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The Dish

  • Rib Room not going anywhere
    Fans of the Rib Room need not worry. It will be business as usual for the restaurant at 1235 E. State Blvd.Rumors had been swirling about the fate of the establishment, general manager Christina Filippou says.
  • Local bicycle pub tour on tap
    To celebrate the public launch of its Sustain Fort Wayne campaign, the U.S.
  • Local bicycle pub tour on tap
    To celebrate the public launch of its Sustain Fort Wayne campaign, the U.S. Green Building Council Indiana Chapter Northeast is hosting its first RideGreen event, a bicycle pub tour with stops at local pubs and restaurants.

McAlister’s to debut its deli treats, spuds

After a two-day delay, McAlister’s Deli is expected to open today in the former Krispy Kreme location at Jefferson Pointe.

The quick-service chain’s menu includes made-to-order wraps, sandwiches and panini, such as the reuben, club and melts. Sandwiches are $5.49 to $7.99.

It also has flatbread pizza, salads, meatloaf and pot roast platters, soup, chili, nachos and eight types of “Giant Spuds.”

Breakfast dishes include waffles, egg platters and biscuits and gravy.

There is a $3.49 menu for ages 12 and younger.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays and 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sundays.

For information, call 432-0200.

Salad Club opens at Time Corners

Featuring 14 salads in two sizes, the Salad Club has opened at 6443 W. Jefferson Blvd., in the Villages at Time Corners plaza.

You can choose from a menu that includes Caesar, Greek, and Cobb salads. Or create your own version.

All salads can be prepared as wraps.

Prices are $4.79 to $10.29.

Salad Club has soup and deli salads, too.

Summer hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. It’s closed on Sundays.

For information, call 434-2582.

Cerulean offers tapas in garden

Cerulean in Winona Lake has created an outdoor garden restaurant that has a tapas menu and wine and beer list.

The nine-dish menu features roasted squid, Catalan meatloaf, pork confit chowder, cured jerky and a sausage plate. Prices are $4 to $6.

The garden bar seats 14, and the dinning area seats 24.

Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. weekdays and 2 to 10 p.m. Saturdays.

Some garden bar visitors just have a drink while waiting for their table inside, owner Caleb France says, while others create a meal from the tapas (appetizer) menu.

Everything is made in-house, including the jerky and beer mustard.

Lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays. Dinner hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays and 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. It is closed Sundays. For reservations, call 574-269-1226.

Cerulean is at 1101 E. Canal St.

Local couple win trip to Italy

Next year, Tom Higginbotham of Fort Wayne will take the trip of a lifetime, thanks to Olive Garden.

Higginbotham was one of four grand-prize winners – out of 3 million entries – in the restaurant’s 2010 Culinary Tour of Italy contest.

In March, he and wife Laurie will embark on a free guided tour in Italy, spending eight days traveling around Rome and Florence.

The couple will get tips from chefs at the Olive Garden Culinary Institute of Tuscany and have a tasting at the Rocca delle Macie Winery.

“It’s exciting. I never thought we’d win,” Higginbotham says.

He plans to do plenty of research before his first trip to Italy, “to make the experience all it can be.”

Olive Garden is one of the couple’s favorite restaurants, where they escape without the kids.

That’s why Higginbotham entered the trivia-based contest, figuring he might win one of the 500 gift cards worth $25 and could treat his wife to her favorite dish, eggplant parmigiana.

Instead, he hit the jackpot.

This year, the couple will celebrate their 25th anniversary and the trip “will be a nice complement to that,” he says.


•Downtown Pizza & Ice Cream, 534 W. Berry St., will have a fireworks party at 8 p.m. Saturday. Enjoy 99-cent slices, giveaways and samples while you watch the Fort Wayne Newspapers Three Rivers Festival fireworks. The pizzeria will open at noon.

•Waynedale Bakery, 2610 Lower Huntington Road, is making its seasonal fruit-basket cakes for $12 and $22. It also has lemon meringue and rhubarb-Key lime pies for $9. To order, call 747-2992.

•Vanilla Bean Biscotti & Pastry Boutique, 3410 N. Anthony Blvd., has changed its hours. The new hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and Mondays.

•Dicky’s Wild Hare, 2910 Maplecrest Road, is unveiling a new beer menu this week. Today, starting at 6 p.m., New Belgium Brewing Co. representatives will offer samples.

•Cupbearer Coffee House in Auburn will have its 10th anniversary party from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday with food, prizes and musicians. The coffee house is at 531 N. Grandstaff Drive.

•At 6 p.m. Monday, chef Janie Ebinger will visit the Warsaw Community Public Library to prepare a salad dressing from her cookbook. To register, call 574-267-6011.

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