Indy Tenderloin Tour – Charlie Brown’s Pancake and Steak House
In the previous stops on the Indy Tenderloin Tour, we have only visited Speedway once. This final edition takes us to an absolute “must see, must eat” stop. Within sight of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and across the street from the Dallara facility, you will find Charlie Brown’s Pancake and Steak House at 1038 Main St. in Speedway, Indiana. If you are in Speedway and need to mainline a breaded tenderloin, this is the place.
From the outside, Charlie Brown’s is nondescript. The awning is faded and in need of repair. But when you walk in the door you are greeted with a life size photo of Sid Collins, for many years the voice of the 500.
Once inside the door, the walls are a tour of Indy memories. Any place that has a Parnelli Jones painted 98 picture hanging from the ceiling is aces in my book. Take your time and stroll around the joint. It’s OK. The management understands its patrons. Look in the display case. Check out the quilt over the waitress station. Look at the walls as you go to the lavatory. This place is an Indy fan Mecca.
Seen enough yet. I don’t think so. Now it’s all about the tenderloin. Make sure you CAREFULLY order the “Hand Breaded Pork Tenderloin.” Do NOT order the pork fritter. The fritter is frozen; the hand breaded tenderloin is not. Shannon, our overworked waitress on an incredibly busy Saturday, tells us she was just a part-timer…33 years ago. She knows her stuff. The tenderloins are pounded and breaded on site with a commercial breading that has a few added (secret) ingredients. My suggestion is to get the platter; it comes with fries and slaw. The slaw was delivered promptly and was tasty. Within minutes, our breaded beauties arrived. Looks great, huh?
I loved the sandwich. Charlie Brown’s does it a little differently. In other posts, I have commented on sandwiches that have a thick pork center. This one was pounded thin with a breading that stayed on the pork. No slippage. I dislike breading that slides off the meat. This was great meat pounded very thin. It’s a great counterpoint to some of our other stops. Stop here for the whole package: the platter for $7.15, the kitsch on the walls, and the meat between the bun. THIS is a Hoosier classic.
Our rating? This is an absolute checkered flag! Do not miss this sandwich and this shrine to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Checkered Flag: It’s a winner. Picture should be on the Pork-Warner Trophy.
Green Flag: It’s a go. Solid competitor with a chance to be a winner.
Yellow Flag: Warning. Something is not copacetic.
Black Flag: Get this pig off the track.
I hope our little tour has been informative and entertaining. An Indiana breaded pork tenderloin is a great way to enhance your visit to the track. Bon appetit!