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There's a new breaded tenderloin champion in Iowa | Here's where you can try it

Victoria Station owners Richard and Angela Buman reinvented the restaurant's pork tenderloin when they took over 18 months ago.

HARLAN, Iowa — A 131-year-old steakhouse in the town of Harlan has a new claim to fame. 

The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) honored Victoria Station with the 2021 Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin award.

Richard and Angela Buman took over the restaurant—the site of the couple's first date back in high school—18 months ago. 

The Bumans said there was "nothing wrong" with the previous tenderloin sandwich, but decided to reinvent it. The new hand-cut pork is tenderized three times and then coated in a blend of seasonings and marinated for at least an hour before being dipped in buttermilk breading and fried to order. 

The sandwich is served with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles, and the Bumans said it's best with their house-made garlic aioli and Texas toast.

“For the aioli, we use the garlic that we roast ourselves for the prime rib,” Richard said. “In my opinion, that really makes the sandwich stand out.”

Customers can also order the sandwich “buffalo style", with the tenderloins tossed in a cayenne pepper sauce.

Credit: Victoria Station/Iowa Pork Producers Association

Victoria Station is already experiencing what IPPA marketing and programs director Kelsey Sutter calls "the tenderloin tsunami." The restaurant sold two months' worth of tenderloin in just a week after being named one of the finalists, and they plan to hire an extra server to keep up. 

Sutter said past winners have sold five to 10 times more tenderloins in the month following their coronation.

“This contest has a huge following, and it’s always fun to see how many people are willing to make a road trip to explore our top homemade tenderloins," Sutter said.

One couple driving home to Atlanta took a 90-minute detour to try the famous dish for themselves, IPPA said in a release.

“We simply love great food and love entertaining, so this is a way we can do it and hopefully make a living at it,” Richard said.

Out of nearly 6,000 nominees, this year's runner-up is the 2007 winner, Larsen's Pub in Elk Horn. 

The other finalists were Old Road Cafe & Bar in Emerson, Z's Eatery and Draught Haus in Indianola and Stalker's Pub in Miles.

RELATED: Which of these 5 finalists make Iowa's best breaded pork tenderloin?

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