Tenderloin recipe change pays off for Winterset cafe

Tenderloin recipe change pays off for Winterset cafe

The Northside Café in Winterset changed its tenderloin recipe this year with an eye toward winning the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s 2017 Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin contest. The move paid off because the café earned the runner-up award in the competition.

IPPA presented café owners Walter and Michele Jahncke and Scott Valencia with a check for $250 and a plaque at the restaurant today. The group is in its sixth year of ownership.

“It’s a great honor considering Iowa is one of the largest pork producing states in the U.S.,” said Valencia. “To be judged by a group that manages that is tremendous and to be given the honor of people believing that our product is that good is a great thing.”

While the goal was the top prize, the owners vow to keep trying.

“The recipe was changed this year specifically for going after the best tenderloin contest,” Valencia said. “We’re really proud of it. We have a little more tweaking to do. We want number one next year.”

The tenderloin is the Northside Café’s top selling item. The restaurant has been known for its Iowa comfort food and has always had the tenderloin, but it didn’t become its best seller until they changed the recipe.

Rep. Stan Gustafson of Cumming and his wife were among the patrons enjoying the Northside’s tenderloins today. The one-time California restaurant owner knows what it takes to run a successful restaurant and is proud that his district is well represented in the IPPA contest.

“The Northside Café certainly is a successful one,” Gustafson said. “I think it’s really great. We’ve been coming here since it opened and we really enjoy the food and getting to know the owners and the people here. They do a great job and I’m very happy to see they’ve gotten this award.”

The Grid Iron Grill in Webster City was judged by IPPA to have the best tenderloin in the state this year.

IPPA received 3,014 tenderloin nominations this year 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 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.