Home of Purdue Contest Winner’s Thrilling Exploration

Dining at East End Grill

Dining at East End Grill

I like to enter contests! Just the thrill of thinking I might win a free copy of a newly released book gives me the chills! I entered the Home of Purdue Holiday Shopping and Entertainment contest, imagining how much fun it would be to win just ONE item from the extensive list of gift cards and tickets for attractions around the area! However, imagine my surprise when I received the email from Sara Erickson telling me I had won! My husband said, “that’s nice.” Neither of us realized the scope of the prize package…until we started to take out item after item (after item) from the package we picked up. What generous businesses in Lafayette and West Lafayette! We were awestruck and appreciative of the variety and abundance of donations.

I have never been so glad to have entered a contest. Have to confess my husband was impressed…and I did a little dance, before I got down to seriously planning my visits to the various businesses!

Thursday I took my friend for a lunch at East End Grill. We were welcomed by Scott Trzaskus and enjoyed a wonderful lunch of smoked salmon sandwich with yummy pesto!

Kathy's Kandies! Next we walked to Kathies Kandies (the scent of homemade sugar cookies in the background) where Kathie welcomed us, congratulated me (yes, lucky me!) and promptly filled a box with her delicious chocolates!

My next stop was The Design Nook. There is so much to see there! I wandered around the beautiful displays and to say they are eye-opening is an understatement! I purchased unique ornaments for my three grandchildren. The staff was so helpful!

Shopping at Design NookJust around the corner at Artists’ Own, I browsed through all the hand-crafted art from our own local artists, meeting Mary Firestone and purchasing one of her leaf-pressed holiday ornaments, and a hand-made ice cream scoop for my daughter.

On Friday,  I stopped in to visit Linda Elmore, and from her beautiful collection at L.E. Originals and found two pairs of earrings and a bracelet for a friend. This is a store I had never visited before, but will visit again soon for something for me! Beautiful hand made glass beads! (Thanks, Linda!)

Lafayette Symphony OrchestraWhew! Can you believe I am not done yet? Saturday’s offering was tickets from the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra for its presentation of We ❤️ the 80’s which was so enjoyable with pieces from Pachelbel, Mozart, Haydn, Leonard Cohen, Prince, and Thriller!
Thanks to Andrea Hatch for reserving our tickets, and to Sara Mummy and Nick Palmer. An unforgettable evening!

My husband and I followed that with a trip to Nine Irish Brothers for a tasty dinner: shrimp cocktail and smoked salmon. We sat by the fireplace (lucky us!), and we visited with owners and friends, Jan and Jerry O’Bryan.

Nine Irish Brother with Jerry & JanOur final excursion was Sunday morning–brunch at Town and Gown. We were greeted by owner Matt O’Neill. I ate the most delicious eggs Benedict with smoked salmon ( by now you know I love salmon any way I can get it) served on an open-face fresh croissant.

Town and Gown

Town and Gown

Wow! You’ve really got to try it. Trust me!


I am saving the Riverside Center skating tickets, the Triple XXX restaurant, Monster Mini Golf, and Bruno’s for when my grandkids will be here for Thanksgiving! They will be so excited to visit those new places! You will be hearing from me again about how it all goes.
In the next few months I will use the gift cards to the Igloo (when it’s warmer!), a night away at Homewood Suites when there is not a Purdue Football game! Thanks Karen Hirsh-Cooper for being so flexible! And perhaps, last but not least…I’ll meet you at Arnis!

Tomorrow it will be back to the gym and the real life of a retired school librarian, but this week of being a special guest in so many welcoming establishments let me have the thrill of feeling like a Very Important Person. I am thankful to the team at the Home of Purdue for all the work to procure those gift packages! I am lucky I got to see Lafayette, Home of Purdue, my home for 48 years, in a whole new light!

West Lafayette Native and our 2017 Holiday Shopping and Entertainment Contest Winner, Lauralee, shared this blog.

Dive into the Gut Buster at Eye Opener Café

Eye Opener Biscuits & Gravy

Biscuits & Gravy

Battle Ground, IN is filled with local attractions to visit; Tippecanoe Battlefield, Wolf Park, Prophetstown State Park, The Farm at Prophetstown, The Battle Ground Golf Club, but where to eat? Look no further than the Eye Opener Café!

Nestled on the corner in the small downtown of Battle Ground is this great local restaurant with amazing food! Some might call it a dive but if you want to go where the locals eat, for sure check this place out! My favorite time to eat at the Eye Opener is for brunch. My personal favorite is the Western Omelet (without the onions). The egg is somewhat thin but it’s stuffed with ham, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and don’t forget the CHEESE!

Omelet and fried potatoes

Omelet and fried potatoes

Their cheese is so smooth and creamy (maybe Velveeta?). Whatever it is, it keeps me coming back for more! My husband loves the Gut Buster. It’s a gigantic breakfast burrito! My husband has a hefty appetite and even he can get two or three meals out of it! Definitely one to share or take home as left overs. When it comes, it always amazes me as it is as long as the oval plate it comes on and I’m guessing about 4 inches tall or so. It’s just jam packed with ingredients as well. Some of my friends also rave about their biscuits and gravy. We love the others so much we haven’t tried that yet, but for sure its on our list. Typically, I’m in a breakfast mood when I go, but on the occasion, I want lunch items, I’ve never been disappointed, I especially like their burger and the BLT.

eye-opener-cafe-2012-4jpgDon’t expect anything fancy and be sure to bring cash because they don’t accept credit cards. But you will be sure to have a satisfying meal and friendly service when you visit this restaurant. You might even luck out and have some live entertainment while you eat, I know Scott Greeson and his band, The Trouble with Monday play here occasionally. Be sure to give it a chance the next time you are in the area.

Ashley Gregory, Director of Sales for Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette, shares this blog. For more information about this restaurant and others in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.


Weekend Update: 200 Candles: A Hoosier Birthday Bash & The Addams Family

Randy Salman - 200 Birthday Bash

Randy Salman – 200 Birthday Bash

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

We are celebrating Indiana’s birthday all year long. On November 5, you are invited to a musical party, 200 Candles: A Hoosier Birthday Bash, for Indiana’s Bicentennial! The Lafayette Symphony Orchestra is honoring the big 2-0-0 with a lineup of local talent, Hoosier songwriters and composers, and an audio-visual presentation of historic homegrown artwork in collaboration with ArtSmart: Indiana and the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette. Come out and enjoy this night of Indiana musical entertainment.

addams-familyThe classic, The Addams Family, is being showcased this Friday, Saturday and Sunday by the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.  That lovable family of creepy kooks is alive and well and living in their spooky mansion in Central Park. Wednesday, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love – a sensation that is unsettling for both her and her family. When her new boyfriend and his “normal” family come to meet the Addams household, comic chaos ensues. Laugh and be entertained this weekend during this fabulous comedy.

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

Get Outdoors Blog Contest Winner 2016

Get Outside Prestart 2We have the winner of our “Get Outdoors Contest 2016″ worth over $500! Congratulations to Laurie from Kewaunee, Wisconsin.

She shares, “Wow!! Thank you so much!  I am beyond excited; I’m ecstatic! I remember when I entered this contest, I was thinking it would be awesome to win, as I love the West Lafayette/Lafayette area. I never thought I’d actually win, so this has really made my day! We’ve been coming here to visit for the past 7 summers, and we always have a very memorable time. I know there’s much we haven’t gotten to see and do yet. One of the things I wanted to do this summer and didn’t get to is the Wolf Park, so I’m thrilled about having the opportunity to do so.  I definitely would be more than happy to share our experiences. Thank you again!  We can’t wait to come back”

Thanks to all who participated in this latest contest! Stay tuned for our next big contest/package we will be hosting in September, 2016. The theme will be “Taste of Lafayette-West Lafayette.”


Lafayette-West Lafayette Making Lasting Memories Contest 2016 Details

FireworksDaveSchmidt2015Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette is excited to announce our “Lafayette-West Lafayette Making Lasting Memories Contest 2016″ to our two great cities. The competition started on Monday, May 2, 2016 and we want to share why each business that has donated to these packages is so fabulous!

One great winner will win the following package worth over $550!

  • The Courtyard by Marriott recently opened a new conference center featuring over 5,500 square feet of meeting space perfect for your next special event!
  • Arni’s Pizza is best known for their savory pizza and the Arni’s Junior Salad. This has been a local hotspot for many years!
  • Bruno’s features great food, atmosphere, and fun! This local favorite celebrated their 60th Anniversary last year and is known for their infamous Bruno Dough and homemade, hand-tossed pizzas!
  • daughter 2014Where else do you get the chance to taste the world-famous Duane Purvis Peanut Butter Burger besides Triple XXX / Route 66? No where! Come and see why this diner was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!
  • Give your tastebuds an experience like never before at Kathy’s Kandies with homemade treats such as: gourmet popcorn, scrumptious truffles, and fluffy pastries!
  • Looking for a great burger, drink, onion rings and more? Make a lunch or dinner trip to Spurlock’s.
  • Digby’s Pub & Patio offers an informal tavern serving appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrees and amazing burgers along with handcrafted cocktails.
  • Pottery at its finest can be found at the Grateful Heart Gallery and Gifts. Five resident artists of Grateful Heart create a broad spectrum of art that is influenced by their personal experiences and cultural influences.
  • Test your mini golf skills at Monster Mini Golf: 18-holes of surprises, twists, and turns! What’s the catch? It’s all in the dark with neon monsters around every corner!
  • Have you ever come face-to-face with a wolf? Wolf Park gives you the extraordinary opportunity of meeting numerous wolves, coyotes, and foxes; each have their very own story and background to share!
  • Billiards room, arcades, cosmic-bowling, full service snack bar, sports bar, and banquet facilities! Where? Mike Aulby’s Arrowhead Bowl
  • Grab an inner-tube and laze your way through Cattail Crik at Tropicanoe Cove!
  • 45 minutes north of Lafayette-West Lafayette is home to one of the United States largest dairies! Find cheese, adventure, cows, hogs and more at Fair Oaks Farm.
  • 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!
  • Music lovers will have the chance to clap, stomp and enjoy the sounds of old-time, bluegrass, swing jazz fiddle, string band, Celtic and ethnic music during the Indiana Fiddlers’ Gathering.
  • Food, music, and a night on the town – sounds like the recipe for a perfect evening! Enjoy the TASTE of Tippecanoe on June 18.

Brunodough2013Go to http://www.homeofpurdueblog.com/?p=7647 to sign up! Entries will be accepted through Monday, May 9, 2016, at 11am. The winner will be announced via social media after they have been notified. And stay tuned to our next social media contest coming in June – the theme is “Summer Fun.”

Main Street Cheese & Wine

Happening Now! Right now everyone is talking about Main Street Cheese & Wine, a local restaurant serving soups and sandwiches made from home grown Indiana products.

I am a Hoosier!  I am proud to say I live in Indiana and the Midwest where people not only work hard, but are friendly and welcoming.  I love to support local attractions, restaurants and festivals.  Main Street Cheese & Wine not only is a local dining place, but most of their food products are made in Indiana.  I am a big fan of Fair Oaks Dairy cheeses, and the majority of their sandwiches have a slice or two.  The “heart” of main street sandwich can only be described as “grilled goodness”.  Cracked pepper turkey breast, Fair Oaks pepper havarti cheese, tomato and artichoke hearts are grilled and melted together.  The combination of all of these ingredients makes for a mouth watering experience.  Add in a cup of homemade soup that is made fresh every day, and the lunch is perfection.

The atmosphere in Main Street Cheese & Wine is so inviting.  The room is light and airy.  There are cupboards full of food items ranging from homemade noodles, cookies, jams and jellies, and more for sale.   As soon as I walk through the door I instantly feel comfortable.  It feels like going back in time with the stained glass windows, hardwood floors, and cafe chairs.  Also, the waitresses are always cheerful and greet you as soon as you walk in the door, which is refreshing.

(Note: Check out their wine slushies.  They are the perfect thing to drink to cool off during this hot, humid summer!)

What is your favorite sandwich at Main Street Cheese & Wine?  Do you enjoy their cold sandwiches such as their chicken walnut or garden turkey?  Or perhaps you are like me and crave their hot sandwiches from their Cuban to their BLT pita?

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

Scotty’s Brewhouse

Mo'Fo Cluck Lite with Mac n' Cheese!

2 Great Cities, 1 Great University “Midwest Hospitality”.  To experience “Midwest Hospitality” at its finest, visit Scotty’s Brewhouse for not only fabulous service, but delicious bar food!

Scotty’s Brewhouse holds many special memories in my heart.  I am a graduate of Ball State University, and Scotty’s original restaurant first opened in Muncie, Indiana.  This restaurant/bar was where I met up with friends to hang out, had my first beer, and would take my parents to dine when they visited.  My favorite memory is meeting up with my sister (who is 3 years older and was a senior when I was a freshman) and her friends and listening to their college tales of fun!  Scotty’s is so laid back and relaxing that this location holds the perfect combination of good food and atmosphere to make the night a fun one.

When I moved to the Lafayette-West Lafayette area a few years ago, I was so excited West Lafayette claims its own Scotty’s Brewhouse!  I would almost say it is becoming an Indiana classic restaurant, where all the great cities in our state can now boast they have one.  I believe the reason they have expanded throughout the state is not only because they have good food, but when you visit this place, you always know you are going to have friendly, Indiana hospitality and service.

Their menu encompasses everything from burgers (made a million different ways!) to salads to wonderful homemade soups.  A family favorite of ours is their dill chips.  It is the first thing we order every visit.  They have a mo’fo sauce (their signature sauce) they add to many menu options and it adds a kick to the meal that is wonderful.  My husband and I go through stages where we will eat something again and again until we can’t eat it for a year.  At this time Buffalo chicken wraps are our craving and the Mo’Fo Buffalo Chicken Wrap from Scotty’s is amazing!

Living in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, one thing we value is customer service and appreciating the times we receive great customer care.  Midwest Hospitality is Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.  We are  proud of our local restaurants that provide gracious and friendly service. For more information about this restaurants and others in the area, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.