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Barbee Hotel and Restaurant, Warsaw, Indiana

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

March 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 22, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Georges Gyro Spot, Chesterton, Indiana

I am honored to have this opportunity today, to be a “Satellite Reviewer” for Rick’s blog.  Today’s review is being conducted at George’s Gyros Spot, located at
325 North Calumet Road
Chesterton, IN 46304-2429
(219) 926-5435

George’s Gyros Spot is a very popular spot with the locals here in Chesterton.  If you come at lunch time, you will have a hard time even getting in the door.  (it is also a HOT SPOT for police to dine) From what I am told, the food is worth it.  George’s has a great atmosphere, friendly staff and great décor consisting of several murals painted by local artists.  I have eaten here a handful of times since moving here 3 years ago, and sadly, I have always been left wondering what is so special about the place.

Today’s mission, the Breaded Pork Tenderloin Special.  For $4.59 you can get the pork tenderloin with fries.  A medium drink with free refills is an additional $1.59.  After ordering, I learned that for a fee you could upgrade your fries to waffle fries, that looked VERY yummy!  I didn’t find out how much though.

I ordered my tenderloin and was asked if I wanted everything, “lettuce, tomato and mayo.”  I did.  I was given my number, and before I had even filled my drink and settled in with my laptop, my food was ready.  Super fast service.  As soon as I saw the food, I knew I was in trouble.  All “extras” were ON the tenderloin, and it was perfectly round.  Just like a frozen hamburger patty.  UGH!  I decided to start with the fries, which were horrible.  I really should have upgraded to the waffle fries!  Admitting the horror, I decided to go in for the tenderloin. After removing half a head of lettuce from it, I took the first bite and it tasted remarkably like sausage.  I like sausage.  Sausage is one of my favorite foods.  But, my tenderloin isn’t supposed to taste like it.  The taste began to fade with each bite.  Sadly, it faded away to no taste at all.  This tenderloin was obviously a frozen pork fritter, and it was a bad one.  It was edible, but barely.  I WAS starving when I ate it, so that may have played a factor in the “edibility” of it all.
I decided to treat myself to a $2.29 piece of Baklava to make up for the tenderloin.  Once I let the Baklava thaw, it wasn’t bad at all.

So, if you do decide to give the “G Spot” a try, I would HIGHLY recommend you try something OTHER than the pork tenderloin.  Perhaps the “breaded pork fritter steak” that I just noticed on the menu!

On The Tenderloin Connisseur’s scale of 1-5 bites, with 1 being “edible”, George’s breaded tenderloin gets a .5…..edible, but just barely.

You can visit George’s website here.

Many thanks to my friend Amber Edwards for doing this review!  If YOU would like to do a review, just drop me a note or leave a comment and we’ll make it happen!

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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