In a small town, not far from the northeast most corner of Cedar Rapids, lies a small restaurant with a big reputation.

Iowa Pork Producers Association
Iowa Pork Producers Association

Prairieburg, Iowa, population 188, has one restaurant; PrairieMoon on Main. PrarieMoon competed against 390 restaurants across Iowa, and came out on top, being ranked with the state's best breaded tenderloin sandwich.

For owner's Loren and Lacy, six years of research have gotten them to a point of a perfect process. They started when the couple managed the Wapsipinicon Country Club in Anamosa, but they say they opened their restaurant about a year and a half ago.

PrarieMoon has a local grocer cut loins into half-pound slices. The meat is then soaked in buttermilk for 3 days, helping tenderize it. The meat is then breaded in a dry and unseasoned fine cracker meal. The meat is never frozen, and is fried to order.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association presented the award on Friday, along with a $500 prize. The association also helped provide 1,500 of the sandwiches at a special price of $1.

"We want to encourage folks to go try the winning sandwich and support locally owned restaurants, which have suffered a heavy blow from COVID-19 closures and occupancy restrictions," said Kelsey Sutter, the association's marketing and programs director.

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