In 2003, editor Bill Wilson suggested that I search for the best pie in Elkhart County.
Dozens of bites later, I named a winner.
And the following year, I searched for the best pizza.
The year after that, it was burgers.
And the tradition of looking for the “best of” an Elkhart County food was created.
Here’s the list of quests so far, pulled in part from the tenth anniversary column:
2003 — Pie: South Side Soda Shop’s lemon meringue. It’s still made and served at 1122 S. Main St., Goshen. And it’s still good.
2004 — Pizza: The Kitchen Sink pizza at Chicago’s Downtown Eatery, 218 E. Vistula, and just about all the pizza at Antonio’s, 1105 Goshen Ave., Elkhart. The Bristol restaurant has new owners, but a good deep-dish pizza, and Antonio’s keeps making excellent pizzas.
2005 — Burger: The Mystery Burger at Crimaldi’s, 117 W. Jackson, Elkhart, is still available and still good.
2006 — Burrito: Ricky’s Taqueria, 57995 C.R. 9, Elkhart. They’re still big, packed with flavor and generally amazing.
2007 — Cinnamon roll: John’s Bagels, which recently closed its retail spot at 109 W. Lexington. John Kramer isn’t making the rolls anymore, but his brother Joe is and you can find them occasionally.
2008 — Ice cream: The Chief in Goshen won and in my opinion still has the best ice cream in Elkhart County and just about anywhere else.
2009 — No quest. Sorry. I was busy. Just didn’t happen.
2010 — Ribs. Mmm. Ribs. Old Hoosier Meats in Middlebury won.
2011 — Turtles on Valentine’s Day. The Nut Shoppe in Goshen edged out Olympia Candy Kitchen. And in the fall, Heinnie’s won Steak Quest.
2012 — Cupcake Quest was to be short and quick, but after after trying 15 bakers, Happy Dance Cupcakes won my vote and Mini Delights Bake Shoppe won the reader vote.
2012 — Steak. Heinnie’s won both the reader vote and mine.
It’s time to do a 2013 quest. What would you like to help find the best of?
Here are the parameters:
• It has to be something I’m willing to eat a lot of. I can already tell you it won’t be headcheese, menudo or anchovies.
• It has to be something someone makes at Elkhart County restaurants, food shops or bakeries. People have suggested “Beer Quest.” It’d be fun. But there’s only one Elkhart County brewery.
• It has to be something that won’t kill me. I’m leery of doing a quest that’s full of fried food, but I wouldn’t rule it out. I’d just have to run more miles.
• It’s better if it’s something specific. The best breakfast in Elkhart County is harder to judge than the best omelet.
I’m looking for your advice. Please vote in the form below:
This post was updated to add the results of Steak Quest.