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South Bend and Fort Wayne recommendations

I am flying into Fort Wayne around lunch time, then headed to South Bend for dinner. Looking for recommendations, no chains, open to all foods. I may also be back in Fort Wayne for dinner the next night before my flight home. thoughts?

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  1. Fort Wayne...

    Eating on the cheap? Try Power's or Coney Island on main.

    Power's on Harrison for sliders. This place has been making small burgers for 50+ years. They fry them on a griddle with twice their weight in shredded onions. I like them with mustard and cheese. Your clothing will smell like the burgers if you dine in.

    The Coney Island on Main Street has been around even longer. If you like an old-style coney with the soupy-thin sauce, this is the place to go. Again, onions and mustard feature prominently.

    If you want something fancier, possibly the best restaurant in all of Indiana is Joseph Decuis in Roanoke, a far SW suburb of Fort Wayne (about 16 miles from the center of town). They have their own farm. This place is well worth the drive.

    http://josephdecuis.com/

    1. If you haven't already come...Powers and Coney Island are great. But there's also excellent Burmese and good Mexican, BBQ, etc. Try searching "Fort Wayne" on these boards for more info.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Barry Strugatz

        I will search for those. My trip is September. Thanks

      2. I'd recommend Corndance Tavern for dinner in the South Bend/Mishawaka area.

        http://mishawaka.corndance.com

        1. For South Bend dinner, I can offer recommendations of several sorts.

          jes70's recommendation of Corndance Tavern is worthy, I think, because I know many people who like it, but I haven't tried it. It specializes in local foods, featuring Bison raised by the owner, as I recall. It's relatively upscale dining

          Comparable upscale options would be LaSalle Grill and Cafe Navarre (both are solid American quality places). Another nice place--a special combination of casual and trendy hipster style--is Uptown Kitchen. Their price point is a bit lower than the upscale places above, but it's still quality presentation of American foods, fresh.

          That said, it appears you're coming from Texas. You might find the most interesting experiences at some more localized, unusual places.

          Fiddler's Hearth is a great Irish pub with special foods and great beers on tap. Musicians play there later in the evening many nights. That would be my first recommendation for someone like myself: when I go to a new city, I like to see what they do that isn't done everywhere.

          There are also some German and Polish options, if you're interested.

          J.W. Chen's is a very good Chinese restaurant--it would be merely quite good in a place like San Francisco, but here it is heads above. Fresh ingredients, amazing owner/hostess (Jean).

          I'll add more later if they occur to me.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Bada Bing

            Great recommendations from Bada Bing! Uptown Kitchen's sister restaurant, The Mark, might be a good bet as well. I have not dined at The Mark, but have heard good things.

            1. re: jes7o

              I've tried The Mark. It would be a worthy stop especially for someone who wants to case out the Notre Dame campus area. The food is well done, and they have an exceptional selection of microbrew beers. On busy nights it can be a bit loud (acoustics).

              Going there you could walk through the campus (would take an hour at least--it's big) and then walk to the restaurant, which is adjacent to the campus. Note: there is also an Irish pub in that same area (O'Rourke's?), and the food there is fine, but it doesn't have the deep history and atmosphere of Fiddler's Hearth.

            2. re: Bada Bing

              You mention "There are also some German and Polish options, if you're interested"

              I am very interested in those types of places in South Bend...

              Thank You!

              1. re: garryd451

                I've never been, but Weiss' Gasthaus is fairly new and has been getting a lot of buzz...in Roseland

                http://weissgasthaus.com/

                1. re: jes7o

                  I've been to Weiss's Gasthaus and it's the real deal (I lived two years in Germany). They go beyond the brats and stuff that deli-like places have, and they make real German items like Schitzels of various sorts, Rouladen, Sauerbraten, Spaetzle, and more. Quality seems quite good. But it's also unpretentious German dining, so it's casual and really quite like places I was accustomed to in Germany.

                  I know less about Polish here specifically, except to note that several places around here have "Polish nights" and the like. There's also an occasional Greek festival that would be worth the going, for local color.

            3. Despite the name and the distance from any source of shellfish, The Oyster Bar on Calhoun is my favorite Fort Wayne restaurant.
              On a recent visit, we also enjoyed J K O'Donnell's Irish pub on Wayne Street in Downtown Fort Wayne.

              2 Replies
              1. re: bcollichow

                Always wanted to try The Oyster Bar. What do you like there?

              2. Just returned from my trip - Thanks for the recommendations.

                Lunch in Fort Wayne at The Oyster House - great service, great clam chowder

                Dinner in South Bend - at LaSalle Bar and Kitchen(3rd floor) - not really open yet, food underwhelmed me

                Lunch in South Bend - Cafe Navarre - absolutely wonderful!!!