On Thursdays and Fridays cars overflow from its parking lot into the street, and a savory aroma wafts over the nearby Green Lane Fields. Despite its large crowds and close proximity to campus — it’s actually the closest eatery to the College — it took me until my senior year to explore the soulful flavors of the Ewing Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
I play for the College’s rugby team, and every Friday practice is filled with the aforementioned irresistible scent of VFW food.
After years of this tantalizing scent, my team decided to do some exploring.
Even though the front door has a “Member’s Only” sign affixed to it, we were welcomed by extremely hospitable people who allowed us to enter as guests. Dress code alert: Sleeveless T-shirts are not permitted in the center, but the welcoming employees provided T-shirts to my teammates who were acquainted with the so-called “sleeve monster.”
Once we had entered the exclusive club, we were greeted with a boisterous bar scene that put a smile on all of my teammates’ faces.
The menu was filled with many appetizing items such as spare ribs, fried chicken and fried fish. I ordered the fried fish dinner, which came with two sides. The sides included mac and cheese, sweet potato fries, a baked potato and more. I went for the sweet potato fries and mac and cheese. The entire combination cost $12.
We got our food to-go because the bar area was full, and we wanted to enjoy our meal as a team. As the 14 of us took seats in the stadium seating in my living room (yeah, we have that) a noise that only accompanies good food — or awkward dates — ensued: silence.
A huge plus of the meal was its presentation. The fried fish lay on-top of the sweet potato fries, and, when I added hot sauce, the combination of flavors was soothing, yet zesty.
When I finished with the fish and sweet potato fries layer, I removed the tissue paper that separated it from the mac and cheese and rice that lay below. This secondary layer wasn’t as flavorful as I imagined it would be, but when hot sauce was added it was another smooth, but spicy, combination. Luckily, they offered a variety of condiments in to-go cups at the restaurant.
The VFW provided a hearty meal for an agreeable price, and, for those students growing tired of campus-fare, it is a welcome change-of-pace within walking distance.