OK, maybe the Rusty Bucket tenderloin story isn’t fateful, but I do find it interesting. Holly and I had dined at the Rusty Bucket a year or so ago, and, while I liked what I had, I was disappointed that there wasn’t a tenderloin on their menu. I’m disappointed ANY time I’m in a pub and there’s not a tenderloin
on the menu. So we didn’t make it back for a while. Recently, we made a return trip, and I was all set for a good burger, when lo and behold, there was a tenderloin on the menu.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
The Rusty Bucket is part of a small chain based, I believe, in Ohio. The layout reminds me somewhat of an Applebee’s, but it is miles ahead of that chain in food, décor, and service.
The menu is quite extensive, with a nice selection of burgers, steaks, pizza, sandwiches, and more. They all seem to have some sort of unique bend to them. Although I had stepped in craving a burger, when I saw a hand cut, hand breaded tenderloin, I knew that I had to have one.
I’m glad I ordered it. This is one darn fine tenderloin. The meat is extremely tasty, tender, and moist,\and most certainly qualifies as a 5 out of 5. The breading is nearly as good…it lacks just a little something in the seasoning department, but still well above average. The sandwich was served exactly as I ordered it, the bun was nicely toasted, and all was in order.
Except for the onions. First, they were diced. I abhor diced onions on a sandwich. Give me the real thing. Secondly, on both mine and Holly’s sandwich, the onions had a slight taste of charcoal lighter fluid. I’m not sure if they were contaminated by a knife or what, but it certainly detracted from the taste of the sandwich.
I’m torn on exactly how to rate this sandwich, for it WAS very, very good indeed. But that taste on the onions really detracted from the experience. So, I’m NOT going to rate this one. I’m going to revisit and see if I get the same experience again.
The Rusty Bucket is located at 1130 W 86th Street in Indianapolis. You can find them online at www.myrustybucket.com
Those of you who know me personally know that I’m a HUGE fan of the Andy Griffith Show. My office has Andy Griffith art on the walls, I watch the show nearly every day, and can talk right along with the dialogue.
We’re fortunate to have The Mayberry Café about 45 minutes away from home, in the town of Danville, Indiana. Holly had a music gig in Danville, and it gave us the perfect chance to visit The Mayberry Café for dinner.
Of course, the place is Mayberry themed, complete with a Mayberry squad car parked outside. The walls are lined with photos and posters of The Andy Griffith Show, and multiple TVs show episodes of the show while they’re open.
The service is very friendly and down home, and, to us, it seemed very genuine. It appeared the servers truly enjoyed their job, and did a fine job of interacting with the customers without being intrusive.
The menu features what I call “down home” cooking…meatloaf, fried chicken, and so on. There also are several burgers on the menu, as well as a few Italian dishes…perhaps in homage to the “Dinner at 8″ episode.
I saw the breaded tenderloin on the menu, and asked the server, “Is it a REAL breaded tenderloin, or a fritter”, and she replied “We get that question a lot, and it IS a real tenderloin”.
Well, that was enough for me. I ordered it…and I’m glad I did.
The taste and texture were fantastic. Fresh pork, and the breading is wonderful. Nice and crispy, and it stayed crisp throughout the life of the sandwich. I ordered my sandwich, as always, with ketchup, mayo, and onion, and they didn’t skimp on the onion, a big plus in my book. The bun was nicely toasted, although there was nothing special about the bun itself.
The ONLY downside to this sandwich is that it was pounded out just a bit thinner than my preference. The taste and texture were perfect, only it being just a bit too thin for my personal taste kept it from being a 5 out of 5. I’m going to give it a 4.5…VERY good, and well worth the drive.
Holly chose Aunt Bea’s fried chicken. She was surprised to learn that the chicken was *not* bone-in! Not a minus, just not expected. The breading was wonderful and although it was all white meat, it was tender and juicy. Home-style mashed potatoes and gravy with green beans were her sides – both reported to be comfort food at its finest.
The Mayberry Cafe is located at 78 W Main Street in Danville, Indiana. I was unable to locate a web page for them, but they do have a Facebook page.
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.
Hella’s Greek Cafe’ is a place I’ve been aware of for quite some time, but only recently stopped in there for lunch for the first time. The first time we were there, I noticed that they had a breaded tenderloin on their menu…one of only a couple of American dishes…and it’s been on my list to try ever since. The problem is, their Greek food is so good, I couldn’t tear myself away from it.
I’m no authority on Greek food, but I do know what I like, and I like Hella’s a lot. Their Greek food is always tasty and service is always outstanding, and that keeps me coming back.
I’ll say up front that this isn’t a traditional breaded tenderloin sandwich, so I’m not going to rate it on my traditional 1-5 bite scale.
The tenderloin is hand breaded in house, and the breading is very light…much lighter than most other tenderloins I’ve experienced. It’s crisp and tasty, and it certainly is a nice compliment to the taste of the meat…it’s not heavy like some breading can be. I liked this light breading quite a lot!
The meat itself is very good also. It might fall a bit short of outstanding, but it’s certainly well above average. It’s tender and moist with a very good flavor.
The sandwich is served on a Pita. Generally, Pitas are a bit more hard and chewy than a standard bun, but with the very light breading and the tender meat, it worked quite well. The sandwich was served dressed as I requested and service was prompt and friendly.
Since it’s not quite traditional, I’m going to rate this on the “would I buy it again” scale, and the answer is, yes, I certainly would order this sandwich again. However, their Greek food is SO good….I’d have to be craving a tenderloin while I was there.
Holly recommends the chicken or pork slouvakia with Greek potatoes. You can’t go wrong with this classic Greek kabob. The meat is consistently moist and tender with just the right amount of seasonings.
Hella’s Greek Café’ is located on Westfield Boulevard, just south of 82nd street. You can find them online at http://hellascafe.net
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.
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
Yes, you’re right, I have. I reviewed the Speedway location a year or so ago. But, I’ve found that restaurants that have more than one location aren’t necessarily consistent. Since we stopped in Lafayette on the way to Racine, Wisconsin, I decided to give this Grindstone Charley’s a try.
The decor is almost the same as the Speedway location, and we were greeted and seated promptly and in a friendly manner, just like in Speedway.
An added bonus was that they had Fried Green Tomatos on the menu. I’m not sure if this was a regional item, or seasonal, whichever the case may be, they were outstanding and I highly recommend them.
Honestly…I considered getting a burger here this time, as I’d already had a Grindstone breaded tenderloin. But I remembered just how good it was, and I couldn’t help but order it again, all the while wondering if it would stand up to Speedway’s high mark.
I’m happy to report that it did. The meat was moist and tender, and quite flavorful. The breading is some of my favorite ever. It’s nice and crispy and stays that way through the life of the sandwich. The sandwich was brought with the condiments I ordered, and the bun was nicely toasted.
I gave the Speedway location 5 out of 5 bites, and I’m doing the same for the Lafayette location. It’s a winner, folks!
Grindstone Charley’s, Lafayette, is located at 3443 State Road 26 E in Lafayette, Indiana
We were camping at Whitewater when performing for the Metamora Old Time Music Festival, and I’d heard great things about J’s, so we decided to give it a try.
The restaurant is clean and the help is friendly. We had never had a meal here before, and the menu was just a bit overwhelming…for a small restaurant, there are a LOT of choices. But, the girl who served us behind the counter was patient while we perused the menu and asked about a couple of the things we didn’t recognize. One of them was J-Bob’s, which are breaded potato wedges, and Mushroom Chips…which are sliced, breaded, deep fried mushrooms. More about each of those later.
Of course, I chose the breaded tenderloin, which they advertise as hand breaded. When they brought it out, I was quite disappointed….it certainly didn’t LOOK hand breaded. It looked like the run of the mill frozen pork fritter.
Taste wise, it was a tad better than that. Not much, but a little. The breading was…well, it was there. That’s about all I can say about it. It was crisp, but there just wasn’t much taste to it. And, I’ll have to say the same about the meat. It didn’t taste BAD, there just wasn’t that much taste to it. It was prepared with the condiments I requested, which is a plus in the service department.
As my side, I chose the J-Bob’s, and let me tell you, these things are GOOD! Lightly breaded, perfectly cooked, I’d get these anytime!
But the tenderloin…well, for me, it didn’t even get up to the average grade. It sells for $6.95 with a side. I’m going to give it a 2 out of 5 bites. It’s edible, and that’s about all I can say about it.
Holly had a pulled pork sandwich and proclaimed it excellent, WELL above average and certaintly worth getting again. For her side, she chose the Mushroom Chips, and I sampled them also. These things are little slices of breaded heaven….if you stop in at J’s, make sure you order these!
J’s Dairy Inn in Liberty is located on State Road 44, one block west of the traffic light. You can visit them online at http://jsdairyinn.com/
Carol’s is your typical small town restaurant. Heavy on comfort foods…good, friendly service…lots and lots of stuff hanging on the walls and displayed on various shelves, it’s like a step back in time.
I particularly enjoyed the antique lunch box collection that was displayed. Of course, atmosphere helps a restaurant, but it’s the food that we’re there for.
Carol’s Cornerstone Cafe’ has burgers, meatloaf, noodles, stuffed peppers, and more. They proudly display signs advertising “Hand Breaded Tenderloins” both inside and outside the restaurant.
And, of course, that’s what I chose. And, it’s what Holly also chose. In this case, it’s a good thing we both chose the same dish.
The tenderloin looked pretty darn good. It obviously IS hand breaded. For me, the size was perfect…a big, hearty sandwich, but not so large as to be overwhelming.
The bun is fresh and nicely toasted. The breading, while good, is nothing to really write home about. Yes, it’s good, but it lacks a “wow” factor.
The problem with my sandwich was the meat. It was dry, tough, and…pretty much tasteless. It took some effort to bite through it, and the flavor was just not there.
I told Holly that, and she offered me a bite of hers. It was like a totally different sandwich. The meat was noticeably more tender and flavorful. Not top of the line, but, much, much better.
But, I was here to review the sandwich that was brought to me. The breading was average, and the meat was quite a bit below average.
I’m going to give it a 2 out of 5 bites…I’d certainly not order it again if I were to visit Carol’s again.
Let me say that I WILL visit Carol’s again. I did enjoy the atmosphere quite a lot, and everything else on the menu looked very good.
The prices are quite reasonable – the sandwich and fries are $6.95, and the service was very, very good. I’ll visit Carol’s again…I’ll just pass on the tenderloin.
Carol’s Cornerstone Cafe’ is located at 301 East Main Street in Greenfield, Indiana. They offer live music on the weekends, this past weekend it was Bluegrass on Friday night and Elvis on Saturday night.
Jim Dandy used to be known for home cooked meals for a reasonable price, and that’s still partly the case, although they seem to be pushing patrons more towards their hot bar these days…a shift of emphasis from what I remember in the past. However, they still feature a full menu with a number of specials, and the prices are very reasonable for the food you receive.
Nevertheless, I opted for the breaded tenderloin, urged, in part, by the claim on their menu is the tenderloin is “what we’re famous for”.
Since their advertising boldy advertises their famous tenderloin (the term “World Famous” is even used on the table placard) I was sure that I would receive a hand breaded, hand trimmed piece of breaded goodness.
Maybe, someday, I’ll learn not to take advertising at face value.
What I got appeared to be a pre-frozen piece of breaded meat. No, it didn’t appear to be the run of the mill frozen pork patty, but it was HIGHLY disappointing. The breading was bland and tasteless…and the meat was pretty much the same way. If this is what they’re famous for, then their customer base is far less than discriminating.
I always try to find something good to say, and about this sandwich, the bun was toasted nicely and the sandwich came dressed exactly how I requested it. The fries were hot and tasty, and the price was reasonable….$6.95 including fries.
Still, it pales to what I was expecting from a “world famous” tenderloin. I’m going to give the Jim Dandy breaded tenderloin a 2 out of 5..below average.
Once again, the other things we ordered were very good to outstanding. Holly ordered a black angus mushroom swiss burger that was served on Texas toast, and it was over the top good. We shared a piece of strawberry pie for dessert, and it was a slice of heaven on a cloud of crust.
In short, everything was excellent….except the tenderloin.
The Noblesville location of Jim Dandy is located at 2301 Conner Street (State Road 32) in Noblesville, Indiana.