I’m always looking for a good tenderloin when I’m traveling, as most of you know, and I’m also always looking for a good, locally owned restaurant, preferring to get local taste instead of a chain when I’m on the road.
We were up in Warsaw, Indiana, playing a St Patrick’s day gig, and one of Holly’s friends lives up in that area, (Hi Erin! Hi Reyna!!) and they had heard good things about the Barbee Hotel and Restaurant, just off of Lake Barbee, so we decided to give it a try.
The Barbee Hotel is famous for 3 reasons…it was the reputed hideout of Al Capone during his heyday, the Gable and Lombard suite…where they stayed when they were married, and its reputation of being haunted.
We didn’t see any ghosts while we were there, as some folks say they have (but not for lack of trying!!) nor did we smell Al Capone’s cigar smoke wafting through the building, as some say they have, but we did enjoy a VERY good meal and enjoyed the after dinner ghost hunt.
Although the Barbee Hotel doesn’t look like much from the outside, the restaurant itself is VERY nice - textured tin ceiling, nice bar, comfortable seating, and an attentive waitress. We were off to a good start.
The menu is quite varied, with everything from sandwiches and salads to steaks, seafood, and quite a number of Italian dishes, with daily specials.
I saw they had a breaded tenderloin, and asked our waitress if they were done in house, and she honestly didn’t know. However, they also offered a grilled tenderloin, so that told me they probably DO make them in house, and I decided to take a chance.
As you can see from the photo, it does appear to be hand breaded and cut…it’s not a pre-processed pork fritter, of that, I’m certain. It’s neither uniform in shape or thickness, so I suspect they are, indeed, made in house.
So, how was it? It wasn’t bad. However, in all fairness, it wasn’t that good, either. It certainly was a bit above average, but far short of outstanding. The breading was..pretty bland. And the meat was just a bit dry for my tastes. But, again, it wasn’t bad. There was just nothing to set it apart from the others. Since it did appear to be fresh and made in house, I’m going to give it a 3 out of 5, just above average.
I got fries as my side, and they were nothing special, but the salad I ordered was VERY good….one of the better side salads I’ve had in a while.
For her meal, Holly chose one of the house specials for the evening: parmesan encrusted whitefish. She reported it to be outstanding – very flavorful, with a nice balance between the fish and the seasoning of the breading. The dinner special came with a choice of soup or salad, vegetable du jour, and your choice of potato – so there were several combinations available from which to choose.
Even though the tenderloin wasn’t stellar, the experience as a whole was great. The service was tops, LOVE the atmosphere, and the rest of the food looks to be FAR above average. I’m sure we’ll be back up that way this year, and this will be a must stop for us.
The Barbee Hotel and Restaurant is located at 3620 N Barbee Road in Warsaw, Indiana. Reservations are accepted on the weekends, and are highly recommended. You can find them online at http://www.barbeehotel.com
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.
Holly l and I found ourselves in Richmond, Indiana this past weekend for a music gig. As I had never had a tenderloin in Richmond….we set out on a quest to find a locally owned restaurant.
As we were on a timetable, we didn’t have as much time to explore town as I would’ve liked to have, but we did find Carver’s Family Restaurant, and decided to give them a try.
Upon entering, it’s a large place, and kind of reminds me of a Denny’s in it’s layout. Although we arrived at prime lunchtime for the Sunday after church crowd, we were seated quickly and our capable server answered a few menu questions for us.
The menu is quite complete, with a vast breakfast selection, lots of sandwiches, plate lunches, and a variety of Greek food, also.
There is a breaded tenderloin on the menu, and I asked the waitress if it was really a breaded tenderloin, or a pork fritter. She replied…”It’s a fritter”. It might have been my imagination, but I do believe she said it with regret and wiped a single tear from her eye.
OK, maybe I’m stretching it a bit. However, Carver’s won my business right there. By being honest with me, they turned what could have been a bad experience and an unhappy customer right around.
SO…I ordered the steakburger patty melt, and it was very, very good indeed. The meat had a wonderful flavor, the onions were grilled to perfection, and the toast was perfect. With it, I had onion rings…not outstanding, but VERY good, and french onion soup, which was pretty average. All in all, it was a very good meal.
Holly had a build your own omelette. Carver’s makes their omelettes with 6(!) eggs, so Holly chose hers half-sized, made with EggBeaters, and raved about how good it was….very light and fluffy.
I would consider the price to be moderate for the amount and quality of food we received, and although I was disappointed that they offer a fritter instead of a tenderloin…the positive experience we received…and the honesty from our server, means we’ll be back!
Carver’s is located at 2270 Chester Blvd in Richmond, Indiana. I was unable to locate a web site for them.
We had some errands to run, and were looking for some place for supper, and drove right by it..and decided to turn in.
Part sports bar, part family restaurant, Casler’s has the potential to try to do too many things at once, ultimately failing at all of them…but kudos to Casler’s…they do it and they do it well.
It’s a very comfortable atmosphere, and whether you’re a sports fan, live music fan, or want a nice dinner with your family, you’ll feel welcome here.
I honestly wasn’t sure if they had a breaded tenderloin or not…..but they advertise a hand cut tenderloin on their menu, offering it either breaded or grilled. I chose the breaded…of course.
It’s a nice sized sandwich, pounded just a little thinner than I prefer, but not paper thin. The meat, while not outstanding in flavor, is certainly above average.
The breading is really good…the texture is a little different than what I’m used to, but I liked it quite a lot. I’m not sure exactly what’s IN the breading, but it works and works well.
They brought the sandwich dressed just as I requested, however….they skimped on the onion. Two little rings. When we say we want onions, we want onions!
The sandwich is served on an egg bun that is really, really good! It’s a different taste/texture than the standard bun, and with this sandwich, it worked very, very well.
I’m giving Casler’s breaded tenderloin a 4 out of 5 bites. It’s not perfect, but it’s well above average and I’ll certainly order it again when I’m there.
As a nice change of pace, they offer tater tots as a side…and, oh my, they were VERY good!
Holly had the steak dinner special…a sirloin steak, grilled veggies, and mashed potatoes for $8.99. She pronounced that dinner “Fantastic”.
Casler’s is located at 11501 Geist Pavilion Drive in Fishers, Indiana. You can find them online at http://www.caslers.com
A few months ago, I was made aware of The Georgetowner Draft House in Fortville, Indiana. I’m always up for trying new places, and on one of our trips over to Hancock County we decided to stop in, and I had planned to do a tenderloin review.
I ordered my tenderloin, and got a pork fritter. However, while we were dining, the chef came out and we had a lengthy conversation about Indiana tenderloins, and he told me that he was learning to make them from scratch, and within a week, they’d be serving hand pounded, hand breaded tenderloins. So, I scrapped that review and decided to do one our next trip through the area.
This week found us back in Hancock County, and we decided to stop in for supper.
Just like the first time we visited, my first impression of this place was very favorable! I REALLY like the atmosphere here….part Irish Pub, part working mans’ bar, it’s a nice mix that works quite well for me. The service is prompt and friendly without being overbearing. There are several TVs scattered around showing sports, but the volume is at a reasonable level, so it’s not intrusive. You can carry on a comfortable conversation without excessive background noise.
It appears the menu has changed a bit since the last time I was here….most notably, they now show their tenderloin as a “handmade tenderloin”. We were off to a good start, and I was anticipating a great sandwich!
One of the hardest things about doing this is maintaining a fair observation of a sandwich, regardless of how well I like a restaurant. This is one of those times where that came into play.
Here we are, setting in a restaurant I REALLY liked, with great service and atmosphere, and their “handmade” tenderloin looked like a pre-made, frozen patty. And, it tasted like it, also. The best words I can think of to describe this are “bland and tasteless” – a huge disappointment after so much anticipation.
I WILL say that it was edible…..but that’s about it. I’ll give The Georgetowner’s tenderloin a 1 out of 5 bites. I’ll certainly not order it again.
That said…everything else was very good indeed. Holly had a Pork BBQ sandwich and proclaimed it very tasty….and the rest of the menu appears to be a cut about the rest. I’ll certainly visit The Georgetowner again….likely for Trivia Night on a Thursday…but I’ll pass on the tenderloin.
The Georgetowner is located at 215 S Main Street in Fortville, Indiana. You can find them online at http://www.georgetownerdrafthouse.com
Today’s mission was for my friend, Maria and me to drive from Indianapolis to Rockville to buy some incredible Amish soft pretzels. And since we are both geocachers, we thought we’d grab a few caches along the way. We did find a few caches, but we found that the pretzels are only available on Saturdays. Oh well!. That gives us an excuse to come back.
While compiling a list of caches, I read about a restaurant called The Long Horn Tavern in Rosedale, Indiana, within sight of The Roseville Covered Bridge. I thought this might be a great place to stop for lunch. On the way there, Maria and I saw a sign for a place called The Rock Run Café and Bakery and we thought we’d try to find it after lunch for a little dessert.
When we got to Coxville, we saw The Rock Run Café and Bakery and went inside only to find out that this was the former Long Horn.Tavern, yep, one and the same. The main level seats about 50 people in a rustic, cozy room with lots of Tex Terry western movie memorabilia with country music playing overhead. There are exposed beam ceilings and some potato sacks on a section of the ceiling as well. There is a salad bar and a pastry counter. It is also an internet café with free WiFi and computer terminals at some of the tables for their customers’ use. Upstairs is a large room that seats 100 folks. On one end there is an ice cream parlor..To give you a little history, this building was built in 1923 and once served as a gasstation and general store. After the store started selling beer, it was renamed The Coxville Tavern. It closed in the late 1970’s. Not long after, B Western Movie Star, Tex Terry, returned from Hollywood to his hometown after appearing in over seventy four movies and television series. He and his agent wife, Isabel, bought the tavern in 1979 and named it Tex Terry’s Long Horn Tavern. Locals could gather to chat with the local hero and order soup, chili, or a burger.
In 1982 the tavern was purchased by Tom and Alice Hyatte, who lovingly expanded the restaurant and the menu. They ran the restaurant for 30 years. Since 2009 the next generation of family carries on since Tom and Alice have retired. The name has been changed to Rock Run Café & Bakery. They are proud of the addition of authentic artisan wood-fired brick oven pizza.
The sandwich is $6.99 and that includes one side. I had onion rings and Maria had smashed red potatoes. The onion rings were really incredible! They are large rings with a light crispy breading that almost melts in your mouth. Maria said the potatoes were awesome, combining several flavors.
The tenderloins arrived directly from the fryer. They were pounded out thinner than I prefer, and I think they were in the fryer a bit longer than necessary. The toppings arrived exactly as we ordered them. The meat was tender and flavorful and the breading was crispy, tasty, and not overpowering. The bun was not toasted, but it didn’t fall apart.
Maria ordered hers on a pretzel bun, which she felt added a little extra something to the sandwich, which she liked. I liked the tenderloin too, but it was not a five. Definitely a three and a half – better than most.
The owners were friendly and filled us in on the history of the place. The service was great, and our server even brought ‘to-go’ cups without us asking for them.
The menu features plenty of down home favorites like meatloaf, beef manhattans, country fried steaks, and fried chicken. Also they have steaks, seafood, pizza, panini’s, sandwiches and desserts. Did I say Desserts? Of course, we HAD to try the pies. Authentic Indiana Sugar Cream Pie. And their specialty, Vinegar Pie. It sounds awful, but the owner explained that it tasted like pecan pie without the pecans. And he was right. Both were excellent. You can even buy whole pies from them.
This restaurant is about 55 miles from Indianapolis – straight west on Rockville Road (US 36) to Rockville. Turn south on US 41 to Coxville Road, which is about 10 miles south of Rockville.
I definitely recommend it if you are in the area for The Covered Bridge Festival. It is worth making the trip there just for the heck of it. The Rock Run Café and Bakery is open daily from 11am – 9:30pm, but pizza’s are served until 11pm on Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays. They are located at 8050 S. Coxville Road, Rosedale, Indiana 47874.
The web address is http://www.rockruncafe-bakery.com. 765-548-9282
****Big thanks to my friend Janie Morrison, known to Geocachers as Indigo500, for this fabulous review! Janie, you rock!
Have you ever been to a restaurant so far out in the remote parts of the county that someone had to take you the first time so you could find it? And when you finally arrive, it looks more like someone’s garage or multi-purpose building, situated between two houses, than it does a restaurant? This is what it’s like when you visit Chad’s, the best kept secret in Lawrence county, Indiana.
Chad Hillenburg has worked as a cook at various restaurants in Lawrence county over the years, but he and his family have settled into running their own restaurant, convenience store, and bait shop for several years. Yes, you read that right. The store is also a bait shop, but the bait is sold from a refrigerator out front – there is a sign posted that clearly says bait is not allowed to be brought into the restaurant.
As you walk into Chad’s, you are shocked by how small it really is. The place can seat about 20 people, 14 of which would be sitting elbow-to-elbow at a long table down the middle of the restaurant. I’ve been there when we were sitting with folks we didn’t know when we got there, but we knew them better before we left!
While you take in the restaurant, you will undoubtedly be drawn to studying the wide array of convenience store items that line one wall. In addition to typical items (paper towels, pop-tarts, bottles of pop) you can also purchase a fishing pole, a car battery, or a greeting card!
Now that you know have a sense of the restaurant, let’s get to the ‘meat’ of the matter – the breaded tenderloin sandwich (sorry, but the pun was just too tempting). To be honest, I’m not much of a tenderloin fan. Those words might make the Tenderloin Connoisseur second guess his offer that I write a guest review, but I admit to my lackluster feelings of tenderloins to convey the quality of the sandwich Chad prepares. I’ve visited Chad many times (weekly for most of this summer) and almost invariably, I order the tenderloin sandwich. Outside of Chad’s, I honestly cannot remember the last time I ate a tenderloin. But do you know what? I don’t think I could ever eat a tenderloin someplace else because Chad has set the bar so high.
As the picture shows, the sandwich is a beast. Many times, I only manage to eat half of the sandwich (and can then enjoy the other half for lunch the following day). In the case of this particular sandwich, I started eating it by pulling off the parts hanging off the bun. This took considerable time and when I finally got down to a bun-sized sandwich I could pick up, I wasn’t sure I would eat it all. But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and I wanted to give this review 110%. I was miserably full the rest of the evening, but enjoying the tenderloin, the delicious home made potato chips, three cups of sweet iced tea, and a brownie sundae might also have contributed to my post-Chad’s misery.
As I think back to when I have eaten tenderloins in my pre-Chad’s days, my recollection is they are generally pounded flat, have very little flavor, and subsequently need condiments to give them some flavor. This is not the case at Chad’s. His tenderloin is a thick cut of pork and has a breading on it that’s neither too hard nor too soft – it’s just right (baby bear would love it). It is tender, full of flavor, and a delightful treat for the tastebuds.
If you find yourself in Lawrence county, craving an awesome tenderloin, give me a call. I’d be glad to show you the way.
Chad’s is located at 7917 Bartletsville Road, Heltonville, Indiana, 47436
***This review comes from my friend and fellow Geocacher Steve Booker….you can find him in my friends list on Facebook.
Sahm’s is a small group of family owned restaurants in Indianapolis, Indiana. Their logo/slogan is simple and direct…”Fresh. Local”. They have a VERY loyal following, and I must say it’s well deserved.
Their menu includes everything from salads to sandwiches to seafood and steaks…and just about everything imaginable in between.
I’d been to Sahm’s before, and had even had their tenderloin, but that was well before I started reviewing them, so a return visit was in order. I remembered it being very good…but wasn’t sure how it would stand up to a more critical eye.
The meat is fantastic…tender, moist, and full of flavor. The breading is over the top good…nice and crispy, that gives a nice, satisfying crunch when you bite into it. It took me a bit to eat this sandwich, and I’m happy to report that down to the final bite, the cruch was still there, no bit of sogginess to be found. The bun is expertly toasted, and the sandwich was served dressed as I requested it.
The sandwich sells for $8.95, and that includes your choice of one side. I chose onion rings, and they were tops. There are a couple of places that have onion rings by which all others are judged, and this one rates right up there.
This one is easily a 5 out of 5 bites. The sandwich, service, and the entire experience was over the top good.
Sahm’s has several locations around town. You can find the listed…and read more about their history on their website here.
Riley House is a small family restaurant located in Greenfield, Indiana.
Like many small town, non chain restaurants, the staff at Riley House treats you like family the minute you walk into the door, and many of the customers know each other. The very friendly waitress was the granddaughter of the original owner of the restaurant, which opened 60 years ago, and is still owned by a family member.
She asked us if we had ever been there before, and when we said no, she told us they were famous for their broasted chicken, pork chops, and breaded tenderloins.
While Holly perused the menu to make her choice, I took a bit of time and looked at the VERY extensive menu. Had I not already made my mind up to try the tenderloin, it would’ve likely taken me quite a bit of time to decided what I wanted. The menu is several pages long with just about every type of food imaginable, and heavy on the typical Hoosier comfort food.
Of course, I had already decided to try the breaded tenderloin, so my choice was easy.
As you can see, this thing is HUGE. And, that’s part of my problem with this sandwich. It’s pounded out so thin that one really can’t tell where the breading ends and the meat begins. I’d like to be able to tell you how the meat tastes, but, I really can’t….it was so thin I really couldn’t get a good taste of it.
And, there was something terribly wrong with this sandwich. Between the breading and the meat was a layer of…..soggy mush. That’s really the only way I can describe it. One bite into the sandwich, and I got a nice crunch from the breading, then a layer of sogginess. About the only way I can describe it is: disgusting. This is one of the few sandwiches that I didn’t finish, it was so bad.
It’s VERY possible they were having a bad day, or perhaps a new cook, because I’ve a couple of friends who have had them and proclaimed them excellent, and I trust their judgement. But this one was next to inedible.
That said, the bun was toasted nicely and the sandwich was dressed exactly as ordered. It sells for $6.99 and that includes fries.
That said, it might have been the worst tenderloin I’ve had so far. I’m going to have to give it a 0 out of 5 bites.
Everything else we had was excellent…Holly chose the broasted pork chops, and they might have been the best pork chops I’ve ever had. The service was excellent, the restaurant is clean and tidy, and I’d go back again, however, I’d stay as far away from the tenderloin as possible.
The Riley House is located at 1020 W Main Street in Greenfield, 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.