When Will Le opened Bahn Mi Barista on Coldwater Road in 2012, he knew that he would want to open a second restaurant. He just didn't think it would take five years to do it.
So what took so long?
“I had to find good people who were willing to work and serve other people,” Le says, adding that it took him longer to train and develop a good staff.
But Le is ready and set to open a second Bahn Mi Barista this spring with a tentative timeline in mid-May. The location at 1925 Fairfield Ave., just south of downtown in a former doughnut shop, will serve many of Le's customers, who he says work and live downtown. Many of them were requesting a spot with a shorter drive from downtown to get their favorite items from the menu, which includes rice and noodle dishes, pho and bubble tea and smoothies.
Of course, that was easier said than done as many spaces in and around downtown were either unavailable or unsuitable for restaurants as the downtown dining scene continues to grow.
Le acquired the building in July. He hopes that when he gets settled, the space will allow him to expand the building and bake bread for his popular Vietnamese sandwiches. The building is being updated to create a relaxing environment for people to enjoy the food, Le says.
New burger joint
BurgerFi has gone from zero to 100 in six years, and now the gourmet burger franchise is set to open a location in Fort Wayne.
The restaurant will open on Coldwater Road, near Northrop High School, after June, according to a representative from the company.
Priding itself on using all-natural beef free of growth hormones, steroids, antibiotics, chemicals and additives, BurgerFi's menu features burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard and craft beer and wine. The options range from a basic cheeseburger to the more gourmet CEO, which features two patties made with a Wagyu and brisket blend, homemade candied bacon-tomato jam, truffle aioli and Swiss cheese.
The location closest to Fort Wayne is Ann Arbor, Michigan. According to Franchise Times, the Florida-based BurgerFi plans to open about 20 restaurants this year in places such as Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and New York.
Taco shop opens
Martin Quintana, owner of Dos Margarita and Los Lomas, is expanding his reach in the Fort Wayne market with a new restaurant.
The Famous Taco is now open at 4104 N. Clinton St. The cafeteria-style restaurant specializes in huarache – a homemade thick tortilla with beans, queso fresco, onion, cilantro and choice of meat. Other favorites include arroz con pollo and nachos.
The menu also features burritos, salads and tacos that can be made with chorizo, lengua (tongue) and carnitas.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Manchester University has students from 23 states and 20 countries, and it is celebrating a multicultural tradition Sunday with the International Buffet.
The public is invited to enjoy a buffet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Haist Commons at the Jo Young Switzer Center, 604 E. College Ave., North Manchester.
It will feature dishes such as Palestinian roz o boji (rice and beef), kitfo (spicy beef) from Ethiopia and banh trang tron (rice paper wrappers) from Vietnam.
Tickets are $14.99 for adults and free for children younger than 10. No reservations are needed.
Tax Day treat
Kona Ice is giving fans a chance to relax on tax day, participating in its fourth annual National “Chill Out” Day.
The island-inspired truck will be parked at the Indiana Michigan Power Center plaza to hand out free cups of tropical shaved ice and complimentary Hawaiian leis to all who stop by.
The event from 2 to 4 p.m. April 18 is open to the public.
Satek wins gold
Congratulations are in order for the winemakers in Fremont.
Satek Winery recently brought home a Double Gold medal at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition for their Kreibaum Bay Sesquidecennial in the Tawny Port Class.
The New York competition featured more than 3,000 wines from 600 wineries in 16 countries. The wines were graded on merit, for what it is, not for what it may become.
“We are as proud as we can be,” Jason Satek says in a written statement. “Winning an award of this caliber at Finger Lakes is gratifying, but to win it with Sesquidecennial, our Anniversary Wine that debuted last year for our 15th anniversary is especially so. This wine is part of an ongoing passion project, to make and maintain a wine made solely from all our vintages of brandy-fortified port wines: past, present and future. Sesquidecennial is hopefully just a second 'snap shot' that will happen every five years, but 2021 is a ways away.”
Satek Winery, which started in 2001, is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and offers free wine tasting with proper ID (but Sesquidecennial is a pay-taste).
Just when the St. Patrick's Day hangover was wearing off, Deer Park Irish Pub is planning another celebration.
Festivities for Dingus Day, a Polish holiday marked by parties and parades, will begin at 9 a.m. April 17, and activities will take place throughout the day.
There will be Polish food, libations and music. From 1 to 3 p.m., there will be polka dancing, and from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., accordionist Jay Fox will lead patrons in Polish folk tunes and dances.
Men will sport Polish derby hats, and pussy willows and squirt guns will be provided. On Dingus Day, women are soaked with water and they in return soak the men.
Brew fest tickets
Tickets are now on sale for Rock N Brew 2017, which will take place June 3.
The event at Parkview Field will feature more than 200 beers from all over the world.
General-admission tickets are $31.50 and include unlimited sampling from 5 to 8 p.m. VIP tickets are $66.50 and include an additional hour of unlimited sampling (4 to 5 p.m.), access to the VIP tent with food and two to three additional beer tastings exclusive to VIPs.
For tickets and details, go to www.rocknbrewindiana.com.
The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 461-8304.