- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—GREENSBURG — The never-ending search for the perfect tenderloin sandwich brought seven Indiana eateries to the downtown square Saturday afternoon, each of which put their own unique spin on some “Hoosier Soul Food.”

But after every bite had met the mouths of six esteemed judges (and hundreds of hungry visitors) Mayasari Indonesian Grill took the top prize and two others.

The downtown restaurant, fronted by owners Mayasari Effendi and her husband Rick Mays, took the people’s choice award as well as top honors in the most creative and best grilled categories.

By virtue of their finish as the favorite among event-goers, Effendi and her crew earned a pig trophy fashioned by chainsaw out of the wood of a walnut tree by artist Brian Christman.

The victorious crew celebrated their victory, but took time to praise the formidable competition, which included local establishments as well as restaurants from Batesville, Columbus and Indianapolis cultural district Broad Ripple.

“It’s beyond anything we could have imagined,” Mays said after Mayasari was announced as the people’s choice winner.

The winners were quick to sing the praises of their competitors, too, which nearly doubled last year’s number of entrants.

“The competition did incredibly well,” Mays remarked.

Effendi seconded those comments saying the field of six competitors “did an amazing job.”

Mobbed by happy friends and colleagues, Mays and Effendi were grateful to the community and their fellow restaurateurs who pulled out all the stops to create the finest tenderloin dishes each could dream up and serve.

“We’re blessed to have so many good friends who want to help us out,” Mays said.

The victory celebration followed a great deal of preparation, Mays added.

“It’s not one of those things where tonight you think about it and tomorrow you do it,” he commented.

Effendi said she worked for about four weeks to craft her restaurant’s breaded entry for the competition.

The Indonesian restaurant’s other two awards came in the form of jigsaw puzzle-like pigs created by From Tree to Art.

Also receiving one of the sought-after puzzle pigs was the crew of Pop’s Diner. The restaurant, located on Old U.S. 421 in Greensburg, made its Tenderloin Throwdown debut Saturday and claimed the honor of best breaded tenderloin in the show.

“We are so excited to take home the best breaded tenderloin title,” a post on the Pop’s Diner Facebook page read Monday. “Thanks to everyone that came out and supported us.”

Like their counterparts at Mayasari, the Pop’s Diner crew received their trophy and took a moment to pose for photos with Miss Tree City Morgan Nobbe and Little Miss Tree City Chase Christianson.

Mayasari won most creative and people’s choice last year, during the inaugural Tenderloin Throwdown. Lincoln Street Grill took the prizes for best breaded and best grilled last year and returned with a new spin on things this year.

As was the case with all seven booths lining the courthouse square, the Lincoln Street tent saw a steady stream of customers. The popular local eatery specializes in steaks and ribs, but the lines around the booth proved its tenderloins are no slouch, either. All booths offered sample-sized treats as well as full sandwiches.

Adam Ollberding and his crew of Lil’ Charlie’s staffers also returned for the second iteration of the event, and though they didn’t go back to Batesville with a trophy this year, they were happy to show their wares to Tree City patrons.

Ollberding said his restaurant showcased a smoked tenderloin alongside another that featured a sauce made in-house.

Also returning was the Columbus Bar, headed by Cory Parker. The Bartholomew County establishment is well-known for its pretzel buns and sauerkraut bowls.

New this year were the efforts of Union Jack, a popular spot for visitors and residents of the Broad Ripple area, and fellow Indy-based food stop Hoosier Fat Daddy. The latter of those two businesses undoubtedly featured the most unique name of the event, but both appeared to appeal to Greensburg residents stopping by for a bite.

Main Street Greensburg Executive Director Wendy Blake was pleased with the day, which featured beautiful weather to complement the myriad food offerings on-hand.

Blake said she hopes to send out a survey soon to cull more ideas for next year’s event. The executive director said she hopes to have more businesses grill up some fun next year, in addition to adding more vendor booths and other activities.

To be sure, Saturday’s wide array of vendors helped create a festival-like atmosphere downtown. Face painting and bounce houses gave kids plenty to do, while shoppers looking for one-of-a-kind handcrafted items were treated to just that — several times over.

Local businesses set up temporary shop in tents dotting the courthouse lawn while entrepreneurs with artistic minds welcomed shoppers and curious onlookers alike.

“I think it went really well,” Blake said. “We got lots of positive feedback.”

Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056; [email protected]

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(c)2015 the Greensburg Daily News (Greensburg, Ind.)

Visit the Greensburg Daily News (Greensburg, Ind.) at www.greensburgdailynews.com

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