Your Guide to Buying (and Preparing!) Unique Holiday Food in the Fort

What are you hungry for this holiday season? Are you craving the traditional Christmas ham with all the trimmings? Or maybe you’re looking for something a little more adventurous? Read on to find a few new holiday food ideas- and where you can find the ingredients in the Fort.

Christmas Goose

We’ve all probably heard of the traditional Christmas goose, or read about it many times over in classic novels. I mean, who can forget the joyous feast Scrooge witnesses with the Ghost of Christmas Present at the home of the Cratchits in  A Christmas Carol? If you’ve ever wanted to try this Old World delight, you’re in luck! You can pick up your own goose at Tim Didier Meats.

Tim Didier Meats
3205 North Wells Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46808
Phone: (260) 482-8400

Recipe Recommendation:  Roast Goose

dickens dinner Your Guide to Buying (and Preparing!) Unique Holiday Food in the Fort

Christmas Duck

If not a goose, how about a duck? Believe it or not, roasted duck is a very popular center of the Christmas meal in many countries around the world, especially in Europe. Here in Fort Wayne, you can get fresh duck at Hill’s Meat Market.

Hill’s Meat Market
3211 Lower Huntington Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46809
Phone: (260) 747-5288

Recipe Recommendation: Vanderbilt Traditional Christmas Duck

duck 300x250 Your Guide to Buying (and Preparing!) Unique Holiday Food in the Fort

Now Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding!

Yep, figgy pudding is a real thing, folks, not just a line in one of your favorite Christmas carols. The thing is, though, it’s not actually pudding. It’s a souffle. “The British version of fruitcake,” to be precise. According to, “Figgy pudding is a spice cake-like souffle made with figs and walnuts. It is moist, delicious, and easy to make.” Find your figs at The Fresh Market.

The Fresh Market
6306 W Jefferson Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN 46804

Recipe Recommendation: Figgy Pudding

FiggyPudding11 300x258 Your Guide to Buying (and Preparing!) Unique Holiday Food in the FortSwedish Potato Sausage (Potatiskorv)

Feeling Nordic? For something completely different, one reader highly recommends Swedish potato sausage. “We get it from Albright’s across from Southgate Plaza. Good stuff.” I have to admit that after looking through some recipes, this sausage looks absolutely yummy.

Albright’s Meats and Deli
4924 S. Calhoun Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46807
(260) 456-9009
2820 Maplecrest Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46815
(260) 485-0003

Recipe Recommendation: Baked Potato Sausage

Swedish Potato Sausage Your Guide to Buying (and Preparing!) Unique Holiday Food in the Fort

Chorizo-Stuffed Roast (Boliche)

Put a Cuban flair on your holiday meal and serve up boliche, which is an eye of round roast stuffed with chorizo (spicy pork sausage) and ham. It’s sure to put a kick in your festivities! A great place to pick up the chorizo is George’s International Market. Get a quality of eye of round roast at Jamison Meats.

George’s International Market
2021 Broadway
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
(260) 420-5565

Jamison Meats
3423 North Anthony Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46805
(260) 484-4158

Two additional locations

Recipe Recommendation: Boliche
boliche cut 1 300x224 Your Guide to Buying (and Preparing!) Unique Holiday Food in the Fort

If you try any of these recipes, or if you’d like to share your own, please comment below. Happy Holidays!

Wendy Sack


Born and bred in Alabama, Wendy has lived in Fort Wayne for just over 12 years, calling historic Williams-Woodland Park home. Asked to describe herself, Wendy is quick to throw out the terms grammar geek, voracious reader, Jim Gaffigan nut and Alabama Crimson Tide football fanatic. Often found with a Diet Coke in one hand and a book in the other, Wendy’s true passion is her family. She is a wife, a mother of two and is always looking for new and adventurous things to do in and around Fort Wayne. Wendy finds humor easily in any situation and is a true believer that laughter really does cure anything.

Ring in the New Year – Summit City style

Are you planning to be in Fort Wayne on New Year’s Eve? You’re in for a treat. There is plenty to do and see! Here are a few ideas:

martini 300x166 Ring in the New Year   Summit City style

Make sure you try one of Club Soda’s famous martinis!

For party animals: I always enjoy spending New Year’s at Club Soda. There is always live entertainment, good company–and of course plenty of drinks. If you’re looking to go out but not hit the club, this is a great compromise.

For the kids (or kids at heart): Spend the last day of the year learning about science. Fort Wayne’s own science museum offers an annual family friendly event: Countdown to Noon. Join them for activities and demonstrations, from 10 am to 2 pm,  all centered around New Year’s Eve!

For sports fans: Fort Wayners go crazy for Komets hockey, and it’s easy to see why.  There is always more than enough excitement! Join the Jungle and cheer on the home team as they make another run for a championship.  Come see Icy D. Eagle and the rest of the Komets when they hit the ice for the 2014/15 season at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

For the romantic types: Looking for a romantic getaway with your beloved? We’ve got you covered. Did you know Fort Wayne has a bed and breakfast/spa in the heart of downtown? Yes,  a couple operates three buildings: the Thomas Snook the Sion Bass House Spa, and the LaSalle house. Each has something different to offer, but we guarantee you’ll feel at home in all of them. Insider’s Tip: If you stay in the Snook House, ask for the Paris room. It’s oh-so-romantic!

For the cultured: Join Fort Wayne’s Heartland Sings for a New Year’s Eve event unlike any other. Heartland’s “Swingin’ Singin’ New Year’s Eve,”  will feature the Heartland jazz vocalists and orchestra. Expect a dynamic, live musical show with dancing, drinks, food and a champagne toast at midnight.  General admission tickets are $60 a person and include admission to the show at the Grand Wayne Center from 9 pm-1 am on New Year’s Eve, as well as hors d’oeurves throughout the evening, one free drink ticket, and a champagne toast at midnight.

Here’s to a happy and safe new year!


Lauren Caggiano was raised in Fort Wayne, and returned in 2007 upon graduation from the University of Dayton. The president of WriteOn LLC, she specializes in writing, marketing, and French translation. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, yoga and volunteering. In the summer you can catch her riding around downtown on her vintage green Schwinn. For more information, check out her website:

Here Comes the Bride – to the Bridal Spectacular!

IMG 4087 300x300 Here Comes the Bride   to the Bridal Spectacular!

One of the most fun things about attending the Bridal Spectacular is getting to try out some of the fun vendors along the way!

Planning a wedding can be a magical, wonderful and stressful experience. Trust me, I know! Just shy of being married to my wonderful hubby for one full year, the experience of planning our wedding is still fresh in my mind. One of my favorite things to do when we were engaged, and especially when we first started planning our big day, was going to the different bridal shows in town! If you are a lucky bride to be, you’re in luck! The Bridal Spectacular at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is just around the corner!

The annual Bridal Spectacular was definitely my favorite of the many bridal shows I dragged my family and friends to over the course of my nearly two year engagement. The Coliseum Expo Center is transformed into a room of true wedding planning goodness! There are tons of local vendors scattered around wanting to show off what they have to offer for your special day. You’ll find everything from bridal gown boutiques, to local salons, to invitations, all the way to the honeymoon! While exploring everything the Bridal Spectacular has to offer, it can definitely be a lot to take in! In my days of happily wedding planning bliss, I found a few tips and tricks really helped me to make these great bridal shows fun and enjoyable!

  • Make a plan. It’s always good to have some kind of game plan when attending a bridal show. Whether you’re just bringing along a friend, or have a whole crew in tow, if you’re not all on the same page there can be a lot of confusion! Scope out the layout of the vendors and decide where you an to start and go from there. I always felt a little better picking a starting point and making the rounds from there until I was back at the beginning. If you’re game plan is to divide and conquer, make sure everyone knows what vendors they’re in charge of seeing and where you’re meeting up. I attended one bridal show with a bigger group that all decided to wander rather than stay together. By the end I had multiple copies of information and goodies that half our group was missing when the other half was ready to go!
  • Don’t feel like you have to stop everywhere. Everyone in wedding world is amazingly nice. They all love weddings and really do just want to help you! But, that doesn’t keep them from being a little pushy and making you feel like you must stop at every booth and take every handout that’s thrown your way. The very first bridal show I went to I stopped and talked to EVERYONE and took all of the little giveaways and fliers I could get my hands on! I ended up A. being crazy overwhelmed when I sat down to look at it all and B. ended up throwing over half of it away. Pick the vendors you’re truly interested in. Yes, it is great to get a variety of information, but you really don’t need every informational handout about weight-loss wraps and hot tubs!

    bridalshow Here Comes the Bride   to the Bridal Spectacular!

    My lovely “mother of the bride” and I at one of the many bridal shows we attended throughout my engagement!

  • Take people whose opinions you trust and WANT. If you are planning your wedding, I’m sure you already know that every relative, friend, coworker and random person on the street has an opinion about YOUR wedding. Bridal shows are really a place where a lot of information is thrown at you, so having people with you who will keep you calm and whose opinions you really value is important. Take a family member or friend that has experience with vendors. Bring along a couple of your bridesmaids to see if anything catches their eye. Invite someone that really “gets” you and can give some input into what you’re seeing at the show. I always took my mom with me, and also had a couple of my bridesmaids and family friends along as well. While I heard a lot of different opinions just walking through the vendors from my companions, they were opinions that I needed and wanted to hear!
  • Pay attention to the fashion. Bridal shows are a great place to see wedding dresses! The Bridal Spectacular always has great fashion shows showing off local bridal stores’ bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses in action. Whether you’ve already started hunting for the perfect dress, or are just starting to think about it, it’s really great to be able to see some wedding dresses on real women. There were dresses from local shops I had seen on the rack, or online, that I loved (or hated) that looked totally different when a real person was wearing it and walking in it. Not only is it a great way to see some pretty gowns, it’s also a great chance to be introduced to some of the great local bridal boutiques we have in the area. I discovered the bridal store I found my wedding dress at at the Bridal Spectacular!
  • ENJOY. You’re planning your wedding! This should be a fun and happy time in your life! The Bridal Spectacular, and other bridal shows, are a great chance to make it a girl’s day out and soak in the fun that is wedding planning. Some of the best memories from planning my own nuptials were made at bridal shows. It’s so fun to really start the planning process with some of your favorite people in tow, surrounded by other ladies who are soon to be happily wed just like you!

The Bridal Spectacular will take place on Saturday, January 3rd and Sunday, January 4th 2015 from 12pm-4pm each day at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Admission is $10 per person, and $5 for parking. Make it a a full-blown Girlfriend Getaway to make it even more fun! For more information, check out Visit Fort Wayne, the Bridal Spectacular website, or the Memorial Coliseum website.



Katie Robinson simply loves Fort Wayne! Born and raised in the Summit City, she returned following graduating from Ball State University with a degree in Public Relations in May of 2013. A former Visit Fort Wayner, Katie currently works for the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority as the Marketing and Customer Service Specialist. In her spare time you can find her baking cupcakes, Zumba-ing her heart out and relaxing with her husband, Joe, and their adorable Shih Tzu, Gidget.

Think Fort Wayne’s local shops for novelties and gifts

There’s no reason to shop at a big box store when Fort Wayne has plenty of locally owned treasures. From olive oil to stationary, these local retailers know how to create memorable and one-of-a kind items. Here’s an overview of a few of my favorite locally owned destinations:

  • Poptique Popcorn: If gourmet popcorn is your thing, then this place will hit the spot. A variety of flavors and sizes are available. You can find their shop in Jefferson Pointe.
  • Opal & Ruby Gift Emporium: Two sisters have curated clever and considerate items to sell in their gift shop. You can find everything from candles to cookies—-many of which are made by local artists. You can find them on Illinois Road, next to 800 Degrees Three Fires.
  • The Olive Twist: This place is a dream come true for foodies.  Pick from their impressive selection of gourmet olive oils and vinegers. The friendly staff will help you find something to suit your taste. You can even sample the oil before purchasing. They offer several sizes of bottles sure to fit into any budget. Visit them in Covington Plaza, on Fort Wayne’s southwest side.
  • Creative Women of the World: When you make a purchase here, it has a ripple effect. Why? Because this store features the work of artisan-women in developing countries. You can find items here from places like Guatemala, India and Haiti. No doubt you’ll find something truly original here! You can find their shop on Wayne Street downtown, next to JK O’Donnell’s.

    Market Girl 300x199 Think Fort Waynes local shops for novelties and gifts

    This is an example of a handmade gift from a Haitian artist.

  • Hedgehog Press: Artist/shop owner Julie Wall Toles makes it easy to gift with personality.  Think hand-crafted stationary, coasters and jewelry. She also offers workshops if you feel so inspired. Visit her shop at 1126 Columbia Ave., near Lakeside Park.

There’s no excuse for buying a boring, mass produced item when there are so many original options. Show your friend or family member you care enough to find something one-of-a-kind. Then be ready to experience the warm and fuzzies as they open up such a treasure.


Lauren Caggiano was raised in Fort Wayne, and returned in 2007 upon graduation from the University of Dayton. The president of WriteOn LLC, she specializes in writing, marketing, and French translation. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, yoga and volunteering. In the summer you can catch her riding around downtown on her vintage green Schwinn. For more information, check out her website:

Restaurants Serving up Christmas Day dinner

Had enough of the Christmas hustle and bustle by the time Christmas Day rolls around? Well, if a big Christmas feast is the last thing you want to worry about, don’t panic! Fort Wayne has a number of delicious options for eating out on Christmas that are guaranteed to be relaxing and no fuss for you.

christmas 300x225 Restaurants Serving up Christmas Day dinner

IHOP:  1535 W. Washington Center Road (490-4467), open 7am-2pm

             4403 Coldwater Road (483-8435), open 6am-2pm

                 6839 W. Jefferson Boulevard (432-9040), open 7am-2pm

Champions Sports Bar : 1150 S. Harrison Street (467-1638), open 4pm-9pm

Great Wall: 3824 W. Jefferson Boulevard (432-8258), open 11am-9pm

                       10264 Coldwater Road (497-8889), open 11am-9:30pm

China Palace: 5810 Bluffton Road (747-0370), open 11am-8:30pm

House of Hunan: 5626 Coldwater Road (482-9402), open 11am-9pm

Yen Ching: 6410 W. Jefferson Boulevard (436-7788), open 11:30am-2:30pm; 4:30pm-9pm, reservations preferred

Asakusa: 6224 Lima Road (490-6888), open 4:30pm-9pm

                  6401 West Jefferson Boulevard (432-9888), open 1:30pm-9pm

Hainan House: 1820 Bluffton Road (747-3936), open 11:30am-9:30pm, reservations accepted

Wu’s Fine Chinese:  4411 Coldwater Road (483-0899), open 11am-9:30pm, reservations preferred

Please feel free to comment, and let us know if we’ve missed any! And, as always,  happy holiday feasting!

Holley Taylor


Holley is a student at Albion College in Michigan studying English with a Creative Writing Emphasis and History. She is excited to be back in her hometown this summer working as a Marketing Intern for Visit Fort Wayne. Holley enjoys reading, writing, dancing, and spending time with family and friends.