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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

Nature non-profits plan food fundraisers

Raise a glass to help two area non-profits celebrate nature and raise money.

ACRES Land Trust, which turns 50 this year, will have a Blue Jean Gala on Oct. 2 at 14505 White Loon Pass, Roanoke.

The event will feature an auction of pieces from the “Artology” exhibit, food, beer and wine, trail hikes and music by the Junkyard Band. It runs from 2 to 5 p.m.

Advance reservations are $50; the deadline is Sept. 18.

To reserve a spot and get directions, call ACRES at 637-2273 or go to

If it rains, the gala will move inside a barn on the property.

Also on Oct. 2, Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, 1426 W. 300 N. in Albion, will present its fourth annual “Lions and Tigers and Beer” party.

The beer tasting and hog roast will include a silent auction, live music by Cheyenne and park tours.

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the gate. You must be 21 or older with valid photo ID to attend.

Tickets are available at, The Dock in Columbia City or House of Spirits in Kendallville. You also can reserve them by calling the sanctuary at 260-636-7383.

This outdoor event will go on, rain or shine.

Wayne Street restaurants offer International Blast

Get a taste of the world’s cuisine during International Blast 2010 on Sept. 17.

The all-ages event runs from 5 to 11 p.m. in front of JK O’Donnell’s, 121 W. Wayne St. Admission is free.

Other participating eateries are Double Dragon, Toscani and Higher Grounds.

Featured foods will include Irish stew, pizza by the slice, egg rolls, fish and chips, grilled cheese sandwiches, crisps (potato chips), chicken lo mein, shrimp fried rice and a chocolate-chip picnic bar.

Live music goes from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Bagpipers will play before each group of musicians, which includes Chris Bajmakovich (Italian and Macedonian), Soltre (Irish) and Breaking Laces (rock).

Friends, Friends Too expanding menu

Friends and Friends Too have added several new menu items, including two salads – black-and-blue salmon and fried kalamari – and several new sandwiches – lamb or beef souvlaki, BLT and Buffalo chicken.

The lamb kokkinisto is braised in tomato sauce and served over rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.

The breakfast menu now has a Niko’s omelet and skillet (with gyro meat, spicy Hungarian peppers, feta, potatoes and tomatoes) and a Spartan omelet and frittata (with gyro meat, spinach, feta, potatoes and tomatoes).

New item prices are $5.29 to $12.99.

The original Friends restaurant is at 1824 W. Dupont Road. Friends Too is at 3720 W. Jefferson Blvd. Catering is available.

Cooking classes for vegetarians

Learn how to prepare healthy vegetarian meals during the “Vegetarian Gourmet” class at Parkview Women’s Health Center on Sept. 16.

Dietitians will demonstrate recipes from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The class is $10 for center members and $20 for non-members.

Registration is required; call 672-6500.

The health center, 11123 Parkview Plaza Drive, is on the Parkview North campus.

Dicky’s Wild Hare planning events

Celebrate the “Endless Summer” at Dicky’s Wild Hare, 2910 Maplecrest Road, on Thursday.

Enjoy $7.99 rib baskets and drink specials, such as $2.25 domestic bottles. Island Vibe will play at 8 p.m. There is no cover charge.

The restaurant also has two chances to celebrate every Friday. First, from 3 to 5 p.m., get drink specials – such as $3.50 well drinks and $2 domestic pints – with complimentary snacks that will change each week

And then Football Fridays will begin at 9 p.m. with the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet for $6.99. The buffet includes pasta and flatbreads.

Peony’s Tea House fixes apple dishes

Enjoy an “Apple Harvest” at Peony Tea House, 503 W. Wayne St., on Sept. 18.

The menu will feature a roast pork sandwich with stewed apple sauce, apple salad, pastries and an apple squash soup. A variety of teas will be available.

The event runs 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations are required; call 426-4832.


•A sign announcing a second House of Greens location has gone up at 6709 W. Jefferson Blvd. in the spot that once housed Espresso Gallery, and before that, Aspen Coffee. It is a few doors down from Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches and Moe’s Southwest Grill.

•A Dairy Queen is being built at Chapel Ridge.

•Anastasia’s Café, 5723 Coventry Lane, has this September special: Order any slice of homemade quiche with a cup of soup and a house beverage for $8.99. Quiche selections include bacon cheddar and broccoli cheddar. Soups change daily.

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