Out To Lunch Diving Divas Visit La Hacienda

Bar managerMargaritasHow do you set your Mexican restaurant apart from the others? How about a tequila bar with 79 distinct tequilas, most 100% agave, differentiated by age and processing! Tequila tastings are now a thing in this town.  The Dining Divas, plus intern Bryce, decided to try the made-from-scratch margaritas upon the recommendation of bar manager Braden. Margy tried the mango margarita which was sweet and fruity, lovely to look at, and garnished with orange instead of lime.  “Refreshing!”  Bev and Bryce went the classic route with the house margarita on the rocks.  “Really good!” Kay had the frozen Texas margarita which differed from the house version by addition of a higher end Triple Sec.  “Yum!”  Jo passed–someone has to keep order!

Manager Juan Carlos Fuentes-Milan reported that this West Lafayette location is the seventh La Hacienda; the others are in greater Indianapolis.  Proximity to Purdue made this the perfect spot to try out their first tequila bar.

Out to Lunch GroupWe enjoyed chips with salsa, guacamole, and queso, all with a nice kick, with our margaritas.

The décor is wildly festive and chock full of custom-made benches and tables. The owners saved the beautiful hand-made tiles that were part of an earlier restaurant on site.  We ate in the bar which boasts 5 televisions and Braden was very helpful to us in making our selections. Our food came out quickly after we ordered, making this a good choice for working people with limited time.

Quesadilla Del Mar

Quesadilla Del Mar

Kay, our seafood specialist, had quesadilla del mar ($10.99) with guacamole salad.  This consisted of a generous portion of shrimp, scallops, crab, cheese, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms stuffed into a large flour tortilla with queso on top.  She was pleased that there was lots of seafood, perfectly grilled, and a large portion of guacamole, tomatoes, and lettuce on the side.  Kay says, “I’d happily have this again!  La Hacienda has a large selection of seafood on the menu and they are justifiably proud of their seafood dishes.”

Bev had arroz texano ($10.99), a combination of steak, grilled chicken, shrimp, and rice.  The steak and chicken were tender and the shrimp were fatties.  This was a substantial meal so some of it went into a to-go box and provided lunch the next day.arroz texano

Jo’s vegetarian fajitas ($11.99) were an ideal meal for a vegetarian low-carb diet– a hard to find commodity.  Grilled mixed vegetables were served with tortillas, guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo.  Jo loves hot vegetable salads, so mixed the fajitas and salad for a perfect meal.

Veggie Fajitas

Veggie Fajitas

Bryce ordered tacos de carnitas, which were 3 corn tortillas stuffed with shredded pork served with pico de gallo and rice.  Bryce declared them really good, very fresh. He said, “Carnitas are often dry, but these aren’t! And the pico has a nice kick.”

Veggie tacos and enchiladas

Veggie tacos and enchiladas

Margy’s combination #1 ($8.99) consisted of one taco and 2 enchiladas, all vegetarian, served with beans and rice.  This dish was good, familiar and not too hot.  It would be a good choice for someone who doesn’t like spicy food.

Manager Juan Carlos says business has been brisk since La Hacienda opened at this site and judging from our experience, we’re not surprised.  If you stand in the middle of Howard Street (which we don’t really recommend), you can hear the music of Mexico coming from La Hacienda and the music of Ireland coming from Nine Irish Brothers. And then you know you must be in West Lafayette—the home of great food from around the world!

The Dining Divas; Out to Lunch on the Road Less Traveled consist of:

Kay Conner, photographer, seafood superstar
Margy Deverall, author of Lafayette articles, dedicated vegetarian
Beverly Shaw, author of West Lafayette articles, bring on the beef (or chicken or pork)
Jo Wade, founder of this food blog, very veggie

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Fun Facts About Lafayette-West Lafayette

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart

What is the most unique, fun fact you know about Lafayette-West Lafayette? Any interesting story you know that most people do not?  Please share as we love to learn about all the one of a kind stories there are about our area.

Check out the “Fun Facts” we have gathered that may be a surprise to you!

  • Did you know that Amelia Earhart prepared her plane for her last around the world flight at the Purdue University Airport? She was working at Purdue as a visiting career counselor for women at the time.
  • Buzz Aldrin on Moon

    Buzz Aldrin on Moon

    Did you know that the first (Neil Armstrong) and the last astronaut (Eugene Cernan) on the moon were both Purdue graduates? There are also 22 other Purdue alumni who are astronauts.

  • Did you know that Axl Rose, (born William Bruce Rose, Jr.), an American singer-songwriter, musician and lead vocalist for the hard rock 1980s band Guns N’ Roses, was born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana?
  • Did you know that one of the greatest clowns of all time, Emmett Kelly and his persona of “Weary Willie”, choose to call Lafayette his hometown?
  • Triple XXX

    What is better than a bacon cheeseburger and onion rings?

    Indiana’s Oldest Drive-In: Since 1929, West Lafayette’s Triple XXX (named for the house brand of root beer) has been serving up the best old-fashioned burgers and fries around. Featured on Guy Fieri’s Food Network series Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

  • Did you know that Indiana’s oldest bar is right here in Lafayette? Established in 1835 as the “Cherry Wood Bar” of the Lahr Luxury Hotel, and issued Indiana’s first liquor license. The “Cherry Wood Bar” was later renamed the Knickerbocker Saloon in 1874 when the areas first player piano was introduced. The Knickerbocker boasts a guest list including; President Grant, Mark Twain, Al Capone and even Neil Armstrong (though rumored not much of a drinker).
  • Did you know that Kermit the Frog was named after a Purdue professor of philosophy who was a childhood friend of Jim Henson?
  • Did you know that Sydney Pollack, an Academy Award-winning director, producer, actor, writer and public figure, who directed and produced over 40 films was born in Lafayette, Indiana? Sydney Irwin Pollack (July 1, 1934 – May 26, 2008)
  • Did you know that the Wabash & Erie Canal that passed through Lafayette was the second largest canal in the world? The only one longer was the Grand Canal of China.
  • Did you know that Annie Ellsworth sent the first telegraph message of “What hath God wrought?” at the request of Samuel Morse and then moved to Lafayette the next year?

Again, please share or comment on any fun fact you know about our community! For more information about Lafayette-West Lafayette, please visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

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Weekend Update: Beers Across the Wabash and Uptown Jazz & Blues

Weekend Update! Looking for a fun Indiana weekend getaway? Or do you live in this area and are looking for entertainment close by?  This is the weekend we have been waiting for in Lafayette-West Lafayette because it is full of exciting, entertaining festivals that will bring joy and laughter to so many people.

Beers Across the Wabash

Beers Across the Wabash

Join in the festive fun during the 4th Annual Beers Across the Wabash taking place from 1-6pm at the John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge on Saturday, August 27. In addition to delicious ales & lagers and one of the finest beer festival settings in the Midwest, admission includes a commemorative sample cup along with homebrewing information and demonstrations from Tippecanoe Homebrewers Circle and Homebrewing Organization of Purdue Students.  On-site food service will also be available for purchase from D&R Catering; Styx and Stones Wood Fired Pizza and The Lafayette Optimist Club. (Must be 21 or older.)

Uptown Jazz & Blues Festival

Uptown Jazz & Blues Festival

The day isn’t complete without putting on your dancing shoes and heading a few blocks east of the John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge to the Uptown Jazz & Blues Festival.  From 5pm to midnight, local, regional and national touring acts will perform on 3 different stages, and local breweries and eateries will be serving their special signature items.  The night is filled with laughter and a sense of great happiness as visitors enjoy the serenity of lovely music, camaraderie with others, and delicious food.

For more information about these events and other special “happenings” in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

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Get Outdoors Blog Contest Winner 2016

Get Outside Prestart 2We have the winner of our “Get Outdoors Contest 2016″ worth over $500! Congratulations to Laurie from Kewaunee, Wisconsin.

She shares, “Wow!! Thank you so much!  I am beyond excited; I’m ecstatic! I remember when I entered this contest, I was thinking it would be awesome to win, as I love the West Lafayette/Lafayette area. I never thought I’d actually win, so this has really made my day! We’ve been coming here to visit for the past 7 summers, and we always have a very memorable time. I know there’s much we haven’t gotten to see and do yet. One of the things I wanted to do this summer and didn’t get to is the Wolf Park, so I’m thrilled about having the opportunity to do so.  I definitely would be more than happy to share our experiences. Thank you again!  We can’t wait to come back”

Thanks to all who participated in this latest contest! Stay tuned for our next big contest/package we will be hosting in September, 2016. The theme will be “Taste of Lafayette-West Lafayette.”

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Specialty Hand Crafted Indiana Brews & Wines

Wildcat Winery

Wildcat Winery

Specialty Hand Crafted Indiana Brews & Wines; Good Local Owners; One Great Brewing & Winery Destination!  Lafayette-West Lafayette is home to 2 local breweries, Lafayette Brewing Company and People’s Brewing Company and one winery, Wildcat Creek Winery.  Come and spend the day enjoying a taste of Indiana brewed beer and wine at these three fun locations.

Lafayette Brew Co.

Lafayette Brew Co.

Located in a historic, turn-of-the-century building at 622 Main Street, the Lafayette Brewing Company has been serving fresh, handcrafted ales brewed in the Old World tradition since 1993.  Lafayette Brewing Co. ales are produced from only the finest malted barley, generous amounts of fresh hops, water and specially selected ale yeasts. The end result is a wide selection of unfiltered, unpasteurized ales in a variety of classic beer styles.  Lafayette Brewing Co. award-winning ales can be enjoyed at the peak of freshness directly from the serving tanks and make the perfect complement to the tasty pub fare in their restaurant.  Local entertainment including live music and comedic acts take place all year long offering visitors a true local experience.

People’s Brewing Company is a hidden gem in Lafayette-West Lafayette. Guests pull up to what is an old loading dock, and within its space is a fun, relaxed bar where locals and visitors enjoy a fresh brew while sharing their day’s stories.  People’s offers free tours Wednesday through Friday by appointment and Saturday and Sunday every half hour.  Taste a “sample set” of their diverse selection of beers for an overall flavor of the types of beer they brew.  People’s has also expanded their space and added an additional room for visitors to enjoy. If you can’t make it to the local tasting room, try one of their beers on tap at some of our local restaurants; Chumley’s, Black Sparrow, Bistro 501, Spurlocks and many more.

IMG_0782

Wildcat Winery Pix 2009.10JPGWhat is better than enjoying a glass of wine? Nothing!  Well, there may be one thing that is better; sampling multiple wines!  Local winery, Wildcat Creek Winery, offers rich, piercing wines that are available for tasting and purchasing.  When visitors arrive, they are welcomed through the beauty of the outdoor space. Luscious flowers, deep green grass, and a cute small home recreated into a winery greet you. It is almost as if one can smell the wine outside. Once guests arrive within the winery, they are welcomed by the workers to taste their locally made wines in the tasting room that hosts a large wood bar and brick fireplace. Their wines range from medium bodied reds to semi-dry, full-bodied wines. A local favorite, Lafayette Blush, is a wine that is light and fruity and perfect in the spring and summer to refresh the senses. Visitors are welcome to purchase a glass to enjoy outside in their comfortable lounge chairs overlooking the meadow and woods.  Wine tasting is a fun adventure, so do not miss this winery on your next visit to Lafayette-West Lafayette.

For more information about these specialty breweries and winery visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

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Weekend Update: Summer Potters Market & Haan Mansion Tours

Arts Galore! Lafayette-West Lafayette Weekend Update! Looking for a fun Indiana weekend getaway? Or do you live in this area and are looking for entertainment close by? Check out the endless possibilities for fun events happening this upcoming weekend in or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

Celebrate art while browsing and shopping at the Summer Potters Market on Saturday, August 20 at the YWCA. Explore handmade pottery by local clay artists. Art pieces include functional, sculptural, traditional, contemporary, stoneware, porcelain, earthenware, and more! Have fun!

Haan Mansion

Haan Mansion

Art and history come alive this weekend during the Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Tours on August 20 and 21. The Haan Museum is housed in an impressive Classical Revival mansion that served as the Connecticut Building at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, with many hand carved components taken from a 1760 mansion from Norwich, CT. The Museum features massive museum-quality American antiques and an exceptional collection of paintings by important Indiana artists, including some of the finest works by TC Steele and other Hoosier Group members. Important items from the Fair include three Weller vases ranging from 53″ to 81″, the largest of which won the Gold Medal for the Arts at the Fair. Limited tour size allows guests to visit each room and hear about the mansion and its contents.

For more information about these events and other special “happenings” in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

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Downtown Dine: Spurlock’s Offers Burgers, Drinks, & More

Looking for a great burger, drink, onion rings and more?  Visitor Information Specialist, Marlene, shares thoughts on her visit(s) to this restaurant and pub.

Spurlock’s is located at 721 Main Street in downtown Lafayette. It is in the perfect location if you are walking around the downtown area and want to stop in for lunch, dinner, or just a drink. It’s a small restaurant/bar and it has good food and excellent service.  When you walk into Spurlock’s, it is welcoming. You are invited to choose a seat anywhere you like.

The menu has something for everyone including different flavors of wings, starters, salads, steaks, seafood, pasta, burgers, wraps, sandwiches, and soups. The fried cheese cubes with marinara are one of my favorites.

I love burgers with blue cheese, so needless to say I ordered the Ol’ Blue Burger with a side of handmade potatophoto-9 chips. We also ordered the Black & Gold burger with onion rings. The bartender mentioned that they have the best onion rings in town and I certainly agree.

The prices at Spurlock’s are very reasonable. We were able to have dinner for two for well under $20.  They have $5 daily specials Monday thru Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. They also have a full bar with a nice drink selection.

photo-11For more information about this restaurant and more in Lafayette-West Lafayette visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

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Get Outside & Explore Lafayette-West Lafayette Contest Details

Celery Bog Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, has 7 fabulously fun contests this year.  The current contest features going outdoors and exploring our wonderful cities.  The competition started on Monday, August 8, and we want to share why each business who has donated to these packages is so great!

  • Marriott Towneplace Suites: This hotel offers suites with fully equipped kitchens, an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center, complimentary hots breakfasts and an “In a Pinch” Market with Snacks.
  • Prophetstown State Park: Indiana’s newest state park offers hiking and biking trails, campgrounds, and the farm at Prophetstown where guests can learn about sustainable agriculture, gardening, canning, as well as farm-to-table cooking, sewing and quilting
  • Grateful Heart Gallery & Gifts: 5 artists have joined together their one-of-a-kind art and fine hand-crafted gifts in one gallery for visitors to admire and purchase.
  • Wolf Park: This park offers guests an opportunity to see and visit not only wolves and see how they live, but bison, coyotes, and foxes!
  • Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art: Not only can you find a museum full of Indiana art, but a highly rated mountain bike trail on the grounds. This 7 mile single-track trail has rocks, ledges, bridges, whoop-de-dos, benched areas, drop offs, ramps, and other features.
  • Farm at Prophetstown: Home to chickens, pigs, cows, horses and more, this farm will bring smiles to your face and enjoyment for all.
  • Lafayette Symphony Orchestra: Be swept way on a musical adventure when you attend a lovely performance by this local group of musicians.
  • Monster Mini Golf: Experience 18 holes of fun filled monster mini golf along with arcade games, glow-in-the-dark air hockey table and ticket redemption games such as Ice Ball.
  • Arrowhead Bowl: Bowlers will find great bowling and family fun in a smoke free environment.
  • Arni’s: This local restaurant is a staple in the Lafayette area.  This restaurant which offers pizza, sandwiches, salads and more has been serving the community since 1965.
  • Kathy’s Kandies: Local chocolatier, Kathy, creates homemade truffles, gourmet popcorn, cakes, toffee, shakes and smoothies, licorice, and artisan chocolates!
  • Sgt. Preston’s: Home to a fabulous outdoor patio, this bar offers monthly lunch and dinner specials and live music can usually be heard every Saturday night.  (Please note this bar is 21 and older.)
  • Jane’s Gourmet: This little deli restaurant is serving up homemade soups, sandwiches, sides and more.  Recommend the Farmhouse Ham and Brie with Stonewall Farmhouse Chutney…delicious!
  • Digby’s Pub: Grab a seat on the patio and check out their menu that has something for everyone. From Velveeta loaded French fries to duck egg rolls, the options are interesting.
  • Greyhouse Coffee: This small coffee shop in the heart of Chauncey Village offers crepes, espresso drinks, coffee, gelato, pastries and retail.

Go to www.homeofpurdueblog.com to sign up! Entries will be accepted through Monday, August 15. The winner will be announced via social media after they have been notified. And stay tuned to our next social media contest coming in September – the theme is food!

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Weekend Update: Old Settlers Day & Mosey Down Main Street

Wabash & Erie Canal

Wabash & Erie Canal

Lafayette-West Lafayette Weekend Update! Looking for a fun Indiana weekend getaway? Or do you live in this area and are looking for entertainment close by? Check out the endless possibilities for fun events happening this upcoming weekend in or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

Take a step back in time and revisit the days of the early settlers at the Wabash & Erie Canal this Saturday, August 13 during Old Settlers Day.  Experience history, adventure and pure summer fun at the Wabash and Erie Canal Interpretive Center. This attraction, 20 minutes north east of Lafayette-West Lafayette, offers an adventure for the whole family. Tour the museum, ride the canal boat, hike the 10-mile trail system, and explore the pioneer village.

Saturday evening from 6-10pm, join in family fun at Mosey Down Main Street, a series of street celebrations brought to you by the local artistic community. Volunteers, downtown business owners, artists and musicians come together once a month from May through September to offer a free family friendly event that takes place right down the center of Main Street in downtown Lafayette. Enjoy three stages of music, outdoor food, beer and wine sales as well as street performers, sidewalk chalk and handmade Hula hoops, Drum circles and DJ’s, belly dancers, balloon animals and more.

For more information about these events and other special “happenings” in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

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