Hungry? Here are some places to try for lunch today

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By: Sharon Hernandez
shernandez@elkharttruth.com

Chicory Cafe

Location: 105 E. Jefferson Blvd. #103, South Bend

Hours: From 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 8 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

What’s on the menu?

Chicory Cafe has breakfast, lunch and dinner options. You can try one of the new menu items, including gourmet mac and cheese dishes in variations like “vegetarian delight,” which includes spinach, artichoke and red peppers baked together with a made-from-scratch mac and cheese sauce. Feeling adventurous? Try the new appetizer Gator Bites, which is diced alligator deep fried in the house cajun batter.

What are people saying about it on Yelp?

“After many visits I think the place deserves an update to 5 stars due to the consistency of food quality and friendliness of the beautiful ladies behind the counter. Nothing on the menu has disappointed me yet, and the cool atmosphere of people playing board games is enjoyable. This is truly a nice place to hang out.” – Will N.

“A very nice place if you’re looking for a casual restaurant / cafe. They are known for their coffee variety. But also, you should know that they have an excellent menu. Really good food. Personally I like the Italiano. Very good. I would suggest trying the food in addition to the coffee. The owners are usually there and take a lot of pride in the Chicory Cafe. Ask for Phil or Jeff and get to know them. Very nice guys. Free wifi. Great place if you just want to chlll and enjoy New Orleans French Quarter ambiance, good food and nice people.” – David P.

“I love this place. You really can’t go wrong with anything you order here from the muffaletta, catfish po boy, olive salad, soup… Everything is so good and made with good quality ingredients. The coffee drinks are excellent too as are the beignets! This place has so much character. It’s like nothing else in the area!” – Mary G.

 

Girasol

Location: 525 N. Eddy St. South Bend

Hours: From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday

What’s on the menu?

Girasol offers a home-made meals traditional from El Salvador. Try the papusas, thick, hand-made corn tortillas stuffed with pork, beef, beans or cheese. 

What are people saying about it on Yelp?

“What a surprising find in South Bend! Yelp, you did not lead me astray. You knew that when I was in South Bend I’d want to eat papusas in a space the size of a double wide trailer, made by a woman that I had to order from behind bullet proof glass. And only spend 6.00 for three of them and some horchata. You knew I’d love the pickled cabbage they came with, and would savor them in the dimly light “dining” room under the single fluorescent light. This place rocks. It was my first experience at a papuseria, admittedly. The food was great, she made it fresh and it took a solid 20 minutes to make our lunch. She sells mainly papusas (pork, bean, and cheese, all of which we tried), but there were also tamales on the menu. Horchata was excellent. The ambiance is awful which added to the charm. It’s off the beaten path, and it surprises me that they get enough business to stay open, but I’d certainly come back here. Delicious, fresh, authentic food at affordable prices; I’m in South Bend quite frequently and I won’t forget about Girasol!” – Ali H.

“Gluten Free! Been here twice now and second time even better! The first time I had the pork pupusa’s and I love the mixture of the fried corn, cheese and pork mixture with the fresh coleslaw on top with the tomato sauce. But the real star are the tamales… I love the chicken, potato and corn mixture. Hours and food availability hit and miss, so call ahead to place and order …food is made fresh, so takes about 20 minutes. The lady is very nice, with a little language barrier. It’s a hole in the wall, but worth trying!” – Michael P.

“This great little diamond in the rough has a small but authentic menu of pupusas (bean, cheese, and pork), tamales (weekends only), and soups (winter only) along with three Salvadorean specialty drinks. The place is a gem! Everything is homemade and it isn’t very expensive at all: 10 for $13. To tell the truth, I wasn’t expecting much. The exterior is kind of faded and the inside is tiny, but when I began to smell them cooking behind the counter, I knew I was going to be in for a treat. I’ve been to a lot of pupuserias in Redwood City, CA, which have a bigger selection of items on their menu, but these are the best pupusas I’ve ever had. Try it! BTW, every Friday there is a college student special—$1 pupusas. I can’t believe this place isn’t packed at lunch!” – David L.

 

Elia’s Mediterranean Cuisine

Location: 2128 South Bend Ave. South Bend

Hours: From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday

What’s on the menu?

Elia’s has a lunch and dinner menu. For lunch, try the falafel, which has ground fava beans, chick peas, onions and garlic, mixed with spices, deep fried to crispiness, and served with tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and sesame sauce.

What are people saying about it on Yelp?

“An amazing gem in South Bend. The falafel is incredible. Huge portions–from a Lebanese recipe. As other reviewers note, the garlic paste is to die for. All of the ingredients are very fresh. There are also many vegan and vegetarian options. The menu indicates which dishes are for the health conscious. Having traveled in the the Middle East, I can tell you that this place is pretty authentic. Don’t miss it!” – David W.

“Visiting our college daughter for the weekend and had our full of pizza, Reuben sandwiches and the other standard fare near the school. Found this on Yelp and am so glad we did. The food was fabulous and the service extraordinary. There were four of us and we pretty much tried every combo on the menu The hummus and garlic paste were our favorite appetizers and the pistachio baklava was to die for. We will definitely make it a regular stop on all of our future visits to South Bend. One note – the map link here took us to their old location. Luckily, we persevered and found it. We almost gave up!” – Dawn M.

“You have not had falafel until you have had it from Elia’s. Truly, everything here is so good, and don’t miss out on the baklava. The staff is friendly and welcoming.” – Cecilia H. 

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