Purdue Nightlife: Best Bars

Purdue Nightlife: Pick the Best Bar for Your Night out on the West Lafayette Town!

Purdue has quite a few bars near campus, each offering its own unique atmosphere and array of various drinks and food. Depending on what type of night you are looking to have, whether it be a laid back conversation with some friends while drinking a beer or a night full of dancing and rave music, Purdue has many places on campus that are able to provide you with whatever kind of night out you are looking for.

Harry’s: Harry’s Chocolate Shop has been around since 1919 when Harry J. Marack opened its doors to the public, thus making it the oldest bar at Purdue. Initially it was a soda fountain until Harry’s obtained a liquor license later in the 1920s. With so much history it’s no wonder Harry’s has established itself as a staple near Purdue’s campus. Alumni also tend to favor Harry’s as their hang out spot when they return to campus to catch up with friends. The atmosphere at Harry’s is very relaxed and not as chaotic as most people might imagine a college bar to be (until around 9 p.m. when the college students begin their late night festivities.) There are lots of tables to sit down at and enjoy a drink, burger, as well as engage in a great conversation with your friends.

wall outside of Harry's Chocolate Shop

The famous wall outside of Harry’s where many students, alumni, and visitors take photos in front of. #Harry’sChocolateShop #Purdue #Photogenicwall

Harry’s has an array of specialty drinks, as well as some delicious meals to choose from. One of the most popular drinks among students is the “Grasshopper.” This sweet cocktail has a mint flavor and is made with green creme de menthe that gives the drink its signature color. A “John Daly” is another highly requested mixed drink at Harry’s. It is a combination of iced tea, lemonade, and vodka.

grasshopper cocktail from Harry's Chocolate Shop

The “grasshopper” is a popular cocktail ordered by many students. This delightful drink tastes like you’re drinking melted mint chip ice cream. What could be better than that?! #grasshopper #mintchip #icecreamcocktail #Harry’sChocolateShop

Ordering food at Harry’s is also a must. Their quesadillas, chicken wings, and burgers are sensational and loved around campus. The prices are also very reasonable, with the average meal price staying at about $7.50. When making a visit to Harry’s be sure to plan ahead and arrive before 8 p.m. or you might have trouble finding an open table.

Location: 329 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN

Hours: Monday-Saturday: 11 a.m. – 3a.m. , Sunday: 12 p.m. – 3 a.m.

Inside of Harry's Chocolate Shop

A glimpse at the vintage aesthetic inside Harry’s Chocolate Shop. The popular bar near Purdue’s campus has an old time look and feel, as well as many stylish signs. #Vintage #Harry’sChocolateShop #StylishAesthetic

Brothers: If you’re looking for a step up from Harry’s in terms of a more exuberant atmosphere, then Brothers is the best option. There are still plenty of tables to hang out with friends, but the addition of pop music and space to dance around, if you choose to do so, creates the typical college-esque bar experience. Brothers is known for its great deals throughout the week on both drinks and food. With $1 double wells on Mondays and 25 cent wings every Wednesday, it’s hard to resist making a weekly visit to Brothers. The deals are also great for students who are looking to have a night out but need to stick to a budget.

Location: 306 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN

Hours: Monday-Saturday: 5 p.m. – 3 a.m. , Sunday: 7 p.m. – 3 a.m.

Brothers bar sign

Brothers bar provides a great atmosphere for students and visitors to enjoy a drink and a riveting conversation with peers. #BrothersBar #Purdue #placetobe

Brothers bar view from counter

Don’t worry about missing the big game while enjoying a drink at Brothers. The bar is stocked with many TVs and lots of your favorite beer. #BrothersBar #BigGame #BeerFan

Where Else: Where else would you rather be on a night out at Purdue? The answer is in the question. Where Else! This bar has been near Purdue’s campus since 1997 and is one of the most energetic bars on campus. With a live DJ set most nights and a sizable dance floor, Where Else is the perfect place to bust a move while dancing the night away with your friends.

where else entrance door

Looking for a place to enjoy a drink and get your groove on? How about Where Else! The dance floor and drink deals are waiting for you. #WhereElse #getyourgrooveon #drinkdeals

Where Else also offers 50 cent beers every Monday night, which is the cheapest drink offer on campus and very popular among students. Don’t skip out on deals like this and make a visit to Where Else next Monday night.

Location: 135 S. Chauncey Ave, West Lafayette, IN

Hours: Wednesday-Saturday: 12 p.m. – 3 a.m. , Sunday-Tuesday: Closed

Where Else bar main floor

Students enjoying a night out at Where Else, while dancing with friends and relishing their drinks. #WhereElse #dancethenightaway #PurdueNightlife

Neon Cactus: Neon Cactus, called “the Cactus” for short, is the closest thing Purdue has to a club. With a ginormous lit up dance floor and constant upbeat rave music playing, it’s no surprise the Neon Cactus is one of the most popular bars on campus. Every Thursday the Cactus hosts “Thirsty Thursday,” which offers students the chance to get a 32oz mixed drink for $3.50. You can pick from many different options but the fan favorite is the “Long Island Iced Tea.” This deal is extremely popular and more often than not creates a line out the door, which can take hours to get inside. Make sure to show up no later than 10 p.m. on a Thursday night if you want to make it inside first.

neon cactus front sign

One of the best places to party in West Lafayette is the Neon Cactus. With their amazing drink deals on “Thirsty Thursday” and fabulous dance music, it is hard to resist. #NeonCactus #ThirstyThursday #dancemusic

Neon Cactus main dance floor

The Neon Cactus packed on a “Thirsty Thursday.” Everyone is having a great time dancing and savoring their $3.50 cocktails! #NeonCactus #cheapdrinks #bustamove

Neon Cactus is also known for the Piano Man, who performs classic hits on his piano in a separate room of the bar. Students sit down and sing along while they take a break from dancing around for hours. If you’re ever free on a Thursday night and in the area, then you definitely need to make a stop at the Neon Cactus.

Location: 360 Brown Street, Unit 15, West Lafayette, IN

Hours: Thursday-Saturday: 8 p.m. – 3 a.m. , Sunday-Wednesday: Closed

piano bar at neon cactus

All that dancing calls for a break and there is no better place to go than to the Piano Bar to hear the Piano Man play some classic tunes. #NeonCactus #PianoBar #singusasong

For more information to plan your perfect night out check out HomeofPurdue.com to find additional articles on these bars and other nightlife options.

Shauna McAulay, Purdue University Student, shares this blog.

The Knickerbocker Saloon: An Old School Bar in a New Town

The Knickerbocker Bar West Lafayette

As I sat at a heavy walnut bar surrounded by mirrors that illuminated the impressive liquor display, it was hard for me not to feel like a character out of a Fitzgerald novel. The Knickerbocker Saloon, located at 113 N. Fifth St. in downtown Lafayette, is Indiana’s oldest bar, with an equally impressive legacy. Though the Knickerbocker Saloon has hundreds of tiny details that are worth exploring, listed below are the five most notable.

A prohibition liquor plaque displayed at the Knickerbocker Saloon in Lafayette, Indiana

Calling my History Buffs

Receiving its liquor license in 1835, the Knickerbocker Saloon is the oldest bar in Indiana! Throughout the bar’s history, it has been visited by such notables as Neil Armstrong, Ulysses S. Grant and John Purdue. Featured on the walls by the bathroom are two plaques; one commemorating the Knickerbocker’s 175th anniversary in 2010, and the other displays a certificate for the prohibition of liquor in 1922!

A Zombie Dust beer at the Knickerbocker Saloon in Lafayette, Indiana.

99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

Though they don’t serve 99 different types of beers, the general manager, Deborah Walstra, informed me that they carry 80 to 84 brands of beer at a given time, rotating with the seasons. Sorry to disappoint tap lovers, but they only carry bottled beers, which was a quirky surprise. I tried a Zombie Dust beer, which is a powerfully hopped pale ale that had a great, refreshing flavor and a unique package design. Walstra also mentioned that the Knickerbocker hosts a free beer school on the first and third Monday of every month, in which different breweries offer information and samplings of their products (no sign-up necessary). To support local businesses, the Knickerbocker also carries beer from local breweries in Lafayette, making sure everyone can sample the best that Indiana has to offer.

A caramel apple martini at the Knickerbocker Saloon in Lafayette, Indiana.

Martinis Galore

My interview at the Knickerbocker took place on a Wednesday, which just so happens to be martini night (coincidence- I think not). From the classic martini to an equally impressive “flirtini,” the Knickerbocker offers any type of martini you can dream of (and even some that would never cross your mind). I sampled a caramel apple martini, which was made with a smooth caramel vodka base and tasted like I was biting into an taffy apple: needless to say, I was in love. Walstra said that she encourages her staff to experiment with different martini flavors, creating a new concoction almost every night (truly an impressive feat).

Entertainment room at the Knickerbocker Saloon in Lafayette, Indiana.

Not the Taj Mahal, but….

With a history dating from 1835, the Knickerbocker was bound to have some awesome architectural features. What struck me first was the beautiful bar. Constructed from walnut with a cherry veneer, it exudes a 1920s feel. I also loved the high, tin ceilings, which added to the “old money” ambiance. Because of the stunning architectural features, the Knickerbocker hosts many business and wedding receptions.

Live entertainment offered at the Knickerbocker Saloon.

Live Entertainment

Perhaps the most attractive feature of the Knickerbocker Saloon is the live entertainment. On Monday the bar features karaoke. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, live piano music entertains. Every Friday a unique artist is featured from People’s Live (a local brewery that supports regional musicians), and on Saturday live music is offered! In the extended green room, a stage is set up to make accommodating artists and large groups a breeze.

Open every day from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m., the Knickerbocker is sure to dazzle you with its impressive history and diverse drink menu. For more information about the bar visit its Facebook or call (765) 423-2234. For more information about local bars in Lafayette/West Lafayette be sure to check out the Home of Purdue Blog.

Sarah Staatz, Purdue University Student, shares this blog.

Beyond the Vine Wine Tour

The Visitor Information Specialists at the Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Visitor’s Center were given the fun opportunity to go on a Beyond the Vine Wine Tour. They truly enjoyed their experience and want to share three reasons why you should consider taking the tour! Read their review:

We arrived on a cold Sunday afternoon prepared to experience the Beyond the Vine Wine Tour. It was a day full of friendship and fine wines, and we would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys tasting wine, relaxation, and unique experiences. Below are the top three reasons why you should consider booking a Beyond the Vine Wine Tour.

1. Stress-Free and Relaxing

The first reason is because of how stress-free and relaxing your time on the bus will be because of the preparation of Jill Smit. She takes time to consider every detail of your day and has each detail planned and prepared perfectly. Simply book your reservation and let Jill take care of the rest! From the timeline of the day to paying for everything in advance, all you have to do is show up (and bring your ID!). Jill arrives on time and with the bus stocked full of a cooler, wine themed decor, and a playlist of your choice. Guests are welcome to bring their own food on board the bus or you have the option of a delicious boxed lunch from Great Harvest Bread Co. Of course, with Jill driving the bus, you are able to taste and enjoy all the wine you wish without worrying about driving home. All these factors combined create a relaxing, stress-free experience.

Jill, our Wine Tour Extradorniaire!

2. Great Wine and Great People

Another awesome perk of the Beyond the Vine Wine Tour is knowing that the wineries you are visiting have been tested and approved by many tasters before you. Our visit began with a tasting at Whyte Horse Winery in Monticello, IN. Here we tasted five different wines ranging from sweet to dry and three of their specialty drinks including an apple cider slushy. You must visit at Christmas time when the winery is decorated beautifully with Christmas trees and lights. Next on our tour was Carpenter Creek Cellars. It is located in Remington, IN and is one of the best wineries around. With world-class award-winning wines, this stop is a must. You will be treated to a tour of the facilities where you can see where all the wine is produced and corked, and taste every single wine listed on the menu. And don’t forget to say hi to the winery dog, Port! Our final stop was Hooker Corner Winery where we had 5 different tastings as well as mulled wine an

d a mulled wine slushy. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine while viewing the quiet countryside. These are only three of the several options of wineries in the area, and the Beyond the Vine Wine Tour also offers options to visit local breweries. One thing all three wineries had in common were people passionate about wine. These winemakers love to talk about wine and share their wealth of knowledge with guests entering their doors. You will definitely feel that on the Beyond the Vine Wine Tour.

Having fun on the bus!

3. Unique and Fun

The final reason to experience the Beyond the Vine Wine Tour is because it is fun! This is a unique experience to safely support locally owned Indiana wineries and have fun doing it. You can trust that each stop has something unique and different to offer and expand your understanding of Indiana wines. It is the perfect way to celebrate a bachelorette party, a fun date night, or even a mother-daughter day out. Even if for no other reason than because you like to drink wine, the Beyond the Vine Wine Tour is for you!

So, if you are looking for something fun to do and like supporting local business, then check out the Beyond the Vine Wine Tours. We had a fantastic experience and recommend it to any visitor or local in the area. You will board the bus as a guest and leave as a friend.

Jaclyn, VLWL Visitor Information Specialist, shares this blog. For more information about this wine bus and other fun attractions in our area, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

Hunter’s Pub Celebrates 20 Years

Chicken quesadilla platter.

20 years of amazing food, excellent service, and fabulous fun; Hunter’s Pub in West Lafayette is celebrating its 20th birthday this year! Looking for a great place to hang out with friends and watch our Purdue Boilermaker sports teams take on their competitors? Hunter’s Pub has TV’s galore that are playing the best games and are placed all around the restaurant offering great views for all.

Hunter’s Pub offers true pub classics. Nachos, potato skins, jalapeno poppers, wings, mozzarella sticks and more are the perfect munchie while watching your favorite sports teams. We can attest the mozzarella sticks are filled with stringy mozzarella cheese and a fresh marinara sauce. They have a combo plate that includes the ultimate mix of cheese curds, hand-breaded zucchini, breaded mushrooms, cream cheese poppers, and onion rings. YUMMY! Perfect for sharing for a group of friends.

Their menu is diverse with burgers, steaks, ribs, wraps, salads, pasta, seafood, etc. One of my favorite meals is their chicken quesadilla platter. It is a tortilla filled with cheddar, fresh pico de gallo and chicken and is served with rice and refried beans, sour cream and fire roasted salsa. The chicken is juicy, the tortilla is perfectly crisp, and their fire roasted salsa is spicy, which I love! I also love their refried beans that are seasoned with Mexican spices and loaded with cheese.

One of my co-workers, Ashley, is a huge fan of their taco salad and enjoyed the atmosphere.  She shares, “The taco salad had an excellent crispy yet flaky shell with a good portion of meat and vegetables in the shell. The salsa was a bit spicy for my liking but had a great flavor. I opted for ranch dressing instead of using the salsa though. I loved the setting, seemed like a friendly neighborhood bar.”

Taco Salad

Recently, we went to lunch here in the middle of the week and it was packed by noon.  We recommend getting there early, as it definitely is a neighborhood favorite!  Also, please note this bar is 21 and older.

Visit Hunter’s Pub and join in the 20-year celebration!  For more information about this restaurant and others in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

Katana Japanese Cuisine Delights

Japanese cuisine is known and loved for its abundance of seafood, vegetables and rice. The Dining Divas headed to the Sagamore Park Center on Sagamore Parkway in West Lafayette (in the former location of Heisei near Payless) where Katana Sushi & Ramen promises authentic Japanese cuisine. Customers can eat in the elegant and modern dining room, order out, use one of the private meeting spaces, or sit at the sushi bar enjoying a cocktail from the full bar. This space used to have low tables and cushions and you left your shoes at the door. The owners of Katana installed Western-style tables and chairs so there’s no need to touch up your pedicure before dining there.

The Divas opted for the quiet dining room, which started filling up as we ordered. Our guest, raw seafood eater, Julia Zuchkov, standing in for Margy, joined the other seafood (preferably cooked) eater, Kay, vegetarian (with some fish) Jo, and meat-eater Bev. There was something to please everyone on Katana’s menu.

Edamame at Katana

We started with an order of chicken karagge (pronounced kara-ah-geh) ($6.95) and an order of spicy edamame ($4.95). Karagge is a technique of making fried chicken or fish by marinating with soy, ginger, and garlic and lightly breading with wheat and/or potato starch, and deep frying, similar to the preparation of tempura. It arrived at our table quickly, tasty and hot, and accompanied by a spicy dipping sauce—more soy, ginger, garlic, etc. Karagge chicken is sometimes called popcorn chicken, and it was as easy to eat as popcorn, but more satisfying and complex. Even more complexity came with the spicy edamame, which are edible soybeans, steamed and stir-fried in a garlicky, peppery sauce. There may be other spicy edamames in town, but we haven’t run across them, only the plain, salted ones, which are also available at Katana. But if you like a little kick, try these.

On to the entrees:

Bev ordered the Indiana roll ($13.95), a beautiful concoction of kani (imitation crab), steamed shrimp, avocado, cream cheese wrapped in soy paper and deep fried, served with spicy mayo and eel sauce. Bev loved it. “It’s so tender! It’s really good and creamy with a slight bit of crispness on the outside of the warm rice—comfort food at its best!” she said.

Indiana Roll

Kay gambled on Idako (marinated baby octopus $6.95) and was surprised to find 6-8 tiny bright red octopi presented on a bed of seaweed salad. The taste was surprising too, and somewhat indescribable—chewy, nicely seasoned, different! Try them with friends—only Julia would venture a taste. Kay also ordered the soft-shelled crab, a seasonal delicacy, deep-fried and perfectly cooked. She said, “It’s crispy on the outside, succulent on the inside. If you like crab, you’ll love this.”

Octopus

Jo, a fish-eating vegetarian, has found over the years that our local restaurants are very good at accommodating people with dietary restrictions. She was able to choose what she wanted in her salmon teriyaki ($16.95). No rice? No problem!  The salmon was served with miso soup and a green salad. Jo liked the way it was served in a skillet. “I like the fish to stay warm, and the skillet does this,” she said. “It’s saucy and I like the teriyaki sauce!”

Salmon teriyaki

Julia had many raw fish options, but she chose the crazy grill roll ($12.95), which was shrimp tempura and cucumber inside, topped with raw salmon and avocado, and served with spicy mayo and eel sauce. “I really like the tempura because it’s super light,” she said. “Usually tempura is too heavily battered, but this is not. I also like that this roll is simple, not too complicated, and all the ingredients complement each other.”

Crazy Grill Roll

Everything at Katana was super fresh and beautifully presented.  We all enjoyed our experience from entering the stylish dining room to browsing the menu full of mouth-watering photos to the sampling of our delicious meals.

Nami’s Bar & Grill Exemplifies Great Flavors

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 talk around town is about one fabulous, new restaurant, Nami’s Bar & Grill, that just opened in the heart of our downtown. Serving American fare and also “pop up” sushi during lunch hours, this new dining experience is sure to satisfy! Nami’s also offers handcrafted classic and original cocktails and select craft beers!

Our staff loves to try out new restaurants and we were so excited to explore the flavors and enjoy the ambiance of Nami’s. When we arrived, we were greeted by a friendly hostess who led us to our table that overlooked our lovely courthouse. We had the perfect seats in the house to enjoy the outdoor beauty as well as the beautiful bar in the center of the restaurant. The tall ceilings and artwork along the walls create a comfortable and warm place to visit.

Now onto the food, (the best part!). I ordered the chicken sandwich with French fries and their special soup of the day, loaded potato soup. The soup was amazing! It had cut up red potatoes perfectly cooked within it as well as tons of bacon and cheese. It was one of the best potato soups I have ever eaten. My chicken sandwich was also amazing! Truthfully, I get nervous ordering chicken as so many times it is dry. This sandwich was the opposite of dry as the chicken was so juicy and flavorful. I added sharp cheddar cheese which added fabulous flavor as well. I can be picky with my bun, and it was fresh and light. The fries were large hand-cut potatoes sprinkled with salt and very tasty as well. I don’t think I have had a fry quite like it and it was great. I recommend their homemade ranch dressing to dip the fries or really anything in.  FABULOUS!!!

Lisa, our Vice-President shares, “I love a good burger and was not disappointed by the Reserve Burger at Nami’s.  This beef burger was yummy and cooked perfectly to my taste. I chose the house made fries over the house chips. The fries were thick potatoes wedges with a mild seasoning and were amazing. I love a good martini and am looking forward to going back to try a martini when off the office clock! They are doing $6 martini nights on Thursdays.”

“The Asian Salad was presented so beautifully! It was a very large salad, I couldn’t eat it all,” shares Ashley, VLWL Director of Sales. “Good mix of flavors and textures from crispy cabbage, creamy avocado, sweet mandarin oranges, crispy noodles, sesame seeds and grilled shrimp. The soy ginger dressing was excellent, with a bit of a kick. It was a bit spicy for me with my mouth burning for a bit when done, but I still really enjoyed it. I’d recommend getting the dressing on the side though, so you can use as much or as little as you like.”

We are all excited to head back to Nami’s and take our spouses out to dinner. Their dinner menu includes filet, crab cakes, lobster tail, pastas and more. If their dinner is even half as good as their lunch, it will be a wonderful dining experience!

Make sure to add Nami’s Bar & Grill to your next dining out adventure. You will be delighted!!

Oh and did we mention they have fabulous desserts?! Caramel salted cheesecake!

For more information about this restaurant and others in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, check out our website at HomeOfPurdue.com.

The Bryant Food & Drink: Iconic Destination

Just about everything at The Bryant is locally designed and built– from the building itself to the items on the menu. Located on the site of the old Morris Bryant on Sagamore Parkway just past Morehouse Road, the name is an homage to that iconic restaurant which was a destination for families and office parties from 1951-1994.

The restaurant is flat-out beautiful, inside and out. The decor is appealing and contemporary with lots of interesting textures. It’s comfortable, roomy, and not too loud. John Christodoulakis, one of the owners, said KJG was the lead architect and John is responsible for the interior decor. He hired six finish carpenters for six weeks to make hundreds of wooden cubes (see photos) which are held together with 5-6000 screws and arranged in geometric shapes hung from the ceiling– strong enough “to swing across them like monkey bars,” he says, but he’s hoping his guests choose to behave. The outdoor area with a big fireplace, not yet open, looks inviting. It’s attractively screened to cut out surrounding distractions and let you focus on your own experience. The friendly and knowledgeable servers sport non-matching plaid shirts which lends a homey feel.

The owners are John Christodoulakis and his three siblings and their four spouses, and everyone is involved in the new venture. Other restaurants in the family are Christos, Cafe Literato, and Red Seven. The family is devoted to this community and has a mission to use local craftsmen, local beers and liquors, and local foods as much as possible. “It’s all about being local and supporting other small businesses,” John said.

Dining Divas Bev, Jo, and Kay were joined by Dining Divo John Collier who kept confusing his role with the band, Devo. When he wasn’t singing, “Whip it!”, he was enjoying the Warm Pretzel ($6), which was huge and served on a hanger accompanied by Bavarian sweet mustard and beer cheese. John and Kay agreed that it was better than any other baked pretzel they had tasted—light and chewy with a nice crispy crust and a great way to kick off our lunch.

Pretzel

Bev ordered the Brisket and Short Rib Burger topped with crispy onions, house pickles, dijonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and sharp cheddar on a potato bun ($11) with a side salad. (All sandwiches come with a choice of sides: fries, side salad, or soup for $2 more). Bev said her burger was tender and juicy and she loved the cucumber wasabi dressing on her salad. “The wasabi adds a kick to the creamy base,” she said. And she highly recommended the lamb burger and herbed cheese ravioli with candied walnuts, roasted corn, shallots, in a white truffle cream from her experiences on an earlier visit.

Brisket and Short Rib Burger

John tried the Wild Mushroom Burger ($13) which also featured the brisket and short rib mix that is a signature of The Bryant, and was topped with roasted shiitake, crimini, and portobello mushrooms, Swiss cheese, lettuce, and garlic aioli on a potato bun. John said his burger was cooked perfectly to his specification, not overdone. “The mushroom and aioli add a nice blend of flavor,” he said as he worked on the huge side of fries, that he declared delicious. The man loves his carbs.

Jo ordered the Impossible Burger, which is a meatless patty with dijonnaise, sharp cheddar, lettuce, and pickles, usually on a potato bun but she ordered it bunless. ($14). “I’m thrilled that it’s a veggie burger that doesn’t have a high carb count, like so many have,” she said. “It has a much better flavor than most veggie burgers and the dijonnaise was perfect on it.”

Kay, the seafood eater, opted for the Crispy Fish Sandwich ($10) and took the leftovers home to her husband, who, in spite of being instructed in the first rule of being a Dining Diva, that he could not use the word ‘good’, declared it good! (Our goal is to be more descriptive!)

A table near us ordered Birthday Cake milkshakes ($9), one of several signature shakes The Bryant offers. The others are The Fat Elvis (including peanut butter cups and bananas of course) and The Salty Cookie (cookies, candy, pretzels). The Birthday Cake is Instagram-worthy and the couple who ordered them licked the glasses clean.

Can you imagine taking down this massive shake??

We decided to end the meal with Donut Holes ($7), which are piping hot, shaken in a bag with cinnamon sugar, and served by Claire, our delightful server, with a caramel sauce. They were crunchy outside, warm and comforting on the inside, and so satisfying.

Donut Holes

Ours was a work-day lunch for two of our merry band of munchers so we did not imbibe, but patrons will enjoy the broad list of Indiana beers from eight different breweries plus Indiana bourbons and whiskeys. Cheers to this welcome new addition to our local dining scene!

Kay Conner, author and 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

Local Acts of Kindness Leave Mark on Purdue Family

Hannah and mom Rachel 1 week before Hannah became ill

Today is World Kindness Day! We want to share a story of loving kindness we heard from a Purdue parent who experienced the BEST of our community.  Thank you to Rachel Michelberg for sharing this story with us to pass on. It shows how the human spirit of kindness can leave a mark in a family’s life forever. Our world is brighter with these wonderful acts of kindness.

Rachel shares, “In November 2016 my daughter Hannah was in her sophomore year at Purdue.  She fell ill the weekend before Thanksgiving and was taken by a friend in the middle of the night to St. Elizabeth hospital. Her illness, which was thought to be either TB or pneumonia, progressed rapidly and the doctor advised me to come as soon as possible.  My husband and I flew out (from the San Francisco bay area) that night.  Hannah was in the ICU in an isolated room – we had to don gowns and masks upon entering.  She worsened and the doctors put her on a ventilator. As you can imagine it was truly terrifying – the antibiotics weren’t working and her lung x-rays continued to show worsening, severe congestion.  TB was eventually ruled out – she had a severe form of pneumonia.
The night Hannah went on the ventilator – the Wednesday before Thanksgiving — we took a break and went to East End Grill for dinner.  It was hard to relax but we told the server our story and asked if they were open the next day so we could have somewhere to go for Thanksgiving dinner.  Soon after Scott came to our table and offered to make us a meal that we could pick up and have in Hannah’s hospital room (he would be coming in to the restaurant to cook just for us since they weren’t open.) We were flabbergasted by his kindness and gratefully accepted.  When my husband Richard picked up the meal the next day, Scott refused his repeated offer of payment.  So extraordinarily kind and generous.

Thanksgiving Dinner – Chicken, asparagus and lovely mashed potatoes. Scott even sent plates and cutlery.

I helped Hannah move into her studio in The Hub this past weekend for her senior year.  I took her and a few of her friends to the East End Grill on Saturday night and asked to see Scott.  He remembered us, asking – “you’re here from California, right?” I thanked him again, and he said “it’s just what you do,” – as if there was no question that this is the way people should treat each other.”

The staff at Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette want to thank Scott at East End Grill as well for being kind and making us so proud to call Lafayette-West Lafayette home. Our community is positive, kind and a great place to be a part of. Living or visiting here, it’s fabulous!
Please share an act of kindness you have received? And remember, be kind!

Dos Amigos Packing Mexican Flavor

Steak Fajitas – YUM!

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 everyone is talking about Dos Amigos, a new Mexican restaurant that opened recently in Levee Plaza in West Lafayette.

We love Mexican cuisine and when we heard about this new restaurant opening, we were there opening week! Upon arrival at Dos Amigos, we were welcomed and guided to a table where a friendly server quickly appeared. We felt very comfortable enjoying our meal as the space is very open and airy as well as the tables are spread out. They also had several TVs around the restaurant with sports programs on as well, something my co-worker, Corey, really enjoyed.

Now onto the food! The menu at Dos Amigos is quite expansive and has a good range of options. I decided on steak fajitas as I had a craving for steak Corey ordered a combination meal that included an chicken enchilada and a beef taco. Of course, while we waited for our food to arrive, we had chips and salsa. The chips were warm and fresh. The salsa was served in a little carafe that we could serve ourselves as needed. It had great flavor yet wasn’t too spicy, just how I like it and was slightly chunky but had been pureed to be pretty smooth as well, just perfect. Our meals arrived very quickly, before we even finished one basket of chips, and were piping hot and delicious. My fajita was served with a generous portion of tortillas, refried beans, Spanish rice, guacamole, Pico de Gallo and sour cream. The fajita came out on the traditional sizzling skillet and was a mix of peppers, onions and steak. It was seasoned very well. Corey shared he really enjoyed the chicken enchilada as the meat was tender and packed full of flavor. We had generous portions and were very satisfied.

Bonus: Our meals were reasonably priced and we ate for under $20 total, after tip (for lunch remember) and even had lunch for the next day.

I hope you check out Dos Amigos soon! Let us know what you think! Ashley Gregory, Director of Sales, share this blog.

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

10 Years to Celebrate Wine at Wildcat Creek Winery

http://www.wildcatcreekwinery.com/

Rain or shine, Wildcat Creek Winery is the place to go for a glass of wine or afternoon out with friends. The family-run winery proves perfect for a quick stop on your way through Lafayette or long day off.

A few minutes off Interstate 65 in Lafayette, this hidden gem is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary. Its advertisements mentioning a “friendly and welcoming Hoosier farmhouse appeal” couldn’t be more true as you are instantly greeted and invited in to sample wine with names like “Prophet’s Rock” or “Aunt Millie’s” (named after owner Kathy Black’s own grandmother).

Wildcat Creek art

History

Ten years ago, the owners, Kathy and Rick Black, retired and opened the winery out of their beautiful 1900s home. Every day, with the exception of Christmas, New Year’s, and Thanksgiving, they offer tastings, winery tours, and a beautiful area to relax and enjoy a glass of award-winning wine. Over the years, the owners have seen and facilitated numerous occasions including marriage proposals, bachelorette parties, and seasonal wine releases.

As a growing attraction for locals and tourists, Wildcat Creek Winery uses its influence to support the community in everything they do.  They utilize Midwestern grapes and juices and support the area by selling locally produced goods in its gift shop, located inside with the tasting room.  They also partner with nearby organizations such as Lafayette Transitional Housing for fundraisers and giving back to the area.

Wine

Because it is such a small operation it is easy to imagine a quaint family run farm, but the quality of the wine is as spectacular as the location. They’ve won many awards (including 2012 Indiana Wine of the Year) and accolades from all over.  With a list of 13 wine varieties, it may be hard to pick, but they are well known for their semi-sweet Steuben and semi-dry Chambourcin.

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Tours and Tastings

Fortunately, for us non-wine experts, they are happy to explain and show how the wine is made and walk you through its history and quality.  If you’re lucky, they’ll even recommend a few of their personal favorites out of the dozen or so varietals they create with a food pairing.

Inside features an extensive gift shop and tasting room where they hold wine tastings and sell their wine along with local products. Each tasting is done with one of Wildcat Creek Winery’s trained employees, who are able to make recommendations and add snack pairings with the wines you chose.

Upon request, tours of the area explore the tasting area, outdoor gardens, winemaking, and bottling areas, as you learn how each area contributes to the winemaking process and makes the winery great. After a brief half hour tour to get a better understanding of what Wildcat Creek Winery is, guests relax at tables lining the backyard with a glass of Wildcat Creek wine.

While we might not think of Indiana as a top spot for wineries, Wildcat Creek proves us wrong with a warm atmosphere, beautiful location, and delicious wines. A visit to Wildcat Creek is more than a stop of the interstate with wine tastings, gift shop, sitting areas, and tours.

For more information about this or other events in our area, visit HomeofPurdue.com

This blog was written by Purdue University Student, Margaret Cooper.