Editor’s note: Today’s column is just an oversized portion of Quick Bites. Enjoy.
Eating good food when it helps a cause can make it taste even better.
Three events in the next month will showcase some of Elkhart and Goshen’s best restaurants, as well as some authentic Mennonite cooking.
Elkhart Dining Days will be Oct. 4 to 12. Eighteen restaurants will offer two lunches for $18, two meals for $25 or a three-course meal for $25. From every meal sold, $2 will be donated to Church Community Services.
The first event last year attracted a bunch of people to Elkhart restaurants and the chefs offered some great items on the menus. This year’s restaurant lineup includes many of Elkhart’s best-known restaurants, including Antonio’s, 523 Tap & Grill, Lucchese’s, The Vine, Chubby Trout and Iechyd Da Brewing Co. But the lineup also includes Christiana Creek Country Club, Callahan’s, Pumpernickel’s Catering and Bristol Street Cafe, among others.
A number of sponsors are assisting in the event, which is being organized by Michele Scherpenberg along with some restaurant owners. You can find more information at elkhartdiningdays.com.
Taste of Goshen is a one-day event on Oct. 12 to benefit Center for Healing & Hope, which provides urgent medical care and assistance to uninsured people.
Three groups will wander among nine Goshen restaurants divided into three groups.
One group starting at 3 p.m. will go to Constant Spring, Dandino’s and Universal, another will go to Noodle Heads, South Side Soda Shop and San Marcos, and a third will hit Wasabi, Olympia Candy Kitchen and the Electric Brew.
All groups will gather for dessert at the Goshen clinic at Plymouth United Church of Christ, 902 S. Main St.
In addition Pizzeria Venturi and Mattern’s Butcher Shop & Corner Deli are offering $20 gift certificates, valid through Dec. 31, to support the center.
Tickets are $50 and may be purchased by calling the center 534-4744 ext. 201 or emailing info@CHHclinics.org. Tickets are also available at Menno Travel, 210 S. Main St., Goshen. Seating is limited.
The 46th annual Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale is Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27-28.
I’ve loved the food there since I was a kid. Mennonite church groups and individuals make a range of food. I’m a huge fan of the apple fritters and usually stock up on cheese, cider and Mishler’s sausage.
Proceeds help Mennonite Central Committee’s relief work around the world.
The sale is from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and starts at 6 a.m. Saturday. The quilt auction goes into the afternoon, but much of the food winds down by noon.
Fat Tomato is getting a new owner.
Cam Snyder announced last week that he’s selling the restaurant at 4100 E. Bristol St., Elkhart, to Bill O’Brien, executive chef at Elkhart General Hospital.
O’Brien has cooked in the White House and at Indianapolis Colts training camps, but this will be his first restaurant. He said he plans to make some changes over the coming months, including some new sauces and menu items. “You’ve got to have outstanding service and outstanding food,” he said.
He also wants to have a champagne brunch on Sundays.
He loves the name and concept and plans to start a catering company there as part of the operation.
He’s not planning to leave the hospital, he said.
Hundreds gathered last week to pay respects to Janet DeShone, who died on Sunday, Sept. 15. She had been battling breast cancer.
The DeShone family owns and operates Heinnie’s in Elkhart, Stacy’s in Edwardsburg and Maxi’s in South Bend.
Her smile and her spirit will be missed. She was a gracious, fun presence at the restaurants.
You can read more about DeShone and her family — including her fruit punch — at blogs.elkharttruth.com.
I was on vacation when news broke about Goshen Brewing Co. Reporter Nick Wesman and blogger Eric Strader offered plenty of details, but in short, Jesse Sensenig hopes to open a brewpub near Lincoln Avenue by spring. He’s been getting advice from Chip Lewis at Iechyd Da, among others.
People have asked whether I think the brewpub would hurt other popular spots in Goshen. My answer is that it won’t. If anything, it’ll make Goshen more vibrant.
A fundraiser is planned from 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, to support Sarah Crane, the 15-year-old Elkhart Memorial student who is battling cancer. Texas Roadhouse, 3015 Brittany Court, Elkhart, will donate 10 percent of all proceeds to the Sarah Strong campaign and diners wearing a Sarah Strong T-shirt will get a free appetizer on their next visit.
The Chicory Cafe is making some changes. Owner Phil Schreiber is adding live music now that the cafe has a liquor license. Schreiber bought the location in September 2012. Live bands are scheduled on Fridays at 105 E. Jefferson Blvd., South Bend.
Flippin’ Cow has added a special on Sundays and Mondays. Owner Cam Snyder said the restaurant along Simonton Lake will offer an eight-ounce New York strip steak and a baked potato for $5.99.
I’ve had some great “tummy travel” in recent weeks. I’ll write more about that soon. I can still taste the fresh northern pike we ate in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota and will tell you more.
Marshall V. King is managing editor and food columnist for The Elkhart Truth. You can reach him at 574-296-5805, firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.