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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: Elkhart pizza in Indy, church festival, Celebrate Elkhart and ballpark food

Stories of huge burgers, Elkhart pizza in Indianapolis, a cool church festival and celebrating 125 years.

Posted on Aug. 11, 2014 at 7:03 a.m.

Elkhart has some great pizza. Has for years. And people who move away from the rich Italian heritage served by the slice often miss it.

Rob Thompson, formerly of Elkhart, now lives in Indianapolis gushes about Elkhart pizza so much I think sauce may run though his veins.

So he was thrilled, absolutely and resolutely, when Pietro’s Pizza opened in our state capital. He gushed about it on his Facebook page.

Pietro Siciliano grew up working at Colombo’s and DaVinci’s from a young age since his father, Joe, and an uncle owned them. From 2004 to 2011, he worked as a manager at Davinci’s. In 2008, he began to compile a business plan to open his own restaurant.

“There is a lot of good pizza in Elkhart,” Siciliano said to Emily Taylor for Flavor 574. “I wanted to replicate that in Indianapolis.”

Siciliano hopes to combine what he loves about a small-town restaurant with the efficiency of a corporation. Many of the pizzas at Pietro’s are based on Siciliano family recipes. He also makes his own bread for the baked sandwiches, according to Taylor’s story.

Siciliano said his menu is smaller than the family’s menus in Elkhart, keeping the selection limited to pizza, salads and sandwiches.

Pietro’s is at 1113 E. 86th St. in Indianapolis, 317-259-8000. Open for delivery and carryout 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

• Mark your calendars for the St. Vincent de Paul’s annual parish festival.

The festival will bring together the Italian and Hispanic ethnic groups and heritages that are both part of the Catholic parish on Elkhart’s south side. The event is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Elkhart parish, festival co-chairman John Karasch told Tori Fater for Flavor 574. Sales from the festival will fund programs at St. Vincent Church.

A number of Italian restaurants in Elkhart will be donating pizza or other food for the event.

The festival, set for Aug. 23, will start with a rummage sale at 9 a.m. and food will be served starting at 11 a.m. That’s a big food day in Elkhart as Taste of the Garden is also being planned at Wellfield Botanic Gardens.

St. Vincent de Paul Church was cut off from regular Main Street traffic in Elkhart by overpass construction, but visitors can access it via Prairie Street and Stocker Court. The festival will last 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1108 S. Main St., Elkhart.

• Last week had cool stuff as The Elkhart Truth celebrated its 125th anniversary with block party and other events. On the food front, the tapping of Truth Serum at Iechyd Da was a highlight. The nut brown ale with a hoppy finish was well-received and the pub was packed that night as people gathered to chat and have fun. New Paradigm Brewing also attracted a crowd as Burn ’Em Brewing offered five brews for a tap takeover Wednesday. On Saturday, people gathered downtown and some got a taste of the coffee ice cream with candied bacon that Chef Jamie Amador put together for the block party. Any party with candied bacon is one to remember.

And for the record, I did not witness the start of The Elkhart Truth as some have joked. I’ve been here 20 of the 125 years and feel lucky to be part of this great community news organization.

Elkhart Truth sports reporter Steve Krah has been doing a great series called Ballpark Bites for Flavor 574 on what you can find to eat at minor league ballparks within a short drive from Elkhart. The Philly cheesesteak nachos at Four Winds Field are fascinating, but not nearly as daunting as the “Bearclaw Burger” at Homer Stryker Field in Kalamazoo.

The Kalamazoo Growlers are in their first year and are among the Northwoods League attendance leaders.

It could have something to do with the Bearclaw Burger ($12) and pulled pork mac and cheese ($6.50). The burger has two hamburger patties, macaroni and cheese, pulled pork and coleslaw inside two Sweetwater’s doughnuts

"It's been crazy good," said Kelly Cartner, director of ballpark operations at the Michigan stadium. "The Bearclaw Burger has been on everybody's mind. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, we sell like 25 to 30 per game."

As word of mouth spread early during the Growlers' 36 home dates, the team began regularly selling out the eight-table "Home Plate Club" and "Bear Cave" suites where fans get table service and items not sold at the concession stands — fare like bacon-wrapped shrimp, chicken satay, sliders on pretzel buns, flatbreads, roasted potatoes, brownie sundaes and Grand Traverse pies.

Anyone want to take a road trip?

• Speaking of road trips, you should sign up for the one planned to Traverse City on Oct. 19-21. We’re leaving on a Sunday, stopping in Grand Rapids and heading on to northern Michigan to enjoy breweries, wineries and restaurants.

Edgerton’s Travel Service put a great trip together that includes most meals, all tastings. I’m looking forward to the trip, which is filling but still has space. I know of some very cool people who are already going and know we’ll have a good time. You can find more details at http://goo.gl/IgJPB6.

You can sign up at www.edgertonstravel.com/grouptravel or by calling 574-294-3651.

Tori Fater, Steve Krah and Kate Stoltzfus contributed reporting to this.

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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