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The Dish


Casa celebrates 35 years with $5 coupon

Thirty five years ago, Casa Ristoranti Italiano served its Italian fare out of a building on Coldwater Road. The building was so tiny that, today, the space the Italian staple used to occupy is nothing but a concrete slab, an extension of Tire Barn across the street from Glenbrook Square.

Known to residents as simply “Casa,” the restaurant celebrates its anniversary today, and much has changed over the years. Aside from moving to larger locations, the restaurant has seen menu items come and go. One change was made years ago to Casa’s best-selling item.

The insalata casaburo – you may know it as “the Casa salad” – used to have bacon in it.

“We had people requesting ‘no bacon’ (so often), so we took it out,” says Tom Parisi, director of operations for the restaurant group. “There’s been a lot of evolution, a lot of change.”

The restaurant has also expanded. Though it closed its Fairfield Avenue location, Casa D’Angelo, in 2011, the restaurant has four in operation: on West Jefferson Boulevard, Parnell Avenue, East Dupont Road and Stellhorn Road.

There may be a fifth location in the future, Parisi says. Restaurant owners have looked at another local location, as well as Warsaw and the Carmel/Fishers area, north of Indianapolis.

To celebrate its 35th anniversary, the restaurant is offering a $5 coupon on its website ( good through the end of the month. For every coupon redeemed (good on orders $25 and more), Casa is donating $1 to Camp Whatcha-Wanna-Do, a camp for children with and recovering from cancer.

New restaurants

•River Run Grill (19492 Ohio 637, Defiance, Ohio), which opened in early September, is holding a ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening at noon Friday. The menu includes American cuisine such as wings, fish and prime rib.

•There is a sign for Bahn Mi Barista in the plaza across the street and just north of Walmart on Coldwater Road. “Bánh mì” is a Vietnamese term for different varieties of bread and refers to a part Vietnamese/part French sandwich, according to T Magazine, put out by the New York Times. The sandwich traditionally comes on whole baguette bread and includes ingredients such as barbecue pork, fried tofu, pork pâté and meatballs. It’s often served with a crunchy veggie slaw made of fish sauce, daikon radish and shredded carrot.

•The first Dairy Queen in Wabash has opened, at 1015 N. Cass St. The restaurant is a Dairy Queen Grill & Chill, which offers burgers and other food in addition to its ice cream treats.

New menu

Eddie Merlot’s (1502 Illinois Road South) has debuted a limited-time new menu, the Steakhouse Classics. Available through Nov. 25, the menu is accompanied by an early-1900s cocktail menu.

The steakhouse menu includes one appetizer and one side dish, plus five choices of entrée. “Tournedos forestire bacon-wrapped filet medallions topped with mushroom shallot demi-glace,” anyone?


•This summer, Shawn Spano and his family were eating at King Gyros (814 Goshen Ave.) when the owner’s son asked Spano, of Fort Wayne, about his youngest daughter, Emily, who has Prader-Willi syndrome, Spano wrote in an email.

The syndrome, according to the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association, is because of an abnormality on the 15th chromosome and results in “low muscle tone, short stature if not treated with growth hormone, incomplete sexual development, and a chronic feeling of hunger that, coupled with a metabolism that utilizes drastically fewer calories than normal, can lead to excessive eating and life-threatening obesity.”

The restaurant owner asked if he could donate in Emily’s name to the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association of Indiana. The restaurant said it would give $1 per “like” it received on its Facebook page (, up to $1,000. As of late Tuesday morning, the page had more than 1,500 “likes.”

In addition to the money already raised, King Gyros is donating 10 percent of all sales Saturday to research for Prader-Willi research.

•Wings Etc. (10134 Maysville Road) is holding the Hardley Dangerous Bike and Beer Tent Event fundraiser from 4 p.m. to midnight Saturday. Money raised – through food purchases, a silent auction, T-shirt sales and a bike event – will go to Disabled American Veterans and the Parkview Foundation for breast cancer, which will help women with breast cancer who don’t have insurance, Wings Etc. general manager Shaun Gray says. The event will also feature music, a bike show, face painting and more.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email or call 461-8462. For more restaurant news, go to The Dish blog at