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.

Weekend Update: Hearthfire at Nine Irish Bros. & Regional Authors Fair

Battlefield Museum

Battlefield Museum

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 Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

Hearthfire returns to Nine Irish Brothers in Lafayette for a start to a great weekend! On Friday, June 12, head to Nine Irish to enjoy a mix of contemporary Celtic rock and traditional Irish tunes. Hearthfire is a fun, upbeat band with an extensive and fun playlist. Bring the family as this music is appropriate for all ages. Plus, savor the taste of delicious Irish cuisine.  We recommend the goat cheese fritters that are rich and creamy and served with a sweet raspberry vinaigrette!

Hearthfire at Nine Irish

History Store

History Store

Looking for an unique Father’s Day gift this year?  The Tippecanoe County Historical Association invites you to celebrate regional authors who have a passion for history at their Regional Authors Fair. Visitors will be able to meet the authors and buy a signed copy of their book this Saturday, June 13 at the Tippecanoe Battlefield Museum and History Store. It’s a great opportunity to find a Father’s Day gift or a fun summer read. Admission to the event is free.

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

Unique Food, Beer Wall, 1960′s Decor; Where? Cozy Tavern!

DSC01015Looking for a new place to eat? Why not check out one of the newest restaurants in town, The Cozy Tavern! If you have been around the area for a while, you may recognize the name or remember driving by the Cozy at one time or another. It’s located on South Street IMG_6196between Steak and Shake and Mar-Jean Village on the north side of the road, tucked in by the railroad tracks. While the name is still the same, The Cozy Tavern has recently reopened under new ownership, has had quite a facelift and a new menu!

Inside, you will notice that they have updated everything but kept the 1960’s feel keeping with the history of the restaurant. They have the red tufted booths and upholstered chairs, mirrors on the walls, drum lights and more. Even though it’s 60’s style it has a modern feel too as décor from that era seems to be making a comeback in recent years. If you visit on a nice day, be sure to check out their patio, there is plenty of seating out there for you and all your friends!

If you are a beer drinker (and 21 or older) be sure to go when you can indulge in all the different beers! They have a wall with eight different beers on tap. You are able to use a credit card and pay by the ounce. Try one or try them all! (Please drink responsibly). If you aren’t into beer, don’t worry they do have a full bar or soft drinks available and the food is great too!

IMG_6200I happened to visit the Cozy for lunch with some coworkers. I ordered “The Popeye Spinach Salad” which is a spinach salad with bacon, tomato, egg, and Parmesan cheese with a decadent bacon dressing! It was perfect! My mouth is watering now… yes, for a salad! We also ordered the cheese and crackers appetizer, which was somewhat unusual but we all loved it! It was deep fried pimento cheese cakes served with crackers. It was so good, that several of us thought we’d try the Pimento Grilled Cheese the next time we visit.  The menu has some unique items on it such as the Deviled Egg of the day, Today’s Mac and Cheese (a different version every day for both), Domestic Lamb Rack, Duck Sliders, deep fried guacamole and salsa and fried green tomatoes. They also have things like burgers, steak, roast pork sandwiches, other salads, meatloaf, pot pie, etc.

Mac N' Cheese!

Mac N’ Cheese!

So grab a friend and give this old standby with a new twist a try! Ashley Gregory, Group Tours & Meetings Manager, shared this blog. Please note this tavern is 21 and older.

Ice Cream Mecca: Silver Dipper Ice Cream

IMG_0515Silver Dipper is our go to dessert place. I’m not a big drinker so to me, Silver Dipper is like that neighborhood bar, where everyone knows your name. Over the years we have gotten to know the owner, Dave, pretty well. He knows my whole family, my friends and we always shoot the breeze while there. It’s just a very friendly place.  I remember one night I was in there with one of my friends when she was still out in the dating world and he was giving her all sorts of advice on where to meet great guys and listening to her stories on her funny and horrible dating experiences, her list of qualities she wanted in a guy, etc. and Dave giving feedback and sharing his own funny stories (It was a slow night for Dave).  Some people tell all their problems to a bartender, we have Dave our ice cream scooper.

Mini Monster

Mini Monster

Now, don’t forget about the ice cream though!  I love ice cream; it’s probably my favorite dessert! Silver Dipper ranks pretty high up there on my favorite ice cream list, maybe with the only thing topping it being gelato from Italy, although, Silver Dipper’s Raspberry Italian Ice comes close to that too.  They have the best variety of ice cream with around 40 different flavors. I have so many favorites; it’s so hard to choose! I’d have to say my very favorite is Zorreo, 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!  Another favorite would be the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough. This is the best of both worlds if you are a fan of cookie dough ice cream and like peanut butter! It’s your typical cookie dough ice cream with ripples of peanut butter in it. I was skeptical at first but I truly like the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough even more than the regular. If you are more of a fruity flavor sort of person, I’d recommend the Black Cherry ice cream. It’s black cherry flavored but also has large chunks of black cherries in it. They also have seasonal ice creams; two I always look forward to are the Root Beer Float (I love root beer floats too but this is just as awesome!) in the summer and Egg Nog in the winter. Wish they would carry both year round, but then I’d have an even bigger decision to make when we go in!  Go for the waffle cone too, you won’t be disappointed that you did!IMG_6818

IMG_1626Now, if you want to sample a few or want a variety and aren’t hungry enough for multiple scoops, they do offer mini scoops. Three mini scoops are the size of one regular scoop.  It’s a great way to try multiple flavors and not over do it!  Or if you have the opposite problem and are super hungry or want to try them all, you can do that too with the Mini Monster! This is one mini scoop of every single flavor of ice cream in the store! I did this for my birthday a few years ago and I had 5 other friends with me and we still couldn’t eat it all (we did a pretty good job though)! It was great to try some that you wouldn’t try otherwise because you knew if you don’t like it maybe someone else will. I hate seeing wasted ice cream! LOL!

IMG_6823If you like to get a little fancy with your ice cream they can cover you there too! They offer shakes made with any flavor ice cream you’d like and have a wide selection of sundae toppings. My mom and I have been getting a banana split on Mother’s Day every year since I was very young and Silver Dipper is now our go to spot, every Mothers Day! They also have amazing ice cream cakes! They can customize the cakes and you can have either white or chocolate cake with any flavor of ice cream you’d like on top, and then it’s iced as well. My friends got one for my birthday party one year that was half Zorreo and half Peanut Butter Cookie Dough! Yum! Best of both worlds!

If you love ice cream and haven’t been to Silver Dipper, be sure to stop by! Be sure to take cash though! They only accept cash or checks.  Enjoy! (And leave some for me!)

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

O’Bryan’s Nine Irish Brothers Pub

IMG_5768O’Bryan’s Nine Irish Brothers Traditional Irish Pub serves up traditional Irish pub fare in a lively, tavern setting. With locations in both Lafayette and West Lafayette (West Lafayette being the original), everyone has a chance to sample of of their delicious, hearty food. In addition to the charming wooden interior, with most of the decor coming straight from Ireland, handpicked by the owners, the restaurant also features outdoor patio seating. The thought of enjoying a glass of Guinness in the open-air lures in many passerby.

The mood at Nine Irish is always high-energy. Servers (some dressed in kilts) will make sure your cup is always toIMG_5773pped off with your favorite frosty beverage or amber-colored whiskey. Nine Irish has a wide selection of beer, whiskey, wines and draughts. Some of these beverages, like Guinness are deviously added to some of the lip-smacking menu items, such as the Guinness Stew. The stew is a combination of slow-simmered beef, Angus pot-roast and of course, a dash of Guinness Stew. My personal favorite menu item is the warm, crispy, battered fish, served with a side of pub chips, and a cup of lobster bisque. The bisque makes for a decadent, rich appetizer. I highly recommend this dish if you’re looking for a great place to get fish n’ chips.

Every dish at Nine Irish has an unique flavor combination that artfully combines the recipes of old with some modern inspirations. Nine Irish proudly serves several Irish-American classics like, Bobby’s Corned Beef and Cabbage. This plentiful portion of slow-cooked, melt-in-your mouth corned beef and steamed cabbage is heaped over a mess of champ-mashed potatoes. Whatever you decide to try at Nine Irish Brothers is sure to please your palate. A warm, full-belly of delicious Irish-American fare is a guarantee when you visit O’Bryan’s Nine Irish Pub.

Beef Manhattan

For those of you who are wondering where the name comes from too… it’s an interesting story. The family is originally from Cork (hence the Irish theme) and Jerry O’Bryan, the principal owner of Nine Irish Brothers is the youngest of nine boys. He also has 5 sisters and honors them with an inscription above the bar that says: “& Five Irish Sisters”. To read more about the family visit their website: http://www.nineirishbrothers.com/family-history

Ashley, Group Tours and Meeting Manager for Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette, shared this blog.

Childhood Memories and Tradition at Dog N’ Suds

Ordering at Dog N' Suds

Ordering at Dog N’ Suds

There are moments in life where we sit down, take a deep breath and wonder what it would have been like to grow up in the same decade as our parents or grandparents and experience the same little things that they did. It’s funny how we seem to take advantage of the fact that we were able to actually experience little things that can bring us back to our childhood days or even our parents childhood days. Little things like drive in movie theaters, roller skating rinks, and the best of all, drive in restaurants are just a handful of some of those bittersweet opportunities that we don’t explore enough in our lifetime.

Dog N Suds 2012.4JPGOne of my all time favorite places to go that brings me back to being the tiny little brown haired girl sitting in the back of my parents van is the infamous restaurant, Dog N’ Suds. The restaurant always caught my eye, (I mean, who wouldn’t love someone coming to your car to take your order without having to get out of your car seat?!). Going there with my mom and dad was always a special treat, not only because of their divine root beer floats, but also because of how the tradition of pressing that red button to order has carried on so well and how nice the customer service has stayed throughout the years.  Fortunately, I had the treat of getting to eat there once I moved to West Lafayette and carry on the tradition with my new college friends.  It seems to attract just about anyone and every spring when that opening weekend comes, there’s always a police officer escorting cars into the parking lot to avoid the inevitable traffic jam caused by the hungry customers craving their first spring hot dog and root beer from Dog N’ Suds that they’ve been waiting for all year long.

DSC_0460My newest experience (I visited opening week in February!) at the restaurant as a 20 year old hasn’t changed a bit since I was a child.  I still received that giddy feeling as I reached out my car window to order into the old-fashioned metal speaker-looking thing and then pigging out in no longer the back seat, but the front seat as the driver of my own car.  It may have still been in the low negatives because of Indiana’s interesting weather but leaving my window down to prop my tray onto the edge was well worth the little bit of shiver that came with my meal on the side.  I had a chance to try something I’ve never tried before which just makes me want to travel back there as soon as possible! A melt in your mouth, addicting drink called a “Root Beer Freeze” appeared in my hands one second and what seemed like 10 seconds later it was completely gulped up into my stomach.  Yeah, you’re probably thinking it’s just like a root beer float, which I’ve mentioned a couple of times already but think again. You know at the very end of your root beer float when you have that perfect amount of melted ice cream and root beer mixed together to create what seems like the best concoction your mouth has ever tasted? Did you ever think you could get an entire drink of that magical flavor that you’re able to drink out of a straw? Well guess what, YOU CAN. I never thought I would see the day come where I could taste something better than the original root beer float but I was completely and utterly wrong.DSC_0467

Don’t worry; the cheeseburgers, hot dogs and other menu items haven’t changed a bit.  There’s just something so tasteful about an experience coming with your meal that makes it so much better. Dog N’ Suds never fails me and I never come home upset after sitting in their parking lot and time traveling back to when drive-in restaurants were popular and everything seemed a little more simple in this crazy hectic world of ours.

Maddie, Visitor Information Specialist and Purdue University Student, shared this blog.

Weekend Update: Beer, Blues and BBQ at the John Purdue Room & Right Steps Run

A Chef at John Purdue Room plating scrumptious delights!

A Chef at John Purdue Room plating scrumptious delights!

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 Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

It's beer tasting time at John Purdue Room!

It’s beer tasting time at John Purdue Room!

It’s a culinary night you cannot miss at the John Purdue Room this Friday, April 10. Enjoy delicious food, listen to sweet Blues music and taste a wide range of craft beers at the Beer, Blues and BBQ Reception. Purdue’s HTM 492 students, with award winning Chefs Lulay and Conway, will prepare BBQ styled foods that will be paired in People’s Brew Co. draft stations. This reception will have musical performances by Queen Delphine and the Crown Jewels. The cost is $50 per person (plus) tax. Space is limited so we encourage calling the JPR reservation hotline to guarantee entry at 765-494-6845.

Work off all the calories from Friday night’s event the next day at the Right Steps Run at Prophetstown State Park. Right Steps Run is a 5K Run/Walk /10K on Saturday, April 11, at 9 a.m. at Prophetstown State Park. Not only will you burn calories but you can feel good about knowing 100% of the profits will help families afford high quality child care, in support of Right Steps Child Development Centers’ mission to provide and advocate for quality child care and early education. Right Steps Run is a family friendly event. Feel free to bring the children. Children under 16 who do not want to be timed, do not need to register. Post race awards ceremony and snacks will be provided.

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

Dining Divas Experience Indian Street Food at Shaukin Indian Fast Food

Dining Divas visit Shaukin

Dining Divas visit Shaukin

If you think you’ve had Indian food but haven’t had Indian street food, then you’ve had an incomplete experience. The Dining Divas were thrilled to munch their way through the menu at Shaukin; Indian Fast Food in River Market on River Road. Street food is popular throughout India but most especially in the west where a huge variety of small snacks can be found, often for very reasonable prices. Luckily for our community, the owners, Himanshu & Minal Bhatt, brought street food to West Lafayette.

Himanshu & Minal Bhatt

Himanshu & Minal Bhatt

They came from India to Orlando, FL where they started as dishwashers, moved on to cooking and opened a restaurant there. Their son was a student at Purdue and he let them know there was nothing like Indian street food in our area. They moved to town, opened Shaukin, and we are so glad they did.

Colorful photos of the menu options–plus numbers if you’re shy about uttering foreign words– make ordering a breeze. We started with Hot Masala Tea, which was sweet and milky like a spicy hot chai.

Next up, the Chaat Platter #18 ($7.99) featuring sampler portions of five chaats which means a savory snack. The word is derived from a word meaning to lick, to devour with relish, to eat noisily. The Divas are too polite to lick or eat noisily, but we did devour the delicacies with relish!

Bhel puri

Bhel puri

Here are a few more vocabulary words for you. Puri is a flat crunchy bread and sev is a seasoned crunchy noodle. Mix those with spices, potatoes, onions, chutneys, chickpeas and yogurt in various combinations and you have a multitude of chaats to enjoy, each with a distinct flavor and texture. #14 Papdi Chaat is Kay’s favorite. “The combination of colors and flavors and the solidity of the chick pea and the crunch of the chips—there’s really a lot going on in your mouth!” All the Divas liked #15 Samosa Chaat ($5.99). Under all the goodness of chickpeas, onions, chutneys and yogurt, there’s a piping hot samosa (fried pastry typically stuffed with savory things like potatoes, lentils and peas) waiting for you.

Samosa chaat and chaat platter

Samosa chaat and chaat platter

“Samosas alone are delicious, but samosas swimming in yogurt and sauces are even better,” said Margy. The samosa is crunchy when it’s served so eat it right away to enjoy the textures.

We moved on to #6 Idli Sambar ($5.79), which consists of steamed rice cakes served with sambar (a spicy lentil-based vegetable stew) and coconut chutney.  We loved the coconut chutney, which is not the sweetened coconut most Americans know. It’s creamy and delicious. We put it on everything and would probably order a side of this even if we didn’t get the idli!

Aloo frankie

Aloo frankie

Next up, the #9 Aloo Frankie (($5.79), a flat bread stuffed with spiced potatoes, onions, vinegar & chutney. This is spicy hot and one of Margy’s favorites. She says it freezes well, but we didn’t leave a scrap so we’ll have to try that another time. You will have noticed a repetition of ingredients by now—onions, potatoes, chutney, yogurt—but in the hands of excellent cooks with great knowledge of spices, no two dishes taste the same.

Dabeli

Dabeli

#17 Dabeli ($3.99) was a selection that we might not have chosen based on the description—mashed spiced potatoes in a bun. In the U.S., we don’t often eat potatoes on buns—but served with 3 chutneys, onions, nuts, sev, cilantro and—get this– pomegranate, it was amazing! Wow! Spicy and every flavor of these varied ingredients danced in our mouths.

Curry paneer

Curry paneer

 

Another of our very favorites is #19 Curry Paneer ($7.99). Cubes of tender paneer (a fresh non-melting cheese) in masala sauce are served with rice. It is incredibly savory with a complex blend of spices. This can be ordered with chicken instead of paneer. We don’t want to know the calorie count of this creamy goodness.

The #20 Chilli Chicken ($7.99), made of bell peppers, green onions, soy sauce, vinegar and chicken (paneer can be substituted) had nice complex flavors and is very different than the other dishes.

Dessert cake balls

Dessert cake balls

When we were too full to appreciate it, we were given a complimentary portion of Gulab Jamun, a dessert of deep-fried balls of dough soaked in a sugary syrup. Happy sigh…

The Bhatt’s son has graduated now but they are staying put and have just signed a lease for another five years. They expressed thanks to everyone in West Lafayette, from the building inspector and fire department to the students who love Indian fast food, all were so helpful when they started their business. Since Bev works with the City of West Lafayette, she ate that up as happily as the Dabeli!

On an Indian food high, Bev reached out to friends who know plenty about the cuisine. Sundeep Rao said Shaukin’s Batata Vada, Bhel Puri, Dahi Batata and Sev Puri are simply phenomenal and extremely authentic. “Their Frankies taste just like what I used to have near my house back home (a spot renowned for local foods) in India,” he said. “They have, by far, the best Bombay street food (“Chaat”) that I’ve ever had in the US.” That’s high praise!

After...

After…

Still on a mission to keep talking about the food even though she was too full to actually consume anymore, Bev wrote another Indian foodie, Richard Fudge, who said, “Recently, I had a masala dosa from the ‘specials’ board. A South Indian specialty, it’s more substantial than a snack: enough food for a meal. The dosa is a large (15 inches or so) crispy crepe made from rice flour. It contains a mildly flavored potato filling and is served with sambar (a flavorful vegetable and pigeon pea soup) and a side of coconut chutney. The sambar at Shaukin was superbly flavorful and fresh tasting. The crepe is cooked just before it’s served, so it tastes freshly cooked–unlike too much Indian food in restaurants.”

Sundeep also recommended the vada pav, another potato/bun combination with a blend of chutney and spices so on a return visit, Bev picked up an array of savory treats to go and headed across River Road to The Pint, a craft beer bar with an open food policy. Great idea for a date night, the vada pav was as good as Sundeep said it would be, and it was the best $3.49 she spent all week.

Shaukin exteriorCurrently, Shaukin is open Tuesday to Thursday from 4-10 PM, Friday to Sunday from 12-10 PM and is closed on Monday. Himanshu said they plan to add staff so they’re open more days for lunch in the near future. The Divas soundly approve that plan!  In the meantime, it’s a great stop on weekends or to pick up an easy and wonderful dinner on your way home from work. Step away from the rut you’re in and give Shaukin a try!