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Mulligan’s, Muncie, Indiana

ImageI’d heard of Mulligan’s restaurant, at the Crestview Golf Course in Muncie, for many years but never had the opportunity to stop in there.  That all changed this week!

I was meeting with 4 other tenderloin connoisseurs to chat about tenderloins, and also an upcoming exhibit at the Minnetrista Cultural Center in Muncie that highlights the things that make East Central Indiana unique.

I must admit that I had some pre-conceived notions about Mulligans.  If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a pretentious restaurant.  And, honestly, that was what I assumed about Mulligan’s.

I was quite pleasantly surprised.  It wasn’t pretentious at all.  As a matter of fact, I’d call it warm and cozy.  It’s nicely decorated and quite inviting.  We were off to a good start.

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All 5 of us ordered the breaded tenderloin sandwich.  It was interesting to see how different folks dress their tenderloins.  I, of course take mayo, ketchup and onion.  Some like everything on it, some like it more plain.  But….to all of us, there’s no WRONG way to eat a tenderloin.

The sandwich was pretty darn good.  The meat was tender and moist; however, I will say that it was pounded out a little thinner than is my personal preference.  But the taste was very good indeed.

The breading was good, but not great.  I think it could’ve stood a little additional seasoning.  The texture of the breading was fine, but the taste wasn’t there for me.  Instead of complimenting the taste of the meat, it was just kind of “there”.  With just a little work on the breading, this could be a very good sandwich.

The sandwich was served dressed as I requested.  The bun was pretty much standard, nothing special about it.

I’m going to give Mulligan’s breaded tenderloin a 3.5 out of 5 bites.  It’s above average, but not top of the line.  With just a little work on the breading, it could be a VERY good sandwich.

I MUST say word about our server, whose name, sadly, I neglected to get.  Here were 5 guys gathered around the table, taking notes, talking, sharing, and laughing….and she did a GREAT job of making sure that our drinks were topped off, our food was promptly served, and our bill was delivered promptly without being intrusive.  We were able to carry on our conversation and business without interruption…a job well done!

Mulligan’s is located at 3325 S Walnut in Muncie.  They’re on the web at http://www.mulligansclubhousegrill.com/.

May 16, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Chatham Tap, Fishers, Indiana

The Chatham Tap has two locations, one on 116th street in Fishers, and one on Mass Ave near Downtown Indy.  This review was done at the Fishers location.

The Chatham Tap is an English style pub and is well appointed with soccer and rugby décor.  There’s a nice bar, which separates two dining rooms.  There are no pool tables or dart boards that I recall, but there are plenty of TVs and a small stage where they occasionally host live music and other events.

This Fishers location is family friendly and non smoking, which is a HUGE plus in my book.  Very young children might not feel at home here, but teens and older seem to really enjoy the atmosphere.  Part of our dining party this particular night was a father and his teen age daughter, and it’s a great place for parents with older children to enjoy an evening out.

The menu is actually quite varied.  There are all kinds of sandwiches…some quite unique, as well as burgers, pizza, and more typical pub fare.  The TVs are on, but the sound is turned down to a comfortable level, so conversation is easy, another big plus in my book.  I like the atmosphere here quite a lot.  It’s nice and comfortable.

Even with such a varied menu, I had no problem choosing what I wanted….a breaded tenderloin.  They advertise theirs as a “garlic pork tenderloin”, available dressed as you like it, and served on a Brioche bun.

The breading was tasty enough, but, sadly….I couldn’t detect much, if any, garlic in it.  It was nice and crispy, but, I expected more from the breading.  Yes, it was good, but there was really nothing outstanding about it.

The meat was tasty and moist, certainly well above average.  Again, I couldn’t detect the taste of garlic in it, which would have really pushed this sandwich over the top.

All in all, it was a good sandwich, certainly above average, but it feel short of being a great sandwich.  I’m going to give it a 3.5 out of 5 bites.  It’s good, but with such a varied menu, I’ll get something else next time.

For her dinner, Holly chose the Portabella and Smoked Gouda “burger” – a meatless burger option.  It’s a sautéed Portabella capped topped with gouda cheese, garlic mayo (which, she claimed, was also lacking in the garlic department) and avocado served open faced on parisien bread.   Despite the fact that it wasn’t as garlicky as she was anticipating or enjoys, she said this was still a stellar sandwich.  It is served with your choice of one of their standard side dishes for $7.99.
The Chatham Tap is located at 8211 E 116th Street in Fishers.  You can find them online at http://www.chathamtap.com

February 16, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Sinking Ship, Indianapolis

The Sinking Ship is a place I’ve heard a quite a bit about for a few months now, and I figured the only way to find out if they were the real deal or just so much hype was to go find out for myself!

I gotta say, it takes guts to name your establishment after a lost cause…so kudos to the owners for doing this!

The decor is what I would call “funky”.  All kinds of art on the walls, exposed pipes and vents in the ceiling, it made me feel like I was stepping back into the 70’s….and I liked it.  And the owner gets even more kudos because it’s LOCAL art.

The menu was VERY eclectic and diverse.  If you go and aren’t sure what you want, plan on spending a few minutes perusing the menu, for there’s some for just about every taste.

We chose an appetizer, a Korean noodle dish called dukboki.  I have to admit I was skeptical when Holly ordered these….I said “I’ll try one” but in my mind I thought “I’m not going to like these”.  Folks, these were over the top outstanding.  They had the PERFECT mix of heat and flavor…without one overpowering the other.  I HIGHLY recommend these.


Of course, I chose the breaded tenderloin for my meal.  It’s billed as “Indy’s Worst Tenderloin”…again, a move that is either crazy or a sign of genius…and, in this case, a little bit of both.

The breading, while not quite traditional, is very, very good.  Nice and crispy, flavorful, and, most importantly, it holds its crunch throughout the life of the sandwich…not a hint of sogginess here!  The breading is certainly a 5/5.

The meat itself is quite flavorful, however, I WILL say it was just a touch on the dry side.  Not a lot, but enough to fall short of perfect.  The taste was outstanding and it was nice and tender, though…so not a MAJOR shortcoming.  When I took my first bite, the meat was a bit thinner than I prefer, but it was thicker on the other side of the sandwich.  That, my friends, is the true mark of a hand-pounded, hand breaded sandwich…not something pressed in a factory.

The bun, again, was OUTSTANDING.  Perfectly toasted, and the perfect complement to an already fine sandwich.  I’m going to give The Sinking Ship’s breaded tenderloin a 4.5 out of 5 bites…only the dryness of the meat made if fall short of perfection.

For my side, I had tater tots and they were perfectly crisp and tasty.  I don’t know why more restaurants don’t offer this option as a side!

For her meal, Holly chose a half sandwich and soup combo – ½ grilled provolone on rye and a cup of homemade vegan chili.  She said they were quite tasty.  Along with her meal, she had a Founders Holiday Stout, which she also enjoyed.

The Sinking Ship is located at 4923 N College in Indianapolis, and you can find them online at http://www.thesinkingship.com.  It is a 21 and over, smoker friendly venue.

December 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Old Trail, Pendleton, Indiana

The Old Trail restaurant and Taproom is located in Pendleton, Indiana, just off of Interstate 69.

It’s part family restaurant and part bar.  I’m generally not a fan of those restaurants that can’t seem to make up their mind what they want to be, but in this case, it works pretty well.  The family side is non smoking, but the bar side is smoker friendly, so be aware of that if you’re sensitive to smoke.

The decor is warm and friendly,  although has a “home interior party” feel to it.  There are a few nice local touches, but nothing outstanding.

I would call the service warm and friendly also.  Our server, although quite busy, did a fine job of taking care of us.

The menu has a nice mix of pub fare….burgers, pizza, and so on, as well as a lot of comfort food…chicken and noodles, broasted chicken, meatloaf, and other items that are traditional in the midwest.

I had heard that they had a pretty good tenderloin, so decided to give them a try on a Friday night.

 

The tenderloin was nice sized, and although it has the appearance of a frozen fritter, that’s not the case.  They are handmade here at the restaurant.

I had really high hopes for the breading….as I was told they use potato chips as a base…but, once again,  those hopes were dashed against the rocks of mediocrity.  The breading was not outstanding  as I had expected.  It wasn’t bad….it just wasn’t especially good.

The meat, too, suffered the same fate.  It was pounded out a little thinner than I prefer, but the taste just wasn’t there.  It was a bit  dry, and although the flavor wasn’t bad, it wasn’t terribly good either.  Just so-so.  I’m going to give the sandwich a 3 out o 5…just average.

The onion rings that I chose to go with my meal were above average, but fell short of outstanding.

Holly chose a grilled chicken salad, and it was, again, OK, but nothing to write home about.

That all said, we WILL return based on the service and prices.  We have it on good authority that the broasted chicken is nothing short of spectacular, and also the chicken and noodle dinner is what dreams are made of…..by all reports, if you want that, you should go for lunch, as they often run out by the time dinner hour rolls around.

The Old Trail Restaurant is located on State Road 38, just East of Highway 69, in Pendleton, Indiana. I was unable to find a web site for them.

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

Max and Erma’s, Indianapolis (North)


Max and Erma’s is one of those places I like, but for some reason, I don’t get there very often.
When I read somewhere that they had some new items on their menu, I made a special point to head over there for dinner.A rela tively small chain, most of their restaurants are in the Midwest and East.

In decor, theme, and atmosphere, they remind me of an Applebee’s or Chili’s, but for some reason, I’ve always thought of Max  and Erma’s as more “homey”. To me, some of those other chains seem a bit sterile, and although M&E is a chain, somehow they seem to retain the small down diner feel.

As we perused the menu, I saw they had a “breaded pork cutlet” sandwich.  When I questioned the waitress, she told me it used to be called the  breaded pork tenderloin, but apparently some patrons were confusing it with the pork tenderloin dinner, so they changed the name.  So, I decided to give it a try.

 

As you can see, it’s a nice sized sandwich, with some heft to it, but it’s not overwhelming.  That’s a big plus in my book. If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know that,to me, bigger is NOT always better.  I like the size of this sandwich…a nice meal, without leaving you bloated.

The breading is really, really good.  It’s nice and crunchy, and it has a VERY good flavor, and  it retains a nice  crunch without getting soggy through the life of the sandwich. The breading is certainly a 5 out of 5.

The meat itself?  Not so much.  It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t especially good.  It was a bit more dry, more bland, more tough than a truly stellar tenderloin. I do want to be very fair…it wasn’t bad meat….it just wasn’t enough to send it over the top.  It certainly downgraded my score for the sandwich.

The bun was nicely toasted, however, I asked for only ketchup, mayo, and onion,and the sandwich had lettuce on it. When a customer asks for a sandwich served a certain way, please, serve it that way.  And, as you can tell by the photo, they skimped on the onion.

All that said, it was a decent sandwich.  I’m going to give it a 3.5 out of 5…just a hair above average.

Holly ordered the lunch portion of the Caribbean Chicken dinner.  It comes with herb rice and broccoli, and she said both were very good – but you can substitute from their sides menu for no extra charge.

The service was prompt  and  friendly, our drinks were kept refilled, and it was overall a very good experience.  We won’t wait so long for our next visit. I might even try the tenderloin again to see if I get a better piece of meat.

Max and Erma’s is located at 12195 N Meridian Street in Indianapolis.  You can find them online at http://www.maxandermas.com

September 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Midwest Grill, Sheridan, Indiana

For a small town, Sheridan sure seems to have a lot of eating choices!!  Sunday found us back up in Sheridan around lunchtime, and although I hadn’t planned on doing a tenderloin review, we made an impromptu stop at the Midwest Grill.

The Midwest Grill is a small, family style diner, and is pretty typical for a small town diner.  Their menu lists a number of sandwiches and their breakfast selection is quite impressive.

Service is prompt and friendly and it’s an all ages, non smoking restaurant.

One thing I was struck by was that their prices were very reasonable for the amount of food you get.  Gourmet dining?  No, it’s not.  But it’s tasty, filling, comfort food.

The Midwest Grill offers both a grilled and breaded tenderloin, for $4.95.  That comes with chips, for $1.00 more, you can substitute a side of fries or onion rings.  I chose onion rings and they were the best I’ve had in a long time, and there was quite an ample order of them.  Certainly worth the $1.00 substitution charge.

But we’re not here to discuss onion rings, are we?  We’re here for the tenderloin!

So how was it?

In short, pretty disappointing.  The meat was just “ok” as was the case with the breading.  The bun was toasted and the sandwich was brought with the condiments I requested.  The breading was a bit thick for my taste, and actually quite bland.

The main problem with this sandwich was that the breading got quite soggy very quickly.  A good breaded tenderloin should retain the crispness of the breading throughout the life of the sandwich, which this one didn’t.  I was barely halfway into the sandwich when it started getting soggy, and by the end of the sandwich, it was a soggy mess.

In all fairness, everything else we got was excellent.  I’d certainly recommend a visit to the Midwest Grill for a burger, breakfast, or other meal.

But for a breaded tenderloin?  I’d suggest you go somewhere else.

I’m going to give the Midwest Grill a 1.5 on my scale of 1-5 bites.  Far below average, and I’ll not order another one.
The Midwest Grill is located at 507 E 7th Street in Sheridan, Indiana.

July 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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