Hospitality and Tourism Management Dinner at Purdue University Northwest

I've said it many times, I'll say it again - the absolute best-kept foodie secret in Northwest Indiana is the dining room in the Hospitality and Tourism Management building at Purdue University Northwest in Hammond. I've yet to have a meal there that is anything less than spectacular. 

The dining room, run by students in the Hospitality and Tourism Management program hosts weekly dinners that take place on Wednesday nights during each semester, which gives them experience in planning, executing and overseeing dinner service. The menus include some pretty fantastic options. Typically meals are four or five courses. You choose one of three entrees and then you also get a soup and/or salad, usually an appetizer and a choice of two desserts. It's such a bargain at just $24. 

I try to get there at least once a semester. This semester I made it to dinner with my hubby and also twice for lunch. Lunch service is set up a little differently with a la carte items.

On my most recent visit I had one of the best things I've ever eaten - it's definitely in my top 3 of the year. It was artichoke crepes au gratin. It was fantastic and the only thing that would have made it better was if I could have gotten a few extra servings to go. I'm always impressed by the meals served at these dinners, but this one wowed me more than usual. It was followed by a cauliflower veloute soup, a house salad with white balsamic vinaigrette, roasted wild salmon with haricot vets, steamed potatoes and pesto & hollandaise sauce. Hubby's entree was a petite sirloin with broccolini and a baked potato. A third vegetarian option was available - pasta primavera. For dessert, I got the chocolate entremet and hubby had cheesecake with a blueberry compote.

And yeah, did I mention it was just $24? That's not a typo. This is totally in the caliber of some of the upscale Chicago restaurants where you would be hard-pressed to get just the entree at $24. Here we got five well-prepared and delicious courses. The students who serve the meals are always very friendly and attentive and it's always a great experience and a relaxing night out. They have two seatings available each Wednesday when they are open, but you have to make reservations. Reservation lines typically open on a Friday almost two weeks before the dinner date. You can get on an email list to be notified of dinner dates, preview the menus and get instructions on when to call for reservations. To get added to that mailing list, call 219-989-3422. The dining room is located on the campus of Purdue University Northwest at 2300 173rd St. in Hammond, IN.  

P.S. They also have a nice selection of craft beers and wines.