The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, March 24, 2021 1:00 am

Plenty of options available for Easter


I swear there was snow in my backyard a week ago and yet, somehow, we are just now a week and a half away from Easter. How did that happen?

Whether you want to enjoy a meal at home or let someone else do the cooking (and the cleanup), it's time to hop to it. Local restaurants are preparing special menus for Easter service.

Catablu Grille, 6370 W. Jefferson Blvd., will serve Easter brunch, as well as offer oven-ready family meals for those who want to entertain at home.

The ala carte brunch menu features dishes such as braised filet tip hash, quiche lorraine, a smoked gouda omelet breakfast sandwich and leg of lamb. There's also a menu of shareables, including doughnut holes and fried lobster bites, and adult beverages.

The family meals serve four people and come with a field green salad, potato au gratin, garlic broccolini and oven -oasted cauliflower, rolls and dessert. Entree choices include smoked ham ($165), beef tenderloin ($195) and roasted leg of lamb ($175).

To order or make reservations, call 456-6563.

Chance Bar, 4301 Fairfield Ave., will have an Easter brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The menu includes a pork belly sandwich, buttermilk fried chicken, shrimp toast grilled cheese, sweet potato hash and ricotta dumplings. For reservations, call 403-2513.

In addition, the restaurant will begin offering Sunday brunch this weekend from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Joseph Decuis in Roanoke will be offering a three-course Easter brunch for $65 and a family-style carryout meal for $100.

Among the brunch menu options are a lemon meringue waffle, Croque Madame, Elvis French toast, Wagyu hash and a kumquat-filled doughnut. There's also a kids menu, which is $12. Brunch will be served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; call 260-672-1715 for reservations.

The family-style carryout meal serves four people and includes salad, biscuits, Mangalista ham, potatoes O'Brien and carrot cake cupcakes. Entree choices include a breakfast bake and spinach quiche. Orders must be placed by 4 p.m. April 2 and paid for in advance. To order, call the restaurant.

Eddie Merlot's will have a brunch menu available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Easter. Offering a three-course menu, diners can choose from entrees such as smoked salmon eggs Benedict, made-to-order omelet, traditional smoked ham dinner and turkey dinner. First-course options include fruit, candied bacon, avocado toast or salad. The third course has several dessert options or a cinnamon roll. For reservations, call 459-2222.

Cajun food truck

A new Berne-based food truck is serving up Cajun food in the area.

Southern Louisiana native René LeBlanc and his wife, Rena LeBlanc, recently launched the Cajun Café food truck after moving from Baton Rouge six months ago.

The menu includes traditional Cajun entrees including gumbo, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, red beans and rice, crawfish pies and catfish po'boys. There are also side dishes and desserts such as corn maque choux, bread pudding and pecan pralines.

The food truck will be visiting the communities of Berne, Decatur, Monroe, Bluffton, Ossian and Bryant. Customers can place orders on-site or online at

The food truck also can be hired for private parties, with the capacity to serve up to 100 people.

Pairing pays off

Last year was a challenging time for local restaurants but local initiatives helped establishments stay open.

The Downtown Improvement District and Waiter on the Way partnered to cover delivery fees. The initial program ran from March through June with free delivery from about 40 downtown restaurants.

More than $120,000 in orders was generated, and a feature added for this campaign generated more than $95,000 in tips for restaurant workers and drivers, according to a news release from the city. The program served as inspiration for a larger partnership with the city of Fort Wayne in the fall.

With support from the city and DID, Waiter on the Way provided free meal delivery from participating local restaurants to residents from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 through the use of promotional code “DTFWCARES.” That effort resulted in nearly 40,000 orders, provided more than $2.5 million in delivery sales and more than $50,000 in tips to wait staff.

Sales at Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island went up 400% after joining Waiter on the Way delivery service.

“Our partnership with the city of Fort Wayne, Downtown Improvement District and Waiter on the Way, for free delivery, helped our carryout sales thrive, easing the sting of the decline of dine in customers due to the pandemic,” Coney Island owner James Todoran says in the release.

Waiter on the Way hired 45 new drivers and five more office staff to support the expansion. Additionally, 30 new restaurants partnered with Waiter on the Way bringing the total number to 176.

The program was funded from the City's allocation of CARES Act dollars from the state. The campaign investment was $207,855.16.

Around town

• The original Zesto location at 2225 Broadway has opened for the season.

Trubble Brewing is getting ready to kick off its patio season next month. That means fans of the Trubble Bubbles have just one more weekend to enjoy them as Sunday will be the last day to eat in the tents. For reservations, call 267-6082.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email or call 461-8304 at least two weeks before event or desired publication.

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