I never thought anything good could come from Taco Bell. The Mexican pizza, the Enchirito, the cheesy gorditas: No thanks. But I underestimated the power of their slogan, Think Outside the Bun. The new Tenderland trailer, on Manor Road, has appropriated that idea in the most literal way possible—with the largest, most expansive pork tenderloin sandwich that anyone has ever seen. In other words, their signature entrée isn’t held back by its bready limits. Instead, the pounded-thin, perfectly deep-fried pork expands for inches around its bun. I modestly ordered the small size, so I have a feeling that the circumference of the large would rival a frisbee’s. But it’s not all about quantity here. Some of you may remember our 40 Best Small-Town Cafes story from a while back. While researching that story, I tried so many chicken-fried somethings that I vowed I would never eat deep-fried crust again. But even I couldn’t resist this golden crunchiness and the tender pork hiding inside. Served on a grilled sweet bun with chopped onions, sliced pickles, and mustard, this is junk food at its finest. Their hamburger was tasty too: a thick patty stacked with romaine lettuce, juicy tomato, and chopped onions on a jalapeño bun. The meat itself could have used a bit more seasoning, but overall, it made for good eats. We gobbled it up, along with the hand-cut, addictive french fries. Tenderland’s grub isn’t innovative or groundbreaking (except in the sense that you might, well, break the ground/floor/scale if you eat too much of it). It’s comfort food, through and through. So go get yourself a small tenderloin sandwich for lunch, or a large one for the frisbee golf course at Pease Park. 2406 Manor Road. Open Tue–Sat 11–7. Closed Sun & Mon. Posted by Megan Giller
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