Peppy Grill, Indianapolis (Fountain Square)


There are a few places in Indianapolis that have attained legendary status, and I believe that Peppy’s Grill is one of those.

Located in the Fountain Square area, it’s been an institution for as long as I can remember.  Back in the 80’s, I occasionally had to make an overnight run to Indianapolis for work, and Peppy’s was our go to place for a 3AM breakfast.  As good as the food was, the people watching at that time of the morning was just as good…perhaps better.

Peppy’s, and places like it, are forerunners of places like Denny’s and Waffle House  (two of my favorites), 24 hour a day diner type restaurants that serve good, cheap food,  None of it is gourmet, none of it is especially healthy, but, boy, is it satisfying.

Peppy’s has the magic that a diner SHOULD have.  I’d a little bit run down, it shows some wear and tear, but it also shows a special kind of magic  you can’t find anywhere else.

The menu is pretty basic…hamburgers and cheeseburgers (called cheeseburgs), grilled ham and cheese, a ribeye steak, biscuits and gravy, and such.  It also offers both a grilled and a breaded tenderloin.

I rather suspected this might be a fritter, but I decided to chance it anyway.  After all, we were at Peppy’s and I wanted the full experience.


I’m happy to report that it’s not a fritter after all, but a true tenderloin.  It’s a solid piece of meat.

It’s pounded out thinner than I prefer, but the flavor was pretty good…not outstanding, but pretty tasty.  The meat I found to be just a bit on the dry side, but the breading was nice and crispy and stayed that way through the life of the sandwich.  The sandwich was nicely seasoned, and served dressed as I requested.

This isn’t a great sandwich, but it’s not bad either.  I’m going to give it a 3.5 out of 5 bites.  Although when we return I’ll likely order a cheeseburg, this certainly is a better sandwich than what a lot of restaurants pass off as a breaded tenderloin.

For my side, I chose the sour cream fries.   These are more like potato wedges with some sort of sour cream sauce on the side, and boy are they tasty!  I highly recommend these.
Holly chose the classic cheeseburg and sour cream fries.  The patty is preformed and a little on the dry side, but for the price, you can’t go wrong with this meal!

Peppy’s Grill is located at 1004 Virginia Avenue in Indy.  They don’t have Facebook, Twitter, or a website…which is part of their charm.

Lord Ashley’s Pub and Eatery, Indianapolis


Lord Ashley’s Pub and Eatery, located on the East side of Indianapolis at Pendleton Pike and Oaklandon Road, is a family friendly, non­ smoking pub. This is my favorite type of pub, and it’s always a treat for me to see families eating and laughing together in an atmosphere like this.

Located in an unassuming strip mall, it’s nicely appointed with a lot of dark wood on the inside. There are a LOT of TV’s playing mostly sports and news stations, but the sound is turned down low so one doesn’t have an issue carrying on a conversation in a normal speaking voice, another big plus.

We arrived shortly before 5PM on a Friday night, on our way to a show in nearby Fortville, Indiana. Although it was the dinner hour, and they were pretty busy, service was prompt and friendly.

The menu has a LOT of choices on it, from salads to steak to sandwiches and more. I’d been told my buddy Dick Davis that they had a pretty good tenderloin here, so I already had my mind made up.

I had a rather interesting interaction with our waitress. I asked “How is your breaded tenderloin” and she responded “It’s big!!!”. We had a nice conversation about how I really didn’t care if it was big or not, I was more concerned with whether it was good or not. That’s one of my pet peeves…restaurants bragging about portion size, rather than the quality of their food.

Ashleys Loin

That said, when she brought it out my first thought was “This looks good!” Even though it’s pounded out thinner than I normally prefer, for this particular sandwich, it works well. The breading is really good….nice and crispy with just the right amount of seasoning. The meat itself, not QUITE as moist as some I’ve had recently….maybe because of the thinness it was pounded to, but, still, it was VERY tasty.

The sandwich was served dressed as I requested, and the bun was nicely toasted. I’m going to give Lord Ashley’s breaded tenderloin a 4 out of 5 bites…well above average and certainly worth getting. It is served with a side of homemade chips, and, let me tell you, they were FANTASTIC. Although you can get fries or rings for an upcharge, I highly recommend these chips.

For her dinner, Holly chose the tempura batter breaded fish sandwich. The portion size was enormous, and could easily have been divided into two small sandwiches. The fish was light and flaky. She chose the homemade chips for her side as well, and really enjoyed them.

Lord Ashley’s is located at Pendleton Pike and Oaklandon Road in Indy. You can find them online at:

Glory Days Restaurant, Clay City, Indiana

We were in western Indiana to do a 5k, and I knew that I wanted to try a tenderloin in the area.

My friend and cousin Casey Winningham had recently been to the Glory Days restaurant in Clay  City, Indiana, and since that was just a few miles from the event, we thought it would be a nice way to recover.

Clay City bills itself as the “Mayberry of the Midwest” and I think that’s pretty accurate. It’s a small town with a business district surrounded by farmland. There are a few restaurants, and antique shop or two, a couple of gas stations, and so on.

Glory Days exterior clay city indianaUpon pulling up to Glory Days restaurant, the first thing we saw was a huge mural on the side of the building, and an old police car, quite similar to the Mayberry Squad Car parked outside.

Upon entering, we were almost overwhelmed, in a good way. It’s quite like a living museum.  There is stuff all over the place. Old barber shop posters, board games, memories from the oldhigh school, and much, much more. None of it matches, and it’s all just kind of stuck here and there, wherever there was an empty space, but it makes for a very pleasant visit.

Glory Days inside

They have a large menu, with sandwiches, a steak or two, appetizers, and more. We seldom get appetizers, but we decided to splurge this day, and got a small order of wings, and, let me tell you, they were outstanding! Crisp and meaty and the sauce had a nice “zing” to it. I highly recommend them!

I looked at the menu for a breaded tenderloin, and didn’t see one, although I saw a grilled one. I asked our capable waitress, and she said “It’s called The Chopper” and pointed it out to me.

IMG_20160521_131756_234Except…it’s not “really a tenderloin”. It’s a breaded pork chop. Granted…they DO point that out on the menu, but it’s not quite the same thing. By the way, if you want a further explanation, here’s a link:­complete­guide­to­pork­chops­meat­basics­208638

Since it’s not a real breaded tenderloin, but a breaded pork chop, I’m not going to rate it on my normal scale. What I WILL say is that it was very tasty. The meat was tender and moist, and I liked the favor of the breading quite a lot, and it did stay crisp throughout the life of the sandwich. I would not hesitate to order it again!

For her lunch, Holly ordered a bacon cheeseburger – and reports that it was very good. The highlight of her meal was the generous serving of homemade potato chips. What a treat!

I’ve got to say, this meal was a bargain. We got an appetizer to share, sandwiches with sides, and we each had a piece of sugar cream pie (which was absolutely amazing!!) for dessert, and our total bill was just a shade over 25 bucks before the tip. I highly recommend a visit here.

Glory Days is located at 802 Main Street in Clay City Indiana. I was unable to locate a website for the restaurant.

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.

Have a Bite Diner, Metamora, Indiana

havabite front

The Hav a Bite diner is your typical small town diner located on State Road 52 in Metamora, Indiana.
I had reviewed the Hav a Bite a few years ago, but it had since closed and sat vacant for a year or so, and recently re-opened under new ownership, so we thought we’d give they a try.

As is typical with most small town diners, there are a LOT of locals who the servers know by name.  It was evident when we entered that a lively conversation among the regulars was going on.  We were unsure whether to seat ourselves, or if we were to be seated.  I caught a server’s eye, and still didn’t have a clue, so we made our way to a table.

I know more than a few restaurant owners read my blog, so here’s a hint to you.  When someone comes into your restaurant, you only have a few brief moments to make a good impression.  That impression will likely stay with customers long after they leave your establishment, no matter the quality of the meal.

You probably are picking up that we didn’t feel especially welcome when we first entered the restaurant, and that is exactly the case.  After we seated ourselves and our server came to the table, the service was fine, but that first impression still lingered.

havabite loin

I ordered the breaded tenderloin, which is hand breaded.  Upon looking at it, I thought, “This looks like a fritter”, but I’m happy to report that it wasn’t.  It was a nice piece of meat with good flavor.

Unfortunately, the breading was quite bland, and probably detracted a bit from the taste of the meat, as opposed to adding to it.  Don’t get me wrong….it wasn’t a BAD sandwich…it just wasn’t an especially good one.  I’d call it average…3 out of 5 bites.

The sandwich was served as I requested, and for my side I chose onion rings, which were quite good.

For her dinner, Holly chose the pulled pork bbq sandwich.  Holly reports that this is her “go-to” entree when she goes to a restaurant and can’t make a decision about what to have from the menu.  This is a pretty good one…well-balanced meat and sauce, and not too sweet or vinegary.

I’m left with mixed emotions about the Hav a Bite.  I really DO want to support small, locally owned businesses, but I also realize I work hard for my money and expect a good experience when I spend it.  Nevertheless, I’ll likely give them another try, but I won’t likely order the tenderloin.

The Hav a Bite is located on State Road 52 in Metamora, Indiana.  I was unable to find a website or Facebook page for them.

Guest Review…The Mill House, Jasper, Indiana

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. 

After being promptly seated and presented menus, we placed our order for our drinks and perused the menu.  The menu has several Americana dishes that can satisfy the appetites of most patrons.  They also have nightly specials that even include a Kids Pizza night and a Pizza bar night.  On their menu, there are three options for a tenderloin sandwich.  All three options can be made breaded or grilled.  The regular tenderloin comes topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayo.  The Mill House comes with Cheese, bacon, and sautéed onions.  The third choice is the Buffalo Style.  The Buffalo Style comes with buffalo sauce, pepper jack cheese, and ranch.  All options come with waffle fries.  You can substitute onion straws or add the soup and bread bar for an extra fee.
As usual, I chose the Buffalo Style tenderloin, breaded, but substitute mayo for ranch. Also, I upgraded the waffle fries to cheese waffle fries.  I had a sweet tea to wash it down with.  It arrived promptly just as I had order.  The sandwich was definitely not your meat processed fritter.  It did have the appearance of being hand cut (as advertised).  The tenderloin was about twice the size of the toasted bun.  Three slices of pepper jack cheese covered it.  Although, it had some size to it, it also had a nice thickness that prevented it from being dried out.  Even with it being Buffalo style, it wasn’t swimming in the sauce like many wings do.  In fact, you don’t realize the sauce is even on it, until you start eating it.  However, after a few bites, your mouth is heats up.  I also received a good portion of cheese fries with it.  Although in the past, I have received smaller portions. The fries were covered in multiple cheeses and sprinkled with bacon.  They too come with ranch, but I just used the supplied Heinz ketchup.  I give this a 4 out of 5 rating, as it did get crispy around one of the edges.
Wendi chose the chicken parmesan pasta.  She received a generous helping.  She reported that it was just the way she liked it, but was just a little too much for her to finish.   
Service here is typically a 4 out of 5 rating as well.  This evening was no exception.  At our time of dining, they were not very busy.  But as seen in the parking lot, which is across the street, the crowd had started coming in. 
The Mill House is located on the corner of 14th and Mill Street in Jasper.  The two story building has two entrances.  The entrance on Mill Street is for the bar area.  The entrance from 14th Street is to the family and group dining.  Family dining is one the first floor while the upstairs can be reserved for groups.
Many thanks to Matt and Wendi Osgatharp for doing this guest review.  Would YOU like to do a review?  Drop me a note and let’s make it happen!🙂

Carey Tavern, Westfield, Indiana

The Carey Tavern is a place we must have driven by dozens of times, but never at meal time.  We did have the opportunity to be there a few weeks ago for a Karaoke contest, but it was 10 PM and that’s pretty much past my bedtime, let alone meal time.  But I liked the atmosphere so we decided to go up for supper.

This review kind of came by accident…we were headed to Westfield to do a review on another pub, only to find out it’s gone out of business, and since the Carey Tavern is just down the road, we decided to give it a try.

Unlike a few of the other pubs I’ve reviewed in the past, the Carey tavern is smaller than it looks from the outside.  There’s a dining area, a medium sized bar, a couple of pool tables and game machines, and that’s about it.

Their menu is not as extensive as some of the sports bars/pubs in the area, but they have number of selections to fit most any appetite.    While perusing the sandwiches, I saw a tenderloin, offered either “hand breaded” or grilled.  Of course, it was a no brainer…a hand breaded tenderloin it was!

The sandwich is certainly hand breaded, and I’d say hand cut, also.  The breading is really outstanding!  It’s got a taste in it that I couldn’t quite define, but it adds a very nice punch to the breading.  Holly suggested it might be seasoned salt, and it very well might be, but whatever it is, it’s fantastic.  Among the best I’ve had.

Although this doesn’t LOOK like a large sandwich, it’s VERY thick.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but in this instance it might have been just a bit TOO thick.  The meat was nice and moist, but it was just a wee bit tough.  A bit of pounding would’ve put this sandwich over the top.  Also, we encountered a very small bit of gristle in the sandwich.  Not much, but enough to throw the score off.

The bun was nicely toasted, and the sandwich was served dressed exactly as I requested it.  I’m going to give the Carey tavern’s breaded tenderloin sandwich a  4 out of 5, certainly above average.  With just a bit of tweaking, it’d be right up there with the best in town.

The sandwich comes with your choice of sides, and I chose the onion rings.  I’m VERY glad I did, they were AWESOME.   If you’re an onion ring fan, don’t miss these.

For her dinner, Holly chose the grilled tilapia sandwich with a side of fries.  She reported the fries to be average, but the sandwich was stellar!  It was dressed just as she requested, and was one of the best grilled tilapia sandwiches she’d ever had.

There are a couple of things that detracted from our experience as a whole, though.  First of all, the music was loud.  I don’t mean a little high, I mean one can barely hear oneself think and it made it a bit difficult to carry on a conversation.

Secondly, it’s a smoking restaurant.  I’ve got no problem with smoking restaurants, as long as they have a decent ventilation system, but between cigarette and cigar smoke, there was a cloud that just hung in the room.  Although the food was very good, the loud music and the extremely smoky conditions made for a less than optimal dining experience.
The Carey tavern is located at 17419 Carey Road in Westfield, Indiana.  I was unable to find a web page for them, but they do have a page on Facebook.