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RESTAURANT NOTES

Restaurant news: What to expect at TRF's Food Alley

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 8:29 am

If you're clamoring for calories or a sucker for sugar, there's a street just for you — or more accurately, an alley.

Junk Food Alley, a Fort Wayne Newspapers Three Rivers Festival favorite, will return this year with many old favorites and new spins on the classics. Food concessions will be open 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. July 12-20 and located at Duck and Barr streets.

Jack Hammer, TRF executive director, said one new item should “Wow” guests — bacon-maple funnel cakes.

“Food Alley has become a study in what we can deep fry,” Hammer said.

Another new item on the menu will reintroduce a piece of Fort Wayne history, the Bun Bar. Originally made in Fort Wayne from 1902-1995, Bun Bars are milk chocolate and peanut-covered sweets with a maple-, vanilla- or caramel-flavored core. Festivalgoers can indulge in one of these classic treats with just one change: deep fried goodness. The bar is flash frozen and dipped in batter before going for a hot oil swim until its coat is golden brown and its inside is warm and gooey.

Speedy service

The Fort Wayne Newspapers Three Rivers Festival's Waiter-Waitress Contest is back to show audiences just how hard food service can be. Tasks include quickly setting and clearing a table and running with a serving tray full of food and drink. Applebee's is entering four different teams into the relay-style contest. The el Azteca Mexican Restaurant will also enter “The Teca Tequila Crew” to try its hand in the various timed events. Ten to 20 teams are expected to participate.

See the servers go toe-to-toe 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday the festival pavilion in Headwaters Park, Superior and Clinton Streets. Admission is free.

Buffet 'at sea'

Lighted Gardens Banquet and Reception Center, 10794 N. Indiana 1, Ossian, will host a cruise-themed evening of cocktails, dancing and live entertainment July 27. The evening begins with “boarding” at 6 p.m., followed by a full bar cocktail and appetizer hour. Dinner, featuring five different buffets (including a carving station and seafood bar), starts at 7 p.m.

The J Taylors will perform music during the evening before a dessert buffet closes out the “cruise,” which ends at 10:30 p.m.

Cost: $17.95 for adults; $16.95 for seniors 60 and older; $7.95 for children 3-10. Alcohol, sales tax and gratuity are extra. Attendance to the event is by reservation only and is first come, first served. Call 622-4023 or email LtGrdns@aol.com to secure your spot.

Goodbye Diet Coke, hello Mountain Dew

IPFW will now sell Pepsi products after Coke was outbid when its contract with the university ended.

Nicole Wilkins, IPFW chief communications officer, said Pepsi won out in the bid process. The university and Pepsi agreed to a five-year contract with an option to renew for another three. The switchover took place last week.

“There's a big clamoring for (Pepsi's) Mountain Dew,” Wilkins said. “Though Diet Coke will be missed.”

Pepsi-Cola brands also include Sierra Mist, Tropicana, Ocean Spray, Mug Root Beer, Aquafina and Propel.

Coke products will still be available for sale at the Mastodon Mart, for those who still need their Coke fix.

A cool take on lemon meringue

Dairy Queen is celebrating National Ice Cream Month — yes, there is such a thing — with a new Blizzard of the Month: lemon meringue pie. Now available, the new Blizzard flavor blends lemon meringue pie filling with crunchy pie pieces and the classic Dairy Queen vanilla soft-serve, all topped off with meringue flavored whipped topping.

The Blizzard is available in four different sizes at the more than 10 Fort Wayne Dairy Queen locations.

Health food alley

Though not downtown or on the river, Lucky Turtle Grill and Lucky Moose Lounge, 622 E. Dupont Road, are celebrating the Fort Wayne Newspapers Three Rivers Festival with a $7 soup and salad bar, their “health food alley,” available Friday through July 20. A $7-13 seafood and vegetarian special will also be served up each day, along with daily featured beers and discounted pints of Bud Light at $2.

Those who purchase the daily seafood or vegetarian special can add the soup/salad bar for just 77 cents more. Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday and 11 a.m.-midnight Thursday-Saturday. Call 490-5765 or visit www.luckyturtlegrill.com for more information.

While Cindy Larson is out for a few weeks, Matthew Glowicki will write the Restaurant Notes column. Something happening at your eatery? Call Matthew Glowicki at 461-8362, fax 461-8817, email mglowicki@news-sentinel.com or write Restaurant Notes, C/O The News-Sentinel, PO Box 102, Fort Wayne, IN 46801. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.