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Everything posted by Davydd

  1. I don't know about Spaceburgers but the Minnesota State Fair has Spamburgers.
  2. Most of the Olympus point and shoot cameras have the "Cuisine" setting. I have the Olympus Stylus 500 which I mostly used for shooting photos in restaurants. I generally took a picture with the auto setting and the Cuisine setting and it was about 50-50 as to what was the better picture. It just depended a lot on lighting. I recently upgraded to a Canon SD850 IS camera and it takes much better pictures. Bottom line. The Cuisine feature might help in instances but is not a sure fire solution.
  3. Pasties from Suzy's Pastie Shoppe on Michigan's Upper Peninsula just west of the Mackinac Bridge. The scene is on the sand beach on Lake Michigan. There were lots of seagulls there but somehow did not make it in this photo.
  4. Do not use ground beef or hamburger. Cubed steak is the way to go. I've had pasties in Michigan's Upper Peninsula more times than I can remember and one pasty purchased in Dolgellau, Wales for my climb up Cadair Idris mountain, but none in Cornwall.
  5. I can't let this thread pass without posting a photo of the world's largest gingerbread house that stood over the holidays last year at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN.
  6. Tonkatsu seems very similar to a United States Heartland area deep fried breaded pork tenderloin with sauce instead of a sandwich bun. I am going to have to seek out a Japanese restaurant that serves tonkastu.
  7. I periodically write a check to our food bank. I know there are a lot of matching funds from corporations so I hope any money I contribute gets matched. I also wonder if there isn't an additional cost in collecting, culling, organizing, accounting for, transporting and processing the donated foods because many food banks have established ongoing programs of food distribution and much of that is an efficient organized procurement program. Food Banks distribute 95% of the money and collections which is higher than most all charities.
  8. I make pizzas generally on Saturday night and was wondering about this topic of leftovers and what I could do. Here is the pizza I made with Thanksgiving leftovers. First I put on some turkey gravy in place of tomato sauce. I topped that with sliced brie cheese. Then I sprinkled it liberally with chopped up turkey meat leftovers. The final was some left over cranberry/orange spiced salad that I globbed on. I baked it directly on a pizza stone at 500 degrees for 10 minutes. Everyone was skeptical of the combination but on taste it was deemed a winner.
  9. What do you expect to accomplish at $459 that a $45 fryer can't do in the home? Seriously, I paid about $45 for mine and it is all electronic controlled temperature and timer and has lasted me two years worth of home use. What I am saying is I can abuse and buy 10 of them for the equivalent of $459.
  10. I was on a single-minded tenderloin pursuit and ate way too much as it was. With all those tenderloins I did have a tiny little bit of good sense to pass on the fries that generally accompanied them by telling the waitron not to even bother adding them. I'm not normally a sweets eater but since I had been making pie comparisons in this thread... http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=106195 ...I did succumb to the Farmer's Kitchen sour cream raisin pie. I've got to change my pursuit to best apples to stay healthy. The Honeycrisp!
  11. Thursday morning I delivered my wife to the airport so she could fly to Washington DC to visit our granddaughter. She got the one free ticket. I wasn't about to sit at home by myself so I decided one last pork tenderloin pursuit in the camper van was in order. My destination this time was west central Iowa since the 2007 Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) best breaded tenderloin sandwich was awarded to Larsen's Pub in the Danish heritage town of Elk Horn. Incentive ran high in that nearby Darrell's Place in the tiny berg of Hamlin was a previous winner and a restaurant owner posting on another forum wished people would visit his Farmer's Kitchen in the relatively metropolitan town of Atlantic in that area (they have a Wal-Mart and stop lights). That was enough. I was on my way. However, first stop was in northeast Iowa just across the Minnesota border but I will get to that later. I drove to Lake Anita State Park about 12 miles east of Atlantic and about midway between Des Moines and Omaha to establish a beach head. This is the third Iowa state park that I have stayed in that was established on what is basically a small reservoir with camping and picnicking but very little wilderness. It wasn't isolated. It was adjacent to the town of Anita. Camping provisions are great and inexpensive. I might add it beats spending a night boondocking in a Wal-Mart parking lot. After securing a site while it was still daylight I proceeded on to Atlantic and the Farmer's Kitchen. The Farmer's Kitchen is downtown. I could hear the Thursday night auction taking place a block away, "Who'll gimmie, who'll gimmie. . . sold!" in the background. There I met Mark Johnson and his mother. The Farmer's Kitchen received an honorable mention best breaded tenderloin sandwich in 2005 so naturally that is what I had. It was made from a six ounce pork loin and was very good. Mark and I traded ideas in hopes of making it a 2008 winner. I could not leave without trying his Mom's top selling home made pie. So I had the sour cream raisin. Mark's Mom admitted she did not like raisins but it was a top seller. I like raisins and could see immediately why on first bite it was a top seller. I retired that night at the campground on a very full stomach and managed to sleep 10 hours under a full moon. There were only about a half dozen of us adventurous souls in a campground with about 180 campsites this midweek night with temperatures dropping into the low 40s. The next day for lunch I headed over to Elk Horn known for its Danish immigrant heritage. To kill the morning I stopped at the Danish windmill that originally built in Denmark in 1848, dismantled in 1975 and reassembled in Elk Horn in 1976. I watched to video on its history and construction and toured the insides. I also stocked up on some imported Danish Havarti, Brie and Camembert cheese. When Larsen's Pub opened at 11 AM I walked down the street. It was about a block away from the windmill on the main street right next to the town hall. I also passed by what must have been a fine restaurant, The Danish Kitchen, judging by the full parking lot. I plumped myself at the bar next to the IPPA award plaque and ordered their tenderloin. It was a very deserving tenderloin also cut from a pork loin but a tad bigger at about 7 ounces. Was it the best? Admittedly slightly better than the Farmer's Kitchen but I would have to put last years winner, the Townhouse Supper Club in Wellsburg, a tad above. I thought I would eat half of it and take out the other half for later but I ate the dang thing. OK, it was good. I was now three tenderloins in, satisfied, and on my way home. I decided I would continue taking the back roads through farm country and observe the fall harvest. Well, that put me smack dab, just another 11 miles, in Hamlin, nothing but a cross roads, and there was Darrell's Place in a yellow metal building wooing me. Two lunches? I had to see the 2003 winner. I might never make it back. I caved and went in and sat at the bar counter. Little did I know that I sat down next to the owner, Jeff. He and his wife took over the restaurant from his parents last year. I still didn't know if I actually wanted a tenderloin or just maybe see one, or just maybe order one to go and stick in my refrigerator (in the camper van). Since I was there and got to talking to Jeff I ordered one. Luckily it was cut from a pork loin personally by Jeff at 4 ounces and not an eighth of an ounce over or under according to his trained eye. The sandwich was much more modest than the others (and less expensive) but was just as good. I got to talking so much I almost forgot to take a picture and was already two bites into it. Thank heavens I didn't eat a breakfast. I thought I better get home before cardiac arrest with all that deep fry pulsing through my arteries. But danged if my GPS wasn't taking me right through Humboldt in north central Iowa. Yep, the 2007 second place winner, Rustix restaurant was there. Again, I said to myself I might never make it back and the judges said it was a close second place finish. Against better judgment I stopped in about 4 PM too early for dinner. I was there so I ordered a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and their tenderloin. It was a bit larger pork loin cut and was breaded with corn flakes. Rustix Restaurant was a bit more upscale than the other typical Iowan places I had been in. It was more typical of the kind of places I encountered in Indiana. Rustix fell victim to two faults I've had with places like that. Whoever prepped the pork loin did not know how to cut out the gristle even though it is so easy to do so. I wondered if this was because there was no family pride thing going on with personal hands on attention. Secondly it was fried a tad greasy which is a trait when you try to serve a too large and too thick tenderloin. The taste, however, was satisfyingly good. My appetite was really tanking. I ate half out of courtesy and doggy bagged the remainder and definitely headed for home with no more stops in mind. This now brings me full circle to the beginning saving the first and best for last. There were 44 nominees for the 2007 IPPA contest. I noticed there were several past winners, runner ups and honorable mentions on the list but over the years, to my knowledge, there had never been any repeats. There are a lot of restaurants and diners serving breaded pork tenderloins in Iowa but I found it fascinating no restaurant could repeat with 5 chances each year for mention to do so. I also assumed maybe if you were not on the nomination list that you just might be way down on the totem pole of deserving consideration. With all that assumptive knowledge on my way to Iowa I detoured anyway over to Mason City on an email recommendation from two different people - one local and current and one who moved away years ago. In light of IPPA nominations my thoughts were that this could be another Igloo (Peru, IL) or Mug'n'Bun (Speedway, IN) disappointment. The destination was a diner not on the list of 44 nominations. It was the Suzie-Q Cafe, a classic Valentine Diner built in 1948 in Wichita, KS and shipped to the site. The history of these diners can be found here and could be a separate road food pursuit to find the presumed 40+ still in business. http://kshs.org/diners/index.htm This diner was a tiny 10 stool diner in downtown Mason City. Here is an interior 360 degree view. http://www.masoncitynet.com/virtual_tours/news/suzieq/ Now about that tenderloin. It wasn't breaded. It was battered in a peppery batter and maybe that was not why it was on the "breaded" pork tenderloin sandwich nomination list. Who knows? Suzie-Q Cafe has had several owners over the years and was taken over by Troy Levenhagen and family last year. Troy is also known as Levey the Great and is a magician for hire. Let's say his tenderloin is magic but it really is a recipe he took over called Spic'n'Span. Spic'n'Span? I forgot to ask. But there is something magical about this tenderloin. It tasted absolutely great and if you want a unique experience in sandwich tasting this definitely is the one. All in all, I drove over 900 miles in two days on this pursuit all on the back roads mostly in Iowa. Iowa is farm country through and through all the way to its four borders. Farming is mainly corn and hogs which explains the ubiquitous bread pork tenderloin sandwich. Combines were busy in the fields. Tractors and loaders slowed me down on several roads. Trucks were busy hauling corn to full grain elevators in tiny bergs about every 6 miles. It was bustling and it was satisfying to see the hard workers everywhere including the patrons in all the restaurants I stopped in on these two fall days. God, it was pure Americana. Iowans should be proud.
  12. That time of year again. Closed up for the winter. I woke up to 25 degrees this morning so I guess that is it. I closed up a different way. I drove 900 miles in our camper van this week for one last trip and today I emptied the water tanks and waste holding tanks, put anti-freeze in the sink traps and buttoned it up for the winter. We may go up to the North Shore again yet this winter but will stay in lodging.
  13. It is all a matter of opinion and I suppose I will eventually get to Manns Grille. But I have now had over 75 different restaurant tenderloins from across the country. I hate to say it but I have found tenderloin recommendations have been like stock tips. Many do not pan out. But you never know, Manns could be a jewel of a tenderloin just waiting for me. I just completed my Iowa tour this year and sampled Iowa's 2007 best as voted on by the Iowa Pork Producers Association. I also sampled the 2003 winner and two previous runner-ups and a fifth (on a recommendation tip) not even nominated blows them all away. More on that later.
  14. Ah yes, chicken fried steak. Texans are mighty proud of them. When I sought out a rumored BPT at the Heights Camphouse BBQ in Houston just north of downtown in a marginal neighborhood I was first taken aback when the menu said pork burger. So I had to ask. The cook came out and described what he had. It is sort of like a chicken fried steak only it is pork without the gristle. I do drink a lot of Leinie's but for the tutorial I couldn't resist the Big Butt since a lot of my friends were jokingly referring to the sandwich as a hammered pig butt sandwich. It was kind of a prop just for fun.
  15. Bob, A true breaded pork tenderloin sandwich is made from the pork tenderloin as you described. However, I am afraid the term tenderloin sandwich has taken on a broader scope in the midwest in that some restaurants use the pork loin cut and some a fritter (think pork like chicken McNuggets) and still call it a tenderloin. My web site goes into depth on making a true breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. So the word tenderloin has kind of become generic to describing a deep-fried breaded flattened pork sandwich. The first documented pork tenderloin sandwich reference I could find comes from Nick's Kitchen in Huntington, Indiana circa 1904-1908. The menu originally called it a Schnitzel sandwich. To get a true pork tenderloin sandwich big enough to hang over a good size bun you have to cross slice a pork tenderloin about 1-1/2" to 2" thick, then butterfly cut it and then pound it flat with a meat mallet to a thickness of preferably no more than 3/8" thick so that you can deep fry in very hot oil at about 3 minutes and cook the meat through without burning the breading. In the midwest the meat is served typically on a bun with many condiments such as lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, mayo or mustard. The three "I" states of Indiana, Illinois and Iowa are the hot beds for the BPT. From there they die out very quickly in the surrounding states. For instance Ohio has an abundance of them in the western towns near Indiana but few if any in eastern Ohio. I doubt you could find one in Pennsylvania but if you do please let me know.
  16. Do you mean Thorntown? I used to drive from Indianapolis to Colfax just north up a short ways from Thorntown for fried catfish but that was over 40 years ago.
  17. We generally come east on I-74 and get off onto SH 32 at Crawfordsville to cut over to Lebanon and then down to Carmel where my sister lives when we go to Indy. The Big Oink tenderloin you refer to would be at Uncle Smiley's. I'll have to add it to my list but it probably will have to wait until the 2008 pursuit season.
  18. We made our fourth trip from Minnesota to or through Indiana in our Class B campervan this year in my continuing pursuit of the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich as part of our travels. Previous trips were for the ICS Indianapolis 500 race and the NASCAR Brickyard 400 race. Our first stop on they way was in Baraboo, Wisconsin. We did not have a pork tenderloin but did sample the hamburger's at Monk's Bar in Baraboo. Sorry no photo of the burgers but on our way out we visited the International Crane Foundation where they have over 15 different cranes from all over the world and have taken on the task of saving the endangered Whooping Crane. Just a few short years ago there were only 21 in the wild. So let's start out with the rare Whooping Cranes for sheer enjoyment. Moving on. I don't know how many emails I have gotten to try The Igloo Drive-In in Peru, Illinois. So I did. I must sadly report they are but average and nothing to rave home about. It only took me about 10 miles off my route and it was lunch time anyway. This is yet another breaded pork tenderloin sandwich that has a reputation that exceeds delivery. I don't know if it is because the sandwich itself has changed or memory embellishes. There was nothing special about it in appearance, size, taste, preparation or tenderness. Culver's does it better. I don't believe in words. I take a picture for comparison. We reached Indianpolis and for lunch Friday we went to the Ale Emporium on Allisonville Rd just north of the 1-465 interchange. They offered a grilled, breaded or beer battered pork tenderloin sandwich. For a change I had the beer battered along with a Bell's Oktoberfest beer on tap. This place is recommended if you are looking for a special ale or beer. The tenderloin was about average. It wasn't bad. Then on Saturday for lunch we went out to the Mayberry Cafe in Danville. Their tenderloin is a very worthy one and recommended. Note Andy Griffith's Mayberry police car parked out front. Then Saturday night I attended my Speedway High School 45th Reunion in Parlour A & B at Brickyard Crossing in Speedway. This was kind of special to me because it was also the 45th anniversary of working on my very first project in an architect's office and this building was it. It was known as the Speedway Inn and Motor Hotel at the time and was also a feature setting for the Paul Newman movie, Winning. It may be torn down soon for a major revamping of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and surrounding streets. Dinner was a buffet of fried chicken, roast beef or turkey. I bribed the head waiter to prepare me a breaded pork tenderloin instead. I think they went out of the way with a special preparation. It was huge. Sunday night we camped in Brown County State Park and had dinner at the Brown County Inn Corn Crib Lounge in Nashville with friends. I again ordered the tenderloin. The tastiest and best of this trip was the Mayberry Cafe despite the kitsch based on the old Andy Griffith TV show. After all that I was tenderloined out despite driving back through the tenderloin heartland of Illinois, Missouri and Iowa and passing up other known opportunities. So I leave you with this. We had an interesting sunrise/sunset day Monday. We departed Brown County State Park in southern Indiana very early to capture this shot just minutes before the sun came up. Brown County could best be described as a miniaturized Smoky Mountains. I love the place. And we arrived at Lake Darling State Park near Fairfield, Iowa to catch this sunset from our camp site.
  19. I'm in Indianapolis right now as I type. I'm here for the deep-fried breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches. Now that is something you can't take away from Indianapolis. In aggregate they do it better than anyplace else, including Iowa.
  20. SnowAngel, We bought some smoked trout and some salmon spread. Now I wish I had bought some smoked salmon as well because I like to make my own spread. Their spread was good but expensive. We have traveled Highway 23 in the past and probably would have this time if we hadn't been a week too early for the peak fall colors.
  21. I believe the mushroom is this one. The Amanitia Muscaria. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_muscaria
  22. We journeyed to Minnesota's Lake Superior North Shore for the third time this season in hopes of catching the fall colors at their peak. Though spectacular I believe we may have been about 4 or 5 days too early. Our previous trips included the Boundary Waters Canoe Area around Ely, MN and the Gunflint Trail. On this trip we stayed almost exclusively on Highway 61 along Lake Superior. When you travel Highway 61 you are encountered by many state parks and waysides. So naturally we pulled over on one wayside to capture this photo of the Split Rock Lighthouse. Then a little farther up we stopped at another wayside that happened to have a coffee shop. On the bridge across the road was this typical cascade toward Lake Superior. This was the Cross River. The Cross River got its name from Father Baraga's Cross. Father Baraga was a priest from Yugoslavia. He had set sail in a small boat from Wisconsin's Madeline Island intent on heading to Grand Portage but got blown off course and landed safely in the protected waters of the Cross River. A wooden cross was erected on the site and later replaced by this granite cross. We made it to our first destination, the Grand Marais, MN Municipal Campground around 1 PM and picked this site that looked over the harbor. With our afternoon free we headed further up the highway to a park we are familiar with, Judge C R Magney State Park across the road from the Naniboujou Lodge, a place we had stayed numerous times over all four seasons. Our destination was a hike up the Brule River to the Devil's Falls and Kettle. On the way we encountered this. The falls were overwhelmed with flow. Normally you can see half the falls go into the Devil's Kettle (a hole) to come out further downstream. There was so much flow you could not discern the kettle unless you had been there before. It is on the left at the top. Getting up close was spectacular. This fellow was poised to go into this cauldron. We watched him as he charged the falls and did a few rolls and then finally headed down stream. This forum is about food so maybe it is time to get back on track. After hiking all afternoon in the woods we were naturally hungry. We went back to one of our favorite places, the Wild Onion Cafe in Grand Marais. I had the B2LT consisting of the usual BLT suspects plus strips of Kobe beef. Nancy had the Rueben. Both came with homemade chips. The next morning we got up early and walked into Grand Marais at sun up. Our first destination was the World's Best Donut where we got ourselves some treats and much needed coffee and walked over to the beach. A donut was not going to sustain us for another full day of hiking so we walked back to the Blue Water Cafe for a real breakfast. Nancy ate ala carte with hash and eggs. I opted for the full bore Angler's Breakfast consisting of two eggs over easy, hash browns, sour dough toast and a whopping breaded Walleye. Now we were ready for hiking. Our first stop was the Cascade River State Park where we first hiked up the Cascade River to the obligatory falls that tumble out of the mountains down to Lake Superior all up and down the North Shore. But we also wanted to see fall color. As I mentioned on the North Shore we were perhaps early but over the mountains colors were in peak. So we hiked up to Lookout Mountain in Cascade River State Park on part of the Lake Superior Hiking Trail. 1,600 feet up we got what we came for. After Cascade River we had a whole afternoon ahead of us so we drove to the Canadian border 50 miles further up the highway to Grand Portage State Park. Beyond the sign you can see the border crossing. This is what we came for. The Pigeon River is the boundary between the United States and Canada. Just a short half mile hike in you come upon this tallest waterfall in Minnesota with a 120 foot drop. The US is on the left and Canada on the right. That evening we took in another favorite place, the Angry Trout Restaurant adjacent to our campground. I had the pork tenderloin medallions and Nancy had the breaded herring. They were served with salad and wild rice. We got up early the next morning and thought we would take a small hike at the Municipal Campground. It turned out to be a very rigorous hike up deep woods rocky hill. The reward was this overlook of Grand Marais harbor. With that behind us we still had a 1-1/2 mile hike up and back to The Pie Place on Highway 61. Believe me it was well worth it. My breakfast was the Caribou Eyes, the classic egg in the hole fried eggs in the center of two pieces of homemade bread topped with cheese, sour cream, and salsa served with a wedge of hash brown pie. Nancy had the Northern Sausage Benedict consisting of English Muffin halves topped with maple sausage patties, poached eggs, and cheese sauce along with the hash. This breakfast was clearly the winner. But wait! This is the pie place so we had to imbibe. We split a Maple Apple Cream pie. Now that we have had pie at Betty's Pies, the Rustic Inn and The Pie Place, I can say without a doubt The Pie Place in Grand Marais is the winner. It was time to head back to the Twin Cities after two nights on the North Shore. On our way back we stopped at Gooseberry Falls State Park for one more hike. Right on the highway is the ever popular main falls. We decided to hike up to the 5th Falls back in the mountain. On our way we encountered this interesting mushroom. We made it to the 5th Falls about a mile into the forest walking along the Gooseberry River. We had one last stop at Russ Kendall's Smoked Fish in Knife River between Duluth and Two Harbors. We bought some smoked trout and salmon spread and then headed for home. We may have one or two more trips north yet this year. One again in October at the end of the season and then one again when winter closes in for some snowshoeing.
  23. Interesting, but probably a stretch to say it was based on a 3,000 year old recipe other than the fact heather tips (whatever they are) were used instead of hops. Brewing today is completely different than 500 years ago let alone 3,000.
  24. I say put your photo where your mouth is or prove you know what you are talking about. So, I have been pursuing the best - breaded pork tenderloin sandwich and think I have the proof to back my claims. What I have found so far is that a lot of people don't know what they are talking about when they make recommendations. They only recommend what they know and sometimes that recommendation was from many years ago. Just two days ago I got an email commenting to my web site and the responder said "Yuk" and that none of those pork tenderloins could match the ones he had in his hometown in Illinois. Mind you this guy is now living in Texas and was referring to 1950.
  25. Hayward, MN would be a bit out of the way if going to La Crosse. After traveling many ways highway 52 to I-90 is the quickest, then 61 along the river second and 35 along the river on the Wisconsin side the longest (in time). To get to Hayward you would have to make a acute dogleg down I-35 to I-90. That will never happen going to La Crosse. But if heading straight down to Iowa on I-35 it is only a 7 mile detour. Hayward, WI might be a more interesting trip.
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