Chow Town

Gatelifter Sandwich still a delight at the Tenderloin Grill

Tenderloin Grill snoot sandwiches leave nothing to the imagination except, “How does it taste?” to newcomers.
Tenderloin Grill snoot sandwiches leave nothing to the imagination except, “How does it taste?” to newcomers. Special to The Star

One of my neighbors has fond memories of eating pig snoot sandwiches at the Tenderloin Grill on Southwest Boulevard when he was a child.

George, with his dad, uncles and male cousins — “it was a guy thing” — enjoyed a Gatelifter Sandwich with soda pop and potato chips back in the day. His favorite part of the sandwich was the tender cheek meat.

Why “Gatelifter?” Barnyard hogs are good at using their snouts for leverage. In addition to their leveraging and culinary qualities, pig noses, especially the noses of sows, are valued for their ability to smell, find and lift truffles.

Ashlee Ruhl, today’s Tenderloin Grill proprietor, could share enough Tenderloin stories to write a book, if she had time. It’s a busy place, with constant management and kitchen demands, plus making sure customers are enjoying the food and ambiance.

Last week our occasional group of “Pig Snoot Wednesday” friends met at the Tenderloin at 900 Southwest Boulevard for informal fellowship, fun and food. Some eat snoot. Others eat tenderloin sandwiches or burgers, or both as a “Tenderger.” We were pleased that Ashlee has added beer to the beverage menu — Boulevard Wheat, Modelo, Corona, Bud Lite, Budweiser and Miller Lite.

Last week pig snoot cuisine was a Chow Town standout. Ashlee told us that we just missed Andrew Zimmern and a film crew stopped by the Tenderloin, also known as “Pig Snoot Heaven,” for pig snoot sandwiches.

Ashlee said Zimmern loved the pig snoot sandwich. It’s great to know that he is eligible for induction into our Ad Hog Association of Chow Town Pig Snoot Lovers. We were told that his Kansas City culinary adventures will air this November. Can’t wait.

Today’s Chow Town barbecue restaurants have yet to offer pig snoot and rib tip combos like St. Louis. That may never catch on here, but thank goodness we have the Tenderloin Grill, 83 years old and counting.

Ardie Davis founded a sauce contest on his backyard patio in 1984 that became the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Rub & Baste contest. He is a charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and an inductee into the KCBS Hall of Flame. He has been interviewed on food shows and writes for barbecue-related publications. His most recent release is America’s Best BBQ (Revised Edition), with chef Paul Kirk.