Mark your calendar for Goshen Dining Days, Dining A La King tour to Culver

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By: Marshall V. King
mking@flavor574.com

Marshall V. King/The Elkhart Truth

As we wait for spring, let’s at least start planning for the fun we’ll have after it arrives.

Let’s plan to eat together at Goshen Dining Days, an event bringing together specials at Goshen restaurants and food businesses with a charitable cause. Mostly it’ll just be fun.

Let’s also plan to go to Culver on Saturday, May 9, to visit the Corndance Cafe, Evil Czech Brewery and Rooster Hill Farm. We’ll get to cook in the kitchen at the cafe and eat well.

Goshen Dining Days

Based on the success of Elkhart Dining Days, those of us at Flavor 574 and The Elkhart Truth want to do a similar event in Goshen.

The premise is that restaurants or food businesses will sign up with us and we’ll help them promote specials for the nine days of April 17-25. A portion of the sales will go to charity. Sponsors help cover the costs of the event while getting some promotion and a portion of what they pay in also goes to charity.

• RELATED: Carriage House, Bacon Hill among spring openings, Dining A La King, March 2, 2015.

In Elkhart in October, several thousand meals were sold and Food Bank of Elkhart County got checks from the restaurants.

In Goshen in April, we’re hoping for similar results with proceeds going to the Share the Bounty program of the Goshen Farmers Market. That program helps people in need get fresh fruits and vegetables from local growers at the market at 212 W. Washington St., Goshen.

Our advertising department is in the process of signing up restaurants that will offer specials from $5 to $30. I’m hoping a bunch of restaurants offer meals for two or great flavors that get people excited. Constant Spring and The Electric Brew are already signed up and working on what they’ll offer.

If you’re the owner of a restaurant or food business, we’d love to hear from you. You can contact Mishanna Cramer at 574-296-5988/mcramer@elkharttruth.com or Dan Fink, 574-296-5913/dfink@elkharttruth.com.

Dining a La King trip to Culver

George and Tammy Pesek run great food operations. They’ve grown from a cafe in Culver to a brewery nearby, a brewpub in Mishawaka and a restaurant in Mishawaka.

Kim Wright at Menno Travel Service knows them well and worked with us to arrange a trip to Culver. It’s $125 a person, which is a good value for what’s included.

It’s not that far away, but on May 9 we’ll board a bus from Elkhart and perhaps Goshen to head a bit south.

We’ll leave Elkhart at 9 a.m. the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend and head to Rooster Hill Farm, the 50-acre farm the Peseks use to source many of their ingredients. We’ll tour the farm, including seeing some newborn bison. There will be drinks, local cheeses, meats and produce to nibble on at the farm, where George is planning to show us around.

Around 11:30 a.m. we’ll take the short, scenic drive to Corndance Cafe for culinary lessons and lunch. The group will split into three groups to help prepare a course for lunch. It’s not common for the restaurant to allow this, but we get the chance. Chef Steven Suthard will help us and be available to answer questions.

What’s for lunch?

  • Caprese Crostini of fire-roasted heirloom tomatoes with a sweet basil pesto mascarpone
  • Crispy Kale & Garbanzo Bean Salad with grilled local lamb kebabs and toasted naan
  • Tatonka Roulade, which is grilled asparagus & gorgonzola wrapped in prosciutto and stuffed into a bison filet. Topped with a demi glace made from Rooster American Brown ale and served over rustic barley risotto.

After lunch, there will be some time to wander the shops in Culver. A tour at Evil Czech Brewery will start at 2:15 p.m., followed by a beer tasting or sample of wine.

On the way out of town, we’ll stop at Lakehouse Grill for dessert and then head home about 4:30 p.m.

The trip is limited to 40 people, so sign up as soon as you’re able. You can do so by calling Kim Wright at Menno Travel Service, 574-534-1521. The food is included. Drinks are included, though alcohol at lunch isn’t. We’re asking for full payment at the time of booking to reserve your spot in this fun day. If you pay with a credit card, it’ll cost you an additional 3 percent, making the price $128.75. If you call and then send a check, we’ll hold your spot for up to a week.

We worked to create a fun day at an affordable price for a day trip and hope you can come along.

I’m hungry. Let’s eat.

Marshall V. King is community editor for The Elkhart Truth and food columnist for Flavor 574. You can reach him at 574-296-5805, mking@flavor574.com, and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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