114 S. Indiana Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47408
College food is the absolute best. Sure, it isn’t very healthy, but it is satisfying, cheap and quick, three super important things for the student (or former student, in this case) on the go.
Now, I may lose my Cardinal card for this, but Muncie did not have a ton to offer in the food department.
The Village, a small commercial area on the edge of campus that featured a few bars, a coffee shop, bookstores and eateries, was where we went to escape the dorm life.
In terms of food, there was the famed Carter’s Hot Dog. The line, nearly 100 people long most weekends, would wrap along the outside of Dill Street bar. It was hard to pass up a delicious hot dog with all the toppings for about $2 a pop. Directly across the street was Greek’s Pizza. It was typical for me to leave the library after 1 a.m. and stop by for two fresh cheese slices and a soda.
With the exception of Puerta Vallarta, a Mexican restaurant near the Muncie Mall, and Mug’s, a burger spot in The Village, this is where my fond food memories end.
This past weekend, I found myself on campus again, this time in Bloomington. I’d visited IU’s campus at least a couple times while in undergrad but never really explored what was there. I was amazed at the number of international dining options: Turkish, Indian, Greek, Thai and several others. The smells were very inviting and tempting, but I was there on a mission — one that involved moderately priced meat drenched in sauce.
My mission led me to BuffaLouie’s, or as my boyfriend would put it, the best chicken wing spot in the state. According to the restaurant’s logo, they are “the best in the world.” I’m certain that the huge crowd inside last Saturday afternoon would agree.
The restaurant, located in one of Bloomington’s most historic buildings (The Gables), was founded in 1987 by Buffalo, New York, native and IU alumnus Jay Lieser, who named the restaurant after his grandfather Louis. Ed and Jaimie Schwartzman currently own the eatery. In 2011, USA Today named it one of the Top Ten Wing Joints in the country.
Though the line was long and the wait even longer, the three-tiered dining area (covered in IU paraphernalia) had a jubilant vibe. The music, a mixture of disco and soul, pumping through the speakers helped to quiet my growling stomach. I was even treated to a live musical performance from Buffalouie’s owner Ed Schwartzman. He ran around the place, acting as busboy for the evening, singing and dancing. It was quite the sight.
My food, traditional Rasta Jerk wings with a side of curly fries, was just as yummy as I’d expected. One downfall: I wish I’d ordered more and asked them to go heavy on the sauce. Buffalouie’s boasts 17 sauces, one named Loucifer, and two dry rubs. The menu also features a variety of salads, sub sandwiches and appetizers. On my next visit, I plan to venture down the wild side and try the TNT. I’m not, however, bold enough to eat anything named after the prince of darkness.
If you’re in the mood for a quick foodie road trip, I’d definitely suggest this place. The vibe is cool, and the eats were even better.