FORT WAYNE — As we have detailed in the past, it’s hard to get away from the holy trinity of Summit City dining; Cindy’s Diner, Fort Wayne’s Famous Coney Island Weiner Stand and Power’s Hamburgers.  Each represents something unique from the Midwest that really isn’t found anywhere on the West coast.

Cindy’s is open for breakfast and lunch but is best known for its garbage plate, a massive mash-up of eggs, ham, hash, onions and cheese and its biscuits and gravy, an equally impressive plate smothered in sausage gravy. I’ve seen people eat both in one sitting, and then start crushing doughnuts, but unless you are a 20-year old catcher burning a few thousand calories a night, it’s not recommended. The corned beef hash, pancakes and those homemade doughnuts are also outstanding. It wouldn’t be a trip to Fort Wayne without a visit to Cindy’s.

The famous dogs and Greek chilli. (Photo: MadFriars)

Fort Wayne’s Famous Coney Island, a personal favorite of TinCaps announcer Mike Maahs, is famous for its Greek-style steamed hot dogs with Coney Sauce. Coney Sauce is beanless white vinegar and celery seed chili that is smothered over the hot dogs with diced white onions and yellow mustard. Get two or three dogs, a side bowl of chilli with oyster crackers, and an old-time bottle of 8-oz Coca-Cola. If the tab is over $10, you have eaten too much.

Powers Hamburgers is within walking distance of Parkview Field, and they grill up a much better version of a White Castle burger with steamed onions and cheese. Locals come in and take away bags of ten mini-hamburgers for under $20. No word on what their cardiologists think of this practice.

If you want something more upscale and different for Fort Wayne, try Proximo – a Latin American fusion restaurant with dishes from Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico. I had an outstanding brunch plate of carnitas over Eggs Benedict with South American cornbread, a slightly sweeter version than the American version.

The Carnitas Eggs Benedict over sweet cornbread may have been the best meal on the Fort Wayne trip. (Photo: MadFriars)

Also, make sure you make a visit next to Proximo and go inside DeBrand Fine Chocolates for Indiana’s version of California’s See’s Candies.

If you are looking for coffee and something healthy, which isn’t always easy in Fort Wayne, try Fortezza Coffee – great coffee, smoothie options and some small vegetarian options.

Finally, if you happen to be staying downtown, go to the Historic Farmer’s Market on West Main Street. It offers a wide variety of goods, but might be best known for its local version of cinnamon rolls.

The Summit City has some great food options, just maybe not the best place for a diet.

Next Trip:  The Mexican food mecca of El Paso is next on the travel agenda, where MadFriars’ contributor, photographer Jorge Salgado has promised we will not be disappointed.

Posted by John Conniff

John grew up in Poway and has written for MadFriars since 2004. He has written articles for Baseball America, FoxSports San Diego, the El Paso Times, San Antonio Express-News, Amarillo Globe-News, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and Pacific Daily News in addition to appearing on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He can also break down the best places to eat for all five of the affiliates. There is no best place to eat in Peoria, Arizona.

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