It’s only been a few years since East End Grill opened at its titular edge of Lafayette’s Main Street. But it has more than earned its claim as a staple of downtown dining. With an opening just before Christmas 2020, owner Scott Trzaskus has broadened out into a new space across the street — Ripple and Company, which complements East End’s sit-down splendor with a fast-casual feel perfect to grab and go or for quick bites onsite.
Aesthetically, the newly constructed Ripple and Company building (where the former R&M Food Market stood) fits right into the block’s historical vibe. As the weather warms, Ripple’s big-window storefront and back-patio expansion pack will add yet another appealing spot to enjoy downtown’s ambience.
From a cuisine standpoint, think Boston Market with a far more contemporary and flavorful spin on suppertime staples, thanks to the creativity of Executive Chef Ambarish Lulay. For the morning or coffee-pick-me-up crowd, long-running West Lafayette institution Greyhouse Coffee has set up shop inside the Ripple space. And along with beer and wine, Ripple offers several craft cocktails on tap, including a seasonal sangria, vodka spritzer, Moscow Mule or Old Fashioned.
The menu’s centerpieces are roasted and smoked meats, available in six- or 12-ounce portions (or half and full on the chicken side). You can choose from chicken, brisket, duck sausage, pork, salmon and tofu. Our visit led us to the Hot Smoked Salmon and the Peppered Pork Belly, both featuring an appealing low-and-slow texture of the fires that formed them and the right amount of pop from the pork belly’s seasoning and sauce. (Ripple also offers sandwiches with available meats.)
Ripple also doesn’t skimp on sumptuous side dishes (available in shareable or single portions). Even sampling four options, there were easily four more we’d have loved to try. The Rotisserie Drip Potatoes, roasted in drippings from the meats, were a hearty and heaping helping that did not disappoint. Porting over some of that Brussels sprout goodness from East End, Lulay’s addition of a smoked chili drizzle is an inspired one. Bro Nagy’s Pepperoni Bread ran counter to our other cuisine choices, but its perfectly shaved slices of pepperoni and light touch of cheese hit the spot as an appetizer.
So named for the effect Trzaskus hopes to expand at downtown’s eastern edge, Ripple and Company definitely rides the wave of tasty staples established by its sister-restaurant predecessor.
Rob Ford is Tipmont and Wintek's communication director, a role he's held since 2015.
Rob has a bachelor's and a master's in Communication from Purdue University. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and three children and has a life-sized Yoda statue in his office. Away from the office, you’ll find Rob working on his golf swing, jump shot, or hope for a Purdue basketball national title – all futile endeavors.