Food partnerships making great new flavors

Lots of restaurant news in today's Quick Bites, including on new collaborations, a new coffee shop and Elkhart Dining Days.
Posted on Nov. 4, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

Sweet collaborations are popping up around Elkhart County.

And when you take a great product from one business and add it to another, it’s not just two plus two equaling four. The new flavors may be exponential.

The Nut Shoppe, 204 S. Main St., Goshen, is using beer from Elkhart’s Iechyd Da Brewing Co., 317 N. Main St., Elkhart, in its sweets. Breakfast Cookies Milk Stout and Dragon’s Lair Imperial Coffee Stout from the Elkhart brewpub were used to make truffles and gelato in November and December. On Nov. 9, which is Stout Day, Iechyd Da will have the gelato for customers to make beer floats. The brewpub will also be selling the chocolates, according to owner Summer Lewis.

Justin Bell, who owns The Nut Shoppe with his wife, Danae, suggested the collaboration and is excited about the results. I am too.

Using that stout and another in chocolate truffles is brilliant, as is putting it in gelato. The gelato made with Breakfast Cookies is great, though the one with Dragon’s Lair has a strong bitter finish. It’ll work well in those floats, but is tough to eat alone.

The chocolates, however, are a marvel. The beers add layers of flavors to the milk or dark chocolate truffles. I’d proudly give a box of these as a holiday gift and proudly proclaim that it’s the product of two Elkhart County businesses.

Also in November, The Daily Grind, 113 E. Lexington, will offer Happy Dance Cupcake’s caramel apple cider, car bomb, cookies and cream and tiramisu flavors. Owner Margaret Potuck said the flavors will rotate monthly.

I’ve long touted such collaborations. What if bacon from the local butchers was featured on the menus of a local cafe more often? County Seat Cafe uses Mishler’s sausage in that way.

Combining products from two places to create a new one is even better.

Ÿ Richie Lutes, former chef at Matterhorn, is joining the team at Lucchese’s. He’ll work alongside Bradley Harbaugh and co-owner Michele Lucchese. The changes to the menu this summer have resulted in many of the restaurant’s favorites from years ago selling well, Lucchese said. In addition, the restaurant purchased the martini recipes from Stirred and will be offering those soon, even as early as this week.

Ÿ My Dad’s Place is being reconstructed at 51425 S.R. 19, Elkhart. The fired that burned down the bar in January was ruled an arson, but no one has been arrested, according to owner Sandy Rogers.

“We’re hoping to be open by January,” she said. The new 3,000-square-foot building will have a larger kitchen and seating for about 75. “We’re trying to refocus a little bit,” she said, indicating that food will get more attention than entertainment and the weekend bar business.

Ÿ Elkhart Dining Days is giving $3,500 to Church Community Services for meals purchased at 18 restaurants over eight days in October. A total of 1,500 meals were served from special menus at the restaurants, according to Michele Scherpenberg of Epicureans Unite.

Ÿ Elkhart’s Grand Horizon Center has a new coffee shop called The Living Room, according to a press release. The shop opened in late September at 1610 S. Nappanee St., Elkhart. Refinery Coffee Co. is roasting the beans and The Living Room is using SugaRush Desserts and Rise & Roll Bakery items along with its own baked treats. Live bands are playing family-friendly shows on Friday nights, according to Kyle Johnson, co-founder of The Living Room and J2 Marketing. Regular hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.

Ÿ Back Alley Brewery, 211 1/2 S. Main St., Goshen, started serving its own brews on tap last week. Owner Larry Libey opened in late September after working to get open for about two years. The menu includes baked pizza, appetizers and sandwiches. Hot dogs are $1 each Saturdays and Sundays. Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Phone: 574-971-5341

Ÿ The Elkhart County Health Department shut down a home-based vendor on Oct. 23. Jose Sandoval of Elkhart was selling corn and hot chocolate out of a cooler in the 200 block of East Jackson Boulevard, according to a press release. Sandoval doesn’t have a licensed kitchen.

Ÿ Bob Evans Farms is starting a campaign to fight hunger in the United States. On Nov. 7, restaurants will donate 15 percent of sales to agencies that fight hunger, according to a press release. The initiative is called Hunger Free Communities.

Ÿ A reader has already asked where to eat out on Thanksgiving. Based on a press release, I know Ruth’s Chris Steak House will be open in Mishawaka, but I’m unsure of other restaurants that will be open. If your favorite spot will be open on Thanksgiving, let me know.

Marshall V. King is managing editor and food columnist for The Elkhart Truth. You can reach him at 574-296-5805, mking@etruth.com, on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


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