Goshen Dining Days 2016: South Side Soda Shop serves up fresh salads and delectable desserts

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By: Michelle Sokol
msokol@flavor574.com

South Side Soda Shop is famous for its rich milkshakes, delectable desserts and retro favorites. Just ask Guy Fieri, who featured the restaurant a few years ago on the Food Network show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

But the restaurant’s menu has so much more than that — some of which is being featured during Goshen Dining Days.

Goshen restaurants, including South Side, are offering deals and special menus through March 12 for Dining Days, sponsored by Flavor 574 and the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. Ten percent of the proceeds go to The Window in Goshen, which provides food, clothing and more for people in need.

This week, South Side, located at 1122 S. Main St., is serving up:

  • Two $15 salad specials, which come with the entree-sized salad, a drink and a dessert (more on these later)
  • A $25 Parmesan Reggiano dinner-for-two that comes with drinks and two dinner salads. The entree consists of fettuccine noodles tossed in aged Parmesan cheese and topped with your choice of shiitake mushrooms, grilled chicken or jumbo shrimp.
  • A $25 Nick’s homemade lump crabmeat crab cakes dinner-for-two, also served with drinks and two dinner salads.

Even during the busy lunch hour on Tuesday when my father-in-law and I visited to sample the special menu, we were seated immediately and the waitress made sure our drinks never went empty.

I ordered the Black & Bleu salad while my father-in-law went for the ahi tuna salad.

The Black & Bleu consists of marinated flank steak served over a bed of greens with tomatoes, cucumbers and bleu cheese crumbles. The waitress gave me a choice of dressing, and I opted for the bleu cheese so I didn’t end up mixing too many flavors. The taste of the bleu cheese crumbles can be pretty overwhelming, so I would imagine a light vinaigrette would be a good choice for this salad, also.

The flank steak was super flavorful, and there were enough strips of it to portion out so that all my bites had a nice meat-lettuce ratio. There was also enough dressing, served on the side in a small portion cup, to coat the greens.

My father-in-law enjoyed his ahi tuna salad, which was made of seared ahi tuna crusted in sesame seeds and served over a bed of mixed greens, radishes and Mandarin oranges. A homemade wasabi ginger dressing pulled it all together.

The pinkness of the tuna’s center surprised my father-in-law a bit, but I assured him that South Side prepared the ahi tuna exactly as it was intended: Seared on the outside and tender inside. It’s a nice contrast of textures.

Both of us cleared our plates of the salad, but neither of us had enough room for the dessert that was included in the special. Fortunately, the waitress offered us each a slice of pie to go. The tray she brought to our table with a visual of all the flavors the diner had to offer was impressive, and most were fresh out of the oven.

I had a nibble of the chocolate pecan pie — wow, was it rich! — before placing the container on the community food table here in the Flavor 574/The Elkhart Truth offices. The container was gone within hours, so I know someone here enjoyed it.

(Editor’s note: It was me!)

Although $30 (plus tip and tax) was a bit pricey for a weekday lunch, it is well worth it for a light and fresh meal from a Goshen staple. I may be back before Goshen Dining Days ends on Saturday.

Follow education reporter Michelle Sokol on Twitter at @michelle_sokol.
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