1940’s & 50’s Dining at Route 66 Diner

oursideYou may be wondering, does Route 66 go through West Lafayette? What does it have to do with Indiana? The answer is no, it doesn’t go through West Lafayette and it has nothing to do with Indiana. Then why do we have a restaurant named after it? Well, Route 66 Diner and Triple XXX Family Restaurant have the same owners. They chose the name because Route 66, “the Mother Road” became official in 1926 and the Triple XXX Thirst Station in West Lafayette, opened in 1929. They wanted to stay with the same vintage feel for the second location.

IMG_3707[1]Route 66 has counter seats like Triple XXX but also have 40’s and 50’s style tables and is much more spacious than the X and can serve groups as large as 105 people. (Great for motorcoach groups!) They also accept credit cards, which is a plus for me as I hardly ever have cash!

IMG_0509Now for the most important part… the food! Route 66 serves the same food as Triple XXX but also offers great salads, soups and beer and wine as well.  If you go you must try their root beer, it’s some of the best ever and it’s served in a frosty mug! Besides the root beer, they are known for a couple different things, first if you are hungry for breakfast food, try the Drew Brees First Choice with Chicken Fried Steak. It’s two eggs, cooked to order, choice of either chicken fried steak or 1/3 lb. of their signature 100% ground sirloin, choice of fried potatoes or hash browns with sausage gravy and two grilled buttermilk biscuits. You won’t leave hungry that’s for sure! If you are more in the mood for a sandwich, try the Duane Purvis All-American (it was featured on Diner’s Drive In’s and Dives on the Food Network when they visited Triple XXX). IMG_0508The Purvis is a ¼ lb. of 100%, ground sirloin with thick, creamy peanut butter served on a toasted sesame seed bun with melted American Cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion. If peanut butter isn’t your thing, try the Boilermaker Pete, a third pound 100% ground sirloin served on a toasted sesame bun with two slices of melted American cheese and grilled onions. More of a white meat person? Try the Leroy Loin (their breaded tenderloin) or the grilled tenderloin both are fantastic! Be sure to leave room for dessert too! Their pies are all fabulous and if they have the root beer cake it is a must try! All the sundaes and of course the root beer float is amazing too!

IMG_0511Next time you are in West Lafayette, looking for a good place to eat, give Route 66 Diner a try! Ashley Gregory, Group Tours and Meeting Manager, shared this blog.

Dining Divas Explore Poke Hibachi

poke-hibachiInside4West Lafayette has joined the national trend in offering the wildly popular Hawaiian dish, Poke (pronounced POH-kay). Poke is from the Hawaiian word meaning to section or to slice or cut and is a raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine, and sometimes as a main course.  Think of it as sushi deconstructed in a laid back Hawaiian way!

poke-hibachiwhatPokeisAt Poke Hibachi in West Lafayette, you can now get poke bowls as well as grilled meats and fish (the hibachi part).  The Dining Divas, accompanied by poke expert Julia Zuchov (Julia went to college in a town with multiple poke options and is thrilled that it’s finally come here), tried it out on a beautiful day.  The decor is clean, modern, and whimsical. While there is some seating and a large stand-up table, poke bowls are perfect take-out food, and that’s what we did with ours.

Bar of food choices

Bar of food choices

Poke is often customizable and the West Lafayette version is no different. It’s like building a burrito in many restaurants where you order cafeteria style. Go through the line and select a base, toppings, sauce, and garnishes. The base can be organic rice, brown rice, or mixed greens. The raw fish choices are fresh salmon, ahi tuna, white tuna, baby octopus, kani (a food product made from fish) salad, spicy salmon, shrimp, lobster salad, and spicy tuna. Tofu is also available. Toppings include edamame, cucumber, carrot, corn, celery, pickled cucumber, pickled jalapeños, lettuce, peanut, white radish, and pineapple. For 50 cents more you can add either avocado, masago (fish roe), asparagus, cherry tomato, mango, seaweed salad, tamago (Japanese omelet), sunflower salad, or dry banana. The delicious sauce options are: ginger, yami, sweet wasabi, eel, spicy mayo, ponzu (like a citrusy vinaigrette), sesame, or fruit. Finally, the garnishes: sesame seeds, scallion, seaweed, tempura crunch, or ginger. If this seems daunting, seeing the bins of super fresh toppings and sauces makes it easy to design your own unique poke bowl. Regular bowls are $8.99 and large bowls are $11.99. We all ordered regular size and felt we could have handled the large!

The hibachi menu is smaller. Each grilled platter includes mixed vegetables, brown rice, and teriyaki sauce. Grilled meats are chicken ($8.99), shrimp ($9.99), steak ($9.99), chicken & steak ($11.99), chicken & shrimp ($11.99), steak & shrimp ($12.99), salmon ($10.99), and eel ($10.99).


Tofu meal

Margy went simple with brown rice, tofu, and ginger sauce. She was impressed with the generous portion of tofu, and said, “The ginger sauce is hard to beat—it has plenty of spicy flavor.”

Julia was bolder and ordered fresh salmon with jalapeños, seaweed salad, and spicy mayo on rice. “The flavors come from the surrounding ingredients and add to the fresh salmon taste,” she said. “I think it’s my new favorite! There’s nothing else like it in the area.”

Bev’s bowl was lobster salad on greens with spicy mayo and seaweed and declared it delicious. “The Dining Divas actually have some complicated dietary restrictions,” she said, “and just about anyone can eat here. It’s so customizable!”

Poke Hibachi Food

Poke Hibachi Food

Kay, normally our only enthusiastic fish eater, was skeptical of a raw fish salad in Indiana, but she was pleasantly surprised by the fresh spicy salmon on greens with avocado, edamame, white radish, spicy mayo, and seaweed– a delicious combination.

Jo was our only hibachi eater. She enjoyed the spicy salmon with greens and mixed vegetables. “The cauliflower and broccoli are extremely fresh and crunchy and add a wonderful texture to the spicy grilled salmon,” she said. “And it was made to order which is awesome!”

Jo also added, and we all agree, “It made for a great lunch, which was so enjoyable to eat outside on a nice day in the Village.”

Raw Spicey Salmon

Raw Spicey Salmon

One recommendation is that if you are with a group and some are having poke and others hibachi, let those getting the grilled food go first. It takes a bit longer than the poke bowls since it is cooked to order.

It’s going to take many return trips in order to try all those delicious sauces. Find Poke Hibachi at 112  Andrew Place, tucked behind Mad Mushroom. See you there!

Fresh, Honest Food is Pure Eatery

Welcome Lafayette’s newest restaurant, Pure Eatery, to our hip and fun downtown Lafayette dining scene. This restaurant, which opened last month, is already making a hit! Pure Eatery features fresh, honest food and we can attest for the pure yumminess of the menu. Our staff recently visited and this what we foundIMG_6171!

First, as we walked in, we were graciously greeted by the host and taken to our table.  The exposed brick and ceiling give it a very open and urban feel. Bright paint, light hard wood floors and pretty artwork create a comfortable and happy dining experience. It is really a lovely dining establishment!  And this was the first floor.  They also have an upstairs that is similar in style as well as a large outdoor dining patio behind the building.

Now onto the good part; the food! For appetizers we ordered the spinach and asparagus dip and crostini’s with pesto. As soon as the appetizers arrived we dug right in and we didn’t even have a chance to get photos! I have never had spinach dip with asparagus and it was delicious. Many times spinach dip can be heavy and filling, but this dip had a lightness to it and was so fresh. And the pesto appetizer was so refreshing. It tasted like they had literally just picked the basil and made the pesto right before serving!  YUM!

Philly Cheese Sandwich

Philly cheese steak

The best part was the sandwiches! I ordered their Philly cheese steak which is a new item on the menu. (they have 2 other restaurants in the Indy area). If anyone from Pure Eatery is reading this, KEEP this on the menu!  It is one of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten!  Succulent beef tips, roasted red peppers and onions, and an herbed cream cheese on homemade bread; this sandwich just melts in the mouth. If you are a dipper, I recommend ordering their homemade blue cheese to dip your chips in.

Grilled cheese

Grilled cheese

One of my co-workers, Lisa, ordered their grilled cheese. The sandwich includes swiss, havarti, provolone, tomato, pesto aioli, and one’s choice of sourdough or multigrain. She shared it was great and again the fresh pesto was fabulous!


Portobella and spinach melt & salad

The portabella and spinach melt was another hit! Fresh portabella, spinach, provolone, garlic-parmesan aioli, on an Italian flatbread create a light and earthy sandwich.  With a lovely green salad on the side, how can one go wrong! Ashley from our office, really enjoyed it.

The prices! One thing I noticed was how reasonable the prices are. One can order a whole or half sandwich with a side and the prices are so inexpensive. (I do recommend ordering the whole sandwich, as once you take one bite, you will want a lot more!)

Dessert; I am sad to say we were so full we didn’t order anything but their offerings were great; cheesecake and Lick ice cream.  This just gives us another reason to go back!

If you have dined at this new, delicious restaurant, please share your review! We want hear!

For more information about Pure Eatery and other restaurants in our area, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.


Foodies Wanted Contest 2017 Winner

Amy and her daughter receiving their prize!

Amy and her daughter receiving their prize!

We have the winner of our “Foodies Wanted Contest 2017″ contest worth over $500! Congratulations to Amy from Lafayette, Indiana.

She shares, ”What an awesome thing to end up winning these fun prizes on my 40th birthday! My family and I will love experiencing these restaurants and outings around our Greater Lafayette area!”

Thanks to all who participated in this latest contest! Stay tuned for our next big contest/package we will be hosting in September.

Freshness Reigns at Midtowne Oven

Tomato Basil Soup

Tomato Basil Soup

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

Untuna Salad with side salad

Untuna Salad with side salad

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

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


Focaccia bread pizza dips


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

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

Apple Almond Tart

Apple Almond Tart


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

Meet you at Arni’s

Arnis 50th (39)

Celebrating 50 years!

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

Great customer service!

Great customer service!

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

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

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

Arni's Famous Junior Salad

Arni’s Famous Junior Salad

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

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

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.




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.






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.