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Review #100! Nick’s Kitchen, Huntington, Indiana

Well, here it is.  Review number 100.  100 tenderloins since I started this journey.

It’s been a great 100.  I’ve been interviewed by some podcasts, magazines, radio stations, and more, and have enjoyed every minute of it.  And I look forward to the next 100!

When I was approaching number 100, there really was no question as to where I wanted to go.  Nick’s Kitchen in Huntington, Indiana, is the generally accepted home of the breaded tenderloin (although a couple of other places argue that claim), so off to Huntington we went.

If you want to read a bit about the restaurant and history, you can go to http://www.nickskitchen.net.

Nick’s is your typical small town diner.  I was struck upon entering just how sparkling clean it was…it looked like everything had been freshly scrubbed and clean. The walls have dozens, if not more, pictures of local history.  This being Dan Quayle’s hometown, there are many photos of him, including a couple of him at Nick’s, where he announced his candidacy. While we were there we heard someone ask the waitress “Do you remember when Danny Quayle was here??”…

One thing I’ve found out about tenderloins in doing these reviews is how loyal folks are to them.  I’ve had views from all over the world, both from transplanted Hoosiers and from folks who have either had a tenderloin while passing through, or who have heard about them from relatives or friends here.  Nick’s menu says the same…and they SHIP their tenderloins, all over the world!  Yes, we tenderloin lovers are passionate.

Nick’s menu has pretty much standard diner fare, with a few exceptions.  Goulash was the lunch special yesterday, and Holly had something I’m not sure I’ve ever seen on a diner menu, but more about that later.

 

Of course, I chose the breaded tenderloin.  This was what I had driven 90 minutes for, to have the one that “started it all”, as the menu says.

Well…as you can tell by the picture…it might as well have been a pre-processed fritter.  Matter of fact, I’m not sure it wasn’t! But, to be fair, I’m not sure it was, either.  We’ll just stick with it looked and tasted like a fritter and let you all make your own judgement. Being a devoted tenderloin connoisseur….about all I can say about it is that it was edible.  The bun WAS nicely toasted and it was dressed as I requested…but that’s pretty much it.  I’m going to give Nick’s breaded tenderloin a 1 out of 5 bites.  Just edible.

The onion rings were OUTSTANDING and I wouldn’t hesitate to get them again.

Holly had a Portabella Po’ Boy.  Gotta love fried mushrooms!  These were big strips of portabella fried to a golden brown and served on a toasted bun.  That much alone sounded delicious. Although it was advertised to have “roasted red peppers, lettuce, and Italian dressing”, it arrived differently. She requested no lettuce and the dressing on the side, which they got right.  But the red peppers were not roasted – they were raw.  And the mushrooms were covered with shredded cheese. The menu said nothing about shredded cheese on the sandwich.  Had she known that it came with cheese she would have ordered that on the side as well. She said that even though it was not quite what she expected, it was still tasty.  However, she observed freshly formed hamburger patties being constructed in the kitchen (which is fully visible from the dining room), and decided that when they visit Nick’s again, she would definitely order one of those!

If you go to Nick’s and Sugar Cream Pie is on the menu for the day, do NOT hesitate to order it.
I would turn around right now and drive and hour and a half for another piece of that pie..it truly WAS that good, and they’re made in house.

All in all…Nick’s was a good experience.  We’d certainly go back, I just wouldn’t order the tenderloin again. :)

Nick’s is located at 506 N Jefferson in Huntington, Indiana

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December 22, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. I’m definitely with you on this one. After all the hype I’d heard over the years we finally made the drive up there from Indy earlier this year, and all I thought as I ate it was “I drove 90 minutes for THIS?”. I was so disappointed. Thin, over-cooked, under-seasoned and barely edible.

    Everything else we had was fantastic – the onion rings, the sugar cream and apple pies and the milkshakes were outstanding.

    Comment by Don Owens | December 22, 2011 | Reply

  2. Don, thank you! I was hoping I wasn’t the ONLY one who felt this way! :)

    Comment by Rick | December 22, 2011 | Reply

  3. FYI – totally unrelated but worth noting. I had an unexpectedly good tenderloin at Binkley’s Kitchen in Broad Ripple a couple weeks ago (I don’t remember seeing you ever mention it on here). I actually went back a few days later for another one just to make sure I wasn’t imagining things, and it was just as good.

    Comment by Don Owens | December 22, 2011 | Reply

  4. Thank you….I’ve often wondered about that place!

    Comment by Rick | December 22, 2011 | Reply

  5. Thanks for the kind words about my restaurant and the food you liked. So sorry the tenderloin wasn’t your favorite. Good luck on your next 100!

    Comment by Jean Anne Bailey | December 23, 2011 | Reply

  6. Congrats on 100! Do you think you could list a top5 or top 10 tenderloin from the past year? My top 4 would be ( in no order ) Moon Dog, Big Mike’s Cafe, Sahm’s, and Jimmy B’s. Thanks for all the great recomendations this past year!

    Comment by Dan | December 24, 2011 | Reply

  7. Thank you, Jean, and we will certainly be back! Dan, that’s a GREAT idea! I think I will devote a post to that!

    Comment by thetenderloinconnoisseur | December 24, 2011 | Reply

  8. […] If you’ve never had a tenderloin before and are in Indiana, try one. There are a ton of great restaurants across the state that serve this sandwich, and one of the more well-known places to grab one is at Nick’s Kitchen in Huntington – the same city where I went to college. Since I mentioned Rick Garrett’s blog earlier, here’s his review for Nick’s Kitchen. […]

    Pingback by Mile 398 – Frosty Boy, Knightstown, Ind. | Explore U.S. 40 | November 4, 2013 | Reply


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