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East End Grill: The Right Direction for a Good Meal

Nick Rogers | Tuesday, March 26, 2019

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
  • Last modified: Tuesday, March 26, 2019

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Written by

Nick Rogers

Nick Rogers

Nick Rogers lives in Lafayette with his wife, Abby. When he isn’t working as a Communications Manager for Purdue Agriculture, he’s likely at the movies, competing at (or hosting) trivia, or otherwise out and about enjoying Tippecanoe County.

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