Lafayette: Stop for the gasoline, stay for the calzone!

Lafayette, Indiana is celebrating its victory in the first round of the America’s Best Communities competition, a $10 million initiative to stimulate economic revitalization in small towns and cities……..so the article reads.

Prior to yesterday, when we filmed the 48hour film project with Jim Dougherty, James Wallace Jr, Nathan Bechtold, and many other faboulous cast and crew members, the city named Lafayette was only a passing comment to me; perhaps a place I had stopped for gasoline, en route to other ”more exciting” destinations. Now, after spending approximately eight hours of filming (eight hours allows one an awful amount of time to become seriously intimate!) it will always be remembered as ”the place where I enjoyed the best calzone.” And that is a significant moniker, coming from a well-travelled, cultural savant, with a set of seriously-honed gustatory skills.

 

Now I will make the disclaimer that when I resided in Italy (a decade ago), I had not been introduced to calzone, and therefore cannot comment on theirs, or include them in this review, but since then, I will say that the calzones I have had (the Big Apple included) does not hold a candle to those at Von’s Dough Shack. The fact that one has to wait a bit for it to cook, suggests that they are really cooking it, not popping a prepacked, chemically-enhanced, genetically modified glob into the oven, in typical pop-tart or golden arches fashion. The final result certainly proves that!

Another noteable feature of Lafayette, is Java Roaster, a restaurant, where part of the filming took place. Not only is their hospitality out of this world, but so is their interior design layout and coffee beverages (was all that I sampled). According to articles I have read, they seem to be a fixture in the historic downtown area and a favourite within the community, as they have a knack for remembering and mental-marking your order and your name…….now we all know what that will do to ye ole ego!

Combine all that with the fact that the owner, obviously an entrepeneurial maven, planted it smack in the middle of the Purdue University community, it becomes more of a behest than an invitation to plan a visit. But seriously, just for the interaction, the beverage, and the ambiance – the stop is totally worth it! Tell them I referred you…..oh, wait, darn it!…….I’m not famous! Well, tell them anyway.