“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

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.

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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Fresh Local Produce at Wea Creek Orchard

WeaCreekOrchard_tractorandbarnLooking for something to do this weekend? Why not head to Wea Creek Orchard in Lafayette, IN and pick some fresh peaches, nectarines, apples, pumpkins, enjoy a wagon ride, purchase some honey or apple butter, jams and jellies, etc.? You’ll have loads of fun!

WeaCreekOrchard_0235Wea Creek Orchard is a 7th generation family farm, started in 1829. Originally, a livestock and row crop farm, it is now home to around 2000 fruit trees! The current owner, moved here in 2007 and started planting trees about 200-400 at a time. Now they farm 72 acres total but 17 acres of that are made up of specialty crops. They selected dwarf tree varieties as they knew they wanted to make this a U-pick orchard and it makes it easier to get to the fruit, especially for young children as the fruit is lower to the ground. In addition to the orchard they have two barns on site, one built in 1870 that they rent for special events such as weddings from April to November and one built in 1880 that houses their market. They have an average of about 30 weddings a year in the barn and even has their own wedding planner to help you plan your big day for no additional charge!

wea-orchard-2012-3jpgA day at the orchard is loads of fun for the whole family! All ages enjoy learning where their food comes from, how it is grown and getting to collect your own fruit, right from the trees. Kids spend time scouring the pumpkin patch for just the perfect pumpkin for their jack o lantern. Take a wagon ride around the orchard to scope out just where you want to go and to learn all about what is available there. Learn about honey and how important bees are to the trees. Pick up some hedge apples for fun or a gourd for your fall decorations. Lots of fun can be had, spending a day at the orchard. After you’ve picked out the best produce, don’t forget to swing by the market and pick up some apple butter, apple cider, jams, jellies, salsa, barbecue sauce and more to get you through the winter!

wea-orchard-2012-9jpgWeaCreekOrchard_sampletableA variety of fruit is available at the orchard! This year they have Pixie Crunch apples (we’re told these are so good, they may replace Honey Crisp! Even better, they are a Purdue variety!), Gala apples, Blonde apples (these have become my personal favorites, taste a bit like a pear, I think), Dande Red apples , Mollie Delicious apples (so sweet, it’s like biting into sugar), Kane apples, Golden Delicious Apples, Fuji apples, Ruby John apples (these almost look purple!), nectarines and peaches. They’ve just started some Cherry Trees so look for those in the coming years.

Wea Creek Orchard is open seasonally July-October on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (check their website or call for hours before you go!) and is located at 5618 S. 200 E. on the south side of Lafayette. We hope you will visit and have a wonderful time!

Ashley Gregory, Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette, Director of Sales, shares this blog.

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Weekend Update: Germanfest & Tippecanoe & Bluegrass Too! Festival

Germanfest

Germanfest

Festival 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.

Schnitzel beef sandwiches, rollbraten pork sandwiches, beef goulach with buttered noodles, potato pancakes, homemade lentil soup, brats and more! Where can all of this be found along with a performance by the Polka Boys, a beer stein holding contest, casino games and more? St. Boniface Germanfest! This Saturday, September 9, join the German revelers as we dance, eat and make merry downtown Lafayette! Please note you may not be German in ethnicity, but you can be one in spirit as the celebration rocks and rolls!

Tippecanoe & Bluegrass Too! Festival

Tippecanoe & Bluegrass Too! Festival

So much fun is happening this Saturday! Bring the family out to Exploration Acres for their Tippecanoe & Bluegrass Too! festival.  From10am-10pm rock out to music featuring: Bahler’s Golden Age Band, Battleground Bluegrass Band, Borrowed Tyme, Branded Bluegrass, and Cornfields & Crossroads. Bring your own lawn chairs as you enjoy this outdoor event in the woods. (Note: if rain, the event will be moved to the barn.) Craft beer and concessions will be available.

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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Be Lazy this Labor Day!

Tropicanoe Cove 2016 Dave SchidtHappy Labor Day Weekend! If you are as stunned as we are that it is already Labor Day weekend, please reply to this blog and share with us what has happened to summer? We want to know! Ha! The summer here in Lafayette-West Lafayette has been a fun one, yet it seems as though each year speeds by quicker than the last. If only we could freeze time! On that note, I thought it would be fun to put a list of lazy activities that will hopefully make time go a bit slower and allow you to really relax and enjoy everything Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, has to offer!  Enjoy!

What is more relaxing than floating on a lazy river? Two of our area outdoor water parks, Prophetstown State Park Aquatic Center and Tropicanoe Cove at Columbian Park, both feature lazy rivers that are begging for people to be lazy and float through them! All you have to do is grab an inner tube, walk in the water, and float. All your worries seem to disappear as the sun shines, the water flows and all one hears is laughter and happiness around.

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Happy Hollow Park

Maybe water parks aren’t your thing? No problem! We have a plethora of local parks where you can grab a book, pack a lunch and pick the perfect tree to sit under and read the afternoon away. Personally, I have a four year old, and since having her I have to share reading has become a challenge with her running this way and that! But the idea of picking out my favorite novel and reading all afternoon sounds amazing! This most likely will not happen for a few years until she is a bit older, but it doesn’t mean we can’t experience this as a family. We can pick out her favorite books as she loves to read, and can enjoy the day all together! Happy Hollow Park is right in our backyard and a picnic, an hour of reading and a walk in its wooded trails will be a fun, family experience.

Shopping fun!

Shopping fun!

This could be a controversial topic as to whether this is a lazy activity or not. I think shopping when you have a ton of gifts you have to buy and are on a time crunch can be a bit unnerving. But to just take a day and walk up and down Main Street in Lafayette, just for the fun of it with no shopping agenda in mind, is fun! Recently, I took a friend and we did this. We caroused the shops, ate at one of my local, favorite French restaurants, Bistro 501, and even bought a few gifts for birthdays coming up this fall. I love finding the perfect gift months early so I do not have to last minute scramble trying to find a present. In some ways I am relieving future stress by this relaxing, lazy day of shopping!

Bistro Quiche

Bistro Quiche

We hope this Labor Day weekend in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana; you truly can rest, relax and find happiness. For more information about our area please visit our website at HomeOfPurdue.com.

Labor Day Weekend Update: Mosey Down Main Street & Lafayette Citizens Band

Labor Day 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.

Mosey Down Main Street

Mosey Down Main Street

It’s another fun, fabulous Mosey Down Main Street this Saturday, September 2. Mosey is a series of street celebrations brought to you by the local artistic community.  With three stages of music, outdoor food, beer, and wine sales as well as street performers, sidewalk chalk and hand made hula hoops, drum circles and DJ’s, belly dancers, and balloon animals, this is an evening of family fun.

Lafayette Citizens Band

Lafayette Citizens Band

On Labor Day, do not miss the last concert of the season presented by the Lafayette Citizens Band. Enjoy an evening of music by local musicians playing under expert conductor William D. Kisinger. Grab your lawn chair, family and friends and head to Riehle Plaza for this free event!

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

Explore Downtown Lafayette-West Lafayette

IMG_4266Lafayette-West Lafayette is home to a fabulous downtown full of shops, public art, attractions, restaurants and hotels. Recently, downtown Main Street in Lafayette has undergone a major revitalization project and the beautifully manicured streets lined with specialty shops await the enthusiastic visitor. In West Lafayette, look beyond the construction to the delicious dining establishments and one of a kind shops. Our downtown is divided into 3 fun districts, Chauncey Village, Wabash Riverfront and Arts & Market. Each offering its own distinct charm and flair.

Public art!

Public art!

Local artist Linda Elmore creating masterpieces at LE Originals

Local artist Linda Elmore creating masterpieces at LE Originals

SHOPUpscale to vintage clothing, designer home accessories, gourmet goodies, original art in all media formats, music, games and even diamonds and gold await you.

DINE Enjoy an extraordinary assortment of cuisine—from elegant fine dining to casual bistros, corner pubs to cocktail lounges. It’s all here in Downtown Lafayette-West Lafayette.

Fun at Harry's

Fun at Harry’s

PLAYReady. Set. Go Downtown to find art galleries, nightlife, community parks and even a bowling alley, Downtown has it all. With plenty of activities, there’s always something to do.

Bowl at Purdue Memorial Union!

Bowl at Purdue Memorial Union!

STAYChoose from a historic hotel, located right on Purdue’s campus, to a hotel just steps from the Wabash River. Wherever you choose to stay, you’ll be in the heart of it all—Downtown.

West Lafayette's newest hotel, Hampton Inn

West Lafayette’s newest hotel, Hampton Inn

For more information about our lovely downtown, visit http://www.homeofpurdue.com/attractions/downtown.html.