By Bob Burchfield, Editor
When it comes to that classic Hoosier delicacy, the breaded tenderloin–typically a large slab of fried pork tenderloin on a bun with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, and mayo–you can stir up a quick argument with most devotees just by mentioning your favorite. There are so many good places to try this Hoosier specialty–from little hole-in-the-wall diners to some rather large urban restaurants–that there is truly no way to cover them all across the state of Indiana. If you want to read the opinion of someone who is trying his best to cover them all, check out Rick Garrett’s All Tenderloins, All The Time blog at http://breadedtenderloin.wordpress.com/.
In this short blog post, let me give you five places in central Indiana where I think you can get a great breaded tenderloin, although I readily acknowledge that there are other great tenderloins to be had out there (or so I’ve heard and will eventually confirm for myself!), from restaurants like the Nickel Plate in Fishers to Bobby Plump’s in Broad Ripple to the Gnaw Bone Tenderloin in Brown County, and many more. These are simply five of the best I’ve had to date!
#1 – Frosty Mug, Greenfield
Breaded Tenderloin at Frosty Mug in Greenfield. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2010, all rights reserved. Frosty Mug is located at 117 Apple Street across from Riley Park. 317-462-0600. No Web site, and it's only open from late spring to early fall. Patsy's Jumbo Tenderloin is a meaty 8-ounce delight that takes up an entire dinner plate and is served HOT and juicy. Top drawer all the way! The only way to get a better one is to make your own at home.
#2 – Bourbon Street Distillery, Indianapolis
Breaded Tenderloin at Bourbon Street Distillery. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2011, all rights reserved. All I can say about this one is "Wow!" If the bun had held up until the end of the sandwich, I would have listed it #1. Located at 361 Indiana Avenue in downtown Indianapolis. 317-636-3316. http://bourbonstreetdistillery.com/.
#3 – Gas Light Inn, Indianapolis
Breaded Tenderloin, Gas Light Inn. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2011, all rights reserved. Try this delicious tenderloin in the company of the ghost of John Dillinger--or so the legend goes. It would be a "crime" not to! Located at 2280 South Meridian Street in Indianapolis. 317-782-1250. http://www.thegaslightinnindy.com/.
#4 – Tie Dye Grill, Indianapolis
Breaded Tenderloin, Tie Dye Grill. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2010, all rights reserved. Tenderloin Tuesday is a tradition for many Eastsiders at this popular restaurant at 13th and Shadeland in Indianapolis--they serve hundreds of them every week. Located at 1311 North Shadeland Avenue, Suite B. 317-353-9393. http://thetiedyegrill.com/.
#5 – Mug n’ Bun, Indianapolis
Breaded Tenderloin, Mug n' Bun. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2012, all rights reserved. Very, very good indeed! Meaty, juicy, and served with that special secret sauce made in-house (just visible under the top half of the bun). 5211 West 10th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana. 317-244-5669. http://www.mug-n-bun.com/.
Honorable Mention – Scotty’s Brewhouse, Indianapolis
Breaded Tenderloin at Scotty's Brewhouse. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2011, all rights reserved. Scotty's might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of a place to get a great tenderloin, but it definitely fills the bill. Scotty's Brewhouse, 1 Virginia Avenue, in downtown Indianapolis (plus 96th Street in Indianapolis, Muncie, Bloomington, West Lafayette, and Columbus). 317-571-0808. http://scottysbrewhouse.com/.
DISCLOSURE NOTICE: Tie Dye Grill and Scotty’s Brewhouse have previously provided AroundIndy.com, LLC with free meals in exchange for promotional consideration.