The featured image is not from the restaurants mentioned in this story. 

After almost 5,000 votes for 449 establishments, the Iowa Pork Producers kicked off the start of National Pork Month by releasing the top five tenderloin restaurants in Iowa.

To determine the top five, Kelsey Sutter, IPPA’s marketing and programs director says that they first narrowed the list down to the top 40.

Iowa Pork has eight districts across the state of Iowa. And we will take the five with the most nominations in each of those eight districts which gives us our top 40 We spent the entire summer judging those top 40 with our producer members around the state of Iowa.

Of these top 40 tenderloins, two of the top five are right in our backyard. The first is over in Clayton County in a town you may not have even heard of.

With a population of 128 people, Saint Olaf is putting its name on the map as St. Olaf Tavern rises above more than 400 restaurants that competed for the title of Iowa’s Best Pork Tenderloin.

Everyone always thinks of the really giant tenderloins that cover your entire plate. And there's a teeny tiny bun on top and all this excess tenderloin. That is actually not what we are looking for. We're really looking for a thick sandwich where the pork really shines through. We want to taste juicy Iowa pork in that sandwich.

And when you stop by St. Olaf Tavern you can expect that the tenderloin you get is top quality. Their sandwich makes this small-town tavern a must-stop for many people traveling through the area.

And that's not the only tenderloin deemed best in the state by Iowa Pork Producers. Over in Allamakee County, there is another tenderloin that is gearing for the Best title.

Lid’s Bar & Grill over in Waukon is another finalist in this statewide competition.

According to a Facebook post on the Grill's page,

For the past week, the bar and grill has been swamped, with nearly 30 pounds of pork loins consumed one day.

The other three tenderloins that round out the top five list are;

  • Corydon — Ludlow’s Steakhouse
  • Massena — Main Street Bar & Grill
  • Van Meter — 5th Quarter Bar & Grill

The winner and runner-up of Iowa’s Best Breaded Tenderloin will be announced later this month.

Every Iowa Restaurant Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives



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