HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


Hoosier in search of a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich

I am from time to time struck with an insatiable craving for a pork tenderloin sandwich...does anyone know where I can find one in the Bay Area? I'm willing to drive.

To clarify, I'm talking about a sandwich that features a piece of pork pounded thin (nearly to the diameter of a dinner plate), breaded, and then deep fried. Served on an unimpressive white bun.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Boy, I wish! I have always wanted someone to gather regional sandwiches in a welcoming space with comfortable chairs, good parking, homemade soups, nice music and maybe a good magazine rack with planned days for each special sandwich, i.e. pork tenderloins and beef on a weck Mondays, Italian Beef and shrimp po'boys on Tuesdays, Muffaletta and bbq bologna Wednesdays, Meatball subs and Bagna Caudas on Thursday, Eggplant Parms and Ploughmans lunch on Fridays...

    until then, I make my own. Here is a good tutorial if you want a step by step lesson.


    1. Any of the good Torta (Mexican sandwiches) places will have Milanasa as an option for filling. Of course they put a lot more stuff on it and the roll can be quite good. It may fill your craving or perhaps create a new one!
      Just do a search for Torta on this board and you will get a list of places.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chefj

        Note that Milanese is made with beef around here.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I know that Otaez on International uses Pork. Torta loca uses beef. Oh! Speisekammer has a Schnitzel sandwich at lunch. If I remember right it is just breaded fried pork and mustard on a roll.

          2424 Lincoln Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

          3872 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

      2. This question comes up every few years. Have we ever found a satisfactory answer?

        1. Barclay's Pub (in Oakland, on College) has what it calls a "cajun flash fried pork tenderloin" sandwich, on a sesame bun. Never tried it, I think I've seen it at other tables and it is pounded thin but I'm not sure it will solve your hometown craving. I know how you feel - the St. Louisan in me is always looking for BBQ pork steaks and gerber sandwiches (with provel).

          1. Hmm ... I wonder if this inspired the Japanese to come up with tonkatsu sandwiches?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Debbie M

              Delica RF in the Ferry Building does a tonkatsu sandwich. I haven't tried it, but everything they make is good-to-excellent.

              1 Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA

            2. rhea's deli, on valencia st at 19th, offers a huge and tasty pork or chicken katsu sandwich. it's two thinly pounded breaded cutlets with slaw, pickled red onions and jalapenos, a spicy aioli, and tonkatsu sauce. and if you happen to be in the mission they even deliver via bike messenger.

              Rhea's Deli
              800 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

              3 Replies
              1. re: augustiner

                Checked out this place yesterday -- is it new? I used to come to this store fairly frequently and never noticed a sandwich counter.

                Anyway, the sandwich definitely did not satisfy the pork tenderloin craving, but I didn't expect it to. I just happened to see a picture of it on Yelp and was sold. I also got a vegetarian bbq sandwich for my husband and we split both. The verdict was that the bbq sandwich was fantastic, the pork tasted like it had been fried a long long time ago.

                But thanks for the tip -- I will definitely be back to this deli! However, the search for a pork tenderloin sandwich Hoosier-style continues...

                1. re: Absonot

                  after posting on this thread i had one of their katsu sandwiches, and while i still enjoyed it over all, i agree that the cutlets were not freshly fried.

                  1. re: Absonot

                    I realize this is not the original intent of your request....but if your craving is "insatiable" and since it is so simple to open up a tenderloin and pound it out...why not just make one? I realize in Iowa they are everywhere but not here. However, pork tenderloin is easy to find and easy to pound out not to mention white buns aren't a problem so have you tried it yourself?

                2. I'd suggest The Baltic in Point Richmond. They do an excellent schnitzel and other German specialities. I see they have a schnitzel sandwich on their menu.

                  1. Recent place very much in the requested vein, in downtown Mountain View, albeit with unusual hours (Monday lunches only):


                    1. You mean like this? So good!!!! I haven't found one in the Bay Area like they have them in Indiana. :(

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sacabeans

                        There was a restaurant in Dublin that had a huge sign outside: "Home of the pork tenderloin sandwich". They, and that sign, were there for decades. They are there no more, replaced by Los Pericos. Sign of the times, lol.

                        I agree that a torta Milanesa might fill the bill. Melanie is right that it's beef around here. You could ask "de puerco, por favor?" They've probably got pork around that they make al pastor with. (I'm referring to places that don't have a vertical spit. Which is most of them. They just cook pork on a grill to make faux pastor.)

                        For something different-but-related, a grilled pork banh mi is a modern day substitute here in California. Aren't we fortunate we aren't in Kansas any more, Toto. Because the food is sure a whole lot better out here.

                      2. Absonot and sacabeans, I see from the picture and description that what you folks are talking about is, indeed, not a katsu, but generically "Wienerschnitzel (or schnitzel, per chilihead2006) sandwich." A Wiener Schnitzel (Vienna cutlet) is a lean piece of meat (classically veal, but pork is also used) pounded thin, breaded, fried in deep fat, served crisp (with a cold vegetable salad usually, in Vienna, and wedges of lemon to squeeze over it). It was obviously adapted into a sandwich. So chefj's and chilihead2006's suggestions are good, and likely as close as you can find locally: Restaurants with Central-European menus will know about Wienerschnitzel, and some already offer sandwiches. (Of course it might not match Indiana memories -- just as Wienerschnitzel itself isn't the same outside Vienna, and no US beer is quite like what you can get in places that have made it for a few thousand years, etc. etc. But local approximations require less travel.)

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: eatzalot

                          I will confirm - by picture and description, that's a vienna schnitzel. I had a work period in vienna a few years back and found a little stall around the corner from the office. Knoblock Schnitzel was my usual order.

                          1. re: bbulkow

                            I wonder who locally does it with veal? I'd guess that's common in the Bay Area Central-European restaurants. (One in Sunnyvale that I used to frequent had Wienerschnitzel "lite," so to speak, using chicken cutlets.) Around Vienna the veal vs pork difference is important, because "authentic" ones are veal, which is more delicate, though they're similar. Over the years in that city's old center (1st district) I saw aggressive touts handing out little flyers for a touristy restaurant specializing in Wienerschnitzel -- I have one of the flyers in my Vienna food file -- I THINK the restaurant was Figlmuller, but would have to check. Anyway, years after I first saw those touts, I read that a scandal arose because the restaurant was passing off pork for veal (another indication it aimed for a tourist trade), which is more than just an issue of local gastronomic pride: Vienna's cosmopolitan population includes many people who observe strict religious dietary codes against pork.

                        2. I have been searching for these here FOREVER. I sometimes make my own with panko crumbs.
                          I've asked several places to make them, nothing yet.

                          HOWEVER, you can buy them frozen from Amana farms ( Amana colonies in Iowa ), and they send them to you on dry ice. They are as close as you can get, but they are smaller and don't fall over the bun. Millie's in Des Moines used to have the BEST tenderloins until they burnt down, then opened in another diner for the loins. Try Amana online, or get their catalog.
                          They aren't cheap, but neither are the sandwiches either. You can buy a "lot" of them and freeze them to fry when you want, just put them in a small deep fry or a fying pan. They are very good, and very close to the taste of the original. Now I'm hungry!

                          1. There are no tenderloins worthy of a Hoosier anywhere in California. You can look but all the rest are sorry imitations. And I do mean sorry.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: theomordha

                              I guess the grail would be a Hoosier tenderloin on a good New York bagel.;-)

                              1. re: wolfe

                                Somehow, last year when I was Indy, I missed getting a pork tenderloin sandwich. I had chicken fried in lard, I had sugar cream pie, but the time and the place were never right for pork tenderloin.

                                From this discussion, I'm thinking that a reasonable facsimile might be constructed out at the Alameda Point Antique Market. Taste of Europe will supply a tasty pork schnitzel and one could probably find some acceptable bread across the market at the Feel Good Bakery stand. I tried the schnitzel and it was really good and has become my go-to lunch there. Very reasonable at $8 with a scoop of green oniony potato salad.

                            2. The owner of Great American BBQ in Alameda is from Iowa. The online menu has a photo of an Iowa pork tenderloin sandwich on the left margin (scan down to the ala carte section), but I'm not finding it actually listed on the menu. Is it a some time special? Anyone tried it?


                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                I don't know about the sandwich part, but the meaty bit sure looks like the wiener schitzel at Leopold's. But as a point of order, how could a piece of pork that wide come from a tenderloin? Is it just an expression like "stainless" steel? Looks like a pounded loin or leg to me.

                                1. re: little big al

                                  Al: The name is a misnomer of sorts ... It is generally pounded pork loin eye blade roast, not tenderloin. This sandwich is associated with the State of Iowa as well.

                              2. Noticed there's a crispy pork tenderloin sandwich in rotation at Broken Record that is getting a lot of love on yelp recently. A yelper said it was breaded with panko. Not what I grew up with in Minnesota, but something.

                                Crispy Pork Tenderloin Sandwich $9
                                wilgenberg tomato
                                spicy mayo & honey mustard dressing