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Dining Divas and Dudes sit down at Bao Dumpling
A Monday morning review to set up your week. Plus, other reads …
Thanks to sponsor Stuart & Branigin for ongoing support of the Based in Lafayette reporting project.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Today at Based in Lafayette, welcome back to a feature that debuted here in April. Dining Divas and Dudes is a team that has been reporting and rating new restaurants, hidden gems, international fare and updated menus from old favorites for years now at homeofpurdue.com. Here at Based in Lafayette, we’ll feature some of Dining Divas and Dudes’ best and most recent finds. The Divas and Dudes are: Tetia Lee, Kay Conner, Linda Eales, Iseral Quintero, Margy Deverall, Jerry Hunley, Whitney McBell and Jo Wade.
Today, Dining Divas and Dudes look at Bao Dumpling, opened in the past year near the corner of River Road and State Street in West Lafayette.
DINING DIVAS AND DUDES: BAO DUMPLING IN WEST LAFAYETTE
By Whitney McBell / For Dining Divas and Dudes
Dining Divas & Dudes set out to taste one of West Lafayette's newest restaurants, Bao Dumpling. Dumplings, soups, noodles and more, this is a Chinese restaurant you will not want to miss. Read their review below:
Bao Dumpling is relatively new. It opened in December 2022 and is owned and operated by a Purdue University international student. You can find it at 111 S. River Road near Taste of India. Parking is provided in the attached parking garage behind the building.
Upon entry, we ordered at the counter, where our server was more than helpful in guiding us in our decision making. Bao offers a variety of handmade dumplings, noodles, appetizers and even traditional Chinese style breakfast options.
Each order of dumplings contains 16 dumplings, so we chose three different flavors to share. The pork and celery dumplings were simply divine. They were the favorite of a couple of us, for sure, as we did gobble them up quite quickly. The pork and leek dumplings were amazing. They had the fewest leftovers, although we never did agree on which was the fan favorite. The last selection were the pork and shepherds purse dumplings. While these were my personal favorite, they were perhaps the most divisive of the three. They were equally the least and most favorite of the table.
Linda also got the pork and shrimp wonton soup. It was served to her piping hot and beautifully presented. I can attest to the delicious nature of those wontons. Holy smokes!
Margy and Jerry ordered the scallion noodles. They looked absolutely stunning, and everyone that sampled them raved about their glory. Jerry was willing to share, while Margy threatened a chop stick to the eyes of anyone who dared try and steal her noodles. I suppose that sends a message on its own!
Jo and Margy also tried the peanut and celery salad. Margy said she’d never had a peanut quite like this and went on to tell us how delicious they were. Perfectly crunchy and yet not crunchy. Not at all what anyone was expecting, the flavors and textures were oh so good!
While the dumplings were nothing to look at, we all know it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Minds blown! These things are fantastic! Dipped in chili oil, these are absolutely something to write home about. If I’m being honest, I was fairly certain that I don’t like dumplings. As fate would have it, I LOVE dumplings! I’m going to rave about these bad boys to anyone who will listen. When you go, please don’t neglect the sauces available near the end of the counter. Iseral enjoyed the chili oil, but thought the sauces weren’t necessary as the dumplings themselves have excellent flavor and texture. I will never know if that is true or not because I have now committed my life fully to topping everything with chili oil. The entire table went wild over that sauce. I also recommend you mix it with the garlic sauce. Get crazy with it, live a little!
Overall, this was an excellent experience, gather your closest allies and head there immediately. You’re going to need backup because they come in portions of 16, and you’ll definitely want to try multiple flavors.
Look for occasional features from Dining Divas and Dudes in Based in Lafayette. For more reviews and local attractions visit www.homeofpurdue.com/blog/
OTHER READS …
Greater Lafayette skated by with ominous clouds but not big action Sunday afternoon, as reports of big hail hit as close as Colfax, south in Clinton County, and then a tornado that blew through parts of Johnson County, south of Indianapolis. Here’s reporting from The Indianapolis Star about the scene there. Officials reported that one person was killed in Martin County, southwest of Bloomington, in a tornado there. The scene as a tornado hit an apartment complex in Johnson County was captured in a video by resident Eric Ford. Check it by clicking the image below:
Indianapolis Business Journal reporter Peter Blanchard had more about the Indiana Economic Development Corp. last week green-lighting $122 million to buy roughly 1,000 acres in Boone County, as the state and its LEAP District look to bring a $50 billion semiconductor facility to the spot near Lebanon. The stakes include Greater Lafayette, too. First, that includes Purdue going all-in on a “hard tech corridor” and all things semiconductor along Interstate 65 between the West Lafayette campus and Indianapolis. Second, the LEAP District is where the IEDC has floated the idea of supplying water from an aquifer along the Wabash River, downstream from Lafayette in southwestern Tippecanoe County. (Note: The League of Women Voters of Greater Lafayette will host a 6:30 p.m. forum tonight – Monday, June 26, called “Pipelines, Progress and Policy” to discuss what a project like that could mean for Greater Lafayette and future development closer to home. The forum is at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds, 1406 Teal Road in Lafayette.) Here’s Blanchard’s report in the IBJ about the pursuit of land in Boone County: “IEDC’s funding requests for major LEAP District projects approved.”
THIS AND THAT …
Organizers with the Ben Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship Institute, happening July 7-17 at Purdue, are calling out for Greater Lafayette residents willing to house some of the high school-age students coming to West Lafayette. The program is for students, ages 16 to 18, from 45 European countries and the U.S. They spend the time at Purdue, taking classes in international diplomacy, media and journalism, global problems, democracy and civic education. They also meeting with politicians, scholars and journalists, participating in debates, practical workshops and seminars, along with community service activities. For more about the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program, here’s a link. To apply to host a student, here’s the application form. For more details or to ask questions, contact Jeremy Bloyd, program administrator and homestay coordinator, at email@example.com.
Thanks, again, to Stuart & Branigin for sponsorship help with today’s edition.
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