Location: Bloomington, Indiana
In my opinion, Chow Bar is one of the better Chinese restaurants in Bloomington. Of the seven different Chinese restaurants I’ve been to in B-town, Chow Bar has the best mix of good food, quality service, and pleasant atmosphere. Bloomington has a diverse population, with many international students from China and surrounding areas. Many of these students frequent the local Chinese restaurants, and I have heard several students speak highly of Chow Bar. To this extent, I think Chow Bar can be recommended as a restaurant that is more authentic, and appeals to both Americans and non-Americans alike.
During my last visit to Chow Bar, I went with two of my future roommates and another good friend of ours. We ordered four dishes to share amongst the four of us. The dishes included a plate of green beans, a plate of chicken and peppers, a beef stew with mushrooms and kale, and a plate of duck with onions and peppers. I don’t ordinarily eat “communal” dishes for dinner, but I’ve been told by my good friend from Hong Kong that it is part of the Chinese culture. After trying it out a few times, I think it’s a nice change of pace from a traditional American dinner and it’s something I think should become more a part of American culture.
There are many parts of the world I’ve never been to (China included), but when I go to Chow Bar, I feel like I can get a small taste of Chinese culture. You can hear Mandarin being spoken, you can enjoy great Chinese food, and you can eat the way Chinese people eat (both by sharing dishes and by using chopsticks). I’m not so naive to believe that this experience is just like a meal in China, but I do believe it is as close as you can get in Bloomington, IN! I would recommend Chow Bar to anyone who likes Chinese food or anyone looking to try something new (if you are not a regular at Chinese restaurants). One thing I neglected to mention is that Chow Bar also has a great selection of bubble teas. Try one with your meal next time you find yourself at Chow Bar!