The pork tenderloin sandwich is so distinctly Iowa. It's tough to find the equivalent even in other nearby states like Illinois and Wisconsin. While you don't have to go very far to find a delicious tenderloin sandwich, where do you go to find the best?

That's the self-made mission of an Iowa content creator, who is traveling to all 99 counties in the state, trying various pork tenderloins in effort to find his favorite!

Y105 logo
Get our free mobile app

That man is Jay Goodvin, who calls himself the "Chief Explorer" of The Iowa Gallivant. The latter is the name of his website, where he blogs about his trips around the state, and all over the US, with photos and writeups about his adventures. His latest challenge is called "99 Pork Tenderloins" (for the 99 restaurants he plans to visit).

Goodvin presently lives in Iowa City, but he's committed to traveling to all 99 counties and trying various pork tenderloins. He told KTIV News 4 about his mission, which he says spawned from the fact that when people asked him where they could find his favorite pork tenderloin, he kept giving different answers because he likes so many:

We all have our favorites. We all have our favorite ways to eat them. And 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 travels and we always say our favorite destination is the next one when it comes to The Iowa Gallivant. - Jay Goodvin, per KTIV News 4

Goodvin has gotten great at documenting his adventures on social media, particularly TikTok, where his videos have amassed over 22,000 likes. He currently sits at just under 5,000 followers, and he might be gaining more quickly with the popularity and coverage of his latest challenge.

Goodvin revealed he likes his pork tenderloin piled high with veggies, such as lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles. He's gotta have mustard on his sandwiches too!

Photo Credits: Iowa Ingredient, YouTube + Canva
Photo Credits: Iowa Ingredient, YouTube + Canva

Goodvin also said he's been in communication with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, who are currently in the middle of their annual competition to find the best pork tenderloin in the state. The two entities are separate, but they're both on a similar mission.

Every year since 2003, Iowa Pork has honored a restaurant serving the best breaded pork tenderloin in the state. All the way back in 2003, Darrell's Place in Hamlin, IA won the first contest. The winner of that competition will be announced in October.

Y105 logo
Get our free mobile app

Meanwhile, Goodvin has a way's to go. He is hoping to find his favorite within a year. He recently tried Kelly's Little Nipper in Polk County, which marked #11 of 99 restaurants he plans to visit.

Keep up with Jay Goodvin's travels on his website and his TikTok page!

The Perfect Father's Day Gift for Any Iowa Dad

Need a gift idea for dad? You're sure to find something on this list!

Gallery Credit: Johnny Marks

More From Y105