New Track Record

IndyCar Blog

Archive for the tag “Tenderloins”

Ten Worthless Opinions: 2014 Month of May Edition

Living in central Indiana offers very few perks most of the time.  There’s corn and soybeans.  And humidity and mosquitoes.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our provincial outlook on politics and life.  And, uh…well, I’m sure there are many other features of Midwestern life that I’m missing, but you get the picture.  As the monochromatic landscape of winter gives way to the burst of color that is springtime in Indiana, we suddenly have the month of May and the Indianapolis 500.  In other words, central Indiana does have at least one truly redeeming characteristic.  I would like once again to offer my ill-conceived and poorly rendered “Ten worthless opinions: 2014 month of May edition” to identify some of the perks of this year’s race.

1.  IMS finally fixed the road course to make it racy for IndyCars.  We are not being relegated to a support series show with just the USF2000, Pro Mazda, and Indy Lights.  You want on track action? All three support series will race on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 followed by the Verizon IndyCar Series on Saturday afternoon.  There are cars on track both days with seven total races.  It may not quite be the Field of Dreams mantra, but they built it, so they will race.  That’s the idea, right?

2.  The return of former Indy champions Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve and the addition of Kurt Busch is so combustible that you just know it’s going up sometime in May.  Best case scenario: all three get in an altercation and start swearing at each other in different languages.  I assume that hand gestures will fill in any missing context.  Make this happen, racing gods!

3.   The IMS Radio Network, after years of foisting Mike King on the listening public, finally bowed to public opinion and threw a bone to the die-hard fans by bringing back Paul Page as the voice of the Indianapolis 500 and the Verizon IndyCar Series.  Does his voice still resonate with older IndyCar fans?  Absolutely.  Do younger fans care?  Not at all.  They do not listen to the race on the radio.  They either go or watch it on television.  Game changer?  Nope.  Nostalgia?  Yep.  And that’s good enough.

4.  Enough cannot be said about the value of ABC covering the month of May from the Grand Prix of Indianapolis to qualifications to the Indianpolis 500.  The series, as well as the 500, has lacked any traction nationally for a long time.  Should IMS bow and scrape to the TV gods to create buzz for the race and the series by adding races and butchering the traditional qualifying program  The NFL, NCAA, and NASCAR do it all the time because it is good for their properties.  This is good business.  The race is the tradition, nothing else.

5.  How about that change in the qualifying procedures, huh?  The die-hard fan screams, “It ruins the month of May!”  The casual fan says, “There’s a qualifying procedure?”  They still go four laps.  I can’t say I’m enamored of the extra day to set position.  The fact is qualifying at Indy is a dangerous proposition and everyone knows it.  I don’t mind a change in the qualifying procedures; I do mind a change that creates unnecessary risk.  This change, made exclusively for television, creates unnecessary risk.  Unfortunately, risk equals interest.  And that’s your answer.

6.  The 500 will be the first real test of new series sponsor Verizon.  They are a telecommunications company that wants to be known as a technology company.  Here’s some advice: make my Verizon phone work at the race.  Don’t upcharge me to make my mobile communications device do what it is supposed to do.  I want to text, tweet, update Facebook, and utilize the Verizon IndyCar app during the race.  You’re on the clock Verizon.  Signage and other activations are vital to the business, I know, but make my phone work, please.

7.  Huge ups to IMS for taking risks and making big changes to almost everything.  They rebuilt the road course, changed qualifying, hired new people, restructured management, added new races, scheduled a big concert, hired a new food service, and offered glamping inside the track.  I’m sure I missed something.  IndyCar fans have long shouted for IMS management to fix everything but change nothing.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think it works that way.

8.  Pork tenderloins become a big topic in Indy in May.  Indianapolis is stuffed with tenderloin joints that all have their own take on this pounded, breaded, and deep fried delight.  If you plan on coming to town in May, give me a shout on Twitter (@newtrackrecord) and I will hook you up with this Midwestern delicacy.  And yes, it is a direct descendent of the schnitzel brought to the Midwest by German immigrants.  You can find a pretty good one at IMS.  It’s not fresh cut, pounded, and breaded on site, but it still does the job.  I’m not such a snob that I won’t eat a frozen fritter.

9.  One common complaint heard from the casual fan is that there is nothing to do in Indy over Memorial Day weekend except the race.  Granted, much of what happens socially is directed to the local populace, but I think the weekend is pretty packed.  From Carb Day on Friday until the race on Sunday, you can drink, watch cars, drink, eat tenderloins, drink, watch the parade (it’s exceptional), visit Indy’s thriving brewing scene, watch live music, and drink.  Some of Indy’s best nightlife can be found in Broad Ripple, on Mass Ave., and in Fountain Square.  Hey, IMS can’t plan your whole weekend for you.  Do a little homework.

10.  Apparently, there’s this soiree on Sunday, May 25 that’s been around for a while.  There are bands, princesses, celebrities, military personnel, balloons, iconic songs, prayers, and someone says something about engines.  And then they race cars.  Sounds like an outstanding time.

Indy Tenderloin Tour – Iowa Speedway Edition

I’m a breaded tenderloin snob.  I know its history (the schnitzel German immigrants brought to America), and I know the good from the bad.  The bad generally means a frozen fritter, one dripping in grease, or just bad meat.  I consider myself an aficionado of the sliced, beaten, breaded, and fried pork sandwich.  This pork hubris led me to start my “Indy Tenderloin Tour” during the month of May to introduce out-of-state Indy 500 fans to this local delicacy, the likes of which can only be found in Indiana.  And then I went to Iowa Speedway.

I was minding my own business.  Oh, I noticed the pork chops and stopped to talk to the fine folks from the Tama County Pork Producers.  These were just the type of grilled pork offerings you would expect from Iowa residents.  They were quite tasty.  But of course, they weren’t breaded tenderloins.  And then I walked past The Machine Shed, a local restaurant that operated one of the concession stands.  It was very hard not to notice The Machine Shed, since this was cooking directly in front of it.

Yep.  That’s a whole hog roasting its way to succulent perfection.  Again, wonderful pork presentation, but not a breaded tenderloin.  But as I scanned the menu, it jumped out at me.  There it was: Pork Tenderloin Sandwich.  But so far in Iowa, most pork products were naked.  The pork loins, pork chops, and pork burgers might be seasoned, but they were not breaded.  After a brief moment of discussion, I found that the tenderloins here were indeed breaded, so I ordered up one of the breaded babies.  Here is what arrived:

I believe I insulted the workers in The Machine Shed when I asked if the tenderloin was a frozen fritter.  These tenderloins are sliced from the loin by The Machine Shed in their cutting room, pounded by real human beings, and breaded/battered in their own recipe.  I was also pleased to learn that the pork is locally sourced.  Iowans care about their food.

All that’s nice, but what about the taste?  Well, I included this sandwich in my “Indy Tenderloin Tour” didn’t I?  Doesn’t that tell you something?  My first bite told me that these Hawkeyes knew what they were doing.  The meat was thick and cooked to perfection.  Tenderloin fans know that you hide bad meat by pounding it thin and breading it heavily.  This was a thick piece of meat with nary a bit of gristle.  The coating was more of a batter than a breading and was crispy, bordering on crunchy.  My personal preference is for breading instead of batter, but that does not change the fact that this was a great tenderloin.  If you are in Iowa and are lusting after a breaded tenderloin, The Machine Shed is ready for you.

I have to give The Machine Shed a checkered flag.  My hat is off to my first out-of-Indy stop on the “Indy Tenderloin Tour.”

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.

Indy Tenderloin Tour: Binkley’s

(Second in a series of five appearing every Tuesday through May 22, 2010)

This installment of our “Indy Tenderloin Tour” finds us in Broad Ripple, one of Indy’s trendy districts.  If you want to party with the young people and crawl a few pubs, this is the place.  College Avenue is a north-south street that takes you by the Italian favorites Iaria’s and the Milano Inn downtown, past Sun King Brewery, and eventually becomes a wide path leading you to party town, aka Broad Ripple.  As you cruise past the corner of College and Kessler you will see Binkley’s Kitchen and Bar at 5902 N. College Avenue.

Binkley’s took its name from the drugstore that sat on the corner from 1928 until the early 70’s.  You have to like a place that gives a shout out to history.  During the winter you can expect big crowds on the nights Butler [1] plays a home basketball game.

We sat on the patio and were assisted by the lovely and vivacious Deborah.  One recommendation is to order an Indiana brewed beer.  On tap at our visit were beers from Sun King, Three Floyds, Flat 12, and Triton. [2]  You cannot go wrong with any of these breweries.  Remember: drink locally, race globally.

As expected, we ordered breaded tenderloins.  The lovely and vivacious Deborah (bartenders and servers LOVE to be called lovely and vivacious) informed us that the tenderloins at Binkley’s were cut and pounded on site.  The meat is dredged in white flour, fine corn meal, and spices.  The buns are delivered five times a week from Chicago.  Here’s what graced our table:

Tenderloins tread a thin line sometimes.  If they are pounded too thin, it’s all breading without substance.  If they are not pounded enough, the meat is not completely cooked.  The tenderloins at Binkley’s are thick enough to be meaty, yet thin enough to be cooked thoroughly.  Yahtzee!  The buns were toasty and firm and held up well.  Bun sustainability is vital for a great breaded tenderloin.  These babies sustain!  As always, my condiments of choice were mayonnaise and onions.

I have to give this breaded baby a Checkered Flag.  It’s worth the trip to Broad Ripple.

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.


1.  Here’s a link to the ESPN Sports Science segment that analyzed Gordon Hayward’s final shot versus Duke in the 2010 NCAA championship game.  If this shot had gone in, Butler would have been the 2010 NCAA champion.  Hoosier Hysteria, baby!

2.  What does everyone need?  Links to great Indiana breweries.  Enjoy!

Post Navigation