This is the fifth and final post in Green Light’s Summer Food Series, featuring area eateries with an Ivy Tech Northeast connection. Last time, we featured Glenda Hinton at teds market.
Who: Michelle Aschliman, Central City Café’s manager and pastry chef, graduated from Ivy Tech Northeast’s Hospitality Administration program in spring 2012 with a concentration in pastry arts.
What: Central City Cafe (620 S. Calhoun St.) is a trendy and industrial-style café located in the growing heart of downtown Fort Wayne. It has a wide range of sandwiches, soups, and made-to-order flatbread pizzas. It also has a 14-foot salad bar accompanied by a variety of house-made desserts. The restaurant’s specialty is baklava and pecan pie, which are offered daily. There is a rotating dessert menu that includes a gluten-free option as well as surprises like German chocolate cake and strawberry mousse.
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How: The café opened last July with desserts made by the chefs instead of pastry cooks. The chefs quickly realized deserts weren’t their specialty, so they hired Aschliman in August for 10 to 15 hours a week doing pastries. Since then, Aschliman continued to delight customers with her offerings and was eventually promoted to full-time manager and pastry chef. Her favorite thing about working at the café is the freedom to create whatever desserts she wants, she says. The dessert menu changes so often that her possibilities and creativity are endless.
Try this: Aschliman says she loves working at Central City Café, and her favorite sandwich is the Southwest Turkey, which has sliced turkey, provolone cheese, chipotle aioli, spinach, and black bean corn relish on sourdough bread. She also had never been a fan of Reubens until she tried Central City’s sandwich. The corned beef brisket is slow roasted in-house and is the best in Fort Wayne, she says. The pecan pie, which is Aschliman’s recipe, is a must-have: The Journal Gazette’s food critic chose it as the Best Pecan Pie of 2014.
Don’t miss: The café stays open until 8 p.m. on Thursday and Fridays for live music with musicians from around the city. Central City serves beer and wine and also has a selection of carry-out brews if you need a six-pack for the road.
Green Light will take a break during finals week and until fall semester starts up again. Enjoy the rest of your summer!