My search for the best breaded tenderloin in Indiana never ends. Many of you have suggested places to try. Unfortunately, I haven’t made it to all of them. I’m still on the hunt.
However, someone will have to come up with something special to beat the breaded tenderloin I discovered in my own backyard. I live in Johnson County near Franklin. Downtown Franklin is the home of Ann’s Restaurant, and Ann’s Restaurant is home to one very special breaded tenderloin.
You can find huge tenderloins at restaurants, pubs, festivals and fairs. Often those are thin on meat and big on breading. You can also find meaty tenderloins, but they’re usually not much larger than the size of a regular bun. And you can find tenderloins with a crispy, crunchy coating that blends into the savory taste of white meat pork.
The trick is finding two of the three — let alone all three — in one sandwich. The folks at Ann’s Restaurant accomplish that feat. Their tenderloin is huge, very meaty and cooked to light brown perfection in a savory, appealing coating. It’s so good, I often order it without the bun and eat it with a fork, enjoying each tantalizing bite.
Place with history
Ann’s Restaurant is what this column is all about: Hoosier places not everyone knows about, but that put out great food. It’s Franklin’s oldest restaurant, dating back to 1952, when it opened as Alta’s Place. It was owned by Alta Spicer, had seating for 13, and was open 24 hours a day.
The restaurant was forced to move when the Suckow building was razed. The Suckow name was well-known in those parts because of the Suckow Mill, a large feed mill that operated in what today is downtown Franklin. Alta’s sister, Ann Daugherty, took over the restaurant after it moved and renamed it.
That building burned in 1987 but reopened four months later. Today it seats 100.
You can find it at 77 West Monroe St. on the southwest side of the Courthouse in downtown Franklin. Call 317-736-5421 or visit annsrestaurant.com. Hours are 6 a.m. to 2.p.m. EDT, Monday through Saturday. Come hungry!