Quick Bites: Calabria is winding down
Posted: 06/25/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Marshall V. King
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On Friday, Gina and Freddie Porpiglia will close the doors of Calabria, their Italian restaurant on S.R. 120 east of Elkhart, to enjoy retirement.
Truth Photo By Mark Shephard
ELKHART — The Porpiglias have been saying goodbye and meeting new friends along the way.
Nino Porpiglia, whose family has owned and operated Calabria Restaurant for the last 17 years, said returning customers have been coming in. But new ones have as well and became regulars, if even for a short time.
Freddie built the restaurant and Gina oversaw what came out of the kitchen. Son Nino promoted, marketed and was often the public face.
The Italian restaurant is closing Friday and having a tent party Saturday. The event starts at 5 p.m. with a large buffet dinner. There will be an open bar and entertainer Greg Rini will perform. The cost is $90 per person and tickets can be purchased at the restaurant, 21813 S.R. 120, Elkhart, or by calling 574-294-6994.
The Porpiglias made good food and were always inviting at their restaurant. They developed a loyal clientele. Good luck to them as they move into retirement or other things.
• The pop-up restaurants at the Elkhart Jazz Festival this past weekend were a great addition to the downtown restaurants and the street food vendors. Cafe Navarre, ModMex and Lucchese’s all found ways to serve food and seat people and Adam’s Bistro brought more flavors to downtown. It’s a great example of local restaurant owners trying something new in a community event and I was a fan of what they did.
• Roeum Dim, who may be better known as Mrs. Lucky, is thinking about a new location to serve her cooking.
The traffic pattern at 700 W. Bristol St., Elkhart, outside Lucky’s Donuts is changing because of a new median. It’s more difficult to enter the parking lot from Bristol Street rather than Michigan Street.
Roeum and Lucky are serving Thai/Cambodian food in a doughnut shop and she’s thinking about building a new restaurant on the corner that would serve her excellent food. If it happens, it’d take a while to get the pieces in place, she said.
• Fat Tomato is having a patio party from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday featuring beer from Greenbush Brewing Co., according to owner Cam Snyder. The probable lineup includes six beers to go along with the new items on the Fat Tomato summer menu. The restaurant is at 4100 E. Bristol St., Elkhart.
• I miss Piper’s in Goshen. It was a pizza and sandwich place that closed years ago on the south side of town. The closest you can get locally to the subs or white sandwich bread is at Terry’s Pizza & Sub, which wasn’t connected to Piper’s, but does some similar things. I enjoyed a sandwich from Terry’s, 426 N. Main St., Middlebury, recently. The hot sandwich was full of fresh ingredients and served on good bread.
• It came and went last week, but The Chief in Goshen had maple bacon as its flavor of the week. I have a pint in my freezer, but haven’t tried it yet.
• More than a dozen readers responded with their favorite restaurants in southwest Michigan after I posed the question a few weeks ago. Thanks for all the great responses.
The three places most often mentioned were in New Buffalo, a great town on the shore of Lake Michigan — Brewster’s Italian Cafe, The Stray Dog and Redamak’s. All three are pretty casual places. Redamak’s specializes in burgers. The Stray Dog has a rooftop and lake view, according to Renee Cocanower.
Byron Warkentin praised Blue Plate Cafe and Casual Chef in Union Pier, Cafe Gulistan in Harbert and Froelich’s in Three Oaks.
Doug Kramer touted Casey’s in New Buffalo for martinis and steaks and Gordon Beach Inn for its sea bass.
Wheatberry Restaurant and Tavern is a favorite of Shari and Lyle Bontrager. The Middlebury couple has taken friends back to visit the restaurant in Buchanan.
Heather O’Dell praised the chicken pesto sandwich at Viola Cafe in Three Oaks. Kathie Estes likes Rosie’s in New Buffalo, Phoenix Street Cafe in South Haven and Silver Beach Pizza in that town’s train depot.
Several people mentioned places further north: Tosi’s and Grand Mere Inn.
You can find the phone numbers of most of these places at www.harborcountry.com/guide/dining.html.
Marshall V. King is news/multimedia editor and food columnist for The Elkhart Truth/eTruth.com. You can reach him at 296-5805, firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @hungrymarshall or via [URL]www.facebook.com/diningalaking;[URL].[/URL]