A restaurant in northern Iowa’s Wright County serves up the state “Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin.” The Belmond Drive-in is the winner of the annual contest presented by the Iowa Pork Producer’s Association (IPPA). Joe McFarland and his wife, Jewel, took over ownership of the Belmond Drive-in one year ago.
“It’s kind of an iconic place in Belmond. It’s been here since the 1970’s and it’s been through a few owners. It’s always been a staple of the (town),” McFarland said. “We support the school community and local businesses as much as we can.” In fact, McFarland purchases his pork loin from a meat locker located just a few blocks away from his restaurant. He hand trims and cuts the loins fresh daily.
“A lot of people use the frozen tenderloins, but those things are horrible, I think,” McFarland said. “Fresh is always better. I hand cut them and make sure all of the fat is off of them. I actually have a hand crank tenderizer I run them though and then I pound them out with a meat tenderizer hammer.” The tenderloin is then dipped in an egg wash and hand breaded with a medium size breadcrumb.
It’s served plain on a large, yellow, deep dish bun with pickle slices on the side. Today the IPPA presented the McFarlands with a $500 check, a plaque and a large banner proclaiming the Belmond Drive-in as the home to Iowa’s Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin for 2015. Three C’s Diner in Corning placed second in this year’s contest and will receive $250 and a plaque. Rounding out the top five finalists was the Recovery Room in Ottumwa, the Peru Bar & Grill in Peru and The Office in Lenox.