With a coral facade, antique architectural details and flowering plants in the big front windows, the new sandwich and tea shop on Calhoun Street is, well, delightful.
There is a rainbow of tea cups hanging on the wall, and the tables are adorned with vintage postcards and embroidered handkerchiefs, reminiscent of the ones my grandma kept in a neat stack in the top drawer of her dresser.
Owned by the woman who brought the south side Calhoun Street Soups, Salads and Spirits, D'lightfuls is the eatery that Donna Kessler had always intended to open.
It's branded as a tea shop, but D'lightfuls, 1932 S. Calhoun St., offers a menu of tea, coffee, smoothies, flatbreads, salads and noodle bowls.
Coffee can be made in an aeropress, and smoothies can be prepared with dairy and non-dairy options (soy or almond milk).
A chalkboard easel on the salad case displays the available teas and on a recent morning included matcha, organic oolong, cheerful lemon and Scottish breakfast.
For breakfast, there's a creme brulee French toast and a variety of egg sandwiches – including the Croque Monsieur that features ham, dijon mustard, grilled asparagus and gruyere sauce on a croissant.
For lunch, diners can build their own flatbreads, noodle bowls and salads or choose from a Buffalo chicken flatbread, Greek noodle bowl (chopped onions, olives, roasted red peppers, feta and mushrooms) or a chicken salad sandwich.
A display case decorated with antique cookie jars features house-made baked goods that are most often vegan or gluten-free friendly.
Indeed, many of the menu items can be prepared to fit a particular diet while still appealing to the mainstream.
It's not easy to bake gluten free, but D'lightfuls is always tweaking recipes to offer customers a tasty treat.
The shop is also available to host tea parties with 24 hours notice.
Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
George Motz, author of “Hamburger America,” is considered one of the country's top burger experts.
And on a recent trip to Indiana, he gave a shout out to Fort Wayne's one-and-only Powers Hamburgers, 1402 S. Harrison St.
In an interview with the Indianapolis Star, he says, “And, oh my god, one of the greatest slider emporiums in America, one of the finest examples of the original American hamburger exists in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at a place called Powers.
“... My burger contains DNA from the first burgers that were made at White Castle and White Tower, all those White restaurants back in the '20s, and Powers is still making that burger. A very important piece of American history right in Fort Wayne.”
The small white building with striped awnings is on South Harrison Street, just blocks from Parkview Field.
While Powers serves up breakfast and chili, it's known for the classic slider topped with a generous helping of onions. There are no fancy extras – just the choice of ketchup or mustard – at the place that has stood the test of time and been a part of the community since 1940.
Owner Mike Hall says the most popular order is three to four burgers and a cup of chili or bag of chips. The burgers cost $1.25, and for those who want cheese, it will be $1.50 a slider.
Powers has been busy – clobbered, Hall says – since the Motz interview came out last week and people from surrounding communities have been stopping in.
“There's a lot of pride involved,” Hall says. “It's always nice.”
New Tolon menus
Chef Matthew Nolot and the team at Tolon is taking its commitment to local ingredients abroad with its new spring menu.
The menu, which debuted Tuesday, features lunch items such as a jerk chicken rice bowl made with coriander rice and a house-made jerk seasoning.
There's also a simply dressed green salad with greens from Country Produce in Roanoke, tarragon, champagne vinaigrette and herb gratinee.
Dinner entrees include a braised lamb shank from Strauss Family Farms that features fennel, asparagus, pearl onions, herb butter and hazelnuts.
A favorite of the chef and wife Nicky is a Gunthorp Farms pork chop with a smoked peanut mole, barbecued carrot salad with cilantro, sesame and corn nuts.
Fun and creativity shine in the dishes, Nicky Nolot says, thanks to Matthew Nolot and the restaurant's new sous chef, Mike Mongiello.
There's also a new spring cocktail/wine menu, which launched last week. The Soulless Ginger, created by Nicky Nolot, features local ginger and thyme with West Fork Whiskey Co. (out of Indianapolis) 2 Hr Delay unaged corn whiskey. There are also two new wines from Bloomington-based Oliver Winery – the Oliver Cherry Moscato and their label Creekbend Noir.
The patio for the downtown restaurant, near Pearl and Harrison streets near The Landing, is open and dog friendly.
Han Dynasty open
A new Chinese restaurant has opened on West Jefferson Boulevard in the space formerly occupied by Asakusa.
The Han Dynasty, 6401 W. Jefferson Blvd., is just a few doors down from Chops and the interior has been updated.
The unique menu includes dim sum (available from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday), jalapeno chicken, sha cha chicken, coconut chicken with walnut, jelly fish in sesame oil and west lake beef soup.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Its phone number is 755-2338.
Looking to treat Mom this weekend? Restaurants and food purveyors still have a few specials up their sleeves.
• The Lucky Moose, 622 E. Dupont Road, will have a Mother's Day buffet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to the traditional Sunday omelet and crepe bar, which includes hash browns, pancakes and sausage, the buffet will feature baked chicken, lasagna, ribs, pulled pork, wild salmon, coconut shrimp, cajun shrimp and breaded tilapia. Dessert will be chocolate cake.
Cost is $14.95 for adults and half-price for ages 6 to 10; ages 3 to 6 will cost $3.99; and younger than 3 are free. Reservations are recommended; call 490-5765.
• Whether you are traveling or staying local, Pilot Flying J travel centers are offering moms a free cup of Pilot Coffee (any size) for the entire weekend. Moms can have their choice of any coffee – iced or hot.
There is a Flying J at 3105 Doyle Road in New Haven.
Thursday will mark the first time since 2012 that Culver's will add a new variety to its Flavor of the Day lineup. But fans of the custard won't just have one new concoction to look forward to but six.
The first new Flavor of the Day will be available Thursday, with each additional flavor offered on the 10th of the following months.
All of Culver's more than 650 restaurants will feature the new flavors on the day they are introduced.
• Thursday – Cappuccino Cookie Crumble: Vanilla frozen custard blended with espresso, crushed sugar cookies and swirls of novelty chocolate
• June 10 – Blackberry Cobbler: Cinnamon granola crumble, blackberries and vanilla frozen custard
• July 10 – Chocolate Pretzel Crunch: Chopped Bavarian pretzels, novelty chocolate and salted caramel with vanilla frozen custard
• Aug. 10 – Peanut Butter Cookie Dough: Peanut butter frozen custard mixed with roasted peanuts and chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough
• Sept. 10 – Dark Chocolate Decadence: The first dark chocolate flavor for Culver's
• Oct. 10 – Peanut Butter Salted Caramel: Salty-sweet combo of peanut butter custard, roasted peanuts and ribbons of salted caramel
The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email email@example.com or call 461-8304.