Karde's 151 specializes in pork products

Mike Bohlken, kitchen manager at Karde's 151, works on putting together a Cuban sandwich, just one of Karde's many pork favorites. By far, the most popular pork menu item is their Tuesday special, the pork tenderloin. Bohlken said they sell out in one day. (Photos by Kim Brooks)

Card's serves up several varieties of pizza for carry-out/pick-up or delivery. Taylor King (front) and Ben Fuller get to work on preparing sausage and ham pizzas, Karde's sells mini pizzas during the lunch and dinner hour as well.
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     After opening almost four years ago, Karde’s 151 continues to serve up breakfast, lunch specials and dinner options for locals and travelers alike.

     With daily lunch specials, Karde’s 151 Kitchen Manager Mike Bohlken said by far their most popular lunch item is the breaded tenderloin only available on Tuesdays.

     “We go through everything we have on hand,” he said. “By Wednesday morning, there’s nothing left.”

     Bohlken said people usually ask for tenderloins if they’re not available.

     “We sell out of 100 tenderloins every Tuesday,” added Bohlken.

     Karde’s 151 offers a wide variety of food items all day available from the kitchen and Godfather’s Pizza, which offers more than just pizza. But, many of their popular food items are pork-related:

     • Tenderloins

     • Sausage breakfast sandwiches

     • Brat patties

     • Bacon

     • Pulled pork

     • Cuban sandwiches

     • Italian sausage pizza

     • Canadian bacon pizza

     Bohlken said that’s what makes the job enjoyable, making food that customers enjoy and keep coming back for.

     “I’m happy knowing people like it and that it makes them happy,” he said.

     Bohlken there’s something about seeing people’s eyes when they get the food they ordered that makes the job worth it.

     While the breaded tenderloins are top-notch, Bohlken said their other popular pork item is bacon, “loads and loads of bacon.

     “We go through 10 pounds a day,” shared Bohlken.

     Now that’s a lot of bacon!

     Pulled pork is the Wednesday noon special at Karde’s 151, and on Thursdays it’s the Cuban sandwich (citrus pulled pork and ham).

     As a locally-owned and operated convenience store, Karde’s purchases all of its tenderloins from Fareway right here in Monticello, along with the ingredients for the Cuban. The pulled pork comes from Farner-Bocken, an Iowa-based food service chain for convenience stores throughout the state.

     Aside from the fresh, local food served at Karde’s, they also sell pork products in-store from Savor the Barn in Langworthy. Bohlken said one of the popular Savor items are meat sticks, which the semi truck drivers and travelers enjoy.

     “Truckers can grab them and go and take them on the road,” he said.

     Other Savor the Barn items include brats and pork loin slices.

     “We work with each other,” said Bohlken of the relationship with Savor the Barn (Gerry and Lisa Hunt).

     Once a month, Karde’s offers a special breakfast sandwich, which uses a sausage blend from Savor the Barn as well.

     Then, once a week, they’ll feature a pork item such as brat patties.

     When it comes to ordering from Karde’s 151, they feature an app and online ordering to make it easy for everyone.

     “People don’t like to wait,” Bohlken said of the working public. “They want to pick it up and go.”

     Karde’s employs 13 people in the kitchen, both part-time and full-time. With several different kitchen shifts, each has its own set of responsibilities. Those who get there at 4:30 a.m. start cooking breakfast upon arrival. Those coming in at 6 a.m. start making pizzas for lunch. The 8 a.m. crew gets the rest of the lunch items rolled out.

     “We have three to four people prepping on every shift all morning for lunch,” said Bohlken.

     As kitchen manager, Bohlken is in charge of inventory and ordering of the food-related items, hiring employees, and making the schedule work for everyone.

     “I make sure the place runs smooth,” he said.

     Bohlken works five days a week, in addition to whenever he’s needed.

     Helping run the show is Stephanie Foster. “She’s my right-hand person,” praised Bohlken. “She makes sure everything stays afloat.”

     Bohlken said they have a great crew of employees at Karde’s 151 who work well together.

     If you can’t make it to Karde’s 151 to pick up your food order, they do offer delivery service roughly 6 miles out of town.

     For more information, visit Karde’s 151’s website (www.kardes151.com or www.godfathers151.com), Facebook page, download their app (“Karde’s Kitchen”), or call 319-465-3201.



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