I have had a series of restaurant reviews in the hopper for a long time now. Like 3 years… I’m officially ready to give you my opinions on some dining options. I wanted to accomplish a couple things when doing these reviews so it fits the needs to my readers.
- Quality of ingredients
- Adaptability for dietary needs
- Price and accessibility
I wanted to follow a set of rules when going through the dining experience because I believe food is somewhat of an art, and I think going in changing everything alters the original intention of how the dish was intended, the experience around it, and the flavor profile. So, here are couple rules I plan to follow with every review:
- Order as it’s intended on the menu
- Order anything that is hard to find elsewhere
- Order a meal and a cocktail (if available)
- Ask the server about their favorite thing on the menu
Welp, here it goes. A review of my experience at the new restaurant in Mishawaka/South Bend called One Fourteen.
What I ordered: Parm Fries, the Onefourteen burger and the Cold Killa cocktail
Quality of ingredients:
While there isn’t a lot of information provided on the ingredients used, it does appear that they are trying to use ingredients that are thoughtful. You will not find grassfed beef on the menu despite the array of burger options, but you will find plenty of options that include plants. Since quality screams nutrient content in my opinion, this is important to how high somewhere rates for my readers. The burger I ordered had pate and marrow. These are ingredients you won’t find in many places and are packed full of nutrients! Organs are one of my favorite things that patients are recommended to experiment with, and if they can have someone else prepare them, it’s a win-win.
*Update: I got some more details that I thought I should update! The get their meat from Sawyers Meats in South Bend Farmers Market, buns from Breadsmith of South Bend and as much local produce as they can find. Every sauce, dressing, and condiment is made in house!
Adaptability for dietary needs:
If you are trying to avoid gluten, meat, or dairy, you WILL be able to eat. I ordered the burger with the bun, which came to me packaged with gold leaf on top. You heard me right. My bun had actual gold leaf on top. A nice touch that you may miss if you order sans bun. I ate some of the burger with the bun but, quickly ditched it. You could order any burger without a bun. They also have plenty of vegetarian and vegan options for those avoiding meat. Since vegan options are available, that means some alternative dairy, as well. If you are trying to stay low carb, there are veggie options to replace fries. I do not know if they rotate, but asparagus was the option when I went.
This is the one everyone cares about, right? Who cares how healthy or unhealthy if it doesn’t taste good. The burger was good. Since my burger choice was fatty in nature, I thought it could have used an acidic addition to cut through the richness. I notice they do this with many dishes by using kimchi. It was messy, which doesn’t bother me because I usually don’t hold it anyway. The fries were amazing. They are thoughtfully seasoned with herbs that I couldn’t pinpoint exactly, but I do believe rosemary is part of the blend. They are well seasoned and there’s nothing fake about them. I have a place in my heart for places that do fries well. The cocktail was a smoky mescal garnished with a beautiful flower and the rim dipped in coarse salt. I usually HATE smoky drinks, but this was pretty perfectly balanced. I would definitely order it again just to drink with my eyes if nothing else! I also tasted the herb spritzer and this is right up my alley being refreshing, herby, and light. This would be my go-to if I was a frequent flyer.
The service was attentive but not pushy, which is just how I like it. The place is a little gangsta with a modern twist. The décor is clean with thoughtful touches such as a penny floor as you enter, navy napkins that liken to denim, and a winged selfie wall in the bathroom. I love the idea of interaction. There aren’t many places you can go where Tupac adorns the wall and gold leaf tops your burger. The perfect match for the age group that grew up listening to Biggie, Tupac, and Dré but has developed a palate for interesting flavor profiles and twists on the classics.
Price and accessibility:
I order the most expensive burger on the menu topping it out at $18. However, I’d say most pricing was standard for a sit-down burger joint with craft cocktails. It is somewhat quaint inside, and they do not take reservations. So, it may be a wait if you go during peak times and if you are coming from Elkhart, it’s a jog. However, it’s got an antique shop next door that can occupy the time while you wait, and they have plenty of standing room in the bar area for a cocktail.
Overall, I would give onefourteen an 88% if I’m throwing back to my professor days. I think they have done an awesome job as a new restaurant because let’s face it, starting a restaurant isn’t easy! They have dared to experiment and offer interesting options, and they have thought about the experience. I have to take away some points for quality in terms of healthy meaning top shelf: grassfed, organic, local, etc. I would love to hear about your personal experience! If there are any other pieces of information you would like me to touch on, let me know and I will try to include that in future reviews.