Triple XXX Family Restaurant – West Lafayette, IN

1 10 2009
  • 2 N. Salisbury Street
  • West Lafayette, IN 47906
  • (765) 743-5373
  • Website
  • Menu
Triple XXX Family Restaurant on Salisbury Street in West Lafayette, IN

Triple XXX Family Restaurant on Salisbury Street in West Lafayette, IN

If you’ve figured out J and I, it should come as no surprise that we chose to take a honeymoon that revolves around food. After the wedding, we loaded up the car and headed to East Tennessee. It was too far to make in one night, so we decided to stop in Louisville for the night. Since we were in no hurry, the first stop on our culinary excursion was in West Lafayette, IN at a place we saw on Diner’s, Drive-In’s, and Dives.

The Triple XXX Family Restaurant is on the hill in West Lafayette just down the street from Purdue University. It’s a 24 hour place that serves good, cheap grub for those late “study breaks.” It’s been so long since I saw the segment on Triple D and the building we found was not what I was expecting for some reason.

Triple XXX (named after the Root Beer brand they serve) is an old drive in on the corner of State & Salisbury. The car stalls have turned into parking and the only business they do is inside. The building itself is not huge, but it’s bigger than you think. There are no tables, only lunch counters. They weave around the building so there are a lot more seats than I thought there would be. Read the rest of this entry »

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Merry Ann’s Diner – Downtown Champaign, IL

29 12 2008
  • 1 E. Main Street
  • Champaign, IL 61820
  • (217) 531-1160
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Merry Anns Diner in downtown Champaign, IL

Merry Ann's Diner in downtown Champaign, IL

5:30 AM is still too early for me.  I was up at this ungodly hour because I had to be in Champaign by 7:00 AM for a basketball game.  My parents live a little over an hour away, so the alarm was set for just before 5:30.  Since the game was at 1:00, it meant lunch was actually going to be breakfast, so on my way in to town, I started scouting out breakfast joints.  I wasn’t having much luck until I had to detour off of Neil Street (the main artery of Champaign and the road that runs through downtown) because of construction.  I turned down Main Street and like a golden beacon, a simple sign that said “diner” jumped out and I found my breakfast spot.

Merry Ann’s Diner is located in the One Main building which is a development companies’ prototype for downtown buildings.  I know they also built a “One Main” in Normal, IL near Illinois State University even though the street is not Main Street.  The “One Main” name comes from the address of this original building. 

I was not aware that there was a second Merry Ann’s in Champaign.  I had eaten at the location farther down on the corner of Neil and Kirby Streets near the University of Illinois (review HERE).  I was surprised when I actually saw the name of the diner on Main was Merry Ann’s.

I got back downtown just before 10:00.  The diner isn’t very big and it’s set up pretty much the same was as the diner on Neil Street.  Most of the booths but up to the “kitchen” with little cutouts for the waitress.  This way, the waitress never has to go out into the dining room….unless you happen to be sitting at the two or three tables near the door which are separated from the counter.  The diner is setup with a row of booths, a lunch counter, and another row of booths.  When I walked in, I wasn’t sure there was any available space.  All of the booths looked full.  I thought maybe there was one down at the end, so I started walking that way.  That’s when I noticed the stools at the counter, so I just sat down there. Read the rest of this entry »





White Palace Grill – Chicago

23 06 2008
  • White Palace Grill1159 S. Canal St.
  • Chicago, IL 60607
  • (312) 939-7167
  • Website (not working)
  • Menu

Guy Fieri let me down.  That’s painful to say out loud.  My girlfriend and I first heard of the White Palace Grill in downtown Chicago on an episode of Diner’s Drive-In’s and Dives about 24 hour diners.  I was working in Chicago this past weekend and since my girlfriend’s parents live in a Chicago suburb, she decided to come with me and take a long weekend.  We left Lansing around midnight on a Thursday night and got to Chicago a little after two a.m.  We took a detour into the city instead of just heading to her parents.  We’ve been to a handful of places featured on Triple D including two others in Chicago and figured if Guy went there, it must be good.  We were wrong.  Really, really wrong.

White Palace Grill is located just south of the Loop on Roosevelt and Canal Streets.  According to a friend of my girlfriend’s, venturing into this neighborhood at this time of night five years ago would have been scary.  It wasn’t quite a walk in the park now, but it wasn’t really bad.  We parked about a half a block from the diner and walked back.  There’s a huge mall with a lot of high end stores right next door.  The scary thing was all the people just loitering in the street and around the restaurant.  We made our way to the front door and someone behind the counter acknowledged us and told us to sit where we want.  There are two dining rooms.  When you first walk in, there’s the traditional diner setting with a counter and a row of booths along the wall.  Keep going back and there’s more of a dining room with tables and booths.  We sat in the front dining room in a booth along the wall.  The menus were already on the table, so we grabbed a couple and started looking over them.  A bus boy came by with water and wiped the table down.  After that, it was quite a while before a waitress noticed us.  This was just the start of possibly the worst service we’ve ever gotten at a diner. Read the rest of this entry »





Merry Ann’s Diner (Campus Location)- Champaign, IL

19 05 2008
  • 1510 S. Neil St.Merry Ann's
  • Champaign, IL 61820
  • (217) 352-5399
  • No Known Website
  • Menu (downtown Location)

So here’s the first of my reviews of dining in Big Ten communities (well, second if you count The Fleetwood Diner in Ann Arbor).  I was in Champaign for the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship.  When I lived in Peoria, I would end up in Champaign quite often for work.  When we had an early call time, I would pretty much always be put up in the Hilton Garden Inn on Neil St.  From the hotel, I always saw this little diner called Merry Ann’s.  For the most part, I needed to get to bed and didn’t have time to grab a bite to eat, so I kept passing this place up.  Not this time.

I spent the weekend in town and I got off work at a fairly early time on Saturday.  I had eaten nothing but cold meat sandwiches supplied by University Dining Services for two days, so I needed something good and greasy.  I walked across Neil to get to Merry Ann’s.  There were only a couple guys sitting in a booth when I got there, so I grabbed a spot at the bar.  The set up is pretty interesting.  There is only one row of booths and the bar.  All the booths have a cut-out area on the kitchen side so the waitress never has to go out to the dining area.  Merry Ann’s is your typical 24-hour diner and the menu is too.  It’s filled with breakfast items, greasy burgers and they even have some after midnight “hangover” specials. 

The waitress brought me a Pepsi and asked if I needed a menu.  I glanced over it and right away, one thing jumped out.  The Horseshoe!  If you don’t know what a horsehoe is, check out my post on unique regional foods.  This is what I really miss about Central Illinois.  The flat top was right in front of me, so I was able to watch the cook grill the burger, fry the fries, toast the bread, and squeeze the cheese on.  I actually got quite a bit more than I expected.  The fries came piled on and the burger was a pretty good size.  The cheese, for being squeezed out of a bottle, was just what I wanted.  I devoured the “sandwich” in just a few minutes.  The waitress was actually a little surprised I finished so quickly, but I was really hungry. 

My bill was a little over $7, so with tip, I got out of there for ten bucks.  Merry Ann’s is a great asset to the University of Illinois’ campus.  Diner’s are getting rarer and Merry Ann’s has been there for 25 years this year.  I’ve drove by there on my way to Memorial Stadium on Saturday mornings and the place is usually pretty busy.  If your in town, hunt this place down…it’s on Neil and Kirby and two blocks from Assembly Hall and Memorial Stadium.