Four years ago Thursday, I moved to Fort Wayne, where I was happy to find two delicious sushi restaurants.
It seemed like a Midwestern town of this size wouldn’t offer sushi, a meal I equated to big towns and fancy palates. At that point, I had had what is now one of my favorite foods once, maybe twice ever.
Fast forward four years, and Fort Wayne has at least six restaurants that specialize in sushi. The slew of sushi in Fort Wayne, with another restaurant on the way (Bangkok Thai Restaurant & Sushi Bar, 6735 W. Jefferson Blvd., is next to Moe’s Southwest Grill and has a “Coming Soon” sign), certainly makes the food that this girl once equated with the class and ick-factor of caviar much more accessible.
To take yourself on a sushi food tour of the city, start at the southernmost sushi restaurant, the chain Naked Tchopstix (8607 U.S. 24 W.). After Bangkok Thai Restaurant opens, it will be a short jaunt away; just follow 24 into town. Then continue on 24 toward downtown and hit up Sakura Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar (5828 W. Jefferson Blvd.)
Next, head north on Coldwater Road out of downtown. Sushi West (4036 Coldwater Road) is across from Glenbrook Square, just before Coliseum Boulevard. Continue north on Coldwater and hang a left on Washington Center Road to find Koto Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi (301 E. Washington Center Road), which also offers made-in-front-of-you hibachi.
Continue west on Washington Center and turn right on Lima Road for Asakusa (6224 Lima Road), which, based on the inexplicable 90-minute wait time no matter the time of day, might be Fort Wayne’s favorite sushi.
To end your sushi tour, go north on Lima and turn right on Dupont Road. Just before the junction with Interstate 69, you’ll find Sushiya-US (2882 E. Dupont Road), home of the Fort Wayne, IPFW and Dupont rolls, among other local monikers.
Salay’s, the former Moosewood BBQ at 5775 St. Joe Road, debuted a new menu last month.
While the menu still has some barbecue favorites – smoked meat, ribs and rib tips, pulled pork – new chef and owner Deb Storch calls her menu an American one.
“My big focus in here is we’re actually cooking food and not just pulling things out of the freezer,” she says. “We like to do things as fresh as possible. I like to avoid processed foods.”
So far, the menu favorites have been the Mediterranean chicken sandwich and entrée and the portobello sandwich, she says.
Storch was a managing partner when the restaurant was still Moosewood, and she went into the business with the intent of one day buying it. Specializing in catering, Storch has always wanted a small kitchen that can serve as a home base for catering. And now, if she ever has food left over, there’s a place to bring it.
The name of the restaurant comes from Storch’s maiden name. She has heard it pronounced ways she can’t even re-create. For the record: It’s “suh-LAYS.”
Vince’s, on Maysville Road, has closed.
There is a sign on its door that tells customers: “It has been an honor to serve Fort Wayne, New Haven, and surrounding communities, (sic) economic realities do not allow us to continue. Sincerely, Vince and the Vince’s staff”
The restaurant opened in 2010 in a space that once housed Uno Chicago Grill.
•When Rex Carroll’s franchise contract ran out with the Zesto’s in Auburn, he closed the ice cream shop, but he kept going with The Auburn Deli, the sandwich shop that had shared a space with Zesto’s. However, when 3Rivers Federal Credit Union made him an offer on the building, he decided to sell.
Though the deli had been a success with a steady customer base, Carroll told himself he wouldn’t open again unless he found the right space.
The right space turned out to be at 115 N. Main St., Auburn, which formerly housed The Bread Basket. The new Auburn Deli had a soft opening three weeks ago, Carroll says, and he’s planning on a grand opening next month.
“It’s a fantastic old building,” he says. “Just a lot of character.”
The deli, which features comfy couches and an Internet café, has the same menu as the previous deli, with a few additions, including a children’s menu, pasta salads and a grilled cheese, called the Roadrunner.
All the sandwiches at the deli are named after antique cars, Carroll says, and the best-selling item on the menu is the Auburn Roadster, a club sandwich with ham, turkey, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato and a homemade gourmet sauce.
•816 Pint & Slice is officially a chain. Last month, Pint & Slice opened a location at 60 N. Public Square in Angola.
The chain chose the Steuben County city about 40 miles north of Fort Wayne because of the Go Angola Downtown Alliance initiative, which is looking to grow and rebuild downtown Angola, says Liz Landers, general manager of the new location.
Pint & Slice owners are looking at possibilities for a third location, perhaps in Muncie, near Ball State University.
The Pint & Slice menu in Angola is similar to the original location’s (816 S. Calhoun St.), Landers says, though the beer menu is slightly different.
Arby’s restaurants in Fort Wayne are celebrating Turkey Day with free turkey sandwiches from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. Turkey sandwich choices include the roast turkey classic, roast turkey ’n’ cheddar classic or the grand turkey club.