The Path of an International Student to Assimilation through American Cuisine What can an average college guy ask for in life? A good college football game in which their favorite team wins, some pretty girls, and a few drinks with some good food; all can be found in the nationally renowned Joint called Buffalo Wild Wings. Located Just off Price Forks Rd. in the college town of Blacksburg, Virginia, the franchise has established a reputation of serving authentic American food with the pleasurable experience of communal gathering for young people and the association with rofessional sports.
As college students, it is hard to make ends meet, and ‘B- dubs’ (as it is known in common slang) gives you what it’s worth, giving a foreign student like myself an honest taste of American culture. Nowhere in the world can you find a venture like Buffalo Wild Wings. The company founded in 1982 in Ohio quickly became a rapidly growing franchise, spreading to over 600 locations in North America. Walking in as a foreigner, it is overwhelming, seeing the many large screens and unrecognizable club emblems. The facility has a very mature feel to it because of he bar.
The lighting is dim, highlighting the d?©cor of the place, and allowing the plasma TV screens on which various sporting events are shown to stand out. There is a smell of oak wood seeping through my nostrils as I evaluate the polished wooden tables and think of the smoked meat on the grill. The main dining plaza is large, obviously meant to hold a large number of sports fans during tournaments, however during the midday hours in the middle of the week the place has only a few groups of people enjoying their lunch.
As a sports bar, Buffalo Wild Wings attempts to create n environment of competition and with a sports event going on, it is always a bit noisy as the energetic aura envelops the diner. Stunned by the grandiose nature of d?©cor, I am brought back to reality by the voice of the waitress politely asking me to follow her to a free table. Sitting down, I am handed a menu- all bright and vibrant, with a funky font that stands out; so unlike restaurants around the world where the menu is apathetically boring.
At the bottom of the menu there is an infographic portraying the numerous sauces that Buffalo Wild Wings offers and their level of hotness’, a true example of American promotion. As I was not familiar with the many dishes on the menu, as many foreign college students would not be, I asked for assistance. The waitress told me what the dishes offer as well as their pros and cons, helping me make my choice.
Virtues of patience and honesty not usually expected from staff of most restaurants, which focus more on profit than customer satisfaction, was definitely present here and made a foreigner more comfortable in the unfamiliar environment. For my order I chose to try the traditional hot wings with several sauces hich this franchise is acclaimed for. Although being distinctly American, the Joint attempts to adopt cuisine of various cultures through their sauces which represent the authentic tastes around the world.
For a foreigner, this brings a nostalgic feeling of belonging, but by being in another country, it allows for assimilation through the most unusual medium of all: food. Despite my predicament of being by myself, I saw a group of guys who were seemingly mesmerized by a soccer match of the European League on television. Surprised that anybody would be interested in such unknown tudents from Europe and South America. I instantly connected with the guys and having common interests, we chatted the whole time until the food war ready.
I found this to be a defining role of Buffalo Wild Wings in the community, bringing people together through sports fanaticism. This is an aspect not seen in other food institutions allowing patrons to interact on a personal level. Finally the waitress brings out the food. Almost instantly the smell of well cooked meat fills the room as one can smell the potent mix of ingredients, spices, and sauces to create a beautifully rafted but ironically simple meal. The food is served in paper baskets, with an extra one given for bones.
My meal is not large and is not arranged in a superficial manner that most restaurants attempt as part of the culinary tradition. It is almost as the disorganization of the meal in this Joint is its own aesthetic experience, challenging one to try before dealing out Judgment. As I ate my chicken wings, the meat seemed to be melting in my mouth, sending the most wildly delicious tastes into my mouth. I feel the sauce dripping down into my mouth, making the meat appetizingly Juicy. It is a taste of something new but also gave me a sense of home.
By trying Buffalo Wild Wings it was a catharsis for my taste buds. Overall my venture to Buffalo Wild Wings proved to be unexpectedly satisfying, giving me a true taste of the local cuisine and giving me a sense of the community. It is a restaurant I would definitely come back to and advise every international student to try, to fit in and to have a great time. After this visit, the franchise which distinguishes itself from all others in so many ways, truly stood out in my eyes as a place of ardent cuisine.