I don't remember how I first discovered the dining room at Purdue University Northwest's campus in Hammond, but I now refer to it as "the best kept foodie secret in Northwest Indiana." Under the direction of a well-trained chef, the students in hospitality and tourism management execute a gourmet dinner experience for several weeks during each semester on Wednesday evenings. Snagging a reservation can sometimes be as difficult as trying to win highly sought-after concert tickets from a radio station. But if you're persistent and able to get through, you can expect a great meal for an amazingly reasonable price. It's just $20 for a dinner that usually includes four courses (except for the semester finale, which is priced a little higher.)
Each semester I try to visit with my husband at least once. Here's a peek at our most recent dinner, which included a warm spinach, artichoke and parmesan dip, a roasted butternut squash bisque, a mixed green salad with buttermilk-garlic dressing, filet minion and dessert. For each dinner you have a choice of three entrees, one of which is meatless.