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MSP-craving breaded fried pork tenderloin sandwich

Last time I had this was more than 10 years ago. Any place in the Twin Cities area that have a good one? Crispy, but not greasy, tender moist meat. Sigh.

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  1. I had one at Sandy's Tavern years ago, that I don't remember being greasy.

    Here's the link:


    1 Reply
    1. re: miki

      Double that. Plus it'll only be like four bucks, you're supporting a neighborhood establishment, and it's just plain fun besides.

    2. The one at Porky's on University Avenue is pretty good.

      1. There is this old thread on the subject: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/124644

        I remembered it because I love, love love pork tenderloin sandwiches. I look forward to reading about new finds.

        7 Replies
        1. re: justalex

          I grew up in Terre Haute, IN ( I know, Hellmouth), and we used to eat the pork tenderloin sandwiches at Spelterville Tavern, in the dinky suburb of Spelterville (surrounded by strip pits. The restaurant is a bar and a family room.) The tenderloin was so big, you could cut it in half and make two sandwiches. A great deal. Don't know if it's there anymore.

          I grew up in deep-fried heaven: tenderloins, mushrooms, chicken.

          Culver's doesn't cut it. It's not bad for a quick fix, though.

          Porky's is a step up from that. I just love Porky's in the summer. If you've never been there, go in summer, on a Friday or Saturday night..

          But Sandy's is the best I've had, up here in the tundra.

          1. re: miki

            I haven't been to Porky's in at least five years but I remember their sandwich was very decent. I'll make it a point to get to Sandy's and check it out. Your post has me craving deep fried mushrooms now...:)

            1. re: miki

              I went to school in Terre Haute in the 80's, and we used to eat tenderloins at the Red Onion (or was it Purple Onion? Either way, I don't think it's there anymore...) restaurant. The first time I ordered a tenderloin sandwich there, the plate came out with what looked like only the tenderloin patty itself on it. That is, until I picked it up and found both halves of the hoagie-style bun sitting side-by-side, completely hidden by the patty itself.

              I haven't found anything comparable in the Twin Cities, either, but, as mentioned elsewhere, Culvers does for a quick fix, and it's probably more in keeping with my current dietary requirements, size-wise...

              1. re: greghoffman

                Omigosh! The Red Onion! That was in the area of Twelve Points, where I grew up. Yep, I've had the tenderloin there. I don't remember how it compared to Spelterville's; I suspect it was probably better. They served something Mexican, too, that my family liked; I don't remember what it was.

                1. re: miki

                  Yeah, I'd forgotten what they called that area. The last time I went through Terre Haute, I actually made a point of driving past where I thought the Red Onion was, and it wasn't there anymore (or my memory was shot).

                  And when I didn't order the tenderloin, there _was_ some kind of typically Hoosier-ized "Mexican" dish that was pretty good, too, but I don't remember what it was, either. I seem to remember a large amount of goopy cheese and a heap of shredded iceberg lettuce piled on top, though...

                  1. re: greghoffman

                    The Red Onion is in Sheridan, IN north of Indianapolis and is no where near Terre Haute.

                    1. re: Davydd

                      No, there was a Red Onion in Terre Haute. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the business moved elsewhere, though. Twelve Points was a little depressed and rough, at least back then.

                      I think the Mexican dish might have been called a Chimichanga, but I'm not sure.

          2. You might take a look at this website, lots of pork tenderloin sandwich info for MN and surrounding states.


            3 Replies
            1. re: Hankdad1

              Wow, I want this person's life. LOL!

              I'm still drooling, and I think I gained ten pounds just looking at the photos. (Tender-porn? Loin-porn? Hm, both WAY too creepy.)

              My husband was demoing the pork tenderloin at Costco the other day, and a guest told him his restaurant used to serve the breaded kind in a northern suburb years ago, and they went through a lot of it. The place is closed now, and he didn't say the name, but I wonder if one of those on the blog might have been the place.

              1. re: miki

                I'd rather have a cut from the shoulder, or butt of the pork, the loin is dry and has hardly any fat(flavor) IMO.

                1. re: Fudist

                  It maybe a dryer meat, but the ones I used to have were probably pounded flat prior to breading and frying, and they were as big as a frisbee. Maybe the fact that they were thin ( little over 1/4 inch) make them taste not dry at all. Being deep fried also takes care of the lack of fat part. I've seen thicker and smaller cuts of fried tenderloins in MN but yet to find the "frisbee loin" here in the Twin Cities.

            2. Here is a list of restaurants that I have had pork tenderloin sandiwiches in Minnesota.

              MINNESOTA (33)

              5-8 Club, Minneapolis, MN
              Adrian's, Minneapolis, MN
              Alleygators, Maple Grove, MN
              Angry Trout, Grand Marais, MN
              Benchwarmer Bob's, Burnsville, MN - CLOSED
              Bunny's, St. Louis Park, MN
              Buffalo Tap, Savage, MN
              Casper and Runyon's Nook, St. Paul, MN
              Crystal Cafe, Crystal, MN
              Culver's, Navarre, MN
              Elsie's - Minneapolis, MN
              Grumpy's Downtown, Minneapolis, MN - Off menu?
              Ideal Diner, Minneapolis, MN
              Jurassic Stand, Minnesota State Fair, MN
              Lookout Bar & Grill, Maple Grove, MN
              Loon Restaurant - Minneapolis, MN
              Lyon's Pub - Minneapolis, MN
              Machine Shed, Lake Elmo, MN
              Minnetonka Drive In, Spring Park, MN
              Ox Yoke Inn, Independence, MN
              Park Tavern, St. Louis Park, MN
              Peppermint Twist Drive-in, Delano, MN
              Pine Cone Restaurant, Faribault, MN
              Porky's, St. Paul, MN
              Rail Station, Minneapolis, MN
              Red Rooster (grilled), Long Lake, MN
              Rustic Inn Cafe, Castle Danger, MN
              Shamrocks, St. Paul, MN
              Slippery's, Wabasha, MN
              Snuffy's, Minnetonka, MN - Special sometimes
              Sully's, Minneapolis, MN
              Tony Jaros, Minneapolis, MN
              Wampach's Restaurant, Shakopee, MN

              15 Replies
              1. re: Davydd

                This is gold. I and my arteries thank you! LOL

                1. re: Davydd

                  Alleygators, Maple Grove, MN, has been closed a while now.

                  1. re: Bobannon

                    Yep, Alleygators website is gone. I also heard that Grumpy's downtown quit serving them but have not confirmed it. Once tried I seldom go back having sampled over a 100 BPTs across 15 states. Where do I go back? Every year to Nick's Kitchen in Huntington, IN if I can and Grindstone Charley's in Speedway, IN every Friday night before the Indianapolis 500 race.

                    1. re: Davydd

                      Am I interpreting this correctly: there's no place in the Twin Cities that does BPT's well enough to get your repeat business?


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Too many to try. In the Twin Cities the Minnetonka Drive In in Spring Park gets my repeat business. It i a true carhop great classic seasonal drive in. Lyon's Pub on 6th also gets my repeat business but since I no longer work downtown I get there maybe twice a year now at most. But the bartender still knows my name. :)

                        The worst? Porky's without a doubt, yet they are the quintessential image of where you'd think to go for a BPT. If anyone thinks they are good then they haven't tried enough of them to judge.

                        I haven't been to Mady's yet in NE Minneapolis or Sandy's Tavern mentioned in this thread. When I first started looking in the Twin Cities I didn't think I would have had as much success as I did. Just about every bar/grill, diner and cafe in Iowa and Indiana will serve a BPT but maybe 1 in 10 to 20 here in the Twin Cities.

                      2. re: Davydd

                        Davydd: Hard to believe that you haven't found a good one in Iowa ...

                        1. re: hawkeyeui93

                          I've found many good ones in Iowa. I've had every IPPA best breaded pork tenderloin sandwich winner and many more.

                          Update to my last comment. I understand Mady's is closed. Never made it as is Porky's. I had another one at Lyon's Pub last month. The waitress said it may be discontinued but they haven't had a menu update in years.

                          BTW, I am up to 146 different restaurants in 23 states and Canadian provinces since last posting in this thread. I have an ambitious RV trip this coming spring of which I am sure will add a few to the list.

                          Here's Wally's in Bloomington...

                          1. re: Davydd

                            Davydd is your blog not working?

                            1. re: ibew292

                              It died with the discontinuance of Apple's MobileMe website hosting in July 2012. I had since created a Facebook group open to all, "Pursuing Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches" so anyone can contribute. I figured that was enough.

                              Plus I post them on Twitter instantaneously often from the restaurant. That's enough to bore family and friends. :)

                              1. re: Davydd

                                I may have to learn about Twitter.

                            2. re: Davydd

                              Skip Sandy's, breaded ground pork. Wally's was OK especially for the price.

                              1. re: ibew292

                                Was Sandy's actual ground pork like you can buy in a supermarket or was it some kind of processed and pressed mystery pork parts like chicken nuggets are made? The latter is known as a "fritter" and is quite common as they are made up in processing plants, formed, breaded, frozen and shipped to restaurants.

                                Wally's is real pork cutlets. They don't seem to try to pound them flat and tenderize them. The $2.99 price is a real bargain.

                                1. re: Davydd

                                  Sandy's was mystery meat. NE Yacht Club doesn't pound to much but some, also their breading wasn't bread it was more like a wash. I need to get to Lyons,do you get it WO the BBQ sauce and cheese?

                                  1. re: ibew292

                                    Lyons Pub took it off their new menu and will only offer it as a special for now on. I usually got it without BBQ sauce and cheese.

                                    Nordeast style is more a batter than breading and often on toast instead of a bun.

                                    The Ideal Diner on Central Avenue had a good tenderloin. I haven't been there for a while and I understand they may have had an ownership change. So who knows.

                                    Two of the best were places that closed in Alleygators in Maple Grove and Benchwarmer Bob's in Burnsville. The Railstation in SE Minneapolis and Bunny's in St. Louis Park had good ones when I tried them.

                      3. re: Davydd

                        Big disappointment Rail Station now has a mystery meat Pork Tenderloin. How can they call it Tenderloin when it is mystery meat?

                      4. Culvers is decent... Bunny's is better.

                        1. I know that Axels in Loretto used to serve a very good fried pork tenderloin sandwich. I've moved away from the area but they used to have it. It seems like it wasn't on the regular menu, but served as a special. On Mondays as I recall.

                          1. wally's has a $2.99 breaded fried pork tenderloin sandwich special on mondays

                            8120 Penn Ave S
                            Bloomington MN 55431

                            1. Has anyone tried the one at the NE Yacht Club. They hand pound it out. Ordered a burger which was good and then after finishing the Bartender told me about the Pork Tenderloin, I need to get back there to try it.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: ibew292

                                I've had the Yacht Club's several times, and it is passable at best; nothing to go out of your way for.

                                1. re: SmartCookie

                                  Just had it and I think it is the best I have had in Minnesota. Served on grilled toast with a very light coating crisp and not greasy, had fried onions on it also. Good....

                              2. Culver's has it on their menu - it's not great - a bit overpriced - but once in awhile - it hits the spot.

                                1. Not really in MSP, but the Dalles House in St. Croix Falls has one of the best I've ever had. They brine the tenderloins and coat them with panko. I think it's only on their lunch menu though.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: jeff55432

                                    I just checked the lunch menu of the Dalles House and find no breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. Do they have specials not on the menu? Do they not keep their menu up-to-date? Or has it simply been discontinued and the menu is up-to-date?


                                    1. re: Davydd

                                      I emailed a suspiciously named "sonya fry" who claimed it was on "page two " of the lunch menu. the email was titled " Pork Fritter "

                                      sonya said we can call her at 715 483 3246 just to be sure.

                                      here is a web menu from another source that lists the fritter (you will have to click on "lunch");


                                      1. re: zfwp

                                        Yes I think it is mystery meat. From the Dallas House Menu
                                        Porter Fritter Sandwhich $9.99
                                        Hand dipped pork tenderloin served with lettuce, tomato, onion, and a side of honey mustard. Already had one at Sandy's will not be driving that far for another.

                                        1. re: ibew292

                                          I've learned that when they say fritter the odds are it might be processed bits of pork. That's a fake term for real pork, but I have also found that the farther you get from Indiana, Iowa and Illinois it is also a misapplied term for a real pork tenderloin sandwich possibly through ignorance. I've also found in Texas they've called them "burgers" in a couple of instances. One time I passed on a "fritter" only later to discover it was real pork.

                                  2. Lyons Pub on 6th in downtown Minneapolis recently dropped their breaded pork tenderloin sandwich from their menu after several years. I got a call yesterday from them that it would be a special today. I'm heading down to try it. Their explanation was their quality was not up to speed when they had to have it on the menu every day, i.e. prepared frozen patties. Now that they can offer it as a special they can plan and prepare them fresh. We'll have to see.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Davydd

                                      Not pounded a little dry by the end, not served as a sandwich, but overall very tasty. Sorry to have missed you. The quest goes on. Thanks for the heads up about PT and the 1/2 off RV show.

                                      1. re: ibew292

                                        I guess the Lyons Pub special was more traditional Schnitzel like with mashed potatoes and gravy? My wife and I ordered ours as a traditional sandwich. She ordered hers plain with a sesame bun and I ordered mine in their traditional old menu style with cheese and BBQ sauce and onion bun.

                                        I always pride myself as I usually occupy the "Norm" seat at the end of the bar and Steve, the bartender, knows my name after nearly 7 years retired; but he remembered your name and mentioned you were there earlier. :)