From Selling Cars To Selling Iowa’s Best Pork Tenderloin
This week, we explored two of the top five pork tenderloins in the state that happened to be located out here in northeast Iowa. On Friday, to mark the halfway point of #Porktober22, the Iowa Pork Producers Association announced its official Iowa’s Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin for 2022.
But the 2022 winner isn’t your typical pork tenderloin restaurant. Before serving award-winning tenderloins, Lid’s Bar & Grill first sold cars.
The eatery was first opened in July 2020 by Kelly and Dan Liddiard over in Waukon. Before opening the restaurant, the site was home to West Side Auto Sales which Dan operated for around a decade. It wasn’t until COVID-19 that auto sales plummeted and he decided to reduce his inventory and convert the part of the site into a restaurant.
Today Dan is running both the dealership and restaurant. On top of the restaurant, Kelly is also a full-time teacher
The couple’s food service background prior to the conversion was non-existent. They explain that their food service experience started the day they opened their door.
And today, just over two years later, people are flocking in from all over Iowa to get a taste of Iowa’s best pork tenderloin. Lid’s Bar & Grill went from selling 25 pounds of tenderloins a week to 35 to 40 pounds a day since being named a top-five finalist.
Chef Phil Carey, a tenderloin finalist judge, describes the sandwich as having “great pork flavor, with a wonderful breading that greatly complements the overall sandwich,” as well as a “perfect size of bun-to-pork-tenderloin ratio.”
Each sandwich features never-frozen meat that is hand-breaded to order—dipped in milk and then dredged through a seasoned breading. Each third-pound tenderloin is cut and twice tenderized at Quillin’s Food Ranch in Waukon.