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DINING A LA KING HAS MOVED.
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Marshall V. King at work
Marshall V. King
Marshall V. King writes about restaurants and local food issues. And a lot about what he eats.



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Follow @hungrymarshall for more photos.


Quick Bites: New Thai, food magazine, Bacon Strip menu sure to delight

There’s a ton of news in today’s Quick Bites.

Posted on June 2, 2014 at 6:44 a.m.

Goshen’s newest ethnic restaurant is now open and ready to dish up the food

Manager Cindy Lim said Wednesday, May 28, that the restaurant would likely open Tuesday, June 3, but the open sign was on and food was already served to customers at Sawadee Thai Restaurant & Asian Cuisine on Thursday, May 29.

Diners posting on social media praised the flavors of the restaurant at 1301 Lincolnway East, Goshen.

The restaurant space was most recently Golden Monkey Cafe, which closed earlier this year.

The restaurant’s normal hours will be 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. It will be closed Monday.

The menu includes an array of Thai appetizers, soups, curries and noodle dishes, manager Cindy Lim said.

There will be both fresh and fried spring rolls, as well as chicken satay. Salads include green papaya, mango and potato, she said.

Tom Ka Gai, a soup made with coconut milk and chicken, will be served as will a lemongrass shrimp soup. Green, red and yellow curries will be prepared.

Duck will be available in soups, but also in noodle dishes.

Pad Thai, a classic Thai dish using rice noodles, egg and meat or tofu, will be offered for $8.95 to $10.95 a serving, she said.

There will also be lunch specials.

The family opening the restaurant has another Thai restaurant in Florida, Lim said.

Ben’s Soft Pretzels just keeps growing.

The Goshen-based business has reached an agreement with Walmart to open franchises inside its stores, Ben’s announced Tuesday, May 27, according to reporter Jeff Parrott.

The agreement, reached after months of negotiating with folks in Walmart’s Arkansas headquarters, will allow Ben’s to enter new markets in Indiana and throughout the United States, said Ben’s co-founder Brian Krider. Plans call for multiple openings this year, starting in Indiana with stores in LaPorte, Columbia City and Angola.

This business hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. It’s cool to see a local business doing well.

The Bacon Strip is getting a dose of burgers. And Five Star Dive Bar got a bigger bar

Jason Curtis, owner of both restaurants in the plaza at 561 E. Jackson Blvd., Elkhart, spent some time working on how to make the changes. Five Star closed most of last week to put in a larger L-shaped bartop.

But the bigger news is how The Bacon Strip is changing.

After Five Star became a hit, Curtis took over the former Boardwalk Cafe to open it as a breakfast restaurant. He said business has been good on weekends, particularly late at night and early in the morning as people leave Five Star, but hasn’t been as good during the week.

Meanwhile, customers from Five Star were ordering carry-out for their kids. “Everybody’s telling us they want to bring their kids here to eat,” he said of Five Star.

Because of Indiana liquor laws and the type of license he has, that’s not doable. But moving a menu is, particularly when you own two places in the same plaza.

So The Bacon Strip is becoming a family version of Five Star with the added breakfast until 2 p.m. weekdays and until about 4 a.m. Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The Bacon Strip’s hours are now 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and until 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday. 

The first issue of the Flavor 574 digital magazine is out

It features brand new features that can’t be found anywhere else, in a fun-to-read, interactive format, according to Gwen Ragno, who’s overseeing the project. The magazine is available on Apple, Android and Kindle tablets, through the free Elkhart Truth Publishing app. 

The theme for Flavor 574’s summer issue is Homegrown. There are features on backyard chickens, the farm to table movement in Michiana, looks at one local farm, Clay Bottom Farm, that supplies produce to a few Goshen restaurants and why the chefs at the restaurants value that relationship. The summer issue of Flavor 574 also features a calendar of summer food and drink festivals and a story on Dean Karacson Edwardsburg and how he grows amazing tomatoes.

To find the app, either search your device’s app store for Elkhart Truth Publishing, or follow these direct links: Apple // Android // Kindle

I’ve been hearing from restaurant owners how hard it is to find good help.

Kurt Janowsky and the Navarre Hospitality Group are looking for around 100 people to work in Elkhart, South Bend and Mishawaka. One job fair happened Saturday and three more are planned to help fill positions ranging from dishwashers and servers to cooks and caterers, according to a story filed by J.C. Lee of the Truth/Flavor574.

“There’s a misconception that you can’t make a good living doing this kind of work,” said Janowsky, the owner of Navarre Hospitality Group. “People support their family and pay the rent working in our business. There are a lot of opportunities as our company grows.”

There will be five Elkhart venues looking to hire, in addition to one in Mishawaka and three in South Bend. Applicants have opportunities to work with Café Navarre Bar and Restaurant, The Exchange Whiskey Bar, Rocky River Tap & Table, Matterhorn Conference Center and Crystal Ballroom Catering. While Navarre Hospitality Group does not manage Antonio’s Italian Ristorante, the Elkhart restaurant will also be hiring at the upcoming job fairs.

Applicants must bring a resume with a summary of their work experience and be prepared to be interviewed. Some employers will be hiring on the spot.

Paul Cataldo, owner of Antonio’s Italian Ristorante in Elkhart, previously told The Elkhart Truth about how difficult it is to find “qualified help, people who have work ethics, people who will show up, people who want to work.”

One of the job fairs happened Saturday, but the others are this week. The second job fair will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, June 2, at The Exchange in South Bend. The third and fourth job fairs will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 3, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 4, at the Matterhorn Conference Center in Elkhart.

Voting for Burger Wars is still underway.

Burger Wars eliminated four of the eight contenders, but voting is still underway.

The competition continues in the Northern Indiana Burger Wars, a search coordinated by the Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission to find the most popular patty around.

The first round of voting ended Memorial Day, and four burgers are still in the running in each of the seven participating counties.

In Elkhart County, the four are:

The New England Cheeseburger from South Side Soda Shop in Goshen

The Smokehouse Burger from Five Star Dive Bar in Elkhart

Stella Moo Burger from Flippin Cow in Elkhart

Heinnie Cheeseburger from Heinnie’s Backbarn Restaurant’s in Elkhart

The second round of voting is open until noon Monday, June 2, producing two finalists in each county that will compete for the winning title. The champion burgers in the Burger Wars brackets from St. Joseph and Elkhart counties will be announced June 9 and will move on to the regional Burger Wars competition against winners in Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Marshall, Kosciusko and LaGrange counties.

Journalists Sarah Duis, Gwen Ragno, Jeff Parrott, Kate Stoltzfus and J.C. Lee contributed to this report.

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




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