Restaurant Notes: New Friday night Fort Wayne farm stand; Metro Diner serving a chicken and waffle deal

Yoko Rudolph weighs vegetables at Friday's Johnnie Mae Farm Stand. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News
Tomatoes are for sale at Friday's Johnnie Mae Farm Stand. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News
Jayden Joseph, 4, hoes Friday that's growing in the Johnnie Mae Farm. alongside his brother, Julian, 5, and their grandmother, Jamie Martin. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
A tomatillo grows Friday at the Johnnie Mae Farm. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
Jayden and Julian Joseph look at a watermelon Friday that's growing in the Johnnie Mae Farm. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of

You’ve got to get to a farm stand early if you want sweet corn. That’s what I learned when I checked out the new Johnnie Mae Farm Stand that’s open 4-7 p.m. Fridays now through October. The stand is inside former Fire Station No. 9 in the Renaissance Pointe Neighborhood at 2518 Winter St.

I got there at 6 p.m. to see what was available. Customers were still looking through some 5-pound bags of collard greens along with tomatoes and other vegetables.

However, as for sweetcorn buyers, “They know to come early,” said Yoko Rudolph, who was volunteering for Vincent Village at the farm stand.

Items possibly available at upcoming Fridays when in season are collard and mustard greens, oregano, thyme, radishes, tomatoes, sweet corn, zucchini, green beans, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and watermelon.

In 2015, the HANDS office completed the historic renovation of the former fire station and equipped it with a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen. It’s available for rent or use by community groups. The building won a 2016 Archie award and is named after longtime neighborhood advocate Johnnie Mae White.

I love any reuse of an old building but I love to see things grow even more. Jamie Martin and her grandsons, Julian Joseph, 5, and his brother, Jayden, 4, took me to the garden behind the building. Lovely colorful zinnias and super-tall sunflowers were scattered among newly picked plants. I felt the puffy husk around the fruit of the tomatillo plant and saw some starts growing in the greenhouse with lots of vegetables in beds.

Operation of the Johnnie Mae Farm is a partnership among HANDS, the Purdue Extension-Allen County, Vincent Village, Community Harvest Food Bank, the Renaissance Pointe YMCA and the Renaissance Pointe Neighborhood Association.

No waffling on this deal

Metro Diner has declared Aug. 8 as the first National Fried Chicken & Waffle Day, which so happens to be items it specializes in. To mark the date, it’s serving the dish for $9.99 instead of the regular price of $15.99.

Metro Diner, which has a Fort Wayne location in Coldwater Crossing at 5525 Coldwater Road, served over 250,000 orders of Fried Chicken & Waffle, and is on track to serve a half-million orders by the end of 2018. The diner brines its chicken for 24 hours and then marinates it for another 24 hours.

And in case you’re wondering what other National food days are coming up: Today is National Avocado Day, Thursday is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, Friday is National Watermelon Day and Saturday is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. You have my permission to partake.

Chicken BBB fundraiser

Faith Lutheran Church, 9251 E. Indiana 205, Churubusco is holding its 27th annual chicken BBQ 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. The cost is $6 for a full meal, $4 for chicken only, and children 3 and under eat free. Carryout dinners are provided along with tables for inside or outside pavilion dining. All proceeds go to local Churubusco charities.

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Have restaurant news? Call Lisa M. Esquivel Long at 260-461-8354, send email to or a fax to 260-461-8817 or write Restaurant Notes, C/O The News-Sentinel, PO Box 102, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.