We arrived in Indianapolis
in the early afternoon at my sister's house. Now it was time to line up a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich opportunity again. So many choices to choose from, so many suggestions by people swearing to know the best, so little time to try them. What to do? I knew I was going to get my annual one at Grindstone Charley's in Speedway during my annual reunion on Friday. This was Thursday night. One of my former high school classmates, Jerry, had been exhorting me for two straight years to go to Daddy Jack's
on North Meridian Street. My resistance was that he now lived in Las Vegas and what did he know about good pork tenderloin sandwiches.
But I finally succumbed and Daddy Jack's was it. It was a nice evening so we sat out on the sidewalk patio shared with the sister restaurant, Kona Jack's, a seafood place. Yep, another small strip shopping center and not exactly an over inviting atmosphere. But tenderloins are not always found in the fancy places, if ever at all.
Daddy Jack's had an impressive BBQ pulled pork sandwich
Nancy once again ate healthy (er healthier?) and volunteered to try the grilled pork tenderloin sandwich
I had the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich and judged it to be in the upper tier group that I have tried. It was indeed delicious and recommended.
What makes a good tenderloin? This slice helps. First the breading was just right and had a tangy peppery taste. It was done but not burned or greasy and stuck to the meat. The meat was very tender, not too thin nor too thick. Too thin and it can get crispy. Too thick and it can be tough. No gristle. The silver skin was properly removed in preparation. White meat, not gray tinged. An abundance of fresh toppings and condiments as standard. Better quality bun.
Moving on. Friday is what is called Carb Day
at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway although race cars no longer have carburetors. There is an hour of testing with all 33 race cars on the track, a Miller Lites Freedom 100 Race, a sort of development league, a pit change competition, and a concert. It is an inexpensive way to enjoy the festivities. You also have the chance to roam the stands to test out different seats.
This is a seat not too far from the ones I have in the 4th turn looking down toward the main straightaway.
Afterwards we headed over to Camp and Brew
in the campground parking lot at 25th Street and Georgetown Rd. Every year a group secures a spot on the corner with RVs and hosts a fund raiser called Brian's Wish
to cure ALS aka Lou Gehrig's Disease. This web site explains it better than I. http://www.brianswish.com/
The location has a keg of beer going, grilling, and getting together along with a donation jar.
This is the organizer, Glenn Harm from Colorado
Besides the Brian's Wish website, Trackforum.com is a rallying point for this group and one of the forums I frequent. One more group besides the food forum people, RV.net and my reunion that I see every year.
That evening we went to my annual Speedway High School Class of '62 Reunion
, a standing reunion we hold at Grindstone Charley's
in Speedway. This is part of the pre-gathering. If my estimates are correct I believe we had 29 classmates plus spouses and friends from 10 different states as far away as California and Florida in attendance this year. It used to be greater when classmates would return annually often to visit family and parents but that is sadly diminishing with each passing year. The Indy 500 Race we grew up with has always been our draw.
Grindstone Charley's makes up a special menu for us every year. I've given them enough kudos over the years that they've named the tenderloin after me now. ;)
This year I broke from my tradition and tried their version of a "grilled" pork tenderloin sandwich. That is a trend I've seen just in the past year by many restaurants. This one was oddly grilled with the breading on it.
Not to bore you with pictures of people but maybe it is time to introduce you to my wife, Nancy (Bay Village, OH HS '62), my sister Barbara (Speedway HS '65) and me not behind the camera for a change.
Now Race Day and the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. The reason I head out every May. The Indianapolis 500. I have never missed a race via radio, TV or in person since 1949! It is part of my blood. I grew up in the shadow of the track. Drivers were my neighbors. I've been privileged to have sat at a lunch table with A. J. Foyt. If you've never heard a Novi engine you've never really experienced the ultimate race car engine. I listened to the droning of the cars all day in the month of May and knew one day when that drone went silent one afternoon something bad had happened. A favorite, Tony Bettenhausen crashed and died. Yes, I choke up a lot thinking of the memories.
helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti in the early going
Tony Kanaan hits the wall on the third turn and comes to a stop on the north chute
The final restart after a yellow at lap 183 and pretty much the order of finish
The winner for the third time, Helio Castroneves, taking a victory lap in the pace car with family and interviewer.
That was the race. I gotta leave you this trip with one more breaded pork tenderloin from the Indy Grill
concession stand at the track.
That ends the trip. We dashed home in one day and I missed an opportunity to have at least one tenderloin from Illinois this year. Nancy has to get ready to go to Bolivia and I will next be up on Minnesota's Lake Superior North Shore learning how to make an outdoor brick oven at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN. Stay tuned.