What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Duane Purvis? "Huh?" is probably the number one response, unless, perchance, you are a Purdue University aficionado. Or if you regularly watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Channel. There is this redundantly and somewhat contradictorily named drive-in in West Lafayette, Indiana, just a few blocks down from the Purdue campus, the Triple XXX Family Restaurant. As the owners put it, "Indiana's First Drive-In," (it opened in 1929) and, in all modesty, I'm sure, "Still Indiana's Finest!" And yes, Guy Fieri did bring his Triple DDD road show to the Triple XXX, the episode running in August of 2007.
I've had the experience of dining at the Triple XXX during my many visits to Purdue over the years. They serve hamburgers, fries, milkshakes and the world famous Triple XXX Root Beer. Food items are named for Purdue athletes, including one Duane Purvis, pride of Mattoon, Illinois and an All-American halfback in 1933 and 1934. It is a classic burger with a twist - one side of the bun receives a generous coating of peanut butter. I have, over the years, sampled a number of dishes using peanuts to flavor meat dishes, but it was in this small, western Indiana drive-in where I first encountered the combination.
If I were to ponder the nutritional implications of lunch at Triple XXX, which I don’t by the way, but IF I did, I would have to conclude that the X in the name is taken from a list of medical abbreviations. And that it stands for "bypass." But sometimes you just have to pay the price if you want a real culinary experience.
It was another form of Triple XXX that I sampled on my ride this last Saturday. The day was cool and gray, making it a really good day for a ride. Not too hot, not too cool, but, to quote the well-known Ms. Locks, "...just right." So right that I decided to take on climbs up Bliss Road, County OA and County FO - the big three nearest town. And, on the side, I opted for two trips each to the ends (or tops, as the case may be) of County FA, Ebner Coulee Road and Old Vineyard Road, the latter providing short but intense climbs to begin and end the ride. Sometimes you need to pay the price to have a ride as good as this one.