Hearty, Homemade Cooking at Oliverio’s

Unknown-1Looking for a local restaurant/diner serving hearty, homemade cooking? Look no further than Oliverio’s Southland Restaurant. This Mom and Pop restaurant is creating homemade specialties daily that will make you smile this winter season.  From homemade pies to meat manhattans (if you don’t know what a meat manhattan is, keep reading!), to fresh jellies you can purchase to take home. Down home cooking at its best!

Pork Manhattan

Pork Manhattan

Recently, a friend and I tried out Oliverio’s. I have driven by it many times, but never ventured in. I am so glad I finally did because inside we found a cute little diner serving breakfast all day long with specials that include one of my favorites, beef or pork manhattan. What is this you may ask? It is 2 slices of white bread with shaved meat in between, a huge scoop of mashed potatoes and it is covered with gravy.  YUMMY! I have had beef and turkey manhattans before, but never pork. Our friendly waitress recommended the pork manhattan and I am so glad she did. The meat was tender and the gravy was delicious.

Unknown-7My friend, Ashley, ordered a ham and cheese omelet and a pancake. She said the omelet was cooked perfectly and tasted good. Ashley raved about the pancake.  We took a photo, but it really does not do it justice. She shared, “The pancake was light and fluffy and with the warm maple syrup, delightful!”

The service was fabulous! Our waitress was friendly and made great recommendations on what to order. When we walked in the door, the first thing we noticed was the pie stand with fresh made pies. There was only 1 slice of strawberry pie left, so we requested it from our waitress as soon as we sat down.  She brought it over loaded with whipped cream. I hate to say it, but Ashley and I had no control, and started our lunch with dessert first!  But I would do it again it in a heartbeat. It was one of the best strawberry pies I have ever had! And our waitress never said a thing! She just smiled and shared she wondered if we could hold off until after we ate our lunch!

As we looked around the diner, there were so many sandwiches coming out that it was Unknown copyhard to decide what to order. I do know if I go back, I am going to get a burger and fries. They looked very appetizing.

Add Oliverio’s to your next dine around town! Also, don’t miss purchasing some homemade jelly (seasonally offered) as you walk out! For more information about this restaurant and others in our area, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

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Recharge at Fuel Coffee

ChristmasshoppingFuelbyDaveSchmidt2016Nestled downtown Lafayette on Main Street is the Fuel Coffee Shop! It’s a great location with even better food and drinks! If you’re looking for a locally owned coffee place to recharge and relax, then Fuel is the place for you.

Fuel DrinkThe decor is eclectic and unique – step through the iconic red door and you’ve arrived at coffee paradise! You’re immediately met with the yummy smells of fresh brews and breakfast delights. Muffins, zucchini bread, quiches, cinnamon rolls, pancakes, breakfast burritos, and even cheesecake. There’s lunch options too – sandwiches, salads and paninis!

And for non-coffee drinkers, don’t worry! There are options for you too: hot chocolate, iced or hot tea. I ordered the iced London Fog, a black tea with vanilla syrup and milk! It’s definitely my new go-to drink.

Whether you’re looking for a place to chill, work on assignments, or just to wake up… You can find space to do it at Fuel Coffee Shop on Main Street.

IMG_8866This blog was shared by student blogger and Visitor Information Specialist, Sam Martin!

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Be Sweet this Holiday Season!

Kathies Kandies Charlize EatingSweets and Treats! You can never go wrong with a box of chocolate for your loved ones over the holiday season! Lafayette-West Lafayette is home to not one, but four candy stores. These stores offer all of the favorites including chocolate caramels, truffles, butter cream chocolates and much more.

Kathy’s Kandies showcases a wide variety of “sweets” that will make your family feel special this holiday season. Artisan chocolates, chocolate covered pretzels, gourmet popcorn, novelty suckers, brittle and toffee are just a few decadent options. The nutella chocolate truffles are a specialty-handcrafted truffle filled with nutella that offers a hint of nuttiness and smooth, rich chocolate. Yummy! For the special man in your life, a great gift idea is their chocolate bacon pizza. This pizza has 1 whole pound of bacon on it! Can you imagine?! (My husband is a hog farmer, and this would be his dream gift!) Please note it has to be special ordered so call ahead.

Kathy's Kandies

Kathy’s Kandies

 

 

Another specialty candy store is McCord Candies. This store opened its door in 1912 and has been serving the Lafayette-West Lafayette community since this date. The most popular draw to McCord’s is their homemade candy canes, which they make on average 34,000 canes during the month and a half holiday season time. They sell them locally in the store, ship them globally, and always keep people coming back for more. Also, you can hand select from a wide variety of chocolates and bagged candies that include hot cinnamon bears (my favorite), Boston baked beans and chocolate covered peanuts. When visiting, I suggest ordering a chocolate sundae from their old-fashioned soda shop. They make a homemade chocolate sauce that is amazing!

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McCord Candy Canes

Wolf’s Fine Chocolates boast their chocolate is made with love and a tasteful touch of wonder, care, spice and tradition. A box full of this specialty candy will be sure to make your family member(s) smile! I highly recommend their Smitty’s, a peanut butter center covered in fresh roasted peanuts and milk chocolate. The chocolate is rich in flavor and the saltiness of the roasted peanuts and creamy peanut butter make it a simply delicious! Also, make sure you add some of their homemade fudge, which is creamy and melts in your mouth!

Wolf Candies!

Wolf Candies!

Richelle in a Handbasket Peanut Brittle- YUMMY!

Richelle in a Handbasket Peanut Brittle- YUMMY!

Lafayette’s newest candy shop is Richelle in a Handbasket! This shop features chocolates, coffee, gift baskets, caramel popcorn, custom gifts and more. Located at Market Square, it is steps away from Interior Objects, the Handmade Market, Legendary Games, Camera Outfitters, Arni’s and more if you want to make it an afternoon of fun! One of the best part about Richelle in a Handbasket is the baskets! There are so many items to choose from to add to your basket including sweets and food items, but also gift items like wall art, baby bibs, body care products, etc.

For more information about these wonderful candy shops and other specialty stores in our area, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Fine Dining at McGraws’s Steak Chop & Fish House

McGrawsFine Dining at McGraws’s Steak Chop & Fish House! It is crazy to believe 2018 is so near. Last week was Thanksgiving and now the full holiday season is upon us!  Make sure you make the most of this season at one of Lafayette-West Lafayette’s finest steak and seafood restaurant, McGraw’s.  Enjoy succulent steaks, fresh fish, fabulous appetizers and the best customer service.

McGraw’s! When I think of this restaurant my stomach does a happy dance and I smile from all of the wonderful memories I have eating here. I don’t know which is better; the food, ambiance or service. Everything is top notch! I will share some of my favorite dishes, but please note everything I have tried has been delicious.

Appetizers:  I recommend ordering their crispy shoestring onions. They are super thin, lightly battered and served with a thousand-island style sauce. Their shrimp martini is another top pick.  The shrimp are huge and the cocktail sauce is hot, but not too hot. These appetizers are perfect because they are not super filling and whet the appetite for the entree to come!img_7876

Soup:  One of the BEST French onion soups I have ever tasted can be found at McGraw’s. The dark beef broth with sweet onions smothered with Gruyere cheese will make your mouth tingle. It is a messy soup dish, but well worth it.  (Sometimes if I am not super hungry, I will partake of appetizers and order soup for my meal and then nab a bite or two of my husband’s steak!)

Entrees: My friends and I like to each order our own meals and then share. It’s fun because then we can sample a bit of everything. My favorite entrees are really hard to pick. One can’t go wrong with their filet mignon, which is always perfectly cooked, lightly seasoned (just the way I like it!) and you can cut it with a fork. The flounder with pan seared polenta cake, tricolored baby carrots, green beans with a lemon caper butter is a refreshing and lighter choice. Every month they host a burger of the month.  This past month the burger as a 10 oz. ground sirloin burger with smoked provolone, pre-roasted poblano peppers, pickled red onion on a brioche bun.  It was juicy with a kick of heat….delicous!

Every entree is served with a salad, side and bread. Beware, I have made the mistake of filling up on their delicious fresh bread with sweet whipped butter.  It is yummy, but safe room for your entree and dessert!

Dessert: Order their Crème Brûlée! I have shared it with my mother in law and wished I didn’t because it was so good!  It was sweet (but not too sweet), had a crispy sugary coating, and was utterly delicious!

mcgraws4Ambiance: Overlooking the Wabash River, there is not a bad spot in the restaurant. Subtle lighting and candlelight make it a great date night location for a romantic dinner.

Service: One word: Wonderful! If you want a night where you can sit back and receive great customer care with a smile, this is the place!

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. For more information about this restaurant and others in the area, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

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Local. Fresh. Café Literato.

     Local. Fresh. Café Literato. Our staff was able to check out Café Literato, located on Northwestern Avenue attached to the Faith Community Center. We spent a lovely afternoon sampling just a few of the items from their menu.
Cafe Literato Sam Cafe Literato RacCafé Literato has delicious options – sandwiches, pizzas, salads, and more! I was even able to try a great gluten-free pizza. You definitely need to stop in and grab a bite, and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere.

They serve a delightful Greek salad, absolutely loaded with toppings! Tomatoes, onion, feta cheese… Try it as an entree or get it as a side to another menu item. You can also order from a very wide variety of hot and cold beverages! There are smoothies, lattes, espressos and other drinks!Cafe Literato Salad

I think all of our staff would agree that this is a great, light-hearted place to visit. Good for people of all ages, students, visitors, and families alike, Café Literato is always a tempting option.

This blog was written by Purdue student and Visitor Information Specialist Intern, Samantha Martin! For more information about this restaurant and others in the area, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

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Deliciousness Awaits at Walt’s Other Pub

Consistently deliciousWalt’s Other Pub in Lafayette is a place you just have to plan a visit! Visitors and locals alike can find something to enjoy among their many menu options! There are sandwiches, flatbreads, salads, steaks, and more!

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French Dip

One of my great shames is that up until recently, I had never visited Walt’s Other Pub. As a fourth year Purdue Student, I am so sad that I have missed out for this long! Luckily, my job here lets me get a taste of all of the great places that our community has to offer.

My coworker Emily and I took our lunch break there only a couple of weeks ago. And wow, was I impressed! We tried their new pepperoni stick appetizer! It was a delicious calzone-like dish and served with two dipping sauces: cheese and marinara. But our meal didn’t stop there, of course! For our entrees, I tried the French dip sandwich. It was served with waffle fries and a savory au jus sauce! Emily got the meat lover’s flatbread pizza – with a variety of toppings including sausage, pepperoni, salami, ham, applewood bacon and lots of yummy, melted mozzarella cheese on top!

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Delicious Flatbreads!

I don’t think that anyone can have a bad time at Walt’s Other Pub! There’s so many options for everyone. It has a local, community atmosphere and is a staple of the Lafayette-West Lafayette area. You can come with the family, for a business meeting, for an event, and basically any other event that calls for great food! Another bit of good news is that they are opening a second location! West Lafayette will have its own Walt’s Pub on the corner of Yeager and Kalberer. It is set to open this Fall.

Walts.Indoor Logo 2I definitely can’t wait for an excuse to eat there again and check out the new location. This blog post was shared by Purdue student & Visitor Information Specialist Intern, Sam Martin!

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Weekend Update: Holiday Farmhouse Feast & Lafayette Master Chorale Performance

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.

This Saturday, November 4, partake of a lunch of great food and laughter at the Holiday Farmhouse Feast at The Farm at Prophetstown! Enjoy a homemade meal in the 1920’s Gibson Farmhouse, featuring fresh ingredients from The Farm. This will mark the last farm-to-table dinner of the season!  The meal will be buffet/family style and include ham, fried chicken, traditional sides and dessert. Socialize and make new friends, visit the farm animals and feed the chickens! It will be an afternoon of merriment and fun!

Farm to Table Dinner

Farm to Table Dinner

The evening of November 4, the Lafayette Master Chorale begins the season with the elegant Requiem of Gabriel Faure. With its soaring melodies and dramatic harmonies, this piece remembers those who have gone before. Combined with Arvo Part’s Da Pacem Domine, Faure’s luscious Cantique de Jean Racine and Peter Lutkin’s beloved The Lord Bless You and Keep You, the gentle but powerful music is sure to leave you with a feeling of serenity.

Lafayette Master Chorale

Lafayette Master Chorale

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” on a Den Pop and “Hammer Down” on a Hammer Donut

IMG_0361Just when you thought being a Boilermaker couldn’t get any better, it does! We now have a place to get FRESH donuts on campus for a reasonable price! Hammer Donuts is a small, but mighty donut shop inside the famous Discount Den in Chauncey Hill.

As soon as you walk into The Den you will see a beautifully painted mural painted by Lafayette’s own Elaine Nygren. The mural displays colorful donuts and sprinkles with a Purdue hammer hitting the wall. It’s the perfect back drop for a donut shop. It gives Hammer Donuts an artsy and colorful feel.

Hammer Donuts has teamed up with local businesses such as the Neon Cactus. On Thursday nights you can bring in your cactus cup and fill it up with donut holes for only $4.99. The Hammer Donuts Instagram is sure to make you hungry for a fresh hammer donut.

Hammer donuts can also fulfill your catering needs. The bright pink donut boxes are a great addition to your early morning meeting or staff breakfast. Hammer donuts does it all.

Purdue’s campus has had fro-yo options, Chinese food, AJ’s Burgers, Brothers Bar, and everything in-between that a hungry college student needs, except donuts! Now our campus is officially complete and just in time with State street opening and students returning for the semester.

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These donuts aren’t just your average donuts. Owner, Tate Schienbein, a 2017 Purdue Grad, makes the donuts from scratch using his own family recipe. The donuts are freshly made right there inside the Den every morning! The donuts look and more importantly, taste amazing. In addition to the amazing donuts, Hammer Donuts serves coffee from Lafayette’s own Copper Moon. This business is already on its way to being a Purdue tradition.

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The menu includes classic donuts, specialty donuts, and donut holes! My personal favorite is the specialty Lucky Charm covered donut. Hammer Donuts is the perfect compliment for the legendary Discount Den. How exciting is it that we can now “Boiler up” on a den pop and “hammer down” on a hammer donut! As Tate says, “Boiler Raised, Hammer Made!”. Head to 135 S Chauncey Ave Suite 1J in West Lafayette to give these delicious donuts a try for yourself.

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

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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

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.