The top five finalists have been announced for the 17th annual Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin Contest in Iowa, sponsored by the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA).
They include: Big Al's BBQ in Des Moines; Night Hawk Bar & Grill in Slater; The Pub at the Pinicon in New Hampton; Stumble Inn in Bradford; and West Side Family Restaurant in Grinnell.
The first- and second-place winners will be named later this month as part of #Porktober19, or October Pork Month.
"All of the top five finalists scored highly in our first round of judging this summer, which included 40 restaurants from around the state," said Kelsey Sutter, IPPA marketing and programs director. "And we're excited to announce Iowa's Best for 2019."
IPPA received 5,390 nominations for 470 different establishments during the spring nomination period. Those numbers are up significantly from nearly 1,600 nominations for 380 establishments in 2018.
"We made some improvements to simplify the nomination process, and we're thrilled to see that it resulted in more tenderloin enthusiasm from loyal fans across the state nominating their favorites," Sutter said.
Any Iowa restaurant, café or tavern that has hand-breaded or battered pork tenderloins on its menu is eligible to be nominated. In order to win, the nominated business must be open year-round; however, seasonal restaurants can be in the final top five.
The winning restaurant will receive $500, a plaque, a banner to display and statewide publicity that will bring in new business.
Winners from the past five years (past winners are not eligible for the competition): 2018 - Three C's Diner, Corning; 2017 - Grid Iron Grill, Webster City; 2016 - Nick's, Des Moines; 2015 - The Belmond Drive-In, Belmond; 2014 - The Lucky Pig Pub & Grill, Ogden.
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