Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Tropic Chicken, el Azteca melding well

Hoppy Gnome sets Spanish dinner; Dunkin Donuts coming downtown?; Rusty’s marks 2nd year

The union of el Azteca and Tropic Chicken is going smoothly.
Dean Jackson

Dean Jackson

Whatzup Features Writer

Published May 17, 2023

I must make a confession. Before last week, I didn’t know the difference between a torta and a tortoise. After visiting a local Mexican restaurant, I can tell you at least one of them is very tasty. 

Last week, I stepped into el Azteca to see for myself how the new and improved mash-up with Tropic Chicken was going. 

From my vantage point, it’s seamless. 

For the present, it operates as two restaurants in one — the casual Tex-Mex sit-down dinners long associated with el Azteca and the quick-serve taquería of Tropic Chicken.

On my visit, I crept in and found my way to a corner table just after the fading dinner rush.

Some of the staff had Tropic Chicken shirts. They used two unique menus, so be sure to ask for both.

I was told the final menu is a work in progress. They are aiming for a finalized slate by June, if not sooner. 

Staff said some items, only a few, will drop off the menu. But not to worry, it’s more of a housekeeping thing. They are making it more efficient to streamline the operation.

That’s where the torta comes in. I’ll call it a sandwich packed with meat and vegetables. I ordered the steak torta with mayonnaise, lettuce, avocado, and tomatoes. 

Proteins ranged from the familiar with steak, ham, and chicken and expanded to traditional meats like saudero (similar to flank steak), chorizo, spit-roasted pastor, and the unique lengua (tongue) and milanesa. I held off on the lengua … for now.

Of course, all of this is stuffed into the torta bread, a thick, crusty slightly sweet panini-like sandwich shell.

I can’t wait to experiment with the new flavors and how the culinary dust settles at the new el Azteca. 

From what I can tell, the synergy will open up a new universe of options. 

I’ll check back soon with an update.

Don’t miss Japanese dishes at Cherry Blossom

As you check out the vendors and cosplayers at the Cherry Blossom Festival from noon-6 p.m. on Sunday, May 21, at Purdue Fort Wayne’s Walb Union, be sure to swing by its Taste of Japan. 

There, you can enjoy sushi, yakitori, gyoza dango, curry, yakisoba, ramen, teriyaki fried rice, and donburi. Japanese drinks and ice cream are available, too. 

Hoppy Gnome offering trip to Spain

On Tuesday, May 23, The Hoppy Gnome is taking their menu across the Atlantic as they host a Night in Southeast Spain.

Your $60 ticket includes four tapas courses and a specialty cocktail.

Dunkin Donuts eyes downtown location

A plan to add a new doughnut shop to downtown Fort Wayne is working its way through Allen County Plan Commission. 

The proposal would put a Dunkin Donuts at 1117  S. Clinton St., just south of the Subway at the corner of South Clinton and East Jefferson Boulevard. 

Rusty’s Ice Cream marks two years

Celebrations often include ice cream, and the definitely happened when Rusty’s Ice Cream in the White Swan Plaza marked its second anniversary on Saturday, May 13, with a 1980s-themed party, complete with a DeLorean as seen in Back to the Future.

Chimney Cakes adds savory option

For months, Chimney Cakes, the Romanian-Hungarian pastry shop at 1202 W. Main St., has captured the attention of the area with the sweet-rolled goodness at its new shop. Now we’ve gotten word of a new item: Turkey Hummus Panini. 

Off the Eaten Path is the Whatzup weekly column that covers Northeast Indiana’s restaurant and food news. Send your news items to


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