To start off with and tell you a little about myself, I’m one of those people that could never actually diet, and can constantly be found using the phrase, “I’m on a try it!” I’ve been known at 8 AM to ask, “What should we have for dinner tonight?” (Typically, this question does not elicit a response). And, while I sometimes can’t justify spending $30 on a shirt, I have a tendency to over indulge in my spending on food. Whether it’s that specialty gruyere to top off a homemade French onion soup from the local market, or a $100 filet, food is an experience — and one that I can’t cut out of my budget. I’ve been told that if you want to eat well, start off at breakfast: you get great bang for your buck. And let me tell you, I have found some great breakfast stops in my journey to find great food (try Wildberry or Yia Yia’s if you're in the Chicago area, Spyros or Friends for Fort Wayne). But here’s the catch: while there are a multitude of venues that boast 24 hour omelets, pancakes, and eggs, sometimes we just want more for less and a little bit more variety.
As one of the newest members of corporate America, I have discovered lunch is probably the best part of my work day. Taking a break and enjoying good food is one thing in life that I truly enjoy. But I can admit that I, like all people, have a tendency to fall victim to routine — that’s why I’m always so excited when I venture somewhere new and am excited and invigorated by the experience.
Last Friday was one of those days. It was only by happenstance that I stumbled upon Central City Café, newly opened on Calhoun Street in Downtown Fort Wayne. My dad and I were stopping by the bank, and as we usually would, were contemplating the local pizza joint, when we saw a sign for “Grand Opening.” Central City Café is tucked away on Calhoun and does not take up much street space — if you're walking fast, you might miss it as we almost did. However, the interior is actually quite spacious, and once inside you are met with eclectic décor where metal guardrails and exposed brick juxtapose skillful paintings. The location and space are perfect for business get-togethers or afternoon luncheons, especially the upstairs area which can be sectioned off.
The restaurant itself boasts a do-it-yourself salad and sandwich bar with 60+ toppings and deli meats served with fresh bread which is weighed by the ounce at checkout. The menu also includes mouthwatering flatbreads, sandwiches, and paninis: I have heard the Reuben is quite popular — but I tried the Southwestern Chicken Sandwich, served with fresh chips (they offer fries as a side option, but stick to the chips! There is a distinct mesquite seasoning and they are made fresh in-house).
Chicken pot pie was the special of the day, and my father simply could not resist. The serving was generous, and it was served with a homemade puff pastry on top. He raved about how delicious it was (and did not offer to share, nor did he really talk much after his initial bite). Against what I am assuming was his better judgment, and a compliment to the chef, he finished the entire serving.
We left satisfied and will most certainly return to the Central City Café when we need to break routine and try something different. If you are looking to try a new locally owned lunch stop in the Fort Wayne Indiana — this is your ticket.
Note: Plan for a nap afterward, if you finish your plates like we did you might not return to work on time!