The Iowa Pork Producers Association has selected a Webster City restaurant as the winner of its 2017 Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin contest.
The Grid Iron Grill owned by Burke Risetter was judged by IPPA to have the best tenderloin in the state this year.
"You've put a lot of pride on my sleeve," Risetter said when contacted by IPPA earlier this week. "This is awesome. I can't stop smiling."
The Grid Iron Grill has been in business since 2008 when Risetter and his uncle opened the restaurant. Burke buys 300 to 400 pounds of fresh pork a week and serves about 400 tenderloins each week. Fresh pork loins are cut daily and each tenderloin is seven to eight ounces. They are tenderized twice, tapped out instead of pounded out and given a light egg wash. One fryer is used for all pork items to preserve the true pork flavor.
"A wonderful golden brown, center cut, cooked to perfection breaded pork tenderloin," commented judge Phillip Carey, executive chef and professor at the Des Moines Area Community College Culinary Institute. "The even thickness of the pork loin made this sandwich very enjoyable to eat. A true test of a good breaded pork tenderloin is you can eat it with just a bun. This one was that type of sandwich and I'm ready to go back for another."
Risetter said he was thrilled just to be one of the contest finalists and is proud of his entire 24-member staff.
"I've been in food service my whole life and I always wanted my own business," Risetter said. "I feel like this is a little bit of a reward and I'm thrilled to death."
The IPPA Restaurant and Foodservice Committee will make the official presentation at the restaurant next week. Risetter will receive a check for $500, a plaque and a large banner to display. The Grid Iron Grill also will need to brace itself for a substantial increase in traffic.
IPPA judges selected the Northside Café in Winterset as the runner up in this year's contest. IPPA will present the café with a check for $250 and a plaque. The Buffalo Tavern in Burlington, Lake View's Thirsty Carp and the Double Dip in Chariton rounded out the top five finalists. These restaurants will receive a Top Five Plaque to display in their restaurant.
Those who submit restaurant nominations also win in this contest. Everyone who nominated the Grid Iron Grill was entered into a drawing for $100 from IPPA. The lucky winner is Ryan Cushman of Webster City who will now be able to enjoy many of the grill's tenderloins.
IPPA received 3,014 nominations with 271 different establishments named. The committee judged 43 establishments last summer on the quality of the pork, taste, physical characteristics and eating experience.
The Grid Iron Grill is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, when it serves a brunch.
The tenderloin contest is held to celebrate the state's dedicated pig farmers, local restaurants and their hard-working teams and a famous Midwest favorite-the pork tenderloin sandwich.
Nick's on Army Post Road won the 2016 contest, becoming the first-ever Des Moines restaurant to win the contest.