Taste Buds Soar at Red Bird Cafe

Loaded fries

2 Great Cities, 1 Great University, Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard! Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, is home to over 275 local restaurants and one just popped up that is making our taste buds soar and our bellies quite happy. Red Bird Cafe is the newest restaurant to our dining scene and we have to say from our recent visit that we are thrilled by the addition!

First let’s start with the food! 5 of us visited this Red Bird Cafe a few weeks ago. We explored the menu and decided on their loaded cheese fries, French fries with their signature white queso, bacon crumbles, sour cream and green onions, as an appetizer.  We literally fought for the last fry, they were so good. They were salty and cheesy and oh so delicious! Along with our appetizer they brought out homemade Beignets. I tried so hard to only eat a bite as I had ordered a large lunch but I couldn’t stop tasting this fried piece of dough with a light sprinkle of powdered sugar.  YUM! My co-worker Ashley shares, “The Beignets that come with the meals are fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside and covered in cinnamon and sugar! They taste like a fluffier version of an elephant ear. I love them! The meals are all good sized and very filling. I enjoyed my meal and am looking forward to going back.”

For lunch I ordered off of the breakfast menu which they said they offer all day.  My choice was the biscuits and pepper sausage gravy that came with hash browns.  I also added bacon to my selection. I have reviewed biscuits and gravy in past blogs and these rival the best in the area. The gravy is smooth and peppery on top of light, dense biscuits. They were just amazing! Add in the perfectly fried hash browns and crispy bacon and it was one of the best breakfasts I think I have ever had.  I highly recommend!  Another one of my co-workers, Lisa, who we say we are twin eaters, ordered the same meal and she agreed it was fabulous!

Biscuits and gravy with hash browns

A few of my co-workers ordered from their lunch menu and selected the buffalo chicken wrap and fajita chicken wrap.  They both really enjoyed them!  Another team member ordered a custom omelet which they were happy to accommodate her dietary needs. She shares, “The omelet was tasty, fluffy, light, cooked just enough and filled with four different cheese options, just to my liking. Always pleased when breakfast items are served all day and they are willing the accommodate special diet requests.”

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Second, let’s review the service. Friendly, kind and accommodating. Everyone from the hostess to our waitress were so nice. They refilled our beverages regularly, checked on our table periodically, and were just pleasant. As we were leaving our waitress shared on Wednesday nights they have “All you can eat catfish fillets,” which sounds amazing!

Third and lastly, decor! Red Bird Cafe is just so cute and lovely. It is open and bright with fun decorations like a hanging bicycle on the wall. It was also exceptionally clean, which I love! The exposed beams and ducts on the ceiling and cement ceilings give it an industrial look yet it is really homey and comfortable as well. I believe it used to be an auto shop and it is crazy how they made it into such a beautiful restaurant.

Beignets

Overall, we highly recommend this restaurant.  We can’t wait to go back and explore so many more options on their menu! Red Bird Cafe is located in downtown Dayton, Indiana.

For more information about Red Bird Cafe and other wonderful restaurants in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit us at www.HomeOfPurdue.com

Delicious Destination Contest 2018 Winner

We have the winner of our “Delicious Destination Contest 2018″ worth over $550! Congratulations to Carol from Lafayette, Indiana.

She shares, “I am from Lafayette, Indiana, but I have only been to a few of these restaurants. I have never even been to the Feast of the Hunters’ Moon! I am so excited to explore our area and check out these new culinary experiences.”

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

Weekend Update: Hands on Transportation & Beers Across the Wabash

Hands on Transportation

Lafayette-West Lafayette Weekend Update! Looking for a fun Indiana weekend getaway? Or do you live in this area and are looking for entertainment close by? Check out the endless possibilities for fun events happening this upcoming weekend in or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

On August 25th from 10-2pm Tecumseh Junior High’s bus parking lot will be transformed into one of Lafayette’s most beloved family events of the year, Hands on Transportation! You won’t want to miss this year’s event to bring the family to explore vehicles of almost all shapes and sizes as well as the operators of these vehicles. The chance to pull on the horn of a massive off road pit hauler truck to the opportunity to sit in the bed of a monster truck give children a chance to touch things they only see on TV or rolling down the street serving our community. Come out and celebrate the Greater Lafayette area’s marvels of transportation. It is a delight to their staff, the operators of the vehicles and the children and families who visit.

Beers Across the Wabash

Join in the festive fun during Beers Across the Wabash taking place from 3-7pm at the John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge on Saturday, August 25. In addition to delicious ales & lagers and one of the finest beer festival settings in the Midwest, general admission includes a commemorative sample cup along with with samples from the presenting breweries. On-site foodservice will also be available for purchase from D&R Catering, Smolder BBQ, Emergency Munchie Truck (EMT) and El Kora.

For more information about these events and other events happening this weekend in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at HomeOfPurdue.com.

Southern Flavors Delight at East End Grill

Walking down Main Street in historic downtown Lafayette you will come across many wonderful local businesses and restaurants but one that really stands out is the East End Grill. As it states in the name, it’s on the East End of Main Street between 10th and 11th Streets. As you walk by, you are welcomed by inviting outdoor seating and stately lanterns on the front of the building. As you enter, you see a large open area decorated with industrial, urban features. This is something you would expect to see in a larger city such as Chicago or Indianapolis. The owners really wanted something urban and modern but also something that was classic and would blend well with the block’s history. The buildings on that block date from the 1870’s after all.

The food here matches the atmosphere, with a more upscale feel than most places yet still casual. The owner has traveled across the U.S. but has spent most of his career in the South. Therefore, you will find, many of the dishes has a Southern flare, such as their famous Shrimp and Grits and another guest favorite, BBQ Ribs.

East End Grill Arancini Balls

While there, our group ordered a good mix of items. To start we tried a couple appetizers, the House Cut Fries and Arancini Balls. The tables at East End are designed to be a bit larger than usual with sharing in mind, which is exactly what we did with the appetizers (and of course we tried each other’s meals too, they were too good not to share!). The House Cut Fries were perfectly cooked, thin cut fries. Crisp on the outside and smooth and soft on the inside dusted with parmesan and herbs. The fries are served with a wonderful roasted garlic aioli dipping sauce, which in our opinion was so much better than ketchup. The Arancini Balls are lightly battered saffron risotto balls covered with house made Bolognese sauce and served over Pomodoro sauce. Again, it was crisp and crunchy on the outside yet smooth and creamy on the inside. We loved the flavor and the texture of these balls.

East End Grill Crabcake Salad

After the appetizers we were getting pretty full, yet we couldn’t resist the entrée items. We each had something different; the Crab Cake Salad, Shrimp and Grits and the East End Burger. The Crab Cake Salad was a large, meaty, flawlessly crisp lump crab cake served over field greens and corn salsa. The dressing is a Remoulade and Roasted Red Pepper Aioli, which was sweet and creamy. This dish was full of flavor and really made an otherwise boring salad, something exciting, fun and filling. The Shrimp and Grits was

Shrimp and Grits

delicious! I’m not a grits person at all and usually curl my lip at it, but my friend encouraged me to try this and I was very surprised. The flavor was amazing and the texture, which is usually what gets me, was silky and smooth. It does have a bit of a kick for my very wimpy palate, but I would even consider ordering it in the future. It was very cheesy and served with smoking goose tasso ham, roasted red peppers and green onions. My friend just calls it “yumminess!”. Now for the East End Burger. The presentation of this burger is fantastic. I had to pause a moment to figure out how I wanted to eat it as it was as tall if not taller than my hand turned on its side. The meat and other toppings were perfectly and evenly portioned. A huge slice of tomato and large chunky slice of sweet pickle topped Applewood smoked bacon, 8 ounces of prime beef, cheddar cheese and baby greens. The flavor was amazing, I couldn’t help but lick my lips to make sure I got every morsel of flavor after every bite.  We are told that the Wagyu Burger is even better than the regular East End Burger. While they were not offering the Wagyu Burger the day we were there, we are told it will be back on the menu very soon. We can’t wait to try that one as well.

East End Grill- East End Burger and Fries

We walked out of East End Grill fully satisfied and very pleased with our meal. We cannot wait to return and try some of the other offerings such as the Cutting Board, Wagyu Burger, Pan Roasted Salmon, East End Pastrami Cobb Salad and the BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs, not to mention the dessert items! We were too full for dessert, but they sounded delicious!  There is a good variety of menu options for everyone, but they are also very open to working with special diets or religious beliefs that prohibit certain items. Those that like to make dining reservations can easily do so with East End Grill’s online reservation system powered by RESERVE, found on the homepage of their website or social media pages. I know I will be going back very soon! If you go, be sure to tell us what you loved!

Fabulous Fun End of Summer Break Videos!

We have been having a fabulous fun summer! Check out these videos of all the fun around Lafayette-West Lafayette. Enjoy!

Water Park fun at Tropicanoe Cove!

Nightlife

Make sure you get one last slide in for the season at Tropicanoe Cove!

Columbian Park Zoo Fun

Nature walk at the Celery Bog

Learning to swing dance at Taste of Tippecanoe

 

If you have an awesome video, please share!!  And to check out more information about Lafayette-West Lafayette visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

Weekend Update: Street Art Paint Out & OUTfest

Lafayette-West Lafayette Weekend Update! Looking for a fun Indiana weekend getaway? Or do you live in this area and are looking for entertainment close by? Check out the endless possibilities for fun events happening this upcoming weekend in or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

Fabulous fun is coming this Saturday, August 18! The Street Art Paint Out: Wabash Walls initiative started on August 4 and is concluding this Saturday with a Community Celebration from noon – 4 pm at the Junction House located at 215 Smith Street. (The Wabash Walls project is a collaborative effort that aims to engage the Wabash Avenue Neighborhood and build the community through the creation of public art pieces and offers the public a chance to get involved with community beautification efforts. Led by artist and curator Cameron Moberg, the festival has featured two weeks of painting with visiting and local artists.)

Street Art Paint Out

The Community Celebration is open to the public and will feature an official commemoration of the murals and interactive art activities. Community members can join muralist and curator, Cameron Moberg, in painting panels for a collaborative mural to be displayed at the Retaining Wall. The event will end with a Bike Tour and tour of the Wabash Walls, beginning at Cargill at 3 pm and ending at OUTfest downtown.

Check out what community togetherness can create!

Head downtown for the annual special event, OUTfest. The theme for OUTfest 2018 is #PRIDEinACTION. The afternoon and evening will feature live bands and DJs, local food vendors, information booths, beer gardens, a family area, dancing, light hearted drag entertainment, extended hours for some local downtown businesses, and much more! The fee to enter is $10 for adults and $5 for students

For more information about these events and other events happening this weekend in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at HomeOfPurdue.com.

Living in Chauncey

What is it like to live in Chauncey, the downtown area of West Lafayette, situated between the Purdue campus and the Riverfront district? Natalie, Purdue University Graduate shares her experience living in Chauncey!

What to do, where to eat and where to hangout:

  • EATS
    • Fiesta
      • Fiesta is a Mexican restaurant local to Purdue’s campus. Living in Chauncey makes it easy to access delicious burritos and quesadillas. If you are looking for vegetarian or vegan options, Fiesta also offers some great alternatives. My favorite things to order is a burrito with vegetables and make sure to ask for the ranch sauce!

        Fiesta!

    • Noodles and I
      • Noodles and I isn’t a restaurant that everyone is aware of, but offers some amazing Asian cuisine. The cute hole-in-the-wall restaurant, right across the street from Maje Sushi, offers a small interior space to order quickly and eat in. My favorite thing to order at Noodles and I is vegetarian Pad Thai. Another favorite of students around Chauncey Square is Chicken or Vegetable Pho, make sure to add the sauce on the table for extra flavor!
    • Poke Hibachi
      • The first poke hibachi place to come to Purdue’s campus, Poke Hibachi! Located a couple stores back from Mad Mushroom, the poke restaurant offers fresh poke bowls with your choice of toppings. It’s a quick and healthy dining option!

        Poke Hibachi

    • Maje Sushi
      • Personally, I think Maje Sushi is the best sushi around Purdue’s campus. I may be bias since it is located right in Chauncey mall, but the sushi is fresh and they have a lot of different options, even for vegans and vegetarians. Next time you go in, try the mushroom roll… it is to die for!
  • COFFEE SHOPS / HANGOUT
    • Greyhouse
      • Greyhouse, being newly renovated in March of 2018, offers a wide variety of space to hangout, chat with friends or catch up on your work. The atmosphere inside of Greyhouse is relaxed and aesthetically pleasing. They also offer a wide variety of coffees, teas and food options like there famous crepes and newly added donuts!

        Greyhouse

    • Vienna
        • Vienna, which is located right next door to Greyhouse, is another local option for a nice hangout spot. The unique atmosphere makes Vienna special to Chauncey mall. They also offer a wide variety of food options, like breakfast sandwiches and vegan pastries!

    • Red Mango
      • Looking for a smoothie bowl? Red Mango is my favorite place, and probably only place in the West Lafayette area, where you can find smoothie bowls along with frozen yogurt and smoothies! My roommates and I love to grab a smoothie bowl during the warm months and take a walk around Purdue’s campus.
  • SHOPS
    • Underground Printing
      • If you are looking for a store to find unique Purdue apparel and not sure where to go, Underground Printing has got your back. I stumbled into Underground Printing a couple of days ago on a whim and was pleasantly surprised! Located right next to Lotsa Pizza, they offer old school Purdue sweatshirts, Harry’s gear and anything in between. You can even place a bulk order with them next time you stop in!
    • Vons
      • Vons is one of the only stores close to Chauncey Mall that is unique to Purdue’s campus. Located close to Jimmy John’s, Vons is home to a large variety of unique gifts. Looking for records? Vons has them. Looking for a cool poster? Vons has that too. Looking for spirit rocks, clothing or anything else? Vons has got you covered! Vons has everything from incense, music and even books. It’s worth the trip inside (and p.s. dogs are allowed inside too)!

        Vons

For more information about Chauncey and our other fabulous, fun districts in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

Delicious Destination – Home of Purdue Contest 2018 Details

We are celebrating EATING with our Delicious Destination – Home of Purdue Contest 2018 worth over $550! Here are some special details about the local places who have donated:

  • Relax, swim, and enjoy a delicious continental breakfast at Hampton Inn & Suites, which was recently renovated within the last year!
  • Triple XXX or Route 66 are known for their root beer and chopped steak burgers, but we love their breakfasts, which offer homemade biscuits and gravy, Belgium waffles, corned beef hash and much, much more.
  • Arni’s: To experience “Hoosier Hospitality” at its finest visit Arni’s where the food is delicious and the service is exceptional. Arni’s is a staple in the Lafayette area. This restaurant which offers pizza, sandwiches, salads and more has been serving the community since 1965.
  • Greece is calling at the Parthenon! Enjoy Greek delights in a colorful and casual atmosphere at this delightful Greek restaurant.
  • Kathy’s Kandies: Satisfy your sweet tooth with truffles, gourmet popcorn, cakes, toffee, shakes and smoothies, licorice, artisan chocolates; need we say more!
  • Bruno’s not only has delicious pizza, but order their fried shrimp and/or catfish entrees and you will leave completely satisfied. In addition, their Swiss menu and decor will make your dinner very memorable.
  • Town & Gown: Flowers galore can be found in this beautifully landscaped outdoor patio. Smell the fresh flowers as you feast on light and fluffy pancakes, rich and flavorful biscuits and gravy, and decadent cocktails.
  • Dip up smiles at the Igloo Frozen Custard, serving daily flavors such are chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, oreo, mint chip, butter pecan and more. Their custard is soft, smooth and creamy and can be dipped into a cone, dish as a sundae or malt or shake.
  • Outstanding architecture and decor, scrumptious American fare, fabulous, knowledgeble service: Red Seven Bar and Grill.
  • Prophetstown State Park is located in the historic town of Battle Ground. This state park, which served as a home to Native Americans for many years, is named after The Prophet, who was brother to Native American chief, Tecumseh. As Indiana’s newest state park offers hiking, biking, camping, interpretive Naturalist Services, and is now home to an outdoor aquatics center!
  • Recapture 18th century life and delectable dishes at the Feast of the Hunters’ Moon, taking place October 6 & 7, 2018.
  • Beyond the Vine Wine Tour: what is better then sipping wine from winery to winery in a chauffeured shuttle with your friends and family? Nothing but fun!
  • Head to Wea Creek Orchard this year and pick some fresh peaches, nectarines, apples, pumpkins, enjoy a wagon ride, purchase some honey or apple butter, jams and jellies, etc. You’ll have loads of fun!

Enter to win this fabulous contest at HomeOfPurdueBlog.com. Good luck!

Weekend Update: Purdue Football Fan Day & Mosey Down Main Street

Lafayette-West Lafayette Weekend Update! Looking for a fun Indiana weekend getaway? Or do you live in this area and are looking for entertainment close by? Check out the endless possibilities for fun events happening this upcoming weekend in or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

This Saturday, August 11, head to Purdue for Purdue Football Fan Day!  Boilermaker fans, come and meet the 2018 Purdue football team at the annual preseason fan day in Mollenkopf. The event will feature the entire football team and host a number of family-friendly activities for all ages.

Activities include…
• Test your football skills on the field with current Boilermakers.
• Meet your favorite players with an autograph session with the entire team and coach Brohm.
• Free 2018 schedule poster.
• Gear up for gameday with merchandise from the new official Purdue Team Store.
• Get an inside look at the new Football Performance Complex.
• Enter-to-win a special prize when you purchase your 2018 football season tickets.
• Purchase $5 youth tickets for the Eastern Michigan game with the purchase of an adult ticket.
• Fan Day is free to attend.
• To participate in skills activities on the field, all fans must fill out a waiver form upon entry.
• Parking is free in the F and R lots.
• Come early and check out the 2018 Purdue volleyball team in a free intrasquad scrimmage starting at 1 p.m. at Holloway Gymnasium.

In the evening, take the family to Mosey Down Main Street, a street celebrations brought to you by the local artistic community. Volunteers, downtown business owners, artists and musicians come together once a month from May through September to offer a free, family friendly event that takes place right down the center of Main Street. The event includes three stages of music, outdoor food, beer, and wine sales as well as street performers, drum circles and D.J.’s, belly dancers, and balloon animals.

For more information about these events and other events happening this weekend in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at HomeOfPurdue.com.