Friday, August 10, 2012

A Taste of Fort Wayne

A friend recently told me she was going to be in Fort Wayne, Indiana, this month. She knew it was my hometown, and she asked me about things to do there. I was hard pressed to give her an answer.

We seldom get back to Fort Wayne anymore. When we do, we spend all of our time with my Aunt Sheila—my only surviving relative there—and much of that time is spent eating. One thing among many that Loretta and I have in common: whenever we visit our respective hometowns (Fort Wayne for me, Buffalo for her) we always make time to visit our favorite restaurants.

Many of my favorite Fort Wayne restaurants are gone now. Fortunately Hall’s, one of the best, is still around. Hall’s has several locations throughout the city. The food is always excellent and reasonably priced. I recommend the strawberry pie—my Aunt Vonna’s favorite. If it’s your birthday, they will give you a cake—not a piece of cake, mind you—an entire cake, big enough for three or four people. (Once, when Loretta and I were in town on her birthday, I’m rather ashamed to say that we made the rounds with my aunts and scored a cake at each of several Hall’s locations.)

The one place I absolutely have to visit whenever I’m in town is Coney Island, on Main Street. In my opinion, they have the best hot dogs in the world, topped with the perfect blend of chili, mustard, and onions. And you can’t beat the price: $1.35 apiece—cheaper if you buy them by the dozen, as we usually do.

If you prefer burgers, Powers Hamburgers, on Harrison Street, have been grilling their delicious little onion-drenched sliders since my parents were kids. As a matter of fact, Powers, Halls, and Coney Island have all been around since my parents’ day, if not before. (Coney Island has been serving hot dogs in the same location since 1914!)

Of course, there are plenty of things to do in Fort Wayne besides eating, and one of these days, maybe I’ll get around to telling you about some of them. But right now, I’m getting hungry.

I wonder if Coney Island has mail-order service?

At Coney Island, Two Years Ago

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