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Triple XXX. No, it’s a family restaurant.

February 9, 2012
Triple XXX Family Restaurant in West Lafayette, IN has been a tradition for both local families and students for decades. I can remember, as a pre-teen, going to Triple XXX for a sandwich with our family friends after seeing a First Addition show at Jefferson High School. The only dilemma in those days was trying to decide whether or not to wash our burgers (or breaded tenderloin sandwiches) down with Triple XXX brand root beer or a milkshake.  Luckily, some things never change.

On the Hill, But on the Level

 

On a recent trip to West Lafayette my wife, best friend, his wife, and myself stopped by Triple XXX to rehash old memories and form new ones. When we walked in, I felt like I had never left. It seemed as if everything had gone untouched since my younger days. Of course, in literal terms, this wasn’t true. Counter tops had been replaced, the menus had been reprinted, and some of the pictures of local celebrities and athletes that cover the walls had been rotated to reflect more recent visits. However, the smells from the grill, the cramped spaces along the counter weaving around the diner, and the menu selections, set the atmosphere that many families, teens, and college students have experienced for scores of years. 

For much of its existence, the Triple XXX has been a local jewel that people only knew about because they lived in the area, stumbled across it while traveling to and from nearby Purdue University, or because they were introduced to the handmade sirloin chopsteaks by a friend. This has changed in recent years. With Guy Fieri’s visit on “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” and the Indiana’s Office of Tourism Development’s special feature “Super 46 Sandwiches” in celebration of Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, IN, Triple XXX has quickly found themselves in the spotlight. 

This was my wife’s first visit to the Triple XXX. She loves greasy spoons and diner food as much as I do. Between Brian (The Farmer’s Life) and me raving about the Triple XXX and my excitement of its feature on “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” my wife was getting impatient to finally see what all the fuss was about. 

I ordered the Leroy Loin, a breaded tenderloin sandwich. That’s all it is and all it needs to be. Do you know how hard it is to find a quality breaded pork tenderloin sandwich in the Chicago area? I have only found a couple places so far. This sandwich was exactly what I had been longing for and it lived up to my self-inflated hype. It is a thick, 4oz pork tenderloin, that  is hand pounded and deep fried. It is a no thrills, honest sandwich, with lettuce, tomato, and Miracle Whip. That’s right. Not mayonnaise. Miracle Whip. The tenderloin is pounded thin, but still thick enough to be meaty, tender, and juicy. I have had many tenderloins that are pounded so thin that they are just crunchy wafers with no texture or moisture left in the lifeless sliver of meat. The tenderloin at Triple XXX doesn’t need much more accompaniment. The pork speaks for itself. In Indiana, that’s the way it should be. 

My wife, Tiffany, and my best friend (best friend other than my wife), Brian, decided to order the famed Duane Purvis All-American (you can look him up here). Why is this burger so famous? Well, maybe famous is somewhat of a strong word to use. Let’s use, uniquely popular. It is gaining fame because of this uniqueness. The Duane Purvis All-American is a quarter pound cheeseburger (Triple XXX calls them chop steak) with lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onion. Not a big deal, right? The burger is then topped with, wait for it. Wait for it. Thick, creamy PEANUT BUTTER. I know what some of you are thinking. “That sounds like a drunk experiment in a college apartment at 2:00 AM.” Even if that is the case, it works.  

The Farmer’s Life enjoying the Purvis

To build a burger adventure such as this, you must start with a solid foundation. Triple XXX starts with 100% sirloin that is ground daily in their kitchen. Once this patty leaves the griddle it has a great crusty exterior that really gives the burger great texture and flavor.  The peanut butter on this one-of-a-kind sandwich just adds a certain something. I can’t quite place my finger (or taste buds) on it. It’s not thick and gloppy. It is melty and oozy. The salty, nutty, earthiness of the peanut butter just seems to compliment the freshly ground sirloin. Tiffany took one bite and she was absolutely hooked. While still chewing her first few bites of the Purvis, she exclaimed, “I think I want peanut butter on all of my burgers!” My friend, Brian was not as enthusiastic as Tiffany, but he agreed that it was good. Maybe it’s not an everyday burger, but good, nonetheless. 

Of course, as you can imagine, this sandwich isn’t for everybody. Here is Guy’s take on the Duane Purvis All-American. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxqW4ereOfM 

As mentioned earlier in this review, the only problem with eating at The Triple XXX is deciding between the Triple XXX brand root beer or a hand dipped milkshake. This dilemma was also an issue when we visited earlier this month. The only solution I could find was to order root beer with my meal, and a milkshake to go. Triple XXX root beer is smooth and creamy with just a little bite at the end. It is a great example of old fashioned root beer. At least, what I imagine traditional “old fashioned” root beer was like “back in the day.” It is so smooth, in fact, that it went down like water. Sweet, sweet, amber water. 

The Triple XXX Family Restaurant is a no frills diner where its food stands on its own. It is a historic icon (the oldest drive-in in Indiana) among locals and foodies alike. If you are looking for good honest food prepared the same way, the right way, every time, Triple XXX is a diamond in the rough worth exploring.

You can follow Triple XXX Family Restaurant on Facebook here: Triple X Root Beet and Family Restaurant

Castor-Rated:

Partly nostalgia, but mostly because for a diner in a college town, you can’t get much better than this, I give Triple XXX Family Restaurant 4-Snips. This place has always made the cut in my book!

You can follow Castor-Rated on twitter: @Castor_Rated

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Brian permalink
    February 9, 2012 5:31 pm

    Can’t wait to get back!

  2. February 9, 2012 5:34 pm

    Reblogged this on The Farmer's Life and commented:
    My great friend Josh has finally returned to the blog world! I poked him a bit. Here we are enjoying a great meal at Triple XXX

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