef flavor that delivers completely different satisfaction than a steak or even a pattied hamburger. Two or three Charlie Boys make a wonderful lunch. To drink with Charlie Boys? Plenty of beer, by bottle or tap.
Directions & Hours
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner, Late Night|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|