Home made pork tenderloin sandwich....

lindacFebruary 6, 2009


I had an appointment for a pedicure....and was sitting there at the drying bench with another woman who was looking at her watch and fretting about meeting he dad for lunch....and we got talking about Tenderloin sandwiches and what a mid-west thing they are and who still makes a "real" one and not some bought pre breaded thing out of a box....and we got to talking about this little old "luncheonette" just off the square...that used to have a great tenderloin.

So since I've been feeling poorley and all and since I haven't been eating much and since I was now hungry...I thought "Go for it"!

This place is just as I remembered it 40 years ago....same yellow formica counters worn in some spots, same red spinning stools, same wire racks for the menu and the sugar shaker, salt and pepper and French's mustard.....and the same tenderloin sandwich!!

For those of you who have never been to the land of tall corn and hog farmers....a Tenderloin sandwich is a slice of boneless pork loin, pounded thin...dipped in egg and crumbs and deep fried. then served on a bun....hanging out the sides of the bun like about 2 inches all around and topped with mustard, onion, catsup and pickles. Food for the gods!!

So....how many of you have ever eaten a real tenderloin sandwich served at a real "cafe" or a real "luncheonette"?

Linda c

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Oh, yes and they are good. I make them also at home. My favorite sandwich is with lettuce, tomato and mayo on them. I don't care for the cardboard things out of the freezer section.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 2:12PM
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No, I haven't had the sandwich you are describing but sounds yummmy. I'm glad that you had this memory lane experience today, sounds like it did you good.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 3:01PM
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Linda I am reading this to my husband right now and LMAO!!! My husband is from the land of corn (Illinois) and FIL was born and raised in Iowa. This is the ultimate sandwich to them. They make fun of my eating steamed, spiced blue crabs and fish for breakfast but they eat this sandwich that is hanging off the ends of the bun for breakfast!!!

I'm glad you enjoyed that sandwich and it really gave my husband a good smile!

I've being meaning to ask you where you live in Iowa. FIL and SIL went to Univ. of Iowa. FIL was an attorney with Caterpillar for 40+ years. Husband's Uncle still lives in Burlington.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 3:26PM
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Yes, most definitely! I find they are usually best in small towns, at a place just like you describe. I think you can judge a place by their tenderloin sandwich, and if it's good, almost everything else is too.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 3:26PM
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No,I never had one, but I am now drooling all over my keyboard. I just got back from running six miles and I am starving!! I'm bettin that made you feel better! Gina

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 3:31PM
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Oh my , I surely have and I love them. The best I have ever had is at the St Lawrence Market in Toronto...to die for, literally! LOL They also do a drop dead fabulous veal sandwich which is very similar but topped with tomato sauce, grilled peppers and grilled onions. The secret to both is a great bun!

I recall Marilyn posting a recipe a long time ago for pork tenderloin sandwiches. I never did make it because of the deep frying but that may change real soon!!! I'd probably use panko or bread crumbs instead of soda crackers but otherwise......YUM

Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

1 1/2 Cup soda crackers Crushed
1 Cup + 1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 Tsp garlic powder
1/4 Tsp cayenne pepper
2 Cup milk
1/2 Cup beer
1 pork tenderloins cut into 6 butterflied medallions pound to 1/4 inch thick
4 Cup fresh bread crumbs
salt and pepper

In a large bowl, combine beer and milk. Add pork and marinate pork for 1 hour, minimum. Refrigerate if marinating for longer. Preheat a deep fryer or a large pot of oil to 370 degrees F. In a large bowl combine the crackers, 2 cups flour, pepper, garlic, salt, white pepper, and bread crumbs. Remove pork from marinade and coat lightly with plain flour. Dip in marinade and coat with breading mix. Deep fry tenderloins until golden brown and cooked to desired temperature, about 5 to 10 minutes.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 3:37PM
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*sigh* One more thing I can't get in TN.

I miss having them at the Igloo in Peru, IL. You can't serve them on anything other than a squishy white-bread hamburger roll.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 3:49PM
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I live in what used to be called "washercity"...my late DH was class of 1954, Phi Psi and college of business...my daughter class 1983, Alpha Delta Pi, education and Spanish ( guess what she does!)and she married class of 1984 Delta Tau Delta and Iowa law class of 1987, law review and my son was class of 1985 also a Delt in journalism and mass communication, and he married a Chi Omega class of 1986 and my BILw as a Phi Gam class of 59 and my SIL a KKG class of 58...me I'm from the east coast and I understand crab for breakfast! LOL!
Do we have any possible friends in common??
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 3:59PM
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Love you Linda for the crab at breakfast!!!:)

We're going to have to get in touch because it is a good possibility that we may know some of the same people.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 4:37PM
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I'm in Southern Indiana. Pork tenderloin is a religion...LOL

We have a little place out in the country, up the hill and round about the lake that has terrific tenderloins. Looks like someone's garage. LOL Best when it's summer and you can get good tomatoes.

Now y'all have done it! I'm wanting a tenderloin sandwich...

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 4:56PM
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I'm in northwest Indiana and pork tenderloin is also a religion here. We still have a couple of diners that have wonderful pork tenderloin sandwiches. One of them has been on the Food Network's Drive-Ins,Diners & Dives. It isn't a dive. Now we are going to have to go there very soon.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 7:08PM
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I've had 'em, now I have to make 'em. Not served anywhere around here...but let me tell you about the whitefish sandwiches you can get here....LOL.

There was a bar/grill down in Ohio that made fried bologna sandwiches that were to die for. People would jam the place.

Linda, I'm glad you enjoyed and isn't it great that it was as good as you remembered. That doesn't happen often.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 7:18PM
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I'm also from Indiana and was practically brought up on the huge tenderloins. Several years ago a fellow outside of Nashville, IN was making these tenderloins out of his place attached to a gas station and people were raving about them. LOL! Well, the TV stations from Indy came down and did a bit on him and before long, the place closed and he's now making them at the restaurant of the fancy golf course outside Nashville. Another place in the county just north of us called Desparation Depot (really) had the best and biggest tenderloins I ever had. Now I'm hungry for one.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 8:08PM
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Where is Iowa ???
Does anyone Deliver to Pa. ?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 8:35PM
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Ahhhhhh, Linda, I remember the pork tenderloins at Hunt's Drive-In in Peoria, Illinois. We all have moved west, but we still talk about Hunt's pork tenderloin sandwiches. Tender, moist, delicious. When we were kids, we would fill up just eating the tenderloin that hung out of the hamburger bun. Too full to eat the sandwich when we finally got to the bun. I think they had lettuce, tomato and mayo on them.

Have never had another one since I last ate there in the '70s. No one else seems to know how to make them. They all taste like fried cardboard.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 8:46PM
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Man Linda, I know what you are talking about. I've had my share of those over the years traveling 35 up to the cities to visit family. Some places even sell Scotcharoos, a long time favorite in my family.

Never had fried bologna until we moved to OK. They even smoke it down here in my neck of the woods. Most BBQ joints have it on the menu. Dare I mention fried Spam...lololol!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 8:46PM
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Lou I can believe you don't know where Iowa is...
A few years back, my daughter went to spend 2 weeks with her grandparents in New Jersey. My mother took her to some luncheon or something with her friends and one old gal said "now where is it you live, Sweetheart?"....and my daughter said , "Iowa".
And the woman paused a moment....and said..."Oh.....well dear, here we pronounce that Ohio"....
And she wasn't kidding!
Easterners are the most provincial people I know of....many have never seen 80% of this country....and well I know beacuse I WAS one of them.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 9:11PM
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LOL . I was only kidding !!!
I even know where Michigan is. !!!

Did the, Wildfowl Artist Carving shows in Livonia.
Lou did that ???

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 10:23PM
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Ooooo! I haven't had them in a diner, but at fairs and festivals from a vendor. I'll bet yours are even better, but I love 'em any where I can get 'em! Ohio here.

Tami...who knows where Iowa is. I was there twice last year!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 10:53PM
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It sounds delicious & the next time I'm in the midwest, I'll hunt one down. I can't say that I've ever heard of one in VA. Our version of a pork sandwich is pulled pork bbq, usually referred to as simply 'barbeque'; I was grown before I learned BBQ didn't necessarily mean pork!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 2:11AM
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I have had them. I worked in the local drive-in where I made them in Fairfield, Iowa. The tenderloin was pounded out thin, dipped in buttermilk and a breading, then fried up crisp, it was huge and hung over the bun by inches. I love, love, love them. I make them now and use cornflake crumbs. They are heaven on a bun! I like mine with mayo, lettuce, onion and tomato.

Guess what we are having for dinner?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 11:08AM
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A Jersey girl who never heard of them, but I know I'd love one! (And I stayed in Dubuque once, so I even know where Iowa is :) Funny story about your daughter at the grandmotherly luncheon. And they say that kids say the darndest things, hah!

I have always enjoyed fried bologna as a side with eggs, yum, give me a little Worcestershire sauce on the eggs and its a feast.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 11:22AM
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Well, this Jersey girl had never heard of them either until I came to Iowa.....and when My new DH said order the tenderloin, you'll love it.....and I got this huge fried THING hanging off the bun and I was expecting a lovely piece of beef tenderloin....I was really disappointed!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 2:26PM
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I had never heard of them until reading this thread..but it maybe another way to get hubby to "like" my favorite cut of pork. LOL
He already says I use it to much....LOL but "a fried" sandwich..now that may just get his attention..

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 2:29PM
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I'm an Iowa gal myself. Can't get a good tenderloin sandwich in Chicago. I have to admit that what I really miss is Maid-Rite (a loose meat sandwich). Especially at Taylor's. I went to high school in Ames and Marshalltown was our rival school. I've spent some quality time at Taylor's with a maid-rite and slice of homemade pie. I even tried making them at home but, let me tell you, home steamed hamburger meat is nasty!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 4:50PM
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Yum! /Sounds good. Chances are not something I'll never get to try, so far away from Iowa. But so close to avocado, sprouts, tomato, swiss cheese on a whole wheat bun, LOL. That I can make at home. It sounds like some of the chicken fried "steaks", mashed potatoes and thick gravy, some homestyle restaurants would serve around here if you can still find one. AHHH, the good old days.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 6:14PM
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opkikid, I have a recipe that might make you change your mind. I spent a lot of time perfecting it, but it's really easy to make. They were called Nuways where I was from, but they are essentially the same as a Maid-Rite. Check it out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nuways a/k/a Maid Rites

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 6:34PM
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What a great thread. We lived in Oakland Mills, Iowa on the banks of the mighty Skunk River. Oakland Mills was a community of 24 people and dropped to 22 after we moved out. The family who bought our home had no children. But down by the river, when it was not on the rise, there was the Oakland Mills Café. The building actually was the old train depot when there was a train now you can not even see evidence of tracks. The Oakland Mills Café was famous for two things, its homemade catfish bait and its tenderloin sandwiches. Now the café had one long counter where the people ate and the catfish bait and the tenderloins were made. people in the middle, catfish bait to the left and tenderloins to the right. I never tasted the catfish bait, that I know of, but the tenderloins would bring tears to your eyes. Perfectly breaded slices of pounded tenderloin deep fried in grease just old enough to have a good flavor of its own. Then plopped on a tiny bun with a big dollop of mayonnaise. The only proper way to eat this sandwich was to nibble around the edges until you had consumed the overhanging pork. Next you dived into the bun and squirted the mayonnaise out onto the china plate. Using the half left you scoop of that mayonnaise and start over with another bite, repeating this process until the sandwich has been totally consumed. Now if you forget these directions and happen to wander into the Oakland Mills café someone there will be happy to teach them to you. As for the catfish bait you will need to ask one of the fish.

Here is a link that might be useful: traveling and cooking with grandpa

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 6:51PM
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opkikid, I never had heard of them either in Chicago, until I met Linda in Iowa about 3 years ago and had my first one with her. Dang, they are good!

Thanks for intoducing me to them Linda.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 9:07PM
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Did we eat Tenderloins that day?? I thought we ate Pella balogna sandwiches! LOL!
Chaplainkent....you weren't too far from Fairfield where Vicki in Las Vegas worrked and not too far from the site of Grand Wood's American Gothic, and Roesann and Tom Arnold's Loose Meat Diner....not to mention the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental University.
Amazing things in southern Iowa!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 9:30PM
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Ohhhhhhhhh...there is nothing as good as a Maid Rite with everything, an order of right out of the fryer skinny fries and a chocolate shake or ice cold Coke. Now...even my tenderloin tonight is taking second fiddle. LOL

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 9:31PM
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You do have a way with words, Chaplain Kent! Thanks for a nice read :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 8:15AM
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Great read Chaplain. Made me put a trip to Iowa for a Pork Tenderloin sandwich on my list of the "100 things I want to do before I can't".

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 8:28AM
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claire de luna -- Thank you! I am going to try them this weekend. I have three boys (14,11,8) who are Maid-rite crazy.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 2:04PM
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I've had a pork tenderloin sandwich but only because I had cousins that lived in Peoria, Illinois, and we ate them when we visited there, at some little Mom & Pop place that reminded me of the Woolsworth lunch counter at home.

Here you can get a walleye sandwich at the local dairy freeze, it's considered "fast food" here, but the only way I'd get a pork tenderloin would be to make my own.

Maybe I will.....


    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 2:09PM
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The pork tenderloins at the Mattoon Airport Restaurant in IL are so big, we order one, have it cut in half, and served on two big buns! And, there is still plenty of meat hanging off the sides! Our favorite side is the half-order of breaded and fried, fresh mushrooms. They are wonderful!
We have overheard folks at nearby tables tell the wait staff that they flew in just for the tenderloin. They are that good!


    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 3:07PM
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Lindac- In my days it was called Parson's College and the students got high off of smoking plants and not by levitating. Roseanne had yet to make her debut with Tom and the couple in Grant Wood's picture had yet to find their pitch fork. Iowa is an amazing place to have spent several years hiding out from reality as a kid from Chicago. Are you familiar with the many fried chicken dinner taverns found in the tiny towns in SE Iowa? I remember one in a town named Mt. Hamil. For those uneducated about Iowa, it has no mountains just some very deep gullies and when a town is placed on the edge of a gully they give it a Mt.name. Mt. Hamil had a few homes perched on the side of a gully and a tavern which served pitchers of beer and fried chicken to anyone who sat down. There was no ordering you just sat, ate, and drank. I can still taste the chicken today, whether it was the close proximity of the hog lot across the street which insured the grease to be really fresh or the chickens which roamed the streets and you never saw twice, this place made the best fried chicken.

Here is a link that might be useful: traveling and cooking with grandpa

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 11:30PM
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Yeah....I remember Parson's college and when the maharishi bought the place.....and when Roseann met Tom....and when they used to go to the hawk games....and one time when they were sitting just down stream from us and she showed off her tattoo. Every body was standing looking at Roseann's..eh...tattoo and we couldn'ts ee the game.
I doubt if you remember when the Gothic American couple found their pitchfork....unless you're a lot older than I think!
Don't know those fried chicken joints......might have to go investigate.....
Yeah....in Iowa...land of gently rolling hills, we have Mt. Pleasant and Mt Vernon as well......and the Iowa state fair.....where there is the most amazing assortment of "stuff on a stick".....even a pork chop!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 12:00AM
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I love pork tenderloin sandwiches. Hard to find the good ones, but I don't spend too much time there anymore. They do not exist out here in the West. I don't really like the ones that are too thin. My mom used to make them and we never pounded them that thin. I have become a fan of Culver's because of their tenderloins. Their fries need work, but the tenderloins, the root beer float and the turtle sundae are out of my Iowa childhood.

Made-rites are an acquired taste. Not in the same league as tenderloins. I much prefer a well flavored sloppy joe. I have one thing to say, Hamburg Inn #1.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 12:44AM
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OMG! Hamburg Inn #1!
It burned you know...
Nothing left now but #2.....
Haven't been there in years....it seems to lack the cachet with the students that #1 did.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 9:36AM
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Annie that is where my husband is from. I think they have eaten at every joint that sells them from Indiana line to Peoria and through Pekin!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 4:06PM
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LOL, Dixie, I've only eaten them in Peoria, I wonder what I'm missing out on, I'll have to try them again as soon as I go somewhere that sells them.

My Uncle Leon lived in People with his first wife and their three kids, and we visited a couple of times. I was always surprised that the cousins had a kind of southern accent, Peoria just isn't that much further south.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 4:36PM
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