Wonderful finds recommended by Jennifer Dodds Fox.
FLAMING CHEESE @ FRIENDS, TOO
There are few things I love more than cheese. Goat, brie, asiago, feta, cheddar, emmental — I could use up this whole page just listing cheese, a la Harlan Pepper in the movie “Best in Show.” As a child, I fell head over heels for Greek food and am always on the hunt for my faves, avgolemono soup and saganaki. The soup is a creamy egg-lemon-rice concoction that can easily be made at home, which I do often (I always add more lemon than the recipe calls for). But saganaki just cannot be replicated in your kitchen, and here’s why. Saganaki is fried cheese — but like you’ve never had it before. Typically made with kaseri, graviera or halloumi cheese, saganaki is set ablaze at your table with a boisterous “Opa!” then doused with a squeeze of fresh lemon and served with soft pita wedges. It’s warm, creamy and tangy, and the experience will delight your table as well as other patrons. At Friends Too, owner Nikos is warm and welcoming, and I get the impression he really likes it when someone orders the saganaki. I’m only too happy to oblige every time I visit. Friends Too has many authentic Greek dishes on its menu, as well as classic American breakfast and lunch options. I’d stick to the Greek items like tzatziki, melitzanes, hummus and spanakopitakia. And definitely order the saganaki. Opa! Friends Too 3720 W. Jefferson Blvd. 46804 (260) 755-0894 www.friendsrestaurants.com. (Friends, the sister restaurant, is located at 1824-A Dupont Road 46818. I’ve just never been there.)
HYDROPONIC PRODUCE @ GET FRESH FARMS
Perhaps the coolest spot in town you’ve never heard of, Get Fresh Farms is an aquaponic farm growing pesticide-free produce year round. The process is pretty cool and goes something like this: Seeds are germinated in trays of rockwool (a man-made mineral fiber that helps promote plant growth) before being individually placed within styrofoam planks that float on top of water in a greenhouse. In another room, giant tanks full of fish are eating, swimming, growing and pooping, specifically to provide waste to fertilize the water in the greenhouse. Since the produce is grown in water, there’s no soil to wash off and zero need for harmful pesticides and because it’s a controlled environment, the bounty is consistent. This is a sustainable approach to urban farming, housed on the south side of the city and a fabulous way to supplement your produce with locally grown vegetables. The current roster of produce includes a wide variety of lettuces, micro greens, tomatoes, hot peppers and herbs like dill, basil, mint and oregano. Get Fresh Farms currently sells its harvest at the Fort Wayne’s Farmers Market at Parkview Field and supplies produce to J K O’Donnell’s, with plans to offer online ordering and local delivery. Check out www.getfreshfarms.com or call (260) 399-2111 for more information. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @GetFreshFarms for the most up-to-date crop information.
DOGFISH HEAD CRAFT-BREWED ALES BACK IN INDIANA
Remember how people used to cry that Fat Tire wasn’t available here? Or how people sob that Yuengling still isn’t? Dogfish Head is another beer worthy of tears when you can’t get your hands on it. Cry no more! Dogfish Head returned to our lovely state in late December 2013. I like a good beer just as much as the next girl, but I don’t claim to be a know-it-all. I do, however, know the difference between any old beer and something really, really special. Dogfish Head was previously sold in Indiana but had to scale back due to distribution issues. When news broke they’d be coming back to Indiana, my husband nearly wept with joy. If you haven’t yet tried Dogfish Head, give it a whirl. The 60-, 75-, 90- and 120-minute IPA’s are fantastic as are Indian Brown and Punkin Ale (one of the top seasonal brews). And if you can find a bottle of American Beauty (my personal fave), buy it. Use the Fish Finder on www.dogfish.com to find your closest package store.
VINTAGE HOME DECOR @ EMILEY’S HAUTE COTTAGE
Tucked behind the Fort Wayne Musicians Association’s building on West Wayne Street, Emiley’s Haute Cottage is a charming brick carriage house chock full of shabby chic home decor and furniture. Two floors are stocked with refinished and handmade goods by various local and regional vendors like The Shed (previously featured in this column), River City Candle Company, Summit City Soapworks, Saving Grace Vintage and Cottage in the Woods. The store carries greeting cards, jewelry, pillows and paints by American Paint Company, a line of clay/mineral/chalk paint as well as Miss Mustard Seed, a line of milk paint and waxes (instructional classes with these paints are regularly scheduled). A few of my favorite finds include a pair of antique mirrors, a vintage mirrored vanity tray and a sweet little birdcage. There are many decor accents under $50 and furniture pieces under $200. Emiley’s Haute Cottage is open Wed. through Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 515 W. Wayne Street 46802 (260) 602-0663 www.emileyshautecottage.com.
TRAMINETTE, INDIANA'S SIGNATURE WINE
Did you know Indiana has a signature wine? I did not until right before I wrote that last sentence. I really enjoy a glass (or three) of wine, but I’m no oenophile, so I’ll quote TryOnTraminette.org here. “Traminette is a white wine made of a hybrid grape bred exclusively to survive Indiana’s harsh Midwestern climate. This hybrid grape, produced from Gewürztraminer and J.S. 23-416, has a fragrant aroma and floral taste. Traminette lures those attracted to the dry and the sweet.” Sounds (and tastes) great to me! To learn more about our state wine and see complementary recipes, visit TryOnTraminette.org. Better yet, visit local wineries like Satek or Country Heritage to sample and pick up a bottle (or three). Satek Winery is located in Fremont at 6208 N. Van Guilder Road, 46737 (260) 495-WINE. Country Heritage is located at 0185 CR 68, LaOtto (260) 637-2980.