Thank you, Bill! – Bill’s Smokehouse
Dec03

Thank you, Bill! – Bill’s Smokehouse

My husband and I have a lot of trouble eating out. Over the last ten years or so, we’ve become what I would call “at home chefs.” Between Food Network (with a heavy lean towards Alton Brown), ChefSteps (YouTube) and Bon Appetit’s YouTube channel, we’ve learned how to make phenomenal meals at home. We invested in an immersion circulator several years back and it’s changed our meat game like nothing else. We can pretty much make a restaurant quality meals at home, for a fraction of the cost, and have it cooked to perfection. Now, that’s kind of a double-edged sword . . . one, we don’t get the feeling of getting all gussied up and ‘going out’. Two, we don’t get to sit and relax and be waited on. Finally, the restaurants we might splurge on have disappointed us. Steaks aren’t cooked to the right temp. Asparagus is fibrous. Dishes were just lacking proper seasoning. I sound like a huge food snob, I’m sure, but when you can make food to a certain standard, you expect a restaurant to be able to hit the same standard, especially when paying so much. So, this brings us to Bill’s Smokehouse. Naturally, we were leary. We hold a special place in our hearts for barbecue. It’s smokey, succulent and just plain delicious. Also, it’s something we can’t do at home . . . yet. 😉 So we have our favorite place in town to get it and hold all others to that standard. As we walked into Bill’s on a cool, dark evening, we could smell the smokers from the back. The restaurant was quiet as there were only a couple other tables with guests. The room was moderately lit and looked nice with a classic, high-end look with a lean towards the a western theme. Booths and tables are both available and our booth was comfortable. Soon, we were the only table. Considering the menu is full of local, organic meats, it’s kind of hard to make a choice.We had a nice basket of corn bread while we made our decisions. While the inside was tender and sweet, the sides were dry. I went with the 28-day wet aged USDA choice tenderloin filet, six oz, a ⅓ rack of ribs, a side of apple slaw and fried Brussell sprouts. My husband got the pulled pork and brisket with sides of collard greens and green beans with bacon and onion. We also tried the sausage sampler as an appetizer. The sampler came with a smoked pork sausage, a chicken sausage, a couple cheeses and two mustards, as well as plain and...

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Solbird Kitchen and Tap – a Powerful Duo
Nov20

Solbird Kitchen and Tap – a Powerful Duo

Some couples were just meant to be together. Batman and Robin, Han Solo and Chewbacca, Bert and Ernie, and the newest collaboration on the Fort Wayne food scene – Sol Kitchen and Birdboy Brewing. Sol Kitchen was one of Fort Wayne’s founding food trucks boasting an elevated version of Tex-Mex fare. Inspired by the Bravas hot dog stand, owner Jerry Perez knew that Fort Wayne was ready to embrace the mobile food concept and embarked on a menu including Latin inspired tacos and quesadillas. Perez named his food truck after The Doors’ “Soul Kitchen”, where Jim Morrison crooned the lines “let me sleep all night, in your soul kitchen”. Just as Morrison was a huge fan of soul food, Sol Kitchen soon had a just as devoted fan base including yours truly who would never be deterred by a long line at the food truck, knowing the deliciousness that awaited you. After five years of serving amazing food on the truck at venues all around Fort Wayne and even in Roanoke, Perez set his eyes on higher sites. A stand along brick and mortar restaurant so he could expand his menu and fan base. Birdboy Brewing is a local brewery created by Ben Thompson who combined his love for planes and craft beer into brewing his own unique creations that can be found at over 60 high-end bars and restaurants such as Joseph Decuis. Birdboy was founded in 2015 and has a taproom located in Roanoke. With names like ‘Wit’s a Bird, Wits a Plane’ and ‘Redturn of the JedIPA’ you can see the creativity that goes into Birdboy’s European style beers. Loyal fans of both Birdboy Brewing and Sol Kitchen were ecstatic to learn of their partnership in the form of Solbird Kitchen and Tap located at 1824 W. Dupont Road in Fort Wayne.  Perez and Thompson have created a kitchen and tap concept that is destined for great success. The Solbird menu boasts food of many cultures, not just traditional Mexican flare. Next to the shrimp ceviche (which was a perfectly portioned bite on crisp tortilla chips and served with fresh pico de gallo and avocado crema) were Korean pork sliders and further down on the menu was a Thai shrimp burrito. Utilizing fresh local ingredients, strong influence from his Mexican roots, and some Latin flare, Perez does not shy away from flavorful profiles, which takes the Solbird menu to a whole new level. For the drink part of the equation, Birdboy Brewing has both flights and growlers available with everything ranging from a Belgian pale ale, a full-bodied Belgian Imperial Stout and, of course, a classic...

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Science Central and Hop River team up for FrankenBrew
Aug08

Science Central and Hop River team up for FrankenBrew

Science Central and Hop River Brewing Company have teamed up to bring you FrankenBrew, a two-part adult event! Join us for part one, The Lab, at Hop River Brewing on Sept. 10 for a behind-the-scenes look at the science of brewing. Then, help decide what goes into the new FrankenBrew! Now through Aug. 27, advance tickets for The Lab are $25. Prices will increase to $30 on Aug. 28 and be available until the day of the event or until sold out. Science Central will host part two, The Reveal, on Oct. 13. Participants in The Reveal will get to taste the FrankenBrew creation, as well as enjoy Frankenstein themed activities, FrankenTacos, and a special historical tour of Science Central. Advance discount tickets will also be available for The Reveal at a later date, so keep checking back! We hope to see you at this exciting community partnership...

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2 Toms Brewing Company
Jul20

2 Toms Brewing Company

  When you walk in to 2 Toms Brewing Company, you’ll be immediately immersed. The aesthetic and the open concept space are as carefully crafted as the beer in the brew tanks. The polished concrete floor gleams with the reflection of the Edison-style light bulbs, which are encased in glass balls and suspended from black iron industrial light fixtures. As you soak in the mid-century/industrial design, you’ll start to pick up on another theme: repurpose. All the furniture has a story here. You’ll see counter height tables that are made of old bowling alley lanes and reclaimed steel I-beams. There are stools from an old science lab. Jim Beam barrels have been given new life as cocktail tables. The end of an old cable spool is now a rustic coffee table. Even the dining chairs have a story – they’ve been salvaged from a church and refinished. But despite all this attention to creative design, you won’t be able to deny that the brew tanks are the real focal point of the room. They’re showcased behind glass and a ledge with tall low-backed chairs offers you a front row seat for dreaming about the grain fermenting inside. The Story of 2 Toms The story of 2 Toms Brewing Company began when Tom Carpenter’s wife Stacie bought him a 1-gallon home brew kit for this birthday three years ago. “It came with a glass jug, hops, yeast – everything you’d need to make beer on the stove,” he told me. Tom says he’s always liked craft beer and it was fun to do on a small scale. “Getting to travel around to different breweries and taprooms, seeing the creative brewing styles coming out, talking to owners and brewers, I really enjoyed it.”The name came about because Stacie joked that Tom was so busy he needed to clone himself so they could have ‘two Toms’. “As far as the brand, right out of the gate I acted like a brewery. I have a business background and a creative and engineering mind. I created an Untappd.com account and printed up some Avery labels for my brews.” Tom is part of a local group called Pour Misfits, a craft beer group that meets to share and trade different beers and talk hops and malt. Pour Misfits is now worldwide, with members numbering over 3000. “I really respected their pallets, so I brought them my homebrew. They liked it and my beer developed a following. Eventually, people were begged us to open a business so they could get access to my beer full-time – and here we are,” he explained, pushing his cap back...

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Summer Wine Guide Word Search
Jul03

Summer Wine Guide Word Search

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How to Celebrate National Wine Day
May23

How to Celebrate National Wine Day

Merlot? Wine not. We all know that Memorial Day weekend is around the corner, but did you know that Friday, May 25th is National Wine day? What better way to kick off the start of the summer season than with a full glass of wine? Well, I have a few ideas to help you celebrate this delightful occasion right here in northeast Indiana. Satek Winery View this post on Instagram If April showers bring May flowers, what do frozen showers bring, cacti? #OhMy #CaseOfTheMondays #🌧💐❄️🌵 A post shared by Satek Winery (@satekwinery) on Apr 9, 2018 at 6:47am PDT This winery is located in Fremont, Indiana and offers over 40 varieties of wine. If you can’t celebrate on Friday, stop in on Saturday for a tour and a tasting. Tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m.   Two EE’s Winery View this post on Instagram Happy Daylight Savings! Savor that extra hour of sunshine on our patio with a glass of your favorite ☀️#daylightsavings A post shared by Two-EE's Winery (@twoeeswinery) on Mar 11, 2018 at 9:36am PDT Located less than 20 miles from downtown Fort Wayne in Huntington, Indiana, Two EE’s offers a variety of fruity wines with a beautiful scenery. On Friday, you can enjoy your wine while listening to The Colin Boyd Trio live, and grab a bite from one of the food trucks on-site. Check out their Facebook Event for more details.   Country Heritage Winery View this post on Instagram It’s a great day for a CH Wine Slushie! #wineslushies #chwinery A post shared by Country Heritage Winery (@countryheritagewinery) on May 16, 2018 at 11:05am PDT   Also under 20 miles from downtown Fort Wayne, Country Heritage is located in Laotto, Indiana. Taste some of their award-winning wine on Friday from 6-9 p.m., enjoy live music from Acme Blues Band and satisfy your hunger with food from Sol Kitchen.   Wine Down View this post on Instagram Tables are set and couches are fluffed. We're ready for you. 🍹🍸🍷 #downtown #indiana #dtfw #fortwayne #myfortwayne #bar #bars #cocktails #craftcocktails #craftcocktailsbro #resturant #bartenderlife #serverlife #hongkong #barstuff #cocktailporn #foodporn #equipment #vape #restaurants #winedownfw A post shared by Copper Spoon (@copperspoonfw) on Jun 23, 2016 at 2:34pm PDT   If you’re feeling the downtown vibe, try Wine Down located in the heart of Fort Wayne off of Jefferson Boulevard. Split some tapas with your friends while enjoying a glass of chardonnay.   Nick’s Wine & Martini Bar View this post on Instagram It's a beautiful day to come enjoy our patio! Not to mention we have karaoke starting now!! #nofilter #patiolife #beautifulweather #nicksmwbar #liveinthe05...

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