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Sep 9, 2006 02:12 AM

Looking for breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches in Chicago

I will be traveling to Chicago for a one day business trip flying into and out of Midway and will be in the McKinley Park neighborhood. I would like the opportunity to try a deep-fried breaded pork tenderloin sandwich for lunch that might be convenient. I would appreciate any suggestions.

What am I asking about? My website photo collection tells all.

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  1. Breaded Pork tenderloins are popular at the local German and Polish restaurants.
    Bobak's on South Archer Avenue near midway airport or Gilmart's on South Archer Avenue.
    Resi's Bier Stube at 2100 W. Irving Park Road on the Northside is great. Authentic German food, atmosphere, and bier.
    Mirabell on Addison Street a couple blocks east of the Kennedy expressway for authentic German food, bier, and atmosphere.

    2 Replies
    1. re: amoncada

      Thanks, amoncada. I've been to Bobak's and was duly impressed. I don't think they serve a breaded pork tenderloin per se, but they do serve a lot of pork in different ways. I love that place. Downtown I did have an open face breaded pork tenderloin sandwich at Petros on Randolph across from City Hall. I will check out your other suggestions.

      1. re: Davydd

        Your welcome. Did you check out Bobaks butcher shop and grocery store nextdoor? Pretty impressive. I must say however, that as of a few years ago, Bobak's began distributing nationally or at least shipping accross the nation. Anyway, almost without exception you will notice a change in the ingredients when meat purveyors go national. Take a look at Bobak's labels...they're full of ingredients common in mass produced meats. Dextrose, MSG, etc, etc. For much better prepared Polish meats, stick with the smaller local butcher/grocers like Gilmarts on South Archer Avenue or Kurowski's on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square. I went to Kurowski's the other day to buy some Kielbasa for a barbacue and was duly impressed with the selection of sausages. The only problem was that there were dozens of varieties that looked exactly the same. The store employees do not speak English so I finally found a shopper to help me out...great stuff I say!

    2. Loved your website and your obsession with the "pork tenderloin sandwich"...sorry I don't have a restaurant to recommend.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Remoulade

        Remoulade, I know if you go outstate Illinois you will find them. What I am finding in around Chicago is a Bohemian interpretation of the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. Instead of being on a sandwich bun they will more than likely be served with toasted bread. They are probably a tad bit closer to their Weiner Schnitzel roots.

        1. re: Davydd

          I grew up in Ottawa, IL about 70 miles SW of Chicago and regularly ate pork tenderloins just like you are looking for; However, I have never found them in the Chicago area. Don't know if you are up for a roadtrip??

          1. re: marciab

            I've been known to make a road trip or two for a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. ;) Check out my web site. But I wll be in Chicago for a short 8 hours on business so Ottawa or other outer reaches are out this coming Tuesday.

      2. I'm sure that you were well aware, but it seems that some pork loins (very tender, I'm sure) have disguised themselves, gone undercover and are hiding amongst the tenderloins on your site.

        4 Replies
        1. re: YoYoPedro

          Yes, I know. In fact if you go to my tutorial website you will see I have experimented with cut pork loin as well and found there really is not a lot of difference in taste. They are still pounded out. Notice, reluctantly, I did post a pork fritter as well just for educational purposes--Tony's from Angola. Pork chops, pork loins and pork tenderloins all come from the backside of a hog. Pork tenderloin and pork loin cuts seem very similar but pork chops don't have the same texture. I do need to go to a butcher and get more specific information.

          1. re: Davydd

            It wouldn't work this time around, but for your future quests, if you are into auto racing, RoadAmerica in Elkhart Lake, WI, may be the only racetrack with a food stand serving butterflied pork loin sandwiches at the track. Each food stand is individually manged by different community groups, and only one stand sells the pork loin sandwich. Very tasty, served with BBQ sauce. I don't remember it as being breaded, however.

            1. re: YoYoPedro

              They sell a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich at the Indianapolis 500 Race and I would place even bets the new Iowa race track will have them next year when the IRL races there for the first time. Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet might have them but I have not gone there.

              1. re: Davydd

                Ugh, IRL! I guess that's a whole 'nuther thread... ;-)

        2. I went to college in NE Iowa so I know the breaded pork tenderloins like you are looking for. I live about 40 miles west of Chicago and a few country (meaning "out in the country") bars have them, it just would not be practical for you on this trip.

          2 Replies
          1. re: LikestoEatout

            I would imagine some of the neighborhood bars in Chicago might have them as well but they are the kind of places you would never find in a web search. Kind of the reason I am asking. :)

            1. re: Davydd

              Have you tried a post to the It's Chicago centric and I believe this was covered there a year ago.

          2. I don't think you will find a classic rural Midwestern pork tenderloin sandwich anywhere in the Chicago area. Some places produce terrific dishes using pork tenderloin or cutlets, but they differ in many details from the rural classic. Grad school in the 1960s was in one of the ag disciplines at Purdue, so I know what this sandwich is supposed to be.

            Polish restaurants often produce a good breaded pork tenderloin that will never be mistaken for the rural classic. The best of these that I have tasted was snitched from my wife's tenderloin at Angelica's (3244 North Milwaukee).

            Mexican restaurants do some amazing things with pork pounded almost tissue thin in their Milanesa. The best sandwich of this type I have had in Chicago was a cemita at Taqueria Puebla (now at 3619 West North Avenue). Look at for an illustration. This is a great sandwich.

            The closest to Chicago that I have had a classic pork tenderloin sandwich was at a family restaurant on US 24 just east of US 41 in Kentland, IN. Unfortunately, the restaurant changed owners, and the new owners switched to some prebreaded flaked-and-formed food service junk.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Eldon Kreider

              Eldon, That was one nice looking sandwich.