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Restaurant news: 800 Degrees of preparation at northwest pizzeria

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 12:01 am

A new pizzeria is about to open northwest, but this isn't your average pizza joint.

800 Degrees will specialize in pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven imported from Tuscany, Italy. The restaurant also will import special flour and cans of tomatoes from Italy.

Matt Rogers, formerly a sous chef at Joseph Decuis, is general manager of 800 Degrees, a family-owned, independent restaurant at 10020 Lima Road, near the southeast corner of Lima and Dupont Roads.

The oven heats up to between 800 and 1,000 degrees, hence the name of the restaurant, Rogers explained. With that heat, it takes only about 2 minutes for a pizza to bake. The result is a thin crust with just a bit of charring. The pizzas are sold in a 12-inch size, which is ideal for the size of the oven, he said.

One side of the restaurant is “fast casual,” meaning customers order at a counter and get their own drinks, then sit down at a table and wait for their order to be delivered. Carry-out service will be available, but orders can't be called in ahead because the pizzas cook so fast.

The other side is a pub, with table service and alcoholic drinks available.

Dough will be made by hand every day, but Rogers goes beyond that, even making sausage in-house. Aside from products imported from Italy, the restaurant will try to buy other ingredients from local farmers.

The restaurant is expected to open Friday or Saturday. Hours are 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday; and noon-10 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 490-0111.

(A special hat tip to my friend, Molly Daugherty, for getting me some initial information on this new eatery.)

MyMenu celebrates

MyMenu is marking its first anniversary here with a celebration that will benefit Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities.

From noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, MyMenu will throw itself a birthday party at the plaza at the Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza. Face painting, balloon animals and magic shows will be part of the fun, as well as free birthday cake.

MyMenu will cook burgers and brats and sell them with a soft drink for $1, with proceeds going to Turnstone. Donation boxes will be at the celebration as well as at MyMenu stores.

MyMenu has three locations in Fort Wayne: 6425 W. Jefferson Blvd., 9811 Lima Road and 10140 Maysville Road. The stores sell mostly ready-to-heat-and-serve frozen foods.

J.K. O'Donnell's to add family room

J.K. O'Donnell's, the downtown pub, is expanding.

Proprietor Kim Jacobs says she hopes the expansion will be complete by October or November.

The J.K. O'Donnell's owners also own the building immediately to the west, and they are redoing it to use the back quarter as an additional room. (The front space may become a gallery.) A restroom has been added as well as a back door, so people can bring in their children. (The bar currently is set up to be a 21-and-older pub.) The room also will be wired for audio/video equipment so it can be rented for private parties or meetings.

Families will be able to access the back door through a pedestrian alley or an alley off Harrison Street. Jacobs says the addition will be aesthetically pleasing.

• In other J.K. O'Donnell's news, mark your calendars for Sept. 18, when International Blast 2009 takes place outside the pub. The street will be closed for this block party featuring food and drink from J.K. O'Donnell's, Toscani's, Double Dragon and more. It will be from 5 to 11 p.m.

McDonald's on Rudisill reopens

The newly rebuilt McDonald's at 202 E. Rudisill Blvd. is open. Changes include three flat-screen televisions, a McCafe specialty coffee station, a community table for group meetings and a dual-lane drive-through. It's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Costa's, Ceruti's join forces

Costa's Catering Inc. of Auburn and Ceruti's Catering Inc. have formed an alliance that will give both companies greater purchasing power and broader market reach. What does this mean to their customers? A wider range of products and services. Both companies plan to hold menu prices through 2009 and, they hope, into 2010.

Red Rooster closes

Red Rooster, 2801 Lower Huntington Road in Waynedale, has closed and is for sale.

Right date

In last week's column, we printed an incorrect date for the Grandparents Day Brunch hosted by Audiences Unlimited. It will be Sept. 13. For more information, call 424-1064 or 422-1336.

Something happening at your eatery? Call Cindy Larson at 461-8284, fax 461-8817, e-mail clarson@ or write Restaurant Notes, C/O The News-Sentinel, PO Box 102, Fort Wayne, IN 46801.