Mr. Bibbs, a stark, open-kitchen sandwich shop in Des Moines’ Highland Park neighborhood, has a full menu of hamburgers, hot dogs and even “guinea grinders” (the politically incorrect local term for Italian hero sandwiches), but we know nothing about any of these items. The two things we can tell you about are the tenderloin and the crisp, wispy-rich onion rings. There are four kinds of the former: regular (undressed), unbreaded (why bother?), chili-topped, and – best of all – deluxe. Deluxe means a double-wide loin, fairly thin as per Des Moines custom, perched atop a bed of shredded lettuce and garnished with pickle chips, chopped onions, sliced tomatoes, mustard and ketchup, all held together in a minimal burger bun by a wrap of wax paper.
Word to the wise: Dine at Mr. Bibb’s either before 11am or after 1. During lunch hour, the few booths in the little shop are hopping with local high schoolers who come to palaver with each other as much as to eat.