Crunchee Munchees: Deep Fried Drunk Food Hits State College’s West Side
With its grand opening last Wednesday, Crunchee Munchees answers the cravings of those living on the west side of campus. If you live on West College or Beaver, you’ll know that there is a severe lack of restaurant choices to choose from. At 616 W. College, Crunchee Munchees provides a variety of late night drunk food to the west side scene.
We sent three brave (and terribly sober) writers to Crunchee Munchees to check out the new drunk food establishment.
I’ve been itching to try Crunchee Munchees since I found out that it was opening right across from my house. As someone who is impatient while waiting for food to be delivered, even that 20 to 30 minute wait for Wings Over or Are You Hungry gets to me.
Going through the menu, I was really excited to see all the deep fried options that were available. Crunchee Munchees supplies those with a deep fried sweet tooth plenty of options from fried mac and cheese bites, to jalapeno poppers, and even deep fried pickles. I had to make the hard choice and opted to grab the “Chickbac Ranch” sandwich and some cheddar & bacon fries. My total was around $12 with a drink, which at first I thought was a little pricey, but I later learned that it was worth it.
My cheddar & bacon fries were the first to come in, with the employees making a show of shaking up the dry rubs on the fries. At first glance, the fries don’t look like much, but once you give them a try they come packed with flavor. One thing to note, though, is that their shaking method doesn’t evenly distribute the rub on all the fries, but they’re great with or without the seasoning.
The “Chickbac Ranch” sandwich came in a little tray and I was honestly shocked at how fresh the ingredients looked. The lettuce, tomato, onions — everything you’d expect in a chicken bacon ranch sandwich — all looked like they were just bought that day, if not recently. Even the grilled chicken in the sandwich looked freshly grilled and chopped up, not that frozen pre-cut stuff you can get from Walmart.
Even though it may have been a bit pricey, I enjoyed the food at Crunchee Munchees. Living right across the street from it, I’ll definitely be paying this place a few visits in the coming months.
Walking in, I was expecting the reincarnation of Grillers. Not necessarily in the beloved drunk food restaurant with a cult following way, but more in the, “yeah this is a place I wouldn’t go to sober” way. Instead, Crunchee Munchees is clean and well-organized, with a large menu board and diverse options. Calling it a drunk food restaurant is selling it short.
I ordered the fries, which are hand-cut and skin-on (as all fries should be) from bags of potatoes sitting in the store. I got them with Chipotle Lime seasoning, and while there was a lack of that flavor, the fries themselves were excellent. Crispy and warm and just greasy enough, the many flavor options make them a must-get. Our other fried sides were chicken fingers, which did not look great but were crispy and tender and definitely worth the five for $5 tag, and mac and cheese bites, which were perfectly fine but nothing special.
I did a custom sandwich with chicken, peppers, onions, provolone, honey mustard, and crushed salt and vinegar chips. Unlike most chicken sandwiches, they opted for real pieces of chicken breast rather than the cheap stuff. The quality of Crunchee Munchees’ ingredients is for sure its biggest value over comparable restaurants. The sandwich was filling and the chips as an additional, free topping were a very good idea. I was far more delighted by Crunchee Munchees than I expected to be overall, and would absolutely come back. I’d go simply for convenience, but I was impressed enough where I’d actively go and look forward to my meal. Drunk food? Absolutely, but Crunchee Munchees also offers enough for a satisfying lunch too, a rare feat.
Crunchee Munchees is located thoroughly in the depths of West College, and its clipart inspired alligator logo stares deeply into your hungry and inebriated soul, answering your drunk food qualms. Can I have crushed potato chips on my sandwich? Why of course you can! Well, how about cheese puffs? No problem, sir. Would you also like to flavor your fries? Of course.
All of this sets up Crunchee Munchees to be a successful business with these features alone. After all, Canyon makes an entire business off of putting cheese and red sugar sauce on warm cardboard. Instead, Crunchee Munchees actually has what is in this writer’s humble opinion called flavor.
There are some very nice quality ingredients on a select few of its items, most notably the fact that the chicken in the chicken cheesesteak is actually pieces of chicken, instead of fried paper-thin chicken wafers. But items such as the mac and cheese bites and chicken tenders left something to be desired. We also tried several flavors of fries, and I found them to be quite good. Although the flavoring came off weak and uneven with our chipotle lime flavored fries, the taste was there, and solid.
Although the sandwich was not the best that I have ever had, and the cramped conditions didn’t exactly meet five-star dining standards, I can assure you that this West College resident will look to Crunchee Munchees during future walks home, lazy days when cooking is just too much of a struggle, or when my fellow west side friends want to meet up for a quick bite.