Iowa January 21, 2017
Add These Top 12 Award-Winning Iowa Tenderloins To Your 2017 Bucket List
The breaded pork tenderloin sandwich: an Iowa specialty, staple and love story all rolled into one. It just doesn’t get any better than a perfectly breaded fried cutlet of succulent pork, served on a bun with all the fixings. Iowa takes this sandwich so seriously, it actually hands out a highly coveted award each year to the tenderloin deemed the best in Iowa. The contest is put on and judged by the Iowa Pork Producers Association, and they know what they’re talking about.
This ultimate tenderloin bucket list contains all of the first place winners of the IPPA Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin Contest since it started in 2003, and you’re going to want to try each and every one of them.
The 2004 winner, Suburban Restaurant in Ames, and the 2010 winner, Buck’s Bar & Grill in Mitchellville, aren’t listed, as they have since gone out of business.
1. 2003 - Darrell’s Place, Hamlin
Darrell’s Place is a small, friendly, family owned restaurant, and they serve a killer tenderloin. This amazing sandwich is fresh-cut pork loin that’s hand-breaded and fried to perfection. 4010 1st St., Hamlin, IA.
2. 2005 - Dairy Sweet, Dunlap
Dairy Sweet may have won the award back in 2005, but they still have one of the best tenderloins in the state. And, it’s huge! 118 Iowa Ave., Dunlap, IA.
3. 2006 - The Townhouse Supper Club, Wellsburg
This tenderloin is massive, with a delectable taste to go along with it. 520 N Adams St., Wellsburg, IA.
4. 2007 - Larsen’s Pub, Elk Horn
Larsen's Pub in Elk Horn has a Danish flare, but it hasn’t lost touch with its Midwestern roots. Their pork tenderloins are huge and truly delicious. 4206 Main St., Elk Horn, IA.
5. 2008 - Augusta Restaurant, Oxford/Iowa City
Ben and Jeri Halperin were displaced by Hurricane Katrina, so they moved up to Iowa and opened a restaurant. While their specialty was New Orleans-style Cajun food, their tenderloin was totally on point. The original owners are no longer with the restaurant, which relocated from Oxford to Iowa City, but they now offer catering for private parties and other events. To find out more about when and where they’ll be catering,
6. 2009 - Goldie’s Ice Cream Shoppe, Prairie City
Goldie’s pork tenderloins are juicy, delicious and full of flavor. 304 W 2nd St., Prairie City, IA.
7. 2011 - Gramma’s Kitchen, Walcott
Gramma’s Kitchen has been serving up incredible Iowa comfort food since 1984, including their tasty award-winning pork tenderloins. They’re a quarter pound of Iowa pork loin, hand-breaded and fried to a golden brown. 3408 N Plainview Rd., Walcott, IA.
8. 2012 - Breitbach’s Country Dining, Balltown
Breitbach’s is the oldest restaurant in Iowa, and they serve amazing down-home American food in a homey atmosphere. Their pork tenderloin is hand-battered and delicious. 563 Balltown Rd., Sherrill, IA.
9. 2013 - River Rock Café, Mt. Pleasant
River Rock Cafe has a unique atmosphere and a fried delicious tenderloin that is about as big as your plate! 1529 253rd St., Mount Pleasant, IA.
10. 2014 - The Lucky Pig Pub & Grill, Ogden
You’ll feel lucky at the Lucky Pig Pub & Grill when you try their amazing tenderloin. This tasty sandwich is breaded and fried to perfection, served on a toasted bun. 113 W Walnut St., Ogden, IA.
11. 2015 - Belmond Drive-in, Belmond
This restaurant in Belmond recently opened in October of 2014, and winning the award the same year they opened is pretty impressive. Their center-cut tenderloins are hand cut and served either grilled or hand-breaded. 215 River Ave. S, Belmond, IA.
12. 2016 - Nick’s, Des Moines
Nick’s is the most recent restaurant to be honored with this award, and it’s well earned. They have quite a tenderloin selection, and they’re all delicious. 1106 Army Post Rd., Des Moines, IA.
Click here for a complete list of contest first and second place winners and honorable mentions.
Which of these amazing sandwiches have you tried? For more of Iowa’s delectable food, These 11 Iconic Foods In Iowa Will Have Your Mouth Watering.