A Taste of Lafayette-West Lafayette Dining Contest 2015!

A Taste of Lafayette-West Lafayette Dining Contest 2015! Discover why Lafayette-West Lafayette is the best choice for a fabulous weekend that is full of fun entertainment and dining! You can enter to win a weekend getaway worth over $500 to Lafayette-West Lafayette to partake in all our town has to offer! Our local restaurants, hotels, shops, and attractions have donated fun gifts to one special winner. Good luck!

Enter to Win (by answering this question correctly below)!

QUESTION: Arni’s is celebrating a milestone Birthday this year! How many years has Arni’s been in business?

Leave your answer below in the “Leave a Reply.” We will collect all of them and pick a random winner from among the correct answers.

One great winner will win the following package!

Entries will be accepted through Monday, October 12, 2015 at 12pm. A winner will be announced as soon as we have contacted the winner! Leave your reply in the box below and click “Post Comment.” Please note that your answer will show up on your computer, but no one else will see your answer until the contest is over.

If you select “Notify me of follow-up comments by email” you will receive an email for every contest entry. We will be approving and posting ALL of the entries (with your name and answer) at the END of the contest (if you have selected to receive follow-up comments and we receive a lot of entries, make note you will receive an EMAIL for EVERY ENTRY when we approve the answers). By entering, participants release their emails to Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette. Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette will not share or sell your information.

The Dining Divas Visit Town & Gown Bistro

Corn Beef Hash

Corn Beef Hash

The Dining Divas specialize in the road less traveled—meaning we write about the ethnic food opportunities in town. But in this instance, Bev asked (a couple of times) if we might cover The Town & Gown Bistro. “She’s pushy,” said Jo. “She’s quietly and efficiently effective,” countered the others who were also glad to have this chance! Jo let us run with it so put aside your dreams of cuisine from around the world and enjoy some tastes that are closer to home.

Here’s the short version. Homemade corned beef hash. Who does that? Does anyone else in town make their own corned beef? It’s so tender— it practically falls apart under your fork– and the hash is made with a slightly crispy bed of mashed potatoes! You simply must try it. Need we say more? End of article!

But since the Divas include some vegetarians and since there are other delicious menu items, here’s the long version.

Chef Matt with Dining Divas

Chef Matt with Dining Divas

Chef Matt O’Neill was born in Dublin. His international cooking experience took him to Montreal, Chicago, Cincinnati and eventually led him to Indianapolis at La Tour with Wolfgang Puck. Then he moved on to Greencastle where he opened the Walden Inn on the campus of DePauw and got a taste of working for a college crowd and an addiction to flower boxes. He had 88 there! Wanting to continue that experience and finding himself unable to handle retirement, he opened The Runcible Spoon in Bloomington, a funky, eclectic, sunflower-surrounded collapsing bungalow with a menu similar to the one you’ll find at Town & Gown. He’s cooked for Pavarotti, Paul Newman, Gerald Ford, prime ministers from Canada, Israel and England and now, little old us!

1flowers in backHe’s been eyeing the West Lafayette market since 2007 and finally found a place to land at 119 N. River Road. During construction, there was a fire. Televisions melted to the walls but Matt is grateful to the West Lafayette fire fighters who used compressed air foam to subdue the flames leaving less mess than water would have. Eventually, he opened the doors where you’ll find several eating areas including a patio. Town & Gown Bistro recently won the West Lafayette beautification award. Pull around the building and you’ll find yourself surrounded by hundreds of flowers tumbling out of boxes, sunflowers reaching for the sky and herbs used in the cuisine.



That’s just icing on the cake. The reason we go to restaurants is to eat so let’s get back to the food! The chai latte, cappuccino and latte are a great way to start the day for $3.25- $3.50. Great coffee, good foam and a skinny option that tastes fat. We were there for breakfast so Jo ordered the Tex-Mex ranchero omelet, a large fluffy omelet with salsa, sour cream, avocado, cheese, spinach and tomatoes for $7.95. “I kept eating and thinking I should stop but it was so good, I just kept eating,” she said with a satisfied smile.

Margy had the veggie bennie with two eggs, spinach, tomato and an excellent hollandaise sauce on an English muffin. Generous portions are served on beautiful plates. She’s now a regular Town & Gown customer!

5serverKay’s smoked salmon & croissant bennie starts with a tender croissant, split and toasted, then covered with smoked salmon and topped with eggs and a velvety hollandaise. She declared it fabulous. The presentation was beautiful with a twist of orange on top along with paprika and a bit of parsley. The salmon is mild, hollandaise is perfect and it was enough for two. “Being on a croissant instead of an English muffin makes it better than the traditional benedict,” she said. “The croissant was crispy, flaky, yum…” and then she drifted off into a meditative moment.

But the piece de resistance is the corned beef hash. Chef Matt says the corned beef cooks oh so slowly. It’s space intensive and labor intensive which is why most people purchase already prepared corned beef. Bev has had it a dozen times and it’s consistently amazing. The basic hash is $5.60. Add two eggs on top for $2.50 and you have a sensational breakfast that will hold you over until dinner time. Jo’s husband has been on a lifetime quest for the best corned beef hash and he declares he’s found it here.

Biscuits & gravy and bacon!

Biscuits & gravy and bacon!

Don’t miss the bacon! It’s the good, thick stuff. And the pancake covers a plate with its light fluffiness.

We focused on breakfast but Town & Gown Bistro is open for lunch and dinner as well. They do a great job with chicken and pastas. There’s a shrimp linguini in a cream sauce but you can sub marinara if you’d like. The fresh salmon is popular and most dinners include a side of roasted vegetables. “You have to pay attention to the vegetables,” Chef Matt said. “Each one is treated equally like children in a large family. You take care of them all.” That attitude shows since each veggie is done to perfection, then tossed together before landing on your plate. There’s a full bar with really reasonable prices so it’s a fun place to stop by for a drink, too! One great moment this summer for this blogger? A massage in the Village, a walk in the rain to Town & Gown, and a Cosmopolitan at the bar.

Several people have asked about the name which comes from a phrase used in university towns. Town refers to the city and gown (think graduation gown) refers to the university so this is a place where the whole community comes together.

Chai and Cappuccino

Chai and Cappuccino

So, Chef, what’s your favorite menu item? “Smoked salmon on a croissant with a glass of champagne for breakfast.” That’s living!

“I love this lifestyle,” Matt said. “Putting the flowers out here is like putting flowers out at home. This is my home.” We’re glad he’s found a home in West Lafayette!

Next, we head to Fresh City Market to sample their wide array of takeout goodies, especially sushi!

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

Small Bistro With Lots of Character; The Bistro at Courtyard by Marriott

IMG_5920Quietly situated in the lobby of the Courtyard by Marriott in Lafayette, is a small bistro with a lot of character. The Bistro is the stomach behind the hotel. From breakfast to dinner to late night drinks, The Bistro has you covered for almost every meal!

The seasonal breakfast special right now is an egg white frittata. It looks absolutely beautiful to the eye, but is even better once it hits your mouth! With all of the healthy vegetables on top of a fluffy egg white, you couldn’t ask for much more out of a meal to help you get your morning started! Other selections at breakfast time include eggs cooked in many styles, granola and yogurt, as well as smoothies! The best part of breakfast is the Starbucks Coffee! They can make almost any drink imaginable with the Starbucks ingredients!

IMG_4590For dinnertime, guests of the hotel along with the public, can enjoy the wide array of menu items. Starters and shares, soups and salads, and entrees are all included on this concise yet diverse menu. However, the ever-changing desserts are what pull at me the most! So many warm desserts to choose from on any given day cannot be passed up.

The drink menu at The Bistro is also quite inclusive. They serve beer, wine and liquor in the evenings. In addition to the seasonal menu items, The Bistro also has seasonal drink specials. Currently the seasonal drink is a Jameson Cherry Sour. That sounds like the perfect way to cool off on a hot Indiana summer evening!

My absolute favorite part about The Bistro was the outdoor patio. The patio has different types of seating to fit all leisure needs. The fire pit is the perfect place to tell stories while sipping on a summer cocktail. The waterfall and landscape is peaceful, relaxing and Zen. It is a great place to host small gatherings or meet up with a few friends to catch up.

IMG_4592The Courtyard is nearing the end of some major renovations. Additional guest rooms along with a brand-new conference center are being added. The kitchen staff who cook for The Bistro are now going to have a second kitchen space to work their magic. The Bistro will definitely see a positive impact with these additional amenities.

Breakfast is served from 6:30am until 9:30pm. Additionally, The Bistro is open for dinner and drinks from 5:00pm until 10:00pm. Head to The Bistro at the Courtyard by Marriott for something new!

Rachel, Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Intern and Purdue University Student, shares this blog.

Check out Lafayette’s Newest BBQ Restaurant: Crabby Mike’s BBQ

Pulled chicken sandwich and sides!

Pulled chicken sandwich and sides!

Ashley Gregory, Group Tours & Meeting Manager, shares her visit to Crabby Mike’s BBQ.

Located off of Schuyler Avenue in Lafayette, near Interstate 65 and Legacy Sports Center, Crabby Mike’s BBQ is a great place for anyone attending any events at Legacy, traveling through the area or locals just looking for a great place to eat!  This restaurant is fairly new, opening in July of 2015, and it is a great addition to this part of town!

Pulled Pork BBQ

Pulled Pork BBQ

Crabby Mike’s has a variety of items to choose from including wings, rib bits, nachos, BBQ sandwiches of all kinds, loaded potatoes, hot dogs and sausages, soups and of course sides!  With this being my first time visiting Crabby Mike’s, I had to try out their BBQ! We pulled up and immediately saw their smoker out in the parking lot, working away! It smelled great as we got out of the car! My friend and I each got a sandwich and decided to split it. I got the pulled chicken, and she got the pulled pork. The pulled chicken was perfectly juicy and full of flavor! It came without sauce on it, but there are sauces to choose from at the condiment station, although, it was pretty good just by itself. The pulled pork came with a little bit of sauce on it, but again, you could add more if you wanted. It was also juicy and flavorful. We also got mac n’ cheese, green beans and baked beans as our sides. All were delicious! The mac n’ cheese was super cheesy and made a great addition to the BBQ. The green beans were cooked with bacon and onion, that is perfect with BBQ. I’m not sure how the baked beans tasted but my friend ate them all so it must have been good!

IMG_7303I can’t wait to go back and try more of their menu items but especially their super loaded spud! It’s a potato with butter, bacon bits and sour cream, covered with cheddar cheese and your choice of meat (pulled pork, pulled chicken, brisket or sloppy joe!) Definitely not for those dieters out there, but man does that sound good! I’ll for sure add it to our list of take-out places. They also have family packs that include meat and sides based on how many people you have. All the prices are pretty reasonable too! A great place for families to get a delicious well rounded meal!

Be sure to check them out! They are open Monday-Saturday 11am-8pm.  http://www.crabbymikesbbq.com/

A Purdue University Tradition – Triple XXX Root Beer

DSC00692Located halfway up Chauncey Hill, lies a Purdue University tradition. Triple XXX is one of the most historic landmark restaurants in the Lafayette-West Lafayette area. Founded in 1929, Triple XXX is known for their delicious root beer! If you head to their website, you can find the complete history of their root beer which is quite the story!

Opening at 5:30am everyday, you can come to Triple XXX and get one of the best breakfasts in town. It is one of the hardest decisions to choose what I want to eat each time I go! When you walk in, all you will see is one long turning countertop with bar stools to sit in. When it isn’t too crowded, which is rarely, you are welcome to find your own place to sit down. Most other times, you will have to be put on a waiting list to eat and wait outside. Don’t let this scare you away; they get people in and out of there extremely quickly.

IMG_4639The atmosphere at Triple XXX is casual and upbeat. The servers are all super sweet. First, you have to order their famous root beer. It comes served in an ice-cold mug. Next, you have to make the difficult decision of what to order. Since there are so many delicious choices, you’ll realize that you will have to come back again. One of the most famous items is the Duane Purvis All-American Burger. This is a thick burger with peanut butter and lots of other delicious toppings. Definitely a classic.

One thing you should know before you walk in to dine at Triple XXX is that they only take cash! However, there is an ATM inside just in case you forget.

DSC00696Triple XXX is a favorite for locals, Purdue students, and even the Food Network! It was featured on the show Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives hosted by Guy Fieri. Take home a 6 pack of their root beer with you when you leave for only $7.50. I promise, once you experience what Triple XXX has to offer, you will come back again and bring someone new with you!

Purdue University Student and Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Intern, Rachel, shared this blog. For more information about this restaurant and others in the area, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Out to Lunch Dining Divas Visit Mi Cabanita

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

We all know not to judge a book by its cover but does that rule apply to a restaurant? In the case of Mi Cabanita the answer is yes.

Our latest lunch outing took the Dining Divas south of Teal Road to Mi Cabanita, Mexican Taqueria Y Restaurante. If you frequent Yelp or other online review sites, you would know before arriving that the humble exterior and lack of “bells and whistles” décor are no indication of the outstanding food and super friendly staff that await you inside.

My curiosity took me on an online translator to learn that “Taqueria Y Restaurante” means a Mexican restaurant specializing in tacos. Kay and Bev, who both had tacos, gave them rave reviews, so read on!



Owners Jesus and Maria Macias, our charming and friendly hosts, have been serving authentic Mexican cuisine from their location at 2601 Teal Road for over 10 years. With its cozy dining room, able to seat a couple dozen people, and busy take-out business, Mi Cabanita has quietly made a big impression on first time visitors and loyal regulars alike. One online reviewer wrote;

“…If you are looking for Mexican food to make your tummy happy, this IS the place! …”

Not to be upstaged, here’s what the Divas have to say:

Kay had a combination plate with three different tacos: pescada (fish), lengua (beef tongue), and camaron (shrimp). Ranging in price from 1.79 to 2.35 each, served with cilantro, onion, and a lime wedge. Kay’s review, “Very authentic and the flavor is fabulous. It distinguishes the place to have a tongue taco and it was amazingly good. Tender and well-spiced. They were all good but the lengua was my favorite.”

Kay's meal

Kay’s combination plate

Bev ordered carnitas (roast pork) taco for $1.89 and huevos rancheros. “The taco was great! The hot sauces were truly hot– not diluted. Huevos rancheros is one of my favorite dishes and these were well done in a nice sauce. Everything tastes better in a tortilla in my book– and so did these huevos. It was a treat. The tongue taco Kay had and my carnitas showed off the chef’s cooking ability.”

I chose a gordita with cactus instead of meat, with beans, cilantro and cheese, $2.99 and horchata to drink, which tasted homemade. Everything was very good. I’ve never had cactus before; it was very tasty. I was pleasantly surprised with the bun. It looked like a lot of bread in the photo but was just a little thicker than a tortilla, grilled crispy, which made it delicious.Margys goritas with cactus2

Jo had tacos dorados de papa, fried potato tacos served with cabbage, onion, tomato sauce and special hot sauce for $5.89. “It was good. I loved the potato in a crispy tortilla with the sauces on it. The filling was mild and carried the hot sauces well.” Everyone agreed, all three sauces were great (one came specifically with Jo’s tacos.

Mi Cabanita Mexican Taqueria Y Restaurante has a generous menu selection with prices ranging from $1.79 tacos to $13.75 dinners and includes a kids menu. But true to its name, “specializing in tacos”, your filling choices are impressive and include diced steak, steamed or ground beef, Mexican sausage, grilled or roast pork, pork head, chicken, beef tongue, potato, and tripe.

Jo's Meal - tacos dorados de papa

Jo’s Meal – tacos dorados de papa

“It was a five napkin meal for me,” said Kay referring to her three taco lunch. Translated I think she meant, “Muy bueno!!”

As a footnote to our lunch; I returned for dinner a couple days later to order the flan because they were already out the day we ate lunch. I went with my husband Jerry who ordered the grilled pork dinner served with rice, beans, lettuce, tomato and guacamole on a tortilla. Of course it was just as great, and Jerry thanked me at least three or four times for asking him to go. He made me think of another of the online reviews I saw because it was so honest and simple, just like Mi Cabanita’s outward appearance …

“Visit. You won’t regret it.”

 Next up, Town and Gown Bistro

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

Decadence Awaits at Jane’s Gourmet!

IMG_5006Looking for a great restaurant with outdoor dinning for a nice sunny day? Give Jane’s Gourmet a try! They have a very nice patio that is always surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers in the warmer months. Although this restaurant isn’t just for the summer, it’s open and just as delicious year round.

My first experience with Jane’s was when I was probably about 13 years old, I had been helping my great aunt and she took me there as a special treat. She loved going to different places and especially liked supporting local businesses. I believe Jane’s was fairly new at the time. My aunt had been there with her friends but I had never been to a place quite like Jane’s before. I remember as a teenager, getting my salad, taking one look at the weird shaped lettuce and thinking, why are there weeds on my plate? (I was unfamiliar with other lettuces except iceberg and romaine for the most part, so this Spring Mix was pretty unusual to me). Well, I ended up eating it and those “weeds” were pretty good.  I remember my Aunt Maryella really enjoying her meal and telling me a story about the great experience she had with her friends there.

IMG_5005Well, fast forward about 8 years or so to when I first started working at the Visitors Center, which was probably the next time I experienced Jane’s as she is only open for lunch and I was in school most days. By this time my taste buds and food experiences had broadened quite a bit and the visits have been slightly different, but every time I visit I am wowed by the food. The entrees are always presented beautifully, they almost look too good to eat, but the smell always makes me want to dive right in and savor the first bite of my food.

My all time favorite is the fruited chicken salad sandwich. It’s chunks of chicken breast mixed with celery, grapes and toasted pecans on a croissant. Oh man! What am I doing for lunch again? I think I need to change my plans! The sandwich is delicious and large enough for a meal in itself but I just can never pass up the sides. I love the sides almost as much as the sandwich itself it’s hard to choose just two. My favorites are the Potato Salad (some of the best potato salad I’ve ever had- sorry Grandma, but yes, it is better than yours) and the soup of the day- it’s always different but they are all good! I especially like the creamy soups- the creamy asparagus I remember being particularly good. I also like their fruit garnish- it’s just cut fruit but it’s always so bright, colorful and beautifully arranged. Surprise, surprise, I even order that small “pile of weeds” they call the small garden salad, I tend to even prefer “weeds” these days over the typical romaine or iceburg lettuces. If you get a salad, be sure to get one of their homemade dressings! I love their Fat Free Raspberry or the Apricot-Poppy Seed. My second favorite sandwich is the Panini Rustica, fresh mozzarella, tomato, pesto and field greens (there’s those weeds again) on a Panini and served warm. Perfect for a nice sunny day!

IMG_5004Whatever you get, it will be delicious! Don’t forget to save room for dessert! All of them are decadent and delicious but my all time favorite is the raspberry, white chocolate dessert bar. Yum! Ok, gotta go, my stomach is growling now, time for lunch! I’ll see you at Jane’s!

Ashley Gregory, Group Tours & Meeting Manager at Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette, shared this blog.

EMT Food Truck has a Mobile Prescription for all Those Diagnosed with Critical Hunger!

EMT2014.7You are driving down the road in Lafayette and suddenly something catches your eye. It is a big black truck with forks, spoons and squiggly red lines all over it. What?! Yes, that is the Emergency Munchie Truck. Never fear, the EMT food truck has a mobile prescription for all those diagnosed with critical hunger! Both quickly and with fresh ingredients, the EMT can satisfy cravings off all types. From vegetarians to vegans, stomachs are saved one at a time!

EMT Triple M Sandwich

EMT Triple M Sandwich

In 2012, “Munchie” the food truck was born. In Munchie’s former two lives, he was an ambulance and then a food truck traveling in Pennsylvania. He is now happiest with his current family and loves his name. He enjoys cruising downtown Lafayette and getting second looks from all the ladies.

The EMT food truck features a seasonal and weekly changing menu with some staple items that always have a new surprise element to them. One of the staples is a munchie melt. A munchie melt is a sandwich of homemade waffles for the bread. The innards can range from veggies, to fruits to cheeses and even mac and cheese. You never know what will be featured! Munchie bowls are homemade chili variations and baked casserole variations. EMT realizes that everyone enjoys a good deep fried dish. They always have hand-cut french fries and sweet potato fries. They each come with some delicious dipping sauces!

EMT Sweet Potato Fries

EMT Sweet Potato Fries

I know your stomach is rumbling now that I gave you a glimpse of what the EMT has to offer. You can always track down where the truck will be on their Facebook and Twitter pages. Typical places you may find it include local Lafayette festivals, farmers markets, and outside People’s Brewing Company for dinner.

I don’t think there will ever be a restaurant or food truck that you can find a strawberry bruschetta grilled cheese at again! You better get the fresh meals before they are gone!

EMT Food Truck.1JPGFrom salads to black bean burgers to asparagus fries, EMT will never disappoint. Eat and shop local by supporting Lafayette’s own Emergency Munchie Truck at its next appearance in town!

Intern and Purdue University Student, Rachel, shares this blog.

A Date Night in West Lafayette!

Heisei Jose Crunchy Roll

Heisei Jose Crunchy Roll

My husband and I have many favorite places around town (we eat out a lot more than we probably should!) but my favorite date night includes sushi at Heisei Japanese Restaurant, a walk around Cumberland Park (visiting the farmers market if it happens to be open during the warmer months) and Silver Dipper Ice Cream for dessert.

Heisei New Spider Roll and Ocean Roll

Heisei New Spider Roll and Ocean Roll


First dinner, Heisei is one of our very favorite restaurants! Lately you can find us there almost once a week.  It is different as they actually have floor seating. You sit in a room on the floor but they do a nice job dividing the tables so it still feels private. If you prefer, they also have tables and you can sit at the sushi bar. We recently sat at the sushi bar and it was very interesting watching them make our food and chatting with the sushi chefs about different things, it was a more personal experience. Besides the experience, we love their sushi! We aren’t too adventurous and don’t really get any with raw fish in it but what we do get is delicious!  My very favorite is the Jose Crunchy Roll. It’s asparagus, cucumber, kampyo, and avocado with both a spicy and a sweet sauce. A new favorite of mine is the New Spider Roll, it’s soft shell crab tempura, masago and a spicy sauce.  It comes out and has all kinds of yummy crab like what’s in the filling piled on top. It probably stands at least three inches tall!  If you are looking for something a bit different, try the Boiler Maki; it’s a large, deep fried roll with eel, crab, avocado and masago with their amazing sweet sauce drizzled on top.  A couple of our other favorites are the Asparagus Roll and the California Roll. Lately we have also tried and really enjoy the pork dumplings and I love the mushroom miso soup. We are always so full when we leave but it is oh so good!

West Lafayette Farmers Market

West Lafayette Farmers Market

After dinner we need to work off a little bit of dinner so we go around the corner to Cumberland Park for a short walk. I like Cumberland Park because it has a mix of walking trails. You can walk around the outside of the park watching people play basketball, baseball/ softball or sometimes soccer, walk through the neighborhood or you can walk in the woods if you’d prefer or a mix of all. I especially like going May-October on Wednesdays when the weather is nice as the West Lafayette Farmers Market takes place there. It’s great to get some of our grocery shopping out of the way while supporting local businesses and farmers!

Mini Monster

Mini Monster

After a walk, we go to our favorite Ice Cream spot, Silver Dipper. There are two Silver Dipper stores but we always go to the campus store because the owner, Dave is usually at that one and we are there on a regular basis and we like chatting with him. He of course knows all our favorites too, he can practically scoop our ice cream before we walk in the door. My husband loves the Praline Pecan and we both love the Zorreo ice cream. He usually gets one or both of those. I on the other hand like to switch things up a bit and get a little more adventurous with my ice cream.  The Zorreo is for sure my favorite; it’s a rich, deep dark chocolate ice cream (what they call Zanzibar Chocolate) with chunks of chocolate, brownie pieces and marshmallow swirled through it! I can just taste it now!  I also like to vary between the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough, Black Cherry, French Silk, Ultimate Oreo, Salted Carmel, Zanzimint, Raspberry Italian Ice, Haley’s Comet and seasonal flavors especially the Root Beer Float and Egg Nog flavors.  There are over 40 flavors and if you are like me and can’t make up your mind, don’t worry, they have mini scoops (3 mini scoops make up one regular scoop) so you can try several flavors. I really love their waffle cones as well. Plus, when you order your ice cream in a cone you are being earth friendly as you reduce the amount of waste you have, right? That’s what I tell myself anyway, it’s enough to put me over the edge and splurge. They only accept cash or checks.

When you are looking for something to do with your friends or significant others I hope you will consider doing these, some of my favorite things. Enjoy! (And leave some for me!)

Group Tours & Meeting Manager, Ashley, Gregory, shared this blog.

Perfect Mixture of Class and Casual, the John Purdue Room

DSCN1138The perfect mixture of class and casual, the John Purdue Room is a must for your dining bucket list! With the John Purdue Room being a classroom setting, it is often overlooked as a restaurant; however, it is one of the finest in West Lafayette! Located within Marriott Hall on Purdue’s campus, the nationally renowned Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) students run the restaurant with many of them learning the dining world for the very first time. However, what better way for a customer to experience a restaurant than from students who study the hospitality industry every single day and are the future for this field!

Diners can watch their food being prepared!

Diners can watch their food being prepared!

As a student myself in HTM, I can ensure to everyone that there is a large amount of effort and care put into each and every dish that comes out of JPR. Students are in HTM for a reason; we sincerely care about delivering excellent service to others and thoroughly enjoy providing irreplaceable experiences to all.  Whether you’re feeling lunch or dinner, the John Purdue Room is open for both meals throughout the school year with a new menu each semester.

The lunch option features students who are experiencing the lab for the first time. The majority of the students are sophomore and junior status. They are introduced to creating dishes in mass quantities, different types of equipment, and how to properly serve diners. If coming in for lunch, please keep in mind that many of these students are learning for the very first time, and they may be nervous. However, they work diligently to give the best possible service they can and take full advantage of the opportunity to learn. The practice you, as the customer, are providing the students helps them grow more towards their professional career. Leave a comment and grade on the comment cards so the students know how they did for the day!

DSCN1137Advanced senior level HTM students manage the dinner portion. The guests will experience a more upscale dining atmosphere with high-quality food surrounded by skilled students. The seniors are introduced to managerial experience in a fast paced restaurant environment and sharpen their skills in areas such as marketing, dish creation, menu engineering, and more. Ask your waiter or waitress about the special created personally by the students; it changes daily! Again, let the students know how they did. We are not able to improve ourselves without criticism from the most important part of the industry, our customers.

The John Purdue Room is even open this summer for their lunch menu! Opening June 22 and carrying on through July 30, the summer students will offer a brand new menu with the most contemporary dishes in the restaurant industry, Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. I will be working there myself this summer for my senior lab and encourage you all to come out and support my fellow students and I as we work hard to create an innovative menu with the highest quality of service. We appreciate the opportunity to learn and sharpen our skills to prepare for our future careers. We won’t disappoint!

IMG_5312If you’re looking for a quicker meal with cheaper prices, check out the options available right outside the doors of the John Purdue Room within the Marriott Hall Atrium. For a quick lunch, the Boiler Bistro is open for a quick bite to eat with a variety of options, featuring a new daily special every single day. Coffee is also available at LavAzza Coffee Shop to provide an excellent start to your morning or give you a pick-me-up later on throughout the day. There are many gourmet coffee options produced with care.

IMG_5321The relaxing, inviting ambiance added with students who are passionate about the field that strive for dining excellence is the perfect equation for an experience that will leave you wanting to come back for more. Not only do you obtain a high quality meal with exquisite service, but you also are helping students expand their knowledge and gain more real life experience to prepare them for what is to come in their successful futures. Your presence is greatly appreciated, and the service you receive in return reflects that. Call in to make reservations at (765) 494-6845, but walk-ins are always welcome! On-the-go options are also made available. I hope to see you this summer!

Kaley, Purdue University Student and Visitor Information Specialist for Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette, shared this blog.