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JT’s Grille, Indianapolis

JT’s Grille is a place we had heard about, but had never had a chance to visit before now.

Housed in what appears to be an old Waffle House, this place is about as far from a Waffle House as one can get.  Part neighborhood bar, part restaurant, it all works and works together well.

The walls are nicely decorated with art from local artists, which is a nice touch, and the color combinations in the restaurant….something I seldom notice…are warm and pleasing.  I felt right at home from the moment I stepped foot into JT’s.

The menu has a nice selection of burgers, sandwiches, and full meals.  They apparently do a booming breakfast business, also, but I didn’t get a chance to check the breakfast menu.

When I saw their hand breaded tenderloin on the menu, I knew what I was going to order!

 

 

 

As you can see from the photo, this thing is HUGE.  I was stunned at how large it was for the price ($8.95 with a side), and that doesn’t happen to me very often.

Often, bigger is not better, but that’s not the case here.  Let me tell you, folks, this is one stellar tenderloin, one of the best in town.  The breading is light and crispy, and stayed very crispy through the life of the sandwich.  The meat?  I can’t say enough about it.  Nice, moist and tender, this is certainly tenderloin hall of fame material.

The sandwich was served dressed exactly as I requested, the bun was nicely toasted, the whole sandwich was certainly a 5 out of 5 bites.

For her dinner, Holly chose a grilled pork chop, which came highly recommended by the server – and for good reason:  it’s simply fantastic!  Moist and flavorful, you can’t go wrong if you order this as your entrée!  This particular offering includes soup or salad and choice of side for $10.95.  She got a side salad before the meal and went with JT’s special white cheddar and caramelized onion mashed potatoes!  As good as it sounds (if you like that kind of thing…and Holly does!) she says that this side left a lot to be desired.  The potatoes were neither cheesy nor oniony…they were actually quite plain.  She indicated that she would definitely order the pork chop again, but she would choose a different side next time.

JT’s Grille is located at 2210 E 54th Street in Indianapolis, just off of Keystone.  You can find them online at www.jtsgrille.com, and they also have a Facebook page.

November 2, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

B&C’s Hideout, New Palestine, Indiana

 

We’ve driven by B&C’s Hideout in New Palestine several times, always thinking “We need to try this place”, but our schedule never allowed us to until Saturday.

 

We were in New Palestine for an animal rescue event, and took advantage of the schedule to meet our dear friend Judie for lunch.  She’d visited the Hideout before, and recommended it as a good place to eat.  I’m glad to say that her recommendation was spot on.

 

B&C’s is decorated in a Bonnie and Clyde theme, and they’ve done a good job of not OVER doing it.  If it’s possible to have a tasteful Bonnie and Clyde theme, they’ve succeeded.

 

The menu is very extensive, and do yourself a favor and read the names of the dishes, very creatively done.  They have everything from sandwiches to pizza to steaks, ribs, and much more.

 

They offer their tenderloin either grilled or breaded, and that’s a very good sign indeed.  The Hideout talks about their breading in the menu, but, honestly, I was so hungry I didn’t take much time to read it…I just took the recommendations of my friends that it was worth getting and ordered it.

 

 

And, again, my friends were spot on.  This is a darn fine tenderloin. The breading is wonderfully crunchy and has a VERY nice flavor.  The sandwich isn’t greasy as all, and the breading stays crispy through the life of the sandwich.  The meat is nice and moist, and the sandwich was served exactly as I requested…with mayo and onion only (I prefer to add my own ketchup), and the bun was nicely toasted.  I’m going to give this sandwich a 5 out of 5 bites….as good as it gets, and well worth the drive to New Palestine.

For my side, I ordered onion rings, and they were nothing short of heavenly.   If you’re a fan of onion rings…and who isn’t??…..do yourself a favor and get an order.

 

B&C’s hideout is located at 7242 W US 52, in New Palestine, Indiana.  I was unable to find a website for them.

September 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Great American Grill at American Legion Post 119, Greenfield, Indiana.

Being a food reviewer is always a gamble.  You walk into a place that you think will be stellar experience, and you walk out disappointed, and sometimes think a place will be average, and you’ll walk out saying to yourself, “WOW”.

That’s what happened to us earlier this week.  We had some business to attend to with the American Legion Post in Greenfield, so we decided to eat in the café, which is located in the same building as the Legion.

The Great American Grill is a small, home town diner, nicely decorated with photos and memorabilia of our veterans, with a TV tuned to a local channel in the corner.  There’s a jukebox, and the place is absolutely squeaky clean.  That was my first impression…just how nice, neat, and clean this place was.

When we arrived, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to get for dinner….frankly, my experience in places like this was that tenderloins are often premade, frozen fritters.  But when I saw they offered their tenderloin in breaded OR grilled, (which is always a good sign) I decided to take a chance.

And, boy howdy, I am glad I did.  Let me tell you, folks, this is one outstanding sandwich.  As I learned later, it’s hand cut daily and hand breaded.  This is a nice sized sandwich without being overwhelming.  The meat is nice and thick (actually…it’s not uniform…due to the hand pounding and hand cut…and that’s a BIG plus for me) and it’s moist and tasty.  The breading is simply fantastic!  I neglected to ask what their breading consists of, but it’s among the best I’ve ever had.  Nice and crunchy, but it’s not so thick as to detract from the taste and texture of the meat.

There’s nice attention to detail here, the sandwich was served EXACTLY as I ordered, which isn’t always the case.  The service was attentive and friendly, and the price was right – sandwich and chips for $6.95.  This sandwich is 5 out of 5 bites, no doubt about it.

For her meal, Holly chose the pulled pork bbq sandwich – also served with chips for $4.95.  This is an ample sandwich.  For the money, if you’re hungry, you can’t beat the price.  She felt they kind of skimped on the chips, and the meat was absolutely swimming in sauce…not her preference, but again, for the bottom line value of this meal, it was a winner.

The American Legion is located at 275 Center Street in Greenfield, Indiana.  The entire building is non-smoking, and the café is open from 11AM-7PM, Monday through Saturday.

June 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Gaslight Inn, Indianapolis

 

The Gaslight Inn is a historic bar a couple miles south of Downtown Indianapolis.  I’ve been in here a few times for various events, but had never had the chance to dine at the Gaslight Inn before.

 

Upon walking in, the first word that came to mind was “cozy”.  It’s a very warm atmosphere, and even though at lunch time there were a lot of regulars, the waitress greeted me like an old friend, even though we had never met before.

 

I have seen what I consider to be a disturbing trend in restaurants these days…where the wait staff wants to be your best friend.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate friendly service.  However, I think I’m a pretty perceptive guy, and I can tell when it’s put on.  Be genuine, be yourself, and you’ll get a good tip and I’ll come back to see you.  Give me false familiarity, and I’ll likely not be back.

 

That’s what made my visit at the Gaslight so enjoyable….from the waitress to the owner, who I had the chance to visit with for a bit, I was made to feel welcome, and I could tell it was sincere.  They were glad I was there, and, observing the dining room, they treated everyone in there the same way.  Hoosier Hospitality at its finest.

 

The Gaslight’s menu has pretty standard pub fare…from sandwiches too full meals, with about everything in between.  Of course, I chose the breaded tenderloin.

The Gaslight makes their own breading, and, let me tell you, it’s fabulous.  Light, crunchy and flaky, and it retains the crunch throughout the life of the sandwich.  The breading is a 5/5. No question.  The meat?  I’m happy to report, it’s just as good.  Not pounded out paper thin, it’s tender, moist and flavorful.  The sandwich was served dressed just as I requested.  This sandwich, folks, is a winner.  A 5/5, no doubt about it.  I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s one of the best tenderloins I’ve ever had.  Yes, it was THAT good.

As my side, I ordered onion rings.  With the same homemade beer batter, these were simply stellar.  You’ll pay extra for onion rings if you choose them as a side over fries or one of the other sides, but, trust me, they’re WELL worth it.

While I was there, I had the opportunity to sample their catfish, which was on special.  If you’re a catfish lover…you’ll be very pleased.

I did neglect to get the price of the breaded tenderloin, but it was in line with others in central Indiana.

While you’re at the Gaslight, do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to just wander around.  It’s a historic building that is reputed to be haunted.  If you’ve got a few extra minutes, ask a few questions.  You’ll be rewarded with some very interesting stories.

The Gaslight Inn is located at 2280 S Meridian in Indianapolis.  You can find them on the web at http://thegaslightinnindy.com

 

 

February 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The top 3 out of the first 100!

Recently, a commenter on here suggested, that, since I’ve completed my first 100 reviews, I post my top 5 of the first 100.  I’m going to cut it down even further, and post my top three.

I’m going to qualify this a bit.  I believe these are the top 3 tenderloins in Indy (out of those I’ve tried, anyway).  These all have 5/5 ratings, but they’re all a bit different.  In addition to the tenderloins being different, all three venues are different, so I’m going to talk a bit about each specific venue.

Please note that I am putting these in alphabetical order.  They’re ALL outstanding and I really can’t rate one over the other.

The Aristocrat.  For those who don’t know, the Aristocrat recently suffered a devastating fire, but they are rebuilding and are slated to re-open in the spring of 2012.

The Aristocrat has long been one of my favorite restaurants in Indy.  It’s a nice, non smoking pub that features live music on an irregular basis.  There is bar and dining room seating, as well as a delightful atmosphere.  Service has always been outstanding, and I can honestly say I’ve never even been the slight bit disappointed there.  These folks have been around for years, and they know what they’re doing.  If you’re not a tenderloin fan, there are plenty of other options on the menu, from burgers to steaks to salads and just about everything in between.  They also have a Sunday Brunch that folks rave about, but I’ve not tried it myself.

You can see the original Aristocrat review at:

http://breadedtenderloin.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/the-aristocrat-indianapolis-broad-ripple/

C. R. Heroe’s Family Pub.  I’m not sure, but I believe C R Heroe’s was one of the first to bring the “family pub” concept to the area, and it’s served them well.  No matter what age you are, you can have fun and a great meal here.  The restaurant is nicely decorated, the staff is friendly, and the portions are ample.  A couple of things to try:  the garlic mayo…I wasn’t so sure about it, but, WOW…that is some good stuff.  Also, the Italian Beef sandwich is, according to those in the know, the best around.  It’s also a very good place to watch a ball game, and they always have something special going on there.
You can see the original C. R. Heroe’s review at:

http://breadedtenderloin.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/c-r-heros-family-pub-fishers-indiana/

Jimmy B’s.  Jimmy B’s is the place where it all started.  If you’re looking for classy dining, let me tell you right off…this isn’t the place for you.  But if you’re looking for the quintessential neighborhood bar…with good food….you won’t go wrong here.  It’s 21 and over, and smoker friendly, but if you go during off peak hours you’ll be OK.  The tenderloin has to be eaten to be believed, the burgers are quite good, and Holly raves about the chicken quesadillas.  The waffle fries are perfect, and it’s one of the best places in town to people watch.
You can see the latest original Jimmy B’s review at:

http://breadedtenderloin.wordpress.com/2009/05/01/jimmy-bs-home-place-indianapolis-indiana/

And, there you have it – my top 3 out of my first 100 reviews.  Stay tuned for number 101!

December 29, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Barley Island, Noblesville, Indiana

Barley Island is, again, one of those places I’ve been aware of for years, but never had the opportunity to stop in.  There are 2 locations, one in Noblesville and one in Broad Ripple.
We stopped in the Noblesville store.

Upon entering, I was really surprised at just how large this place is!  From the street, it doesn’t look like it would seat more than 20 or 30 people, but there’s a nice dining room, a nice stage area and a nice bar.  The evening we were there, most of the people were seated at the bar, and for good reason….the bartender was serving as the server for the entire place.

I was pleasantly surprised at just how varied the menu was.  Steaks, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and much, much more.  A several page menu, it took a few minutes to peruse it and make our choices.

Well, actually, it didn’t take me long.  When I saw “hand breaded tenderloin” I knew what *I* was going to get.

When I ordered the sandwich, the server ask me “Do you want the beer breading or the regular breading?”.    Now….here’s a place that obviously takes their breaded tenderloin serious! I chose the beer batter breading, and I’m glad I did.

The sandwich is nice and thick…thicker than all but a couple of tenderloins I’ve tasted.  The meat is moist and tender, with not even the slightest hint of gristle. The flavor is great, and it was done perfectly.

The beer breading is really, really outstanding.  It’s a little thinner than some of the breadings I’ve had, but, in this case, it works, and it works well. It’s so crisp and flavorful that you don’t need a lot of it to make the sandwich really “pop”.  The sandwich was served dressed exactly as I ordered it, the bun was nicely toasted….this sandwich certainly is a 5 out of 5…really, really outstanding.

I ordered onion rings as my side, and they were very, very good also.  I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to get them again.

For her dinner, Holly choose the Lime Glazed Salmon Salad.  It was quite tasty as well.  She also sampled the Dirty Helen Ale and said it was outstanding.

Barley Island is located at 639 Connner Street in Noblesville, Indiana.  It’s an all ages restaurant until the kitchen closes  (“around” 10PM) then it becomes 21 and over.
You can find them online at http://www.barleyisland.com

October 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hav a Bite Diner, Metamora, Indiana

We are fortunate enough to spend quite a bit of time in and around Metamora, Indiana throughout the year, and during our trek up and down Highway 52, we’ve passed the Hav a Bite restaurant several times. I’ve noticed that their sign proudly proclaims “hand breaded tenderloins” as one of their specialities, so, finding ourselves there at lunchtime, I knew that a review was in order.

The Hav a Bite is a wonderfully quaint diner, and the walls are nicely decorated with art depicting Metamora’s past. There is a nice mix of sketches and photos, and I took a moment to wander around just soaking in the atmosphere. Although Metamora is mostly known as a tourist town  (at least that’s my perception), this certainly seems to be the place that the locals eat. That’s always a good sign.  People were in there, seated in small groups, discussing everything from religion to politics to weather to quilting…it was really nice to set and just soak in the atmosphere of a small town diner.

We took a look at the menu, and were quite surprised at the prices.  A breaded tenderloin sandwich was $3.50, the jumbo, $5.00. Add a couple of bucks and you can make it a platter, with cole slaw and fries (or another side).  It was certainly reasonable enough.

When it came time to order, I told the waitress that I wanted the jumbo platter.  She said  “Are you SURE?  It’s a BIG sandwich…”.   I replied  “Yes…I’m sure”.

 

Well, as you can see from the photo…it IS indeed a big sandwich.  Perhaps the largest I’ve ever encountered.  And, as you can see, it truly is hand breaded. And, as is my preference, it’s not only big, but it’s thick, also.  (I am resisting the urge to add “That’s what she said” here). I could go on and on about this sandwich, but I’ll just say this.  The meat is tender, moist, and juicy, and the breading is outstanding. The breading even has just the slightest hint of a “kick” to it.  Man, oh man, this is one good sandwich. This one goes in the 5 out of 5 bites hall of fame, and it’s well worth the drive, no matter where you’re coming from.

And, I hate to admit it….but I couldn’t finish it.  Next time, I’ll get the regular sized.

The sandwich was dressed as I ordered, our drinks were kept topped off, and the staff was friendly and gracious.

Holly ordered a cheeseburger and her comment was  “You can sure tell it’s homemade”…no fast food burgers here!

We both ordered platter, which included cole slaw, and we both agree, it’s among the best…if not THE best…cole slaw we’ve ever had. However…we were less than impressed with the french fries.  We’ll choose another side next time…and, yes, there WILL be a next time.  The Hav A Bite has certainly earned our repeat business.

The Hav A Bite is located at 19121 US Highway 52 in Metamora, Indiana.  I was unable to locate a web page for them.

September 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Amazing Joe’s, Muncie, Indiana


I was vaguely aware of Amazing Joe’s through our friend Brian Wallen, who has played music there in the past.

It’s located on Wheeling Avenue in Muncie, just south of the county fairgrounds, and across the river from Muncie Central High school.
For a number of years, it was the 909 Grill, and, before that, I believe it might have been a liquor store at one point.
The 909 Grill did a brisk business for quite a few years, and I learned recently it was now Amazing Joes.

Upon entering the restaurant, I was surprised at just how large it was.  There’s a small bar, and family dining area on the ground floor, and a nice sized upstairs (where we sat) that is sectioned off into 3 or 4 areas, adding a nice touch of intimacy to the restaurant.

Upon perusing their menu, they advertised a hand cut, hand breaded tenderloin, so I decided to give it a thought.
As an aside…I’ve been burned a couple of times by restaurants that advertise hand cut and hand breaded tenderloins, but instead serve pork fritters. I questioned our capable waitress if it was REALLY hand cut and breaded, and she assured me that it was.

The sandwich arrived dressed exactly as I had ordered it, and it certainly looked good. I cut a piece off and tried it..then gave Holly a sample…and we both agreed, this is a REALLY good sandwich.T he meat was as moist and tender as any I’ve tasted, and the breading was a very good compliment to the meat. They’ve obviously done their homework here. By itself, the breading might not be fantastic…but combined with the oustanding meat, it was as near perfect as you can get. A nice, satisfying crunch to the breading, compared to the tenderness and moistness of the meat make this sandwich a 5 out of 5.

The bun was nice and fresh, and as I mentioned before, the sandwich was served dressed as I requested, a nice attention to detail.

Amazing Joe’s breaded tenderloin sells for $8.95, and that includes your choice of several sides, including steak fries, sweet potato fries (which were outstanding, by the way), peanut slaw, and a couple more.

Holly chose a grilled chicken sandwich, and, it, also, was outstanding.

The service was prompt and friendly, and I give kudos to Amazing Joe’s for the way they handled the service. There was a very large birthday party seated close to us, and I feared we’d have to share our server with them, but they were assigned their own server. Great job, Amazing Joe’s…you obviously know how to treat customers right so they’ll come back!

Amazing Joe’s is located at 909 N Wheeling in Muncie, and you can find them online at http://www.amazingjoes.com

 

August 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jimmy B’s, Home Place (Indianapolis) Indiana

Jimmy B’s is the place where it all started.  My very first tenderloin review was Jimmy B’s and they earned the coveted 5 out of 5 bite rating.
Last week, we were looking for somewhere close to home to have dinner.  It had been awhile, so we decided to stop in at Jimmy B’s for old time’s sake.
I was shocked to see that they had upgraded their menu…added a few things, took a few away…and they had completely changed the description of their breaded tenderloin.  So I knew that a re-review was in order.

One of the things that distressed me so was that the description of the new tenderloin was “bigger than your head”….and, I thought to myself, “oh, no, here we go again…”.  I’ve had some less than stellar tenderloins that were all about size, rather than quality.

Turns out, my fears were unfounded.  Yes, it’s larger than the previous tenderloin.  But it still retains a very nice thickness, and the breading is out of this world.  They’ve obviously added a little something to the breading, and stepped it up a notch….making this an absolutely fabulous sandwich.
The meat itself is nice and thick, moist and tender, and extremely flavorful.  The breading….over the top good.  A very nice, satisfying “crunch” that adds perfectly to the tenderness of the meat.
The bun is nice and toasty, and the sandwich was dressed exactly as I requested…a little detail that far too many restaurants forget.

There’s no doubt that Jimmy B’s retains the 5 out or 5 rating…and, I would have to say that, at this time, it’s the best tenderloin I’ve had since I started doing this.  Simply stellar.

Jimmy B’s is located at 106th and College, on the Southwest corner.  It’s 21 and over only and smoking is allowed.  And, do yourself a favor.  When you visit….take some time and just soak up the atmosphere.

June 30, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Shooters, Madison, Indiana

Madison, Indiana is a quaint little town on the banks of the Ohio River that has a great reputation as an arts and music community.

We were in town for a late lunch/early dinner.  Being an arts community, as we wandered around town looking for some place to eat, we saw French, Italian, and other ethnic restaurants…but that wasn’t what we were looking for.  Then we stumbled upon Shooters pub…and I’m awfully glad we did.

Although it’s themed as a sports bar….it’s not overwhelmingly sports.  It seemed more to me like a neighborhood pub.  We were greeted by a friendly server, and the menu had typical pub fare..burgers, nachos, fried cheese….and a few items with a twist..which we’ll get to later.

I saw they had grilled or breaded tenderloins, always a good sign.   When I asked our server  “How’s your breaded tenderloin?”, she smiled and said “REALLY good”.  So I ordered it.

Folks, really good is an understatement.  This is one fine sandwich.  The meat was tender and tasty, the bun was outstanding, the breading was very light and crispy and stayed crisp throughout the entire life of the sandwich.  There are lots of words I could use to describe this sandwich, but the sandwich simply speaks for itself…a 5 out of 5…no questions asked.  We are going to be back in Madison this summer, and there is no doubt we’ll be back at Shooters.

For the rest of the menu, there were a couple of nice surprises in the Po’ Boy selection.  Holly had a fried clam Po’ Boy, and Nick, who joined us, had a fried shrimp Po’ Boy and both of the proclaimed them excellent.  Sweet Potato Fries are also featured on the menu.

Shooters is a non smoking pub…a big plus in my book…with a friendly, casual atmosphere and great food and service.  I don’t see how you could go wrong with a visit!

Shooters is located at 122 E Main Street, in Madison, Indiana.  I was unable to locate a web site for them.

May 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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