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The Dish

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Tacos, dogs, ribs at city food carts

The mobile food cart trend is pushing its way into Fort Wayne.

Selling items such as hot dogs, burritos and ribs, vendors are setting up shop at shopping centers and street corners.

Juan Molina sets up Taqueria Mi Cocinita at 5599 S. Anthony Blvd. from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and Thursdays through Saturdays. He’s been open for about a month, he says.

Molina has eight options on his cart, and his best-sellers are the tacos and burritos. Burritos run $5.99, and tacos range from $1.75 to $3.

Joe’s Dogs has been setting up at Jefferson Pointe for less than a year. Joe Gomori, who owns Joe’s Dogs with a business partner, set up for the first time a week before Black Friday, and he served holiday customers through Christmas. The mobile unit shut down for the coldest months and opened again about a month ago, Gomori says.

The hot dog cart, in front of Buckle and American Eagle at Jefferson Pointe, offers a variety of toppings – ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, relish, onions and sauerkraut. Joe’s is looking into offering a South American-style dog, with tomatoes, green sauce and mayo, and Gomori also hopes to eventually offer chili dogs.

The cart is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays, during Jefferson Pointe’s summer concerts; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Big Lacy’s BBQ has been open at South Anthony Boulevard and Decatur Road for a year. Lacy Curry opens his barbecue stand no matter the season. .

“We had a nice winter, so it wasn’t too bad,” he says. “We had a couple days when it was a little challenging (weather-wise), but overall, it was good.”

Business has continued to improve for Big Lacy’s, Curry says, and the vendor starts to serve sandwiches about 11:30 a.m. and stops when the meat is gone – usually by 5 p.m.

Big Lacy’s offers a variety of menu options, though the mobile unit’s best-selling item are Curry’s rib tips – available in small, medium or large for $6, $8 or $10, respectively.

William Drake, owner of Detroit’s Finest Coney Island, will have been in business for a year this summer, with his hot dog unit set up at 3915 S. Anthony Blvd. at East Rudisill and South Anthony boulevards, near the former Dawson’s Root Beer stand.

His stand is a trailer, something he hooks to his pickup every morning and evening, six days a week. Detroit’s Finest is open from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and the majority of Drake’s customers come from the immediate area, though some do drive from northern Fort Wayne, he says.

His hope is to be in a building – look, Ma, no wheels! – within two months, when he would add chili cheese fries and eventually chicken fingers to his Coney/hot dog/Polish sausage menu.

A traditional Coney dog, the stand’s specialty, runs $2.75.

Ready for a move

Tokens-N-Tickets is getting ready to close shop and move down the street, changing from what is primarily thought of as a family fun center to a family fun center and pizza buffet.

The business’ current location on Nobel Drive will close in the middle of the month, co-owner Stacie Clevenger says. During that time, everything will be moved to the new location – at the former Joe’s Crab Shack at 5820 Coldwater Road – which will open within three or so days, the owners hope.

Right now, Tokens-N-Tickets offers some hot food, but in the new location, the name will change to Tokens-N-Tickets’ Pizza Shack Buffet, with half the space devoted to a pizza buffet.

In addition to 14 different pizzas, the full buffet will include 18 items on the salad bar, pasta, chicken fingers, dessert and an ice cream bar.

“Everyone’s really excited,” Clevenger says of Tokens-N-Tickets’ regular customers. “They are wanting something they can do as a family.”

Now, they can get dinner, too.

Closed

The Dairy Queen on Southview Avenue has closed.

A peach-colored sign from the Indiana Department of Revenue is posted in the window. The sign says the store owners were guilty of a Class B misdemeanor for not holding a valid Registered Retail Merchant Certificate from the state.

Free tasting

To wish its customers a happy Cinco de Mayo, Lebamoff’s Cap n’ Cork (1031 Broadway) will host a free beer, wine and liquor tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.

The tasting will feature seven wines (from sweet to dry, red to white), two tequilas, two rums and three beers.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email jyouhana@jg.net or call 461-8462.

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