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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

Tomatoes aplenty in Pierceton

This is one place where tomato worms are welcome.

The largest worm contest is part of the third annual Pierceton Heirloom Tomato Festival on Saturday.

The free festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Brower Park at the Old Depot (at Indiana 13 and Market Street).

The tasting area will have dishes such as green tomato bread, salsas, chili sauce, and tomato marmalades, jams and chutneys.

Vendors will sell fried green tomatoes, ham and beans, barbecue dishes and ice cream.

The green tomato pie contest is also a highlight, with the slices auctioned afterward. Last year’s winner, made from a Colonial-era recipe, sold for $10 a slice.

Other activities include a crafter’s area, a “tomato sandwich social,” a farmers market and live music.

Visitors are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

Daughter inspires buffet at pizzeria

About five years ago, young Maggie Goldsmith informed her father that she someday planned to take over the family business, Magpie’s Pizza in Avilla.

Maggie, now 14, recently gave Larry Goldsmith her first idea – an all-you-can-eat dinner buffet – and it’s already a winner.

The buffet, with pizza, pasta, ribs and salad, is open from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays. It’s $6.49.

Last week, in its second week, the buffet sold out. So Goldsmith plans to put out more food this time.

And he’s sure this is only the beginning of his daughter’s entrepreneurial career.

Maggie is usually at the restaurant on Wednesdays, and she insists on working the cash register and answering the phone when she’s there.

“She does know how to run this place,” Goldsmith says.

Formerly called Julie’s Family Pizza, the restaurant was renamed with Maggie’s nickname, Magpie, a reference to the constantly chattering bird, he says.

Feast, bust a move at Taste of Roanoke

After you get your fill of local delicacies, take to dancing in the streets at the 17th annual Taste of Roanoke on Saturday.

The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Roanoke.

Food vendors will offer grilled tenderloin sandwiches, Wagyu burgers, barbecue ribs, roasted chicken, sloppy joes, gumbo, corn on the cob and homemade ice cream.

Tables and chairs are available.

Admission is free. Food prices are $1 to $7.

The Conglomernotes, a 17-piece orchestra that plays big band music, will perform. And there will be room for dancing on the blocked-off street.

Proceeds benefit the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce scholarship fund.

Friends offering lamb dinner for two

Every Friday and Saturday night, Friends and Friends Too will offer a $30 lamb dinner for two.

The special features a full rack of lamb, salad, choice of side and dessert. The price doesn’t include beverages, tax or gratuity.

It’s available from 5 to 9 p.m. at the original Friends, 1824 Dupont Road (just west of Lima Road).

The other location, at 3720 W. Jefferson Blvd., between Subway and Chevvy’s, is open until 9:30 p.m.

Hawkins plans annual dinner

Hawkins Family Farm will have its annual “Between Heaven and Earth” dinner Aug. 28 in North Manchester.

The five-course meal includes locally sourced gourmet dishes prepared by chef Jennifer Disler. It also will be paired with beers from Mad Anthony Brewing Co.

Advance tickets are $75.

Reserve them online at or

The outdoor event begins at 4 p.m. and goes until sunset.


•The new Georgetown Subway, 6501 E. State Blvd., opens today with a “drive-view” window, where you can monitor your sandwich as it’s assembled. The 2,000-square-foot shop also has free WiFi, a large-screen TV and a fireplace. It’s owned by Jeff Sebeika, who owns two other locations. Hours are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

•Peony Tea House, 503 W. Wayne St., will have a “white tea” party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 28. Besides the white teas, the menu includes chicken sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches and a variety of sweet treats. Attendees also are encouraged to dress in white. Reservations are required; call 426-4832.

•Vanilla Bean’s Biscotti & Pastry Boutique, 3410 N. Anthony Blvd., has two new items: an espresso cupcake with mocha butter-cream frosting and a margarita sandwich cookie. There also are plans to start a biscotti club and a book club in September. I’ll have more details in a future column.

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