The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Outdoor Eating in South Bend

Eric Prister | Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ahh, springtime is upon us. The sun is shining, flip flops have reentered the fashion scene, and South Quad looks like someone let the convicts out of their cells for the first time in months. Now, in South Bend, that means very little, since pleasant weather lasts about as long as an average high school relationship, but at least the feel of spring has arrived. One thing that is consistent in South Bend during the spring, just as it is year round, is that one must eat. What better way to celebrate the coming of rebirth and rejuvenation than to style your eating choices around the new season? For those who are forced to eat in the dining hall for every meal, either due to a lack of transportation or a moral obligation to use all fourteen meals each week, these suggestions will do you little good. Honestly, you should skip to the end of the article. But for someone who is looking to spread his or her wings and venture off campus, please continue.For the rare Notre Dame student who finds his or her pockets overflowing with excess money, two choices exist. One, as the bumper sticker suggests, you could elect a democrat (which, it seems, has been the favored choice of the majority of the country). Or two, take a valued friend or the object of your affection to The Carriage House Dining Room. While outrageously expensive, The Carriage House not only offers incredible French cuisine, but also a beautifully decorated outdoor patio where one can enjoy the sunshine with their slightly overpriced but still extremely delicious food.For everyone else who finds money a bit harder to come by, K’s Grill and Pub might be an option. Go to K’s and order a hot dog, applesauce and potato chips and enjoy your meal in their outdoor seating area.Another option for those who are over 21 is Simeri’s Old Town Tap. Simeri’s offers excellent sandwiches and other typical sports bar food, along with the option to sit outside at their patio, where live music is performed multiple times each week.Chipotle is another favorite which offers outdoor seating. Its burritos and tacos are reasonably priced and it is a nice place for a quick off-campus meal, especially since it makes it possible to enjoy your meal and the balmy weather at the same time.Restaurants such as Olive Garden, Applebee’s and Panera Bread offer Notre Dame students a springtime feel even when the weather changes back to the perma-cloud to which South Bend has grown accustomed. These establishments have created a springtime feel with the style of food served and the bright and cheerful ambiance of the restaurant itself. The best possible place for Notre Dame students to take advantage of the rare but beautiful spring weather in South Bend, though, is none other than Notre Dame itself. Order a pizza from Bruno’s or Papa John’s, have a Jimmy John’s sub delivered, or run to LaFortune and order a seven-dollar-and-fifty-cent footlong from Subway (not as catchy as five-dollar footlong is it?). Take your meal outside with some friends and enjoy the beautiful weather in the most beautiful place South Bend has to offer, under the Golden Dome.