Enjoy a Taste of Brazil at Tocanos Brazilian Grill

tocanos 300x300 Enjoy a Taste of Brazil at Tocanos Brazilian Grill

If you’ve never tried Brazilian cuisine, run, don’t walk, to Tocanos Brazilian Grill!

Located at Jefferson Pointe, Tocanos is the first of its kind for the Fort Wayne area. With its festive decor, friendly staff and INCREDIBLE food, you’ll be planning your second trip before your meal is even finished. If you are a Tucanos newbie (like I was before the trip that inspired this post) prepare to be filled to the brim with delicious salad, pastas, breads, dessert, and of course, meat.

My group started off by ordering the Brazilian Lemonade and Fresh Fruit Juices. I had the passion fruit and it was seriously so good. You can add the alcohol of your choice to these for an extra charge, and I would suggest it if you’re looking for a fruity drink! We also ordered the Taste of Brazil appetizer that is shredded chicken and spices inside of a fried batter. That too was great, and many of the other appetizers we mulled over sounded mouth watering as well!

When you dine at Tocanos you dine Churrasco style. What is Churrasco you may ask? This means you receive fresh meats and vegetables grilled to perfection and brought directly to your table by Tocanos’ meat servers. You are given a round stick where one side is green and the other is red. If the green side remains up, meat servers will continue to bring you delicious meats to your hearts content. Or, if you prefer to pace yourself you can turn it to the red side where there will be a pause in the delivery of said meats. During my meal we were brought steak, pork, turkey, fish, and chicken all in various forms. Some were wrapped in bacon, others were covered in sweet and savory sauces, and some just spoke from themselves. We also had grilled vegetables and pineapple marinated in a brown sugar sauce – YUMMY!

tocanossalad 300x225 Enjoy a Taste of Brazil at Tocanos Brazilian Grill

My Salad Festival plate included bread, tuna salad pasta, Brazilian pasta salad, tomato and cucumber salad, sushi, and a mixed green salad!

Your Churrasco dining also includes Tocanos huge salad bar. This is definitely not your run-of-the-mill salad bar either, in fact it is called a Salad Festival! And, I must say, it definitely lived up to the name! One side is filled with ingredients to create your own salad creation. There was standard salad bar fare, but the assortment was huge! There’s also other things you may not have considered mixing with your greens like roasted corn salsa, quail eggs, hearts of palm and more! The other side has an assortment of pasta salads, cold meats, seafood salads, and other cold items mixing traditional with Brazilian. But you are not done yet! Across the back of the Salad Festival are hot items to add to your plate. You’ll find pasta with a variety of sauces, rice, potatoes and freshly made soups. The Salad Festival could truly be a meal on its own, so small portions are encouraged!

Following your meal a tray of pre-made desserts are brought out for you to choose from and there is truly something for everyone. You’ll find Créme Brûlée, cheesecake, brownies, ice cream, and a chocolate cake so rich and big that they bring the to go box with it. You order and then a fresh dessert is made and brought back for you. I had the Truly A’MAZON Fudge Brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and was in heaven!

After the meal I was so full I wasn’t sure I could walk out of the restaurant under my own power and seriously considered not eating ever again. When I got home I told my husband that we HAD to go again sometime soon (he didn’t get to partake in this outing, much to his dismay).

Tocanos is located at 4130 W Jefferson Blvd Suite I-15 in the Jefferson Pointe Shopping Center. The Tocanos Churrasco meal includes assorted breads, fried bananas, unlimited Salad Festival, and the full Churrasco selections and is $15.95 for lunch and $22.95 at dinner for adults, $6.95 and $8.95 for children 7-12 (kids 6 and under eat free with a paying adult!). Their hours are 11am-10pm Monday through Thursday, and 11am-11pm Friday through Saturday. Tocanos is closed on Sunday.

Katie

About

Katie Robinson joined the Visit Fort Wayne staff in March 2013 as a Marketing Assistant. She recently graduated from Ball State University with a degree in public relations. Katie is a Fort Wayne native and enjoys exploring the city when she can. She is a coffee junkie and is often found with her coffee cup in hand. She enjoys baking, and is especially fond of cupcakes. In her spare time Katie enjoys shopping, curling up with a good book, spending time with friends and family, relaxing with her husband Joseph, and playing with their adorable Shih Tzu, Gidget.

A Taste of India – A Fort Wayne Original

TAste of India front e1395846856214 225x300 A Taste of India   A Fort Wayne Original

If you’ve never tried Indo-Chinese cuisine, then I highly recommend that you stop by A Taste of India. Located in the shopping center at Coldwater Crossing, this little place is set up in a store front next to an electronics resale store, near Hobby Lobby.

The scent of the food greets you the second you step through the door. Not overwhelming but definitely comforting, the smell of curry, fresh vegetables, rice, and spices is wafting up from the kitchen.

A word of warning: some of the dishes at A Taste of India are quite spicy. But other dishes are beautifully mild. Having the two extremes together allows you to put out the fire or simply have a nice, mild meal.

After you are seated, the server brings out a basket of flat bread. It is delicious and you’ll find yourself reaching for more. To choose your meal, you can either order something specific, like Adrangi Goat (chunk goat cooked in ginger flavor) or Chicken Korma (boneless chicken cooked with cashews and raisins with a touch of cream). A kids menu is also available, with items like cheese sticks and fries, or chicken nuggets and fries. Or, you can do what I like best –choose the buffet meal and sample a little of everything! Click here to see their Waiter on the Way page and access their menu pdf.

A row of hot and cold tables is against one wall with piles of clean plates, cups and bowls for you to pick up. You can browse through the different food selections and take just as much – or as little – as you want.

Labels are written on cards posted above the glass covers of the tables, so if you’re familiar with some of the dishes, this is a good thing. If you’re not familiar with any of the dishes, though, just start sampling things in small amounts. Here’s a good way to begin:

Basmati Rice – a good foundation layer. It’s fluffy with a light, flowery taste and it complements any of the main courses on the tables.

Green salad – there’s a small selection of very fresh, chopped vegetables here. Iceberg lettuce, green peas, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber slices, and a tangy yogurt dressing go together well and act as a good, not-too-heavy course.Inside A Taste of India Copy1 225x300 A Taste of India   A Fort Wayne Original

Vegetable Pulao – this is seasoned rice with peas. There is a moderate amount of heat added to the rice, but it is very manageable. Kids would be able to handle it with no problem.

Vegetable Minister – meatless meatballs. These are a veggie dish that looks like a meatball and tastes rich. Covered in a red sauce, you can see some of the vegetables in the meatball. Just watch out for the parts that look like green beans – they’re super spicy!

Chicken Curry – Chunks of chicken in a thick curry sauce. The Lamb Curry is also good, tasting more like beef in a thick brown sauce.

Paneer Makhani – my favorite. It’s an orange sauce with a hint of honey flavor and thick, meaty chunks of mild cheese.

Aloo Gobi Masala – although it looks spicy, it’s actually just potatoes with yellow sauce. If you’ve had a touch of something too hot, head for some of this dish and put out the fire!

The best part of the meal, after you’ve filled up on all the different offerings from the main courses, is the dessert. It’s really simple but just right – nothing too heavy, just light. Try out either the mango pudding or the Rice Kheer. The mango pudding is perfectly smooth and cool. The mango flavor just melts through the pudding, never overpowering it but remaining refreshingly mild. The Rice Kheer is a rice pudding, buttery rich and light. A selection of warm pastries, Gulab Jamun, is also kept hot in a side pan. The warm, velvety pastry rounds just melt under the touch of your spoon when you dip into the bowl.

A Taste of India is a wonderful way to have something a little special for a Sunday brunch, or a nice Saturday night meal. Prices are very reasonable, and the hours are convenient. Have a Taste of India right here in Indiana!

Louisa

About

Louisa is a lifelong Fort Wayne resident. A long-time musician and literature aficionado, Louisa likes to explore the classical music offerings that Fort Wayne has to offer. (She also likes to browse the Allen County Public Library's stacks for just the right book!)

Eclectic Dining Fun at The Dash-In

  One of downtown Fort Wayne’s most popular dining spots, The Dash-In, has recently become one of my favorite hotspots, too, for several reasons.

Contrary to its name, The Dash-In is very persuasive in getting customers to stay for awhile.  Its eclectic interior features both old-building fixtures and contemporary, local artwork on the walls.  This blend of old and new is my personal flair, but there are more reasons than just the décor that keep me returning to The Dash-In.

duck melt sandwich 300x225 Eclectic Dining Fun at The Dash In

Duck Melt and Tomato Bisque

The food, first of all, is amazingly savory!  The sandwiches I’ve had taste fresh and don’t leave a greasy feeling in my mouth, which tends to happen elsewhere.    One of my personal favorites, so far, is the Duck Melt, which I ordered with a bowl of Tomato Bisque.  Everything about the sandwich and soup was delicious and filling, and I will probably order it again.

The menu is fairly extensive for lunch, dinner and drinks.  The website here explains the drink and meal choices and provides more photos of the interior.

bar 300x225 Eclectic Dining Fun at The Dash In

The Dash-In is renowned for its savory food menu and bountiful drink flavors.

If you ever need a jolt to wake you up, I highly recommend the Espresso Malt. As per the restaurant’s funky personality, it’s served in a glass Bell jar – another fun touch.

I really appreciate the long tables and Wi-fi so that I can bring work with me as I eat.  The staff is very friendly, too, which is a major factor in the restaurant’s returning clientele.

No matter if you’re dining for the first time or stopping by on your regular routine, you’re always welcome at The Dash-In!

Espresso 225x300 Eclectic Dining Fun at The Dash In

The Espresso Malt is one of my favorite coffee drinks in the Fort!

The Dash-In is located at 814 S. Calhoun St., downtown.  You can also find it on Facebook here and on its website here, and you give them a call at 260-423-3595.

Hours:

Monday – Thursday, 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.

Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.

Closed Sunday

Amanda Reusser

About

Amanda Reusser is a 2006 graduate from Taylor University-Upland. She has spent the past 6 years living and teaching Drama, English and ESOL in Florida, Indonesia and Austria. While it was fun and insightful, she is very glad to be back home in Indiana. Amanda loves traveling, trying new foods, and learning cultural dances. She enjoys getting to know new people, teaching teenagers, and being involved with her home church.

A Fort Wayne Must-See: Coney Island

Coney1 300x201 A Fort Wayne Must See: Coney Island

Coney Island’s storefront on Main Street

Serving up goodness since 1914, Fort Wayne’s Famous Coney Island (also known as Coney Island Wiener Stand) is both a local tradition and must-see for visitors.

The atmosphere is just about as relaxed as you can get, with old-school bar stools lining the long, well-worn counter. There are also many tables lining the opposite wall, plus a few in the back. The place is on the small side, but that just adds to the vintage charm.

The food is fresh, simple and loved by generations. There are hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chili, baked beans and chips. But the true favorites are the famous Coney Dogs, served hot on steamed buns, with mustard, Coney Island’s secret sauce and minced onions. And don’t forget to grab a Coke in a classic glass bottle!

Here are a couple of the rave reviews posted on Coney Island’s Facebook page:

Coney 2 300x166 A Fort Wayne Must See: Coney Island

Coney Island’s famous Coney Dogs are always served on steamed buns.

“Our family’s Christmas Eve tradition…one of Fort Wayne’s treasures! Little secret…the burgers are great!”

“You will NEVER find a place like this elsewhere, the atmosphere is so friendly, yet so tight. It is such a great place to eat with friends and sit and talk about stories and catch up with friends and family, all while eating great food. Come here if you want more than just a great meal.”
What does it take to make Coney Island run?
  • Approximately a million hot dogs are served a year
  • 50 to 75 pounds of onions are hand-chopped per day
  • 100,000 bottles of Coca-Cola are sold a year
  • 20 gallons of mustard are used weekly
  • Over 60,000 pounds of fresh meat are cooked a year to make the secret Coney Island sauce

    Coney 3 199x300 A Fort Wayne Must See: Coney Island

    Three Coney Dogs and a cold bottle of Coke, please!

Making headlines in February was the breaking news that Coney Island is now accepting credit/debit cards for the first time. The announcement was made on Facebook:

Do you remember when Bob Dylan went electric? How about when Indiana high school basketball changed to a Class system? 8 tracks eventually made way for iPods. Well, for the first time in 100 years The Coney Island Wiener Stand is now accepting debit/credit cards.

So, come on downtown and see what all of the buzz is about! You won’t be disappointed!

Coney Island is located at 131 W Main St, Fort Wayne, IN 46802. Reach them by phone at 260-424-2997.

 

Wendy Sack

About

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.

Burger Time at Bagger Dave’s

BD Logo 300x300 Burger Time at Bagger DavesAs a kid, I was a big fan of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. No more did I have to sit passively and read about someone else’s exploits. No more did I have to let the hero, well, be the hero. If I wanted to go into the haunted cave, gosh darn it, I did. Sure, when I got to page 46 I probably died, but at least it was my decision. New-to-Fort-Wayne “burger tavern” Bagger Dave’s, located on Dupont Road, is kind of like a hamburger version of Choose Your Own Adventure. As you can probably guess, I think that’s awesome. (And they have a tiny train that treks around the restaurant. Sold!)

baggerdaves Burger Time at Bagger Daves

Build your own burger and choose from a variety of satisfying sides at Bagger Dave’s!

Bagger Dave’s is all about choice. Yes, they do have a menu of burgers (both beef and turkey, both delicious) and other sandwiches, but it’s the ability to create your own from the bun up that appeals most to me. You fill out a sheet at the table with your selections, then the server inputs your burger ingredient by ingredient into an electronic order pad. Hi-tech, huh? In addition, there are quite a few sides from which to choose. From experience I can tell you their fries and mac ‘n’ cheese (which also works as a meal) are both quite tasty. Also of note, they make their own soda – no Coke or Pepsi products here. I drink diet soda, and their diet soda is good (it reminds me of RC Cola). Did I mention the tiny train? I did? Well, it bears repeating.

Looking for a new spin on the classic hamburger? Check out Bagger Dave’s at 2886 East Dupont Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46825. Visit their website at www.baggerdaves.com.

Mike

About

Apart from spending his college years in West Lafayette, Indiana, and Dayton, Ohio, Mike Flohr is a lifetime resident of the Summit City. Today he divides his time among his wife, Megan, his job as a college librarian, and his many geek obsessions.