My weekends have involved lots of trips through Kansas City and opportunities to try new restaurants. My most recent trip took me to a restaurant surrounded by taquerias and South American food; Tenderloin Grill is located just minutes from KC’s popular Power and Light district. The family has been serving sandwiches the same way since they started out of a wagon in 1932. Their slogan is “the times have changed but we haven’t.”
Tenderloin Grill is known for their hand-battered pork tenders as well as their pig snoots. They are both sandwiches that are dressed the same way: mustard, in-house hot sauce, horseradish, onion, and tomato. They will ask if you want their standard dress, so there is an option to leave things off. I had to give both a try.
First, let’s talk about the pork tender sandwich. It is lightly breaded to add some flavor but not overpower the pork. Obviously it’s going to be on the greasy side; it’s a fried chunk of pork for Pete’s sake! If you order the standard dress for the sandwich, be prepared for some heat. The hot sauce they make in house is flavorful and lives up to being called “hot”. Pair that with the horseradish and your sinuses are going to have that familiar nose-tingling burn. Thanks allyl isothiocyanate.
If staring at two pig nostrils doesn’t bother you, why not try a snoot sandwich? Unlike their crispy cousins served in St. Louis, these are pressure cooked and then boiled. The snoot had more meat on it than you would think. If you have texture issues, this may not be for you. It lands somewhere between tender pot roast and jello on the texture scale. This was the first sandwich I have ever eaten that sniffed me back! For me, this sandwich was more of a gimmick. Trying it allowed me to renew my man card for the year.
Tenderloin Grill turned out to be a unique stop as I drove through KC. The pork tender sandwich was great and now I can say I have had pig snoots both St. Louis and Kansas City styles. It’s a fun little diner that believes in doing things the old school way is the only way.
Dive 2 Five Scale: 2. It’s definitely more on the “divey” side of things in a good way. It has that diner feel and is very simple. You can watch the food being cooked right behind the counter. You will use a lot of napkins because these sandwiches leak mustard and hot sauce everywhere. Maybe it should be BYOB (bring your own bib).