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The Dish

  • Cleanses part of menu at juice bar
    A “celebration on a cellular level.” It's what the cold-pressed, unpasteurized juices from Jai Juice & Cafe offer, owners Julia Haller and Dani McGuire write on its
  • Cleanses part of menu at juice bar
    A “celebration on a cellular level.”It’s what the cold-pressed, unpasteurized juices from Jai Juice & Cafe offer, owners Julia Haller and Dani McGuire write on its website.
  • Tom's Donuts adds shop
    Melissa Wasson grew up around the doughnut business. Her family has been working with Tom's Donuts since 1980 – before she was born.
If you go
Old Crown, 3417 N. Anthony Blvd., 422-5282
Don Hall’s Tavern at Coventry, 5745 Coventry Lane, 459-2893
Trionfale Espresso, 2910 E. Dupont Road, 387-6589
Happy’s Pizza, 3205 E. State Blvd., 373-0000

Old Crown offers tastes of whiskeys

I went to my first whiskey tasting last year at a local liquor store. I was curious to see what $100-plus scotch tasted like, and I was surprised to find that it really did taste better than the Canadian Club whiskey in the big plastic bottle.

But $600 whiskey? Do they even make that?

They do, and for $25 for a 1-ounce pour, you can give Johnnie Walker King George V from Blue Label – and other Johnnie Walker whiskeys – a taste from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Old Crown Coffee Roasters.

“The way we looked at it is, I’ve spent $25 on a whole lot worse places,” owner Michael Woodruff says.

If folks aren’t inclined to shell out a dinner-sized fee for a half-shot’s worth of liquor, there are four free tastings – Johnnie Walker Red, Black, Double Black and Swing labels. There is no cost to attend the event, though some other tastings (Green, Gold and Blue labels) will have fees ranging from $4 to $10.

The tasting will be accompanied by a special cocktail menu and food.

If whiskey isn’t your thing, Don Hall’s Tavern at Coventry will hold a wine tasting Thursday. The four wines to be featured are HobNob chardonnay, Windmill cabernet sauvignon, Doña Paula Estate Malbec red and Kris Pinot Grigio.

The tasting is $30, which includes the wines and appetizers made special for the event, general manager Jeff Lill says.

New restaurants

•Despite its American pronunciation, the name of the new coffee shop on Dupont Road is not Try And Fail Espresso. It’s Trionfale Espresso, pronounced tree-ON-fuh-lay, which is Italian for “triumphant.”

“So it’s the complete opposite meaning,” owner Sean Wang says.

Trionfale opened on Dupont Road two doors down from Pine Valley Bar & Grill in mid-December. Its goal is to be not just a coffee shop but a traditional coffee shop, focusing more on traditional espresso and latte drinks; as a result, the shop doesn’t have dozens of syrup flavors behind the counter – just the basics: caramel, toffee, vanilla, hazelnut, mocha and white mocha.

Wang says the shop is in the process of sampling and deciding on which loose-leaf teas to sell, and Trionfale also has a small bakery. All baked goods are made on site, and so far, the pumpkin muffins are a customer favorite.

•Happy’s Pizza opened on East State Boulevard on Thursday, the second Happy’s in Fort Wayne in four months – the first is on Rudisill Boulevard. What makes Happy’s different from other pizza franchises is its full menu. Aside from pizza, customers can order ribs, chicken, seafood, salads and desserts, says Jason Kirma, Happy’s district area manager based out of Farmington Hills, Mich.

The restaurant has a few tables inside for sit-down dining, and Happy’s also offers takeout and delivery.


•Well, that’s one more item to cross off the bucket list, and not because I completed it: I will probably never get to dine at Charlie Trotters. The nearly 25-year-old Chicago establishment will close its doors in August.

That means at least one program at Anthis Career Center will fold, too. Anthis culinary instructor Melissa Snider takes seniors in the culinary arts program on a day trip to Charlie Trotters every year.

“(It) lets these kids be exposed to this type of meal and food and experience that they probably would never get to do otherwise,” says Snider, who returned from the most recent trip in November.

Trotters offers tasting menus, and diners get whatever is on that day’s scheduled menu, which changes a few times a year.

Anthis students have fun, if they don’t always appreciate the experience.

“I sometimes wish I had a camera to see those faces once they found out they were sucking down the beef liver or the heart,” Snider says.

•According to the Inside Indiana Business website, Ryan’s Buffet in Auburn is closing. The site reported the closing Monday morning, and no one answered the Ryan’s business phone number Monday afternoon.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears every Wednesday. Fax news items to 461-8893, email or call 461-8462.