Rant/Rave: Serious Eats’ Places to Eat Near Bloomington, IndianaAuthor: indianapoliseater | Filed under: Announcements/News, Location: Bloomington, IN
Serious Eats put up a post yesterday about what they felt the best places to eat near Bloomington, Indiana were as part of their College Tours series (obvious Indiana University connection). This one’s near and dear to my heart since myself (and also several other writers of this blog) are IU graduates and I was quite pleased to see a post on their website about this.
A lot of these places are places that I’ve never been since they opened after I was a student at IU, which was longer ago than I’d like to think. Others are timeless classics that are on the list because they’ve been open forever. That said, I do have some thoughts on some of the places on this list and thought that I’d approach it on kind of a Good, Bad and Ugly type of basis where I think they’ve made good recommendations, bad recommendations and awful recommendations based on my experiences.
*Dagwood’s. The review that I’ve linked is of the since closed location here locally here in Broad Ripple, but when I was at IU, I absolutely LOVED this place. In fact, I probably owed at least thirty pounds of my college weight gain to there because I ate their sandwiches so frequently. I know other people have other favorites, but if you get the Italian or the Dagwood Supreme, you really can’t go wrong.
*Kilroy’s on Kirkwood. I could not agree more on this pick for Best Happy Hour/Cheap Eat. I used to go there on Fridays with $20 in my pocket and leave with a stomach overly full of chicken wings, pizza breadsticks and beer, all of which were on special for absurdly low prices. I love that I can still get the breadsticks here locally when I need to and I still love visiting KOK when I visit Bloomington for football and basketball games. Shoot, now I’m getting all nostalgic.
*Yogi’s Grill & Bar. You really can’t beat the beer selection at this place and the food is pretty solid too. I love the atmosphere and was just there about a month ago and just love the fact that the place expands seemingly every time I go there. Business is obviously quite good for Yogi.
*Nick’s English Hut. This one is a Bloomington tradition and no IU student worth anything has made it through college without at least one visit to this place. Famous for their delicious strombolis and Sink the Biz drinking game, this one is a can’t miss. It’s slightly overrated by alums as being the best place ever, but it is still a damn good time and a damn tasty meal.
*Lennie’s. I used to go here so frequently in college that they didn’t even have to ask me what I wanted. My order was always spaghetti & meatballs, which was delicious, and also a Coke. It would always arrive 15-20 minutes after I sat down and the waitresses sometimes wouldn’t even dispense with bringing me a menu. Being that I was enough of a regular to have this happen to me, obviously I hold the place in high esteem and was delighted to see it on the list.
*Buffalouie’s. I just don’t get this place. When I was at IU, this was a terrible place but they stayed in business because at the time, it was really the only place you could get chicken wings that weren’t from a pizza delivery place, which was pathetic. They’ve moved to right on the edge of campus (after I left Bloomington), so apparently they do pretty well now. Also, everyone I talk to at this point says its good, so maybe my memories of the place don’t hold strong now. Still, I have trouble believing it’s that good.
*Smokin’ Jack’s Rib Shack. This place has been around forever and to my knowledge is the only true barbecue place in Bloomington, but I just don’t get it. When I was in school, I always found their food to be boring and flavorless. I had it a couple weeks ago at a catered party and found it to still be that way. I just don’t understand the love for this place as it is only average at best. I guess they get love since when you are the only barbecue game in town, you get overrated.
*Opie Taylor’s. I can’t really see why this place is on the list as being a sure thing to visit. It’s just a burger joint with okay burgers. It’s not bad, but in my experience, it’s not a place that I would make a special trip to go visit. If I ended up there, I guess I’d be okay with it, but it certainly wouldn’t be a place I’d recommend.
*Pizza X (called Pizza Express when I was there; called HotBox locally for a while). I hate this place more than life itself. The breadsticks are okay, I suppose, but the pizza is some of the worst pizza I’ve ever had. I used to get it in college because it was cheap and I probably owe fifty pounds of weight gain to it, but I’ve only had it once since college ended and I want that one time back because it was AWFUL. Notice how the post only mentions that they are the most available delivery place and doesn’t mention anything about the taste of the food. There’s a reason for that.
I thought this would end up being some quick thoughts, but I’ve ended up typing far more than I could have ever thought. There’s other places on the list that I’ve been (Irish Lion, etc.) but didn’t feel they were worth a comment.
Anyway, the next question that I’m sure some of you would ask is what are my recommendations, but you aren’t going to get that. I’m just going to pick apart Serious Eats’ list…something about glass houses and the like.
Anyway, anyone have any thoughts on the list and/or want to make recommendations of their own? Feel free to engage us down in the comments section.