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East End Grill: The Right Direction for a Good Meal

It’s anyone’s guess at
press time how lionlike
March has been
so far. But here’s
hoping we’re close to
a place of shirtsleeve
patio dining with
temperatures perfect
for sitting back and savoring spring.

As urban patios go, East End Grill
is perched at the outermost edge of
Lafayette’s downtown. Roughly three
blocks separate it from other lunch-ordinner
options, external lanterns offer an
easy-going invitation to relax, and it’s far
enough from the intersection of 9th and
Main to offer all the street-side ambience
with less of the traffic.

Celebrating its third anniversary in May,
the “industrial American chic” of East End
Grill is a fine downtown anchor. (And if
you’re of a certain age and / or musical
inclination, you might find yourself
mentally saying its name in the rhythm of
the Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls.”)

East End’s menu feels familiar but full of
tasty choices, with mainstays and seasonal
swaps. The Arancini Balls appetizer
represents a delicate, delicious departure
from the usual gooey/heavy mozzarella
stick option; this lightly battered saffron
risotto blends Bolognese and Pomodoro
sauces for a delightful meat-and-tomato
bite. Want to snack on something
stronger? If just reading the words
“garlic aioli” makes your mouth water for
fries, East End has the truffle-parmesan
indulgence for you. Their cutting board —
with rotating meats and cheeses — also is
a fine choice to please the table.

For a salad as plentiful as it is colorful,
feast upon the Pastrami Cobb Salad,
which puts an upscale deli spin on the
traditional. On the sandwich front, the
East End Burger is a time-tested standby;
for a few dollars more, and pending its
availability, you can upgrade to the tender
flavors of a wagyu patty. Fellow diners also
have talked up such signature dishes as
Shrimp & Grits and Beef Hanger Steak —
the latter a tender cut of meat you don’t
always find as a steak option.

I tend to gravitate toward the Tuscan
Chicken Pasta, which gets the saltysnappy
combination of sun-dried
tomatoes, bacon and spinach just right,
or the Cajun Stir Fry — which showcases
more of the cuisine’s appropriately smoky
profile (over mouth-searing spiciness)
with sautéed shrimp and grilled Andouille
sausage rolled together. East End Grill
also offers a thorough selection of craft
beers and cocktails to complement
whatever you choose. Indeed, here’s
to sipping, and supping, outside soon
enough.

IF YOU GO

  • East End Grill
  • 1016 Main St.
  • Lafayette, IN
  • (765) 607-4600
  • www.eastendmain.com
  • Reservations available

Hours

  • 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesdays-Thursdays
  • 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fridays-Saturdays
  • 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sundays
  • Closed Mondays

SELECT PRICES

  • Soup / Salad / Appetizers: $4 to $15
  • Lunch Sandwiches / Entrees: $10 to $19
  • Dinner Sandwiches / Entrees: $11 to $34
  • Entrée Sides: $5

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • East End Pastrami Cobb Salad
  • Cajun Stir Fry
  • Tuscan Chicken Pasta
  • East End Burger w/ House Cut Fries
  • Arancini Balls
  • Cutting Board
Rob Ford

Rob Ford

Rob Ford is Tipmont and Wintek's communication director, a role he's held since 2015. Rob has a bachelor's and a master's in Communication from Purdue University. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and three children and has a life-sized Yoda statue in his office. Away from the office, you’ll find Rob working on his golf swing, jump shot, or hope for a Purdue basketball national title – all futile endeavors.

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April 2, 2024
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