Amber Recker

Adam Garland / for WBOI News

What defines a good night out for you? For me, it’s great friends, fantastic food, and more recently, a preciously crafted cocktail.

Historically, the last in this list has been difficult to find in our region. Fort Wayne was a city of banal concoctions—Jack ‘n Coke, Vodka n’ anything, and premixed martinis and margaritas dominate the bar scene. Enter the age of the craft cocktail.

Summer Sizzle: The Fort's Best Burgers

Jul 10, 2014
Amber Recker / for WBOI News

Nothing says summer like a big, juicy burger. So in honor of this warm-weather staple, I set out to find the Fort’s best.

After a heated debate on various social media networks and tallying over one hundred votes, the top six restaurants emerged.

Ranked: The Fort’s Tastiest Wings

Jun 4, 2014
Amber Recker / for WBOI News

For years, I’ve listened to people debate about which Fort Wayne restaurant serves the best wings, so I did some crowdsourcing to identify the top spots and set out to try them myself. Based on hundreds of responses on Twitter and Facebook, I narrowed the list to the most popular five.

So which place do I think has the best wings? Here are my reviews.

Vietnamese Cuisine Shines In the Summit City

May 8, 2014
Amber Recker / For WBOI News

I’ll never forget the first time I experienced Pho (pronounced “fuh,” like fun without the n), a traditional Vietnamese soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, spices, and meat. My husband and I had wandered into Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant located on South Calhoun, and asked the waitress for a recommendation. She directed us to the Pho section of the menu, and it changed our lives—I am not exaggerating.

Culinary School Enriches Fort Wayne's Food Culture

Apr 18, 2014
Amber Recker

Establishing a strong local food culture has been on my radar for years, and based on the increasing prevalence of locally-owned restaurants and other food-related businesses, our region is gaining momentum.

Many factors contribute to our growing local food economy, and since the 1980s, Ivy Tech has been a big one. Through its Hospitality Administration Department, it offers the area’s only culinary program, providing students an opportunity to study culinary, baking, and pastry arts, and it has been churning out talent.

Amber Recker / For WBOI News

The locavore movement is starting to take hold in Northeast Indiana, as is evident by the growing popularity of farmers markets. We want to know where our food is grown and raised. When you buy produce from the grocery store, you don’t know where or by whom it was grown.

Amber Recker

Since moving to Fort Wayne in 2002, I’ve witnessed a revolution in dining options. I will never forget the first time I rolled into town. I was greeted by an onslaught of chain restaurants lining the city’s major corridors. At first glance, there weren’t a lot of choices for ethnic foods either.

To say I was underwhelmed is an understatement. But, after discovering some of the culinary gems hidden in out-of-the-way neighborhoods, I became hopeful that a movement towards locally established restaurants would take hold.