Market Square is hardly downtown. But that’s where The Downtowner Restaurant has you fooled. When it opened in 1951, it resided on the 500 block of Main Street. It moved to Market Square in 1996, so in 2041 you can complain about the name. But geography aside, it’s another fine entry in Greater Lafayette’s collection of breakfast and lunch diners. My family loves it in part because it’s a few doors down from our favorite bookstore, but the food stands on its own.
On my most recent trip, my son and I were spending some quality time together. That boy can put away some pancakes, so I ordered him an adult-sized one, along with some sausage. He ate the pancake pretty quickly, and I don’t blame him — it’s very fluffy and soaks up syrup very well. The sausage didn’t disappear quite so fast, but he said he liked it: “it’s not as spicy as [other restaurant we go to frequently].”
I ordered the Lumberjack, because I am a glutton. It comes with a small biscuits and gravy (alternatively: pancake or French toast), American fries (or hash browns, if you prefer), eggs, toast, and meat. The bacon was thin and crispy. The American fries were perfectly cooked — I’ve been cooking fries for breakfast for many years and still haven’t quite achieved the level that The Downtowner attains. The biscuits and gravy are very good — not the best in town, but certainly worth the visit.
The Lumberjack has become my go-to order at The Downtowner, but I’ve wandered into other parts of the menu at times. Everything I’ve had there has been good. I particularly appreciate the fact that when you order coffee, you get an entire carafe. No need to worry about an empty cup. The staff are friendly and patient with my kids, and I’ve never seen the place not busy.
Kid friendly: yes
Location: 2200 Elmwood Ave, Lafayette (map it)