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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 1:00 am

Casa turns 40 with specials, eye on future

Kimberly Dupps Truesdell | For The Journal Gazette

It's been 40 years since the Casaburo family began serving Italian food to the people of Fort Wayne.

On Oct. 10, 1977, the first restaurant – Casa D'Angelo – opened on Coldwater Road. The site, now a Tire Barn across from Macy's, was a partnership between Tom and Sharon Casaburo and Jimmy D'Angelo.

Since then, its salad and lasagna among other dishes have become staples in the city, now served at four locations in the city. Casa operates restaurants on Dupont Road, Parnell Avenue, West Jefferson Boulevard and Stellhorn Road.

While growth has been stagnant since the opening of the Stellhorn Road restaurant, Thomas S. Parisi says the future might look different. The director of operations reports that the restaurant group has been looking at sites in Fort Wayne, Warsaw and Indianapolis to grow the business.

In the mean time, the Casa family is excited to celebrate 40 years in business with a month of specials. Every day in October, a lunch portion lasagna with a side salad will be available for $6.99. Daily specials include Spaghetti con Polpette (Sunday, $9.99), Spaghetti Parmigiano (Monday, $7.99), Pasta con Verdura (Tuesday, $8.99), Petto di Pollo al Palermo (Wednesday, $11.99), Mostaccioli al Forno (Thursday, $7.99), Sogliola Fritti (Friday, $8.59) and Toasted Ravioli (Saturday, $4.99).

“Celebrating 40 years, we are very thankful to the generations of guests and especially thankful to long-term hospitality staff that have stuck with us for over 20 years,” Parisi says. He adds that nine people have been with the restaurant for 20 years and four have worked for over 30 years.

Golden lunch back

Aaron Butts and Sean Richardson care about what you eat for lunch. In fact, they “give a (expletive) about what you are eating on that lunch break,” according to their Instagram page.

The Golden boys have expanded the hours at the downtown restaurant to include daytime service once again and are offering an accessible yet elevated menu.

Offering healthful, locally sourced ingredients, dishes include house-made quiche, ham and cheese on a baguette, chicken broth, curry chicken salad, the McGolden, fried chicken sandwich, greens from Hawkins Farms, french fries and salt and vinegar potato chips. Unlike its dinner menu that changes seasonally, the lunch menu will be standard all year.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

The Golden, which has worked with Hawkins Farms since it opened in June 2016, is also serving a Hearthside Dinner at the North Manchester farm.

Beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday, guests will gather around an outdoor brick oven as Butts and Richardson prepare and serve the harvest and tell the stories behind their dishes.

Tickets are $180 and are available at

DMK on way?

Burger fans, grab a hold of your buns.

This week, franchise plans were announced by DMK Burger Bar to expand its chef-driven restaurant concept throughout the Midwest – including Fort Wayne.

The restaurant, which has been featured on a number of Food Network shows, is a partnership between five-time James Beard nominated chef Michael Kornick, Morton's Steakhouse legacy David Morton and businessman David Grossman. It is known for using grass-fed beef, lamb from Colorado and Parmesan truffle fries.

According to the announcement, Fort Wayne is one of the first cities that DMK partners plan to expand to. However, the partners are still seeking a franchisee for a city location.

There are five DMK Burger Bar locations in and around Chicago.

Mad Anthony gold

Mad Anthony Brewing Co. received a gold medal at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival competition over the weekend.

Presented by the Brewers Association, the festival is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and recognizes beers produced in the United States. The top three winners in the competition's 98 beer-style categories were announced Saturday at the festival's awards ceremony in Denver.

Mad Anthony Brewing Co. was recognized in the American style amber lager beer-style category for its Auburn Lager, a rich, malty amber lager with a slightly sweet flavor and refreshing hop crispness.

Mad Anthony Brewing has locations in Fort Wayne, Angola, Auburn and Warsaw.

The 2017 GABF competition winners were selected by an international panel of 276 expert judges from 7,923 entries, plus 118 pro-am entries, received from 2,217 U.S. breweries.

Family fun at pub

Oktoberfest might be a time to raise a stein and toss a keg, but Deer Park Irish Pub is celebrating the German “holiday” with a family-friendly free event.

Beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, there will be activities for adults and children.

The kids will have a chance to win prizes during the pretzel toss at 2 p.m., and the Allen County SPCA will take the stage at 3 p.m. to host Fort Wayne's finest German dogs in the best of show contest.

Other events include a Sam Adams stein hoisting contest at 4 p.m. and polka dancing with the Tanzer Children's dance troupe at 5 p.m. Jammin' German Band takes the Deer Park stage at 6 p.m., and a beer stein race will be at 10 p.m.

Bratwurst, hot dogs and German potato salad will be offered. Root beer for children will be available, and there will be plenty of pints of Oktoberfest signature craft beers for the adults.

Temple fundraiser

A once-a-year opportunity will come this year on Nov. 9, when Congregation Achduth Vesholom celebrates its 16th annual Corned Beef on Rye – Sure to Satisfy Fundraiser, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the temple, 5200 Old Mill Road.

The authentic Jewish deli-style luncheon features a one-third-pound corned-beef-on-rye sandwich, a giant pickle, coleslaw, brownie and a drink. Boxed meals are $15 each when ordered by Oct. 26. After that date and at the door, the price is $16.

Dining in or carryout are both available. Local delivery service for orders of 12 or more lunches is available for a fee of $6 per address.

Order forms are available at Phone orders can be placed at 744-4245 (credit card only).

Proceeds from this fundraiser help support programs at the temple.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email or call 461-8304.