Sunday, February 14, 2016

Savanna Fager (center) blows on her chili to cool it down at the 2012 Oktoberfest. This year's event is Saturday, Oct. 12. (Truth Photo By Evey Wilson) (AP)

Johnny Estep (right) picks up some chili at Oktoberfest in downtown Elkhart on Saturday, Oct., 6, 2012. Estep is from Elkhart and this is his first time at Oktoberfest. (Truth Photo By Evey Wilson) (AP)

Kurt Janowsky has opened a whiskey bar called The Exchange in downtown South Bend. (Truth Photo By Marshall V. King) (AP)

A chili cook-off is again part of the Oktoberfest Saturday in downtown Elkhart. Last year a dozen restaurants participated. (Truth Photo By Marshall V. King) (AP)
Who makes Elkhart’s best chili?
Posted on Oct. 6, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

The participant list is growing for Chili Cook-Off that will be part of the Elkhart Oktoberfest.

On Saturday, Oct. 12, restaurants and a few others will offer chili to the public at the event in Central Park in downtown Elkhart.

For $5, you can sample all the chilis and vote for your favorite.

The Pillars of Elkhart, which is organizing the event, has been updating its Facebook page with developments. As of Friday, the list of participants included:

Ÿ Sports Time Family Pub & Grill,

Ÿ McCarthy’s on the Riverwalk,

Ÿ Iechyd Da Brewing Co.,

Ÿ Rulli’s Italian American Restaurant,

Ÿ Community Hospital of Bremen,

Ÿ ModMex,

Ÿ Five Star Dive Bar,

Ÿ Simeri’s,

Ÿ Elkhart Evening Optimist Club,

Ÿ Elkhart Fire Department #338, and

Ÿ New Paradigm Brewing Co.

I’ll be one of the judges and you can weigh in on your favorites. Last year, Mod Mex won the judges’ vote and McCarthy’s won the people’s choice.

There will also be live music, beer from Iechyd Da and a corn hole tournament.

Ÿ Kurt Janowsky opened The Exchange in South Bend recently. The owner/operator of The Matterhorn, catering at the Lerner and Cafe Navarre has a whiskey bar at 112 W. Jefferson St. in a former bank.

Indiana Excise delayed the opening because Janowksy had to separate the elevator lobby and front door from the bar. That actually added some space, but it’s still small.

The bar has more than 100 whiskeys already and as people say they want something, more are being ordered. The Exchange is likely to end up with more than 200 labels, he said.

Food is being prepared at Cafe Navarre and includes charcuterie, a cheese board, smoked salmon and trout, shrimp cocktail and a baguette with prosciutto and some other items. The items are already selling well, he said.

Hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

Ÿ Elkhart Dining Days is underway. The event started Friday at 18 Elkhart restaurants. Proceeds from the meals go to Church Community Services.

You can find more information at Not all independently owned restaurants in Elkhart are participating, but many are and you can also find the special offerings at some of your favorite places.

Ÿ All 12 of Honey’s Frozen Yogurt flavors are pink Oct. 4-10 for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Honey Hill Farms donated the yogurt, including the special flavors. The shop in Linway Plaza, Goshen, will donate 10 percent of all the sales to Heart String Sisters at The Retreat, according to owner Kelly Huffman.

Ÿ Mini Delights Bake Shoppe, 271 S. Main St., is donating a dollar from the sale of every dozen cupcakes to Hello Gorgeous, which provides makeovers to women battling cancer. Iechyd Da Brewing Co., 317 N. Main St., is donating 50 cents from every pint of Tata Rosa, a beer made with raspberries, to Fix Salon to do the makeovers. Fix just did its 27th makeover, said Ashley Krieg, owner of Mini Delights.

The donations will happen the entire month of October, she said.

Ÿ All Martin’s Super Markets locations will have a Caramel Apple Gala event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12.

Customers can decorated their own caramel apple after purchasing a Gala apple for $2 and having it dipped in hot caramel. It’ll be indoors, according to Ed Osowski, produce manager.

Ÿ The Krispy Kreme location in Mishawaka will have an event Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-13, called “Cops on Top of the Donut Shop.” The Family Justice Center in St. Joseph County will benefit from the fundraiser in which people can give donations. There will also be a doughnut-eating contest at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and Zumba class at 1 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 Sunday. Information: 574-234-6900

In case you missed it last week, I posted a photo and then ate a hamburger with two Krispy Kremes for the bun available at Five Star Dive Bar. It’s on my Instagram feed or on the Dining A La King Facebook page.

Ÿ IHOP is offering Scare Face pancakes in October on the kids menu and pumpkin pancakes as a special, according to a press release. The pumpkin pancakes are self-explanatory, but a Scary Face pancake, which will be free on Oct. 31, has candy corn, mini-Oreos, a strawberry and whipped topping to create a face on a pancake.

Ÿ A Brazilian restaurant will open in Fort Wayne later this year, making the drive shorter for those who want the experience of having skewers of meat served at your table. Tuscanos Brazilian Grill will open at Jefferson Pointe later this fall, according to a press release about it filling 140 jobs.

Chicago and other large cities have Brazilian restaurants, but I think this will be the closest to Elkhart County.

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