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Iowa’s 5 Best Breaded Pork Tenderloins: Join the Tenderloin Challenge
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Iowa’s 5 Best Breaded Pork Tenderloins: Join the Tenderloin Challenge

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a huge fan of pork tenderloins. They’re generally not my first pick off a menu. Unless they’re an award-winning tenderloin, that is. For some reason, I feel compelled to try the reigning Iowa Pork Producers Association’s pick for Best-Breaded Tenderloin every year. I figure they must know a thing or two about good pork.

The Association has been naming Iowa’s Best Breaded Pork Tenderloins since 2003. (Though one year they named the Best-Grilled Tenderloin.) I’ve tried nine of the fourteen, which means I have some catching up to do! All of the ones I’ve tried, it should go without saying, were quite delicious.

This year, however, I’m thinking maybe I need to try the top five tenderloins of 2016. Care to join me in this challenge? Here’s where we’ll need to go:

1.) Nick’s (1106 Army Post Road, Des Moines):

This one took top honors for 2016. Eighty percent of Nick’s sales are tenderloins so the restaurant is clearly doing something right. Judges praised the tenderloin for its crunch and flavor. The tenderloins come in two sizes: a “queen” (six to seven ounces) or “king” (12-13 ounces). 

2.) 1901 Chop Haus (602 Second Street, Traer):

The runner-up for 2016. The hand-cut tenderloin is made to order and you can get it grilled, Haus-beer battered or Haus-breaded. It comes in two sizes – five or eight ounces.

The other top five finalists:

3.) Sweet ‘N Saucy (117 N Court St, Fairfield)

4.) Stumpy’s Bar & Grill (423 Main St, Duncombe)

5.) Willie's Sports Bar & Grill (10 1st St NW, Hampton)

Is your favorite tenderloin restaurant on this list? Let me know in the comments.


Leave a Comment

  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    We're sure Iowa's up to the challenge! Thanks for the post!
    Log in to reply.
  2. ed0872
    You need to check out the tenderloin at the New Home Cafe in Clarion. I'm a little biased because my parents own it but some of the other places voted best in the past didn't even come close.
    Log in to reply.
  3. JessicaO
    Thanks for the tip! So many good tenderloin options. :)
    Log in to reply.


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