Category Archives: Tenderloining

Tenderloin Appreciation Society – Ames Field Work X2

Going to share a couple of tenderloin experiences today. One was from a couple months ago when I went to Freddy’s with Teresa and had their tenderloin, which was a limited time thing. Usually I don’t record (or even eat) fast food tenderloins, but I figured, what the heck. Freddy’s isn’t a dump like the Evil Clown Empire or Burger King or Wendy’s. Freddy’s is a premium fast food restaurant. Or as those in the biz say, a quick service restaurant.

Here are some cruddy cell phone pictures from the experience:


Tenderloining at Freddy's

Tenderloining at Freddy's

Tenderloining at Freddy's

Tenderloining at Freddy's

Tenderloining at Freddy's

Tenderloining at Freddy's

Tenderloining at Freddy's

Tenderloining at Freddy's

Tenderloining at Freddy's

Tenderloining at Freddy's

Tenderloining at Freddy's

The quick take is, that for a fast food tenderloin, Freddy’s really nailed it. I don’t lower myself to fast food tenderloins very often, even at B-Bop’s (and you all know how I stan for B-Bop’s), but I would definitely get the Freddy’s tenderloin again.

I don’t think there is a need to break it down any more than that. If you’ve been to Freddy’s you know it is the bomb. Except for their fries, which kinda suck. Go for the onion rings and all will be well in the world! And if you leave without getting a Freddy’s frozen custard, are we even friends?

Recently the phone at the Tenderloin Appreciation Society’s headquarters rang. It was team member Michelle with a hot tip on a Ames tenderloin worth checking out. The tip came somebody within Michelle’s sphere of influence. The newish local pancake house Flip’N Jacks was rumored to have a tenderloin of some consequence.

Michelle and I made lunch plans on a particularly windy day to give it a shot.

Here are some cruddy cell phone pictures from the day:


Tenderloining at Flip'N Jacks

Tenderloining at Flip'N Jacks

Tenderloining at Flip'N Jacks

Tenderloining at Flip'N Jacks

Tenderloining at Flip'N Jacks

Tenderloining at Flip'N Jacks

Tenderloining at Flip'N Jacks

Tenderloining at Flip'N Jacks

Tenderloining at Flip'N Jacks

Tenderloining at Flip'N Jacks

Tenderloining at Flip'N Jacks

Tenderloining at Flip'N Jacks

The Flip’N Jacks tenderloin is pretty good. In fact, at first I thought it was great. The first few bites, I was really impressed, but as I went on, I became less impressed. It was like the closer I got to the middle the more it tasted like dirty oil. I’ve never experienced that before, so may be it was an illusion. I would definitely go back and order this tenderloin again. But I’d rank it the second best tenderloin in Ames behind The Filling Station. Michelle however, would rank it higher than The Filling Station.

Here is the breakdown:

THE GOOD

+ Toasted bun.
+ Good thick cut of meat.
+ Good breading.
+ Good flavor.
+ Cooked to perfection.
+ Onions, lettuce, and tomato on the bottom bun. I didn’t like this at first, but the more I think about it, this might be the wave of the future for tenderloins.
+ Fries were good.
+ Served Pepsi products.

THE BAD

+ Brioche bun.
+ Meat to bun ratio all sorts of out of whack.
+ Lettuce and tomato served by default.
+ Service was a little slow, but not terrible.

THE UGLY

+ The middle of the tenderloin tasted oily, not in a good way.

It was very good, but I have a confession. I did not finish it. I’m sorry that I have failed you, but I have to be honest. You guys demand it.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is LETTERS OR NUMBERS:


WEEK 345 - LETTERS OR NUMBERS
LETTERS OR NUMBERS

LETTERS OR NUMBERS! What a great theme for Year 9 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is a LETTERS OR NUMBERS picture? A LETTERS OR NUMBERS picture is simply any picture that features LETTERS OR NUMBERS or both! They can be used to create words or they can just be a random jumble like in the theme reveal image.

Happy photo harvesting!

Tenderloin Appreciation Society – Harlan Field Work

Today is Good Friday. I thought I would share an image I took on a recent road trip that represents Good Friday before getting to a Good Friday devotional.


Good Friday - 2022

This devotional I took from the UMC website and was written by Rev. Dr. Hannah Ka:

Scripture: Mark 15:33-41

From noon until three in the afternoon the whole earth was dark. At three, Jesus cried out with a loud shout, “Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani,” which means, “My God, my God, why have you left me?”

After hearing him, some standing there said, “Look! He’s calling Elijah!” Someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, and put it on a pole. He offered it to Jesus to drink, saying, “Let’s see if Elijah will come to take him down.” But Jesus let out a loud cry and died.

The curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion, who stood facing Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “This man was certainly God’s Son.”

Some women were watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James (the younger one) and Joseph, and Salome. When Jesus was in Galilee, these women had followed and supported him, along with many other women who had come to Jerusalem with him.

Devotion

A dimmed light in theater cues the ending of a scene. The darkness signals the curtain to close. A part of the story has ended. If the protagonist is dead at this end, then we know it is a tragedy. Jesus’ death is a disappointment for those who hoped that he would rise as a new political leader to overthrow the oppressive colonial power of Rome and rebuild the nation that would protect them. For those who executed his death sentence, it is a clear victory against a rebel. This seemingly failed attempt closes the curtain on the story, at least for many human eyes.

From the wider viewpoint of faith, however, it is not. It signals something totally otherwise. At the moment of Jesus’ loud cry and his last breath, there the curtain in the temple is torn in two. This is the curtain that the God-fearing and Law-abiding Jewish people had put up to keep some out. It is torn “from top to bottom” (v. 38) because God breaks the division between the holy and the ordinary and erases the line between what is acceptable and unacceptable.

The death of Jesus is an opening. God opens the closed curtains that we so often put up and walks into our lives. God is not only within our reach, but also reaches out to all humanity with the redeeming grace of the cross. God treasures our ordinary life as a part of eternity. God turns the ends of human tragedy into new beginnings because God’s redemptive story always eradicates any human-made divisive binaries we put up on earth. God follows neither the Roman Empire nor the Jewish Law. God builds a new kin-dom on earth according to God’s all-embracing love. God is… and God does.

For reflection

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” by Lao Tzu.

Prayer

O God, help us feel your presence in our daily lives, in our pain and our despair. Open our eyes to see your new beginnings in our endings. Guide us to live as a part of your redemptive story. Amen.

Once again, you are invited to join me at “my” church. The Boone First United Methodist Church for Good Friday. At noon you can start visiting the church to tour The Stations of the Cross. The video starts every hour on the hour from noon until 7 PM. You might recognize the voice of the narrator of Station 7. At 7 PM there will be a worship service. If you want to stay home and tour the videos they will be online to watch as well. I believe on the Boone First United Methodist Church Facebook page.

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A few Saturday’s ago Jesse and I road tripped to Harlan, Iowa to meet Bill at Victoria Station to do a little tenderloining. Victoria Station is the reigning Best Tenderloin in Iowa, so we had to get there and give it a go. The Pork Producers do a fair job of crowning the champion, but they do frequently anoint subpar tenderloins as the champ. So I kept my expectations in check. Especially, cause this is definitely not a standard tenderloin. It is served on Texas Toast and rather than being served with mustard and ketchup, it is eaten with a garlic aioli.

Here are some cruddy cell phone pictures from the experience:


Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

Tenderloining at Victoria Station

I’ll just cut to the chase. This is one of the best tenderloins I’ve ever had. The Pork Producers actually got it right! I wasn’t sure about the Texas Toast, but it works! Certainly better than some place that try brioche or ciabatta buns, which don’t work that well. The meat tastes great and the garlic aioli complements it perfectly.

I believe it belongs in the Tenderloin Pantheon.

THE GOOD

+ Toasted “bun”.
+ Great thickness.
+ Nailed the meat to bun ratio.
+ White onions.
+ Garlic aioli, delicious!
+ Flavorful breading.
+ Served Pepsi products.
+ The appetizers were phenomenal. In particular, the fried pickle thing.
+ Former depot setting is really cool.
+ Great service.

THE BAD

+ Served default with lettuce and tomato, but I’m just beginning to accept this.
+ Cool setting, but not very big dining area. If you going during peak hours, I’d recommend a reservation. We were there at 2 PM on a Saturday, so there was plenty of space, but we still had a reservation.

THE UGLY

+ No doors on the bathroom stalls in the Men’s room. The door does lock however. There are doors on the Women’s restroom stalls though. We confirmed this with our awesome waitress.

Victoria Station is also a finalist for the Best Burger in Iowa, so a return trip there might be in my future!

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s theme for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is ORANGE:


WEEK 344 - ORANGE
ORANGE

ORANGE! What a great theme for Week 9 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is an ORANGE image? An ORANGE image is simply and image where the subject of the image OR a major compositional element of the image is the color ORANGE.

I’ve already received a submission from Minnesota from a person that hasn’t submitted for quite some time. I’m pretty excited about this potential development! Also, I received a submission from somebody that drove all the way to California for the sole purpose of taking a picture for their submission! I love the commitment!

While considering possible subjects for your ORANGE submission, consider the following quote:

Whoever said ORANGE was the new pink was seriously disturbed.
-Elle Woods

Happy photo harvesting!

Tenderloin Appreciation Society – Ames Field Work

A couple Saturdays back Scottie D. and I and his family hit up one of my favorite restaurants in Ames to try their tenderloin. That restaurant is Time To Roll. It is located in North Grand Mall and the reason I love them so much is they have a knock-off of the Crisp Meat Burrito that Taco Time used to serve before going the way of the dodo. Being a Boonie through and through, I have a very deep, nearly primal love for Taco Time and the Crisp Meat Burrito. I dare say that my favorite time, well it is Taco Time. Time To Roll has pretty much nailed the unadulterated greatness that is the Crisp Meat Burrito.

Perhaps, you never experienced Taco Time? Well if you are from Fort Dodge, imagine Taco Tico, but it doesn’t suck and instead is amazing. Dare I say, imagine it is amazeballs. If you are not from Fort Dodge, imagine whatever your local fast foot taco joint was amazeballs.

Recently, Time to Roll adding a tenderloin to their menu. However, it isn’t just any tenderloin. It is the Suburban Tenderloin. The Suburban was a restaurant in Gilbert, that back in the day served a tasty tenderloin. Or at least I am told, because I never experienced it. The one time that I tried to eat there with my #1 Tenderloin Buddy, Scottie D., it was closed. We ended up at BK’s and the rest is tenderloin history.

However, it certainly left a hole in the tenderloin resume. Which is cool, because now we were given the opportunity to plug that hole. Plug it with fried, greasy goodness.

Here are some cruddy cell phone pictures from this trip:


Tenderloining at Time to Roll

Tenderloining at Time to Roll

Tenderloining at Time to Roll

Tenderloining at Time to Roll

Tenderloining at Time to Roll

Tenderloining at Time to Roll

Tenderloining at Time to Roll

Tenderloining at Time to Roll

Tenderloining at Time to Roll

Tenderloining at Time to Roll

Tenderloining at Time to Roll

Tenderloining at Time to Roll

Tenderloining at Time to Roll

You’ve seen the pictures now, but how do I break down the experience. Well goes a little some like this… Hit it!

THE GOOD

+ Good bun.
+ Toasted bun.
+ Nailed the meat to bun ratio.
+ Good thickness on the cut of meat.
+ White onions.
+ Serve Pepsi products.

THE BAD

+ Standard has lettuce and onions.
+ Generally bland tasting.

THE UGULY

+ Breading has too much of a corn meal taste. It has a weird combination of being both very bland tasting and having a very strong taste of corn meal.

My final recommendation is to stick with the Crisp Meat Burrito. It doesn’t disappoint!

I don’t have any current tenderloin eating plans, but I do need to get another stamp on my Tenderloin Trail 2.0 Passport soon.

+++++++

This is your reminder that although I still haven’t published the submissions for Week 335 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE, also known as the BELIEVE photos, this week’s theme this week’s theme is STILL LIFE. At the time of the publication of this post, I will be sitting in the Charlotte, North Carolina airport waiting to board a plane to come back to the Cyclone State. If things break just right, I’ll be publishing the BELIEF images at some point on Saturday.


WEEK 336 - STILL LIFE
STILL LIFE

STILL LIFE? Sounds like a great theme, but what exactly is a STILL LIFE image?

STILL LIFE photography is photography of inanimate subjects. Subjects are frequently commonplace object. Subjects can be either manmade or natural objects (food, plants, rocks, shells). One of the joys of STILL LIFE photography is that you can arrange your inanimate objects any way you want!

Happy photo harvesting!

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 – Stop #7

About a month back, I finally started my journey on The Tenderloin Trail 2.0. If you don’t know what the Tenderloin Trail 2.0 is, here is some information on it from the Iowa Pork Producers website:

Iowans’ favorite pork dish is the breaded pork tenderloin. You can be rewarded for traveling the state and sampling these delicious sandwiches at 10 of 14 designated locations on the newest version of the Iowa Tenderloin Trail.

Inspired by the success of the original Iowa Tenderloin Trail, the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) has launched version “2.0,” an update of the 2017 trail.

“It was time to feature more areas of the state that weren’t represented in the first trail,” said Kelsey Sutter, IPPA’s marketing/programs director. “There are many places to enjoy a delicious, handmade, breaded tenderloin in Iowa. After all, we are blessed with them being represented on almost every menu across the state.”

The tenderloin is an iconic food in Iowa—the nation’s No. 1 pork-producing state. The new trail includes restaurant recommendations from IPPA President Dennis Liljedahl, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, and athletic directors at Iowa State University in Ames; Drake University in Des Moines; and the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

The trail also highlights restaurants’ signature drinks, side dishes, and desserts, and promotes nearby attractions as possible side visits. Sutter hopes consumers incorporate the trail into vacations, weekend getaways, or day trips.

“The Tenderloin Trail encourages Iowa tourism across the state, supports local restaurants and businesses and, of course, celebrates Iowa’s delicious pork and Iowans’ favorite way to eat it,” said Trish Cook, chairwoman of IPPA’s restaurant and foodservice committee. “I absolutely love a good tenderloin and knowing where to find one!”

Trail explorers will receive a stamp on their passport when they order a tenderloin at any of the restaurants on the new trail. If they earn 10 stamps within a two-year period, they will be awarded an “I Conquered the Iowa Tenderloin Trail 2.0” T-shirt from IPPA.

To participate in the Iowa Tenderloin Trail, diners need to download and print the official passport at www.iowapork.org/tenderloin-trail. Passports also can be picked up at the IPPA office in Clive, or at any of the restaurants along the trail.

The original trail was completed by more than 400 pork-loving connoisseurs, from June 2017 through July 1, 2021. Sutter estimates that more than 20,000 people completed some part of the trail. She noted that a Google map with the original trail locations was viewed more than 250,000 times.

The new Iowa Tenderloin Trail includes the following locations:

Birdies, Burgers & Brews at Hillcrest Golf & Country Club, Graettinger
The Buffalo Tavern, Burlington
Bump’s Restaurant at Finkbine Golf Course, Iowa City
Darrell’s Place, Hamlin
The Emerald Isle, Imogene
The Feed Mill Restaurant at Waspy’s Truck Stop, Audubon
Grid Iron Sports Bar and Grill, Webster City
Iowa Taproom, Des Moines
Jethro’s BBQ Drake, Des Moines
PrairieMoon On Main, Prairieburg
The Pub at the Pinicon, New Hampton
The Stumble Inn, Bradford
Whatcha Smokin? BBQ + Brew, Luther
Wood Iron Grille, Oskaloosa

I’ve been meaning to get started on the Trail 2.0 for quite sometime, but you know, pandemic. But back in January I finally hit the place that is closest to my homestead. Whatcha Smokin? BBQ in Luther. I’m not going to review the tenderloin because it has been covered on a previous “An Artist’s Notebook” entry. It is sufficient to say that it is a great tenderloin.

Here are some pictures from my trip there after church with Teresa, Logan, and Dahlia.


Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

Tenderloin Trail 2.0 - Stop #7

I don’t have any current plans to hit a tenderloin joint, but ideally, I should hit one a month, in order to get that shirt! I’ll probably at least try to get up to the Webster City one this month.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is BELIEVE.


WEEK 335 - BELIEVE

BELIEVE! What a great theme for Year 9 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!
I’m going to be 100% transparent on this theme. It is 100% inspired by TED LASSO. Let’s face it, if you aren’t watching TED LASSO, then you are watching television wrong! You better do something about it. Like start watching TED LASSO!

All of that being said, what is a BELIEVE image. While on the surface, this seems like a very abstract, conceptual streak killing theme, it is really quite simple. All you have to do is take a picture of something you BELIEVE in. BELIEVE in Jesus? Take a picture that reflects your Christian faith. Or whatever religion you practice. BELIEVE in your favorite sports team. Take a picture that reflects your rooting interests. BELIEVE that education is the foundation of a successful life, take a picture of that. BELIEVE in your children? BELIEVE in gravity? BELIEVE the world is flat? If you think about it, you BELIEVE in a lot of things.

Happy photo harvesting!

Tenderloin Appreciation Society – Oskaloosa Field Work

Last Saturday, when Teresa and I were out harvesting town signs, I was hoping to finally hit the first destination on The Tenderloin Trail 2.0. Wood Iron Grille is one of the stops. So I planned for us to eat lunch there, when we hit the Oskaloosa area. Unfortunately, and this is on me, they don’t open until 4 PM on Saturdays.

Instead we dined at a quaint little downtown restaurant called Tasos Steakhouse. While I didn’t get to hit the Tenderloin Trail, your humble narrator did do some tenderloining.

Here are some cruddy cell phone pictures:


Tenderloining at Tasos Steakhouse

Tenderloining at Tasos Steakhouse

Tenderloining at Tasos Steakhouse

Tenderloining at Tasos Steakhouse

Tenderloining at Tasos Steakhouse

Tenderloining at Tasos Steakhouse

Tenderloining at Tasos Steakhouse

Tenderloining at Tasos Steakhouse

You’ve seen the pictures now, but how do I break down the experience? Well it goes a little something like this:

THE GOOD

+ Good bun.
+ Toasted bun.
+ The fried cheese curds were exquisite.
+ Service was friendly.
+ Got food recommendations from some locals.
+ Didn’t nail the meat to bun ratio, but pretty close.
+ Served Pepsi products.

THE BAD

+ Standard has lettuce and tomatoes.
+ Red onions. I mean not the end of the world, but definitely not my tenderloin onion of choice.
+ A little on the bland side.
+ Too thin, not quite, but dangerously close the pork fritter territory.

THE UGLY

+ Fries were a disappointment.

I don’t have any tenderloins currently planned, but I’m sure it is only a matter of time before the universe puts one in my path again.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is BLUE:



BLUE

BLUE! What a great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is BLUE photo? A BLUE photo is simply a picture where the color BLUE is a major compositional element of your image.

Happy photo harvesting!

Tenderloin Appreciation Society – Slater Field Work

Last Sunday, after an emotional church service, Teresa and I went to Luther because I was having a hankering for the tenderloin there and I badly need to get started on the Tenderloin Trail 2.0. As we approached the restaurant, it was clear that is was so packed that there wasn’t anywhere to park. Rather than wait, we soldiered on.

I headed east and then south to Slater. We have often dined at Cole’s in Slater, but I’m efforting to try places that I haven’t supped at before and I have heard promising things about Nite Hawk. That is where we ended up. It was busy, but we were able to get a table right away.

My 5 word review is, they have a really good tenderloin.

Here are some cruddy cell phone pictures:


Tenderloining at Nite Hawk Bar & Grill

Tenderloining at Nite Hawk Bar & Grill

Tenderloining at Nite Hawk Bar & Grill

Tenderloining at Nite Hawk Bar & Grill

Tenderloining at Nite Hawk Bar & Grill

Tenderloining at Nite Hawk Bar & Grill

Tenderloining at Nite Hawk Bar & Grill

Tenderloining at Nite Hawk Bar & Grill

Tenderloining at Nite Hawk Bar & Grill

Tenderloining at Nite Hawk Bar & Grill

Here is how I break down the experience:

THE GOOD

+ Good bun.
+ Toasted bun.
+ Good cut of meat. Good thickness.
+ Proper meat to bun ratio.
+ Flavorful breading.
+ Fried mushrooms were divine. The onion rings were also good.
+ Service was really good.

THE BAD

+ Standard is with lettuce and tomatoes, which don’t belong on a tenderloin.
+ The tenderloin doesn’t come with fries or anything standard, so that is an extra cost.
+ Red onions.

THE UGLY

+ Serve Coke products.

I will add that Teresa’s Reuben was also delicious. I had it for supper that night while I watched season 2 of YOU. I really, strongly dislike Love.

I’m not sure when the next tenderloin will come down the chute, but I’m hitting the open road on Sunday with Michelle, so it is certainly possible that it will be soon.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is RELIGION:


WEEK 322 - RELIGION
RELIGION

RELIGION! What a great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is a RELIGION picture? It is simply a picture of anything relating to the practice of a RELIGION. It can be a book used in the practice of a RELIGION. It can be a building that is used in the practice of a RELIGION. It could be a symbol of a RELIGION. It can be a picture of somebody practicing their RELIGION. So many possibilities!

Happy photo harvesting!

Tenderloin Appreciation Society – Indianola Field Work

Last Friday night, as soon as the whistle blew ending my shift in the computer mine, I took off like a shot for Indianola. I was going there to take pictures of Kyle’s last football game, but I was also going there to try a new tenderloin.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association recently announced their winner for the 2021 Iowa’s Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin. The winner was Victoria Station in Harlan. The runner-up was Larsen’s Pub in Elk Horn.

The other finalists were Old Road Cafe & Bar in Emerson, Stalker’s Pub in Miles, and Z’s Eatery and Draught Haus in Indianola.

On Friday, we dined at Z’s Eatery and Draught Haus in Indianola.

My 5 word review is that it is a good but not great tenderloin, however, I’m not sure it is fair to really judge them for reasons I will get into.

Here are some cruddy cell phone pictures:


Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

Tenderloining at Z's Eatery and Draught House

A few things to not right off the bat. While Andy, Shannon, and Shannon’s Jason were all in attendance only Shannon gets credit for tenderloining. Andy wussed out at the last second and Shannon’s Jason is on some kind of diet.

Second, it was a little bit of a struggle to get the last few bites of this tenderloin down. Not because the tenderloin wasn’t good, but because we ordered two appetizers. I assumed we would get plenty of help on them, but Shannon’s Jason and his diet only allowed him to take a few hunks of meat off the loaded fries. He passed on the mozzarella logs.

Then, did I mention that Andy was being a wuss? He was also little to no help on the loaded fries because they had mustard and pickles on them. So I was forced, as a man of honor, to eat more than my equitable share.

However, I did finish the last few bites to get that picture of the empty plate. I did these even though I was given ample peer pressure to just move the remains of the sandwich off the plate and take a picture of a lie. I refused to take a picture of such a filthy lie! You know that I always speak 100% the truth. When it comes to tenderloins, it is 110% the truth. I ate every last bite of that tenderloin and took a picture of an empty plate. Empty that is, with the exception of a big old helping of the truth. Not all HEROes wear capes. Some indulge heavily on fried pork goodness.

But you already knew about my innate goodness, but what about the innate goodness of the tenderloin?

THE GOOD

+ Good bun.
+ Right kind of bun.
+ Good cut of meat. Good thickness.
+ Proper meat to bun ratio.
+ Good breading.

THE BAD

+ Bland tasting.
+ Bun was toasted, but barely.

THE UGLY

+ No onions

So the restaurant wasn’t serving onions because of the recent outbreak of food poisonings caused by onions. The onion is an essential part of the tenderloin experience. It makes it hard to judge this tenderloin completely. Perhaps onions would have made the sandwich less bland. In fact, I know it would have.

I do have high hopes for the winning tenderloin in Harlan. It is served in a 131 year-old steakhouse in what looks to be an old train depot. It is also served on Texas Toast and garlic aioli.

I’ll be getting that trip put on my calendar very soon. Jesse and Bill have already signed on. If you are interested, let me know. My guess is it will probably be a Sunday supper as they are only open from 4-9 on Sundays and Saturdays for the foreseeable future are dedicated to the Iowa State Cyclones.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is HEREO:


WEEL 320 - HERO

But what is a HERO photo? A HERO photo is a picture of somebody that is considered a HERO. Might be a personal HERO of yours. Don’t everybody ask to take my picture at once. Once at a time… Or it can be a picture of a fictional character. It can be somebody you know in everyday life or like in the theme reveal image it can be somebody you have never met. This week is Halloween. I bet you will see all sorts of people out and about dressed like HEROes. That is a happy coincidence, though. The order of the themes were selected randomly last November.

Happy photo harvesting!

Tenderloin Appreciation Society – Working at Home

Would you believe that I haven’t posted a tenderloining post since February 5… of 2020? I mean, that just flat out sucks people. I know there are much worse things that have happened due to the horribly mismanaged pandemic, but throw that log on the dumpster fire too.

It isn’t that I haven’t had any tenderloins in the last year. I’ve been to Cole’s for their tenderloin. Sat outside in a Slater park, re-acquainting myself with greatness. And… that is it. I’ve had a few home tenderloins, but I think that this is the only tenderloin I’ve had from a restaurant.

Now make it a second tenderloin I’ve had since the beginning of the pandemic. Usually on Friday, my Mom picks up lunch from a local restaurant and brings it to me, to eat in the moments when I put down my pick. Usually that means garlic chicken from New China or the Friday rib special from Jimmy’s.

We’ve been trying to branch out in the last few weeks. A couple Fridays ago she brought me the tenderloin from Toby K’s Hideaway. Now this is a tenderloin that I’ve had and enjoyed before, but have never officially reviewed.

It isn’t quite fair to review it under these circumstances, for reasons I will get into, but I think a fair overview of the tenderloin is that it is a good, but not great tenderloin. I’d definitely knock a few of these down, but it doesn’t belong in the Tenderloin Pantheon. So few do.

Here are some cruddy cell phone pictures:


Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway
The problem with properly reviewing this tenderloin is pretty obvious in this picture.

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway
Yes, that is clearly my bathroom in the background. Yes I considered cropping that out. Yes I chose not to crop it out.

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Whenever I review a tenderloin, I order it with what they put on it. There is a proper way to dress a tenderloin and it is the following:

+ Mustard
+ Ketchup
+ Onions
+ Pickles

Look at this picture again:


Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Now you’ll notice that they have dressed the tenderloin with the following:

+ Mayo
+ Onions
+ Pickles
+ Tomato
+ Lettuce

As you can see…


Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

I went ahead and added the mustard and ketchup. I didn’t hold the lack of mustard and ketchup against them because most restaurants serve the tenderloin without mustard and ketchup. Since they are on the table and you can dress the tenderloin with whatever amounts of mustard and ketchup you want.

I personally don’t believe that lettuce or tomato belong on a tenderloin. A burger. Fine. A tenderloin. Nope.

I don’t hold it against a restaurant that does it though. Well, don’t hold it against them much. Some restaurants will have a menu item called the “Tenderloin Deluxe”. All it is, is a tenderloin that they’ve added lettuce and tomato to the mix. Nice try restaurant. You aren’t getting an extra 75 cents out of me.

Usually when I get a tenderloin with lettuce and tomato, to effectively review it, I will eat the first half of it with the lettuce and tomato and then remove them and enjoy the rest of the tenderloin the way God and the pig intended it.

Here is where it gets problematic. The tenderloin I was presented with included mayo. That would normally be a major strike against it. Maybe you like mayo on your tenderloin. That is between you, the pig, and your maker. But it goes 100% against the standards set by the Tenderloin Appreciation Society at The Council of Nicea.

The problem is, I can’t hold that against the restaurant. Putting mayo on the tenderloin was not their idea. My Mom asked them to add mayo. I don’t know why. She must take me for a godless heathen.

So here is my review, but because of the mayo issue, it is for entertainment purposes only. As opposed to the seriousness you give my normal tenderloin reviews.

THE GOOD

+ Toasted bun.
+ Right kind of bun.
+ Good bun to tenderloin ratio.
+ Good breading.
+ Good cut of meat. Could have been thicker though.
+ Onion rings were delicious.

THE BAD

+ Standard tenderloin is served with lettuce and tomato. Lettuce and tomato don’t belong on a tenderloin.
+ A tad greasy. Yeah, it is a tenderloin, but greasy enough that this should’ve been drained longer.
+ Prefer a thicker cut of meat.
+ Red onions.

THE UGLY

+ Mayo. Not their fault, but mayo!

I hope to have another tenderloin to review in the near future. Even if that means going through the Dairy Queen drive-thru and having a pork fritter. Just kidding! A pork fritter is NOT a pork tenderloin. But, I could get desperate.

2009-10-31

There is a diverse collection of images in the folder 2009-10-31. Some of the pictures are from when I went tenderloining with the Defeneffes to Goldie’s Ice Cream Shoppe in Prairie City. Some are from when I used to have people I actually know trick-or-treat at my house. The rest are from when I was dog sitting Sara’s pooch Jupiter.

Have a look:


Tenderloining at Goldie's Ice Cream Shoppe

Tenderloining at Goldie's Ice Cream Shoppe

Tenderloining at Goldie's Ice Cream Shoppe

Tenderloining at Goldie's Ice Cream Shoppe

Tenderloining at Goldie's Ice Cream Shoppe

Tenderloining at Goldie's Ice Cream Shoppe

Halloween - 2009

Halloween - 2009

Halloween - 2009

Halloween - 2009

Halloween - 2009

Halloween - 2009

Halloween - 2009

The Jupiter Chronicles

The Jupiter Chronicles

The Jupiter Chronicles

The Jupiter Chronicles

The Jupiter Chronicles

The Jupiter Chronicles

The Jupiter Chronicles

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

Samhain
Jupiter Chronicles
Tenderloining It! 2009

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Johnathan.

Tenderloin Appreciation Society – Three Strikes

I went through a long drought where I didn’t experience a good (new) tenderloin for several months. I decided not to torture my people with 3 separate entries on 3 bad tenderloins. I decided just to knock them all out in one swoop.


Big Al’s BBQ – Des Moines, Iowa

Back in May, Mom, Teresa, and Sheri went to Big Al’s BBQ in Des Moines to try their tenderloin. It was somewhat hyped as a tenderloin that was smoked and then fried. Baby Got Rack tried something similar once and couldn’t make it work. This also doesn’t work.

Although I will say that there service was good, the owner was awesome, and all their other food was good.

Here are some pictures:


Tenderloining at Big Al's BBQ

Tenderloining at Big Al's BBQ

Tenderloining at Big Al's BBQ

Tenderloining at Big Al's BBQ

Tenderloining at Big Al's BBQ

Tenderloining at Big Al's BBQ

Tenderloining at Big Al's BBQ

It was the best of the 3 tenderloins in this entry, but it wasn’t good. It did have many of the qualities of a good tenderloin. Decent breading. Good size. Proper thickness. But the smoky flavor just didn’t work.


GroVer Flavors – Van Meter, Iowa

I’m not going to pile on this tenderloin. This restaurant has since closed because the owner has lung cancer.

Here are a few pictures:


Tenderloining at GroVer Flavors

Tenderloining at GroVer Flavors

Tenderloining at GroVer Flavors

Tenderloining at GroVer Flavors

It was burnt. It was too thin. Let’s not dwell on it.


Whistlin’ Donkey – Woodward, Iowa

Whistlin’ Donkey was also a disappointment and by far one of the worst restaurant experiences I’ve ever had. From the time we ordered, until the time we got our food, it was over 90 minutes.

Here are some pictures:


Tenderloining at Whistlin' Donkey

Tenderloining at Whistlin' Donkey

Tenderloining at Whistlin' Donkey

Tenderloining at Whistlin' Donkey

Tenderloining at Whistlin' Donkey

Tenderloining at Whistlin' Donkey

I do remember them having an appetizer that was delicious, but now I can’t remember what it was. I think the high point of this tenderloin is that it had a toasted bun.

As I look at these pictures, I see that my tenderloin photography wasn’t always the best. As I pursue tenderloins in 2020, I will also effort to improve the quality of the tenderloin photography.

This is my solemn vow!