Girlfriend Getaway Contest 2017 Winner

We have the winner of our “Girlfriend Getaway Contest 2017″ worth over $500! Congratulations to Debra from Lexington, Kentucky!

She shares, ”I am very excited because Lafayette is my hometown. I was born there!  I always have a great time when I visit.  I can’t wait to get back and enjoy all the things Lafayette-West Lafayette has to offer!”

Thanks to all who participated in this latest contest! Stay tuned for our next big contest/package we will be hosting in November themed “Holiday Shopping & Entertainment.”

Weekend Update: Purdue Boilermaker Half Marathon & Greater Lafayette Mini Maker Faire

PurdueMarathonDSchmidt2014Lafayette-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.

The 6th Annual Purdue Boilermaker Half-Marathon and 5K will take place this Saturday, October 14. Each year this event has drawn more than 2,200 participants! The races will start at the home of Purdue Boilermaker football, Ross-Ade stadium, and meander through the Purdue campus and the cities of West Lafayette and Lafayette. The course will highlight many of the more popular sites among these two cities in addition to the Purdue campus. This will be a great opportunity for Purdue alumni, students and Purdue sports fans to participate in a half marathon and 5k race on the Purdue campus!

home3After a morning of running or walking, head to Carnahan Hall for the first ever Greater Lafayette Mini Maker Faire. Hosted by Imagination Station in partnership with Make Media, it will be an afternoon of fun. What is a Maker Faire, you may ask? A Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue to for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, projects. They call it the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth — a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. Glimpse the future and get inspired!

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

Dining Divas Explore Bistro 501

DivasWelcome back to Dining Divas, traveling the globe with a menu & napkin instead of a suitcase & passport. Last time we met, we sampled Texican-Hoosier at 6th Street Dive. This time we dined on French fusion at Bistro 501, on Main Street in the heart of downtown Lafayette. Serving up both a culinary and cultural experience, Bistro 501 has a warm urban vibe with large windows overlooking Main Street, outdoor seating and French decor complete with roosters.

To the occasional diner, Bistro 501 is a 15-plus year fixture at the corner of 5th and Main. But their regulars know a shift took place roughly a year and a half ago when Theresa Buckley, the restaurant’s general manager, convinced her mother and twin sister Cheyenne, to purchase the business from her boss and owner Gabrielle Meyer. Mary, Theresa’s mother and veteran of the hotel restaurant business, tells how the trio decided to give it a go and “shine up an old penny” which meant that she and Cheyenne, then a chef in Vermont, would move back to Lafayette.

The Buckley’s goal when purchasing the business was to keep the favorites for their regulars while adding a few fresh ideas to keep it interesting and entice new locals to come try them out. The menu is seasonal now, changing four times per year with the biggest difference coming between winter and spring.

The day we visited, Micayla was our server — new to the Bistro but not to the restaurant industry. She expertly helped us navigate our lunch options and diet restrictions.

Jo chose

Salad Nicoise

Salad Nicoise

($11). Micayla did a great job handling the keto salad request, removing the tuna and potatoes. “Their blue cheese dressing is one of the best,” Jo said.  “I love the Nicoise olives.”  The olives, fresh green beans and hard boiled eggs over mixed greens made the salad both attractive and filling. “It was nice that I could just say ‘keto’ and the chef knew how to change their standard menu item.” They even brought heavy whipping cream for Jo’s coffee!

Kay decided on Livers Normandy ($12) which is made up of sautéed chicken livers, shallots, bacon, dried cherries, with pasta, and a brandy cream sauce. “This is actually delicious and chicken livers aren’t usually one of my favorites.” Kay said between bites. “The chicken livers are mild and you really notice the brandy sauce. Usually with pasta you get too much but this is a nice lunch portion.”

livers

Livers Normandy

 

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

Bev ordered a bowl of French onion soup ($7) (someone had to, right?). Bev also chose one of the two daily quiche options which that day was ham, apple and Brie for $8.  The soup was warm and tasty topped with bread and cheese. “The house made Caesar dressing is creamy and interesting. The quiche changes each day which adds variety to the menu. It’s a nice lunch combination.”

 

Margy decided on the roasted butternut squash soup ($4.50) intending to compare it to her own recipe. For a side she added hand cut pommes frites for $8. The soup had maple in it which gave it a distinctive flavor. The yogurt swirl, candied pepitas (a variety of pumpkin seeds) and sage on top made it both beautiful and flavorful. Margy had to agree it was better than hers. The frites were nicely prepared and came with the curry ketchup, an interesting twist to the old standby.

Butternut soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

All this plus we shared a basket of wonderful crusty French bread. Each of us enjoyed our lunch and we still needed to try some desert. So when the to-go containers had to come out we were happy to see eco-friendly packaging instead of Styrofoam. Merci!!

Lucky for us, several deserts at Bistro come in spoon sized portions. Jo ordered Pot au Chocolat. “If you like chocolate, you’ve got to love this! It’s chocolate heaven.”

Pot o

Pot au Chocolat

For Bev, it was Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée with caramelized sugar. “This is perfectly done with a lovely crust on it.”

Kay’s Cheesecake 501 spoon was chocolate and coconut, “A great combination with a graham cracker crust and the cheesecake options that change daily. How do you say brilliant in French?!”

It’s Sticky Toffee Carrot Cake for Margy. Unfortunately this desert was only available in a full serving size (really, did we just say unfortunately?). It is served warm, soaked in toffee with Medjool dates, and cream cheese-buttermilk ice cream. Warning, it is very sweet so you may want to share! “The ice cream is wonderful and the buttermilk flavor is really unusual!” Margy said. “The cake is super moist with lots of carrot and cinnamon. Seriously, if you need to, you can count this as a vegetable …”

Frites

Frites

Can’t make it downtown for lunch you say? No worries, the Bistro’s dinner menu includes many great options including an appetizer of mussels which Kay has had before.  Another friend comes for dinner to have the escargot (flown in from France) and steak tartare.  We have heard great reviews about their slow roasted duck legs. And Bev stopped by on her own after our group lunch to have what she described as “THE most incredible burger ($14)– a short rib beef patty that was incredibly tender topped with goat cheese, roasted mushrooms, and bacon with garlic aioli,” she said. “It was really one of the best burgers I’ve had!”

 

Ok, but what if all I have time for is a drink with friends after work or on the weekend? Spend some time with one of the Bistro’s skilled bartenders. It’s a quite complete bar with a good wine list. That’s what we call full service!

bistro-501_33765279311_oOther updates we learned about during the visit: in addition to their weekday schedule, the Bistro now serves a Sunday brunch 10:30am-2:30pm which has been a great success, advertising primarily by word of mouth and social media. Tuesdays they have a raw oyster bar & live music. Expanded seating on the patio offers more outdoor options for diners. Lunch is served Tues-Fri 11-2pm; Dinner on Mon-Tues 5-9pm and Wed-Sat 5-10pm. On 3rd Thursdays enjoy live Jazz with two seating options: with a dinner reservation at 6:00pm, or with cocktails at 8:00pm – $30 min sale per person due to limited seating.

French Decor

French Decor

The Buckley’s feel their new ideas are being well received among regulars and newcomers alike. In the eight months prior to our visit, Bistro 501 reviews on Trip Advisor were 4.5 of 5 and its standing moved from #17 to #6 among 234 greater Lafayette restaurants! If you haven’t been to the Bistro before, now is the time. And if you haven’t been back for a while, what are you waiting for? Bon Appetit!

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

Weekend Update: Fall Craft Show & Mozart Et Al

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.

Shop til’ you drop! On Saturday, October 7, Carnahan Hall presents: Fall Harvest Artisan Crafts & Antiques Show. Nearly 40+ artisans and antique vendors will showcase and sell their handmade crafts. The first 100 visitors will receive a mystery bag containing “spendable cash” (up to $25.00). Free parking and free admission. Support your local artists as they share their handmade items. Pottery, wood, jewelry, knit items, paintings, dog food, ornaments, antiques, baby and doll items, sign art, and home decor will all be available for purchase.

Detail of the trumpet closeup in golden tones

Musical entertainment takes place on Sunday, October 8. The Tippecanoe Chamber Music Society presents: Mozart Et Al at Purdue Eliza Fowler Hall. Mozart’s grand Horn Quintet K. 407 will feature ISO’s assistant principal horn Rick Graef. On the flip side will be Rick Sowash’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight for trumpet, violin, cello and Greg Kostraba on piano. Performers are Rick Graef, horn; Bruce Knepper, trumpet; Patrick Dalton-Holmes & Regan Eckstein, violin; Amy Brandfonbrener & Kathy Hershberger, viola; Eric Edberg & Josh Aerie, cello; Greg Kostraba, piano.

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

Coffee! Celebrate National Coffee Day!

It’s National Coffee Day! It’s a day to celebrate this beverage that caffeinates us for the day!  Ok, so we don’t think “caffeinates” is a word, but it should be!  Even if you aren’t a coffee drinker, the rich smell of coffee roasting has to make your senses smile.

Lafayette-West Lafayette is home to 13 coffee shops, both local and chains. Do you have a favorite? Please share!

Here are some delicious coffee photos to make your day a little brighter!

FuelFuel 2Sacred Grounds

Sacred Grounds

Greyhouse Coffee

Greyhouse Coffee

Star City

Star City

For more information about Lafayette-West Lafayette coffee shops and other restaurants in our area, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

Weekend Update! Starry Night Festival and Feast of the Hunters’ Moon

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.

Starry Night

Starry Night

Head to West Lafayette this Saturday, September 30 for the Starry Night annual street festival.  This special event draws thousands of people with its unique blend of excellent music, a variety of merchants, interactive creativity, and food. The festival is designed to bring people together around the thread of story and seeks to expose the public to the cause of literacy through the local initiative Read to Succeed. Starry Night is hosted by Campus House and Greyhouse Coffee and, thanks to their generous sponsors, is FREE. Please come be a part of this amazing night!IMG_7822

A festival that is “tradition” and “celebration” to those from the area and beyond is the Feast of the Hunters’ Moon, taking place on the banks of the Wabash River on September 30 and October 1.  The Feast is a re-creation of the annual fall gathering of the French and Native American which took place at Fort Ouiatenon, a fur-trading outpost in the mid 1700s. It is held annually in early autumn four miles southwest of West Lafayette. Thousands of participants re-enact this event creating a feast for your senses. Smell the wood smoke, hear the report of the rifles, savor authentic food and more. Come and celebrate it’s 50th anniversary!

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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Northwest Indiana’s Largest Corn Maze, Exploration Acres

Exploration Acres 006The leaves have begun to change color and we have all began to break out those cozy sweaters and scarves. That’s right, it is autumn, my absolute favorite season! The weather in Indiana during the fall is the absolute best! An exciting attraction that opens each fall is Exploration Acres. It located five miles south of Lafayette and offers many family friendly fall activities. Claiming fame as Northwest Indiana’s Largest Corn Maze, Exploration Acres is the perfect place to enjoy the season.

Exploration Acres 005An 18-acre corn maze is crafted with a new theme each year. Literally, you could walk 9 miles through the four different mazes, which is one way to get your exercise in! All throughout the maze are checkpoints where you can earn coupons and rewards from various local businesses. Deciding which checkpoints to hit should not be an issue, as you should try and hit them all in one adventure without becoming too lost! This year’s maze features a farm setting with a farmer, barn, cow and much more!

undefined[6]The pumpkin patch features 10 acres of a variety of pumpkins. You should set aside time specifically to pick out that perfect pumpkin to carve that Batman symbol you have always wanted to carve! There are so many cute little pumpkins and squash available as well that I guarantee you will leave with more than you planned!

Exploration Acres 010Other attractions at Exploration Acres include hayrides, a pedal car track, a straw bale tunnel, a sand pile, and a pumpkin race track. All of these activities are family friendly and are included with admission.

Other activities are available for an extra fee. These include a corn cannon where you shoot ears of corn up to 500 feet in the air, a gem mine where you can search for hidden treasures, and pony rides. Probably the neatest extra activity they offer is the fire pits. For a small fee, a family or group can rent a fire pit on a certain night during a specific time slot. This serves a great place to gather together in the outdoors and socialize together.

Exploration Acres 004Exploration Acres is the ideal place to enjoy all that Indiana has to offer in the fall season. Spend some time in the great outdoors with family and friends at a great local farm. It is located five miles south of Lafayette at 6042 Newcastle Road between I-65 and US 52. It is open Thursdays through Sundays until October 29th.

Rachel, Purdue University Graduate, shares this blog.

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Girlfriend Getaway Contest 2017 Details

Girlfriends Getaway PrestartWe are celebrating fall fun with our Girlfriend Getaway Contest 2017 worth over $500! Here are some special details about the local places who have donated:

  • Rest in a lovely hotel room with luxury bedding and amenities galore from an indoor pool/whirlpool, fitness center, outdoor firepit and more! Where? Courtyard by Marriott
  • Arni’s Pizza is best known for their savory pizza and the Arni’s Junior Salad. This has been a local hotspot for many years!
  • Triple XXX or Route 66 are known for their root beer and chopped steak burgers, but we love their breakfasts, which offer homemade biscuits and gravy, Belgium waffles, corned beef hash and much, much more.
  • Town & Gown: Flowers galore can be found in this beautifully landscaped outdoor patio. Smell the fresh flowers as you feast on light and fluffy pancakes, rich and flavorful biscuits and gravy, and decadent cocktails.
  • “Thank goodness for great food!”? Every time we make a visit to Bruno’s Pizza and Big O’s Sports Room in West Lafayette, Indiana, we have this feeling of jubilation!
  • Kathy’s Kandies: Satisfy your sweet tooth with truffles, gourmet popcorn, cakes, toffee, shakes and smoothies, licorice, artisan chocolates; need we say more!
  • Beverage Heaven…  They are known not just for their frozen custard but also their fruit drinks and flavored sodas. Where? Igloo Frozen Custard
  • East End Grill, Lafayette’s newest restaurant serving modern with a twist fare ranging from chopped salads, to burgers & sandwiches and the best steaks and seafood available.
  • Nine Irish Brothers serves up traditional Irish pub fare in a lively, tavern setting! Every dish at Nine Irish has a unique flavor combination that artfully combines the recipes of old with some modern inspiration.
  • 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.
  • Scarlett’s Red Velvet, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Miss Princess, Cotton Candy, Wedding Cake, and Kentucky Bourbon Pie; these are just a small selection of fun flavors of cupcakes at Gigi’s Cupcakes.
  • Did you know you can create your own floral designs at Rubia Flowers! Led by one of their designers, you and your friends will create a seasonal arrangement that you can take home at the end of the night.
  • Enjoy meeting the many farm animals at The Farm located within the state park., hike the park trails and embrace the utter beauty of nature at Prophetstown State Park.
  • Have you ever come face-to-face with a wolf? Wolf Park gives you the extraordinary opportunity of meeting numerous wolves, coyotes, and foxes; each have their very own story and background to share!
  • Tour the the building that was once featured at the St. Louis Worlds Fair, Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art! It holds some of the most historic and valued Indiana art pieces in the state!
  • Test your mini golf skills at Monster Mini Golf: 18-holes of surprises, twists, and turns! What’s the catch? It’s all in the dark with neon monsters around every corner!
  • Games galore! Merlin’s Beard is a new and unique attraction to the Lafayette area. With over 250 games to choose from, there is a game for everyone!

Enter to win this fabulous contest at HomeOfPurdueBlog.com. Good luck!

Purdue Homecoming Weekend 2017

IMG_8556 (1)Purdue Homecoming 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.

Make this your checklist of Purdue Homecoming fun this weekend! Don’t miss a second of the excitement!

IMG_0547Friday, September 22:

  • Boiler Up! Every Friday, typically from 12-3pm (times may vary) before Purdue Home Football Games, take a ride on the Boilermaker Special! Pick-ups will be in front of Stewart Center and run every 15 minutes. Look for the marquee!
  • Join the Purdue football team as it connects Lafayette and West Lafayette on the John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge during the Boiler Bridge Walk. Enjoy music, giveaways, and meet the cheerleaders and Purdue Pete starting at 5:45 p.m. at this free event. The football team will arrive at approximately 6 p.m. by the fountain on the West Lafayette side of the bridge. The Boilermakers will interact with fans as they make their way to Riehle Plaza on the Lafayette side of the bridge.Purdue2013

Saturday, September 23:

  • Fans, especially families, looking for fun before home games will want to check out the popular Boilermaker Crossing.  Meet-the-team events, inflatable games, and interactive opportunities highlight the list of activities. The Boilermaker Crossing is free and open to fans of all ages. Located in the Sally & Bob Weist Plaza, between Mackey Arena and Holloway Gymnasium, Boilermaker Crossing opens 3 hours before kickoff.
  • Homecoming Celebration! Homecoming activities and entertainment on Stadium Mall, free and family friendly. (12:30-2:20pm) Approximately 2:15pm Homecoming king and queen revealed at Homecoming stage.
  • 90 minutes before kickoff, the Purdue “All American” Marching Band will present “Thrill on the Hill” at Slayter Hill.
  • Game time! Come watch as our Purdue Boilermaker Football Team take on inside Ross-Ade stadium. (3:30 or 4pm).IMG_8600
  • More Boilermaker fun! Come watch as our Purdue Boilermakers Volleyball players take on Ohio State inside Holloway Gymnasium at 8:30pm.

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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Boiler Up for Purdue Volleyball

Purdue Volleyball season has hit! Literally, our lady Boilers are setting and hitting their way to victory this year. With the season just starting, there is plenty of time to get tickets for an afternoon or evening of volleyball fun. Our Boilermakers have a great home schedule and will be playing many of the nation’s top teams. Don’t miss out on any of the excitement!

hester_106IMG_2360Have you ever been to a Purdue volleyball game? If so, you will be hooked and want to get season tickets! The games are full of so much energy and excitement. My husband and I have been married for almost 8 years and one of our favorite sports to watch at Purdue is volleyball. When we were dating we started going to games and fell in love with this sport. We now have a 4 year old and love to take her to games. A 4 year old’s attention span is not very long, but she can usually sit through at least 2-3 sets in the match. We always hope when we take her, Purdue sweeps the match.  Plus it means a victory which is even better!

hester_108Tickets to games are priced at $5-$8 a seat which is so reasonable and a very inexpensive way to treat the family for a night of fun. This fall, cheer on our Boilers to win!  Boiler up!

For more information about Purdue volleyball and other local sports events, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.