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The Dish

  • Updates continue on Lima
    If you drive along Lima Road, it's hard to miss the changes to the restaurant scene.
  • Updates continue on Lima
    If you drive along Lima Road, it’s hard to miss the changes to the restaurant scene.As I wrote in a March column, LongHorn Steakhouse is opening a restaurant at 5050 Value Drive in front of Costco.
  • Vanilla Bean shifting to orders only
    In most cases, closing up shop is bad times.  But for Sandra Wharton and Debbie Smith, the move from retail to production is a good thing for their business, Vanilla Bean Unique

Bookstore café among 3 new spots

“Goats in the Melon Patch” are adding a bit of sweetness to Village Books.

That’s the name of a featured salad with goat cheese, cantaloupe and ham, which is on the menu at Julie’s Gallery, a new café in Village Books Novel Coffeehouse at Northcrest Shopping Center. The Traverse Bay & Co. version comes with dried cherries, pecans and gorgonzola crumbles.

Sandwiches include turkey, ham and chicken salad. There are daily soups and features.

Café hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays. A catering menu and a Web site are under development. For information, call 480-0222 or e-mail

Other new places that recently opened are:

•East State Coney, 2831 E. State Blvd. in the Beacon Plaza. It serves a variety of hot dogs and bratwurst, and also has sloppy Joes, cheese and ham melts and chili. Lunch specials ($5) are available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is also a $19.98 carryout special: a dozen Coney dogs, a pint of baked beans and a pint of potato salad. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. To order, call 471-1000.

•Maui Wowi Hawaiian, in Glenbrook Square next to Torrid. It offers Kona coffee (hot or frozen blended drinks) and fresh fruit smoothies. If you buy an adult-size smoothie, you can get a free kid-size small smoothie. Smoothie prices are $2.58 to $6.79. On Mondays, you can get a 12-ounce coffee for 50 cents. The beans are also for sale, as are gift baskets.

Acme Bar to reopen

New Acme Bar owners Amy and Jeff Parrish hope to reopen Nov. 25 in time for Thanksgiving Eve festivities.

They plan to serve lunch and dinner, bringing back the popular pizza, ribs, burgers and sandwiches. A variety of microbrews and imported beers will be on the menu, too.

Renovations to the kitchen and family room are ongoing. The Parrishes plan to display local artwork and city memorabilia.

Hours are expected to be 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. It will be closed Sundays.

There are several other new eateries looming:

•Red Angel Pizza will open at 9009-9011 Lima Road in the Empire Center plaza.

•Los Alambres will open at 3434 N. Anthony Blvd., in the former Coney Factory spot.

•Ozzy’s Pancake House will open at 4610 Coldwater Road in the former Mi Casita location.

Fundraisers on menu

•The fur will fly at the third annual “Paws and Claws Gala” on Saturday at the Scottish Rite Center. This benefit for the Allen County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals runs from 7 to 10 p.m. Enjoy desserts, beer, wine and music by Ty Causey. Advance tickets are $40 each or $75 for a pair. Tables of eight are $250. To reserve tickets, call 744-0454 or visit Tickets at the door are $50.

•The annual Habitat for Humanity dinner theater benefit at First Presbyterian Church is at 6 p.m. Nov. 14. The menu is barbecue pork chops, baked potatoes, green beans, coleslaw and ice cream. Musicians Ron Barber and James Baker will perform. Dinner will be followed by the play “A Walk in the Woods” at 8 p.m.

The event is $35 (season ticket holders can buy the dinner for $25). Reservations must be made by Nov. 12; call 426-7421 or stop in at the church office, 300 W. Wayne St.

Kiwanis bakes Holiday Loaf again

Auburn Kiwanis members will be selling their Holiday Loaf (also known as pumpkin bread) on Friday and Nov. 13 at the Auburn Presbyterian Church, 111 W. 12th St., Auburn.

Ingredients are pumpkin, pecans, wheat flour, sugar and spices.

Loaves are $3; you also can order a case of 24.

To order, call Children First Center at 1-800-824-2698 or 260-925-3865. Since 1971, the Kiwanis Club has donated nearly $325,000 from Holiday Loaf sales to the organization.

The bread is also available at regional businesses. You can see the list of participants at

‘Beer dinner’ at Bourbon Street

Who would pass up the chance to sample bar food and beers from around the world?

Bourbon Street Hideaway has you covered with a seven-course beer dinner served from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 25.

The meal includes shrimp and chorizo soup, schnitzel with a warm spinach salad, citrus-glazed duck breast with Thai vegetables and noodles, a havarti-dill cheeseburger, a cheese course and Guinness chocolate mousse.

The event is $50, which doesn’t include tax or gratuity. It will last up to three hours.

Reservations are required as space is limited to 50 diners. Parties larger than eight people will be split between two tables. Call 422-7500 or 422-5055 to reserve a spot with a credit card.

While the restaurant at 135 W. Columbia St. has changed its hours – 5 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and 5 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays – it’s available for private parties (for 20 or more people) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Frank and Dino at O’Sullivan’s

There aren’t many places that roll out the candles and red-and-white tablecloths for dinner anymore.

But every Wednesday night, O’Sullivan’s Italian Pub, 1808 W. Main St., is transformed by the music of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

That’s when owner Frank Casagrande uses his mom’s recipes to make spaghetti and meatballs, ravioli, a steak sandwich, lasagna and “chicken Casagrande.” Entrées come with salad and garlic cheese bread for $9.

They’re available from 5 to 9 p.m.

Tea House sets chocolate party

Proving that chocolate goes with anything, Peony Tea House will have a Chocolate Tea event at 1 p.m. Nov. 27. Besides the chocolate teas, you can nibble on sandwiches and chocolate treats.

Reservations are necessary; call 426-4832.

The teahouse is also open by reservation only on Mondays, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Seeking all your Thanksgiving hours

If your restaurant will be open on Thanksgiving, let me know the details: hours, menus and specials. I’ll run lists in future columns.


•B. Antonio’s Pizza has a new dessert menu, courtesy of Courtney’s Bakery, including cannoli, tiramisu cheesecake and pumpkin mousse. And during November, if you bring in a can of food, you can get a free pizza topping (up to three toppings). Donations will be sent to the Franciscan Center.

•The November special at Anastasia’s Café, 5723 Coventry Lane, is a cranberry turkey whole-wheat wrap, which also includes cream cheese, mandarin oranges and lettuce. It’s served with vegetable sticks and a beverage for $8.50.

•Downtown Pizza & Ice Cream, 534 W. Berry St., is selling Red Brick Coffee Roasters coffee, which is available by the brewed cup or by the pound.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears every Wednesday. Fax news items to 461-8893, e-mail or call 461-8313.