Five finalists for Iowa’s Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin revealed

Five Iowa restaurants are trying for a big title this month, they're vying to have Iowa's Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin.
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 6:53 AM CDT
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CLIVE, Iowa (KCRG) - Five Iowa restaurants are vying for Iowa’s Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin, including two locations in eastern Iowa.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association announced the finalists in honor of National Pork Month.

The finalists are:

  • Corydon - Ludlow’s Steakhouse
  • Massena - Main Street Bar & Grill
  • St. Olaf - St. Olaf Tavern
  • Van Meter - 5th Quarter Bar & Grill
  • Waukon - Lid’s Bar & Grill

“Even after 20 years, we continue to discover new variations of the classic breaded pork tenderloin sandwich,” said Kelsey Sutter, IPPA’s marketing and programs director. “Some are thick. Some are thin. You’ll also find a diversity of seasonings, textures, and flavors. That all makes selecting a winner incredibly challenging.”

The pork tenderloins in this contest must be hand-breaded or battered, and they must be offered year-round as a regular menu item at the Iowa restaurant serving them. That means food trucks, concession stands, catering businesses and seasonal eateries are not eligible for this contest.

The IPPA is expected to announce the first and second place winners later this month.

Tenderloins from across the state are nominated each spring. This year, the IPPA said it received 4,812 votes for 449 establishments.

The top 40 were judged this summer. The IPPA said its members and industry affiliates anonymously visited the restaurants and scored the tenderloins based on taste, quality, physical characteristics and presentation.

The IPPA’s restaurant and food service committee reviewed the evaluations and selected the five finalists.

A panel of three judges will travel to each of the finalists to determine the first and second place winners.

The restaurant that wins the contest will receive $500 and a plaque and banner to display. The runner-up will be awarded $250 and a plaque.

The restaurant that wins first place is not allowed to compete for five years.

The winners from the last five years include:

  • 2021 - Victoria Station, Harlan
  • 2020 - PrairieMoon on Main, Prairieburg
  • 2019 - The Pub and the Pinicon, New Hampton
  • 2018 - Three C’s Diner, Corning
  • 2017 - Grid Iron Grill, Webster City