Greece is Calling at the Parthenon

Parthenon stuffed pepper

Parthenon stuffed pepper

Greece called and we answered!  The Out to Lunch Dining Divas visit the Parthenon Greek American Grill. Most locals remember it fondly as an anchor in the Village but it’s doing just fine serving up Greek dishes out west (on 52 past Morehouse Road).

We started with a theatrical display of saganaki, which is a lightly battered slice of kefalograviera cheese (hard to spell, easy to eat)  pan fried and set on fire right before your eyes– on this day by the owners’ themselves!  Opa!  It has a distinctive flavor and was our favorite dish of the day, plus we liked the drama of it all. Where else can you get that sort of lunchtime thrill for under $6? (Please keep highly personal replies to that question to yourself!)

Parthenon cheese

Parthenon cheese

Bev enjoyed the stuffed green pepper, filled with ground beef, rice and tomato sauce. It was saucier and more flavorful than her attempts to make this herself and the abundant portion allowed her to take some home for another meal.

Jo, one of our two vegetarians, had the falafel sandwich and it hit the spot. She commented on its outstanding cucumber yogurt sauce which is made on the premises. Margy, our other veg-head, had the garden sandwich, a cornucopia of vegetarian delights;  a warm pita with homemade hummus, cucumber, tomato, onion, lettuce, black olive, pepperoccini, crumbled feta and homemade Greek dressing. She said she wouldn’t order the generously filled sandwich on a first date since it was a handful– but it was very tasty! (Since she’s married, that first date part is unlikely.)  Both non-meat eaters were thrilled that the vegetarian dishes were clearly marked on the menu and on the menu board.

Kay, our photographer and seafood consumer, didn’t have fish that day because it’s available on weekends but the owners told us diners can often choose from mahi mahi, salmon and grouper. She happily settled for a pork kebob sandwich made of freshly cooked pork medallions seasoned with homemade marinade topped with onion, tomato, cucumber and their own cucumber yogurt sauce. She said the pork was moist and tender which isn’t always the case with pork.

If you live in a house divided, with some people looking for worldly eats and others insisting on American fare, this is the place for you. There are loads of intriguing dishes including dolmades mousaka, spanakopita and patstitsio, but the less adventurous among you will be thrilled with the Americano burger with a side of fries or onion rings or maybe something from the kids menu.

On your way home? The place is crawling with people getting takeout and we know people who suspect they’re addicted to the Parthenon’s hummus.

Flaming Cheese!

The atmosphere is colorful, casual and comfortable.  Our food was prepared quickly and the Greek music had us happily tapping our toes. Since we didn’t want to leave, we decided we should split a piece of baklava— a layered Greek delight of nuts, honey, pastry, lemon, butter– how could it be anything but wonderful? Don’t tell Margy’s sister but Margy says it’s better than her sister’s.

For more information about this restaurant and others in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

Foodies Wanted Contest 2017 Details

Foodies Wanted FB AdWe are celebrating summer fun with our Foodies Wanted Contest 2017 worth over $500! Here are some special details about the local places who have donated:

  • Enjoy a newly renovated overnight stay at the Hampton Inn-Lafayette and wake up to partake in a complimentary continental breakfast.
  • Bruno’s Pizza: Established in 1955, this restaurant not only offers some of the best pizza around, but fine dishes such as Veal Cordon Bleu, Fettuccini A La Bruno (classic fettuccini with tender shrimp), and amazing manicotti with the perfect blend of cheeses.
  • Where else do you get the chance to taste the world-famous Duane Purvis Burger with spread of peanut butter on it besides Triple XXX / Route 66? No where! Come and see why this diner was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!
  • 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!
  • Give your tastebuds an experience like never before at Kathy’s Kandies with homemade treats such as: gourmet popcorn, scrumptious truffles, and fluffy pastries!
  • The owners of Parthenon Greek American Grill are from Cyprus and work here each day, their authentic Greek food will not disappoint, travel the world and find no better Gyros!
  • East End Grill is offering modern fare, fabulous service in a cozy atmosphere. This is one of Lafayette’s newest restaurants and quickly becoming one of the community’s favorite places to eat.
  • Taste the whipped, silky texture of decadent frozen custard at the Igloo Frozen Custard, serving happy customers since 1932.
  • Learn how salt water shrimp are raised right here in Indiana at the RDM Shrimp Farm! You will have an opportunity to talk to the owners, tour the facility, learn the shrimp farming process and then have an opportunity to purchase some shrimp if you would like.
  • The prairies come alive with color in summer at Indiana’s newest state park, Prophetstown State Park. The park offers camping, swimming, hiking, biking, birding, wildlife observation, and more.
  • Home to chickens, pigs, cows, horses and more, this farm will bring smiles to your face and enjoyment for all. Bring the family out for an up close and personal tour of The Farm at Prophetstown, with possibly a personal trolley ride through the prairie.
  • Join a chorus of spectacular wolves in their natural habitat at Wolf Park’s popular Howl Nights. The park is home to several packs of gray wolves, plus foxes, coyotes and bison and is the only park of its kind in the country.
  • Recapture 18th Century life at the Feast of the Hunters’ Moon. Experience military demonstrations, foods prepared over an open fire, traditional craftsmen, costumed participants, music and dance.

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

Celebrating National Hotdog Day at Dog N’ Suds!

IMG_1759It’s National Hotdog Day!  We are celebrating at one of our favorite hotdog drive-ins, Dog N’ Suds! Visitors can sit back, relax in their cars and eat foot long coney cheese hotdogs and drink cold, creamy root beer!  There are two great locations, one in Lafayette and another in West Lafayette.

Ok, yes, I am guilty of eating not one, but 2 cheese dogs!

Ok, yes, I am guilty of eating not one, but 2 cheese dogs!

Love us some corn dogs!

Love us some corn dogs!

What’s your favorite restaurant serving a good ol’ hotdog??  Please share!

For more information about all the delicious restaurants in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

What Lies Beyond Purdue Campus Part 2

Thanks for joining on my adventure beyond Purdue! On Monday, I shared our morning and early afternoon tour through Lafayette-West Lafayette.  But the day was stocked full of more fun through the afternoon. Check this out!

Embracing the arts, Downtown Lafayette!

Embracing the arts, Downtown Lafayette!

So many great farmers market items - Weathered Plow!

So many great farmers market items – Weathered Plow!

Weathered Plow Veggies, fruit, seasonings, bulk food, and deli sandwiches – all this and more at this local Farmers Market. Everything looked so fresh and organic! We walked through the aisles of the Weathered Plow wanting to buy everything! My coworker even purchased a Sweet Potato Succulent plant to decorate her home.

Artists' Own

Artists’ Own

Downtown Lafayette There is so much to see and do in Downtown Lafayette. We have shops, restaurants, art galleries, everything to keep Lafayette residents and visitors entertained. There is art and jewelry to view and purchase at places like Artists’ Own and LE Originals. Enjoy candy and a soda from one of the oldest operating soda fountains in the Midwest at McCord Candies. Sample and purchase bottles of wine at Cellar 422. Stock up on your crafting supplies at River Knits! We loved strolling down the main streets of the downtown districts and taking in all that our city offers. I could go on and on about all of the things located downtown Lafayette.

Haan Mansion The Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art was one of our favorite sites of the day! The mansion has a rich history and was originally built for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Today it is filled with important and rare art from Indiana artists such as T.C. Steele, as well as gorgeous antique furniture. Climb up the staircases draped in classic red carpet, and visit the uniquely furnished and decorated bedrooms. We had a wonderful time

Haan Mansion

Haan Mansion

viewing all of the art on the walls of the mansion and the pottery/ceramics. Campus life often lacks artistic activities and exhibitions, and I think that a visit here would definitely fill that need!

Columbian Park & Zoo Free to the public, this zoo is a great spot for students low on cash. It opened in 1908 and today it houses prairie dogs, otters, bald eagles, emus, wallabies, llamas, goats, and many other animals. Visitors and students can come here to take a break from work and school life and to see the great variety of exhibits housed at the Columbian Park Zoo. This will also give them an opportunity to learn about and contribute to conservation efforts. We had a great time on this warm day seeing all of the animals, even a wallaby with a baby still in her pouch!

Can you guess this animal?

Can you guess this animal?

Igloo Frozen Custard We finished the day off by enjoying frozen custard from the Igloo. The first Igloo opened in 1932 in Lafayette. They’ve been serving the community for decades and they sure know what they’re doing! It was refreshing and cooling after a long day in the sun.

I never knew how much the Lafayette area had to offer! Now that I have experienced just a sample of what happens in our community outside of campus, I know that I will have a richer and more fulfilling experience while studying here at Purdue. I hope by sharing the things I saw on this fun and exciting day, that I will encourage everyone to get off campus and see all that the Greater Lafayette area has to offer. Samantha, Purdue University Student, shares this blog.

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What Lies Beyond Purdue Campus Part 1

Greetings from Purdue University Students, Emily & Sam! Enjoying Another Broken Egg!

Greetings from Purdue University Students, Emily & Sam! Enjoying Another Broken Egg!

Coming up on my fourth year as a student at Purdue University, I am reflecting on how I’ve spent my time in Lafayette-West Lafayette and the surrounding areas. Sure, I’ve been to some of the events on campus like Starry Night, but have I really experienced the Greater Lafayette area? Definitely not! I lived in the residence halls for the past three years, and so all of my activities and knowledge of events was based around campus. However, it wasn’t until joining the staff here at VLWL that I came to realize all of the things there are do and see just off of Purdue’s campus. A big part of working here means that I help visitors and locals connect with events and businesses here in Lafayette-West Lafayette.

Two of our senior staff members took another new employee and I out on a tour of the community so that we would be able to educate people who come into our office. It just so happens that we had a lot of fun doing so! I’ve detailed all of the awesome places that we were able to visit, and I encourage everyone who hasn’t ventured off campus to visit as well!

Breakfast! Yum!

Breakfast! Yum!

Another Broken Egg They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day! And Another Broken Egg is a great spot to get it at. We started our day off by stopping by and checking out this Purdue staple open since 1996. It’s located on Northwestern Ave next to the Stacked Pickle. We tried a variety of dishes, from sweet to savory – and it was all delicious! This is definitely a great spot for students, faculty and the community to come and grab breakfast or brunch.  Please note there is parking in the back.

The Farm & Prophetstown State Park As you first enter Prophetstown State Park, you’ll come across The Farm. This place is a must-see for anyone who loves animals! Chickens, sheep, horses, pigs, and more! We were even lucky enough to get the chance to hold kittens that were just weeks old. Surrounded by the beautiful State Park, the Farm is a great place to escape from the hustle of Purdue’s campus. After stopping by the Farm, you can explore the trails and sights of Prophetstown. The State Park is a great spot for bike riding, walking trails, or having picnics.

Hi chickens!

Hi chickens!

Battlefield Memorial

Battlefield Memorial

Tippecanoe Battlefield This site commemorates the Battle of Tippecanoe which occurred in 1811. We visited the landmark of this historic battle, which also has a museum nearby telling the story of the battle between U.S Forces led by William Henry Harrison and the Native American confederation led by The Prophet. The Battlefield is surrounded by beautiful scenic hiking trails and picnic areas. This would be a great place for visitors to take some time to come and learn about the impact that Tippecanoe County had on our country’s history!

Wolf Park The Wolf Park is home to 13 wolves, including some loveable new born wolf pups! They also host foxes, coyotes and bison there. This place is a wonderful place to walk outside and view some beautiful animals up close. The Park is dedicated to researching wolves, and contributing to education and conservation of the species. It hosts Howl Nights which are a great attraction for students and families alike – staff enter the enclosure and interact with the wolf pack, and you have the opportunity to howl with the wolves! It’s wonderful to see such enthusiasm for growing and protecting this species!

Garden Gate Tea Room This place is absolutely adorable! If you’re looking for a cute and unique place to have lunch with friends, this is definitely it. We enjoyed personal pots of tea from a HUGE variety of flavor choices. I also enjoyed a sandwich and a delicious cup of carrot soup! Decorated as a traditional tea room, with doilies and all, the Garden Gate Tea Room in Delphi will make anyone feel like royalty. Reservations recommended for this small, cozy space!

Riding the Delphi!

Riding the Delphi!

Wabash and Erie Canal We had the opportunity to walk through the museum at the canal in Delphi. This museum is really remarkable because it was constructed almost entirely by volunteers! It’s filled with interactive exhibits, countless historic artifacts, and educational information about Indiana’s history. The museum is on the banks of the canal, with beautiful natural views. Just a short walk from the museum is the Canal Village which is a reconstruction of a Pioneer Village, complete with a Blacksmith, one room school house, and others. It is reminiscent of Connor Prairie, but located just outside of Lafayette!

More adventure awaits in the afternoon!  Check back to this blog on Friday, July 7, for more local afternoon fun in Lafayette-West Lafayette! Samantha, Purdue University Student, shares this blog.

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Freshness Reigns at Midtowne Oven

Tomato Basil Soup

Tomato Basil Soup

Happening Now!  Planning a stay in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana area? Whether you are looking for delicious dining, interesting attractions and shops, enticing events or home away from home lodging—a getaway to Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana is sure to satisfy. Right now the locals are talking about Midtowne Oven, a casual yet sophisticated dining experience in downtown Lafayette serving gourmet sandwiches, an incredible selection of focaccia pizza breads and chef-driven entrees.  The bright, welcoming atmosphere compliments the fresh taste of every dish.

Untuna Salad with side salad

Untuna Salad with side salad

Rachel, Sports Marketing & Recreation Manager for VLWL shares her experiences at Midtowne Oven, “I have visited this great addition to downtown Lafayette a couple times since they opened and Midtowne Oven has added something really special to our area.  Their beautiful brick oven is being used to its full potential creating mastery pizzas, specialty sandwiches, succulent steaks and more. They are using fresh ingredients to create dishes full of flavor and pure deliciousness.

Let’s talk focaccia bread pizza dips! YUM! These customizable pizza creations are one of a kind, and the different dips that accompany the pizza allow for unlimited flavor. I wish I could give you a hint as to which is the best combination, but I can’t decide so you will have to just do that yourself. I switched off dipping in the marinara and Parmesan pepper cream because they both were amazing.

Foccacia

Focaccia bread pizza dips

 

Don’t forget the sandwiches. My coworkers and I struggled to choose just one, so we split the chicken sandwich and grilled cheese with a cup of tomato bisque. Apple butter and gouda on tender chicken breast, doesn’t get much better than that. Hands down the best tomato bisque soup ever, it was slightly sweet and very refreshing even on a hot day!IMG_4569

Last but not least, dessert. I’m obsessed! I told myself to cut down on bread consumption lately, but clearly that hasn’t happened. The beer bread is to die for! Thick slices of sweet beer bread accompany three different creams and compotes to create a flavorful, not overly sweet dessert. This can be a shared dish after eating an entire pizza dip.

Apple Almond Tart

Apple Almond Tart

 

Make sure you visit Midtowne Oven and taste the unique side to Lafayette on your next restaurant adventure in Lafayette-West Lafayette.  The friendly and attentive service will wrap up the culinary adventure you will adore.”

Meet you at Arni’s

Arnis 50th (39)

Celebrating 50 years!

The original Arni’s Restaurant opened at Market Square in 1965. Since then, Arni’s has made a positive impact locally as well as state wide with 18 locations throughout Indiana. Arni Cohen, the original owner and founder of Arni’s, was known to be a very kind and active member of the community up until his passing in 2002. His two sons Brad and Kurt, who now own and run the company, have carried on the family tradition of community involvement and friendly service through the business. I know this first hand from being a customer through childhood and now working at Arni’s myself.

Great customer service!

Great customer service!

I was very fortunate to be given an internship opportunity with Arni’s during my sophomore year at Purdue. Arni’s works closely with Purdue’s Hospitality and Tourism Program during career fairs and events such as the Purdue Black Tie Dinner. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to work and learn about the industry through a very wide range of responsibilities. Arni’s offers a full bar service, catering, and of course dine in. With the size and popularity of Arni’s, this opportunity offered me more than I could ever imagine through everything from marketing, restaurant operations, and catering skills. Although my semester long internship ended in May of 2017, I have continued working at Arni’s as a hostess.

20140621_195744My favorite part about working at Arni’s is the history within the restaurant itself, the employees, and the customers. There are multiple employees who have been working at the Market Square location for almost as long as Arni’s has been open. These long time employees are a huge part of what makes Arni’s so special, memorable, and nostalgic for many of our customers. There are many regulars who have been loyal customers since the doors first opened in 1965. We see our regular customers weekly and sometimes daily. This type of loyalty is so special and rare, I am so glad to be a part of it. The Arni’s environment is full of nostalgia, from the building, the pictures on the walls, to the servers and pizza makers who make it all happen.

arnis - 3 pizzasI can remember going to Arni’s as a child and I never grew tired of the classic Arni’s pizza. Now as an Arni’s employee, I still love to enjoy an Arni’s pizza or a hot ham and cheese whenever I can. Arni’s is a Lafayette tradition not only for my family, but many families in Lafayette and surrounding areas. When Lafayette natives move away and come back to visit, Arni’s is often their first place to stop upon their arrival. I have encountered many people while working at Arni’s who try to time their travel just right to order a pizza as soon as they get into town or make a stop at Arni’s before they leave the area. Arni’s is a taste of home for so many, including myself.

Arni's Famous Junior Salad

Arni’s Famous Junior Salad

The type of service, history, and taste Arni’s offers cannot be taught, but happens with experience and a genuine sense of community. I know from being a customer and also an employee that Arni’s provides the type of dining experience every customer longs for. You will have a smile on your face from the moment you walk into the doors until the moment you leave after a great meal. Don’t just take my word for it, I’ll Meet you at Arni’s!

Emily, Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Intern, shares this blog.

Weekend Update: Taste of Tippecanoe 2017

TASTE of Tippecanoe 2015

TASTE of Tippecanoe 2015

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.

It’s back for it’s 36th year; the TASTE of Tippecanoe! Downtown Lafayette and the Depot Plaza come alive with food, music, fireworks and fun on Saturday, June 17.  This special festival features local food & drink vendors, live music, live art, and the biggest booms around!! Check out all the wonderful photos form year’s past. If you have any fabulous photos you want to share, please email serickson@homeofpurdue.com.

TASTE of Tippecanoe 2015 night crowdTASTE of Tippecanoe 2015 day crowdFireworksbyDave Schmidt2015For more information about this event and other special “happenings” in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.