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The Dish

File | The Journal Gazette
New pricing begins Monday at Shigs in Pit, 2008 Fairfield Ave.

Rising costs force price hikes at 2 barbecue joints

– “It’s been absolutely terrible the past few months.”

Todd Dennis, who owns Ziffle’s Rib Bar with his wife, has always believed that one of the keys to restaurant success is offering value. It’s been a bit harder to do that, though, as the barbecue restaurant at 6340 E. State Blvd. has faced increasing prices for commodities – beef, pork and dairy.

In fact, cattle and hog futures reached record highs last month. According to Bloomberg, beef is up after the U.S. cattle herd started 2014 at the smallest number in 63 years, following years of drought and high feed costs. Pork gained as a raging virus that kills piglets spread to 28 states.

Dennis says he has watched increase after increase on his food orders. Rather than switching to a different quality of meat, Ziffle’s raised prices for the first time in two years.

Shigs in Pit, 2008 Fairfield Ave., announced that it will also be raising menu prices as a result of increased costs.

“We chose to take this route rather than to reduce our generous portions and quality of our homemade food and smoked meats,” management wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

The new pricing begins Monday.

Mother’s Day specials

There are two things I want for Mother’s Day – to go for a gloriously quiet run by myself and to refuel with a breakfast I don’t have to cook myself (and doesn’t come out of the freezer aisle at Kroger). Preferably, I’d also be sitting alfresco with a mimosa in my hand.

But I’m not picky.

For people looking to spoil Mom, restaurants are beginning to announce events for May 11:

Oyster Bar, 1830 S. Calhoun St., is hosting a champagne brunch that will feature a special menu of brunch items, lunch offerings and dinner features. It will be served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 744-9490 for reservations.

Hotel Fort Wayne, 305 E. Washington Center Road, will have a buffet from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Marquis Ballroom. A carving station will feature apricot-glazed pork loin and beef sirloin; a seafood display will have Red River smoked salmon and chilled shrimp. There will be stations with entrées, vegetables, salads, breads and pastries, as well as dessert. Cost is $35 for adults, $25 for seniors and $10 for ages 5 to 12; and 4 and younger eat free. For reservations, call 484-0411, ext. 310.

Potawatomi Inn, at Pokagon State Park in Angola, is serving a brunch, which will feature a variety of salads, roasted tomato and basil bisque, carved Baron of Beef and smoked ham, made-to-order pasta, and spinach and feta quiche. There will be assorted side dishes and desserts. The cost is $23.95 for adults, $19.95 for ages 65 and older and $9.95 for ages 4 to 10. For reservations, call 260-833-1077.

DeBrand fundraiser

After traveling to India and visiting the Home of Love in Alamathi last month, DeBrand Fine Chocolates founder Cathy Brand-Beere was inspired to spread the word about the wonderful girls she and her family met.

“Unfortunately, girls in India are not always valued, and in some cases, they are abandoned or killed simply because their families cannot afford to take care of a girl,” Brand-Beere says.

The Home of Love is able to step in to provide a loving home and educational school for nearly 100 girls who have nowhere else to turn. Currently, the girls sleep on bamboo mats on a concrete floor, but the home is in the process of building a dormitory with beds.

DeBrand has set aside two days to help the Home of Love raise money for a second dormitory. Fifty percent of all DeBrand purchases made in stores and online Sunday and Monday will be donated directly to the Home of Love.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email or call 461-8462.