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#91
Posted October 13th 2007, 7:32am
Nice photos Davydd. I've been to the Crane Foundation in Baraboo as well as seeing cranes in the Bosque del Apache in New Mexico, they are quite a sight. Of course your BPT photos are always mouth watering!
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#92
Posted October 13th 2007, 8:38am
You most likely saw the Sandhill Cranes. They winter in that area. We saw fields of them near Fairbanks, Alaska in the summer. So if we go to New Mexico in the winter we could then have seen them at both locales. That would be cool. According to the International Crane Foundation there were only 25 pairs nesting in Wisconsin in the 1930's and now there are over 25,000 Sandhill Cranes. The Whooping Crane, the only other North American crane is more endangered. The Foundation is working to restore them including getting hatchlings to follow a light aircraft to migrate from Wisconsin to Florida. They show a short film on how they do that and have a sheltered amphitheater that overlooks a small pond setting where I captured the photo.

I won't be pursuing Whooping Crane sandwiches anytime soon. :wink:

Whoa! You better not.
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#93
Posted October 13th 2007, 11:01am
No, there were zillions of sandhills at the Bosque (well, a lot anyway!) but whoopers we saw at the Bosque were very distinct. There was quite a local buzz about there being 4 whooping cranes, this was 10 years ago or so. There is a nesting pair of sandhills were I used to work, they returned every year until the wetland area was disturbed for construction. It was cool to be walking down one of the paths and realize that a sandhill was walking beside you, making sure you stayed clear of the nest.
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#94
Posted October 13th 2007, 4:49pm
Closer to home, you can find sandhill cranes
at Jasper-Pulaski State Fish and Wildlife Park
in Indiana, reaching their peak of 10-30,000
in mid November.
http://chicagowildernessmag.org/issues/fall2006/wejasperpulaski.html
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#95
Posted October 13th 2007, 7:49pm
SCUBAchef if I show my wife that article we will be making a 5th trip to Indiana this year (and more tenderloins). :wink: :D
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#96
Posted October 16th 2007, 10:13am
From today's Des Moines Register newspaper - Larsen's Catering and Pub, Elk Horn, Iowa - winner of the "best" in the state pork tenderloin sandwich contest:

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/p ... 9/BUSINESS
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#97
Posted October 16th 2007, 1:10pm
Bill,

Thanks for the tip. Elk Horn is near a previous winner in Hamlin and another runner up in Atlantic - all very small towns. In fact all the winners this year were from very small towns scattered about the state. Next June I hope to hit Elk Horn, Hamlin and Atlantic. Maybe not all of them but I'll try. :lol:
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#98
Posted October 29th 2007, 12:34am
Thursday morning I delivered my wife to the airport so she could fly to Washington DC to visit our daughter and granddaughter. She got the one free ticket. I wasn't about to sit at home by myself so I decided one last pork tenderloin pursuit in the camper van was in order. My destination this time was west central Iowa since the 2007 Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) best breaded tenderloin sandwich was awarded to Larsen's Pub in the Danish heritage town of Elk Horn. Incentive ran high in that nearby Darrell's Place in the tiny berg of Hamlin was a previous winner and a restaurant owner posting on another forum wished people would visit his Farmer's Kitchen in the relatively metropolitan town of Atlantic in that area (they have a Wal-Mart and stop lights). That was enough. I was on my way.

However, first stop was in northeast Iowa just across the Minnesota border but I will get to that later. I drove to Lake Anita State Park about 12 miles east of Atlantic and about midway between Des Moines and Omaha to establish a beach head. This is the third Iowa state park that I have stayed in that was established on what is basically a small reservoir with camping and picnicking but very little wilderness. It wasn't isolated. It was adjacent to the town of Anita. Camping provisions are great and inexpensive. I might add it beats spending a night boondocking in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

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After securing a site while it was still daylight I proceeded on to Atlantic and the Farmer's Kitchen. The Farmer's Kitchen is downtown. I could hear the Thursday night auction taking place a block away, "Who'll gimmie, who'll gimmie. . . sold!" in the background.

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There I met Mark Johnson and his mother. The Farmer's Kitchen received an honorable mention best breaded tenderloin sandwich in 2005 so naturally that is what I had. It was made from a six ounce pork loin and was very good. Mark and I traded ideas in hopes of making it a 2008 winner.

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I could not leave without trying his Mom's top selling home made pie. So I had the sour cream raisin. Mark's Mom admitted she did not like raisins but it was a top seller. I like raisins and could see immediately why on first bite it was a top seller.

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I retired that night at the campground on a very full stomach and managed to sleep 10 hours under a full moon. There were only about a half dozen of us adventurous souls in a campground with about 180 campsites this midweek night with temperatures dropping into the low 40s.

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The next day for lunch I headed over to Elk Horn known for its Danish immigrant heritage. To kill the morning I stopped at the Danish windmill that originally built in Denmark in 1848, dismantled in 1975 and reassembled in Elk Horn in 1976. I watched to video on its history and construction and toured the insides. I also stocked up on some imported Danish Havarti, Brie and Camembert cheese.

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When Larsen's Pub opened at 11 AM I walked down the street. It was about a block away from the windmill on the main street right next to the town hall. I also passed by what must have been a fine restaurant, The Danish Kitchen, judging by the full parking lot.

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I plumped myself at the bar next to the IPPA award plaque and ordered their tenderloin. It was a very deserving tenderloin also cut from a pork loin but a tad bigger at about 7 ounces. Was it the best? Admittedly slightly better than the Farmer's Kitchen but I would have to put last years winner, the Townhouse Supper Club in Wellsburg, a tad above. I thought I would eat half of it and take out the other half for later but I ate the dang thing. OK, it was good.

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I was now three tenderloins in, satisfied, and on my way home. I decided I would continue taking the back roads through farm country and observe the fall harvest. Well, that put me smack dab, just another 11 miles, in Hamlin, nothing but a cross roads, and there was Darrell's Place in a yellow metal building wooing me.

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Two lunches? I had to see the 2003 winner. I might never make it back. I caved and went in and sat at the bar counter. Little did I know that I sat down next to the owner, Jeff. He and his wife took over the restaurant from his parents last year. I still didn't know if I actually wanted a tenderloin or just maybe see one, or just maybe order one to go and stick in my refrigerator (in the camper van). Since I was there and got to talking to Jeff I ordered one. Luckily it was cut from a pork loin personally by Jeff at 4 ounces and not an eighth of an ounce over or under according to his trained eye. The sandwich was much more modest than the others (and less expensive) but was just as good. I got to talking so much I almost forgot to take a picture and was already two bites into it.

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Thank heavens I didn't eat a breakfast. I thought I better get home before cardiac arrest with all that deep fry pulsing through my arteries. But danged if my GPS wasn't taking me right through Humboldt in north central Iowa. Yep, the 2007 second place winner, Rustix restaurant was there.

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Again, I said to myself I might never make it back and the judges said it was a close second place finish. Against better judgment I stopped in about 4 PM too early for dinner. I was there so I ordered a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and their tenderloin. It was a bit larger pork loin cut and was breaded with corn flakes. Rustix Restaurant was a bit more upscale than the other typical Iowan places I had been in. It was more typical of the kind of places I encountered in Indiana. Rustix fell victim to two faults I've had with places like that. Whoever prepped the pork loin did not know how to cut out the gristle even though it is so easy to do so. I wondered if this was because there was no family pride thing going on with personal hands on attention. Secondly it was fried a tad greasy which is a trait when you try to serve a too large and too thick tenderloin. The taste, however, was satisfyingly good.

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My appetite was really tanking. I ate half out of courtesy and doggy bagged the remainder and definitely headed for home with no more stops in mind.

This now brings me full circle to the beginning saving the first and best for last. There were 44 nominees for the 2007 IPPA contest. I noticed there were several past winners, runner ups and honorable mentions on the list but over the years, to my knowledge, there had never been any repeats. There are a lot of restaurants and diners serving breaded pork tenderloins in Iowa but I found it fascinating no restaurant could repeat with 5 chances each year for mention to do so. I also assumed maybe if you were not on the nomination list that you just might be way down on the totem pole of deserving consideration.

With all that assumptive knowledge on my way to Iowa I detoured anyway over to Mason City on an email recommendation from two different people - one local and current and one who moved away years ago. In light of IPPA nominations my thoughts were that this could be another Igloo (Peru, IL) or Mug'n'Bun (Speedway, IN) disappointment. The destination was a diner not on the list of 44 nominations. It was the Suzie-Q Cafe, a classic Valentine Diner built in 1948 in Wichita, KS and shipped to the site. The history of these diners can be found here and could be a separate road food pursuit to find the presumed 40+ still in business.

http://kshs.org/diners/index.htm

This diner was a tiny 10 stool diner in downtown Mason City.

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Here is an interior 360 degree view.

http://www.masoncitynet.com/virtual_tours/news/suzieq/

Now about that tenderloin. It wasn't breaded. It was battered in a peppery batter and maybe that was not why it was on the "breaded" pork tenderloin sandwich nomination list. Who knows? Suzie-Q Cafe has had several owners over the years and was taken over by Troy Levenhagen and family last year. Troy is also known as Levey the Great and is a magician for hire. Let's say his tenderloin is magic but it really is a recipe he took over called Spic'n'Span. Spic'n'Span? I forgot to ask. But there is something magical about this tenderloin. It tasted absolutely great and if you want a unique experience in sandwich tasting this definitely is the one.

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All in all, I drove over 900 miles in two days on this pursuit all on the back roads mostly in Iowa. Iowa is farm country through and through all the way to its four borders. Farming is mainly corn and hogs which explains the ubiquitous bread pork tenderloin sandwich. Combines were busy in the fields. Tractors and loaders slowed me down on several roads. Trucks were busy hauling corn to full grain elevators in tiny bergs about every 6 miles. It was bustling and it was satisfying to see the hard workers everywhere including the patrons in all the restaurants I stopped in on these two fall days. God, it was pure Americana. Iowans should be proud.
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#99
Posted October 29th 2007, 5:32am
Great report Davydd!!! I went to college in NE Iowa and love all the things you have covered here about it. There is nothing better on a fall day to go out and watch the harvest, something rapidly slipping away near where I live as more and more beautiful black earth goes to pavement. Great BPT photos!
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#100
Posted October 30th 2007, 9:07am
This is a wonderful post. Thanks so much for the lovely scenic photos of the areas you visited as well as the great photos of the pork tenderloin sandwiches. I always like to visit this thread when I see you have updated.

Suzy
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" There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
- Frank Zappa
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#101
Posted March 31st 2008, 3:34pm
Driving back from Disney World yesterday, after our visit to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, we were tired and looking for a good lunch. Something substantial that would hold us until we got home, another 4 - 5 hours away. While my heart kept telling me to wait until we got to Shapiro's in Indianapolis, I knew my stomach wouldn't make it. We stopped in Scottsburg, Indiana at the Mariann restaurant, located on I-65 and a mere 262 miles from Chicago, if one can believe the brochure for the Mariann Travel Inn located next door.

I walked in to see if it was busy while my family struggled to get out of the van. It was crowded and there was one table available in the non-smoking section. The waitresses seemed harried and most of the customers seemed to be senior citizens. I picked up a copy of the menu and in the sandwich section I saw "Pork Tenderloin, hand cut and grilled or hand breaded, served on a hoagie roll." Be still my heart -- I knew the dining gods were with us.

My husband and I both had the pork tenderloin, served with soup. My navy bean soup was not that impressive, although I believe it was homemade. My husband liked his potato soup. The girls opted for chicken tenders. I think they were also hand breaded and they were delicious. The mashed potatoes they had with the chicken tenders were not as delicious, tasting seriously of cardboard box with some nondescript gravy over the top.

But, oh, the pork tenderloin! It was terrific. A nice, thick cut of pork, crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. It was accompanied by some iceburg lettuce, a slice of tomato and a small cup of mayo. I'm not usually a mayo kind of girl, preferring instead to eat my sandwiches without it. I felt compelled to slather just a little on my hoagie roll. It was marvelous and I enjoyed every bite.

If you are in the area, I would definitely recommend you stop at the Mariann for a pork tenderloin sandwich. They also offer peach and blackberry cobbler for dessert, but we were too full to take them up on it.

Suzy

The Mariann
Exit 29 on I-65
Scottsburg, Indiana
(800) 648-0662
www.themariann.com
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" There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
- Frank Zappa
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#102
Posted June 15th 2008, 8:54pm
I recently completed my spring breaded pork tenderloin pursuit (among other pursuits) in two stages covering 12 states and about 4,500 miles over 3-1/2 weeks.

On May 13 we headed east out of Minnesota and first stopped at Devil's Lake State Park near Baraboo, WI for the night. Before settling in we had lunch in Wisconsin Dells at the River Walk Pub in the heart of the town.

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Sorry to say, we did not start out with a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. They are rather rare in Wisconsin. More suitably for this north woods atmosphere we had their Elk Burger with onion rings.

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The next day we traveled down I-39 in Illinois and then headed east on I-80. Our next lunch stop was R Place right on the interchange at Highway 47 in Morris, IL. My wife, determined to eat someway healthy opted for the BLT.

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Not me. I went for their Hubcap Tenderloin.

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R Place's booths are interesting. The tables have antique toys under glass like this.

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We camped at the Indiana Dunes State Park on Lake Michigan, a park I recommend you try if you ever get the chance. The campgrounds are newly renovated and are very nice. The next morning we headed for Nick's Kitchen in Huntington, IN for lunch and had one of their 100th anniversary tenderloins. Nobody makes them better than Jean Anne Bailey (janicks).

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After lunch we headed on to the Hocking Hills area in Ohio southeast of Columbus. There we met up with 47 other Class B camping vans for an RV.net sponsored rally. Since we got there the evening before the start of the official rally we headed in to the nearby town of Logan and stopped at Bush's Restaurant. Ohio is bereft of pork tenderloin sandwiches except in the northwest quadrant. We were southeast in Appalachian territory. However, Bush's had a dinner entree featuring grilled pork tenderloins and sandwiches of breaded and broasted chicken. It was not impossible. So I asked the owner, Lee Howdyshell, if he could make a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. No problem, and he made a great one consisting of two pieces of true pork tenderloin and not pork loin cutlets most restaurants use.

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Bush's Restaurant was our caterer for the rally and provided many excellent buffet style meals. I couldn't help myself. I loaded up with this breakfast.

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Our rally group is pictured here. If you are interested in Class B camping vans, you can see all of them here - http://gallery.mac.com/davydd#100080

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After the rally we headed on to northern Virginia to visit our daughter and family. Meals were kind of uneventful and we did not seek out any road food. It was a time to recharge and eat healthy. We did make a trip to George Washington's Mount Vernon Gristmill and Distillery. It is further down the road from Mount Vernon itself and is an interesting tour.

The Gristmill
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The Distillery
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After Virginia we headed for Indianapolis. On the way we camped at Carter Caves State Resort Park in eastern Kentucky. There we ate dinner at the park lodge. The meal was pretty much uneventful but we did try for the first time, deep fried pickles for an appetizer and enjoyed them.

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We passed through Cincinnati on our way to Indianapolis. We found a Skyline Chili on a freeway interchange using our GPS. So we made a quick lunch stop. I had the regular size 5-way pictured here.

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Now it was time for some serious BPT pursuing. Our first evening in Indianapolis we went to the Carolina Grill in the Stonegate area near Zionsville.

http://www.mycarolinagrill.com/

Indiana tenderloins can be found in all classes of restaurants and pubs even in the more upscale places. Here is the Carolina Grill tenderloin with buffalo chips.

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The next evening I attended my annual Speedway high school reunion always held the Friday night before the Indy 500 race at Grindstone Charley's restaurant in Speedway on Crawfordsville Rd. Johnny Parsons Jr. was our honored guest. Johnny was a childhood Speedway contemporary who went on to race in 12 Indy 500s. On this night, Grindstone Charley's tenderloin is named after me on the menu. It was excellent as always.

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I'm not finished. For lunch the next day we went to Plump's Last Shot in Broad Ripple on Cornell Ave. right off the Monon walking trail for a tenderloin. We sat outside on the patio. It seemed everyone there had their dogs with them. I understand that is a new trend in the outdoor patio seating at many restaurants. It was interesting. The tenderloin itself was another excellent tenderloin.

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Sunday was race day. We sat in the 4th turn Northwest Vista stands. The Indy Grill concession stand served the Jumbo Tenderloin. It was pre-packaged but not too bad. The idea was to have a tenderloin at the race. I went down midway around lap 100 and was informed by the concessionaire that I got their last one. I took it up into the stands and had my wife hold it up with the backdrop of the race cars coming around the 4th turn.

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We then headed home yesterday and took a more circuitous route through Iowa adding about 20 extra miles and stopped at the claimed world's largest truck stop, the Iowa 80 in Wolcott on I-80 outside Bettendorf and Davenport. The tenderloin itself was nothing but average but it made number 8 in four states to end the tour.

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After a short week of rest and catching up at home in Minnesota we headed out in our Pleasure-Way Class B camper van again on June 1 with the intent of meeting up with 19 other B van traveling enthusiasts representing 12 states and Canada as far away as Arizona, New Jersey, Texas and Louisiana. The place was Niobrara State Park in northeast Nebraska where the Niobrara River flows into the Missouri River. The Lewis & Clark Expedition stopped there in September 1804 and met with the peaceful Ponca indians.

But first we made a slight diversion toward Pipestone, Minnesota and as we neared Pipestone we crossed the Buffalo Ridge dividing the Missouri River flowage from the the Mississippi River flowage. The natural crest was dotted with windmills stretching for miles. Minnesota gets a significant percentage of its electricity from the wind.

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Our primary destination on this diversion was Pipestone National Monument where indians came to quarry the red rock made from clay buried below limestone in shallow layer. This stone is a soft red stone about as pliable as your finger nail. It was used mainly for carving ceremonial pipes. The park has an interpretive center, pipe carving demonstrations and a 3/4 mile easy walk through the quarries.

Waterfalls, ponds, quarries and exposed rock formations are part of the walk. This is the waterfall.

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This is a more refined and finish quarry near the interpretive center.

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Pipestone is also a well known road food stopping place for lunch. Lange's Cafe is located there and their triple decker cheese sandwich graces the cover of Jane and Michael Stern's 2005 edition RoadFood book. So for a warm up to get our road food juices flowing again we had the Rueben sandwich and the triple decker. We posted them lapping like the book photo but as you can see they did not come out as nice and pristine if you are familiar with the book. But they were tasty.

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We arrived at our destination, Niobrara State Park. This is a view of the Missouri River from the high point in the park.

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The next morning we made a scouting trip to the nearby Flyway Cafe about a mile from our campground. The intent was to meet with the owner, Laura, and get assurance she could deliver breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches later in the week to our group. This was critical because breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches were not on their menu. Our local host laid the groundwork for us on this. The Flyway Cafe is strictly a local place that caters seasonally to hunters. We noted one group of men hung around until about 9 AM and we overheard one fella get up and say we gotta get out of here for the second shift and true as said a second group of even older men arrived. We tried their recommended French toast.

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Later in the week we Bs swarmed the Flyway Cafe after the lunch hour and after the locals had cleared out to have our breaded pork tenderloin feast. Had we gone earlier the BPTs might have confused the locals. A few lingered and wondered curiously about us I'm sure. There has probably never been a time in history where a small cafe was swarmed with so many motorhomes with over 30 people.

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Once inside everyone waited patiently as the cafe worked to deliver 30 tenderloins.

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The breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches were excellent. They were true tenderloins fried to perfection. Choice of sides included fries, curly fries, pasta or potato salad. I opted for the potato salad since it was their signature specialty. The potato salad recipe was made by grating cooked potatoes instead of cubing or chopping them with a knife.

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Most of our other meals were at the campground. We generally had community potlucks. On one I tried out my new cast iron Dutch oven for the first time. I made a stew cooking over charcoal. I manned the pot and my sous chef and wife Nancy chopped up the ingredients. The Dutch oven has three legs to bridge above the coals and a lipped lid to hold coals on top. Amazingly on first try it worked to perfection. The coals lasted for 2-1/2 hours and maintained a steady boil and simmer without burning. The stew went fast at the potluck.

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After four nights we all disbanded and headed on our way on Thursday morning. Some of us had also attended to B Rally in the Hocking Hills area in southern Ohio in May and some of us will once again gather at Moab, Utah near Arches NP again in October.

The weather, despite rains and storms had cooperated during the week. On the morning we departed tornado warnings were issued for the park. We managed to get out before that storm came through and we watched another storm cell behind us passing through into Iowa. We decided to loop south through Iowa on our way home because north of us South Dakota and Minnesota were getting the brunt of the storms. Well, that's my excuse. It was now serious BPT time. :)

The first stop was lunch at the Dairy Sweet in Dunlap. IA home of the 2005 Iowa Pork Producers Association best breaded pork tenderloin sandwich.

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I had already sampled the 2003 winner at Darrell's Place in Hamlin, the 2006 winner at the Townhouse Supper Club in Wellsburg and the 2007 winner at Larsen's in Elk Horn. They are called "Tenders" at the Dairy Sweet. Just looking at this sandwich makes your mouth water and indeed it was excellent. Where would I rate it on the winner of winners scale in Iowa? I would put it better than Larsen's and Darrell's Place and neck and neck with the Townhouse Supper Club.

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After, since storms were still chasing our tail, we decided to move on east toward Ames, IA. We ended up at Ledges State Park early enough to consider dinner and another BPT. With threats from my wife about my arteries and cholesterol, I won out with the promise we would get home earlier the next day by not hanging around long enough for another lunch in Iowa. That place was the 2004 IPPA winner, the Suburban Restaurant in Gilbert on Highway 69 about 6 miles north of Ames.

http://www.suburbanrestaurant.com/

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This winner is probably the least known and mentioned of the five winners so far but I have to give it the nod over the others. For one the meat was the tenderest of the bunch and the frying was perfection with no excess grease.

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Nancy had a salad. I have to admit two in one day is a bit much so I showed no disrespect for the sandwich but constraint and doggy bagged half of it. Since Nancy had done the same at the Dairy Sweet we had them for breakfast the next morning. Microwaving them for 40 seconds does the trick. We lucked out once again with storms and tornado warnings passing both east and west of us but did get some rain. Exploring the park located on the Des Moines River was spoiled because intervening Pease Creek was flooding the roadway through the park.

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We then headed for home. Having now sampled Iowa's best I can relax, restore my arteries, stay home and await the 2008 IPPA winner before heading out again in September with stops again in Iowa and Missouri for more BPT.
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#103
Posted June 16th 2008, 8:20am
Davydd wrote:I recently completed my spring breaded pork tenderloin pursuit (among other pursuits) in two stages covering 12 states and about 4,500 miles over 3-1/2 weeks.


Davydd,

Your dogged, single-minded pursuit of this sandwich continues to impress me. Thank you for taking us along on your odyssey. It was a most enjoyable read and this thread has really become a great resource.

Best,
Michael
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#104
Posted June 19th 2008, 7:16am
Great photos, Davydd. I love the scenery as much as the food shots. Just as an FYI, I see you mentioned R Place in Morris, Il. The following article was in today's Aurora Beacon News:

http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/beac ... S1.article

At least, for now, the same family will manage the restaurant.
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Cathy2 wrote:HI,

Just off 80 (I think) is the home of the Ethyl as well as a promised pork tenderloin sandwich:

R Place Restaurant
Interstate 80 and Route 47 (northeast corner of this exchange)
Morris, IL 60450
815/942-3690

They claim to have freshly pounded pork tenderloin. I tried to order one on a Sunday evening to find they were out.

Divine intervention brought me to R Place yesterday for their pork tenderloin sandwich know as the Hubcap Tenderloin:

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Their menu states they pound the pork tenderloin themselves. The pork tenderloin with the addition of some salt and mustard was fine. The roll was a bit dry, though it was convenient for holding the sandwich as I whittled it down.

A chicken pot pie was ordered that was largely tasteless with very little solid filling beyond the cream sauce. Yet, the pie crust dipped in the sauce was pretty good, though not enough to warrant ordering another.

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I ordered the recommended banana cream pie only after the waitress checked with the kitchen to assure they used real whipped cream.

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This was not a very good banana cream pie. Not too many bananas slices, though they were dark and likely already oxidized before being slipped into the pie. The cream wrapped around the bananas seemed more like loosely whipped cream rather than pastry cream. The whipped cream had stabilizers, because it had a very stiff texture I didn't like very much. Unusual for me, I didn't finish the cream.

The only element of my dinner that I didn't quibble about was their salad bar, that had several muffins and sweet quick breads. There were a number of mayonnaise and sweet-sour composed salads to remind me of the Amish-style salads.

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If I am not yet ready to eat an Ethyl on my next visit, I may just stick to the salad bar.

Regards,
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Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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Cathy2 wrote:Divine intervention brought me to R Place yesterday for their pork tenderloin sandwich know as the Hubcap Tenderloin:


It sounds like your so-so experience at R Place closely resembled mine.
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Steve Z.

"Why should I eat a carrot when I can eat pizza?" - Dan Janssen
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#107
Posted May 10th 2009, 10:19pm
stevez wrote:
Cathy2 wrote:Divine intervention brought me to R Place yesterday for their pork tenderloin sandwich know as the Hubcap Tenderloin:


It sounds like your so-so experience at R Place closely resembled mine.

Yeah, that's about right. I was really torn over where to eat last night. A temporary car repair to get you home, isn't exactly a license to go roaming. If there were no issues hovering around my decision, then I would have gone west to Ron's Cajun or to Ladd for fried chicken and turtle. I went to Morris because at least there was the Hubcap to try. If I had remembered I was passing White Fence Farm, that would have been the best option.
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Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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If you know an Iowa restaurant serving the best pork tenderloin, show them your love.

Iowa Pork Producers Looking For Best Tenderloin

Clive, Iowa--- The Augusta Restaurant in Oxford won last year. It was Larsen's Pub in Elk Horn in 2007. Who will win the 2009 award for the Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin in Iowa?

The Iowa Pork Producers Association is announcing its 7th annual contest and encourages Iowans to nominate the cafe, restaurant, or tavern they feel serves the best breaded pork tenderloin for a chance to win a 100-dollar cash prize. The person submitting the winning nomination will receive the prize.

Nominations are limited to one per household. Forms are available at www.iowapork.org ... The deadline for nominations is June 15th, 2009.

...

The winner will be announced this fall.
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Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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Hey Cathy2 and other Chicago and Illinois people, I have been taking pictures of BPT's in Iowa for a couple years now. I may be driving through the middle of Illinois with more regularity in the next few years, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

Here are some of my better pictures:

Goldie's in Prairie City, topped with cheeseburger:
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Ellie's soda Fountain and Sundry in Montezuma:
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Colony Inn in Ventura:
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Red Barn in Exira:
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Tojo's in Jamaica:
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Ellie's and Red Barn are speaking to me! Nice photos.
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Steve Z.

"Why should I eat a carrot when I can eat pizza?" - Dan Janssen
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#111
Posted May 17th 2009, 12:35am
Red Barn's PT looks phenominal!
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Fettuccine alfredo is mac and cheese for adults.
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Nice stuff, Tyrgyzistan. Thanks, for the information and the mouth-watering pics.

=R=
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“I firmly believe that if you love restaurants for the right reasons, they will love you back.” --Steven Shaw (RIP)

I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

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Tyrgyzistan wrote:Hey Cathy2 and other Chicago and Illinois people, I have been taking pictures of BPT's in Iowa for a couple years now. I may be driving through the middle of Illinois with more regularity in the next few years, but I have to draw the line somewhere.


nice pictures and additions to this thread. In your tour of Illinois hit Smitty's in Leonore, the undisputed king of the tenderloin in my travels. $5.50

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Telling stories and forgetting time.

@GrubSeeker
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#114
Posted October 8th 2009, 9:27pm
The Iowa Pork Producers Association Restaurant & Foodservice Committee has announced the winner of IPPA’s Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin Contest for 2009.

Brad Magg, along with his family, own and operate Goldie’s Ice Cream Shoppe in Prairie City and will receive a check for $500, a plaque and statewide publicity.
TC’s Point After in DeWitt placed second and will receive a plaque and $250 from IPPA. The Corner Station in Templeton, Tojo’s Bar & Grill in Jamaica and Angle Inn in Walford received honorable mention and will each receive a plaque.
http://www.iowapork.org/Newsroom/NewsForProducers/BestTloin2009/tabid/1482/Default.aspx


The owner, Brad Magg, is only about 24 years old and started his catering company when he was a teenager, if I remember correctly. He has over 20 employees in the small town on the road to Pella.

The Magg Combo is a tenderloin with a cheeseburger on top:
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The pork comes from Fareway, which bills itself for "economical foods", but each location has a full service meat department that will tenderize any cut of meat you buy.

From a local news feature this summer:
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The Magg special is a hand-breaded pork tenderloin with melted cheese on top of sausage from locally grown beef.
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The menu is big and there is always something new for a daily special, this is just the regular chili-cheese fries:
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The building has a drive-thru window for coffee in the morning, PC Perk:
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The tax credit for film production in Iowa meant lots of small towns were starstruck by semi-recognizable hollywood people. Local food writers were asking readers questions like "who was that with Adrien Brody at Centro?" The whole operation is under criminal investigation for some ugly stuff right now.
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#115
Posted October 9th 2009, 9:31am
burger on top of the tenderloin...., I like the sound of that. :)
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Telling stories and forgetting time.

@GrubSeeker
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#116
Posted August 16th 2010, 9:35am
I had one of the best pork tenderloin sandwiches I've ever had at a BBQ joint last weekend. Not as large or as thin as many I've seen but thick enough to still be moist. A good lightly seasoned crust, cooked to a slightly darker brown (the way I like it).

I also tried some of my son's pulled pork and it was very good also. Good enough smoke flavor it didn't need any of the available sauce. They had several awards on the wall from local BBQ competitions.


Wobbly Boots BBQ
4705 Hwy 54
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2277
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#117
Posted August 26th 2010, 1:41pm
Further west on I-80 in Ottawa, and Marseilles most of the bars have a decent version, and many use Polancics pork tenderloins from a local butcher(who also has some of the best steaks in the Chicago area).

Bill Polancic's Meats & Tenderloins
412 W. Norris Drive
Ottawa, IL.

Last recommendation out west is The Cherry Supper Club, good pork tenderloin sandwich, and some of the best fried chicken in the state

www.cherrysupperclub.com


Polancics makes great porkys. Your best bet is to buy them direct as you can get 20 of them for 15-16 dollars only. Then you can also peruse their meat case and fridges while you are there.

As for fried chicken in the area I would recommend everyone passing by on 80 to try Rips's Chicken in ladd.

Easy to get to but youll have to wait. I went last sunday and it was an hour half line wait to get in. Thursdays are usually the slowest and you can get carry out. Wednesday night is a big college kids drinking night so be warned.

and i know they are only open for dinner but I don't remember the exact time. im guessing 4
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#118
Posted August 26th 2010, 2:32pm
rips is really good,

a few visits documented here:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=22152&start=o&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=rips

I dont get over to Polancics as much as before, I have been eating alot more pork than beef these days. Jimmy, Kevin, Ox and the boys know their meat.
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@GrubSeeker
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#119
Posted October 10th 2010, 12:29pm
Just back from a road trip that took me thru Iowa en route to the Black Hills of South Dakota. We left early morning last Monday and I knew my first food stop of the trip would be tenderloins in Iowa for lunch. I made sure I was prepped and ready for food stops in all the places we would be traveling as well as having some spots that we would travel to just for the food. Luckily we didn't need to travel far off path to get a fix of real deal Iowa breaded tenderloins. As previously discussed in this thread the Des Loines Blog which is ran by LTH poster Tyrgyzistan. It has to be one of the best food blogs focusing on a particular regional eat out there. Its all about the tenderloins and if you want to have one and find yourself anywhere in Iowa, check over there, he's got a spot. I found a couple spots that came rec'd by the King of 'loins that were en route along I-80 and would be our first stops of the trip.

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Goldie's Ice Cream Shoppe in Prairie City, IA

Goldie's is actually about 18 miles east of Des Moines in Prairie City but is just a 10 minute ride off the highway and was our first stop of the day. The mom and pop lunch spot is a favorite with locals and maybe the only food choice in town since I didn't see anything else except for alot of farms and a mill on the towns main road. It also won the Iowa pork producers best tenderloin a couple years back and that's what got me there and what I was going to get. The Iowa breaded tenderloin is a pretty simple sandwich and sometimes simple is best as was the case with theirs. Perfectly breaded and really juicy on the inside with some nice battered fries served alongside it. Standard toppings on Iowa 'loins are mustard, ketchup, pickles and onions. I ordered mine without ketchup and they used red onions on theirs. It was a very good sandwich and more than filling, tenderloins are massive, those farmers need their fuel.

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Pork Tenderloin from Goldie's Ice Cream Shoppe

As filling as the first tenderloin was I couldn't go thru Iowa only having one. I needed to compare a couple different spots. The other spot that really caught my eye on the Des Loines blog was Kelly's Little Nipper located on the eastside of Des Moines. Its a bar that turns out a mean tenderloin and has been in the same place since something like 1929 or something like that. Its a real old school Midwest tavern that sits in a house and serves a working class community in an area that's become the Mexican hub of Des Moines.

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Kelly's Little Nipper in Des Moines, IA

When you take a look at the bar from the outside or in the pic above you probably get a picture in your head of what it looks like inside and that picture is most likely dead on. Its a dark bar with a pool table that hasn't been fixed up in a while, they got a mens and womens bathroom with one stall in each and the cooking section is part of the bar so the grease stains are abundant. If you pictured some old time regulars in there playing scratch off cards, smoking lots of cigarettes and having an inebriatedly good time on dirt cheap drinks at 1p on a Monday, you were also dead on. I asked the bartender about a sandwich and she said they didn't have them and then said "well I can turn the fryer back on but it will take 15 minutes" and I said that was cool and we ordered some dranks and waited.

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View of the room from my bar seat (L) Fryer is at the end of the bar on your left as you enter (R)

After a couple drinks the sandwich was ready along with the onion rings which were breaded after our order was placed. We took it outside to the patio and dug in before hitting the road again.

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The Nippers breaded 'loin and their hand battered wings

Well first thing upon opening the bag is noticing how massive this sandwich is. I mean the thing was huge and a half of it could easily feed one, maybe two if you arent hungry. Each place does this simple recipe their own way and at Kelly's its served on a sub roll as opposed to the more common hamburger bun. The 'loin itself was very crispy especially on the edges, I liked that and they loaded on the mustard, pickles and white onions which was also a plus for me. The onion rings were fantastic and really juicy due to being cooked perfectly.

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MASSIVE

If I had to pick which one I liked better it would be Goldie's because of its juiciness factor. However the Nipper's sandwich wasn't no slouch and was the better atmosphere of the two stepping back into another time going inside one of Des Moines oldest bars. I could eat either or again and would be happy to do so. Thanks to Tyrg for the excellent rec's. Well this was just lunch on the first day of my week long journey. So stay tuned and get ready, 'cause this shits about to get heavy.

Goldie's Ice Cream Shoppe
304 W 2nd St
Prairie City, IA 50228-8578
(515) 994-3190

Kelly's Little Nipper
1701 E Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA 50316-3611
(515) 265-2031
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#120
Posted December 29th 2010, 7:40pm
Are they closed for good? Google maps said so but want to make sure.

Benchwarmer Bob's
251 W. Burnsville Pkwy
Burnsville, MN 55337-2510
(952) 895-0800
http://www.benchwarmerbobs.com/
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