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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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Quick Bites: Rocky River opens, Burger Wars winding down, blueberries starting and more

Quick Bites has your answer as summer rolls along.

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 7:04 a.m.

A new farm-to-table restaurant opened in Granger last week.

Rocky River Tap & Table started offering its farm-to-table fare to the public Wednesday, July 2.

Owner Kurt Janowsky said initially the restaurant will be open for dinner only but will add lunch service eventually.

Janowsky took over the former Tilted Kilt at 1032 E. University Drive after it closed May 31. After some remodeling, training of staff and building a new menu, he’s ready for business.

John Dawson, formerly of Between the Buns, will oversee the new spot.

The menu is built around ingredients from farms, vineyards and brews in a 100-mile radius. Nearly all the beers on the large list of craft brews are from Indiana, Michigan or Ohio breweries. Iechyd Da, Evil Czech, Greenbush and Burn Em have brews available at Rocky River. Most wines are from California, but there are also a number from Michigan wineries.

The food is being sourced from farms as close as Bristol. The chicken and pork is from Gunthorp Farms in LaGrange. Indiana bison and charcuterie from Smoking Goose are on the menu as well.

Diners can get snacks, small plates, large plates, flatbread pizza, dishes to share, sandwiches, salads and smoothies. Janowsky said the menu will change over time, but he’s pleased with what’s being offered so far.

Dishes on the opening menu include:

  • Bacon jam with melted brie and toast ($7)
  • Ale-brined pork chop with charred apples and white bean hash ($18)
  • BBQ duck nachos with smoked duck, Rocky River barbecue sauce, cheese, black beans, chili and sour cream ($12)
  • Vegetable stack with grilled portabella, bell peppers, red onion, summer squash, arugula, gouda an garlic aioli on toasted foccaccia ($10)
  • Chop salad with market greens, almonds, raisins, avocado, edamame, feta and buttermilk dressing ($8)

Artisan, Janowsky’s high-end restaurant at 505 S. Main St. in Elkhart, isn’t ready to open yet, but work is underway. 

• Voting ends today in Northern Indiana Burger Wars.

The showdown ends at noon between Elkhart’s Flippin’ Cow and South Bend’s The View Tavern.

Flippin’ Cow’s Stella Moo burger features a double burger on a wheat brioche bun topped with smoked brisket, smoked bacon, melted pepper jack cheese, onion straws and alehouse barbecue sauce.

Owner Cam Snyder has been stumping for votes and is hopeful that the Elkhart County burger will best the one to the west. Either way, it’s clear that this contest has been good for his business at the Simonton Lake restaurant.

• It’s blueberry season. And that’s great news for us who love the bountiful and versatile fruit.

Blueberries are easily the easiest fruit to freeze and use all winter in smoothies and oatmeal. Kate Stoltzfus did a round-up and map on Flavor574 on where to pick berries. I tend to buy them this time of year and stockpile them in the freezer.

• Corndance Tavern will be featured on the nationally televised “Road Trip with G. Garvin” on The Cooking Channel at 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 9.

The program follows host Gerry “G.” Garvin across the country as he tries different types of Southern food, according to a story on Flavor574 by J.C. Lee.

Garvin and his film crew visited the Corndance Tavern at 4725 Grape Road on April 15 to film their “Best of the Midwest” episode.

Executive chef Nicholas Ruse prepared a meal that kept to the show’s Southern theme, according to the press release. Ruse whipped up a bruised bison short rib with cheddar grits, fried green tomatoes and a tabasco demi-glace.

• A Mishawaka chef is trying to raise $15,000 to open a nose-to-tail restaurant.

British chefs started a trend to use as much of an animal as possible and Matthew Ewing is hoping to open Tongue N’ Cheek if he can.

Ewing, executive chef at Main St. Grille in Mishawaka started an Indiegogo fundraising campaign. The 60-day fundraiser opened June 30. All funds raised will cover the cost of kitchen equipment. The restaurant doesn’t have a set location yet, but it will be in the northern Indiana region.

You can get more information, including on what donors will get as rewards, at Flavor574.com.

• Los Primos, 122 E. Clinton Ave., has a great new look outside.

Reporter Sharon Hernandez dug into the story of how owner Martin Lopez Sr. is renovating the facade. (I dug into the food.)

Construction is nearly done, said Lopez. The white vinyl siding of the building was removed. The building also was painted, and its signs were replaced. Lopez said the outdoor stairs leading to the second floor still need to be painted. Cracked concrete next to the building on Fifth Street still needs to be replaced, Hernandez reported.

"We see it as a contribution to the community, because the corner here was starting to look old and ugly,” he said.

Lopez, 62, acquired the building at 122 E. Clinton Ave. about nine years ago, he said. But his business in Goshen had started before that, in a food truck. Lopez and his family moved to Goshen in 1996 from Georgia, Hernandez reported.

Los Primos is my favorite spot for Mexican food in Goshen. The flavors are zippy, and the range extends beyond the normal taqueria fare. The fish tacos are good, but I favor Ropa Vieja Cubano, which translates to “old clothes.” It doesn’t sound appealing but the braised beef is flavorful and served alongside great rice, black beans and fried plantains.

• Maple Indian Cuisine didn’t open along Goshen’s Main Street in June as owner Bobby Singh had hoped. He’s still working inside and it’s hard to say when the spot will open, but I’d predict by late summer he may be ready.

Reporters J.C. Lee, Kate Stoltzfus, Emily Pfund and Sharon Hernandez contributed reporting and writing to this week’s Quick Bites.

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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