A musician buddy of mine (Thanks, Jason!!) found a Yelp! review of The Bush restaurant in Terre Haute, and the review said they had a “terrific” tenderloin, so I decided to give them a try.
The Bush is located near the ISU campus, but I saw nary a student in the restaurant. The clientele was older folks, who appeared to be regulars…many of them were greeted by name by the server.
I must give a shout out to our server. She was the only one working, and she was SLAMMED. She did a GREAT job of taking care of all the tables, getting orders and food out in a timely manner. She did an outstanding job, and if service is always this good at the Bush, they’ve got a great staff.
I, of course, ordered the breaded tenderloin. On the menu, it said “hand cut and prepared in our own kitchen”.
I really, really wish I could give this tenderloin a great review – that is how much I liked the restaurant. But, I’ve got to be honest. It was one of, if not THE, most disappointing tenderloin I’ve ever had in my life. Bland, tasteless, tough, and chewy…it was just awful. How bad was it? I didn’t even finish it….it was that bad. The fries that came with it were very tasty, though, as was the cole slaw. I’ll give this tenderloin a 0 out of 5 bites.
But all was not lost. Holly chose the diet plate, which consisted of baked cod, green beans and peaches. The restaurant’s menu goes on and on about their fried cod – and as delicious as it looked and smelled, Holly opted for the baked cod. She reported it to be excellent – it had a light, flaky and buttery texture with an outstanding flavor – perfectly seasoned. The sides were pretty standard for a diet plate – no extra seasonings or condiments – and that is what she expected, so she was not disappointed! Holly added that she would order that meal again in a heartbeat, and looks forward to trying the fried cod someday.
I liked the Bush. I liked it quite a lot. Next time in Terre Haute, I’ll certainly go back. I just won’t order their cardboard tenderloin.
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 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 Fort Grille is located on Highway 67, on the East side of Fortville, Indiana. Over the years, it’s been a number of different restaurants, so I’ve been watching with interest as this newest restaurant went through extensive remodeling in preparation for opening.
The Fort Grille is an interesting place. It’s nicely decorated with local street signs and other bits of local history, giving it the feel of a small town diner. However, the menu is that of a more upscale restaurant. Along with burgers and sandwiches, there are a number of Italian dishes, steaks and other items on the ample menu.
I saw they had a breaded tenderloin, and knew that I had to try it. An interesting aside…they also offer a “breaded chicken tenderloin”. Being a purist…I chose the pork.
However, the meat is another story. It was bland and tasteless, and was pounded out far too thin for my taste. Although the sandwich LOOKED good….it might as well have been a breading sandwich, for that’s all I could taste.
The bun, also, was sub-standard. Yes, it was nicely toasted. However, it was stale and hard around the edges. The sandwich was served dressed as I requested with plenty of onion, but, all in all, it was a major disappointment. I’m going to give it a 2 out of 5…edible, but certainly below average. However, the home made chips I ordered as a side were simply outstanding.
I also ordered a side salad and it was also outstanding. A nice mix of greens made for a nice start for the meal.
Being a new restaurant, there are expected to be a few glitches in the system, and they all were evident on Saturday night. Holly ordered eggplant parmesan which was on the menu, only to be told by our server that they’ve taken it off the menu. She ordered chicken marsala, which was very good indeed.
Once we had ordered our meal, a couple was seated next to us, and the waitress started telling them the special of the day, which included a Rib Eye steak special. Our server never said anything to us about the special. Although I STILL would’ve opted for the tenderloin, it certainly would have been nice to have been made aware of the specials before we ordered.
All said, I DO like this place. I’ll give them some time to get the glitches worked out of their system and give them another try when I’m through the area.
The Fort Grille is located at 901 E Broadway in Fortville, Indiana. You can find them online at: http://fortgrille.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
Jimmy B’s is the place where it all started. My very first tenderloin review was Jimmy B’s and they earned the coveted 5 out of 5 bite rating.
Last week, we were looking for somewhere close to home to have dinner. It had been awhile, so we decided to stop in at Jimmy B’s for old time’s sake.
I was shocked to see that they had upgraded their menu…added a few things, took a few away…and they had completely changed the description of their breaded tenderloin. So I knew that a re-review was in order.
One of the things that distressed me so was that the description of the new tenderloin was “bigger than your head”….and, I thought to myself, “oh, no, here we go again…”. I’ve had some less than stellar tenderloins that were all about size, rather than quality.
Turns out, my fears were unfounded. Yes, it’s larger than the previous tenderloin. But it still retains a very nice thickness, and the breading is out of this world. They’ve obviously added a little something to the breading, and stepped it up a notch….making this an absolutely fabulous sandwich.
The meat itself is nice and thick, moist and tender, and extremely flavorful. The breading….over the top good. A very nice, satisfying “crunch” that adds perfectly to the tenderness of the meat.
The bun is nice and toasty, and the sandwich was dressed exactly as I requested…a little detail that far too many restaurants forget.
There’s no doubt that Jimmy B’s retains the 5 out or 5 rating…and, I would have to say that, at this time, it’s the best tenderloin I’ve had since I started doing this. Simply stellar.
Jimmy B’s is located at 106th and College, on the Southwest corner. It’s 21 and over only and smoking is allowed. And, do yourself a favor. When you visit….take some time and just soak up the atmosphere.