Kilroy’s On Kirkwood has majorly upped its food game. Step aside, breadsticks, you have just been upstaged. Under new ownership and the creative prowess of the corporate chef, Ryan Bennett, Kilroy’s menu has received a complete overhaul and been replaced with a collection of items that emphasize fresh, local ingredients.

Anna Arteaga

It is not an understatement to say that Kilroy’s is an institution among IU students and the Bloomington community in general.

As an exchange student, this places me in the unique position of feeling no particular sense of loyalty to it.

(This may be in part due to the fact that I have yet to leave my dignity on their hard-wood floor).

So, believe me when I say that the food listed below is darn tasty.

1. The Chorizo Burger

chicken, bread, french fries, meat
Anna Arteaga

This was hands down my favourite item on the menu. The avocado really made this burger stand out. The thick, creamy slices balance the spiciness of the chorizo perfectly. The brioche bun was fluffy and soft. All patties on the menu are made specially for KOK by Fischer Farms in Jasper, Indiana. For $8 it’s more than a bargain — it’s a downright steal.

2. Garlic Parmesan Fries

bread, salt, french fries, ketchup
Anna Arteaga

Just taste them. You’ll thank me. Plus, they are the same price as regular KOK fries. ($4)

3. Monday $1 Sliders

They're technically not a new addition to the Kilroy’s menu, but to quote a friend: “I kind of live for the $1 sliders on Mondays.” KOK runs similar student-friendly deals every day of the week; the $3

Build Your Own Tacos on Thursdays are a personal highlight.

4. Pierogies

chicken, potato, fish and chips, meat, french fries
Anna Arteaga

These bite-sized dumplings are traditionally a Polish delicacy but are right at home on KOK’s new menu. The crispy dough encases a cheesy potato filling and can be tossed back with a flick of the wrist. They are also vegetarian. Win, win. ($8)

5. Indiana’s Best Burger

chicken, meat
Anna Arteaga

In 2015, this burger was voted the Best Burger in Indiana. If that is not enough to convince you, nothing will. The patty is made by Fischer Farms using a top-secret recipe created by Ryan Bennett. All the ingredients are sourced locally, something not many bars can boast. The patty is topped with a heavenly lemon garlic aioli, which I would happily eat a tub of. ($8)

6. Mac n’ Cheese

cheese, bacon
Anna Arteaga

Picture this: Cavatappi noodles covered in a creamy white cheddar sauce topped with shredded mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, and cheddar cheese. Though a classic on many restaurant menus, KOK’s version really is a cut above the rest, and demonstrates new attention to detail. The combination of the various cheeses adds great depth of flavor. ($2)

7. Sweet Potato Tots

meat, vegetable, sweet
Anna Arteaga

WARNING: Highly addictive. Aside from the fact that I had never before heard of “tater tots” (I'm Irish), these little balls were incredibly good. If, like me, you are a texture-lover, these will be right up your street. Each tot is coated in a crunchy cinnamon maple syrup, with mushy, sweet potato on the inside. They are served with every burger or can be ordered on their own for $2.

8. The Gobbler

This burger was initially called the KOK Gobbler, though thankfully it has been changed to the more PG version. If this menu appears quite calorific to you, then The Gobbler is for you. The patty is 100% lean turkey meat and is accompanied by the saintly avocado. ($9)

9. Hoosier Fried Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

The use of local meat in this Indiana classic is both appropriate and makes for an incredibly tasty sandwich. The quality and flavor of the meat is amazing.

Without divulging too many secrets, Ryan shared with me how the meat is tenderized overnight in buttermilk and seasoned with Cajun spice, fresh thyme, garlic, onion powder, hot pepper, salt and a dash of sugar.

This sandwich was also singled out by the National Culinary Review in 2015 as one of the best in the Midwest. ($9)

Portion sizes are generous and food is served nestled in baskets with paper featuring the iconic Kilroy’s logo, lest you forgot where you are, though given the cheap drink deals, this is entirely possible.

meat, potato, sweet, vegetable
Anna Arteaga

While you do have to be 21 to eat at Kilroy’s, even if just going for food, you can order over the phone and pick up your food at the door, or have it delivered using Mr. Delivery.

KOK may be known for its cheap drink deals and jammed courtyard on game day, but since sampling the new menu, I think I’d rather relax with an ice-cold beer and chorizo burger on a quiet weeknight. Or maybe I am just getting old.