We met some friends at a little wayside bar deep in the Indiana boondocks. The little place is next to the tracks in a dying farming town with hundreds, not thousands, of inhabitants. This little burg is not too far where my ancestors first settled when Indiana was a brand new state and wild and wooded two centuries ago.
This little bar serves up a great tenderloin and generally the fare is quality and cheap. The wife and our friends each ordered up a breaded tenderloin. I went off script and called for a cheeseburger. I was craving a thick, greasy beef patty with onion, tomato, and pickle.
Counting ours, three tables in the dining room side were occupied. I knew things were off track when the wife was told they were out of onion rings. After ten minutes or so the laconic waitress moseyed out to explain they only had one tenderloin left. Our companions ordered alternatives and we settled in to wait. And wait. And wait some more.
The people at the next table, who were waiting on food when we stepped in from the blustery misty evening went to the back to complain. Shortly thereafter the cook brought out one plate of food, explaining chicken takes a long time(!?). At this point we had been there almost an hour! That table got their second plate a few minutes later. The food was apparently wrong. When the guy complained, the cook got just a bit more than testy. The customer told her where to put the food and left.
I guess at that point she started cooking our food because we finally started getting plates, one at a time, about ten minutes later. My burger sucked. It was a chewy frozen hamburger. The wife and other couple thought their meal was a two on the ten scale too. Oh well, $20 bucks for two meals including drinks isn't too bad and usually the food is great. I guess it was a bad night for the chef de cuisine.
We went over to our friends' and spent the balance of evening paying cards. In all it was a good Saturday, despite a less-than-great dining experience.
Bummer. It sounds like they need a new cook. At least the rest of the evening was redeemed.
I miss Indiana tenderloins. No one outside of Indiana knows what they are and mail order doesn't seem practical.
Buy some thin boneless pork chops. Pound them very thin with a meat mallet or rolling pin.
Mix egg and milk like you would for French toast. Dredge meat then cover in crushed Ritz crackers.
Pan fry in vegetable oil until golden brown on both sides.
Taste of home
I'm filing that recipe away for another homecooked treat.
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