Best late-night food options
Brian Boylen | Friday, September 15, 2017
It’s Friday night and you have worked up quite the appetite from all of the cup-based competitions you have participated in throughout the evening. You decide that it would be a wise decision to replenish the calories burned by getting a nice hearty meal before bed. But where should you go? South Bend being the thriving metropolis that it is, your options are numerous. For this article though, I will focus on what I view as the five best spots.
1. Five Guys
Five Guys is the gold standard of late night food. There is nothing more delicious at that point than a greasy, juicy bacon burger with a side of fries. Inevitably you will order more fries than you can handle, providing an excellent opportunity to share and further deepen bonds made throughout the night. Five Guys also has options for those with a sweet-tooth, in the form of the always tempting milkshake. The many pros of Five Guys outweigh the only con, which is of course the price. A burger, fries and milkshake will run you over $10, so Five Guys is best used as the occasional treat for the financially challenged college student.
2. Taco Bell
If price, convenience and conversation are what you value, then look no further — Taco Bell is your man. Centrally located on campus in the basement of LaFun, it is the perfect gathering place for students of any dorm. To call Taco Bell merely a fast food place would be a grave reduction of its true significance. Taco Bell is a social forum, filled with lively students always eager to discuss the pressing issues of the times. Due to its popularity, it is uncommon to not see at least a couple of friends in line or gleefully consuming their Crunchwrap Supreme in one of the many booths.
Furthermore, the staff has been hardened by many weekends of dealing with hordes of hungry students, and as a result their proficiency in their craft is truly unparalleled by any other restaurant’s work force. They can practically whip up your dish in the time it takes to fill up a water cup. The food is average compared to the other options, but for the low price and option to use flex points, not much more could be expected.
3. Nick’s Patio
Nick’s Patio may be the best option for those not concerned with costs or urgency. The breakfast food simply hits the spot late at night, and is only rivalled by Five Guys in terms of pure taste. Where Nick’s Patio loses marks, however, is on its location. I’ll confess that I don’t actually know where it is, just that I need an Uber there and back to campus. With this in addition to the wait time for food, going to Nick’s Patio can be a bit of a commitment. The eggs, pancakes, bacon and sausages certainly help make up for this but it is not enough to beat convenience and social atmosphere of T-Bell.
4. Blaze Pizza
I consider Blaze a lesser Five Guys. They are both located on Eddy Street and are similarly expensive, but I simply would rather have a burger than pizza. Blaze’s chief quality is the thrill of designing your own pizza. It is nice to have complete control over the process and to watch your creation go from uncooked dough to a glorious topping-filled pizza. I feel bad putting Blaze near the bottom of the list, but it just doesn’t quite match its fierce competition.
Reckers actually used to be my on-campus restaurant of choice before I recognized the superiority of Taco Bell. The food is pretty good and diverse, but not good enough to justify the price hike compared to Taco Bell. The location is nice being near main circle (and on the way to Carroll for me). I really only have a couple gripes with it. The wait time for food can be excessive and it is no longer open 24 hours. That fact was truly Reckers’ saving grace and the only thing that made it stand out from its competitors. Closing at 3:00 a.m. on weekend nights isn’t unreasonable by any means, but I feel as if Reckers has lost an intrinsic part of its nature. For a restaurant that was always advertised as a 24/7 spot to now close with the rest is simply disappointing. There is nothing wrong with Reckers, it just no longer has any qualities to put itself above anywhere else.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.