Lafayette Indiana Restaurant Reviews and Theater Scene

Wchili-paste-100180794hen I moved from the Norfolk/Virginia Beach, VA      area to Lafayette, Indiana  2 1/2 years ago, a lot of  people told me that Lafayette didn’t have much in the  way of really good restaurants. 
My husband, Steve,  loves to cook and we both love to try  diverse restaurants  and find new and interesting food.  We’ve found that Lafayette does, indeed,  have some nice  restaurants. So I thought I’d share my favorites here.  I’ll  try to put them in the order that we like most,  although  in some cases that will be difficult. 🙂 
Please feel free to add your comments at the bottom of the page. If you wish to speak to a specific restaurant, be sure to name it in your comment. If you know of a great restaurant that we haven’t mentioned yet, please comment on that as well!  Thanks!



When I read about this new restaurant, I was very excited. My husband and I both follow a ketogenic lifestyle (low carb) – how wonderful it would be to have a restaurant where we didn’t have to alter every item on the menu! (hold the bread, no potatoes or rice with that please, do you have anything we can sub? oh, steamed broccoli (again?) ok. No, don’t bring the dessert tray please)

Yesterday we made a reservation and head out with high hopes. Here’s what happened when we arrived.
They had our reservation and immediately led us to our table. They didn’t ask if we minded being upstairs (my husband has had 3 back surgeries, 1 neck surgery, and recently had a total knee replacement), just had to hurry to follow behind the young lady who led us past many empty tables, up the stairs, past more empty tables, to a tiny table in the far back in a corner – against a wall and my chair tucked into the corner – can we get farther back than that? Ok..

We started looking over the menu. It’s fairly extensive. We read it all, then read it again – no offer of water, no one took a drink order, no one came to our table in the back at all. A group sitting near us had a waiter who went over the menu with them, asked if they were on a special diet, made suggestions (had already brought them water and taken their drink order and put it in). Left and came back with their drinks.

Then another couple were sat beside our table and the waitress was there at the time they were seated, asked if they’d like water and took their drink order. We had now been sitting for 15 minutes and no one had ventured near us.

We looked at each other and said, well, I think it’s time to go.

We left, walked down to Spurlocks where I got a Farmers burger (burger with a fried egg and bacon on top – hold the bun. It was delicious and fit my diet perfectly!

Here’s part of the menu and what we could have had: (be aware, they advertize they can change things up to suit your needs but the small print on the meny says substitions will add to the price)

On the appetizer list, the only thing we could have was deviled eggs. Other choices were:
Blue Cheese Soufflé: blue cheese, pastured egg, our candied walnuts, local honey, multi-grain bread,
greens 10
Pork Belly Sliders:- oo pork belly! :) but wait, it’s caramelized with acorn-and comes with whole WHEAT buns, creamy MAPLE slaw, Bubbie’s bread and butter pickle – can someone say SUGAR?

Polenta Crostini: Polenta – no, apple – no – Anson Mills’ Polenta de Mais Rustica, shrimp, our pistachio kale pesto, fresh apple

Deviled Eggs:OK this looks like our only choice! pastured eggs, avocado, house mayo, sour cream, roasted red pepper, greens

Chorizo Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates:Dates and acorn and cider – High sugar/high carbs – medjool dates, house-made acorn-finished Berkshire pork chorizo, Fisher Farms bacon, cider reduction

Yuca Fries: Yuca is equivalent to potatoes in the starch category – no go (how about Jicama fries??) hand-cut yuca, Local Folks ketchup, honey mustard, our own sriracha mayo

Harvest Platter: Honey, jam, bread, fruit, nope – changes often, ask server. Will include some combination of house-made sausage, local
charcuterie, honey or jam, fresh bread, pickled vegetables, and/or fruit. Served with bread.

Next category is Salad – Can’t go wrong with salad, right?

Warm Brussel Sprout and Goat Cheese Salad: WOW sounds delicious, but wait… the goat cheese is BREADED! and it has apple and cherries in it and covered with cider dressing :( – shaved Brussel sprouts, panko breaded goat cheese, apple,dried cherries, our bacon jam made with bacon from Smoking Goose, our cider vinaigrette

Kirsten’s Seasonal Cobb: Cobb Salad – what we get everywhere – ok it’s a little different, it has acorn? Carbs? no idea. Celery seed dressing? might have sugar, don’t know, doesn’t say – pastured egg, cheddar cheese, avocado, roasted acorn squash, Smoking Goose pancetta, red onion, mixed greens, our house (celery seed) dressing

Orange and Beet Salad Tacos: Oranges and beets, honey, peanuts – sugar, sugar, sugar – beets, oranges, honey orange goat cheese, toasted peanuts, lettuce leaves,our orange blossom vinaigrette

Apple and Squash Salad: Apples, candied walnuts, winter squash – nope – roasted acorn squash, apple, blue cheese, our candied walnuts, mixed greens, our squash vinaigrette

?Kale, Quinoa, Chicken Salad: Quinoa, grapes, spiced pecans and more cider – nope. – roast Miller chicken, quinoa, kale, roasted grapes, our spiced pecans, parmesan cheese, our cider vinaigrette 11

Entrees all served with potatoes or rice or risotto… :( I won’t go on, you get the picture.


Adelinos Old World Kitchen window

Adelino’s Old World Kitchen

112 N 3rd Street
Lafayette, IN 47901

We found Adelino’s recently, although we wish we  found it much earlier! Yes – it’s that good.

Chef Rosa is the owner and  the restaurant has been created to celebrate his grandfather, Adelino, as well as Chef Rosa’s Portuguese heritage. I won’t tell you the story of Adelino, let the Chef or his staff impart that information to you – it’s a treat!


The restaurant features a full bar, a dining area, an upstairs ballroom and banquet area, and, in the back, there is the infamous Chef’s Table – a beautiful long marble-inlaid table that seats many, many people for Chef Rosa’s special events.


There is a regular menu with soups, salads, vegetables, entrees, Pizzas, kid’s menu, and desserts but there is also a Tapas menu and a Family Style menu. So you have many choices in what and how to eat. They cater as well!


Chef Rosa hosts a cooking class called Cooking with the Chef. Each night is a different cuisine and it’s so much fun! Each class is self contained. For more information about the classes, click here. When I first found Adelino’s online, I saw the schedule for these cooking classes and suggested we try the restaurant and, if we liked it, I would give my husband, Steve,  a cooking class for his birthday. After eating there, he enthusiastically scheduled two classes – The Mediterranean Isles and the French – for both of us! Yikes! We’ve already attended the Mediterranean Isles class and it was a blast.  Several of the “students” had been before and loved it. Everyone was friendly and talkative and we felt very welcomed


The chef even has classes for kids aged 7 to 12 (they must be accompanied by an adult). For more information about these classes click HERE.


He also hosts special events. We recently attended his Portugal  Wine Dinner. Can you imagine a dinner that is served BY the chef? Chef Rosa served each course – and each course came with a different wine, which he also poured for us. As we ate, he imparted the story of Adelino. It’s a heart-warming story about a man who truly understood the meaning of Love Thy  Neighbor. 


Each table had bread waiting. The first course was a really tasty fish soup with a clear broth that was filled with chunks of white fish, potatoes, onion, bacon and parsley – it was amazing with the bread dipped into it – think that’s a no-no? It was encouraged by the chef!


The next course a simple (simply delicious!) plate of beef tenderloin in a creamy sauce with mushrooms and was accompanied by a bowl containing a medley of potatoes with spanish chorizo, sweet peppers, onion, garlic and wine sauce (a red wine with sugar and cinnamon that has been reduced for hours over low heat) Spanish chorizo is quite different from Mexican. I looked it up and here’s what I found: While Mexican chorizo is seasoned with chili peppers and vinegar, Spanish chorizo is made basically with pork (as far as I know with lean pork loin), sweet paprika and garlic, and is cured either to a hard sausage consistency, to be sliced and eaten as an appetizer, or to a softer consistency to use in cooking. – from the website of Penelope Casas where she answers many questions about Spanish Cuisine.


The beef in this dish could be cut with your fork and, again, the sauce was mouthwatering when scooped up with the bread. The potatoes with the wine reduction had a unique, and quite delicious, flavor. I really enjoyed it.


The third course, chicken with rice and spanish chorizo, didn’t have as much sauce and it was a bit heavier but still delicious. A very hearty dish, calls it an alternative to paella. 


Fourth came the rabbit with a much thicker rice (Arroz de coelho), this dish is the traditional dish that Adelino served his guests when they came to dinner at his home – along with the wine he made in his bathtub! – he loved to host dinners for his friends.


Last came Chef Rosa’s grandmother’s traditional dessert. A very simple but satisfying rice pudding. Its charm is its simplicity. While just a combination of rice, cinnamon and cream – it had us scraping the bottom and wishing there was more.


The truly amazing topper to the evening was a glass of Chef Rosa’s own personal 120 year old port wine. He had obtained 4 bottles of this delightful nectar from Portugal and one sip quickly impressed with its quality and set it apart from all the other wines. The chef suggested closing your eyes, taking a sip and just holding it on your tongue for a minute. Ahh, it was heavenly!


In my opinion, Adelino’s has everything a good restaurant should have, great food, great staff, and best of all, when you come in you’re greeted like a friend and get that wonderful “everybody knows my name” feeling that a really special place gives.


Have you attended one of Chef Rosa’s Cooking classes or Special Events? Have you dined at Adelino’s? Please tell us about it in the comments below! I’d love to hear about it!

Addendum: We visited Adelino’s again in April. They changed their menu so of course we had to go and see what was new! Steve had the boar chops with garlic smashed potatoes and Susan had the Jumbo Shrimp wrapped with bacon also with garlic smash.

Both entrees were spectacular. The boar, which we’d never had before, was perfectly cooked, and very flavorful. We got it with the Hunter’s sauce. mmmm We’d get it again anytime!
The shrimp were grilled on a skewer and were also cooked perfectly they were huge and delicious.


We also had, as a starter, the GOAT CHEESE CROSTINI tapas plate – Creamy goat cheese spread with figs, grapes, honey and walnuts over grilled garlic toast. It was so flavorful and delicious. Next time we go, we think we’ll get all tapas plates. Everything looked so good.


Steve had his favorite Warsteiner Dunkle and Susan had the Portuguese Cream, which was described as a chocolate shake on steroids – bartender Shane’s own invention.


Everything was wonderful, as always. Our server, Frederick, was great, the ambiance was warm and inviting and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!

Adelinos table




redseven grill

 200 Main Street
Lafayette, IN
(765) 742-7337

 Last night, before attending one of Purdue’s Convos, Streb Forces,(which was amazing, btw) we decided to go out to eat at RedSeven. My review on this is a bit mixed.


When we arrived, the first thing we noticed was the noise. It sound like there was one BIG party going on in there! Although we had reservations and we arrived 5 minutes early, we were shown to a table all the way in the very back. They had to pull two tables apart for us – so it didn’t really feel like they were expecting us or had set a table aside for us.


The fellow who showed us to our table took off almost at a run – really I had to trot to keep up with him. Once the table was pushed to the side for us and as we were taking off our jackets (we hadn’t sat down yet) the waitress arrived, standing behind us she was asking what we wanted to drink! I found that very annoying. I said we’d like to sit down first and have a menu. Now SHE looked annoyed. Oh well…

Then the fellow who had showed us to the table came back and said another party was coming to sit at the table next to ours and wanted to shove our table over further so we’d have more room… Ok.


At this point, I was feeling a bit beyond annoyed, but accepted our menus and began to peruse the choices. The waitress came and got our drink order – I had a diet coke and Steve had a beer.


I decided that I’d like an appetizer as my entree – the Beef Lettuce Cups: stir fried asian beef and vegetables served with romaine lettuce leaves.


Steve asked if they had soups (none were listed on the menu) and the waitress said they did! Clam Chowder and a Chicken Noodle. Steve asked what kind of chowder it was and she didn’t know there was more than one. He asked if it was white or red. White – ok, New England Clam Chowder.


I chose to have a bowl of that as well.


Steve ordered the Boursin Crusted Flank Steak: whiskey marinated flank steak, boursin cheese, citrus spinach and herb roasted potato duet.


We chatted above the cacophany while we waited. I must say that the noise level fluctuated quite a bit with some quieter times here and there.


Our dinner began to arrive in a timely manner.  Steve’s salad and my soup were served together first. The soup was very good. Not too thick, which I was thankful for and seasoned very well. Steve enjoyed his salad as well.


Then came the rest. My Lettuce Cups were beautifully arranged with a bowl of the beef stirfry in a bowl alongside the large crisp romaine leaves. The filling was very, very sweet but were very tasty. I’d have chosen for them not to be quite so sweet, but I did enjoy them.


Steve’s steak was delicious. It was marinated in whiskey which gave it a slightly sweet taste and the boursin cheese was a great counterpoint to that. It had two types of potato – garlic whipped potatoes on one side and herb-roasted potatoes on the other. It was topped with fried onion rings – the thin kind. The citrus spinach was hidden underneath the cheese but complemented the meal quite well.  


When we received our bill, we noticed we were charged for an extra soft drink, which the removed.


Overall, if you don’t mind the noise, the food was pretty good. We didn’t really feel like our reservations were meaningful and that was a little off-putting. They have a fairly large menu with Starters, Pastas, Steaks and Chops, and Pizzas as well as desserts, coffees, and a wine and beer menu. 


The Downtowner

downtowner2.jpt2200 Elmwood Ave
Lafayette, IN

Don’t miss the Downtowner for breakfast. It’s a Lafayette staple!! And it will be hard not to find someone you know there! It’s ALWAYS packed!!

There a number of tables in the front part of the restaurant, then in the back area there are long tables. There are a couple of tables that are always reserved for Lafayette Firefighters and Policemen. 🙂

I’d recommend trying the blueberry pancakes. I don’t know what they do to their pancakes, but they’re the lightest, fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever tasted! And if you order the blueberry pancakes, there are blueberries in every bite. And I don’t mean little dried up berries. These are huge juicy blueberrys. AND they bring a metal pitcher of heated syrup along with some butter out with them! WOW.
Their other breakfasts are also delicious. Click here to see menus.

They apparently don’t have a website of their own, so I got some info from UrbanSpoon – click here for directions to the  Downtowner and other info.

 They do have a facebook page here
Their food is amazing and the service is top notch. This is not a chain!! And it shows. 🙂  If you live in Lafayette or if you’re just passing through, you don’t want to miss the Downtowner!



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carmen Werner
    Apr 01, 2014 @ 15:28:10

    Thank you Susan….very impressed! Sounds like a fun, but costly dinner! Enjoyed your in depth with detail descriptions….YOU ARE GOOD!!! Never went there….YET??

    Liked by 1 person


    • Susan Hawthorne
      Apr 01, 2014 @ 22:10:31

      The special event dinners can be a little more costly – the Portugal Dinner Event was $45.00 a person and was VERY worth it 🙂 And their cooking classes are a BLAST! – $35.00 a person and it includes two different wines and everyone eats all the items cooked by all the “students” then discusses them and the chef gives suggestions on what could have made them better.
      check out their webpage (link is on their name) for their menu. The prices aren’t too bad – $$ – not $$$$, hehe. A nice special dinner. But it depends on what you order of course. And they have tapas – little plates of different items, which is fun.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the descriptions.
      Know of any local restaurants you’d recommend trying?



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