Pearl Street Pub, Oldenburg Indiana

PearlSIgnPearl Street Pub is the 3rd of 3 pubs/restaurants in Oldenburg Indiana where I reviewed the tenderloin.

Oldenburg Indiana is a lovely German town, often called the Village of Spires. Ornate church steeples dominate the landscape, and it’s a very historic town. A few unique shops, 3 restaurants, and a great town for photography!

Oldenburg 1

I’ve never been to Bavaria, but I can’t imagine stepping into Pearl Street is much different. Lots of dark wood, people laughing, and just a fun atmosphere.

They have a number of items on their menu, and, of course, I was there to try the hand breaded tenderloin.

Here’s what I learned about tenderloins in Oldenburg. The Brau Haus tenderloin was VERY German influenced. You could really taste the spices, and it was very non­traditional for an Indiana tenderloin.

Wagner’s was very Indiana ­traditional. Just a hint of salt and pepper.

Pearl Street Pub’s falls right in the middle. There are enough German spices that you can taste them, but they aren’t overwhelming. You get the sense of German cooking without going full bore on it. For those who prefer a more traditional Indiana tenderloin with just a little adventure, this is the one for you, in my opinion.

Pearl Loin

The breading was nice and crunchy, and stayed crisp throughout the life of the sandwich.

The meat was good, but was just a tad dry. Not terribly dry, but enough so that I’ll give it a 4 star instead of a 5 star rating.

For her lunch, Holly had fried cod loin and cole slaw. She reported the cod to be tasty, but just a little on the dry side. The cole slaw had more of a vinegar influence than she was expecting, since it was a creamy slaw, and the chop size of the cabbage was a little finer than she prefers. But all in all, a fine lunch.

Here’s a tip. As an appetizer, we had the sweet potato fries with caramel sauce. Trust me, you need to try these.

The Pearl Street Pub is located at 3034 Pearl Street in Oldenburg, Indiana. I couldn’t located a website for them, but they do have a Facebook page.

The Goldfinch Restaurant, Brookville,Indiana

GOldfinch OutsideThe Goldfinch restaurant has been an institution in Brookville, Indiana for quite some time now.  A couple of years ago, it closed for an extended period of time, leaving a void in the Brookville dining scene, and it was welcome news indeed when it reopened under new management/ownership.

The Goldfinch is a large family friendly restaurant.  For some reason, it reminds me of a Bob Evans with a hometown touch…and better food.

They have quite the extended menu with everything from sandwiches to steaks, and just about everything in between.  Of course, fried chicken is king in the Whitewater Valley, and The Goldfinch is no exception.

The Godlfinch has a quite large Sunday brunch buffet.  Holly and I were able to have it one time, and it rivals any big city brunch that I can think of.  Really outstanding.

Our friends had recommended that I try the breaded tenderloin, so that’s exactly what I did.

Goldfinch Loin

As you can see, this is a VERY large and hearty sandwich.  The breading is nice and flaky, and the meat, while not as tender as some I’ve ‘had recently, was still very good.  I do think the breading could have used a bit more seasoning, but it is still well above average.

One of the folks in our dining party had a pot roast melt sandwich and it looked and smelled fantastic.  Even though as a small town restaurant, their staple is the basics…fried chicken, fried fish, burgers, it looks like they’re not afraid to take chances with daily specials.

For her dinner, Holly had a grilled chicken breast and a baked potato – she’s keeping it simple these days.  She reported the grilled chicken to be a generous portion – juicy and flavorful.  She said the baked potato seemed to be a little over cooked, as the skin was tough.

As I said, this is a very good sandwich.  It misses that little something that would make it a 5 star sandwich, but I’ll still give it 4 out of 5 bites.  I would not hesitate to order it again.

The Goldfinch is located at 11161 US 52 in Brookville, Indiana.  It doesn’t appear they have a website, but they do have a Facebook page.

Wagner’s Village Inn, Oldenburg Indiana

Oldenburg Indiana is known for two things…its beautiful churches and fried chicken.

Having attended hundreds (or more) church pitch in dinners in my lifetime, I know, firsthand, that nothing goes together like church and chicken.

And, even though this is my 2nd stop on the Oldenburg dining tour, I’ve yet to sample the fried chicken. That’s next on my list.

WagnersWagner’s is your typical small town restaurant/bar combination. Warm, inviting, and friendly, when you walk in the atmosphere welcomes you like a friend, whether it’s your first time here or you’re a seasoned regular.

Make no mistake about it, fried chicken is king at Wagner’s, but they have a nice menu of other things…sandwiches, burgers, and more.

They offer a hand breaded tenderloin, and I knew in a heartbeat that was what I was going to get.

IMG_20160313_140843_018This tenderloin is top notch! There are a couple of things that I like about it. First, it’s not so large as to be overwhelming. It’s a hearty meal, to be sure, but you won’t leave feeling overstuffed.

Sometimes, in the food world, that attitude has become “bigger is better”, but this is a perfect example that this isn’t always the case.

Secondly, the breading. This is as fine a breading as I’ve tasted in a while. Very nice and crispy with just a hint of seasoning. It’s the perfect complement to a tender and moist cut of meat.

The sandwich was served on a typical bun, and dressed as requested. I chose fries as my side. They were good, but pretty standard fries…nothing quite set them apart.

For her dinner, my wife chose the grilled chicken platter with two sides – fries and cole slaw. The grilled chicken was a little dry, but the cole slaw was good. We will definitely return to enjoy the family style fried chicken dinner – that seems to be their specialty, and definitely the way to go!

Here’s a tip for you….for dessert, they have homemade cobbler. The day we were they had peach and blackberry. It’s OUTSTANDING cobbler and I highly recommend topping your meal off with a serving.

Wagner’s is located at 22171 Main Street in Oldenburg, Indiana. I was unable to locate a website or official Facebook page for them.

Savage’s Ale House, Muncie, Indiana

Savages frontSavage’s Ale House is a fairly new pub/restaurant in downtown Muncie.  Downtown Muncie has seen a resurgence of bars and eateries lately, and it’s good to see some activity in my old hometown’s downtown.

It’s in an old building with a LOT of character.  Hardwood floors, pressed tin ceilings, and more.  When we entered, we noticed there are 3 dining areas, the main room with the bar, and two smaller rooms.

We arrived about 1130 and it was hopping.  The main dining room was filled, and we weren’t sure exactly where to set.  We waited, and waited, and waited.  There were two servers working, and I caught the eye of each of them, but they went about their business, and left us standing.  After a lengthy wait, one of them told us to sit anywhere we pleased.

Just a word to those of you who own or manage restaurants, and I know that more than a few read this blog.  If someone comes into your establishment, the first minute or two are pretty much make or break for a new customer.   Honestly, those minutes being ignored had quite the impact on my impression of Savage’s.

Once we were seated, the service was fine.  Prompt and friendly, I wouldn’t call it outstanding but it was OK.

The menu consists of pretty standard bar fare…tenderloins, burgers, a wrap or two, a Reuben, etc.  I, of course, chose the breaded tenderloin.

Ale House Tenderloin

Looks good, doesn’t it!  The breading was a classic tempura batter – nice and crispy, and stayed that way through the life of the sandwich.  The meat was tender and juicy.

But there was one problem.  None of it had much flavor.  The texture was fine, even outstanding, but the flavor just wasn’t there.  It seemed devoid of any seasoning, and if I could describe this sandwich in one word, it would be “bland”.  I’m going to give it a 3 out of 5, just an average sandwich.

For our sides, we chose the side salads.  I was a little taken aback at how expensive the side salad was  (4.50) but it was quite a large salad, and a nice mix of greens, olives, and more.  The Blue Cheese dressing was tasty and plentiful.  High marks for their salad.

For her entree, Holly chose the veggie wrap – which consists of Chipotle black bean crumbles, guacamole, shredded cheddar jack cheese, lettuce, jalapeno, onion, and tomato in a grilled flour tortilla.  Holly reports that this is one of the best tasting wraps she’s ever had, and she would not hesitate to order it again!

As a side note, when we received our check, we noticed something very different than we have seen in the past.  The menu prices all include sales tax.  So when we received our final bill, it was the grand total amount due.  The only thing we had to figure out was how much to leave for a tip.

Savage’s Ale House is located at 127 N High Street in Muncie, Indiana.  I was unable to locate a website for them, but they do have a Facebook page.

The Chicken Inn, Shelbyville, Indiana

My wife and I have been past The Chicken Inn a few times when in Shelbyville, but it had never been at mealtime, so we’ve not had the chance before now.

CHicken Inn SignThe Chicken Inn is your quintessential small town diner…warm, cozy, and it seems everyone knows each other by name. Even though we aren’t local, our server (whose name I neglected to get) greeted us with a smile, and was as pleasant with us as she was with the folks she knew by name. We were off to a good start!

I’m not sure how long the Chicken Inn has been there…quite some time, I believe, but I think it was something else before its current incarnation. It appears to be an older Pizza Hut building, but I’m not sure.

Their menu is all home cookin’. Fried chicken, breaded tenderloins, and walleye, which seems to be their specialty.

They have a hand cut and hand breaded tenderloin, so, of course, that’s what I selected. It’s available it two sizes, a smaller one, and a large one. I opted for the smaller one, and it was plenty big to satisfy even my hearty appetite!

CS tenderloin

It was a little thinner than I prefer, but I DO realize that is a matter of personal preference. The meat itself was fine…not great, not bad, just average. The breading was a nice ratio to the meat, but…the breading was very bland. It wasn’t bad breading, there was just not much flavor to it.

The sandwich was served dressed as I requested it. Honestly….I was expecting more out of the sandwich. After I finished it, I was left with the feeling that it was just average. That’s what I’ll rate it, 3 out of 5, just average. If you’re not a fan of seasoning, and prefer a thinner tenderloin, you’ll like it. Otherwise, you probably won’t.

There were some VERY bright spots in our meal. The broasted potatoes I chose for my side were simply amazing. A big bonus is Sugar Cream Pie for dessert, and it was a VERY generous slice of pie.

For her lunch, Holly had a walleye sandwich. Walleye is their feature on Fridays, and we noticed several people coming in to buy it – with good reason: Holly reports the walleye to be incredibly good! Tender and flaky, and full of flavor. They brought out tartar sauce, but honestly, this walleye does not need it! For lunch, you can either get a sandwich and one side for $5.75, or filets with two sides for $7.75. And at dinner on Fridays, they feature all you can eat walleye for $12.95. Holly had the broasted potatoes for her side as well, and gives them two thumbs up!

Even though the tenderloin was less than outstanding, I was quite impressed with the service and the rest of the food. It’s on our list of places to visit when we find ourselves back in Shelbyville!

The chicken inn is located at 541 E Hendricks in Shelbyville, Indiana. I was unable to find a website for them, but they do have a Facebook page.

The Brau Haus, Oldenburg, Indiana

Brau

The Brau Haus is an institution in Southeast Indiana (and beyond, actually), and folks come from far and wide to Oldenburg to dine here.

Speaking of Oldenburg, if you’ve not visited this town, grab your camera and head down I-74 and pay it a visit.  It’s a small town, but it’s a photographer’s paradise.

The Brau Haus is located on a side street in Oldenburg, with a modest sign out front.   If you’ve not been there before, you’ll likely have to seek it out, but there are only a few streets in Oldenburg so it won’t be a problem.

Like many restaurants I’ve visited recently, it’s quite a bit larger on the inside than it appears.  There are several rooms…there’s a German themed room, a local sports room, a bar, and a large family/banquet room.  Each room has its own decor and personality.

We were seated promptly, and greeted by our server, Pat.  Pat did a great job of explaining the menu and giving us some history of the restaurant.  We started with an appetizer of sauerkraut balls, and let me tell you, these are amazing.  I’m not quite sure what all was in them…and they keep the recipe a secret, but I highly recommend them.

If you know anything about dining in Southeast Indiana, you already know that fried chicken is king.  The Brau Haus is famous for their fried chicken (every restaurant in the area seems to make that claim), but I had my heart set on the hand breaded tenderloin.

I wasn’t disappointed.

Brau Loin

The meat is nice and moist, with a VERY good flavor.  Being a German restaurant…the breading is not quite traditional…you can definitely taste the pepper and the German influence in the spices.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I’d like it, but I must say, I was sold at the first bite.  It’s an absolutely incredible sandwich….5 out of 5, no doubt in my mind.  Please keep in mind, though, it’s not quite traditional.  For my side, I chose the potato pancakes, and, all I can say, is WOW!!  I could make a full meal out of those alone.

For her dinner, Holly chose the Rachel, which is a Reuben with turkey instead of corned beef.  Their turkey is smoked, which gives it a really good flavor.  And instead of the traditional Thousand Island dressing you’ll get on a Reuben, this Rachel has a chipotle dressing, and it complements the smoked turkey quite nicely!  She also had the potato pancakes as her side, and enjoyed them immensely!

The Brau Haus is located at 22170 Water Street in Oldenburg, Indiana.  You can find their website at http://www.oldenburgbrauhaus.com/

at 22170 Water Street in Oldenburg, Indiana.  You can find their website at http://www.oldenburgbrauhaus.com/

The Oasis Diner, Plainfield, Indiana

Oasis Diner

As an entertainer, I get to travel a fair amount.  When I’m looking for a unique dining experience, the main things I look for are a locally owned restaurant, great food, and if there is a sense of history, that’s an added bonus.

Our friends, the Kerns, invited us to join them for dinner at the Oasis diner, which sets right on the National Road (US40) in Plainfield, Indiana.  The Oasis Diner is a restored 1950’s diner, manufactured in New Jersey, I believe.  It used to set further East in Plainfield, but recently, it was relocated, restored, and reopened on the Western edge of Plainfield.

Replete with diner decor and fantastic neon lighting, the Oasis takes you back from the moment you step through the door.  It’s like stepping back to the days of Bobby Darin, Elvis, and pegged pants.

Although the menu is heavy on traditional diner fare (burgers, shakes, and such), there are a few surprises on the menu.  They seemed to have taken their menu above and beyond, and are a welcome addition to the Indianapolis area restaurant scene.

I already had my mind made up when we arrived…I was trying the hand breaded tenderloin sandwich.

Oasis Tenderloin

Let me tell you, it was fantastic.  Light, crispy breading with just the right amount of seasoning.  The seasoning complimented the taste of the meat and breading without overwhelming it.  The meat itself was tender and moist, with a fantastic flavor.

I neglected to check to see what kind of bun it was on, but it wasn’t your ordinary hamburger bun…it was quite tasty, and yet another compliment to an already fantastic sandwich.  This sandwich is 5 stars, all the way…absolutely no question about it.

For my side, I chose fries, and they were good, but nothing special.  I’ll probably try the onion rings next time.

As an aside…they offer a breaded tenderloin with gravy on their breakfast menu, which is what David had.  I’m not sure I’ve ever had one with gravy, but that may be my next order there.

For her dinner, Holly chose the Sriracha Shrimp Wrap, which consists of a serving of Honey Sriracha fried shrimp, lettuce, onion, tomato, cilantro, and ranch, all rolled up in a large flour tortilla.  As her side, she chose the broccoli with cheese.  Holly reports the Honey Sriracha shrimp to be very tasty – there is just a hint of honey, but you can definitely tell it’s there.  She said she could not detect the cilantro at all, and the ranch dressing was just enough to tie it all together – not too little, not too much. The broccoli was cooked perfectly – al dente all the way!  She wasn’t a big fan of the cheese sauce.  It was okay, but she said she’d rather have had just a plain bowl of steamed broccoli.

This was an extremely positive experience.  The service was great, the food was outstanding, and I LOVE the atmosphere.  We will certainly be back, and soon!  And, take this tip…try the Butterscotch Root Beer, which is locally brewed.

The Oasis Diner is located at 405 W Main Street, in Plainfield, Indiana.  Their website is http://www.oasisdiner.com/  and you can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.