After nearly six months of nominations and judging, the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) has selected a northeast Iowa restaurant as the winner of the 10th annual Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin Contest.
Breitbach’s Country Dining in Balltown was judged the winner by IPPA and will receive $500 and a plaque for having the best breaded pork tenderloin.
The restaurant has been in business since 1852 and is Iowa’s oldest bar and restaurant. Mike Breitbach is the fourth generation of Breitbach’s to own and run the establishment. In an average week, as many as 200 pork tenderloin sandwiches are sold, according to Breitbach.
“We make each other look good. We make growers look good and they make us look good with the meat,” he said.
Vinny’s BBQ in Dakota City received second place honors and will receive $250 and a plaque. The Dog House in Pella, Kelly’s Country Oven in Monticello and Antler’s Pub & Grill in Clare each received honorable mention and will receive a plaque to display in their establishment.
Duane Cook of Holy Cross nominated Breitbach’s Country Dining and will receive $100 from IPPA.
IPPA has received an average of 300 nominations each year of the contest. This year, 993 nominations were submitted and 65 restaurants received the required three or more nominations. Initial judging was done by producer/members. Five finalists were selected and final judging of those restaurants was completed earlier this month by members of the IPPA Restaurant and Food Service Committee. The tenderloins are judged on taste, appearance and physical characteristics.
“The contest has been fantastic, relying on Iowa pork producers to make the public aware of a unique product,” said committee member Nelda Christian. “The committee thanks all the participants for making this competition a worthwhile project for 10 years.”
The contest recognizes Iowa dining establishments that support the swine industry by putting pork on their menu. All restaurants, cafes and taverns that serve breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches can be nominated for the award each year. Previous contest winners also are eligible, but are prohibited from winning two consecutive years.
Breitbach’s Country Dining is open Tuesday through Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. During the month of October, the restaurant also is open on Mondays. To learn more about Breitbach’s, visit breitbachscountrydining.com.