Caliente Restaurant’s Authentic Cuban Food Gains Rapid Following

Caliente Restaurant seeks to teach its customers Spanish words on daily basis.

Caliente Restaurant seeks to teach its customers Spanish words on daily basis.

One of the joys of writing is doing restaurant reviews for travel-oriented publications. Here is a review published on the Fort Wayne Insider blog in 2013. Dozens more of my blog posts about entertainment and fun experiences in Fort Wayne are published here:

My first experience with Caliente Restaurant, which may be the only place in Fort Wayne that serves Cuban food, was a strange one. After listening to my friends rave about this small café located next to Park Center on East State Blvd, my husband and I decided to check it out one Saturday after doing errands. It was 5:00 pm so well within their advertised hours of operation.

Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed. “We ran out of food at 3pm!” a man who was sweeping inside shouted through the door.

Now I’ve heard of restaurants having to close early in countries like Cuba, for example, where food is rationed. But I’ve not heard of it happening often in the United States.

Thankfully, I know now why the owners ran out of stock. I decided to give the restaurant another chance and returned a week later (but earlier in the day!) to eat a meal of hot bean soup, plantanos (fried mashed bananas), and a Cuban sandwich. Total cost—under $10.

Imagine how good this soup tasted on a bitterly cold winter's day!

Imagine how good this soup tasted on a bitterly cold winter’s day!

My, but it was bueno! I know now from the delicious tastes and steady stream of customers who came into the restaurant why the owners, Gustavo and Yalili Rodriguez, had run out of food. It was not due to rationing but because their food is so great tasting!

Seriously, the steam rising from the black bean soup was a comfort to see as outside the temps were well below freezing. It tasted slightly tangy but not too hot. I don’t like jalapenos and didn’t want them in the soup or on my sandwich.

Have I said how yummy my first Cuban sandwich was? After hearing about Cuban sandwiches for years, I finally ate one—actually I could only eat half because it was so big and took the other half home. It was traditionally made on special Cuban bread and spread with a special sauce, turkey, cheese, thin slice of beef and a dill pickle slice. The sandwich is then smushed together with a special Cuban sandwich machine.

I’m not much of a pickle eater but the tang from the pickle as it melded with the cheese and meats was delicate and refreshing.

And the plantanos – I could have used a little bit of a seasoning on them, but they were an interesting addition and one I’d recommend. There is only one in the photo because I could not wait to try one before snapping the shot.

The décor is simple but clean and interesting. A small board lists the word for the day. On the day I was in it was ‘Delantal’. When I asked Gus what it meant, he pointed to his apron. Cute!

There is a Cuban stamp collection hanging on the wall, along with artwork depicting Cuban culture. Another sign says ‘A different place to warm up your taste.’

I give the owners credit for also establishing an online presence with Facebook and Twitter accounts, a website and email address. They are sure to attract even more business by getting their name out there. Caliente, which means warm in Spanish, is well on its way to becoming a popular place to get a quick, and economical delicious lunch in Fort Wayne.

Caliente Restaurant
1123 E State Blvd
Fort Wayne 46805

M-F 11am-7pm
Sat: 9:30 am – 6:00 pm

Twitter: mycaliente
Facebook: caliente cuban cuisine

Mad Anthony’s Restaurant Serves Fantastic Food and Memories



It was always a desire of mine to be a travel writer. I’ve written travel-related stories for many locales, including Alaska, Florida, Ohio, Indiana. I currently write posts about Fort Wayne (IN) for the . This is a fun way to get to know a city’s best eating /entertainment spots. This restaurant is a family favorite – give it a try! Disclaimer: No one in my family has ever received free food from this restaurant as a result of writing these posts.




Recently, my two grown children and I thought about where to go for lunch in Fort Wayne. We actually only thought for one minute because both of them piped together: “Mad Anthony’s!”


This restaurant on the corner of Broadway and Taylor Streets in Fort Wayne has been a family fave of ours for many years.


We love the funky, retro interior with signage posted everywhere. The walls are covered with maps, bumper stickers, license plates, political posters, and handwritten messages even on the ceiling. A seating area separate from the bar makes it perfect for families with young children to dine. In warm weather outdoor seating on the restaurant’s west side invites customers to enjoy the fresh air.


We usually order a pizza but only if we have at least an hour to sit there because preparation takes approximately 30 minutes. Each time we have ordered a pizza our waiter mentioned this to make sure we knew the length of time it will take. The pizzas are always worth the wait! I love the crusts– this is usually the main factor for me with a pizza, I don’t know why. Plenty of toppings and cheese too. Yum!


Over the years we have also ordered sandwiches and appetizers at Mad Anthony’s. The only type of food we have yet to try is a dessert, but we’re always so stuffed from Mad Anthony’s great entrees, we have no room left for more!


Prices are really reasonable. We ordered a 10-inch pizza, cheese curds appetizer, tilapia sandwich and one cola drink. Cost: $33.00. It was too much food so we had it boxed up and we plan to eat leftovers today.


Service has always been good. When we asked for directions to a destination across town, our waiter came back twice to provide details.


Another time my mother who uses a walker maneuvered easily across the floor and had plenty of room when seated which was helpful. We don’t find those factors at every dining establishment. Mad Anthony’s is a fun, delicious, reasonably-priced place to eat in Fort Wayne. Try it with friends or family.


2002 Broadway
Fort Wayne, IN  46802
(260) 426-2537


 Serves: Gourmet pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, and munchies. Live entertainment, family dining, carryout and catering. Also, in Auburn, Warsaw and Elkhart. Sunday carryout Fort Wayne only.


The End