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Waiter owner to help ‘Feed the Fort’

February 13, 2019

It all started with a way to give back in December.

Derek Burkes, owner of Waiter on the Way, says that as a Fort Wayne business, he wanted to celebrate the community : especially during a time when people are giving and receiving gifts.

Burkes accepted nominations via social media and delivered free, surprise meals to 12 people who needed to be lifted up, even a small way. Videos of the deliveries were shared on Facebook.

One of the recipients was living with cancer, another was widowed.

“We had such a huge response and we were so encouraged in December, that we decided to continue it throughout 2019,” he says.

In January, he delivered a meal from Baan Thai to a woman and her children. There are plans to make two videos this month : one delivering a meal to a nominee and another sharing plans to expand the outreach.

Tentatively called “Feed the Fort,” the initiative will continue to deliver meals to people but also seek ways to lift up others, even in a small way.

“The food : people love that. Food is something we all share,” Burkes says. “We sit down and eat together, share that. It’s a way to bring people together.”

He hopes that by growing the initiative, he will see an increase in nominations and a ripple effect. A “pay it forward”-type movement, if you will.

Burkes says recipients have been emotional when food from their favorite restaurants have been delivered. Sometimes it might just be lunch but he’s also delivered half-pans for a family facing financial hardship.

“When we reach out to them, we acknowledge them. ... We say, ‘I’m here to help you.’”

Valentine specials

Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days for restaurants, second only to Mother’s Day.

(It seems us ladies have it good : if your partner remembers to make a reservation. And, for the record, mine did.)

To take advantage of the uptick in business, restaurants are offering plenty of specials and creative twists on their menus.

• Sweets So Geek and 2Toms Brewing Co. have teamed up to offer a Valentine Beer and Sweet Flight. Available at the 3676 N. Wells St. taproom during normal hours, the cost is $20. There will be only 60 flights available today through Sunday. The experience includes Lost in the Dark Necessity (double barrel aged stout) with Milk Chocolate-Dipped Pecan Bacon Pralines; Simplify Blueberry (fruited Berliner) served with Dark Ginger Spice Cake; Prodigal Monk (Belgian quad) and Milk Chocolate Caramel Coffee Pyramids; and Ali’I Wild Ale (hibiscus and guava sour) with Shortbread Guava Cookies.

• Lucky Turtle Grill & Lucky Moose Lounge, 622 E. Dupont Road, will have a special menu for Valentine’s Day that will be available all day Thursday and for dinner Friday and Saturday. There will be appetizers, such as seafood nachos. Entrees, which will come with salad and chocolate cake, include crab-stuffed mahi mahi, seafood s’mac and cheese (made with lobster and shrimp), seafood pasta (made with lobster, shrimp and scallops) and a flat iron steak served with a bacon-wrapped shrimp skewer. Prices range from 17.77.

• Rack and Helen’s will offer a special Valentine’s menu. Appetizers include shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon dip and caramelized onion and bacon puffed pastry. For entrees, which cost 5) and a Bananas Foster Sundae ($5) will be available for dessert. Rack and Helen’s has two locations: 4935 Hillegas Road and 525 Broadway St. in New Haven.

Decuis event

Joseph Decuis in Roanoke is inviting adventurous foodies to a special dinner on March 8.

The meal, which will be available from 5 to 8 p.m., includes five courses and costs $75.

The menu includes Fried Mangalitsa Face served with a farm egg, sambal and chicharrons; squid ink risotto; bone marrow wonton pho; slow-roasted Wagyu tongue with New Orleans crayfish; and pork fat ice cream with stone fruit.

The dishes will be available a la carte as ingredients are available. The restaurant, which is encouraging casual dress, will also have its regular menu available for “the squeamish.”

Reservations are required; call 260-672-1715.

Around town

• Shigs in Pit hopes to open a third location on Illinois Road. Mad Anthony Brewing Co., which owns Shigs in Pit, requested that a parcel of land be rezoned for the restaurant. The Allen County Plan Commission will consider the filing next month.

• Because doughnuts and coffee are a “perfect pair,” McDonald’s will introduce a new menu item Feb. 20. McCafé Donut Sticks will be available for a limited time and can be purchased by the half-dozen or by the dozen. Customers will also be able to bundle a half-dozen Donut Sticks and a small McCafé brewed coffee for a special price at participating restaurants.

• The Stand Coneys & Ice Cream will open for its 16th season on Feb. 25.

• Dawson’s Dogs recently opened a coney stand at 3213 St. Joe Center Road in Riviera Plaza.

It’s owned by brothers Clint and Chance Davis. Their parents owned the former Dawson’s Famous Coney Dogs before it closed five years ago.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email kdupps@jg.net or call 461-8304.

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