Lafayette Vignettes, Part 6 of 6: The Birthday Menu

Quintessential Quiche!

The Quintessential Quiche at Eggshell Bistro in Carmel — topped with fresh herbs and filled with applewood bacon, caramelized leeks, roasted tomato, and Comté cheese on a multigrain crust. At least I think that’s the correct dish. It’s been a few months.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In addition to our annual road trips, my wife Anne and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a one-day road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas of Indiana we’ve never experienced before. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

Once upon a time in 2019 Anne decide she wanted to celebrate her birthday with a jaunt around the city of Lafayette, an hour northwest of our Indiana home. She cobbled together a short to-do list of things she wanted to see, not lengthy but enough for a leisurely afternoon — a bit of Indiana history, a bit of downtown tourism, and a bit of healthy walking…

Although Prophetstown State Park was the last stop on our one-day road trip before heading home, obviously it wouldn’t have been a satisfying birthday celebration without memorable foods of her choosing. Back in October 2019, restaurants were a readily available luxury where hungry patrons could enter, sit, relax, dine together, hang out, depart at their leisure, and, if they were of sufficiently upright character, make sure to tip the gainfully employed waitstaff. It was, in its own way, a golden age.

At the start of our day we detoured away from Lafayette, not toward it, for the sake of an artisan establishment up north in Carmel called Eggshell Bistro. Anne was so impressed with our experience there on a previous birthday weekend that she relished a second chance at breakfast with them. I ordered my latte incorrectly and had to be gently advised by our rather patient and gregarious waitress, but it was nevertheless a delightful encore.

artichoke tart!

Anne had the artichoke tart, the same dish I’d tried last time.

For lunch, Anne really wanted Italian. We don’t have Italian nearly as often as the average family. That’s partly my fault — upon the occasion of my 2004-2005 diet, pasta was among many former pleasures consigned to my Do Not Touch list. Ever since then, when we play that fabulous couple’s game of “Where Do YOU Want to Eat?” it’s rarely that Italian eateries come up in my brainstorming results. It doesn’t help that my son is a rare creature who won’t touch Italian cuisine. Maybe his mom cooked some really badly once, I’m not sure. But he wasn’t with us on this day.

Downtown Lafayette has a highly recommended venue for such fare called La Scala. We’d seen them along our walk earlier. Unfortunately they’re only open for dinner, not lunch. Alas.

La Scala!

Sunshine glinted upon their neon OPEN sign and, for one brief moment, gave us false hope that they were actually open. Not cool, sun.

Instead we tried another Lafayette candidate, an unassuming place called Spageddie’s. The name sounds like the kind of joint where Carmine might have worked on Laverne and Shirley, but the online reviews were generally kind. At lunchtime the place was curiously, utterly deserted. Food quality and service speed were not issues for us.


Yep, that’s me trying to get phone distractions out of my system before entering.

giant casks!

Giant casks in the dining room. I tweeted a cropped version of this photo and made a Sideways joke, but no one cared.

butternut squash ravioli!

Anne’s repast of choice was butternut squash ravioli, a fitting autumn selection.

ice cream!

She tore into her dessert before I could catch a “before” photo. Ice cream. obvs. I want to say spumoni, but either that’s wrong or she ate all the recognizable ingredients first.

Italian chocolate cake!

A simple, towering Italian chocolate cake for me at the end.

Baci & Prosciutto!

My main dish was their Baci & Prosciutto — li’l pasta purses with caramelized leeks (yep, more of those!) in a romano cream sauce.

I’d love to sing more praises about them…but we’re too late. I regretted discovering the other day that Spageddie’s abruptly and without warning shut down for good four months after our visit, on March 2nd of this very year. No cause of closure was publicly given. Bear in mind this happened a few weeks before restaurant closures became more of an international phenomenon. We’re sorry they’ve gone, but we appreciated the experience.

…which brings us to The End for this trip. Thanks for reading! Lord willing and with everyone’s cooperation and innovation, there’ll be more restaurant visits in our future and yours.

Other chapters in this MCC miniseries:

Part 1: The Astronaut Alumnus
Part 2: The Works on the Walls
Part 3: Drifting Around Downtown
Part 4: The Legacy of Tippecanoe
Part 5: Prophets and Poultry

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