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Restaurant news: Big burgers abound at Bagger Dave’s

Cindy Larson
Cindy Larson
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Dupont Road location will offer wines, craft beers.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 12:01 am
A new burger and brews restaurant is going to open in a strip shopping center on Dupont Road.Bagger Dave's is coming to 2086 Dupont Road, in the strip shopping center just west of Interstate 69. It's a small chain with about 20 Midwestern locations that describes itself as a “burger tavern.”

Its menu (at http://baggerdaves.com) features some of its own burgers and even suggests wine or beer pairings. Or you can create your own burger. Also on the menu: soups, salads, signature sandwiches, ice cream floats and other desserts.

Oh, and did we mention the craft beer?

Bagger Dave's also has a gluten-free menu, a kids menu and a nutrition guide.

Its most outrageous burger is the Train Wreck Buffalo Burger, a half-pound of beef topped with fresh-cut potato fries, a fried egg, cheddar cheese, sauteed onions, sauteed mushrooms, iceberg lettuce and Railhouse Burger Sauce on a toasted Buffalo spice bun.

Want to guess how many calories are in this aptly named burger? Anybody?

Answer: 1,200 calories and 74 grams of fat.

Interestingly, Bagger Dave's bought its liquor license from Scotty's Brewhouse, a restaurant group out of Indianapolis that has said for several years it was going to open a restaurant in Fort Wayne, first in The Harrison and then where Richards restaurant was on West Jefferson Boulevard at Getz Road.

However, don't give up on the idea of a Scotty's opening up here. Owner Scott Wise said in an email, “We still plan to open in Fort Wayne. We have actually secured 75 percent of our investor funding. I'm thinking spring, but the location will now be up in the air. I don't know if we will be northwest or southwest at this point.”

He said they will find another liquor license when it's time to open a restaurant here.Joseph Decuis restaurant in Roanoke is starting something different: Farm Experience. Restaurant owners Pete and Alice Eshelman have a farm near the restaurant that supplies much of the food for Joseph Decuis. These Farm Experiences are periodic events at the farm for small groups of people who want to know more about, well, farming. The first event is already sold out, and you may be disappointed or relieved depending on how squeamish you are.

Mangalitza pigs — “one of the finest pork meats in the world,” Pete Eshelman says — are raised at the Joseph Decuis farm. At the first Farm Experience — Hogfest — those attending will get to see Executive Chef Aaron Butts and Farm Manager John Pulver harvest a pig. Then they'll head over to the restaurant for a four-course wine dinner featuring Mangalitza pork — obviously, not the one just harvested. The cost for the Farm Experience and dinner is $150 per person, although, like we said, Hogfest is already sold out.

Harvesting the pig involves killing it, bleeding it, scalding it, hanging it and eviscerating it.

“It's not for everybody,” Eshelman says. But he adds, “We're so far removed from our food.”

Hogfest fits right in with the trend of people wanting to know more about the source of their food. This is a way to learn about where your beloved bacon, ham, pork chops and pork roasts come from. Here's a hint: That meat doesn't just magically appear in the coolers at Kroger.

At the next Farm Experience, not yet scheduled, those who attend will be treated to a demonstration of how to shoot flintlock muzzleloaders. Then they'll go back to the restaurant and talk about it over dinner, Eshelman says.

•In other Joseph Decuis news, the restaurant, which serves Wagyu beef raised on the Eschelman's nearby farm, is coming out with a book Eshelman calls the “first resource on Wagyu beef raised in America.”

The book, “America's Waygu Trail: The Definitive Guide to the Breed,” features nine ranches and farms that raise the Japanese cattle known as Waygu. The book includes recipes by Butts. A book-signing will be 6-8 p.m. Nov. 11 at the restaurant. For more information on the book, go to www.wagyutrail.com.

For more information on the award-winning restaurant, go to www.josephdecuis.com.Fort Wayne Ballet is hosting a Princess Tea 2-4 p.m. Sunday at the Fort Wayne Country Club, 5221 Covington Road. Tickets are $35 per person for the first two tickets; $25 each additional ticket, and reservations are required. Limited reservations are available. Credit card orders are encouraged; call 484-9646 or get tickets at Fort Wayne Ballet, 300 E. Main St.

Participants will enjoy treats while watching performances by Fort Wayne Ballet dancers. A tiara will await each child, along with prize drawings, activities and dancing. Champagne and treats are included for adults, along with tea for all. Princes are welcome, too. Proceeds help support arts education through the Academy of Fort Wayne Ballet.Fort Wayne Community Schools' Neighborhood Connection is offering a class called Appetizers Bistro Style 6-8:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at North Side High School, 475 E. State Blvd. The instructor will demonstrate how to make filo-wrapped brie with almonds, raspberries and a balsamic drizzle and wild mushroom ragout in filo cups. Class cost is $33 plus a $10 fee payable to the instructor. To register call 467-1075 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Something happening at your eatery? Call Cindy Larson at 461-8284, fax 461-8817, email clarson@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. To read other columns, go to www.news-sentinel.com/section/LARSON.


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