I've never had the pleasure of a pork tenderloin sandwich, be it homemade with nostalgia or purchased from a purveyor in Indiana, where the recipe originated. Someday, I hope to make it to the legendary Mug n Bun drive-in in Indianapolis.
Who wouldn't want to eat at a place called the Mug n Bun? Plus, you can wash down your Hoosier pork tenderloin with homemade root beer. For the uninitiated, Indiana's most famous sandwich involves a dinner plate-sized piece of pork, pounded, breaded, fried, and served on a bun that looks tiny by comparison.
The sandwich was invented in 1908 in Huntington, IN, by Nick Frienstein, the owner of Nick's Kitchen. He probably got the idea from German Wiener schnitzel and, according to food lore, Nick perfected his pork-pounding method when his brother Jake lost a few fingers from frostbite. Writes Roadfood:
Jake, whose job it was to bread the slices of pork, found that his stumps made good tools for pounding the meat to make it tender.
Cool! And kind of gross! Regardless, the sandwich became a wildly popular local favorite and now blankets menus across the state of Indiana and parts of Illinois. Though Nick's Kitchen is apparently still in operation, the Mug n Bun is the place most people cite as the ideal pork tenderloin stop. Plus, like I said, the name is hard to pass up.