Urban Belly's funky atmosphere, a relief sale feast and a new yogurt shop in Shipshewana

A report on Urban Belly's great flavors in Chicago, a new yogurt place and other news are in today's Quick Bites.
Posted on Sept. 17, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

What's Marshall King up to this week? Find out in this week's Dining A La King.

At Urban Belly, the food was so rich I wasn't sure if I could finish what I ordered.

But it was so good. And I managed to find a way while at this small restaurant in a strip mall on Chicago's north side.

I'd been wanting to get there for a while. Former Goshen resident Andrew Gerber is a huge fan of chef/owner Bill Kim's restaurants. Urban Belly is on the Eater 38 list of Chicago's essential restaurants. Though the list is changing, it's my goal to get to as many as I can.

Urban Belly makes a fresh run at Asian dumplings and noodles. The result is rich flavors, with lots of umami. The restaurant has less than 20 dishes on the menu, but produces seasonal kimchi and a variety of soups and dumplings. The Ramen with pork belly, shiitake mushroom and a pho broth was full of deep, rich flavors. The Asian squash and bacon dumplings were delicate, yet had so much going in as the dish mixed textures and sweet and salty flavors.

The atmosphere is funky and cool and you eat at a communal table made from wood salvaged from old Indonesian ships, according to the restaurant's website.

I wanted one of everything.

And now I want to go back. The restaurant is at 3053 N. California Ave., Chicago.

Ÿ Shipshewana has a new frozen yogurt shop. The former location of Dad's Toy Store, 215 N. Van Buren St., north of the Blue Gate Restaurant, was renovated to become The Hitching Post, a coffee bar and frozen yogurt shop, according to Andy Rohrer, director of marketing.

The shop is using the same Honey Hill Farms frozen yogurt as Honey's in Goshen. It has 12 flavors and 55 or more toppings, Rohrer said. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Yogurt is available starting at 11 a.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

Ÿ The Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale will offer a huge range of food this weekend at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds. Aside from the big pancake and sausage breakfast Saturday morning, there will be pork sandwiches, international foods and fresh-made apple fritters. It's a great food experience and proceeds help Mennonite Central Committee's relief work around the world. The event is from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and starts at 6 a.m. Saturday. It's often run out of steam by early Saturday afternoon.

Ÿ Iechyd Da Brewing Co. was one of 28 brewers at Zoo Brew on Sept. 8 at Potawatomi Park Zoo, but it got two big awards. The Elkhart brewpub won the people's choice and judge's choice awards for 13, an American Black Ale. Co-owner Chip Lewis said they had a line of about 50 people nearly all three hours of the event and served 30 gallons of beer.

Marshall V. King is news and multimedia editor and food columnist for The Elkhart Truth/eTruth.com. You can reach him via mking@etruth.com, 574-296-5805 or the Dining A La King Facebook page at www.facebook.com/diningalaking.


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