Every Iowan knows how much this state loves its pork. Everyone from here knows that there are more hogs than people.

It would be a real shame if this weren't one of the best places in the country to eat some delicious pork. It was no surprise to Iowans that in 2023 the best pork tenderloin in the WORLD was from an Iowa restaurant called Darell's Place.

One Iowa man has decided to embark on his own adventure to discover the state's best pork tenderloin for himself. Jay Goodvin is visiting all 99 counties in Iowa to determine where the state's best pork tenderloin is located.

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This has to be one of the most "Iowa" endeavors you'll ever see and I'm all for it. In May, Jay posted this video on social media and he began his adventure in Johnson County. He's calling this endeavor '99 Pork Tenderloins.'


99 Pork Tenderloins

According to Who13, Jay believes himself to be a bit of a tenderloin connoisseur, as well as 90% of Iowans. When asked about his 99-county adventure, he says his favorite tenderloin spot is always changing.

"This seemed just like a natural fit because people always ask me, ‘Where’s your favorite tenderloin?' And I keep telling them where it’s at, but it always changes. We all have our favorites. We all have our favorite ways to eat them. We all have our favorite communities to go to have them in.

My opinion isn’t any more important than anybody else’s because I know that we’re going to get comments on social media saying you should have gone here, you should have gone there. But I love that because it gives us more ideas for our future travel."

Facebook, Canva
Facebook, Canva

Jay is 100% right about Iowa's favorite tenderloins. Every tenderloin is created a little bit differently but 99 times out of 100, they're going to taste great. Even if they are presented in different ways, like the toppings that are put on the sandwich or how the pork is cooked, your favorite tenderloin spot can change every day in Iowa.

Jay does have a preference if these toppings are available and he also has a favorite condiment.

"I usually do all of the vegetables like lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles. I love mustard on it like most people do."

Follow The Journey!

As of June 14th, Jay has completed 11 counties out of 99. His goal is to complete all 99 counties and find his favorite spot within the year, according to Who13. After eating that many pork tenderloins, one could wonder if Jay would ever get sick of traveling or eating that many sandwiches. That doesn't appear likely for Jay.

"I didn’t get sick of steaks when we were doing the T-bone trail in western Iowa. I’m not going to get sick of being on the blacktop. I’m not going to get sick of going all over Iowa because it’s just what I love to do."

Follow Jay's journey on The Iowa Gallivant Facebook page. You never know which spot might surprise you as one of Iowa's best tenderloin spots! Check out Iowa's Pork Tenderloin Trail and you can create your very own summer adventure in Iowa!

The Iowa Tenderloin Trail 2.0

Iowa's best food tour is the Iowa Tenderloin Trail, which was put together by the Iowa Pork Producers Association! Here are all 13 restaurants on the list:

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

Which Restaurant Has the Best Onion Rings in the Corridor?

Using several posts from the Cedar Rapids Area Support Local Group Facebook page, we put together a list of amazing onion rings in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area. Here recommendations from Eastern Iowans from the past few years:

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

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