Helpful ReplyHot!Pork Tenderloins

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Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/06/23 20:36:41 (permalink)
Wanderingjew,

I have heard mixed reviews about the Mug'n'Bun. You are not the only one disappointed. The Stern review gives it a good grade. The documentary, "In Search of the Famous Hoosier Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich" gives it a lot of cred. A friend in Indianapolis called it a "fritter". Others say it is not as good as the other local BPT restaurants nearby (Grindstone Charley's, O'Neal's, McGilvery's, Brickyard Crossing). I really don't know what state it is in today. I may have to find out next year.

Smitty's is suppose to be one of Iowa's best. Let me know when you try it. I may get down there this summer on business and will have my chance. After trying Joensy's in Solon, IA I have to believe the standards might not be up to the Hoosier variety if Iowans think that one is good. It was big though.
oltheimmer
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/06/27 21:59:33 (permalink)
Davydd,

I meant to use my first post on Roadfood to thank you for discovering the Pork Tenderloin at Heights Camphouse in Houston but forgot. Then I saw your comments on the Atmosphere vs. Food thread and remembered. I thought your description of the restaurant was very forgiving . It looked like it had been a bingo hall and they didn't even bother to rearrange the tables and chairs before opening it as a restaurant. I loved the big aerial shot of downtown Houston from the Bob Bailey studios ca. 1936 on the wall, however. That alone would be worth a return visit and will be of interest to many Heights area residents if they don't already know about it.

I have been wanting to try a Pork Tenderloin for years but never knew there was one available here. I went a few days after seeing your post and was elated. It was even better than I had ever anticipated. That is an awesome sandwich and I see no reason it couldn't be a big hit down here if people could be convinced to try it. Perhaps a change of name? Call in the marketing pros and see what could they come up with that would make it trendy? 'Chicken Fried Chilean........'

I didn't get as big a piece of meat as you pictured (it was a cowgirl behind the grill, a Terri Clark look-a-like) and I don't live anywhere near the Heights, but I'll be back. I'm also going to try to interest a sandwich shop near me in doing that. I can't think of any time I've ever had a CFS sandwich and I think mostly that's eaten on a plate with sides. What came to mind to me was a chicken fried chicken breast sandwich but this was much better than any of those I've ever had.

Thanks again.
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/06/27 22:49:28 (permalink)
You are very welcome Oltheimmer. Maybe they should just call it a Chicken Fried Pork Tenderloin and Texans would understand. Calling it a Pork Loin Burger was not quite right. A burger to me would imply that it was ground pork. I took my cousins from Houston to the Heights Camphouse. They are ex-Hoosiers and they were delighted. I may have put the challenge to the cook when I was there and got the royal treatment. I showed him some digital pictures I still had on my camera of the Red Onion, Muldoon's, Grindstone Charley's and Gnawbone Food & Fuel to give him some incentive before he made them. Oh what the heck, here is an encore presentation of one of the other sandwiches.

oltheimmer
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/06/28 09:49:24 (permalink)
Just putting chicken fried in front of it would definitely help. Some people would be turned off but others would be lining up to try it no matter what it was. Pork loin burger is very misleading. I don't think these people know what they have here.

Maybe I'll print out a picture and take it with me next time.
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/02 10:44:23 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by oltheimmer

Just putting chicken fried in front of it would definitely help. Some people would be turned off but others would be lining up to try it no matter what it was. Pork loin burger is very misleading. I don't think these people know what they have here.

The cook I talked to, a young guy, knew but they did not know what to call it. They did describe it accurately though as I think I said before. "It is like a chicken fried steak, only pork without the gristle."

I may have found yet another breaded pork tenderloin serving place in Minnesota. Has anyone been to the Nook on Hamline in St. Paul, MN?
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/03 22:12:44 (permalink)
The place I found was the Nook in St. Paul, MN on Hamline Ave. The name fits the place. It is small, very small. You step in and face a small "J" shaped bar and then one row of tables along one long wall terminating at some video games on the back wall. The kitchen is a cubby space just off the bar. The walls are decorated with signs and memorabilia such as a Monroe High School athletic letter sweater from 1945. Yeah, the place dates back to 1938.

The Nook is primarily a hamburger joint. Just about everybody was eating hamburgers that I can see including my wife. I ordered the breaded pork tenderloin. The tenderloin was OK, average at best. I judged they sourced from a commercial supplier and threw them in a deep fryer. The kitchen was too small to be anything other than a hamburger specialty place. Would I go back? You bet. The Nook is the neighborhood bar/restaurant every neighborhood probably wished they had but few do.
captainjonny
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/06 14:59:11 (permalink)
I am displaced from Ohio...in Seattle. Is there anyplace in the
Northwest to get a Pork Tenderloin? The best PT sandwich was at the
now closed Jerry's Drive Inn in Columbus. They served it on a buttered bun with lettuce.
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/07 21:23:51 (permalink)
captainjonny,

The farther you get from Indian/Illinois/Iowa the fewer pork tenderloins you will find. They bleed out a bit into the surrounding states like Ohio but surprisingly fast. They are hard to find in Michigan. I have probably exhausted my search in Minneapolis/St. Paul and this close they don't quite get them right. If you do find them they will probably refer to them as Iowa or Indiana pork tenderloin sandwiches and the restaurant owner will most likely be a native of the "I" states. I did find one in Texas as I reported earlier but they didn't even know what to call it. A Google search doesn't turn up anything in Seattle or the northwest. Best thing you can do is make your own. It is not that difficult and I have done the heavy work for you with this recipe tutorial...

http://web.mac.com/davydd/iWeb/Site/BPT_Tutorial.html
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/07 22:57:45 (permalink)
It was brought to my attention that the recipe description on my web page could not be copied or printed. It printed for me on a Mac but not on a Windows PC. So I did some checking and found there was a known bug in regard to the Arial font I used. I changed the font to Verdana and republished. Now I can select the text and copy and paste it into a text editor. I won't have a chance to see if it prints right from the web page on a Windows PC until Monday. Since it is now selectable text I assume it will.

For some reason the thumbnail pictures on the web page will not print for me. This all has something to do with conversion to .png file types which is something I do not thoroughly understand yet. I can click on the pictures individually and get an 800 x 600 pixel image that will print.

Hope this helps those who want to make their own.

http://web.mac.com/davydd/iWeb/Site/BPT_Tutorial.html
ScreenBear
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/08 00:16:26 (permalink)
With my computer knowledge, I think it'd just be easier to go to Iowa and buy the sandwich.
The Bear
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/09 14:44:32 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by ScreenBear

With my computer knowledge, I think it'd just be easier to go to Iowa and buy the sandwich.
The Bear
I guess you have to weigh $9 worth of grocery purchases vs about $1,000. You could buy a Mac for that price and problem solved.

BTW, if you want the best you should go to Indiana.
ScreenBear
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/10 23:04:55 (permalink)
Davydd,
A visit to Nick's Kitchen, and then on to Iowa, where I went to college in the 1960s, and didn't know to try a Tenderloin Sandwich, is on my medium-length list of things to do.
The Bear
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/11 21:00:05 (permalink)
Truth be told, in the 60s they were not as popular as they are today. In fact I would bet Iowa is a later comer to the game than Indiana. They were definitely around in Indiana but I don't recall them being in every dang bar/restaurant in the state like they are today.

My next pursuit will be in Iowa. We plan to camp down along the Mississipi later this summer in northeast Iowa and go to the St. Olaf Tap in St. Olaf. The St. Olaf Tap tenderloin is on the Des Moines Register's 100 foods to eat in Iowa before you die. It is also self reputed to the be biggest in Iowa in competition with Joensy's I guess. Then I will eventually get to West Des Moines, Hamlin and Dunlap to try Iowa's reputed best and Iowa Pork Board winners.
ScreenBear
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/11 21:17:40 (permalink)
I envy you your mission.
The Bear
wanderingjew
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/11 21:52:05 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Davydd

Truth be told, in the 60s they were not as popular as they are today. In fact I would bet Iowa is a later comer to the game than Indiana. They were definitely around in Indiana but I don't recall them being in every dang bar/restaurant in the state like they are today.

My next pursuit will be in Iowa. We plan to camp down along the Mississipi later this summer in northeast Iowa and go to the St. Olaf Tap in St. Olaf. The St. Olaf Tap tenderloin is on the Des Moines Register's 100 foods to eat in Iowa before you die. It is also self reputed to the be biggest in Iowa in competition with Joensy's I guess. Then I will eventually get to West Des Moines, Hamlin and Dunlap to try Iowa's reputed best and Iowa Pork Board winners.


Davydd,

Is there anything inherently different about the tenderloins in Iowa vs Indiana or their accompanyments. I noticed in your photos most of the tenderloins in Indiana come with mayo and some even have lettuce and tomato, however on the Iowa website it appears most of them come with pickles, onions and mustard. Just an observation, I wasn't sure if this is an actual fact.
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/12 21:25:34 (permalink)
WanderingJew,

None of my pictures has mayo on the tenderloins. You might see the onions sticking out. I always use mustard and I do like lettuce and tomato. I think the pictures just show the preference of the photographer. Often you get a plain tenderloin and you have to request the condiments. One difference I have noticed is the Indiana variety that I have checked out usually came from a full service sit down restaurant or bar. A lot of the Iowa tenderloins that have been posted seem to come from walk up and fast food type places. That too could just be the preference of the photographer to date. I do plan to narrow my visits in Iowa to those establishments that get frequent mention, Iowa Pork Board winners, and Chicago Des Moines Register writeups such as the St. Olaf Tap tenderloin.

Iowa is off to a bad start with me. I went out of my way to stop at Joensy's in Solon and would rate iy about 11th best behind 9 Indiana tenderloins and one Minnesota tenderloin. The only Indiana tenderloin it beat was the one that started me on this pursuit, the Indy 500 Brickyard Crossing Restaurant that was featured on the Food Finds show on the Food Network. It could have just been a bad day for the Brickyard Crossing because the show tenderloin looked a lot better. The one I had was too greasy and the breading was falling off in chunks and the bun disintegrated from the grease.

In my home state, Minnesota, the tenderloins get worse. They seem more a token menu item when they are available in some of the better reputation neighborhood bars. My guess is they are purchased prepackaged from a wholesaler and they are just dropped into the fryer.
Jim Ross
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/12 21:47:44 (permalink)
Originally posted by Davydd

....I went out of my way to stop at Joensy's in Solon and would rate iy about 11th best behind 9 Indiana tenderloins and one Minnesota tenderloin. The only Indiana tenderloin it beat was the one that started me on this pursuit.....
************************************************************
I don't know what happened to the Solon Joensy's. The last 2 times we went I was very disappointed in the tenderloin and we have quit going there. They just weren't crisp, kind of soggy. The Joensy's in Center Point still has great tenderloins, plus they are priced differently than the Solon Joensy's. The large tenderloin in Centerpoint is $5 while the same size in Solon is $8. I had one in Center Point last week and it was excellent.
janicks
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/13 21:07:58 (permalink)
David I have been thinking of what to do to celebrate the 100 years of breaded pork tenderloin at Nick's Kitchen.
It will be in 2008. Maybe a cooking class kinda thing so people could learn step by step how to make them... Kinda like your web page.
Or a dress the tenderloin contest what are the favorite condiments..{I had a guy order sour cream the other day}I don't know .. Just know we have to make it great. Jean anne
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/14 21:45:38 (permalink)
Jean Anne,

Let me know when. I'd like to be there.

So people know...

http://web.mac.com/davydd/iWeb/Site/Nicks_Kitchen.html

http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=1398
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/21 20:47:53 (permalink)
I was on my own tonight for dinner so I made a return engagement to the Minnetonka Drive In, Spring Park, Minnesota and did take out. This just reconfirmed in my mind that the Minnetonka Drive In has the best pork tenderloin sandwich in Minnesota. The sandwich was very tender, juicy and more than 1/2 inch thick. It was not one of those pounded out dinner plate size ones as you can see. The breading was excellent. I was very satisfied



By the way, the Summit Grand Bohemian style Pilsener was just the right top off. The onion rings were also very good.
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/23 19:48:09 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Davydd

The place I found was the Nook in St. Paul, MN on Hamline Ave. The name fits the place. It is small, very small. You step in and face a small "J" shaped bar and then one row of tables along one long wall terminating at some video games on the back wall. The kitchen is a cubby space just off the bar. The walls are decorated with signs and memorabilia such as a Monroe High School athletic letter sweater from 1945. Yeah, the place dates back to 1938.

The Nook is primarily a hamburger joint. Just about everybody was eating hamburgers that I can see including my wife. I ordered the breaded pork tenderloin. The tenderloin was OK, average at best. I judged they sourced from a commercial supplier and threw them in a deep fryer. The kitchen was too small to be anything other than a hamburger specialty place. Would I go back? You bet. The Nook is the neighborhood bar/restaurant every neighborhood probably wished they had but few do.

Pork tenderloin pursuits are getting dang frustrating. I reported on The Nook a couple of weeks back. I didn't get my picture of the tenderloin because the memory card was missing from my digital camera. I was cleaning old pictures off my half dozen memory cards and forgot to put one back in. 28 miles one way and a missed opportunity.

So last night we invited friends visiting from New Zealand to come along. The husband went to the high school across the street from the Nook and hadn't been there in quite a few years. Whatta you know. We got there and thought we hit the jackpot finding a parking spot right in front, but a hand lettered sign on the door said the Nook was closed for Mike's wedding and would re-open Sunday. I don't know who Mike is but he messed up my second chance. I will try a third time because the Nook could very well be the best neighborhood bar/grill in America (but not for the tenderloin).
Win
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/26 13:06:56 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by gatorbreath

hawkeyejohn
I feel your pain. I'm living in St. Louis but grew up in Muncie, IN where there was a drive-in restaurant called "Johns Awful Awful" which had the kind of breaded tenderloin you seek. These were awful big and awful good, hence the name. This place is long since gone but the quest for good tenderloin lives on. While viewing the website of the hometown paper I came across this article about such a quest. Link is now broken.



The article described a bunch of writers at the paper looking for a good tenderloin. I realize this doesn't help you out but you might want to keep your eyes open for an article in the suburban Chicago papers on this topic because that is where the departing member of the tendeloin club is departing to. Anyone who likes them this much will surely be able to scare one up in Chicago.



I, too, grew up in Muncie, IN (Muncie Central H.S.) and my older brother, "Punch," used to hang out at John's Awful Awful's. I live in Florida now, but yearn for that fine breaded tenderloin delicacy. Hope my son (currently in Indianapolis) gets a chance to savor this unique Indy-born culinary delight!
plb
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/07/28 12:05:22 (permalink)
Fellow Ex-Muncieites,

John's was much more popular as a hangout. But it was Burkie's that was, and still is, best known for Breaded Pork Tenderloins. I do not remember what an Awful Awful was but I remember John’s Ham-A-Rama sandwiches.
bigmoe52
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/08/02 12:00:26 (permalink)
Can someone post links to different online sites where I can order frozen, breaded pork tenderloins delivered? I like the big thin kind. It is almost impossible to find them here in Central Florida. I grew up in Indiana and miss them terribly. The ones from Schwans stink. Thanks in advance.
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/08/02 19:03:36 (permalink)
Why order them frozen? They are easy enough to make for yourself. Besides, if frozen you are still going to have to deep fry them. That is the most difficult part. Give it a try. Here is what you need to know...

http://web.mac.com/davydd/iWeb/Site/BPT_Tutorial.html

The 1999 documentary by Jensen Rufe on "In Search of the Famous Indiana Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich" alluded that Mr. Dave's in North Manchester, IN might ship tenderloins. The Food Networks Food Finds show "Racing Around Indiana" said that the Brickyard Crossing would ship tenderloins but when I went to the web site to get the information it was not included. I don't think either restaurant is in that business but probably threw in gratis mention that it's been done. Probably to someone, rich person or celebrity willing to pay a premium price.
janicks
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/08/02 20:26:08 (permalink)
The reason they can't send the frozen tenderloins by mail is you can't send fresh food products across state lines. You have to be federally inspected not just the normal state inspected.Plus the cost of the overnight shipping, dry ice etc.. You need to be a rich celebrity type person ... I have done it used a stryo cooler shipped a dozen to my sister in Washington state. Cost was 45$ .Jean Anne
bigmoe52
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/08/02 23:05:26 (permalink)
Thanks fellas but I was not talking about a restaurant shipping them. I got the following link off of this thread and ordered some tenderloins from them. That is what I meant by a company that would ship them. If you know of anymore, please let me know. I do not have much time to do any cooking. So it is convenient for me to be able to just pop one in my deep fryer and have at it.


http://www.amanameatshop.com/product.asp?id=4
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/08/02 23:20:19 (permalink)
bigmoe52,

Jean Anne owns the best tenderloin restaurant in Indiana. They don't get any better and it is sad she can't ship them because there is no food house that will go the extra mile in preparation to come close to hers.

As for Amana Meats, they might be good but my experience with restaurants that purchase prepackaged frozen breaded pork tenderloins is that you will most likely get a bland, flavorless sandwich. Freezing alone will detract from the final flavor. You will not enjoy the experience of a truly great pork tenderloin sandwich. I have proven to myself that you can make a great home tenderloin.

As for myself, I have already put on about 7,000 miles this year pursuing them. Well, I was going to drive those miles anyway but I did make quite a few major detours from a straight line route to try them.
captainjonny
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/08/03 20:43:29 (permalink)
http://web.mac.com/davydd/iWeb/Site/BPT_Tutorial.html

THIS TUTORIAL IS FABULOUS...NOT DIFFICULT. Thanks a million for the recipes and techniques. The Panko breading works, and is "light", but I will try the other methods since it is still not exactly what I remember from the 50's and 60's drive-inns. Cap'n
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2006/08/05 11:39:44 (permalink)
captainjonny,

Thanks for the compliment on the tutorial. I doubt the Panko Japanese bread crumbs existed or were available in Indiana back in the 50's and 60's. If they were they probably would have only been found in a gourmet specialty shop and would have never made it down the food chain to a drive in. It is an improvement I like. The Brickyard Crossing chef said that is what they used so I tried it. Panko is a tad expensive. I can live with the crushed Ritz crackers. The one I haven't tried yet is the Shore Lunch brand of breading popular for pan fried fish.

It is the spicing I now experiment with. I'm not sure whether to just stay basic or experiment with exotic. I don't think restaurants stray too much from salt, pepper and maybe garlic.
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