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Posted by Michael Stern on Friday, March 29, 2013 10:39 AM

To the Annals of Insanely Large Food, add this fine tenderloin from Smitty's Tap in Leonore, Illinois. It is pounded thin and breaded on premises. Barely visible in the center of the photo is the top of its normal-size bun.


Mrs. Roadhouse and I ate at Smitty's a couple years ago after a day trip to Starved Rock State Park. We ordered the BPT, and indeed it arrived at our table as shown, although, even with the bun in there for size comparison, it's still difficult to comprehend the immense size of that hunk of pork. We split the sandwich, asking for an extra bun (not an uncommon request, apparently), and the meat still extended far beyond the perimeters of both pieces of bread. It looked like twin Saturns; two bun planets, floating ethereally, surrounded by rings of pounded out and breaded pork On the other hand, size isn't everything. We found the BPT to be pounded so thin, the pork was almost equal in thickness to the surrounding breading--on each side--thus giving it an almost 2-to-1 ratio of breading to meat. Still, it was fun to eat after we spent several minutes just admiring it and taking pictures. Since then, we've had a far superior version of the BPT at Christie's Tasty Queen in Kansas City, KS, which I've written about and recommended in one of the several BPT threads. We originally showed up at Smitty's hoping for Fried Chicken. LaSalle county has developed a reputation as an epicenter for great Fried Chicken. Places recently reviewed by Michael Stern, like Verucchi's and The Wedron Office, in addition to Rip's Tavern and others, have lines out the door on a regular basis. Trouble is, almost all of them are closed Monday through Wednesday, and we were visiting on a Tuesday. We did our research and found Smitty's to be one of the few places in the area, known for their Fried Chicken, and open on a Tuesday. When we got there though, we discovered that Fried Chicken was a bi-weekly special, and we were there on the wrong night. Our disappointment turned around slightly when we were told that Tuesday's were chicken wing night. Figuring "chicken is chicken", we happily ordered a dozen wings with classic hot sauce. The wings were better than the BPT. Not quite pt
Posted by BuddyRoadhouse on Friday, Mar 29, 2013 4:02 PM

I recently explored the chicken joints around there, and think that Rip's in Ladd is far and away the best. Smitty's broasts theirs, which is not a bad thing, but, IMO, not the equal of the more traditional fryers.
Posted by Michael Stern on Saturday, Mar 30, 2013 4:57 AM

Been blogging and posting on LTH forum about all these spots for a few years. Nice to see others enjoying them. Smittys is pretty solid. AYCE fried chicken & ravs is Saturdays. Tenderloin can be hit or miss. Many consider Rips too greasy. My top 3 1) Sip-n- Snack 2)Rips 3) Wedron Office Honorable mentions - Annies Hideaway - Naplate,& Last Chance Saloon - Millington.
Posted by KingCrab on Monday, Apr 1, 2013 5:17 PM

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