Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The CL Intern Issue: Fried food for the baked

Munchies 420 Cafe is an after-hours must-try for college students.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 3:22 PM

click to enlarge Adam Richman of Man v. Food attempts to conquer Munchies 420's Fire in Your Hole wings.
  • Adam Richman of Man v. Food attempts to conquer Munchies 420's Fire in Your Hole wings.

Munchies are the epitome of foods that speak to a college kid’s appetite. Whether they’re drunk munchies, high munchies or just late-night munchies, they are the foundation of university students’ diets.

Sarasota’s Munchies 420 Cafe knows just that, serving up a potluck of the best munchies one could think of. With a packed menu of burgers, cheesesteaks and various fried glories for under $10, this after-hours hotspot caters to the young and hungry.

The restaurant’s business hours are strictly 4:20 p.m. to 4:20 a.m., for optimal munching time, but even better, Munchies delivers so there’s no need to drive in any dangerous situations.

If you decide dining out is more your style, then leave the kids at home. During later hours and on the weekends, the eatery tends to resemble the bars from which all its patrons are coming. Needless to say, Munchies is not exactly kid-friendly.

As explicit music plays in the background, rowdy, intoxicated teens are welcomed with open arms. They aren’t shamed for any debauchery or drunkenness. With minimal rules and an outrageous bill of fare, it’s like this place was made for college students alone.

The menu features tons of options, half of which a doctor would recommend that you avoid at all costs.

For the brave, Munchies’ infamous hot wings are a solid choice. They range in heat level from mild teriyaki to the signature Fire In Your Hole, which is made with the hottest pepper in the world (the ghost pepper). Whoever attempts the FIYH eating challenge has a chance to win their picture on the Wall of Pain, along with a free T-shirt. If you lose, though, like Travel Channel’s Adam Richman from Man v. Food, you’ll be featured in the restaurant’s Hall of Shame instead.

For tamer visitors, Munchies’ hearty Fat Sandwiches are the offerings that late-night munchers, and stoned teens alike, covet frequently. The Fat Sandy — two cheeseburgers topped with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, mac ‘n’ cheese, onion hoops and spuds — is the sammie people order most, and it’s surely the one most likely to induce cardiac arrest.

But according to many, the sandwiches don’t stand a chance against the Philly Steaks (there are eight different varieties), which are called the best in Sarasota.

Any item on Munchies’ menu is sure to cure that college-kid appetite. The restaurant’s battle, however, is getting said eaters to come.

Since Munchies 420 is about an hour’s drive from USF St. Petersburg, and an even longer commute from Tampa universities, the only college students in the area who get to enjoy this place regularly are fortunate New Collegers.

Though there’s another Munchies catering to the Gator crowd in Gainesville, something tells me the restaurant could survive in more college towns. So, Munchies, let’s make this happen.

Munchies 420 Cafe, 6639 Superior Ave., Sarasota, 941-929-9893, munchies420cafe.com.

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