Helpful ReplyHot!Pork Tenderloins

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Foodbme
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/10 21:25:06 (permalink)
You obviously need professional help if all you eat is BPT's. We appreciate your devotion to the BPT, but you need to put some variety in your life!
wanderingjew
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/10 21:26:18 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Davydd

The tastiest and best of this trip was the Mayberry Cafe despite the kitsch based on the old Andy Griffith TV show. After all that along with the Igloo previously reported I was tenderloined out despite driving back through the tenderloin heartland of Illinois, Missouri and Iowa and passing up other known opportunities.


Davydd,

I was wondering if you saw my review of the tenderloin at the Green Street Pub on my ballpark trip last month? I have a feeling it's gonna be in my best of list for 2007!
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/11 10:31:22 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew

quote:
Originally posted by Davydd

The tastiest and best of this trip was the Mayberry Cafe despite the kitsch based on the old Andy Griffith TV show. After all that along with the Igloo previously reported I was tenderloined out despite driving back through the tenderloin heartland of Illinois, Missouri and Iowa and passing up other known opportunities.


Davydd,

I was wondering if you saw my review of the tenderloin at the Green Street Pub on my ballpark trip last month? I have a feeling it's gonna be in my best of list for 2007!


WJ,

Yes, I saw your report. Green Street is the best in the metro Indianapolis area but on your next foray through Indiana you owe it to yourself to stop at Nick's Kitchen in Huntington, the birth place of the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich.

There are so many that I haven't tried yet but I think I may have hit the best in Nick's Kitchen, the Red Onion in Sheridan and Green Street in Brownsburg. Time will tell. There will be more in 2008.
ScreamingChicken
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/15 15:51:29 (permalink)
Davy,

Have you ever thought about writing a brief guide to BPT evaluation and posting it here as a sticky? It'd be interesting to know what you base your conclusions on, how to differentiate between a BPT and a pork fritter, etc.

I'm going to be in Springfield IL next month and am planning a meal stop at the Cozy Dog. There's a BPT on the menu and it'd be interesting to see how measures up.

Brad
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/15 20:12:42 (permalink)
Brad,

At last count I believe I have over 60 different restaurants represented in my gallery serving pork tenderloin sandwiches. I'm just beginning to understand what makes a good one.

What I do know from others' comments and the email I get that most people fondly remember the one from their hometowns. Mug'n'Bun and the Igloo are two such fondly remembered tenderloins. But I think if so fondly remembered they do not realize they have changed. The Mug'n'Bun is a case in point that I know from first hand experience going back over 40 years. If not fondly remembered then it is just inexperience with the sandwich with no point of comparison. The sandwich no matter how good always seems to impress those that never had one. That appears to be the case with Dana with Mug'n'Bun and his recent foray into Indiana and Kentucky in another thread.

OK. Here is what I look for.

1. The restaurant itself. Character and history count. The overall atmosphere. The pride of ownership. Independents obviously get a nod over chains but there are not too many chains serving pork tenderloin sandwiches. Culver's serves a passable one as does the Machine Shed (a mini mini chain). Frisch's Big Boy restaurants serve pork fritters. McDonald's made an aborted attempt in Indiana a few years ago. I didn't have theirs but suspect it too might have been a pork fritter. Think chicken McNuggets to understand fritter. Mug'n'Bun serves a fritter.

2. The meat itself. There are true pork tenderloins and there are pork loins. In truth there is not a lot of difference in the taste if prepared right. The pork chop, the other cut of meat from the back of the hog is a bit chewier. The word tenderloin seems to be a generic term for the sandwich. You can tell a true tenderloin if it has a distinct butterfly cut done so to make it big enough to over fill the bun. Pork tenderloins get a nod over pork loins but there are some mitigating balancers.

3. Meat quality. This one kind of puzzles me. I look for a moist tender cut that is white meat in character. So many are actually grey looking and they definitely do not taste as good. I'd like an explanation for the difference. My one suspicion is that the gray tenderloins tend to be the ones the restaurants that do not house prepare but probably get them pre-made from a distributor like SYSCO.

4. Meat preparation. This is the key to a great tenderloin. What makes Nick's Kitchen the best is because the pork marinates overnight in buttermilk and the resulting sandwich is a melt in your mouth sensation. I've done enough experimenting to know this is the one key difference whether it be a pork tenderloin or a pork loin. Most restaurants simply will not take this step. Tough, chewy meat is a turn off for me. Also if I encounter unchewable gristle then I know the meat wasn't trimmed properly.

5. Breading. I don't care for tenderloins that are dredged in flour only or in corn meal. That's OK for fish but not the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. I'm not fond of the battered kind either but I have tried a few for comparison. I look for two things in breading. One it should have some taste. Salt and pepper could do it. Second I like crispy lightness. My preference is Panko Japanese bread crumbs but saltine crackers can do it as well.

6. Frying. This is a big variable depending on who is at the fryer or how fresh the oil is. The tenderloin should be fried hot enough so as to not soak up too much of the frying oil and feel and taste so greasy. The breading should be fairly dry of oil and should not peel away from the meat. Whoever fried my tenderloin at the Bourbon Street Distillery in Indianapolis completely blew it. It was an oily soggy mess with the breading falling off the meat and soaking the bun to the point you could not hold it. It should be fried to a golden brown. It takes about three minutes in a deep fryer and that is why the meat is pounded flat to 1/4" to 3/8" so the meat cooks through without burning the breading. Restaurants that try to serve a thicker sandwich generally cannot control the frying consistently.

7. Presentation. Many restaurants try to serve the biggest plate filling sandwich to where the bun becomes incidental. There should be an appreciable meat overhang for the traditional and visual effect. A good kaiser bun or bakery bun gets a nod over a plain hamburger bun. The restaurant should offer all the trimmings and condiments whether you want them or not. That would be pickle, onion, lettuce and tomato and either mustard or mayo. Good French fries or onion rings adds to the presentation. Those big plate filling sandwiches have to be pork loin. There is no way I know how to pound out a pork tenderloin to that size and still have some meat thickness. But that's OK. It is fun to have one occasionally like that if it is still prepared right and tastes good. Case in point. St. Olaf Tap in St. Olaf, Iowa had the largest I ever had at a full pound of meat but it was almost more fun to see fathers bringing their pre-teen sons in to try them for the first time. After all, it is the uniqueness and mystique of the sandwich that makes it so great.
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/16 14:21:22 (permalink)
Larson's Catering and Pub in Elk Horn, IA is the Iowa Pork Board's 2007 winner of the best pork tenderloin sandwich.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071016/BUSINESS01/710160376/1029/BUSINESS

That's near Atlantic. Blizzardstormus what say you about this place?
blizzardstormus
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/16 18:34:09 (permalink)
Davydd, I haven't been up there since the Larsens took it over. It used to be a bar when I worked in Elkhorn at the Danish Inn. I drank a lot of 25 cent draws back then and played a lot of pinball there.

Larsens Pub is closed this Saturday for a wedding. I plan to go there next week. I will report back. If the BPT is as good as their catering, it should be a mighty fine sandwich.
trzhotel
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/18 17:25:50 (permalink)
Hello, i am new to this board but am no stranger to BPT's.
I recently set up a blog for what I have taken pictures of.
My job takes me across Central Iowa, and I often seek out
the elusive BPT.
It is in the very early stages, but I hope to update is as
often as I try a new BPT, or grilled PT. Let me know what
you think. I can only eat these things so often without getting
diabetes, so it will take a while to turn my blog into a usuble
resource.
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/19 09:47:00 (permalink)
trzhotel,

Welcome to Roadfood.com and the BPT community here. I see on your Des Loines blogspot your are only 25. Lots of years left to clog those arteries.

BTW, I was your first voter and I naturally selected the BPT over the other three sandwiches.
blizzardstormus
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/19 19:42:50 (permalink)
Larsen's Pub, winner of the 2007 Iowa Pork Producers Breaded Pork Tenderloin Award, is located in scenic Elkhorn, Iowa. Elkhorn and its sister town of Kimballton were settled by Danish immigrants during the late 19th century. Today, there is still a heavy Danish influence in the area as evidenced by the following picture.

This is an actual Danish windmill located a few blocks from Larsen's Pub. The windmill was shipped over to Elkhorn from Denmark and today is the only wind-powered mill left.



Larsen's Pub is located on the main street of Elkhorn in a former pub called Raz's. I fondly remember Raz's when I used to cook at the Danish Inn nearby. After Raz's closed its door a few years ago, the Larsens, who operate a successful catering business, decided to buy the bar in order to keep the bar open and also to give them more kitchen space for their catering.



Since my restaurant is temporarily closed this weekend while my kitchen is being renovated and at the request of the BPT demi-god Davydd, my mother and I took a trip up to Larsen's to try out the newly crowned BPT champ.

The Larsens and their staff have been overwhelmed by the response to their award. Most lunches and dinners are standing room only now. Fortunately, we arrived just before the evening rush.



The BPT is served on a soft Kaiser roll with a slice of onion and good dill pickles. The breading crisp and flavorful; the meat was tender and juicy. I spoke with Mr. Larsen who informed me that he hand-cuts each portion to about 7 ounces and then tenderizes them with an electric tenderizer. As the following picture demonstrates, the BPT is thick, which allows more meat taste than breading taste.



In my humble opinion, the Larsen's BPT deserves its ranking as the best in Iowa.

Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/19 20:44:19 (permalink)
Blizzardstormus,

I am contemplating making a pilgrimage to your BPT hot bed area this coming Thursday or Friday with the camper van one last fall trip. I will put my wife on an airplane for Washington DC Thursday morning compliments of a free ticket from our daughter and then I will have 5 bachelor days.
Townboy
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/21 12:20:15 (permalink)
The Town House Supper Club in Wellsburg IA. just ended their year as Iowa's Best Tenderloin 2006 with 15,499 Tenderloins sold (Oct. 18th 2006 thru Oct 17th 2007) Total after Sat. night 15,669

I was invited to attend the presentation of this years award winner by the Iowa Pork Producers Assoc. in Elk Horn IA. this past Tuesday I met the Larsens and had some good conversations, good food, and overall just a good time. The Tenderloin was very good but I will not try to rate it because I only have mine to compare it to and that would not be fair. So I guess you will have to try it for yourself. I wish the Larsens all the luck in the world and hope they have as much success as we have with their Tenderloin.
MilwFoodlovers
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/21 12:57:20 (permalink)
Very nice menu http://www.townhousesupperclub.com/ I'll be sure to stop in if I'm in the area (just west of Waterloo). Have you tried the slow roasted Cajun Prime Rib?
blizzardstormus
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/21 13:18:20 (permalink)
Townboy, I have yet to make it to Wellsburg for your BPT. It definitely is on my list of future visits. When I talked to Mr. Larsen, he mentioned that you had been at his establishment. I think that your presence was as much of a thrill as being named our new #1 BPT. Your average of 300 BPTs per week is quite impressive.

Davydd, we're ecstatic that you will be in this neck of the woods. Let me know your schedule.
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/21 14:49:28 (permalink)
Well, I will be in a position to tell you what I at least think. I've had the Townhouse Supper Club tenderloin in Wellsburg and I think it may be tough to beat. I do want to check out Larsens's as well as your Farmer's Kitchen Blizzardstormus. Let us not forget you were a runner up one year. I've also had the St. Olaf Tap tenderloin, another runner up that billed itself as the World's Largest and indeed was the most impressive tenderloin presentation to date.

It is looking more and more like this Thursday. I will get my camper van serviced Wednesday morning, drop off my wife at the airport Thursday morning and then head out. I think I will stop on my way at Suzie Q in Mason City. Anyone familiar with Suzie Q?
blizzardstormus
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/21 14:53:29 (permalink)
Davydd, Darrel's Place, the 2001 winner is only a few miles away. You also have to try another winner, Dairy Sweet in Dunlap (it closes for the winter at the end of the month.)
1bbqboy
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/21 15:00:37 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Townboy

The Town House Supper Club in Wellsburg IA. just ended their year as Iowa's Best Tenderloin 2006 with 15,499 Tenderloins sold (Oct. 18th 2006 thru Oct 17th 2007) Total after Sat. night 15,669

I was invited to attend the presentation of this years award winner by the Iowa Pork Producers Assoc. in Elk Horn IA. this past Tuesday I met the Larsens and had some good conversations, good food, and overall just a good time. The Tenderloin was very good but I will not try to rate it because I only have mine to compare it to and that would not be fair. So I guess you will have to try it for yourself. I wish the Larsens all the luck in the world and hope they have as much success as we have with their Tenderloin.

...and welcome townboy!
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/21 17:48:53 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by blizzardstormus

Davydd, Darrel's Place, the 2001 winner is only a few miles away. You also have to try another winner, Dairy Sweet in Dunlap (it closes for the winter at the end of the month.)

I'm very much aware of that. That's a lot of potential BPTs to try in a couple of days. BTW, which state park is the better? Lake Anita or Prairie Rose?
blizzardstormus
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/21 21:06:10 (permalink)
Lake Anita, definitely.
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/22 10:48:57 (permalink)
If Google Maps is correct on traveling time I could be at the Farmer's Kitchen about 5 PM Thursday. That includes stopping at Lake Anita SP and securing a campground site. So have your tenderloins ready.
Townboy
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/23 01:31:44 (permalink)
I've got some pictures of the Larsens getting their award but I don't know how to download them to this site. Help
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/23 09:32:36 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Townboy

I've got some pictures of the Larsens getting their award but I don't know how to download them to this site. Help

This message thread is the most recent tutorial on posting pictures to this forum.

http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=21719

If this thread isn't clear as mud to you then ask me and I can fill in more details. As you can see if you've been reading back in this thread I have been posting quite a few photos.
cecif
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/23 10:14:38 (permalink)
Warning: off-topic question [followed by on-topic]

Davydd are you a VW owner?!

On-topic question:
I am far too lazy to scroll thru 27 pages of posts [and who has that kinda time?!]... plus our notorious search function is notoriously bad... so:
Any place near Boston that I can try a BPT??? Thanks.
wanderingjew
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/23 10:20:16 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by cecif

Any place near Boston that I can try a BPT??? Thanks.


Nope
cecif
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/23 10:38:00 (permalink)
Bummer
Davydd
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/23 10:38:28 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by cecif

Warning: off-topic question [followed by on-topic]

Davydd are you a VW owner?!

No. My camper van is a Mercedes Benz Sprinter (badged Freightliner) Class B camper van conversion by Pleasure-Way Industries in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

quote:
Originally posted by cecifOn-topic question:
I am far too lazy to scroll thru 27 pages of posts [and who has that kinda time?!]... plus our notorious search function is notoriously bad... so:
Any place near Boston that I can try a BPT??? Thanks.

The only BPT I found east of the Appalachians was in McLean, VA and only because the owner of Corkie's Grill was visiting in St. Louis, MO and came across the sandwich and decided he had to have it for his restaurant. I searched hard around Worcester, MA when my son was living there for a BPT and found nothing. Probably the closest thing you will find in the east is a Wiener Schnitzel dinner made with pork instead of veal at a classic German restaurant but it most likely would not be a sandwich.
wanderingjew
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/23 10:41:25 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by cecif

Bummer


Give's you a reason to travel, my friend!
trzhotel
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/23 11:43:20 (permalink)
It looks like there is an "axis of tenderloins" in Western Iowa. With Hamlin, Elkhorn, and Atlantic so close together
I drove through Elkhorn, but missed the sandwich. However, I have sent people on their way to Omaha to the Farmer's Kitchen after eating there.

This is the menu fron B & B Grocery on the South Side of Des Moines, you can read about them here:
http://www.dmcityview.com/archives/2007/09sep/09-27-07/food.shtml






This is Bibbs on 6th Ave. in Des Moines:

cecif
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/24 16:52:23 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew

quote:
Originally posted by cecif

Bummer


Give's you a reason to travel, my friend!


LOL WJ!!!
If my friends heard you say that they'd all ROFL... I have got a wicked bad notorious travel bug... typical Sagitarrius apparently. That's why I drove to Atlanta for a wedding recently rather than fly - more places to visit, and see, and eat, of course! [Watch for trip report...]
cecif
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RE: Pork Tenderloins 2007/10/24 16:54:44 (permalink)
Davydd (et al)
I sure wish I'd known about BPTs and their geographic availability when I covered 25 states last summer... including the now so-called "BPT Belt"...
Sigh. Though the one I had [accidentally] in KY was purty good!
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