Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Big Daddy’s Bar and Grill – Indianapolis, IN

I did what I normally do before I go check out a city I hadn’t been to in a while. I hopped online and did some food research. I ended up finding this amazing blog - Indy Restaurant Scene - that had some great recommendations. I scrolled down until I found a listing for breaded pork tenderloins (the national dish of Indianapolis, unless you’re from Indianapolis). It suggested we go check out Big Daddy’s for a serious-sized tenderloin. In fact, I tricked a couple of roller derby significant others to come with me and have lunch before the derby action got started. ZackTorture, Slam, MommasBoy, and I piled into the car and headed out to gorge ourselves.
When we arrived, there wasn’t a single car in the parking lot – uh oh. Fortunately, when we tried the door (which claims a two drink minimum – seriously), it was open.
We headed inside and grabbed a table. It’s a nicely lit bar and not at all scary, like we had suspected. There are all sorts of interesting household items made into guitars hanging on the walls, so those of us whoe were musicians were pretty amused by it all. The really nice waitress came over and took our drink orders. I asked about Strongbow cider and she told me they didn’t have it, but they had this other new kind of cider. She handed me a table tent thing with an ad on it. It looked like it was being marketed to 6 year old girls. REALLY. So of COURSE I was going to try it. I love girly drinks. I got to choose between peach, strawberry, watermelon, and original flavors. I went with original.

She came back with the drinks and the guys started mocking. Really mocking. I had to admit, it was pretty wussy-looking in its metal bottle with cartoons all over it. It even said “apple wine” on the side of the bottle. REALLY wussy. I tried it and was not impressed. It was amazingly watered down – even lighter than Crispin cider, which I think is almost undrinkable. Very little flavor and no texture at all to it. I was going to drink this as fast as possible and get something else. It’s pretty clear this drink was designed by creepy old guys to lure underage girls into getting loaded and needing a “ride home”, since it has the same ABV as regular cider.

She took our orders and we explained we had heard about these giant tenderloins. She put three of us down for them and told us she’d be right back. ZackTorture had already eaten lunch, so he was just going to drink straight through. The waitress returned pretty quickly with our food.
The food is gigantic. Epic. Colossal. And any other big words you can think of. The tenderloin is beaten really thin and breaded with Corn Flake crumbs to make it sweet. But it is also served on a platter on top of two buns you have to hunt for to utilize. Yes, served on a platter, not a plate. It’s BIG. One of the most hilarious things about this is all three of us ate our pork-T’s differently. MommasBoy folded his in half, threw it on the bun, and went for speed.
Slam went with a tri-fold (I’m not kidding) on a bun, so his was triple thick and triple crunchy. I left mine on my plate and pulled chunks off around the outside until I hit the bun, then I put the single-thick portion that was left on the bun, heavily ketchup-ed it, and finished mine off.

I had also finished my children’s cider, so I ordered a straight Jack Daniels. The guys said it almost redeemed me in their eyes to drink such a manly drink. That was all I asked.

I know the review I had read online complained a little bit about the tenderloin being dry, but mine wasn’t at all. It wasn’t juicy like the one I had the previous day, but it was moist and had a great flavor and crunch, especially for how flat they had pounded this thing. It was reallllly thin. The hand-breading is what makes this thing. It’s breaded with corn flake crumbs which makes it just the slightest bit sweet and VERY crunchy. I really liked this breaded pork tenderloin a lot. The onion rings are also enormous – well, they’re very thick, anyway. They’re not freakishly large onions or anything, they’re just cut thick and battered really well.

MommasBoy and I finished our sandwiches. It was a struggle, which is saying something since I can eat a lot of food. Slam did some damage to his, but was unable to finish it up. And in case you’re wondering, yes, this IS very heavy food and you’ll want to take a nap immediately. You will NOT feel up to going to roller derby, painting your face, jumping up and down, and yelling for the next four hours. …Sigh… we did it anyway.

Big Daddy’s is a fun place and we were treated really well there. I’m really very curious as to something on the menu called the “Tenderloin for Two”. Was it twice as large as the single one, or is it just served with two sets of buns? I should have asked. Either way, the menu is pretty extensive and you really can’t go wrong with a breaded pork tenderloin. I’d recommend it!

Top 5 things about Big Daddy’s
1. Giant breaded pork tenderloin
2. Onion rings
3. Enormous menu
4. Really awesome staff
5. We capitalized on the two drink minimum

Bottom 5 things
1. Oliver Bean Blossom Hard Cider
2. You can still smoke in here (thankfully no one was)
3. Indescribable food coma
4. No Heinz ketchup in this town anywhere
5. I only got four onion rings and I couldn’t finish them… weak

Big Daddy’s Bar and Grill
2536 S Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46225


Erin in Indy said...

So glad I could be of assistance. :) really enjoying your Indy posts. Next time try the Pawn Shop for your tenerloin fix. Warning's a smoky bar.

Chao said...

I will happily deal with the smoke for a good tenderloin. I also heard about some Bun and Beer place or something like that. It kept popping up when I found out Indianapolis was the geographic center of Tenderloin-ville.

Thanks, Erin.

Erin in Indy said...

If it's mug n's a miss. Just went for the first time myself this past weekend and it was not very good... Many better tenderloins elsewhere. There is a whole Indy blogger who just does tenderloins (All Tenderloins All The Time). His link is on my Indy blog list on my blog.