Food discounts are in the cards


The 10 of Hearts is Maumee Wines and Bistro.

The 7 of Clubs is Dale's Bar and Grill. The 6 of Diamonds is Sakura, and the 6 of Hearts is Home Slice Pizza.

Foodie Cards is a full deck of cards, and each card is a coupon worth $10 off a meal at a host of participating restaurants (depending on the restaurant, your party has to make a minimum purchase of $30 or $40 or so). Meanwhile, you can also play cards with the deck — but only until you start using them as coupons.

Everyone knows you can't play Solitaire with 51 cards. Unless the missing card is one of the 2s. Then you can.

The cards drive business to the participating restaurants, and customers might try new places because of the discount they receive. And they are fun to play with: The Ace of Spades, you may be interested to know, is for Charlie's Homemade Pizza and Italian Cuisine in Sylvania. Why did they get the Ace of Spades? Because they asked for it first.

Each deck has 54 cards, a standard deck plus two jokers. The jokers are taken by the FunnyBone Comedy Club and its host restaurant, Fat Fish Blue.

The decks cost $20, and have the potential to save you a total of $540. Until recently, Foodie Cards were only available at local fund raisers and online at But now they are gearing up for the holiday season, and you can find them at the University of Toledo Credit Union, Costume Holiday House, the Libbey Glass outlet, Kahuna Bay Spray Tan, the In & Out Mart in Sylvania, 2 B Mobile wireless phone stores, and the newest location, a kiosk in the food court at Franklin Park Mall.

Or as Foodie Card's Gary Ross calls it, the Foodie Court.

Keep on truckin'

For a while — years, actually — it looked as if the food truck craze was going to pass us by. And if you are asking "what food truck craze?" right now, that would sort of prove it.

But all good fads eventually make their way here. Word has been getting out about a number of trucks newly hitting the streets, and the parking spots, of the region, bringing fresh-cooked food to hungry and happy customers.

So far, they have been taco trucks and barbecue and the like. But recently, one of Toledo's best-known restaurants has joined in on the restaurantless restaurant bandwagon.

From 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Rosie's Italian Grille will have a truck downtown, in front of the Toledo Edison Building (the building's address is 300 Madison Ave., but the truck will be on the St. Clair Street side).

The truck will serve a smaller version of the restaurant's regular menu, including many of the favorites. Gourmet lobster mac and cheese, for instance, is available, along with a meal of three lamb chops with marinated, grilled Brussels sprouts. Paninis and subs will be served, and because it is an Italian food truck, so too will pizzas and pasta.

Desserts include cookies and carrot cake cupcakes.

Wine time

When you think about Portuguese wine, which we're guessing you don't do too often, you probably think about Port.

But there is more to Portuguese wine than Port (and Madeira). There are blended wines galore, from oak-barreled whites to big, rustic reds.

Many of these wines will be featured at a Portuguese wine dinner Monday — yes, tomorrow — at Registry Bistro. The wines will be chosen specifically to accompany a seven-course meal. We do not know what will be served, but the hip restaurant specializes in modern American cuisine.

Dinner begins at 6 p.m., and it costs $70 per person, not including tax and tips. Seating is limited, so reservations are required (or at least highly recommended). For reservations or information, call 419-725-0444.

Registry Bistro is at 144 N. Superior St.

Lunch time

Americans who go out to eat for lunch, go out an average of nearly twice each week, according to a survey by Visa. They spend $10 per outing, which averages out to $18 per week, or $936 per year.

Men go out to eat lunch more often than women, the survey showed, and spend a total of 44 percent more ($15 per week for women, $21 per week for men).

Thirty percent of those surveyed say they do not buy lunch out at all. One percent — and let's just go ahead and call them the 1 percent — spend an average of more than $50 per lunch.

We Midwesterns go out for lunch 1.7 times per week, and when we do, we are the most frugal, averaging just $8.90 per meal. In the northeast, they rack up average bills of $11.40 per meal, but they go out a little less than we do, 1.5 times per week.

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