National Cheese Lovers Day!

Cellar 422 cheeseboardForget all the holidays you think you love. No, today is the best holiday of them all! National Cheese Lovers Day! Cheese lovers, we all can rejoice in this glorious day. Forget the 2017 dieting resolutions. Today we all can indulge in our favorite food, CHEESE!

This is a holiday that must be celebrated to its fullest. A great place in the Lafayette area to do so is at Cellar 422. This wine bar is the perfect place to compliment cheese. And lets face it, who doesn’t love wine and cheese? You just can’t go wrong.

Cellar 422 is one of the more recent additions to our thriving downtown area. This wine bar was opened by two sisters who have a passion for wine and a passion for sharing their love with others. The wine bar has a collection of different wines that you won’t be able to find at the local liquor store. They also have a great selection of Indiana crafted beers.

cellar-422-2016The menu served at Cellar 422 is one that will fill your cheese cravings! As a cheese lover, you can’t go wrong with the Cheese Board. There is always a different selection of cheese along with some yummy extras like fruit, crackers and jams. The warm Brie, served with bread, fruit and two different jams, has to be my favorite. Warm, melty cheese satisfies my cheese passion any day!

Check out Cellar 422 downtown Lafayette and cheers to National Cheese Lovers Day! For more information about other delicious restaurants in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

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Fun Food Adventure at Lotsa Stone Fired Pizza

fb34Food Fun Adventure?!  What does that mean? It means a dining experience that is unique, entertaining and the flavors create an adventure of yumminess. Lotsa Stone Fired Pizza is West Lafayette’s newest pizza restaurant and they are offering a new way to experience pizza by letting the customers build their own pizza right before their eyes. This is done all within 5 minutes!

img_33473 step process to create your own signature pizza:

  1. Pick the dough. Choices include traditional crust, ancient grain crust or gluten free crust.
  2. Pick the sauce. Red sauce, alfredo sauce, buffalo sauce, olive oil, spicy red sauce and BBQ sauce are the options.
  3. Pick your toppings. 9 cheese toppings from blue cheese crumbles to fresh mozzarella to an herb ricotta. Every topping one could imagine is offered from egg beaters to grilled chicken to pineapple to Old Bay shrimp. To top it off, diners can pick from 9 pizza finishers that include ranch, sriracha, BBQ sauce drizzle, basil, pesto and more!

img_3351Recently, when visiting Lotsa Stone Fired Pizza with some friends, we walked up to the pizza making station, and were excited to create our own signature pies. I chose the traditional crust with red sauce and added spicy sausage, pepperoni, ricotta, fresh mozzarella and spinach as my toppings. The Lotsa team made the pizza right in front of my eyes.  Then they threw it in the stone fired oven and within a few minutes it was cooked to the perfect pizza crispiness. I picked blue cheese sauce and ranch as my finishers. The pizza was delicious. The only thing I would do differently is eating the whole pizza. I just couldn’t stop eating it and felt so full after! For my next visit, my goal is to eat half the pizza and order a side salad to compliment it.

fb29Lotsa Pizza offers pizza great and a really fun dining experience. For more information about this restaurant and others in our area, visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

 

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Winter Fun at Pappy’s and Purdue Bowling

If you are looking for an alternative activity to get you out of the cold, snowy weather on weekends, then look no further than Pappy’s Sweet Shop and the Union Rack and Roll. Both are located in the Purdue Memorial Union on the lower levels.

Pappy's

Pappy’s

Pappy’s has been around since 1927 and is a favorite among college students and locals alike. The diner features menu items like grilled cheese, burgers, fries, chicken tenders, breakfast items like buttermilk pancakes or biscuits and gravy, and my favorite, soda fountain creations like  shakes, malts, cones, and sundaes all made with ice cream using the original Purdue Creamery recipe. You can never go wrong with a vanilla milkshake.

Purdue Bowling

Purdue Bowling

After you are done eating at Pappy’s, check out the Union Rack and Roll. Located on the very bottom level in the Union, here you can find bowling lanes and billiards. You can pay by lane or by game for bowling (this does not include shoe rental in the price) and rent by table for billiards. Some themes that the Union Rack and Roll has each week consist of Xtreme Bowling, Unlimited Billiards, Thrifty Thursdays, and Sunday Fundays. Xtreme Bowling is their newest theme in which there are glow-in-the dark pins and bowling balls set up to use from the hours of 9 PM – 1 AM on Fridays and Saturdays. If you have done Cosmic Bowling before, this is very similar.

This fun winter weekend activity will surely be a hit with both college students and families. So head on over to the Union, grab a milkshake and bowl a strike or two.

For more information about these fun winter activities and more in our area, visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com. This blog was shared by Purdue University Student and Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Visitor Information Specialist, Jordan.

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Fine French Cuisine – Bistro 501

Dessert Spoons

Dessert Spoons

Taste buds soar at Lafayette’s one and only French restaurant, Bistro 501. From hand cut pommes frites, to the famous croque madame (or at least famous to me!), to epicurean desserts like the pot au chocolat, this restaurant serves it up decadently and deliciously!

One of my favorite ethnic restaurants in town is Bistro 501. Why? The food, service and ambiance make every visit memorable. I love food and every dish I have ordered at Bistro 501 has been fabulous. Just a few of my recommendations include the French onion soup, pomme frites, chicken pot pie and fish & chips. Their pomme frites are fresh cut fries lightly salted to perfection. I love blue cheese and I suggest ordering their homemade blue cheese dressing to dip them in!

Croque Madam

Croque Madame

Quiche and salad

Quiche and salad

Always great service! Bistro 501 wants guests to really enjoy their visit. The servers are attentive and knowledgeable about the menu and great at making suggestions. They create an atmosphere of comfort that makes diners not feel rushed but very relaxed.

dsc00484Welcoming ambiance. When one walks into Bistro 501 they are greeted by a very French countryside decor along with a smiling host or hostess. Located in the historic Lahr building, the high ceilings and openness make the restaurant feel spacious and very comfortable. Cushy seating allow for a pleasant visit where one can sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of chardonnay.

Make sure you visit Bistro 501 in 2017 for a dining experience that will be unforgettable. For more information about this restaurant and more in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

 

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It’s National Candy Cane Day! McCord Candies!

McCord Candy Canes

McCord Candy Canes

Today, we celebrate delicious candy canes! In Lafayette, the go to place for candy canes (and other candy) since 1912 is McCord Candies. They make each candy cane by hand just like they did 100 years ago.

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. What’s so unique about these canes?! McCord’s candy canes are like nothing you have ever tasted before. They look like normal canes but are soft once you start eating them, like a butter mint. There are NO preservatives in the canes & that is why they are made daily. The process of making these canes is very unique also. They are the only place in Indiana that still goes through the process completely by hand!! No machines are used! That is why each and every cane is so special and it’s also why two canes never look the same. Just like snowflakes! It’s also the same process and recipe Ivy McCord, the original owner, used himself.

christmasshoppingmccordsbydaveschmidt2016During the month of December, McCord’s has public tours on Friday, Saturday & Sundays for the customers to see how this unique process is done; also gaining an appreciation for all the hard work that goes into a single cane. Most importantly you get to make your own candy cane yourself & see how difficult & special it is! During the winter season candy canes will be made into every shape and form possible. This candy shop has its candy cane milkshakes if you want a cold treat or homemade candy cane hot chocolate if you crave a warm treat. The candy cane hot chocolate mix can also be purchased in mason jars for gifts or individual sealed packets to pour in your mug and go! McCord’s has candy cane peppermint bark, candy cane Oreos, candy cane pretzel sticks, candy cane stir sticks for hot chocolate, and other candy cane creations!

christmasshoppingmccordsbydaveschmidt2016-2Enjoy candy canes this holiday season at McCord Candies.  For more information about this shop/restaurant and more in our area, visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Eddie Joe’s Icehouse Offers True Midwest Hospitality

img_33632 Great Cities, 1 Great University, “Midwest Hospitality”.  Living in Lafayette-West Lafayette, one thing we value is customer service and appreciating the times we receive great customer care.  To experience “Midwest Hospitality” at its finest visit Eddie Joe’s Icehouse in West Point, Indiana. Opened in 2016, this restaurant is guaranteed to be successful from their fabulous service, fresh smoked meats and one of a kind side dishes. 

We have heard rave reviews about Eddie Joe’s and put it on our list of “must visit restaurants.” We are so glad we did! Upon entering, the ambiance is very country and low key. The smells of smokey meat fill the air. The server instantly greeted us and shared details about all the meats they smoke and gave suggestions on top picks. There were three of us dining, and we each chose something different on the menu so we could share.

The pulled pork loaded nachos were our first choice as an appetizer to start our meal.  Wow! The tortilla chips were fresh with a light coating of salt and then slathered in shredded cheese, pulled pork, sour cream and jalapenos. Highly recommend for a starter or to order for your meal!

Loaded Nachos

Loaded Nachos

One top suggestion for an entree was their street tacos. We ordered the smoked pulled pork tacos that are on house rolled tortillas and served with rice and beans. The pork was smoked to perfection and the sides were the perfect compliment to the meat.  Another suggestion was their smokehouse items. We ordered the pulled pork and brisket with southwest style macaroni and cheese and pit beans.  When we go back, we are ordering extra of these sides to take home with us.  They were amazing!  The macaroni and cheese is unlike any other of its kind with it mild spiciness.

Tex Mex Tacos

Tex Mex Street Tacos

On your next visit to Lafayette-West Lafayette, make sure you add this restaurant to your “must visit” list.

Pulled pork, mac n' cheese & pinto beans!

Pulled pork, mac n’ cheese & pinto beans!

For more information about Eddie Joe’s and other restaurants in our area, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

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Hidden Gem; John Purdue Room at Sgt. Preston’s

Spinach Dip

Spinach Dip

Hidden Gem of Lafayette-West Lafayette: John Purdue Room at Sgt. Preston’s. Right now the locals are talking about all the wonderful holiday parties they are hosting. One spectacular location for a holiday party is in the John Purdue Room at Sgt. Preston’s.

Many people do not even know about this Purdue decorated event space that is located in the historic John Purdue Block Building, next to Sgt. Preston’s.  This 1100 square foot party place seats up to 60 people and features exposed brick walls, Purdue memorabilia, a flat screen television and an outdoor patio adjacent to the room. It’s a little too cold right now for the outdoor patio, but please note this is fabulous outdoor space from spring through fall!

Outpost & Sgt. Preston’s Catering is the exclusive caterer for this location and always has fantastic food!  I have been to many events from business meetings to baby showers to anniversary and graduation parties here, and I always look forward to the food.  Their homemade spinach dip, decadent wings, and loaded potato salad are just a few of my favorites. They create beautiful and delicious fruit and cheese trays that are always a hit.  A full bar is also available to guests.

National Tourism Week 2016 Workshop

National Tourism Week 2016 Workshop

This holiday and winter season, when you are thinking of hosting a holiday party, save the hassle of having to cook, clean, etc. and book your party at the John Purdue Room.

Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, offers so many event opportunities!  Check out all our great meeting and event space we have to offer at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

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Holiday Eats at McGraws’s Steak Chop & Fish House!

mcgraws3Holiday Eats at McGraws’s Steak Chop & Fish House! It is crazy to believe 2017 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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Holiday Dining – Lafayette-West Lafayette

Meet you at Arni's!

Meet you at Arni’s!

It’s holiday time in Lafayette-West Lafayette! Thanksgiving is this week and in 5 weeks Christmas and New Year’s will hit.  Wowza, it’s been a busy, fast year!  Do you ever think, “slow down time!” I feel this way all of the time and so this holiday season, I am going to try to embark on an “embrace every day” mantra.  With this being said, instead of hosting a holiday party at my house which takes hours and hours of cleaning, cooking, and decorating, I am making a reservation at a local restaurant to host my friends and family. Now onto the hard part, which restaurant?  Here is a short list of my top picks.  Let me know what you think??  Where should I book my special holiday party this year?

  • Arni’s – A family fun restaurant serving thin crust pizza, famed Arni’s Junior Salad, and fresh garlic bread.
  • Bruno’s – Hand tossed pizza, famous Bruno Dough, and decadent cocktails served in a Swiss Style decorated restaurant.
  • East End Grill

    East End Grill

    East End Grill – Lafayette’s newest hot spot for fabulous food merging classic steakhouse dishes with innovative bistro style.

  • McGraws – Seafood and steak at it’s best.  Plus a beautiful view of the mighty Wabash River.
  • Restauration– A modern farm to table restaurant featuring fresh, local, simple, and creative foods.  Food allergies?  Check out this restaurant!
  • Red Seven Bar & Grill – Homemade everything! From their light and savory southwestern style egg rolls, to fresh salads and gourmet pastas, this trendy restaurant offers a fun night out.

Share with me your thoughts?  And/or other restaurant ideas??  For a full list of local restaurants in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Enjoy more delicious photos:

McGraws

McGraws

Red Seven

Red Seven

Bruno Dough

Bruno Dough

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Black Sparrow Offers Local Beers, Killer Food and An Inviting Atmosphere

Sparrow Friends

Sparrow Friends

Late nights, local beers, fun cocktails, killer food and an inviting atmosphere. What else could you ask for? The Black Sparrow is all that and more! One of my absolutely favorite hangout spots is located in the heart of downtown Lafayette.

The Sparrow is open 11am-3pm Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday 5pm-3am. Beers on tap are forever changing to something new and exciting I can almost guarantee you have never tried. Food is always solid. The small plates are a great snack for any time while the nightly specials are always unique. Live music occurs on a pretty regular basis as well. They always bring in great local talent that you would be crazy to miss.

Sandwich and Fries

Sandwich and Fries

2 Black Sparrow 2016I’m going to let you in on a little secret that pains me to share. The Black Sparrow opens for brunch on Sunday mornings on the last weekend of every month. Each month features a different type of cuisine. 10am is the start time, but there is always a line around the block so get there early if you want a seat!

For some reason my friends and I always gravitate to the Black Sparrow as our go to late night hangout. You will just have to experience this for yourself!

1 Black Sparrow 2016For more information about this restaurant and others in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

 

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