Storie’s restaurant, Greensburg Indiana

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I’d heard good things about Storie’s restaurant in Greensburg, Indiana but the timing for us to make a stop never worked out until this weekend, when we met our friends Deb, Tony, and Aiden for dinner there on Friday night.

Here’s an interesting (to me, at least), side note to this review.  One of my grandmothers was named Storey.  However, the original spelling of the name was Storie.  The story goes that one of the Stories got into legal trouble…he was a horse thief, I’m told, and the family changed the spelling to Storey because they didn’t want to be associated with that side of the family.  But, I digress….which happens pretty often.

Storie’s is located on the courthouse square in Greensburg, Indiana.  It seems like they’ve been around forever.  It’s larger than it appears on the outside, with ample dining area and a nice, long, lunch counter that reminds me of the old Woolworth lunch counters.  Cozy, warm, and friendly, it’s everything a small town restaurant should be.

Honestly, I didn’t look over the menu very closely….I already had made up my mind that I was going to try the tenderloin.  My impression is that they are heavy on the comfort food, though.

I asked our waitress about the breaded tenderloin, and she told me each one was hand breaded to order, and that was enough for me!

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It’s a VERY good sandwich.  Matter of fact, it’s as good as any I’ve had in my travels.  It’s a nice size without being overwhelming, and it hits the mark of being not too thin or not too thick…just about perfect.  The breading itself had just enough seasoning to compliment without overwhelming the taste of the meat, and it stayed crunchy throughout the life of the sandwich.  The meat itself was moist and tender.  There’s no doubt about it, this one is a 5 out of 5 bites.  It goes in my personal hall of fame.

I chose a “platter”, which included fries and slaw.  The fries were crinkle cut, my favorite, and tasty but not outstanding.  The taste of the slaw was fine, but it seemed to have a lot of dressing, and the cabbage was diced very fine the combination of those two things made it less than stellar for my preference.  I neglected to get the exact price, but the sandwich, fries and slaw came in the neighborhood of $8.50 or so, well worth the price.

For her dinner, Holly got the pulled pork sandwich platter with slaw, and for a small upcharge substituted fries for oven roasted potatoes.  The pork was swimming in sauce, which she says isnt her preference.  The potatoes were hot and crisp, but average on the flavor.

Storie’s restaurant is located at 109 E Main Street in Greensburg, Indiana.  You can find them online at http://www.storiesrestaurant.com/

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Whiskey Business, Indianapolis (Oaklandon)

Whiskey Outside

 

Whiskey Business is a sports bar on the East side of Indianapolis, in the community of Oaklandon.  We’ve driven by this place a number of times, on our way to shows at Ten West Center for the Arts in Fortville, but had never stopped in.  A friend said he had had a particularly good tenderloin here, so we decided to give it a try this Wednesday evening.

Whiskey Business certainly IS a sports bar!  There seem to be televisions EVERYWHERE!  For a person with ADD (like me) it’s either heaven or a nightmare. 🙂  There’s a LOT to see.

They have a number of local beers available, and in a nice twist, many of their beer battered items are made with Sun King beer, made right here in Indianapolis.  I love a place that strives to use local products, that’s a big point in their favor.

They have quite an extensive appetizer and entrée menu, and there are some surprises, too.  The term gastropub is overused today, and I’m thankful that they don’t’ use it in their advertising (that I’ve seen), but they certainly fit that description.

Whiskey Loin

Of course, I wanted the hand breaded tenderloin.  I’m never quite sure what to expect when a tenderloin is advertised as hand breaded, as I’ve got a few that certainly were a perfectly round, processed fritter, but this was not the case with this one.  The breading was crisp and absolutely perfectly seasoned.  The meat was moist, tender, and flavorful.  Add to that a perfectly toasted, buttered bun, and condiments just as I requested, this was one of the best tenderloins I’ve had in quite some time.    As a matter of fact, I’m going to say it’s one of the best in Indy.  It’s a 5 out of 5 bites, no doubt in my mind.

For my side, I ordered fries for an upcharge, and was given the choice of hand cut fries or waffle fries.  I chose the hand cut fries, and they didn’t not disappoint.  Outstanding.

There were some service issues with our meal.  There was an extensive wait for our food.  Some folks ordered the same time we did, and had received their meals and finished them before we got ours.  In addition, for her dinner, Holly ordered grilled fish tacos, and got breaded fish tacos instead.  We were on a pretty tight schedule that night, so we didn’t really have time for her to return the meal for a redo, so she ate what she was given…and she reports them to be fantastic!  They are made with grouper, and served in flour tortillas with lettuce, tomato, and sour cream. In addition, you get spicy refried beans, seasoned rice, and an avocado salad.  A whole lot of food for the $9.95 that you pay – and easily enough to make two, or even three meals out of it!

The mark of a good restaurant is when they realize they made a mistake and correct it.  Our waitress (whose name I neglected to get) without us even asking told us she was so sorry for the delay in getting our meals, and made sure to set it right with us.  I’d say she went WAY above and beyond in customer service.  THAT, my friends, is the mark of a business that cares about their customers and wants them to come back.  That act earned our repeat business.


Whiskey Business is located at 11915 Pendleton Pike in Indianapolis.  You can find them online at:  http://www.whiskeybiz.com/  and they also have a Facebook page.

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

The Ram, Fishers, Indiana

The Ram Restaurant and Brewery has two locations in Indianapolis, downtown and one in Fishers.  I’d heard about their breaded tenderloin that they serve in the Fishers location, and last night we had a night off…what had been rare of late…and decided to give it a try.

The Ram is a chain that is celebrating their 40th anniversary…honestly, I had no clue they’d been around that long!  Part sports bar, part micro brewery, part restaurant, all those separate parts work together in a casual, friendly atmosphere that made for a very pleasant date night for Holly and I.

The menu is quite large and varied…and…it’s almost overwhelming.  If you didn’t know what you wanted for supper, you could spend some time reading the menu and there certainly is something on there for every taste.

Knowing they had a breaded tenderloin on their menu, I knew immediately that’s what I wanted.  However, upon reading the description, I realized it wasn’t a “traditional” tenderloin as many of us Hoosiers know it.  That said….be forewarned, I’m not going to rate this on my traditional 0-5 scale…which is the same thing I’ve done with some other non-traditional tenderloins.


The breading is really, really outstanding.  It’s infused with 71 Pale Ale, and nice extremely crunchy and tasty.  I really like the breading a lot!  I had a delightful visit with the chef after our meal, and when he told me how many ingredients were in the breading, I was stunned.  He’s obviously done his homework and has came up with a wonderful breading.

The meat itself fell short of outstanding.  It was too thin for my personal taste, and that wonderful breading almost overwhelmed the taste of the meat.  In addition, they use cubed pork instead of hand cut and pounded tenderloin, so, again it’s not quite traditional.

The sandwich is served on a Kasier roll, with cracked black pepper mayo and a number of other dressings.  Since I saw from the onset that this wasn’t a traditional tenderloin, I opted to get it as dressed from the kitchen instead of my normal mayo, ketchup, and onion only.

And….I’ve got to tell you.  I was skeptical – quite skeptical at first.  But..it works.  All the ingredients put together work quite well indeed.  So, instead of scoring this on my normal scale, I’m going to take a hint from my friends over at wouldibuyitagain.com and ask myself the question:  “Would I buy it again?”, and the answer is yes.  It’s not your momma’s tenderloin….but it’s quite good and I wouldn’t hesitate to get it again.

Holly got the Beer Cheese Soup, (a FourSquare check-in bonus!) and I tried a bit, and it was simply outstanding!  For her entree, she ordered the LoCal Chicken & Shrimp Sauté – an entrée off of their anniversary menu.  This is a grouping of restaurant favorites that have been brought out of retirement for a limited time.  It was nothing short of fantastic.

Our service was outstanding…and in the interest of fairness, I should point out that our server is a musician we are acquainted with.  However, I got to watch him interact with other tables, and all the servers seemed to be on top of their game.  It was a dining experience that was definitely a cut above…matter of fact, I’d rate the whole experience…food, atmosphere, and service, a 5/5.  We’ll be back and be back soon.

A word of advice.  If you like dessert, try the mile high mud pie.  But…if you do….you should bring a large family, or, better yet, a small army.  There’s a LOT of food there!

The Ram is located at 12750 Parkside Drive in Fishers.  The Tenderloin is available ONLY at the Fishers location.  You can find their website at http://www.theram.com

And, just a closing note.  This is review #99 for me.  I’ve got something VERY special….that involves a road trip…for review #100.  Stay tuned!

Oaken Barrel, Greenwood, Indiana

The Oaken Barrel in Greenwood is a place I’ve been aware of for quite some time now.  It seems to be quite popular, but it seems we rarely find ourselves in Greenwood with any time to spare. This week gave us the opportunity to stop and enjoy a relaxing dinner before taking care of some business in the area.

The restaurant is nicely decorated with posters, prints, and I would call it “pleasantly busy”.  There is plenty of stuff to look it, yet not so much that it’s distracting.

It’s the same with TVs.  There are a few scattered around, but there are ample places to sit and enjoy a conversation without being in sight of a TV. I appreciate this!

The menu is  quite varied, with everything from burgers to pizza to steak  and much more.   And, if you are a beer fan, there are a number of different options available for you.

I wasn’t sure if they even offered a breaded tenderloin, but since they were on the way to where we were going, I decided to give them a try. I saw one on the menu, and asked the waitress “how is your breaded tenderloin” and…this is the FIRST time this has happened….she said “It’s NOT a fritter”.  So…of course, this is what I ordered!

The sandwich is nice sized, although it IS pounded out just a bit thinner than is my personal preference.  But, being  largely a matter of personal preference, that won’t affect the score.

The meat itself is VERY good!  Tender and moist, with a very nice flavor.  Perhaps not the VERY best I’ve tasted, but it certainly ranks up there with the top.

The breading, although very good, leaves a little something to be desired.  Yes, it’s good,  VERY good.  But it is lacking that little extra “oomph” that takes it over the top.

That said, it’s a VERY good sandwich, that falls just shy of the 5/5 rating that is breaded heaven.  The bun is nicely toasted, it was served dressed exactly as I requested, and it’s well above average. I’m going to give it a 4 out of 5 bites, which means that it’s well above average, and I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to order it again on my next stop…and we will certainly be back!

The french fries were among the best I’ve ever had.  Beer battered and done perfectly, you won’t go wrong with  them. Holly chose the broiled seafood platter,which consisted of tilapia, shrimp,and scallops, and raved about how good that was.

Our dinner at the Oaken Barrel was a great experience.  It’s one of those restaurants that we’ll make a point to go to again. Oaken Barrel is located at 50 N Airport Parkway in Greenwood, or you can find them online at http://www.oakenbarrel.com