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.

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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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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La Scala – “Fresh Farm Food From Our Farm and Other Local Farms. Taste the Difference.”

LaScala three“Fresh Farm Food From Our Farm and Other Local Farms. Taste the Difference.” – is what you will see when you visit the La Scala website. And boy, is that accurate! I was absolutely impressed with how flavorful the salad I ordered at lunch was! The Fontina Fruit Salad was probably the best salad I have ever had! It was a massive portion for a lunch salad. It was a mound of greens piled high with apples, walnuts, grapes and Fontina cheese. The dressing was raspberry vinaigrette that was so refreshing! Oh, and I added grilled chicken to the salad which could not have been grilled more perfectly. Don’t even ask me how I finished that entire thing all by myself!

When you walk into La Scala you are greeted with a calm and relaxed environment. The servers are so sweet and fully knowledgeable of the menu. They have an answer for every question you could possibly have about the dishes. All of the main entrees come with a salad or soup to start with. I have to admit that I was very jealous watching my friend across the table eating her Tomato and Basil soup. The happiness on her face could not be recreated!

IMG_0439I have heard owner Kirsten talk to a group about her passion for her restaurant before. The love and care that her and her husband, Chef Francisco “Paco” Serrano, have for what they do is incredible. They started from the bottom and with their combined energy and devotion, the current La Scala is now what we have to enjoy. Lafayette is so lucky to have so many family businesses to enjoy, and La Scala is up there on the top of that list.

IMG_0431La Scala is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:00am until 2:00pm. Dinner on the weekdays, Monday through Thursday, is served from 5:00pm until 9:00pm. On Friday and Saturday nights La Scala serves dinner a little bit later from 5:00pm until 9:30pm. If you call or visit La Scala’s website, you can easily make a reservation. This is a simple way to ensure you can snag a table on a Friday night without having to wait. Sometimes La Scala is just too busy to be able to take all the walk ins on a weekend night!

I highly recommend eating your next meal out with La Scala. Don’t forget to bring your friends and family, along. Everyone will walk away with a smile on their face and a round full tummy!

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

Unique Food, Beer Wall, 1960’s Decor; Where? Cozy Tavern!

DSC01015Looking for a new place to eat? Why not check out one of the newest restaurants in town, The Cozy Tavern! If you have been around the area for a while, you may recognize the name or remember driving by the Cozy at one time or another. It’s located on South Street IMG_6196between Steak and Shake and Mar-Jean Village on the north side of the road, tucked in by the railroad tracks. While the name is still the same, The Cozy Tavern has recently reopened under new ownership, has had quite a facelift and a new menu!

Inside, you will notice that they have updated everything but kept the 1960’s feel keeping with the history of the restaurant. They have the red tufted booths and upholstered chairs, mirrors on the walls, drum lights and more. Even though it’s 60’s style it has a modern feel too as décor from that era seems to be making a comeback in recent years. If you visit on a nice day, be sure to check out their patio, there is plenty of seating out there for you and all your friends!

If you are a beer drinker (and 21 or older) be sure to go when you can indulge in all the different beers! They have a wall with eight different beers on tap. You are able to use a credit card and pay by the ounce. Try one or try them all! (Please drink responsibly). If you aren’t into beer, don’t worry they do have a full bar or soft drinks available and the food is great too!

IMG_6200I happened to visit the Cozy for lunch with some coworkers. I ordered “The Popeye Spinach Salad” which is a spinach salad with bacon, tomato, egg, and Parmesan cheese with a decadent bacon dressing! It was perfect! My mouth is watering now… yes, for a salad! We also ordered the cheese and crackers appetizer, which was somewhat unusual but we all loved it! It was deep fried pimento cheese cakes served with crackers. It was so good, that several of us thought we’d try the Pimento Grilled Cheese the next time we visit.  The menu has some unique items on it such as the Deviled Egg of the day, Today’s Mac and Cheese (a different version every day for both), Domestic Lamb Rack, Duck Sliders, deep fried guacamole and salsa and fried green tomatoes. They also have things like burgers, steak, roast pork sandwiches, other salads, meatloaf, pot pie, etc.

Mac N' Cheese!

Mac N’ Cheese!

So grab a friend and give this old standby with a new twist a try! Ashley Gregory, Group Tours & Meetings Manager, shared this blog. Please note this tavern is 21 and older.

Purdue Family Traditions – Triple XXX, Mackey Arena, Jane’s Gourmet & Greyhouse Coffee!

DSC_0371Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette is excited to announce new blogger, Maddie, to our team of bloggers! She shares her lifetime experience visiting Lafayette-West Lafayette and now as a Purdue University Student, what living here is all about!

As a child I always seemed to find myself sitting in the back of our family van, road tripping to West Lafayette, home of the Purdue Boilermaker’s, my dads favorite past time, and the place that I now call home as a 20 year old college student. I wouldn’t consider myself a “newby” per say, but I will say I’m new to all of the opportunities that West Lafayette has brought me.  My faint memories involve me holding my dad’s hand in Mackey Arena listening to the band followed by a trip to Triple XXX to get a root beer float, which was the size of my head at the time while my dad chowed down on his favorite burger (the Duane Purvis!) smothered in peanut butter. Little did I know I would be spending four years of my life living in this town and experiencing more than just root beer floats with Dad on basketball game weekends.

10377388_10203780419809215_1745586004360782109_nAs a sophomore now at Purdue University, I’ve had my fair share of experiences when it comes to eating and dining around the ever-growing Lafayette area. Coming from a fairly small town in Indiana, I will say that I’m used to the hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, (who doesn’t love that?), but I have to say that I have a handful of recommended places that I find myself revisiting time after time. I seem to always find myself sitting in the places where I have about 3 feet of leg space, soft music playing and a small table with just enough room to lay my laptop down and study for my next exam (or… let’s be honest, explore Pinterest or my latest blog post findings.)

Located just up the hill from Triple XXX where I drank root beer floats with my dad is a small coffee shop laying right on the corner of State Street and Northwestern Avenue. Greyhouse Coffee is just the place to visit if one is trying to relax on a Sunday afternoon or winding down from a long day at work. Each time I visit I try and get something new to expand my horizons a little bit but I always find myself going back to the same drink each time. Ever had coffee with a hint of orange flavoring and a dash of cinnamon? I bet not! Yes, the first time my good friend recommended this drink my thoughts were probably the same as yours right now, “That’s just about as weird sounding as peanut butter on a hamburger!”  Dr. Strangelove, the infamous name of this divine coffee, is not just your basic drink. It’s got a flavor that really nothing can compare to.  My mouth waters just thinking about the hint of clove, cinnamon and citrus flavored coffee. At just $4.75 for their basic mug, you’ll get a drink that absolutely will not disappoint you. I highly recommend trying it!

ham

Farmhouse Ham & Brie

Coming to West Lafayette I never knew that I would have so many places to choose from while picking a place to eat with my friends. From Greek food to Mexican, the variety of places to pick lies all across the border. Like I stated, my favorite places are the smaller ones that you’ve most likely never heard of, or even seen lying in-between two different buildings, for that matter.  I’ve had a variety of different cuisines in a variety of different environments and I have to say that the one place that my mind always wanders back to and the first place that comes out of my mouth when people ask for advice is Jane’s Gourmet Deli and Catering. There’s something about little deli restaurants that always catch my eye! If I were to suggest one of their menu items for people to try it would be their Farmhouse Ham and Brie. The sweet honey baked ham on a warm toasted French baguette will melt in your mouth and leave you craving more (which is crazy because the sandwich is huge and filling!). Jane’s offers a great environment, delicious sandwiches and soup. I still have yet to try everything but so far I haven’t been disappointed!

Although my heart will always belong in the places where my dad would bring me as a small girl, exploring this town will never get old. I cannot wait to get out and share more of my dining and travels around the area.  Watch for more blogs to come from Maddie, Purdue Student and Explorer of the diverse and eclectic Lafayette-West Lafayette area!

The Downtowner is Here to Serve a Piping Hot Breakfast!

10348369_10153411211218154_1225216350651767572_nDo you find yourself hungry after shopping at Market Square and wanting something for lunch? While Market Square offers several wonderful options, you might check out The Downtowner. Located in the alley at Market Square this is a nice family diner where you can find anything from breakfast food, sandwiches, soups and salads.

I have lived in Lafayette all my life and have always heard about the Downtowner and know many people that frequent it often; but I’m a little ashamed to say that this most recent visit was my very first time there. It for sure will not be my last though!

When you walk in the restaurant it’s hard not to notice the large wall filled with license plates. It’s interesting to look at and wonder or dream about where all those cars have been. Next time I go in, I’m going to see if there is a story behind them, surely there is a reason why they are all up there.  Anyone know?

10474646_10152914543783154_1311074299567394922_nAnyway, the food was great and they were very quick! When I visit a diner for the first time, I usually like to stick with breakfast food, not really sure why but an omelet is typically what I will order. That is exactly what I ordered this time and it was great! Came out piping hot and filled to the brim with yummy fillings. My Dad, a somewhat regular at the Downtowner was with me also and he got a sandwich, boy did it look good too! I can’t wait to go back and try all of their other options!

Looking for a great place for a group? They have a couple large rooms that would be great for a group of friends to meet and chat the morning away! Be sure to check out the Downtowner the next time you are in the area.

For more information about this restaurant and others in our area, please visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.  Thank you to Ashley Gregory, Group Tours & Meeting Manager, for sharing this blog.

Southside Diner offers Omelets, Pancakes, Burgers, Tenderloins, Salads and More!

Vanilla ShakeLooking for a great meal at a reasonable price? Check out the Southside Diner. Omelets, pancakes, burgers, tenderloins, salads, soups, pies, milk shakes and more! You are bound to find something you will love at the Southside Diner!

Located off of Veterans Memorial Parkway it’s a great location for those that live or are visiting the south side of town or a nice stop before or after a trip to some of our Southside attractions like Monster Mini Golf, Exploration Acres or Wea Creek Orchard.

Chili with Chicken Tenders

Chili with Chicken Tenders

If you are in the mood for breakfast, I love their omelets! They are a nice size, filled with plenty of vegetables and meat and the eggs are fluffy but thin at the same time, just how I like them. You can actually taste the filling and not just all egg. They are served with potatoes (I like the hash browns) and choice of toast. If breakfast isn’t your craving of the day try one of their salads, soups or sandwiches. They have great burgers and tenderloins. I’d recommend choosing the potato salad as your side; it was fabulous! My husband is also a fan of their chili and, no trip is complete without a peanut butter milk shake for dessert! It is awesome! Beware though; even the small is pretty large. It is so worth it though!

Tenderloin with Potato Salad

Tenderloin with Potato Salad

The atmosphere is fun as well with the black and white tile floors and a counter just like you would expect to find at a diner, although booth and table seating is also available. They just recently expanded as well so now you can take even more of your friends with you! They almost doubled their seating space! The restaurant does have quite a few regulars that the servers know by name and will automatically know their favorite drink and sometimes meal. I know my Dad and his friends are some of the regulars. They are retired now so many “local joints” around town know them.  The group enjoys eating and chatting with friends and what better place to do that than a restaurant where you don’t have to clean up the mess. Ha! They know many of the local area restaurant’s best specials and which day to visit those restaurants to get that special. Oh, to be retired!

Peanut Butter Shake

Peanut Butter Shake

You will see people of all ages in the Southside Diner and they all have a big smile on their face by the time they leave, a sign of a well-enjoyed meal and friendly service. Check it out sometime! You won’t be disappointed.

Ashley, Group Tour & Meeting Manager, shared this blog. For more information about this diner and more restaurants in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

New Year’s Resolutions Tips 2015!

Wolfgang at Wolf Park

Wolfgang at Wolf Park

Happy New Year!  It’s that time of year where we think about everything we want to accomplish and create to make 2015 as dashingly wonderful as 2014. It’s resolution time!!  What’s your New Year’s Resolution this year? Or do you have it set yet? We have some wonderful New Year’s resolution tips that we think are fun and a great way to get out and create a little magic in 2015!

  1. Head to 5 local restaurants that have a diverse array of food options. Go outside your comfort zone and try something new and different on the menu. Lafayette-West Lafayette is home to over 250 restaurants and we are sure there is some place new you have always wanted to venture to.

    Try Hot and Spicy Seafood at Gaza Korean Grill - And yes, that is an Octopus!!

    Try Hot and Spicy Seafood at Gaza Korean Grill – And yes, that is an Octopus!!

  2. Plan a weekend getaway last minute to a location you have never visited but have always had a passion to explore. Wintertime blues can hit mid February so a last minute trip can really lift the spirits! If you have never visited Lafayette-West Lafayette put us on your list! We are home to a vibrant downtown, specialty attractions, beautiful hotels and more.
  3. Learn to play golf! Lafayette-West Lafayette is home to 162 holes of championship golf and with a golf club in hand; you can take on these master courses!
  4. Visit a one of a kind attraction! Wolf Park is a great choice and all year long you can howl with the wolves where you learn about how the wolves interact with each other and humans. Check out our website for a list of all of our attractions: http://www.homeofpurdue.com/whattodo.html.
  5. Visit a Big Ten University! Boiler up and head to Purdue University where you will feel the vibrant glow of learning, the rush of excitement as Purdue wins a sporting event and the beauty of this magnificent college.

Please share with us your New Year’s resolutions this year. We want to hear! If you haven’t been to Lafayette-West Lafayette, we are a fabulous location to add to your list. Or if you have been here, we would love to welcome you back!

For more information about Lafayette-West Lafayette visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Dine at Red Seven, Shop at Von’s & Juniper and more!

DSC00794This coming week marks a full year since I made my move up here to West Lafayette from southern Indiana. I have learned so much about the area in such a short amount of time and have truly made myself at home. I’ve hit the majority of the main attractions and visited many parks; however, I have yet to explore the vast amount of local restaurants and shops.

Although I haven’t been to many restaurants, I think I started out my tasting adventure in just the right spot, the Red Seven Bar & Grill. I had always passed by here and thought to myself how nice and trendy it looked, and my expectations were certainly met. I ventured in to meet a welcoming hostess who guided Sara and I to a table. Once I sat down, I was really able to look around at the design of the building. It’s like each section has their very own vibe to it. The area we sat in had an upbeat feel with vibrant artwork, hanging colorful lights, and open space. When I headed to the next section, there was a grand bookcase that covered two walls, and it sat directly by the windows facing Riehle Plaza. It was a very cozy atmosphere. Then the other side of the restaurant featured a bar, colored stain glass, and a view of downtown Lafayette with a lively ambiance. With this fabulous location and contemporary design, the spirited personality of downtown Lafayette is expressed through this single restaurant.

Honey

Honey Ancho Glazed Chicken Sandwich and Fries

The architecture of the building was astounding, but the most important part of course is the food, which was even better! The menu featured a good variety of foods to choose from. It had everything from salads, pastas, pizzas, and about every type of meat you can imagine.  It is a good source of just all-around good American food and more! I personally ordered the Honey Ancho Glazed Chicken Sandwich with a side of french fries and caesar salad. My salad came out first, and it was an excellent way to start out my meal and a wonderful first impression. Sara had mentioned that DSC00788it was the best caesar salad she has ever had, and she was not exaggerating! The cheese and dressing they used were absolutely superb! It was just the right portion and made me anxious to taste the rest of the food that was coming, and my Honey Ancho Glazed Chicken sandwich did not disappoint. The sandwich includes grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, bacon and housemade honey ancho chili glaze. The sauce on the sandwich was one of a kind. There was a kick of spice to it as well as a sweet taste that mixed together for the perfect combination. The bacon added a nice crispy texture to top it all off. And of course, no American meal is complete without delicious french fries. I must also say that along with the excellent food and ambiance, the service is very hospitable.

Beautiful dress from Juniper

Beautiful dress from Juniper

Downtown Lafayette shopping is another unique aspect of the town that I have yet to experience.  I love clothing stores, candy shops, home décor stores, and cute, cozy coffee shops that are all featured downtown. I will definitely be making my way over there, but there are a few wonderful shops I’ve had the pleasure of shopping at, Von’s and Juniper. Von’s is a fantastic store that incorporates so many different crafty and creative items. In one single strip mall, Von’s has a dough shop, bookstore, boutique clothing store, and a huge collection of beads (the largest collection in the Midwest)! My favorite parts of the store are the book and clothing sections. They carry a range of books from classics to the newest best sellers. It’s an excellent store to discover a new read for great prices. The clothing section is very beautiful. The clothes are all classy, elegant, and fashionable. These are clothing items that you certainly cannot find in any ole store or shopping mall. You can find the perfect style that fits you best with these original designs.

Juniper features similar clothing types with a variety of name brand clothing as well as new hip lines that are on the rise. The workers there are extremely nice who are always willing to lend a hand and even give you an opinion on different styles. Every woman knows how important that second opinion is when it comes to shopping for a new wardrobe, so why not get the advice from women who know retail best?! You have to keep your eye out for their amazing sales as well! You can really snag some stylish clothing for great prices. Both Von’s and Juniper are in great locations. You can grab a new read from Von’s and head to Greyhouse Coffee across the street to begin your book with a nice cup of coffee, and once you find a chic new outfit at Juniper, you can head over to Starbucks for coffee or the Wabash Landing movie theater to show off your newest purchase.

The amounts of new experiences in the Lafayette area seem endless. There is always something new to try, which always leaves me wanting to explore more! I have started my restaurant and shopping adventures on the right foot by discovering a few great finds. I am excited to venture further and see what else the area has to offer!

Kaley, Visitor Information Specialist and Purdue Student shared this blog.