The Bush Restaurant, Terre Haute, Indiana

ImageWe found ourselves making a last minute trip to Terre Haute, Indiana, and did a frantic search for a good tenderloin in the area.

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”.

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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.

B&C’s Hideout, New Palestine, Indiana

 

We’ve driven by B&C’s Hideout in New Palestine several times, always thinking “We need to try this place”, but our schedule never allowed us to until Saturday.

 

We were in New Palestine for an animal rescue event, and took advantage of the schedule to meet our dear friend Judie for lunch.  She’d visited the Hideout before, and recommended it as a good place to eat.  I’m glad to say that her recommendation was spot on.

 

B&C’s is decorated in a Bonnie and Clyde theme, and they’ve done a good job of not OVER doing it.  If it’s possible to have a tasteful Bonnie and Clyde theme, they’ve succeeded.

 

The menu is very extensive, and do yourself a favor and read the names of the dishes, very creatively done.  They have everything from sandwiches to pizza to steaks, ribs, and much more.

 

They offer their tenderloin either grilled or breaded, and that’s a very good sign indeed.  The Hideout talks about their breading in the menu, but, honestly, I was so hungry I didn’t take much time to read it…I just took the recommendations of my friends that it was worth getting and ordered it.

 

 

And, again, my friends were spot on.  This is a darn fine tenderloin. The breading is wonderfully crunchy and has a VERY nice flavor.  The sandwich isn’t greasy as all, and the breading stays crispy through the life of the sandwich.  The meat is nice and moist, and the sandwich was served exactly as I requested…with mayo and onion only (I prefer to add my own ketchup), and the bun was nicely toasted.  I’m going to give this sandwich a 5 out of 5 bites….as good as it gets, and well worth the drive to New Palestine.

For my side, I ordered onion rings, and they were nothing short of heavenly.   If you’re a fan of onion rings…and who isn’t??…..do yourself a favor and get an order.

 

B&C’s hideout is located at 7242 W US 52, in New Palestine, Indiana.  I was unable to find a website for them.

Hella’s Greek Cafe’, Indianapolis

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.

 

 

Recently, we stopped in for lunch, and, purely in the name of research, I decided to give their breaded tenderloin a try.

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

The Cabana Room, Brownsburg, Indiana

The Cabana Room is an upscale sports restaurant located in Brownsburg, Indiana.  I’ve had the opportunity to visit here a few times, and it’s always been a good exeperience.

It’s an interesting place.  Although they’re called “elegant and sophisticated” on their website, they do that without being pretentious.  If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a prententious restaurant.  I’m happy to report that the Cabana Room IS sophisticated, but still retains a small town atmosphere and we’ve never encountered anything but a warm and friendly staff when we’re there.

The atmosphere is part cigar bar, part sports bar.  The bar area has a fully stocked humidor, if you prefer non smoking, there’s a seperate dining room.  Outside dining is also available, weather permitting.

The have a complete menu, with a nice selection of appetizers and salads, sandwiches, steaks, pasta, and desserts.

Of course, I was there to try the breaded tenderloin.  Their tenderloin is advertised as beer battered, and it’s obviously hand breaded with great care.  The meat itself is nice and tender, and the breading is really nice and flaky with a good flavor.  The meat and breading are certainly up among the best around.

They serve their tenderloin with “Island Barbeque Sauce”, which I asked them to hold.  It’s also served on Ciabatta Bread.  Now, mind you, I like Ciabatta Bread, but, for me, it doesn’t work on the tenderloin.  I really enjoy the traditional texture of a nice, soft bun on a crisp breaded tenderloin, but the Ciabatta Bread was just too much.  I liked the flavor combination, the texture, not so much.

There are a number of sides available.  I chose waffle fries, and they’re very, very good.  I highly recommend them.

I’ve been struggling with how to rate this sandwich.  I’ll say this.  If you’re looking for a twist on a breaded tenderloin…something different….you’re going to REALLY enjoy it.

That said, I’m a traditional guy.  I like traditional Hoosier Breaded Tenderloins.  If this meat and breading were on a traditional bun, I’d give it a very high rating.  As it stands, I’m going to give it a 3.  It’s above average and worth a try.

I like Cabana Room a lot.  I’ll certainly be back and sample more of their menu.  The Cabana Room is located at 36 E Main Street in Brownsburg, Indiana.  You can find them online at http://cabanaroom.net/

J’s Dairy Inn, Liberty, Indiana

J’s Dairy Inn is an ice cream parlor/restaurant with 2 locations, one in Richmond and one in Liberty Indiana, just a couple of miles from Whitewater State Park.

We were camping at Whitewater when performing for the Metamora Old Time Music Festival, and I’d heard great things about J’s, so we decided to give it a try.

The restaurant is clean and the help is friendly.  We had never had a meal here before, and the menu was just a bit overwhelming…for a small restaurant, there are a LOT of choices.  But, the girl who served us behind the counter was patient while we perused the menu and asked about a couple of the things we didn’t recognize.  One of them was J-Bob’s, which are breaded potato wedges, and Mushroom Chips…which are sliced, breaded, deep fried mushrooms.  More about each of those later.

Of course, I chose the breaded tenderloin, which they advertise as hand breaded.  When they brought it out, I was quite disappointed….it certainly didn’t LOOK hand breaded.  It looked like the run of the mill frozen pork fritter.

Taste wise, it was a tad better than that.  Not much, but a little.  The breading was…well, it was there.  That’s about all I can say about it.  It was crisp, but there just wasn’t much taste to it.  And, I’ll have to say the same about the meat.  It didn’t taste BAD, there just wasn’t that much taste to it.  It was prepared with the condiments I requested, which is a plus in the service department.

As my side, I chose the J-Bob’s, and let me tell you, these things are GOOD!  Lightly breaded, perfectly cooked, I’d get these anytime!

But the tenderloin…well, for me, it didn’t even get up to the average grade.  It sells for $6.95 with a side.  I’m going to give it a 2 out of 5 bites.  It’s edible, and that’s about all I can say about it.

Holly had a pulled pork sandwich and proclaimed it excellent, WELL above average and certaintly worth getting again.  For her side, she chose the Mushroom Chips, and I sampled them also.  These things are little slices of breaded heaven….if you stop in at J’s,  make sure you order these!

J’s Dairy Inn in Liberty is located on State Road 44, one block west of the traffic light.  You can visit them online at  http://jsdairyinn.com/

Jim Dandy Restaurant, Nobleville, Indiana

Jim Dandy is a small chain of restaurants in Central Indiana.  I’ve eaten at a few of them through the years, but don’t recall ever having tried their breaded tenderloin sandwich.

Jim Dandy used to be known for home cooked meals for a reasonable price, and that’s still partly the case, although they seem to be pushing patrons more towards their hot bar these days…a shift of emphasis from what  I  remember in the past.  However, they still feature a full menu with a number of specials, and the prices are very reasonable for the food you receive.

Nevertheless, I opted for the breaded tenderloin, urged, in part, by the claim on their menu is the tenderloin is “what we’re famous for”.

Since their advertising boldy advertises their famous tenderloin  (the term “World Famous” is even used on the table placard) I was sure that I would receive a hand breaded, hand trimmed piece of breaded goodness.

Maybe, someday,  I’ll learn not to take advertising at face value.

What I got appeared to be a pre-frozen piece of breaded meat.  No, it didn’t appear  to be  the run of the mill frozen pork patty, but it was HIGHLY disappointing.  The breading was bland and tasteless…and the meat was pretty much the same way.  If this is what they’re famous for,  then their customer base is far less than discriminating.

I always try to find something good to say, and about this sandwich, the bun was toasted nicely and the sandwich came dressed exactly how I requested it.  The fries were hot and tasty, and the price was reasonable….$6.95 including fries.

Still, it pales to what I was expecting from a “world famous” tenderloin.  I’m going to give the Jim Dandy breaded tenderloin a 2 out of 5..below average.

Once again, the other things we ordered were very good to outstanding.  Holly ordered a black angus mushroom swiss burger that was served on Texas toast, and it was over the top good.  We shared a piece of strawberry pie for dessert, and it was a slice of heaven on a cloud of crust.

In short, everything was excellent….except the tenderloin.

The Noblesville location of Jim Dandy is located at 2301 Conner Street  (State Road 32) in Noblesville, Indiana.

Syd’s, Noblesville, Indiana

Syd’s Bar in Noblesville is one of those places that seems to be legendary in Central Indiana.  Located on the town square, their classic neon sign proudly proclaims “fine foods” and they’re known far and wide as a favorite eatery.

They’ve got two rooms, a classic bar room, complete with shuffleboard, bar, booths, and juke box, and they also have a “family dining” room in the back.  However, I do believe that even the family dining side is 21 and over, since it’s not seperated from the smoking area.

The service is fast and friendly, and I must give our servers kudos for being attentive to detail, keeping our drinks refilled, and being friendly and cordial.

Syd’s menu has a pretty wide selection of appetizers, the centerpiece being their signature fried pickles.  There are a few places around town that serve fried pickles, and these are tops.  Lightly breaded and served with remoulade sauce, they’re a great way to start the meal.

Of course, I made the trip up here to sample their breaded tenderloin.  Syd’s tenderloin has been reviewed many times before on various sites…Yelp, Yahoo, and most recently by my friends at wouldibuyitagain.com.  Locals seem to think that Syd’s is almost the Mecca of breaded tenderloins.  If this is your opinion….maybe you should stop reading now.

As you can see by the picture, this tenderloin is huge.  But, that’s a bit deceptive, because it’s pounded out paper thin, and there’s not much meat here at all.  I got several bites that were nothing but breading..no meat to be found in that part of the sandwich.

The meat that I did get was………there’s no other way to put it.  It was really, really bad.  I don’t recall EVER having a piece of meat that was as dry as this one was.  It was almost like chewing sand it was so dry.  Not only was it dry, but it was tough and stringy, and filled with gristle.

The breading wasn’t much better.  The menu claims it’s “seasoned”, but it was just bland and tasteless.  To top it off, there was FAR too much of it.

The bun was toasted, and the condiments were brought as requested, however, that’s not enough to redeem this sandwich.

I’ve thought overnight about how to rate this sandwich.  In the past, I’ve giving some sandwiches a “1” rating, reflecting that they’re  “edible, but that’s about it”.

This sandwich wasn’t even edible.  I covered part of it with my napkin and simply let them discard it.  That’s how bad it was.  Syd’s breaded tenderloin,  (which sells for $6.95) gets a 0 out of 5 bites.

That said, the onion rings were excellent, and Holly chose their special for the evening, a smothered chopped sirloin, and that was quite good.  I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to Syd’s…I like the atmosphere and the service, but there’s no way I’d order their tenderloin again.

Syd’s is located at 808 Logan Street in Noblesville, Indiana.