Muncie, Indiana is home to a plethora of places to grab some grub, but this college town is not all about burgers and fries. It is possible to get some world-class food here in Muncie without traveling to nearby Indianapolis if you know where to go.
Vince’s At the Airport, 5201 N. Walnut St., Muncie, IN 47303, (765) 284-6364, www.vincesattheairport.com
As its name implies, Vince’s has a great view of the Muncie airport. The view is not the only breathtaking thing you’ll find here. First, Vince’s makes excellent drinks. I absolutely recommend their martini menu (and if you come on Tuesday or Thursday, they are half-price). However, if food is what you’re after, Vince’s doesn’t disappoint. I feel that Vince’s does pasta better than anyone in Muncie. Their Pasta de Mar is my favorite. It is bacon, shrimp, and onions done in a rich cream sauce over bowtie pasta. It is heavenly. However, if traditional red-sauced pasta dishes are more your taste, don’t pass up the Tuscan Stuffed Shells that are equally as yummy. For dessert, I always get the Strawberry-Lemon Tiramisu. It’s an authentically-made tiramisu, compared to what you can get ready made at other restaurants or grocers, and you can taste the difference with every bite.
909 Grille, 909 Wheeling Ave., Muncie, IN 47304, (765) 287-0909, www.909grille.com
I remember watching the 909 Grille being built and was one of the first people to eat there. The place is superbly decorated in a dark, modern way that looks more like something from a Film Noir than something in this college town. The Parmesan Orange Roughy is the favorite entrÃ?Â©e of almost everyone that’s been there, including mine. However, it is the dessert that also is the crowning achievement of this establishment. The 909 Grille Apple Dumpling is becoming one of the most famous things in all of Muncie, Indiana. I first sampled one before the buzz had gotten around town and guiltily treated myself to one for any reason I could think of (including waking up in the morning or sneezing).
Vera Mae’s Bistro, 207-209 S. Walnut, Muncie, IN 47305, (765) 747-4941, www.veramaes.com
Vera Mae’s Bistro is a hard place to fully describe in words. To me, it is the end-all of Muncie dining. Once you come here, you don’t want to eat anywhere else. Owners Kent Shuff and Steve Fennimore go out of their way to make your visit at Vera Mae’s not just plain old dinner, but an overall enjoyable experience. Vera Mae’s atmosphere is gorgeous. The place is littered with intricate carved wood details, a grand fireplace, and interesting art on the walls. It’s a welcomed changed from industrially decorated places that are commonplace to Muncie, Indiana. The food is even better. I always get a salad every time I visit because their salad dressings are divine. My favorites are the House-Made Blue Cheese or the Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette. I’ve had every entrÃ?Â©e on the menu, and it is hard to pick a favorite. A unique choice is the Chicken Brie Raspberry which is a boneless chicken breast with pine nuts and melted Brie cheese in a raspberry reduction. It is so good that I’m sure God himself has it on the menu in heaven. Regardless of what you order, you must have dessert. My favorite is their take on Bananas Foster. It takes a while to prepare, but the dessert is worth every minute you have to wait. When planning to visit Vera Mae’s, be sure to check out their website for their schedule of events. Oftentimes, they have live entertainment on the weekends which makes a perfect accompaniment to your delightful dining experience.