The twinkling blue eyes under the camouflage baseball cap were perplexed. “You want what, now?” he asked. “I’ll have to check.” He turned to the lanky cook behind him. “She wants a tenderloin sandwich, without the tenderloin. Can we do that?” They conferred a minute and came up with a way to charge me for a deluxe sandwich, hold the meat.
“Probably never happened to you here before, huh?” I asked, sympathetically. “No,” he allowed, “I can’t say that it has.”
It is true that people don’t head to Gnaw Bone Food and Fuel for the vegetarian fare. One of the most highly acclaimed
eateries in Indiana (how many get extensive write-ups in Gourmet magazine, after all?) this little gas station/broasted chicken dive of a place on State Road 46 between Nashville and Columbus is the go-to destination for one of the best breaded tenderloin sandwiches in the state. The proprietors claim that the key is in the broasting (a kind of high pressure deep frying) that cooks the tenderloin quickly, crisping the outside while keeping the inside tender and juicy. This tenderloin doesn’t have to be pounded within an inch of its life in order to be cooked thoroughly in the fryer, and that makes for a meatier, moister sandwich. My husband gave it high marks, and he is a tough sell in the tenderloin department.
Still, I am not much of a meat eater. Figuring one high cholesterol sandwich in the family was enough I ordered mine sans tenderloin. Once they got over their consternation and bemusement, they came through just fine. It’s not going to get them back into the pages of Gourmet, but my vegetarian sandwich was plenty good.
Gnaw Bone Food and Fuel
4947 East St. Road 46
Gnaw Bone, IN
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Truly a feast for the carnivorous and fat fearless. A Michelin “vaut-le-detour” if not a vaut-le-voyage!
-Holt Parker and Barbara Burrell