North Manchester, Indiana is famous for many things; a gorgeous downtown, a great university, and, Mr. Dave's.
"You're only as good as your last meal. You got to keep doin' it right," says Dave Clapp, founder of the famous local eatery nearly fifty years ago.
"Every restaurant needs an identity they need something different from any other restaurant and we've done that with breaded tenderloin."
Breaded tenderloin, two little words that made Mr. Dave's a town treasure. Owner Kevin Clapp says it starts with a fresh, never frozen, pork loin
"We cut the center cut here from here to here goes into our breaded tenderloin," Kevin explains. "The ends to our fresh pork barbeque, and then this section here is the grilled tenderloin you fry on the grille."
Once cut the fresh tenderloin goes to Teresa Seitz. 22 years at Mr. Dave's has taught her precisely how to prepare it so customers like Steve Reiff keep coming back.
How long has he bee coming to Mr. Dave's? "Oh my, this goes back to the time I was in High School," he says, "when Dave had a drive-in out the edge of town."
That was back in 1962. Dave Clapp moved the business into town in 1972 and brought most of the town with him. Five restaurant chains have taken him on and he's beaten them back, every one of them. Mr. Dave's not afraid of anyone.
"Young kids like to go to McDonalds<" Dave explains, "but after they get a little older and realize what a good sandwich is all about they come here."
Dave sold the business to son Kevin years ago but he still pops in to help out, glad hand the customers and just take in what he's created; a great tenderloin, a lot of friends, and a North Manchester tradition.
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