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Food – now you knew we were going to go there, didn’t you?  No matter where we go, we always have dining adventures. Are you ready to learn about the dining we did while our coach was being serviced at Entegra?

OK great! If you ever plan to be in the area of Shipshewana, Middlebury or Elkhart, hope this helps you choose a restaurant that you might enjoy! Here’s a synopsis of the places we visited, some we had been to before, others were a new experience.

Shipshewana
Blue Gate Restaurant
IMAG7958.jpgDuring our last visit to the area in June, 2014, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at the Blue Gate Restaurant. I thought their signature fried chicken was one of the best I’ve ever had. Tired from our drive from Spartan, rather than going out to eat, we decided to do take out. Ordering and take out pick up is done at the bakery at the Blue Gate. We ordered a 9 piece bucket of chicken with a side of carrots and mashed potatoes. Carrots and potatoes were good but we were very disappointed in the chicken. First because it only contained thighs, wings and drumsticks (no breasts) and secondly because it was overcooked causing it to be dry and tough. Guess we won’t do that again!

0429171402a.jpgBen’s Soft Pretzels (2017)
Originally founded by Ben and his wife, 3rd generation local Amish bakers, there are now 71 locations nationwide. Although they have several sandwich pretzels, we just opted for a plain one. Not big soft pretzel fans but these were excellent!

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Four Seasons Diner Family Restaurant (2017)
Tucked down a side street near the Blue Gate Restaurant in Shipshewanna was this small, very cute restaurant, serving good, reasonably priced food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their extensive  menu can be found on their Facebook page. When we were there, there were a number of Amish people eating here, always a good sign to see local people populating a restaurant. And yes, there is egg weirdness here – order two eggs and get three!

Pumpkinvine Cafe (2017)0429171157_HDR.jpg
Located on Morton Street in Shipshewanna, this is a very cute restaurant. No table service here – order at the counter and pick it up when your number is called. We both had the Pumpkinvine Special Sandwich ($7.49) which is steak, sautéed onions & peppers, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese on a French roll with a choice of steak sauce or mayo, served with chips (or potato or pasta salad for $1 extra). Delish!

Middlebury:

Aunt Karen’s Cafe

20160412_123302.jpgA new restaurant for us during our 2016 visit. Located not too far from Entegra, it quickly became a 20160412_123232-001.jpgfavorite for a delicious lunch twice, once with Betsy and Nancy, once by ourselves and once for breakfast. Order at the counter, and when it is ready, your food is brought to your table. Both times for lunch I had Mandarin Orange Salad (oh, my more healthiness!) which had romaine, mandarin orange, red onions, almonds, croutons, poppy seed dressing ($6.39). Super 20160413_134251.jpgfresh ingredients and so delicious!

On our first visit, Rob had a Grilled Cheese ($4.79) and on the second visit a Taco Salad ($7.39). Both excellent. For breakfast, we both wanted to try their quiche but they had sold out so instead we had an Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich ($3.95). If you are ever are visiting the area, this is a great place for either breakfast or lunch!

We enjoyed lunch here twice during our visit in 2017. Same fresh, high quality food!

Das Dutchman Essenhaus
20151017_102531.jpgAnother favorite that we’ve been to many times in the past. We had breakfast here several times during this stay, each tim20151017_192634.jpge having the small portion of the Amish scrambler (eggs, home fries, bacon, sausage or ham scrambled together) with toast ($5.99). Always good! Love having the Apple Butter and the Peanut Butter on the table.

Shortly after we arrived in the area, our friend, Tom (another Entegra owner) invited Nancy and Betsy and us to join him for the dinner buffet at Das Essenhaus. Being a Saturday night it was very crowded but we didn’t have to wait long, maybe about 15 minutes. For $13.50, the buffet includes: roast beef, turkey, fried chicken (delicious), 10+ sides, salad and dessert bar. Oh, my! What a lot of food!

41 Degrees North
20151021_133651.jpgLocated on Main Street in the center of Middlebury, this 20151021_133600.jpgrestaurant just opened in April of 2015. Lots of history associated with the building that houses this restaurant. Built in 1888 as a jewelry store, it changed hands several times over the years. After chipping away the horsehair plaster they found an original mural “Elliott & Foster, Dealers of Agricultural Implements” with a twine binding harvester which was first  made in 1880.

20151021_125932.jpg20151021_124752.jpgAnyway, on our first visit here for lunch we both had the Big 4-1 Burger, a “never ever” (all natural, never frozen, no hormones added, grass fed) steak burger patty, bacon, swiss, fried jalapenos, lettuce, tomato, onions, avocado and house made chipotle mayo. What a huge burger and totally delish! Probably one of the better burgers we’ve had. It came with a 20151021_124631.jpgone side (salad, soup, french fries,  coleslaw, veggies20151024_174226.jpg or mashed potatoes). We both had a cup of their soup du jour (Potato Rivels). That was absolutely delicious as well.

On a Saturday night, we went back for dinner with Nancy, Betsy, Andrei and Sandy. Owen, our Service Coordinator, at Entegra had raved about the steak tips served with onions and mushrooms on a bed of mashed potatoes. Don’t know if it was because it was a Saturday night and 20151024_184103.jpgthey were really busy, but we were very disappointed. Our waitress didn’t ask20160412_184650.jpg us how we wanted them cooked and they were overdone, dry, tough, quite chewy and didn’t taste that great. Oh well!

On our return visit in 2016, we ate here once again for lunch where I had a Southwest Salad (grilled chicken, spring mix, corn and black bean pico de gallo, colby jack chee20160412_184659-001.jpgse, house made flour tortilla chips and chipotle ranch dressing, $11) and Rob had a Patty Melt (7 oz “never-ever” steak burger patty and grilled onions on a brioche roll, $11 served with garlic mashed). Another yummy meal!

During our return visit in 2017, we ate here twice, once for lunch and once for dinner, ordering burgers both times. Both were excellent. Be aware this place is always crowded especially at dinner time so get there early!

Village Inn Restaurant
20151026_135112.jpgLocated in the center of Middlebury across the street from 41 Degrees North, we stopped here for lunch one day. I had the Cowboy Burg20151026_140645.jpger (mushroom, swiss with onion rings & BBQ sauce ($6.90) while Rob had a Quarter Pound Cheeseburger ($6.45), served with one side. We both had the tater tots. It was good but nothing special.

 

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Esther’s Hilltop Restaurant (2017)
Stopped here for breakfast. Decent food with reasonable prices – 2 eggs with bacon for $5.25. Not much atmosphere so hard to justify the dinner prices which range from $15.95 to $34.95!

Goshen:
Tijuana Taqueria Mexican Restaurant
20151018_135649.jpgStopped here for lunch one day. Menu is on the wall, order at the counter, then they bring the food over to your table. 20151018_124801.jpgWe both had the Burrito Gratinado – a flour tortilla filled with a choice of meat (beef, pork or chicken) and served with rice and beans ($9.95). Food (sorry no pics) was good but not sure that I would go out of my way to go here.

20151020_134003.jpgSouth Side Soda Shop and Diner
Featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”, this classic place 20151020_130053.jpgrevived a lot of memories of what diners and soda shops used to  be like. Very 50-ish interior. At the recommendation of our waitress, I had the Philly Cheese Steak, shaved beef, swiss american cheese, onion, green peppers, grilled and served on a 9 inch hoagie roll, served with spiral fries ($6.85). Rob had the Philly Chili, 20151020_130047.jpgaward winning chili served over egg noodles, topped with onions, sour cream and cheese served in a soda glass ($6.95). That was good as well although he felt there wasn’t enough chili and it was difficult to eat in the soda glass. Definitely would go back here. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Venturi Pizza (2017)
Not your average pizza joint by any means. Certified Neopolitan 0422171803.jpgpizzas (made with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese) are served here. The restaurant has been voted by Esquire’s readers to be one of the top 15 most life changing pizzas in the nation, named one of Yelp’s Top 50 restaurants in the state of Indiana and is a recipient of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence. Besides pizza, 0422171803.jpgthey serve Neapolitan sandwiches and craft cocktails. Pizzas are relatively small so we each had one – mine was a prosciutto e funghi with fior di latte (mozzarella), crimini mushrooms and prosciutto di parma for $15.99. Rob had Margherita Doc with fior di latte and fresh basil for $12.99. Both were excellent!  The restaurant is fairly small and very popular so expect to wait for a table.

 

Elkhart

Heinnies
During our 2016 visit to the area, friends Betsy and Nancy coerced us (it didn’t take much) to try Heinnies in Elkhart. Located in the middle of an industrial area, it 20160415_115512.jpg20160415_123615.jpglooked more like a local bar from the outside but it seemed like a very popular place with the locals. According to the book they have from Hamburger America, Heinnies made the list as one of 150 juiciest hamburger spots in the country. Guess what we had there? Why, the Heinnie Cheeseburger ($5.99) of course with a side order of fries ($2.49)! It was quite tasty but was it the best we’ve ever had? Can’t say that it was.

Flippin’ Cow Burger Joint
20151019_174617.jpg20151019_175622.jpgLocated just a few miles from the Candlewood Suites and I-90 exit 92, touted as Elkhart’s only waterfront restaurant, the Flippin’ Cow Burger Joint is located on Simonton Lake. Eat inside or outside overlooking the water. On the night we went here, it was too cold to sit outside so we sat at a picnic table on their enclosed deck.

20151019_180846.jpg20151019_181804.jpgPlace was crowded, probably because of their steak special they were offering but they had an extensive menu (which BTW were actual old record album covers) and we were more in the mood for a burger – that was after all, their specialty. Being the onion ring fanatic that I am, we just had to start with an order of those even though they were a little pricey at $5.99. Very good. For the main entree, I had the Hunka Hunka Burger Love – two steak patties, peanut butter, jalapeno jelly, 20151019_181827.jpgmelted pepper jack cheese and smoked bacon on a toasted  pretzel bun with handmade potato chips ($8.99). Odd combination but all independent favorites of mine so why not!

Rob had the Stella Moo – a double steak burger topped with smoked brisket, jalapeno bacon, onion straws, pepper jack cheese and an alehouse BBQ sauce on a toasted wheat brioche bun ($9.49) with tater tots. Really good burgers, among the best! We would definitely return here if in the area in the future.

Callahan’s Restaurant
20151022_100807.jpg 20151022_093817.jpg Located just a short distance from the Candlewood Suites in Elkhart and open 24 hours, we stopped here and had our usual breakfasts (surprise, surprise), bacon and eggs for me ($5.99), corned beef hash for Rob ($7.49).

This was our first experience with the eggs-tra eggs that Rob wrote about. Decent breakfast, 20151022_093801.jpggood service and reasonable prices. Went here several times for breakfast in 2017, same good food and great service!

JoJo’s Pizzaria

Just up the road from the Candlewood Suites. One night neither one of us wanted to go out anywhere so we ordered an extra 20151022_184508.jpglarge (16″) pepperoni pizza ($18.35). It wasn’t the worst pizza we’ve ever had nor was it the best, just okay.

Great Wall Chinese Restaurant
20151028_170724_001.jpgWe had take out here the last time we stayed at Candlewood Suites. Although we didn’t write about it, we remembered it being good so the day before our departure, we ordered take-out. Very convenient as you can order on-line. We had two small Hot & Sour Soups (each $2.50). For 20151028_190741.jpgour main entree we ordered something a little different – Basil Chicken, labeled as an authentic Chinese dish with sliced 20151028_190635.jpgchicken, fresh Asian basil, jalapenos and mushrooms, sauteed Chinese style ($10.95) and the House Special Fried Rice which had shrimp, pork, chicken and vegetables ($9.50). Everything was delicious and we had leftovers for lunch the next day.  We have added this to our list of favorites!

 

Mayberry Cafe
20151027_103307.jpgJust as the name suggests, this restaurant is decorated to look like it is from the 20151027_095231.jpg60’s, complete with Andy Griffith and Barney Fife memorabilia everywhere. We went here for breakfast one morning and liked it so much we went back a second time. For $6.95, I had my usual bacon and eggs and Rob had sausage patties and eggs. Both served with hash browns and toast. And no 2=4 egg weirdness!

Sunrise Restaurant
Average breakfast here. I had 2 eggs with sausage patties which were very overcooked ($5.75) and Rob had his usual corned beef hash 20151025_104340.jpg($6.25) with poached which were mostly cooked properly. This was another freakish 2=4 eggs-tra eggs experience.

0505171259.jpgMiles Lab Burger Bar & Restaurant (2017)
Based on several recommendations we decided to try this restaurant for lunch. Very cute on the inside with a very interesting history. I had the Bacon 3 Way($9.49) which was 0505171237.jpgtheir Kahuna Burger pressed onto bacon crumbles and seared, topped with bacon strips and melted American cheese and balsamic bacon jam. Served on our buttered and grilled Kaiser Roll. You’d think with all that bacon, it would be good.Boy was I disappointed, the bacon wasn’t cooked enough and it was probably the most tasteless burger I have ever had.

Nappanee
Athens Gyros & Diner
We decided to stop here on our way 20151023_091832.jpgto the Newmar Factory Tour. Cute placelocated in the small town of Nappanee. Rob had his usual corned beef hash 20151023_084436.jpg($5.50) and I had two eggs with two bacon strips and two sausage patties ($6.25). 2=3 egg weirdness here! Clean, good food and good service – would definitely stop here again.

 

Cielito Lindo Mexican
20151023_132813.jpgBetsy and Nancy were on the same factory tour at Newmar as us. Since looking at RV’s being built induces hunger (not so much for us but they hadn’t had any breakfast), we headed back to Nappanee to have lunch, stopping at this Mexican restaurant. Very nicely decorated, excellent authentic food, good service a20151023_124004.jpgnd reasonable prices. Tortilla chips and salsa provided free of charge before we ordered.

We both ordered from their lunch menu – I had their Chicken Fajitas ($6.99), 20151023_132258.jpgRob had their Chile Pablano, Taco and Beans ($5.79). Both excellent! Would definitely go here again.

Update 2017:
We didn’t go here again but Betsy and Nancy did. No rave reviews this time – they weren’t happy with the food at all.

 

So that does it for our dining experiences during our stay at Entegra. Stay tuned for what comes next!

 


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