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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 lthforum.com? 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 http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?... 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.

            2. Here's what I got so far but the locations are a stretch for a lunch stop from South Chicago.

              The Silo Restaurant
              Lake Bluff (way north)

              Taqueria Puebla
              3625 W. North Avenue (Mexican variation but looks good)

              Next to City Hall in the Loop (been there, open face, huge)

              1. Ottawa had the best, but I don't know where they currently are being served, in the old days Vic's and the bowling alleys were greeat.

                That being said, as much as I hate to say this, the closest I have found in Chicagoland is at Culvers. Yep. Give it a try with mustard, pickles and red onions.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mjpd

                  Culvers are everywhere. There is one just two miles up the road from my house in Minnesota. Culvers is definitely out.

                2. In Ottawa there is:

                  Shakers Pub
                  Route 23 @ I-80,exit # 90

                  In Marseilles, IL. exit 97 there is the Illini Lounge. Both use Ottawas Polancis (sp) pork.

                  Both are good, I like mayo, tobasco, onions, lettuce, and tomato on my breaded pork sandwich.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: swsidejim


                    Thanks for the information. Unfortunately, Ottawa is a tad too far for this trip. However, I often drive I-39 between Rockford and Bloomington on my way to Indianapols. Anything along that route would be appreciated as well.

                  2. davydd,

                    yeah ottawa/marseilles is far out there, I live in marseilles, and it is about 160 miles per day round trip commute. However the beer, and pork sandwiches are cheap and good. I-39 I believe is over near Lasalle/Peru, which is only about 10 miles from the Ottawa exit. Also if you like cajun food there is a great spot in Utica, near I-39 called Cajun Connection, a guy from Louisiana Cajun Ron does cajun the best I have had in the Chicago area, he puts Heaven on Seven , and the Maple Tree Inn to shame.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: swsidejim

                      I'm a huge fan of Ron's also, great food and a great friendly place. It's half way between my house and the in-laws in Peoria so it's an easy stop for us. He's about 5 miles east on Rte. 6 which is the exit off I-39 before the big bridge. As far as tenderloins go, as I said before, I'm about 40 miles west of Chicago and can get a decent tenderloin at the Blackberry Inn which is a little bar west of me and south of Elburn on Rte. 47

                      1. re: LikestoEatout

                        Cajun Ron is a character, I like the fact that he visits each table and talks food.
                        Ive never been to the Blackberry Inn in Elburn, where on Route 47 is it? My daily commute takes me onto Route 47 , and Im always looking for a good spot to eat dinner to break up the long ride home.

                        1. re: swsidejim

                          Yes, Ron himself is worth the trip there! Blackberry Inn is at the corner of Main Street and Rte 47 about 3 miles south of Elburn. Fisherman's Inn in on the opposite corner. Blackberry is mostly a bar with good food, small eating area. Good ruebens and breaded pork tenderloins.

                          1. re: LikestoEatout

                            thanks, I have seen it when I went to Fishermans Inn a few months back, didnt know if it was any good... I am going to give it a try one of these nights on the way home.

                    2. Down to Chicago and back in one day. Success on the tenderloin, sort of. I asked the construction superintendent I met with on site where a good breaded pork tenderloin place was. He called his secretary and had her call some restaurants he thought had them and to confirm. We found one not three blocks away on Archer west of Damen. The place was the New Archview Restaurant. The breaded pork tenderloin was billed as a hot pork tenderloin sandwich. It was a breaded pork tenderloin served open face on top of two slices of de-crusted white bread. It was served with mash potatoes and was covered with gravy. It tasted good. What I didn't expect for $6.30 was a bowl of split pea soup as a starter. The split pea soup was super.

                      Chicago seems to serve breaded pork tenderloins open face with gravy. I understand this is the Bohemian eastern European influence. Petros on the corner of La Salle and Randolph in the loop was the same way as was another restaurant, the Crystal Bohemian in Westmont. I posted a picture on my www.porktenderloinsandwich.com website.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Davydd


                        My first exposure to breaded pork tenderloin was at home growing up, my mom served it with mashed potatoes, and gravy., not as a sandwich.. I still sometimes order the sandwich when out, and order a side of mashed potatoes, and eat it without the bun...thanks for the heads up on the location in the city.

                        1. re: swsidejim

                          After having lunch at the New Archview we drove around some in the McKinley Park, Pulaski and Midway Airport areas and saw many more restaurants that looked like good candidates for a similar open face breaded pork tenderloin. They are probably there but just not findable on the Internet. The restaurants would most likely be neighborhood home style cooking, eclectic menu, breakfast/lunch/dinner place, independent family owned of eastern European ethnicity.

                          1. re: Davydd

                            The open face breaded pork tenderloin with gravy is pretty common in the independent family run restaurants all through Chicago and the suburbs, I didn't learn to love it in the sandwich form until I went to college in NE Iowa. Thanks to Davydd for tracking them down!

                      2. Hit the Blackberry Inn Yesterday in Elburn for lunch..., and had the Pork Tenderloin Sandwich. Not bad, the pork was 3x the size of the bun, and flavorfull. I had it topped with mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and Tobasco... good eating for around $6.00 w/fries.

                        Also $2.50 bottles of Bud.., and 3$, 1 pound hamburgers.....also other Sunday football specials.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: swsidejim

                          Duly noted but just a tad far out. I don't know if I will ever be in that vicinity.

                        2. The Tribune did a story almost exactly 1 year ago on pork tenderloins and where to find them in the Chicago area. I did a google search and the article is reprinted at the following link, but I'm afraid all the places mentioned have either come up in this thread already or are nowhere near Midway, although there are mentions of places in Peru and Rockford, and you did say you occasionally cruise I-39: http://www.lpths.org/bob_and_marjorie...