INDIANA — The foods Americans turn to when they want a taste of home can vary wildly from coast to coast and even from one state to the next.
So what is the comfort food that defines Indiana and evokes memories of Hoosier living? According to Mashed, it is none other than the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich.
In Indiana, pork tenderloins are BIG, often spreading well beyond the bun meant to house the massive slab of meat.
According to Visit Indiana, Hoosiers’ love story with the tenderloin began in 1908 when Nick Freienstein, a second-generation German immigrant, opened Nick’s Kitchen in Huntington. One of the big hits on the menu was the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich, his version of Viennese wiener schnitzel.
The tenderloin train soon began tracking its way across the Hoosier state, with restaurants offering their take on the oversized pork sandwich.
Hamilton County is especially proud of its tenderloin offerings. It has created a Tenderloin Trail that showcases all of the places to get the best tenderloin sandwiches in the county.
On a statewide level, the Indiana Foodways Alliance has created The Tenderloin Lovers Trail which maps out the top tenderloins across Indiana.
Even FOX59 has made its mark in tenderloin lore. In 2021, we asked viewers to vote on Indy’s Best Tenderloin. Edwards Drive-In ran away with the top vote for its version of the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. The restaurant, unfortunately, has since closed.
You can see what Mashed named as the favorite comfort food in each state here: https://www.mashed.com/1278404/favorite-comfort-food-each-state/.