All it takes is just two words to make my mouth water and my stomach growl. Chicken parm. One of the tastiest, go-to dishes that almost every American Italian restaurant offers. While most Italian restaurants in the US have this entree as an option on their menu, it didn't start out as the chicken parm we all know to love today. The US felt inspired by Italy's eggplant parmesan to substitute the veggie option for meat. This dish is so comforting and filling, you can never go wrong. But some restaurants have taken this classic dish of breaded chicken with cheese and transformed it into a meal that straight smacks. There are so many innovative forms of chicken parmesan in Bloomington that a lot of people might not be aware of. 

1. Scotty's Brewhouse - Chicken Parmesan Wrap 

Natalie Jacobi

If you're a sports lover and enjoy good bar food, you know about Scotty's. Contagious environment, and awesome food. Did you ever think to order the chicken parm wrap? Fried chicken smothered with provolone, parmesan cheese, and marinara all wrapped up in a tortilla. Perfect finger food paired with the classic waffle fries while you sit around and cheer on your favorite football team.

2. Penn Station - Chicken Parmesan Grilled Sub

In the mood for a sandwich? Hit up Penn Station for a quick meal, but make sure to order the chicken parm sub. This is a messy one, but the messier the better right? They'll be happy to share plenty of napkins. This hot sandwich is piled high with chicken, cheeses, tomato sauce, and you can even make it more exciting by throwing in some sautéed onions and mushrooms. 

3. Noodles and Company - Alfredo MontAmore with Chicken Parmesan 

Yeah, I know. This dish might seem similar to your "basic" chicken parm dish, but trust me, its not. This dish from Noodles and Company has spaghetti noodles, Alfredo sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, cheese, and of course, the star of the show, chicken parmesan pieces. You definitely don't have to sit down at a fancy, white cloth, Italian restaurant to enjoy your fav meal. It's cheap too!

4. Buffa Louie's - Parmigiana with Chicken

Everyone who is a wing fan in Bloomington knows about Buffa Louie's. But they also proudly cater to the chicken parm lovers in Bloomington too. Check out the chicken Parmigiana sandwich! This sandwich offers the the option of chicken, a burger, or black bean patty with marinara and provolone cheese. So next time you're at Buffa Louie's resist the temptation of ordering your fav wings, and step out of your comfort zone to check out this sandwich that fully supports the chicken parmesan movement. 

5. Wheel Pizza - Chicken Parmesan Pizza

Okay, so technically this isn't on the menu, but that doesn't mean you can't ask if they will make it for you, because they will! Life honestly can't get much better than adding chicken parmesan to a pizza. It's a perfect late night snack after a night out on Kirkwood. So many pizza joints are missing out on this dynamic duo of pizza and chicken parm. 

6. Grazie Italiano - Classic Chicken Parmesan

Natalie Jacobi

I realize that it's always nice to go back to the original roots and chow down on the classic version of chicken parm. This sure is a great casual Italian restaurant that serves great food with fresh ingredients, so of course this is a meal you can't pass up on. 

7. Cheesecake Factory - Chicken Parmesan "Pizza Style"

*Bonus Restaurant not in Bloomington*

I can't help but throw this one in here too because this meal is just so cool. This version of pizza is not your typical one. You're served a large portion of chopped chicken in a circular shape (like a pizza) with melted cheese and marinara all over, piled high with angel hair pasta in an Alfredo sauce. This is a must try menu item! One of the best, most interesting dishes you will find at Cheesecake Factory.

What's next? Chicken Parmesan tacos? Or even Chicken parmesan pancakes? I would fully support whatever restaurant wants to be brave enough to take on these innovative dishes!