2014 Spring RV Road Tour in Pursuit of the Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

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2014/05/24 17:37:07 (permalink)

2014 Spring RV Road Tour in Pursuit of the Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

This is a summary of our Spring RV trip and the pursuit of the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. For the interest of brevity and focusing on subject I am leaving out the burgers, pizza, home southern cooking, BBQ, Cajun and seafood of which there was plenty.

The first tenderloin on my 2014 spring RV tour that commenced in March was at Breitbach’s in Balltown, Iowa north of Dubuque. This was the 2012 Iowa Pork Producers Association best breaded pork tenderloin winner. Breitbach’s is the oldest continuing restaurant in Iowa (dating to 1856) at the same location but two previous buildings burnt down. It is unknown how long they have been serving tenderloins.

The next tenderloin was at Butch’s River Rock Cafe in Oakland Mills, Iowa. It was the 2013 IPPA winner. This was at an enjoyable river shack on a gravel road.

Padre Rita Grill in South Padre Island, Texas. This one was an unexpected discovery while seeking out their shrimp cook off winner. Turns out it was a Winter Texan Iowa sponsored, inspired and requested tenderloin that made it onto the menu.

Moving on to Galveston, Texas, I discovered this one at Cafe Michael Burger next to the campground we were staying. This was billed as a veal Weiner Schnitzel sandwich but it was definitely pork. Toast is an eastern European style I see in Nordeast Minneapolis a lot.

The Sunflower Bakery & Cafe in Galveston, Texas is a great breakfast spot. This time we tried it for lunch and found this pork tenderloin sandwich on the menu.

After a very short respite at home we headed out again, first for Cleveland, then Bourbon country in Kentucky and finally to Indianapolis. On our way we stopped at Culver’s in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Culver’s may be fast food but this tenderloin was definitely real and not a fritter. Culver’s does a good job.

The Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury, IN in the heart of Amish country served this tenderloin. This one I had high expectations being Amish country but be warned, it is a fritter. The deep fried pickle was good.

Sorry, nothing to report in Ohio and Kentucky. 

Now getting serious after arriving in Indianapolis we first went to Smee’s Place Bar & Grill in Indianapolis at West 86th Street and Ditch Rd. Their sign in the window by the way said, “Friends don’t let friends eat at CHAIN restaurants.” 

At the Indianapolis Grand Prix I had this track loin from a stand behind the Northwest Vista stands. It was from a different vendor it seems from the red building Indy Grill which wasn’t open at this race. It was pretty good and had a peppery breading I liked.

After the race we made a southern Indiana tour. Our first stop was the Trojan Horse in Bloomington, IN.

At the Spring Mill State Park Inn we had this tenderloin. To me it was very similar to a Turkey Run State Park Inn tenderloin from a previous year so assumed maybe the same vendor.

Next was the Salt Creek Brewery between Bloomington and New Bedford on Old Indiana 37 Highway. Very good tenderloin, great beer and great onion rings.

At the Clifty Falls State Park Inn the tenderloin was different than Spring Mill and Turkey Run. This one was bigger. Tasty as usual.

On the way back to Indianapolis we stopped at Stories Restaurant in Greensburg. This tenderloin was reputed to be good and it proved its worthiness along with the crispy waffle sweet potato fries.

Back in Indianapolis first up was a visit to the Gas Light Inn on South Meridian Street. This tenderloin ranks up with the best in Indianapolis. This place belies its name which sounds higher class. It was a delightful dive with a reputed ghost.

On Carb Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway we sat high in the stands and about 100 feet up they were frying tenderloins in Grandstand B, filling aluminum pans and delivering to the concession stands that were on the penthouse decks. They were frying as fast as they could.

I didn’t have a track loin on Carb Day. I had another place in mind. John’s Famous Stew. Growing up my Dad brought home John’s hot stew take out a lot. This is a 21 and over dive bar so as a kid I never got to go in. They serve a very good tenderloin and this is actually a half of their tenderloin which they split and gave us two buns.

A departure. What we came for was John’s Famous Stew served in you choice in mild, medium and hot. You’ll find no better stew.

This may be my last tenderloin on the tour. In fact I did not eat this one. We had our annual high school reunion we attend at a standing reservation every Friday night before the Indy 500 Race at Grindstone Charley’s in Speedway, Indiana. The tenderloin is billed under my name on the menu but I was full after John’s Famous Stew. Finally defeated. But we can’t go without a photo.
post edited by Davydd - 2014/05/25 07:03:42

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