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.
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/.
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.
Recently, the Tenderloin Connoisseur put a call out to his friends to visit one of their local restaurants and try its version of a tenderloin and report back. I meant to take up this challenge earlier, but other events in our life seemed to get in the way. However, this past week my wife, Wendi, and I decided to have an evening out and visited The Mill House in Jasper, IN.
The Green Street pub in Brownsburg has been recommended to me several times, and I’ve been meaning to try it for quite some time. This weekend was the first time we’ve been in the area with free time to do a review, so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity.
We were in Brownsburg for the 1st annual Brownsburg Hamfest (a gathering of ham radio operators), and I asked the locals their opinion of the restaurant, and the recommendations were high indeed.
The Green Street pub is located in a strip mall amid a grocery store, Mexican restaurant, and some other shops. The first thing I noticed upon entering was that it was MUCH larger than your typical strip mall restaurant. Pleasantly decorated, the hostess was friendly and personable and showed us promptly to our seat.
Unfortunately, getting to our seat was not as pleasant as it should be. When you first walk in to Green Street, the bar is off to your right. There were some ball games going on, and there was a lot of smoking going on in the bar. And, it was drifting out into the area one has to walk through to get to the family section.
I’m not going to get into the whole smoking/non smoking debate, I’ll simply say that I don’t understand the logic of having your non smoking customers walk through a cloud of smoke to get to the non smoking section. That makes NO sense to me. But, hey, what do I know. I’m only a customer who decides where to spend my money.
Once getting to our table, the non smoking area is wonderfully decorated, and there are two very large fish tanks that provide a nice distraction for the kids. There were several families having lunch when we were there, and the kids were very much enjoying watching the fish.
The lunch menu was nice, but, it wasn’t as large as I anticipated. A few sandwiches, a few salads, and that was about it. I’m not sure about their dinner menu, but the lunch menu was a bit disappointing in variety.
I was there on a mission, to try the breaded tenderloin. It’s offered in 3 varieties….grilled, lightly breaded, or beer battered. I chose the beer battered.
The sandwich is large, but not overwhelming. It’s obviously hand breaded, and the breading was…average. Actually, it was rather bland. As much as I was looking forward to this sandwich, I couldn’t get over the fact of how average the breading was.
The meat was the same. It was a little dry, and not as tender as some. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a “bad” sandwich…it just wasn’t especially good, either. It was served promptly and dressed exactly as I requested, so the service was well above average.
For her meal, Holly chose French onion soup and a garden salad. A bonus at Green Street: they serve poppy seed dressing, which Holly chose. As far as her meal goes, it was average. She said it wasn’t bad; it just didn’t stand out in her mind as a stellar meal.
I’m rating the Green Street Pub breaded tenderloin a 2.5 out of 5. It’s average. And, if I were to return, I’d order something else off of the menu.
The Green Street Pub is located at 911 Green Street in Brownsburg, Indiana. I was unable to locate a website for them, but they do have a Facebook page. The bar is 21 and over only, the restaurant is all ages.
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
George’s Neighborhood Grill is a place I’d never heard of until a few weeks ago, when we came upon a coupon for them, and decided to give them a try. The first night we were there, I wasn’t in the mood for a tenderloin (I must have been ill!) and opted for a steak instead. The experience was very good, so we decided to return and give the breaded tenderloin a try.
George’s is in on of those seemingly thousands of identical strip malls that dot the north side of Indy. It appears they have patio seating during warm weather. Upon entering, we were greeted by a friendly hostess, and shown to our table. We were meeting a friend…who also does reviews….for a dual review. He had already arrived and had his iced tea, so we sat and visited a bit before ordering our meal.
Right off the bat, George’s gets very high marks for their service. Since we were visiting with a dear friend, we sat and chatted for a bit before actually starting to peruse the menu. Our waitress did a fine job of balancing the line between attentive and hovering. Never did we feel rushed, but when we wanted to order, she was there promptly.
George’s has a wonderful menu, and, although it looks a bit fancy, they have a wide range of prices…from a couple of sandwiches in the 6-9 dollar range with a side, to steaks and seafood in the 20 dollar per meal range.
I, of course, chose the tenderloin, which is hand breaded on site. It looked really outstanding! It’s large without being overwhelming, and it’s not pounded out paper thin, leaving the meat thick enough to really get the flavor of it. I’ve touched on this before, but so many breaded tenderloins are pounded SO thin that one can’t distinguish between the taste of the breading and the taste of the meat. That’s certainly not the case here.
First bite, the flavor of the meat was outstanding. Nice, tender, and moist, just like it should be. The breading was very good, yet fell short of remarkable. It had a decent flavor, but could have benefited from some seasoning.
However, there was a bit of a problem with this sandwich. Within the first 3 or 4 bites, the sandwich and breading became soggy. One of the signs of a truly great tenderloin is that the breading retains its crunch throughout the life of the sandwich, and this one certainly didn’t.
Still, it was a good tenderloin. I’m going to give it 3.5 out of 5 bites…above average but not great.
Holly chose the grilled fish tacos, and she reported that they were exceptional. They are served with modest toppings and nice sized, flaky pieces of fish, along with a dollop of fresh salsa on the side. You get your choice of side with this entree and she chose the green beans. Cooked al dente with a light, garlicky flavor, they were a nice compliment to the piquant tacos.
As an appetizer, we chose breaded mushrooms. As a general rule, we’ve found that you just never know what you’re going to get with breaded mushrooms unless you ask first, but since everything else we’d had here was above average, we decided to take a chance. These are some of the most outstanding breaded mushrooms we’ve ever tasted! For starters, they are made with whole, FRESH mushrooms. Not jarred…not marinated in a salty brine…FRESH. And they didn’t pick the tiniest mushrooms either. Our order contained premium medium to extra large ‘shrooms! The breading was tender, flaky and crispy – and they were served nice and hot with not one, but two dipping sauces…a horseradish cocktail sauce and ranch dressing. We would make a return trip in a heartbeat JUST for the breaded mushrooms!
Overall, George’s was a very, very good experience. The service, atmosphere, and food are well worth returning for, and often.
For a review of their burger…and other insights, please visit my co-reviewer’s blog at www.thegimpgoesshopping.wordpress.com
George’s Neighborhood Grill is located at 6935 Lake Plaza Drive in Indianapolis. You can visit them on the web at:www.georgesneighborhoodgrill.com.
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:
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:
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:
And, there you have it – my top 3 out of my first 100 reviews. Stay tuned for number 101!
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.
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
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.
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.
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