Triple XXX: Purdue Athletics’ Biggest Fan

Local West Lafayette diner, Triple XXX, has been sharing and creating history with Purdue Athletics for decades.

This piece is part of a series of articles submitted to The Local Tourist through a cooperation with a 400-level travel writing class at Purdue University.

by Sydney Preston

I was 16 years old when I was recruited to play softball at Purdue University. As a southern California native who didn’t know much about Indiana, let alone West Lafayette, I found myself regularly Googling “What makes Purdue special?” to get a better backstory on the university.

Triple XXX, a small diner located right on the outside of campus, repeatedly appeared.

The orange and black striped diner has been a staple in this college town for more than a century. Since 1929, Triple XXX has been the go-to spot for burgers, fries, root beers, milkshakes, and just about any other traditional American food that you can think of.

On paper, this place looks like any other small-town diner, where you’re crammed next to a stranger at the countertop finishing your cup of coffee and biscuit. But this place is more than that; Triple XXX is one of the main reasons I committed to being a Boilermaker five years ago.

I was taken to Triple XXX for the first time on my recruiting trip in the fall of 2016 by then graduate assistant coach Ashley Burkhardt. She spent most of the morning with me touring the campus and giving me a snippet of Purdue’s deep history and culture.

When arriving at the drive-in, I was appalled by the paint job on the outside and mesmerized by the history that hung on the walls on the inside. Cutouts of newspapers, signed photographs, and articles highlighting Purdue athletes were pinned to the walls.

Photos of Purdue athletes on the walls at Triple XXX

As I walked into the tiny joint, I was immediately bombarded by the smell of sizzling burger patties and vanilla root beer. There is not a moment of silence anywhere to be found; customers, servers, and cooks are in constant chatter or conversation.

Locals and tourists fill the establishment day in and day out; there is rarely a time there isn’t a customer in the building.

Classic burger at Triple XXX diner in West Lafayette Indiana
Photo by Theresa L. Goodrich
Busy day at Triple XXX West Lafayette Indiana

I opened my menu and saw the breakfast plates were named after famous Purdue athletes. Down at the bottom of page 3 read “The Ashley Burkhardt Chicken and Biscuits,” which consists of Ashley’s favorites: two grilled buttermilk biscuits topped with chicken tenders tossed in buffalo sauce.

Ashley Burkhardt Chicken and Biscuits at bottom of menu at Triple XXX

As a female athlete, you don’t see a ton of recognition in your sport. There is such a strong sense of community and support in this tiny restaurant that the minute you walk in you feel connected to Purdue in some way.

Some of the most popular meals at the restaurant are the ones dedicated to past Purdue athletes, including Drew Brees, Duane Purvis, and David Boudia.

The Drew Brees breakfast is a staple for so many reasons. This famous meal featured on the Food Network consists of eggs, chicken fried steak or ground sirloin, hash browns, buttermilk biscuits & gravy.

All-American football player Purvis has another one of the most popular meals named after him at Triple XXX. This unique meal, which has also been featured on the Food Network, is regularly ordered because of the out-of-the-box ingredients paired together: peanut butter slathered on a burger.

Although it may sound horrendous to most, this burger is ordered so often that the restaurant must keep a ridiculous amount of peanut butter tubs stacked on the shelves throughout the restaurant.

Image of football player at Triple XXX West Lafayette Indiana

One of the most recent athletes to have a meal named after him at Triple XXX is the gold-medal winning diver David Boudia. He was the first non-football player to be featured on the menu.

His famous meal labeled, “THE BOUDIA (BOE-DYE-UH),” is a hamburger topped with American, Swiss and Philadelphia cream cheese, bacon, and tomato smeared on a hamburger bun.

Burger named for THE BOUDIA (BOE-DYE-UH),” is a hamburger topped with American, Swiss and Philadelphia cream cheese, bacon, and tomato smeared on a hamburger bun.

It is a goal of many Purdue athletes to have a meal named after them at the Triple XXX restaurant. With your picture hanging on the wall indoors and your name printed on the menu, your achievements are celebrated every day by customers and staff inside Triple XXX.

Although there is no official event, every morning before a Purdue athletic game, the Triple XXX restaurant is packed with loyal supporters. It could be 20 degrees out, and people will be waiting in line for hours just to get a seat at the famous counter.

There is something special about sitting next to a stranger before a Purdue game and connecting because of how much you love Purdue athletics and the community. Normally, I would stray away from a tiny restaurant with a two-hour wait just to be served buttermilk pancakes and a biscuit.

But, this place is different. I think the waiting and being crammed tight in with strangers who all have the same love for Purdue is one of the best parts.

Packed counter at Triple XXX West Lafayette Indiana

Triple XXX is located at 2 N Salisbury St, West Lafayette, IN 47906; website