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Dandino's offering big Goshen Dining Days specials at old-school prices

Megan McLaughlin hoped Dandino’s Supper Club would be busy after she took over as owner with Collette Myers.

In January, the duo became the owners of the restaurant that’s been open at 1407 Elkhart Road in Goshen since 1965.

Business is amazing, McLaughlin said. “We were just as busy as I hoped,” she said.

The restaurant has had a wait on busy nights. On Saturday, the first night of Goshen Dining Days, they served 200 people. Many of them were ordering dining days specials, 10 percent of which benefits The Window. Goshen Dining Days continues through Saturday.

The old building and menu, with steaks and seafood, salads and sandwiches, has a new generation of owners who want it be what they remember as kids.

The interior is clean and has fresh coats of paint. The food is inexpensive for what you get and there are a bunch of specials at lunch and dinner. The preparations aren’t fancy, though McLaughlin said the reception has been good to spicier specials.

The kitchen crew is coming together. The steaks aren’t always perfectly cooked. Yet, Dandino’s hangs on and is offering big portions for old-school prices.

Take this giant tenderloin that’s on the lunch menu for $7. During dining days, it’s $10 with two side dishes. The bun, made by Country Lane Bakery in Middlebury, now hides the giant fried tenderloin rather than one of Indiana’s favorite sandwich fillings hanging over the edges. Together, the bun and meat are a massive meal, though server Shanna Troyer said on Monday someone finished one at lunch.

At dinner, two pasta specials are offered at $15 for dining days. The seafood mac and cheese was nicely prepared and a comforting dish. The chicken in the marsala was tender. The bone-in ribeye, all 24 ounces of it, was massive and nicely cooked with sauteed portabella mushrooms. With two sides, the big steak for $25 is an immense deal.

And speaking of old-school, the bar cheese and crackers that come to the table at the beginning of a meal always makes me happy.

Dandino’s has that long and rich history and I hope it does well. I hope the new owners can navigate the way forward so that it can continue to serve. We need glorious old restaurants to serve good food in the way they have for years, not just shiny new places.

Dandino’s has some of its shine back. The crowd is coming back. I hope they find the food good enough to return.

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