The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, August 18, 2021 1:00 am

Explore Fort Wayne restaurants with Taste passport to specials


Taste of the Arts might be 10 days away, but Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne launches a new event this weekend to coincide with the annual festival.

The in-restaurant Taste la cARTe runs Sunday through Aug.31, with creative menu items such as an “artist palette” ice cream flight at Sweets on Main, a three-course meal at Summit City Brewerks and a “Slice of the Arts” pizza at Alto Grado. Other participating restaurants are Tolon, Nawa, Mercado, Trubble Riverside and Trubble Brewing, says Rachelle Reinking, director of communications for Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne.

Diners will be able to go to to register for free and download a “passport” that includes addresses and more details.

After visiting any of the participating restaurants, diners can return the passport to Arts United by Sept. 7 for entry into a giveaway for a prize pack worth more than $1,000, Reinking says. The pack includes tickets to Civic Theatre and Fort Wayne Ballet productions, Summer Nights concerts at Embassy Theatre, the upcoming Tower of Power concert at Sweetwater Pavilion, memberships to Science Central and Fort Wayne Museum of Art, passes for Fort Wayne Dance Collective classes and $25 gift cards to the Taste la cARTe restaurants.

The in-person Taste of the Arts festival will feature more than 20 food and beer vendors downtown Aug.28, including Bon Mi Pho Shop, Hop River Brewing, Chapman's Brewing, Mad Anthony Brewing Co., Shigs in Pit and Kona Ice.

Instead of festivalgoers buying food tickets that split proceeds between vendors and Arts United, this year visitors will purchase food and drinks directly from the vendors. That helps support the local restaurant industry, which has faced increased challenges during the pandemic, Arts United says.

Pumpkin season

Today is the day.

“The day for what?” you ask.

Pumpkin everything at your local Dunkin Donuts. The coffee chain is releasing its pumpkin menu earlier than ever, capitalizing on the fall flavor's fame.

This year's lineup includes the classic pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin cream cold brew, pumpkin-flavored coffees, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin munchkins.

For the pumpkin cream cold brew, Dunkin' adds a pumpkin flavor swirl to its cold brew and tops it with a pumpkin cream cold foam. Cinnamon sugar is sprinkled on top.

Dunkin's menu also puts the spotlight on another fall flavor – apple. Also available today, at participating locations, are an apple cranberry refresher, apple cranberry coconut refresher and apple cider donut.

Other restaurants will be waiting to launch their seasonal pumpkin features.

Starbucks' popular pumpkin items are expected to roll out Tuesday. Favorites making a return include the pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin scone, pumpkin bread and pumpkin cream cheese muffins. New for 2021 will be an apple crisp macchiato.

Tim Horton's will offer several pumpkin items beginning Aug. 25. The menu will include a pumpkin spice latte and a pumpkin spice iced capp, as well as pumpkin spice muffins, glazed donuts and Timbits.

Dairy Queen will release two pumpkin ice cream treats Aug. 30. The pumpkin pie Blizzard is made with vanilla soft serve and pumpkin pie pieces and topped with whipped topping and a sprinkle of nutmeg. The pumpkin cookie butter shake will feature pumpkin puree, cookie butter and vanilla ice cream.

Dad of Year beer

An Indiana brewery recently released a new beer featuring the face of Fort Wayne father John Heller.

The Dad of the Year beer is a Weizenbock brewed by Bad Dad Brewing Co., which is based in Fairmount, south of Marion.

The brewery hosted a contest asking people to nominate the “baddest dads of the year.” People could submit funny stories, bad advice, “a famous dad-ism, or anything you can think of that shows us how your dad hilariously succeeded at being, well, a #2 dad.” Heller was nominated by his daughter.

In addition to his face on the beer can, Heller won a gift card and trophy.

Other new releases from Bad Dad include Swear Jar, a raspberry milkshake IPA released this month. It's a New England-style hazy IPA, crafted with raspberry puree.

Available in four-packs for $10.99, both new releases are distributed throughout Indiana and available on tap in the Fairmount-based taproom, where visitors can also enjoy made-from-scratch pizzas.

Festival Saturday

Wings Beer and Bourbon Fest will take place from 11a.m. to 7p.m. Saturday at Headwaters Park.

The event will feature food from more than 10 vendors including Lucille's BBQ, Ziffles, One Love, Smoke Haus, Ivy's Jerk Joint and Brooks BBQ. Attendees will receive a ticket at the gate to vote for their favorite wings.

There will also be beer and bourbon sampling between noon and 6p.m., live music, a full bar and activities.

Wristbands for the beer and bourbon sampling will be for $5 for two samplings or $10 for all four.

Advance tickets for the event are free or $5 at the gate. For information, search “Wings Beer and Bourbon Fest” on

PizzaBomba shuts

Operator John Hanselmann announced that he will put the brakes on PizzaBomba.

In a social media post, he wrote, “Unfortunately, I've made the decision to close Pizza Bomba indefinitely. Life has a funny way of working out and at this stage in my life, this felt like the right decision for me and my well-being. I've lived out my dreams of owning my own pizza restaurant and am ready for the next chapter.”

Hanselmann thanked fans for supporting the food truck during the pandemic.

Corey McMaken of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email or call 461-8304 at least two weeks before event or desired publication.

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