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Spring break 2016: 10 food things to do in northern Indiana while school is out

The spring breakers have headed south.

Sure it may be warmer and sunnier. But we stayed home. We stayed here while it feels like the rapture happened and we were left behind.

In addition, the tourists haven’t shown up yet. The snowbirds aren’t back from Florida and Arizona yet.

There will be less traffic in the coming week. Restaurants and food businesses won’t be as busy. Here are 10 things to do while we’ve got northern Indiana to ourselves.

  1. Go to Rise & Roll Bakery. The popular vendor of sweet treats at 1065 N. 1150 S., Middlebury (along U.S. 20) is going to be busy this summer. There will be buses and tourists. So go now. Go while a lot of people are out of town. Go while you and the kids are off work and school. Hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
  2.  Visit Shipshewana/Middlebury. While you’re there getting that cinnamon caramel doughnut, you could venture into Middlebury or Shipshewana.The restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries are gearing up for summer. If nothing else, go to E & S Sales and have a scavenger hunt for the oddest item you can find in the store.
  3. Go out for a meal you don’t usually go out for. Have a late breakfast on a Thursday. Go somewhere for lunch. It’s spring break. Chances are you won’t have to fight for a table. If you haven’t done a weekend brunch, this is a great time and we have a list to help you at
  4. Make something for the first time at home. Never smoked a pork shoulder? Fire up the grill. Haven’t tried making meringues? Buy some eggs. If you’re looking for a recipe, you can find more than a few on
  5. Plant a garden. I say this hopefully. I say this hoping that the forecast doesn’t hold and it’s 70 and sunny. If the weather is decent, go to a farm supply store or local retailer and get some seeds or plants. Get your fingers dirty. And wait for good things.
  6. Tromp a downtown. Whether it’s Elkhart, Goshen, Wakarusa, South Bend or Warsaw or Nappanee, you can find lovely coffee shops, pizzerias, brewpubs and more. If you’re heading for a brewpub, check out Hop Notes by Eric Strader. If you’re heading for Kosciusko County, our community columnists Tom Westerhof and Loren Shaum have some great suggestions.
  7. Tour the South Bend Chocolate Co. You can get great chocolate at The Nut Shoppe or Olympia Candy Kitchen in Goshen, but it’s not a full-blown museum tour like the South Bend Chocolate Co., which offers tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays at the top of each hour. Enjoy the chocolate.
  8. Go to Night at the Ballpark. Opening day for the South Bend Cubs is Thursday, and an event starting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday will help the team and concessionaires get ready. General admission is $5 and the concession stands will be open. The batting cages and inflatables will be open. Tickets are available at, but you can also buy them at the gate. You can also join Flavor during Night at the Ballpark for a special tasting event. Tickets to the tasting are $25 and food starts at 6 p.m.
  9. Have a picnic at a park (or inside if the weather doesn’t allow). Joe Kuharic, who edits day-to-day, suggested this one. It’s a great idea. We’re getting cabin fever and a picnic sounds lovely. Unless it’s 50 F, windy and rainy, then I’d still like a ham-salad sandwich, but be allowed to eat it inside, please.
  10. Visit a new restaurant. You could head to Qdoba or Noodles & Co., which are actually new restaurants to the area, but you could also find a place you haven’t visited before and try it. If you need ideas, check out Dining A La King on Flavor 574, but you can also hit me up via social media and I’ll try offer some suggestions.
Marshall V. King is food columnist for Flavor 574 and community editor for The Elkhart Truth. You can reach him at 574-296-5805,, and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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