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Happy Trails to You Until We Eat Again

I’m not a food challenge kind of guy. For a newspaper story, I once dressed as Santa and ate “firebrand spice”
chili to get Santa Claus’ name on a wall of fame. And sure: A friend and I may have been responsible for amendments to a former Lafayette restaurant’s all-you-can-eat sushi lunch. But scaling multi-pound mountains of meat or putting away pizzas the size of a table aren’t my thing.

I raise the point not to suggest
any such novelty challenge awaits
at the Trails, a banquet facility in
West Lafayette that has doubled as a
Sunday-brunch fixture for years. It’s
only to prepare you for the perhaps
disappointing news that I failed to
sample everything in a single visit for
this article. (Notable misses: A handful
of Italian entrees, made-to-order
crepes with apples, blueberries or
cherries, and … well, all but three of
the nearly dozen dessert options.)

[widgetkit id=”133″ name=”2019-12-Trails”]

It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying, or
tasty options, in a room that overlooks
the Trails’ rustic, wooden setting.
Although the cold and snow now will
afford a beautiful winter view, the
forested backdrop for brunch is also a
good place to walk off at least a few of
the calories from what you’ve enjoyed
inside. The Trails also does a fine
job of separating smaller parties at
larger table by using slatted tabletop

Of course, there are breakfast staples
(scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage,
biscuits and gravy, pancakes, French
toast), with rotating entrees and
vegetables mixed in. Macaroni and
cheese might seem like it’s there for
kids; tell yourself that as you enjoy
that perfectly thickened sauce.

There’s a bar from which you can
get champagne, mimosas, Bloody
Marys and screwdrivers at a nominal
cost. From the salad bar, I enjoyed a
Caesar salad with the right amount of
anchovy zing to it, alongside a dinner
roll so dangerously light and sweet
you could load up on too many and
miss out on other good eats. Cuts
were prime at the carving station
(prime rib with a sinus-stirring
horseradish sauce was my choice),
and I also sampled the made-to-order
omelet station. The Trails staff is
smart to serve the omelets at a size
that satisfies without shutting your
stomach down to enjoy more.

And with all the cobblers, cakes,
cookies and more, I had to fulfill
my duty to sample several desserts.
It’s hard to imagine that the Trails
doesn’t offer a cheesecake flavor you
like; the dulce de leche was divine.
The carrot cake offered a nice, sharp
counterpoint to more conventional
flavors. We were going to stop but
couldn’t overlook an advisory of fresh
cinnamon rolls on the way. Trust me:
If you’re going to overindulge a bit at
the Trails (and why wouldn’t you?),
there is no better way to punctuate
your visit than with these warm,
gargantuan delights.


Sunday Brunch

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday
  • Reservations available online or by calling 765-
  • Adults: $18.50
  • Children (ages 4–10): $11
  • Children (ages 3 and under): Free9


  • Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day
  • Reservations available at 9:30, 10 and 11:30 a.m., and noon, 1:30 and 2 p.m. on each holiday.
  • Adults: $20.95
  • Children: $12
Picture of 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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July 19, 2024
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