Just who is The Tenderloin Connoisseur?


Comedian, Musician, and Storyteller Rick Garrett is The Tenderloin Connoisseur.

A 2015 Hoosier Comedy Award winner, Rick travels all over the Midwest, telling jokes, sharing stories, and playing music with his wife, Holly.

Nearly a lifelong Hoosier  (Rick was born in East Tennessee, moving to early Indiana at a very young age), Rick believes that the Tenderloin is a true piece of  Hoosier identity.  Like us Hoosiers, a true tenderloin isn’t fancy or showy, but just something solid you can count on.

You can find Rick’s website at http://www.rickgarrett.net or find him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thedulcimerguy.  Rick would be happy to make an appearance on your TV show, Radio Broadcast, Podcast, or newspaper or magazine.  Past media appearances include the Armed Forces Radio network, the BBC, Men’s Journal Magazine, Men’s Health Magazine, Indianapolis Monthly, and more.

99 thoughts on “Just who is The Tenderloin Connoisseur?

  1. Warning: Ignorant question ahead.

    We don’t have breaded tenderloin here, in sandwiches or otherwise. We do, however, have chicken-fried steak (which generally does not come in sandwiches because even a small serving is often the size of a normal dinner plate, and would require an entire loaf of bread to effectively em-bun-ify it). That, and chicken-fried steak is generally served with white cream gravy, which would make for a messy sandwich.

    Is breaded tenderloin the same thing? Or are they just related? Are tenderloins tenderized [pounded] like chicken-fried steak should be?

      • I think the best tenderloin in the city is at Ber Tee’s Sports Cafe at 10462 Olio Road in Fortville, or at Sahm’s Restaurant at 7870 E 96th St, Fishers, IN just east of 69 North. Ber Tee’s has amazing breading, you can split it at either place due to size, Sahm’s home made buns are amazing as well. Can’t go wrong either place.

    • I have followed you for sometime. My brother and I have gone to almost all the places you have rated the tenderloins. We live in Marion, and would like you to try a place in Matthews Indiana. It is a C-Store Johnson Juction. It is the most unlikely place. We agree with you on the ones you have ranked. This is the one we use to judge all others. You will not be disappointed. You must get one that has just come out of the fryer. We would love to meet you there, we will buy. Thank you.

  2. Hey, Dixie! 🙂

    They ARE related. And, yes, they’re pounded, and are often the size of a dinner plate. They hang well, well over all sides of the bun. And they’re pork…I’m not sure about TEXAS chicken fried steak, but what we find up here is beef, and a breaded tenderloin is pork.

    You might find this link interesting:


    I appreciate you being here!

  3. Rick…just found you site and saw a link to mine. Thanks for the good vibes. Love your sight and it is a great idea. I said that the breaded pork tenderloin is the state sandwich and you are making ti proud my friend. I have a tenderloin review coming up later this week or early next.

    Thanks again.

  4. Rick, I see you were in Sheridan and did not stop into Casey’s for a breaded tenderloin. Please make the trip to Sheridan again and give it a try. If you don’t think our tenderloin is better than the fritter you had at the Red Onion, I will not charge you a cent!

  5. So you have been to the Red Onion, right? And now Muldoon’s. Have you ever had the tenderloin at Nickel Plate in Fishers? If so, how do you think they stack up against each other. If not, you should definitely make the voyage out there!


  6. Rick I would lke to suggest for your culinary delights Green Street Station in Brownsburg. Mighty fine tenderloin my friend and the other faire is good too. Before you go in or when your done your invited next door to the Tae Kwon Do studio to work it off or work up an appetite with my son Adrian.

  7. Hey Rick. Just found your site looking for recipes. I currently reside in Tucson, AZ where there is a distinct lack of decent Tenderloin sandwiches… or any at all for that matter. I always took tenderloins for granted growing up in Indiana and right now I’m really craving one. I was wondering though, and I don’t currently have time to go through the archives, but have you ever been to Mi Amigo’s on Washinton St, if I remember right it’s in that strip mall where the Best Buy store is near Washington Square Mall. They have, in my opinion, one of the best tenderloin sandwiches I’ve ever had. Huge, and done just right. It’s been ages since I’ve been there though so…, anyway thought I’d steer you there if you haven’t been already. Later.

  8. Hi Rick,
    Moved up here in 1989 from the Carolina’s and fell in love with the Tenderloin. I am always humble to see reviews of the sandwich that most people know me by here in Boone County for the last 20 years. I had it at the Friendly Tavern,and made it more popular when I started my own restaurant(the Carolina Grill). I sold it and moved out to Jamestown. I am located in the Pizza king and are bringing two traditions together.(Chuck’s Grill). Come on out and enjoy us and and try the Tenderloin. I have shipped them from coast to coast to customers as well as Chicago. I always believe tenderloins have to be cook by the chef or Owner operator to be consistent as I have over the years. Only as good as the customers say and continue to support me. Thanks,Chuck Thomas

  9. I lived in Indy for fourteen years (80s and eary 90s) and came to love the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. Comparable sandwiches can not be found here in West-Central Florida.
    Once in a while I get a serious itch for one… like right now… which brings me to this site. So what’s the preferred breading? Cracker crumbs? Bread Crumbs? Flour and corn meal? HELP!

  10. Hi Rick, when dad was still around, he got a big kick trying loins from any and grill and bar. When he got a tip, we packed up and went on weekends to try em out. Purple Onion is good, Nickle Plate…….no……….Bushman Brewhouse in nashville IN. has been the winner hands down from any and every bar ive been in, and ive been around!!!!This tenderloin is the king…..Wish dad was still here for this gastronomical delight!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its located just outside of town, not far…….check out the website…..Cheers

  11. Fellow Indianapolis musician and tenderloin wolfer here. I looked through all your reviews, you do great work. I have some “must have” tenderloins to recommend to you that don’t appear to be on your list. Both places are in Pendlton, IN. near where I work. First is the “Old Trail Tavern” located just off the highway on exit 19 I-69, north east on Indy. They put crumbled potato chips into their breading, pretty good sandwich. Then, “The Bank” located in the historic downtown Pendleton, serves a monster Tenderloin that could serve 4 people. Extra buns are actually listed as a menu option. Enjoy!

  12. Rick, I would agree that the gentlemen who mentioned Carolina Grill’s tenderloin being excellent is spot on. If he is now in Jamestown then he certainly retains the title of best tenderloin in Boone County. However, I have to mention the Pawn Shop Pub near 54th and Keystone in Indy. Simply outstanding and a great pub. When the original Pawn Shop was booted from their original location at Kessler and College I have to believe that the the legend of their tenderloin is what allowed them to survive and carry on. IMHO, the greatest of all time.

  13. Rick, love the site. We have people coming in from all over the country and are looking forward to recommending some of the locations you have tried for the Hoosier Breaded Tenderloin.
    As a suggestion, if you make it down to Decatur County, try the tenderloin at Stories Restaurant on the Courthouse Square in Greensburg, IN. It is well worth the drive.

  14. Thanks, MonkeyDriven….I’ve been wanting to check out the “new” Pawn Shop. I have fond memories of the old one.

    Keri, Greensburg is one of my favorite Indiana towns. We’ll give Storie’s a try next time we’re there. An interesting aside…Storie was my Grandmother’s maiden name. 🙂

  15. Dear Rick,
    I would very much like for you to come into Bucket”s Bar & Grill and try our tenderloin. We are located at 96th & Keystone…..Please come try one!!!!

  16. Rick,

    If you ever make it to Chicago, there is a town about an hour west called Peru. The Igloo in Peru has one of the best tenderloins I have ever had. The sandwiches are not thick, but they are special. It takes two to fill you up, but the last time I was there they were only around $3 each. The place is an old drive-in, and I believe you can still get car side service. They don’t have a website. That whole area is full of great small family restaurants.

  17. Since your article on Nippers they now buy pork loin and pound out their own tenderloin and bread them or now you can get them grilled.

    I think they are much better, and they hope you stop by again and try them.

  18. Hi Rick:
    Have you Every been to the New Ross Steak House in New Ross IN. about 35 miles west of Indy on US 136. They have a great Tenderloin and steaks. Go on Wednesday nite because they make tenderloins fresh that day. Another place is Uncle Smiley’s on US 136 on the west edge of Crawfordsville. they are good also.

  19. I was told of a place that had good tenderloins. Of course I had to check it out. And it was fantastic!

    Big Daddy’s Bar and Grill
    2536 S Meridian St
    Indianapolis, IN 46225

    The roast beef nacho’s are yummy too.

  20. Try John Wayne’s bar and grill at Franklin, Indiana on west
    Jefferson Street near the Hospital, the tenderloins are great and not thin, they are so large they include 2 buns with a serving (another restruant by the same owner in Franklin is Bojax and they have the same menu.)
    There is also another John Wayne’s at Stop 11 and Madison Ave. in Southport.
    Another favorite was Grindstone Charlie’s on US 31 in Greenwood is now closed.

  21. Rick,

    First, let me say, I love the blog. You and I could have been separated at birth. After growing up on Pete’s Pride frozen pork fritters/loins I discovered what fresh breaded tenderloins were like and my waistline has grown right along with my quest…My quest too is to find THE best breaded tenderloin ever made. I read thru all of your archives in one sitting just to see where you had been, and there are numerous ones I must try. I thought I’d give you some places to check out on your journey as I will yours. First you must try Sahm’s Bar and Grill, 3 Indy locations. Their portions are massive, the tenderloin is huge, it’s moist, their home made buns make the sandwich. As I can see, bun quality is very important to you. THIS IS A MUST TRY! If you would like to add a Grilled Tenderloin, you have to try the Rock-Cola Cafe on English Ave, just west of Arlington. They pound out a fresh huge pork loin on the grill while you watch, if you sit at the counter watch out you may get splattered! It’s AWESOME, the only grilled loin I can say ranks along any breaded one. Portion size is awesome, NEAT little neighborhood place across the street from Navistar. A must stop just for the 50’s soda shop atmosphere, only seats like 20, so get there early for lunch or breakfast only. They also run a smoker during the summer! Others who I rate highly: Blue Crew: Colts Bar on 96th St., Around the Corner Pub in New Palestine, and another Colts bar downtown called Basey’s, in the shadows of Lucas Oil Stadium. It’s an all blue building on West Street.
    A must SEE: John’s Famous Stew, downtown Indy off Kentucky Ave…without question the largest one I’ve ever seen, it’s truly a 16″ hubcap sized, but so paper thin it was kinda hard and just not very tasty. They do something different however, they have an option to put their Stew all over it if you like. I just couldn’t do it to a tenderloin myself. Something to experience once I guess. Good luck with your endeavor. I will check back and monitor your quest, I now have several I need to add to mine. Keep up the good work, Indiana needs you!

  22. Thank everyone for your comments! I could eat tenderloins every night for quite some time and not get all of them…and that’s the way I like it!

    You know, Mike mentioned John’s Famous Stew. That is one of the unknown treasures of Indianapolis. I’ve been there, but prior to reviewing…Ill certainly be there…and several of the others mentioned…and give them a review!

  23. Hello!

    Have you tried Shallo’s in Greenwood? I haven’t had it myself, but I’ve heard great things about their tenderloin. They also have super tasty homemade chips (you have to order the actual appetizer chips, not the ones that come with the meal — they’re prepackaged).

  24. You are missing hands down the two best tenderloins money can buy in the state of Indiana. The first can be found at Mr. Dave’s Restaurant in North Manchester and the other can be found at Nick’s Kitchen in Huntington. Nick’s is actually rumored to have invented them. You won’t regret the drive.

  25. Hey you need to try tenderloin at the Wagon Wheel Eatery just down the street (east) of The Grill 2…. It’s at 6383 west broadway right there in McCordsville!!!! I’m sure their tenderloin is a winner 😀

  26. Hi Rick,
    Great blog! Is there somewhere on here where you rate the top 10 tenderloins?
    It would be useful.Thanks!

  27. I do noy know if you have tried the tenderloin at TI-ON Lounge in Tipton, IN.
    I believe it is the best tenderloin I have ever had.

  28. Rick,

    I recently read a review you did on a restaraunt called Papa’s Grill in Columbus, IN. The article wasn’t very flattering. I am a manager and part of the family that owns the place. I would like to invite you back for another visit. I would like to buy you dinner, in exchange for some more honest feedback. Feel free to contact me via email, and we can work out the details.

    Thank You,


  29. My wife was craving a tenderloin today after a doctors appointment, and suggested Pat Flynn’s Tavern at 52nd & Allisonville. (They do have a good, hand made tenderloin) But we ended up, for the first time ever, at Murphy’s Steakhouse on Keystone. They’ve got a breaded tenderloin on their lunch menu. Quickly became one of my wife’s favorites. Crunchy outside, and meat that must have been half an inch thick.

    Thanks for the review on Ugalde’s, I drive by there three times a week. And I’ll be sure to try The Grill 2, we live just around the corner and have yet to go in.

  30. Try Green Street Pub in Brownsburg. It is my favorite but don’t want to get your hopes up. Make sure you get it with the Homemade beer battering.

  31. Rick, thanks for the research…

    I’m partial to two you haven’t mentioned, 1) Mayberry Cafe in Danville, and 2) Coachman in Plainfield.

    Keep up the excellent pursuit. Lee

  32. Checked out BerTee’s in Fisher’s, off Olio Road. First off, order it with a friend, I took half home as the loin I had measured about 4″ x 10″ and about a half inch thick. Impossible to handle in one sitting What really got me about this one was the tasty breading. It was flat out awesome! Can’t really describe it, but it was unlike any other I’ve had. Loin was moist, had a good thickness to it, it was very fresh. Took the remainder home, popped it in the oven and under the broiler to heat it up for lunch the next day. Tasted just as great. Strongly recommend you grab one of these.

  33. Hi Rick – If you ever get to Hope Indiana located in Bartholomew County come on in to Sisters on the Square and have one of our Breaded Tenderloin Sandwiches. We are located at 310 Jackson Street on the north side of the Hope Town Square. Our hours are Monday – Saturday from 6:30 – 2:00. Hope to see you.

  34. I am the owner of Big Mike’s Cafe located at 9611 N College Ave Indianapolis In. I would be honored if you would come enjoy my breaded tenderloin. Looking forward to seeing you.

  35. You should try the tenderloin at P.J. O’Keefe’s Ale House. I am a tenderloin connoisseur such as yourself and find this competes pretty good with Billy O’neals on the west too. Which I believe you reviewed sometime ago which is one of my favorites.

  36. Got one for you on the NE side. @ 75th & Shadeland is Bernie’s Place, it is in the McKenzie Center on 75th st. It is a student run restaurant led by Gracie Sahm of the Sahm restaurant family. They serve lunch only, 11:00 – 1:00, Wed – Fri. And they only take cash. Since it is run by the students the prices are low. In fact the tenderloin, yes hand pounded and breaded, is the most expensive sandwich on the menu coming in around $ 4.50 served with chips. Maybe a little biased because my daughter is a student there, but I think it’s the best lunch in the Castleton area for under 5 bucks!



  37. As an Iowan, it pains me to note that the best pork tenderloin sandwich I have ever had is at the Breakfast Nook in Lafayette.

      • I’m a native Hoosier, and I’ve spent 2 months in Japan, so I hope I have enough credibility to answer…

        I don’t currently live in Indiana, so in a pinch, I do seek out a good pork tonkatsu when I’m homesick. It is usually more than adequate in satisfying any cravings. I don’t think that tonkatsu is guaranteed to be from the actual tenderloin of the pig, so there is a difference in the flavor/texture of the meat. In general, I would say most tonkatsu has a crunchier breading than a tenderloin sandwich. Also, there’s not much seasoning/spice in the breading itself. Rather, it is typically served with a tonkatsu sauce — basically a very rich, soy based sauce. If given the choice between tonkatsu (even an average one) and a fritter masquerading as a tenderloin sandwich, by all means, go with the tonkatsu.

  38. Have you been to “The Grill” at 9755 N. Fall Creek Rd? Heard it serves an excellent Tenderloin. Appreciate your column and tips on where to eat Tenderloins.

    • Went to Carey Tavern per your recommendation. I found it to be the best Tenderloin ever. If I could grade it a 6 out of 5, I would. Thanks for the tip.

  39. I think you should give The Alley Sports Bar in Fort Wayne, Indiana a try. I think their tenderloins are the best. Deborah

  40. Hey, not sure if you have ever been to Fairmount, short drive up I69 from Indy. There is a small dive bar there called the Giant bar and grill, they pound out fresh loins daily, they are about te size of a paper plate. One of my favorites. A great time to try one is during Janes Dean Days, the last weekend of September each year! Give it a try, its great!

  41. My husband is a Hoosier and I’m from Missouri. We live in Florida and just came back from Indiana for summer vacation. We tried (4) different tenderloin joints – here are (3) favorites (first to last): Round the Corner Pub in New Palestine (best, best grilled tenderloin) – Artists Colony in Nashville – Brickyard Crossings at the Speedway. But, for the very best tenderloin in all of the midwest, you have to go to CLEM’s in Independence, Mo.

  42. It would be great if you could do the same reviews for Coney Dog’s. Haven’t had a good one since the old A&W drive in’s.

  43. Hey, I was wondering if you’d investigated the Kona Grill’s breaded tenderloin in Clay Terrance. It’s described as “almond-crusted”, but from what I saw, they jacked up the price accordingly to justify it. Huh.

  44. Does anyone have a database of places that serve pork tenderloin sandwiches? I would like to obtain one and load in my gps. Thanks.

  45. Does anyone have a listing of places that serve good tenderloin sandwiches? I would like to obtain such a list and put them in my GPS unit

  46. You might want to try the breaded tenderloin in Greenwood, IN at the Patriot Grill. They serve a regular breaded tenderloin on a 7 in homemade bun, a slammin’ breaded tenderloin with cheddar cheese and bacon. And if you have a bigger appetite, a big breaded tenderloin dinner served with homemade white gravy over the tenderloin, sides of mashed potato, green beans and homemade coleslaw. Yum! Check out their reviews on FaceBook. Patriot Grill is on corner of Madison Ave and County Line Road in Greenwood

  47. I haven’t read all of your postings but so far the BEST tenderloin sandwich I’ve enjoyed was at the Cabbage Rose Eatery at 1013 Meridian in downtown Anderson (they moved from Pendelton over a year ago). The sandwich isn’t bigger than your face huge but is dipped in a batter similar to onion rings, and is exceptionally delicious.

  48. You definitely must try the “Jumbo” Breaded Tenderloin (they have a Junior version as well) for only $9 at Stuart’s Steakhouse in Sheridan. It is awesome !!! Not only is it large on the plate, but it is thick and meaty with great seasoning & crust. It comes with an enormous bun from an Indiana Amish bakery. I suggest the sweet potato as your side choice. Huge as well, and very flavoralful even before you add cinnamon/sugar or butter. I think this is the best Tenderloin …. beats the Aristocrat !! http://www.stuartssteakhouse.com/ordereze/1000/Page.aspx

  49. Where is the best tenderloin in central Indiana that you’ve found?
    Have you tried Mackenzie River Pizza’s in Carmel? They have a great one with horseradish mayo. Also the Stacked pickel in Carmel or Fishers has a western tenderloin that is pretty amazing! Have fun searching!

  50. Hi Rick,

    I enjoy your website. I want to see if you would be able to do a radio interview with me sometime soon. You were exactly right about Hav A Bite Restaurant’s Giant Tenderloin Sandwich. It was sure fantastic. Our area newspapers in Batesville, Greensburg, and Rushville recently had their readers choice awards. One of the categories was Best Tenderloin Sandwich. The winners were. Ripley/Franklin County-Lil’ Charlie’s Restaurant & Pub in Batesville. Pearl Street Pub in Oldenburg won the previous few years. Decatur County-Stories Restaurant in Greensburg. Rush County-Park Restaurant in Rushville.

    There are many other places in Southeastern Indiana that serves up some fine Tenderloin Sandwiches including The Brau Haus in Oldenburg, Crossroads Restaurant in Versailles, The Wing Company in Sunman (They moved from Batesville. I will check to see if they still serve it.), and Trackside Cafe in Greensburg serving The Boss Hogg Tenderloin Sandwich. In addition, The Letts Fire Department serves up a dandy Tenderloin Sandwich at The Decatur County 4H Fair in July.

    I am hoping that you will make the trip to Southeastern Indiana and try the Tenderloin Sandwiches in our local places that you have not been at yet.

    Take care and look forward to meeting you down the road.

    Caz Burdette/PD

    Here is an e-mail that I recently received about The Tenderloin Throwdown in Greensburg coming up on July 19th.

    Tenderloin Throwdown Entry Forms Now Available

    GREENSBURG, IN–Tenderloin connoisseur’s from across the region are marking their calendars to come savor the first ever Tenderloin Throwdown on Saturday, July 19th in downtown Greensburg, Indiana. Competitors will be vying for bragging rights and prizes in the following categories: Best Breaded Tenderloin, Best Grilled Tenderloin, Most Creative Tenderloin and People’s Choice. Winners will receive a prize package and more importantly, bragging rights.

    Registration costs
    Decatur County Participants: $50*
    Out of County Participants: $75*

    * Both parties must apply for a temporary food service permit from the Decatur County Health Department ($15)

    Entry forms and complete lodging information is available at http://www.mainstreetgreensburg.com and http://www.indianafoodways.com .Or contact : Sarah Robinson with Mainstreet Greensburg at 812.222.0037. Or email execdirector@mainstreetgreensburg.com. Hotel packages are available. Just ask for Tenderloin Throwdown rate.

    The Tenderloin Throwdown is made possible with the support of Mainstreet Greensburg.

    Come show us your loins!

  51. Heya, I’ve owned breadedtenderloin.com for a few years, and never done anything with it. If you’d like to have it, shoot me an email.

  52. I will be staying in downtown Indianapolis for business and will not have a car. Therefore, I’m looking for some recommendations of a breaded tenderloin within walking distance of the convention center and surrounding hotels. Any suggestions?

  53. You might want to check out the “Killer Loin” at Robert’s Restaurant in Americus, IN, just outside of Lafayette, on Old State Rd. 25 N., if you haven’t been there before……

  54. Go to the Aristocrat on N. College in Indianapolis and you will stop looking for the best tenderloin.

  55. A few years ago I visited a friend in Batesville, Indiana, and he told me about the “Tenderloin Trail” concept. Then he and his girlfriend took me to Milroy to eat at Takathamoke, and I was intrigued. I grew up in Connersville, and my brother used to order the “breaded pork tenderloin sandwich” at Kunkel’s Drive Inn, and the way he said it, it always made me laugh. You da man for putting this out there! When I go back again, from Idaho, I will bring my appetite and a list of places from this site. Thanks!

  56. The 2 best tenderloins in the Indianapolis area are:

    Green Street Pub – Brownsburg, IN
    Tie Dye Grill – Indianapolis, IN (East Side)

  57. Gotta try the tenderloin sandwich at The Farmhouse restaurant at Fair Oaks Farm on I-65 at Indiana 14 in Newton county in northern Indiana. The best I’ve ever had.

  58. See One-Eyed Jack’s in Winamac, IN. A 10oz tenderloin sandwich for $9.99 and One-Eyed Jack’s Titanic.
    The FIRST PERSON to finish the ENTIRE One-Eyed Jack’s Titanic, Two-Handed Tenderloin Challenge (7 lb. sandwich and 2 lbs. of tots) eats it for FREE, gets a One-Eyed Jack’s T-shirt…your picture on the wall of fame…AND…WINS a $100 One-Eyed Jack’s Gift Card! Think YOU have a monster appetite for the biggest breaded tenderloin you’ve ever seen? Want to WIN a $100 Jack’s Gift Card? Now accepting challengers! Details at One-Eyed Jack’s!
    (http://oneeyedjackswinamac.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/oneeyedjackswinamac)

  59. I have to recommend trying the tenderloin at the Hoosier Brewhouse in Franklin, IN. Fairly new place, but pretty good tenderloin made in-house.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s