Okay, so the Peoria Hot Dog Wars is over for this year. It was a lot of fun, but now it’s time for something new. I wanted to do another food challenge, but didn’t want this one to be a competition. I wanted to do something with tenderloin sandwiches, because they are so unique to the Midwest and to Peoria and the towns surrounding it.
People have strong tenderloin opinions in this area. I found that out when I asked for suggestions on facecrack and got over 230 comments and the list is still growing! So I decided to try twenty tenderloins in twenty weeks. Why twenty tenderloins? Because it just sounds right, that’s why!
So this little Tenderloin Tour is going to go until the third week in January of 2014. Thanks to all of the suggestions on facecrack I have a lot of places to choose from. For my inaugural tenderloin trip, I wanted to go some place where I’ve never been before. One place that got repeat requests was the Midway Duck Inn in Lowpoint, Illinois (One was from MBIP reader and friend, Liz who we met way back when this blog started out.) I checked it out online and it looked like a great place to begin. And so, let us begin...
For some reason my GPS couldn't get the location of this place, so I had to go old school and write the directions down on the back of a calendar page. Hopefully we'll make it there, time will tell!
Off we go in search of Duck Inn and the first tenderloin of twenty.
The first obstacle of the trip, a bridge. I don't mind these things as much at night, but they still freak me out during the daytime. Hellooo anxiety attack!
After the bridge it was a nice ride here out in the country. And here we are at Midway Duck Inn, the place looks cool, nice and rustic!
Let's go in and see what's shaking inside.
I immediately met Jeannie at the door who's the owner along with her husband, Ken. They've owned the place for the last twelve years and the Duck Inn has been here since 1930. It's a standing monument of history in this area.
Jeannie took me to a window to show me the Hummingbirds that buzz around on the outside. They're fun to watch, but tough to get a picture of. I finally snapped this guy taking a break from flying around.
The spacious dining room is in the front of the building and as you can see they do a brisk business.
I love the wooden walls in here. The whole place has an old school hunting lodge feel to it. You feel like you're in a private club in here.
I'm not the only one loving the vibe in here, check out the thumbs up from that guy over there at one of the dining tables.
The dining room was nice, but I naturally gravitated to the bar. And it's quite a nice looking horseshoe bar.
Bartender Erica served up a pre-tenderloin Budweiser with a cute smile.
Here's the taps at Duck Inn with Erica in action behind the bar.
A shot of the back of the bar where the liquor bottles are set up old school, unlit in front of the wooden wall.
Sarah and Brandon were seated at the bar enjoying lunch. It turns out Sarah reads MBIP and she also works here but came in during her off time for lunch. That's a pretty good endorsement for the food right there!
Sarah showed me this picture of the Midway Duck Inn baseball team from 1944.
When I got back to the bar this corn fritter was waiting for me. Liz mentioned on facecrack that their corn fritters were amazing so I had to try one before the tenderloin. It looks and smells fantastic!
As good as it looks, it tastes even better. This was worth the trip in itself, an amazing corn fritter!
Hey now, here's the star of today's blog, the Duck Inn tenderloin. It looks every bit as good as people said it was.
All dressed up with mustard onions and pepper and ready to be tried out on this inaugural tenderloin trip. My mouth is watering, so let's have a bite...
Lots of porky goodness in this sandwich. It's made just the way I like them, lightly breaded, crispy on the outside and juicy and succulent on the inside.
After I finished my tenderloin I was on my way out and ran into Jeannie who was serving up one of their catfish dinners. I will be returning to the MIdway Duck Inn!
Okay, one thing I thought I'd do is to post a warm up review of the tenderloins I sample. I have a feeling that I'm never going to finish a whole tenderloin in one sitting, so I'll also post how it was finishing it the next day. I went to the Duck Inn last Sunday, so I had the leftovers yesterday for lunch. Here they are getting ready to be nuked in the official MBIP microwave oven.
The photo is a little fuzzy and as you can see the bun shrunk down from the overnight stay in the fridge, but it held it's flavor and made for a great lunch on Monday. We'll see you all tomorrow...and hey, let's be careful out there!
The Midway Duck Inn is famous for their tenderloin and now I see why. It’s big, but not wacky-ass big where you’re not even going to be able to finish it in two days. It’s lightly breaded and there’s a decent layer of tender pork inside. I don’t like tenderloins that have heavy breading and at the Duck Inn, it was done just the way I like tenderloins. Fresh, crisp on the outside and porky on the inside, a great start to this tenderloin tour!
Midway Duck Inn is also famous for their pan fried chicken (it says so right there on the menu!) The catfish looked phenomenal and I’ve heard the cheeseburger is top notch, so I may have to come back out here on a Saturday sometime soon!
Three Porky Pigs, a great tenderloin at a unique and fun place. If you’ve never been to Midway Duck Inn, you should definitely check it out.
Midway Duck Inn
2112 Illinois 26
Low Point, Illinois