Acme Bar & Grille
Where: 1105 E. State Blvd. Phone: 480-2263 Hours: 10:30 a.m.-midnight, Monday-Thursday; 10:30 a.m.-1 a.m., Friday-Saturday Menu sampler Fried mozzarella sticks: $6.99 Acme famous meatballs: $5.59 Loaded potato skins: $7.99 Acme Greek salad: $7.99; add grilled chicken for $2.99 Acme House Italian salad: $5.99 Barbecue beef brisket sandwich: $7.49 Acme burger: $6.49 Black Forest burger: $6.99 Acme's breaded tenderloin sandwich $6.99 Cookie sundae $4.99 Black cherry pie $3.29
Few places have been around as long in Fort Wayne as the Acme Bar & Grill, since 1941 to be exact. And from the moment you step inside, you understand why. The Acme, on East State Boulevard, is a neighborhood joint with the homeyness that makes you feel comfortable from the minute you sit down.
Vintage Centlivre and Berghoff beer signs are a nod to Fort Wayne's brewing history. And be sure to check out the two large paintings - one in the main dining room and one in the bar. The dining room painting is of Yankee Stadium; the one in the bar is of Parkview Field. See if you can find the Acme sign in each.
To begin our lunch we ordered the loaded potatoes skins - loaded was an understatement. Four large potato halves make up this appetizer, which could easily be a meal in itself.
The skins were overflowing with bacon and cheese. They were served exceptionally hot and were sprinkled with green onion tops. The potato was completely cooked through. Though delicious, this appetizer is rich -- so much so that it seemed like a guilty pleasure to eat them. Be sure to use the accompanying sour cream to cut the salt from the bacon and cool the temperature.
Fish and chips were the Lenten special the day I visited, but instead I opted for the Acme Greek Salad, topped with a grilled chicken breast.
The salad was enormous and had generous allotments of crisp lettuce, cucumber and tomato. The feta cheese and Greek olives weren't just for garnish, but were main ingredients.
It may sound like a minor point, but I appreciated that the Greek olives were pitted. Too many times, I've been unpleasantly surprised by a pit. The house vinaigrette was light and had a mild taste. The sliced chicken breast was on top of the salad was golden brown and moist.
My dining partner chose the Barbecue Beef Brisket sandwich. It was stacked with several slices of beef that were smothered in sweet barbecue sauce. He said, “There's more meat than the bun can handle.” The sandwich came with coleslaw, but I don't know how he could have gotten anything else on the bun.
He said the French fries had a nice crispy coating.
I asked the server for a dessert recommendation and she suggested the black cherry pie. I'd never had a black cherry pie, only tart red ones, so I was anxious to try it.
When the heated pie arrived at the table the smell was intoxicating. Large cherries in a deep purplish-black filling oozed out from under the top crust. This filling was so sweet that I wished I had opted for the pie to be a la mode. The ice cream would have balanced the sweetness. There was an ingredient I couldn't quite discern, but it tasted as if it might have had a bit of liqueur in it. The crust was light and flaky.
If this pie is available when you visit, I highly recommend trying it.
By the time we finished our meal, a crowd was gathering in front of the big-screen TV to take in the day's NCAA basketball tournament action. The Acme's neon sign says: Where neighbors meet. And from the moment you step inside, you understand why.