Best Bowling Lane Eats Slideshow
September 15, 2011
Bowlmor Lanes, New York City (Maryland, California, and Florida)
Thanks to celeb chef David Burke, who has lent his culinary whimsy to the massive Times Square location, this mini-chain is slowly starting to be known for its food as well its high-energy bowling. At The Stadium Grill, polish off Cajun dry rub wings, Millionaire's meatloaf with a mess of tobacco onion rings, and boozy doughnuts, while never taking your eyes off the HD football game.
The Ballroom (Toronto)
Ping-pong is just as revered as bowling at this sports bar and grill. After breaking a sweat, a menu of locavore-influenced suburban chow created by chef Tawfik Shehata (formerly of Toronto restaurant Vertical) comes to the rescue. Look for smoked cod cakes, Ontario Cheddar tater tots, and house-smoked brisket sandwiches. Health fiends can settle on an organic quinoa salad.
Brooklyn Bowl (Brooklyn)
Yes, the hipsters who congregate at Brooklyn Bowl do actually come to play a few games in one of the 16 lanes, but they also are here to see burlesque, listen to DJs, and of course, eat. Bowling is almost irrelevant when one can savor oyster po'boys, blissful fried chicken, and bourbon-Nutella shakes courtesy of Eric and Bruce Bromberg of Blue Ribbon fame.
Lucky Strike Lanes (Multiple Locations)
There are more than 20 locations of this upscale bowling chain with Hollywood roots, and while there may not be a bigwig chef at the helm or a devotion to sustainable ingredients, offerings of coconut shrimp, grilled apple and brie quesadilla, and pan-seared chicken dumplings attest to Lucky Strike's influence on elevating bowling alley cuisine.
Bayside Bowl (Portland, ME)
Karaoke, live music, and a dozen beers on tap are reasons to linger at Bayside Bowl once the games are over. Yet it's the food that draws locals in: barbecue pork cigars (slow-braised meat nestled inside deep-fried crispy wontons with homemade barbecue sauce) smoked tempeh vegan reubens, mac and cheese, and grilled pizza with toppings from pineapple to pepperoni.
Bryant Lake Bowl (Minneapolis)
Avid bowlers aren't the only ones who gravitate here. So does an artsy crew drawn in by the on-site theater showcasing funky music and dance performances. Complementing the entertainment is an equally progressive menu dotted with gluten-free options that nod to local farms. Star Prairie smoked trout fillet, for example, is accompanied by grilled baguette and fennel, roasted garlic bulb, and onion marmalade, while a good ol' black-and-blue burger with grass-fed beef from Moon Stone Farm is topped with Black River, Wis., gorgonzola.
East Village Tavern and Bowl (San Diego)
Bowlers and college football fans alike are attracted to this gussied-up sports lounge, where Kevin Roberts, host of TLC's BBQ Pitmasters, presides over the menu. Park yourself in one of the dozen lanes and balance a game with carne asada tacos or Pacifico fish and chips. Morning revelers get rewarded on the weekends with pico de gallo-laden breakfast burritos and homemade Bloody Marys served with beer chasers.
The Highball (Austin)
Adjacent to the beloved Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is the mixed-media venue The Highball, which features eight vintage lanes decked out with pinsetters and ball returns circa 1959. Honky-tonk music, flea markets, and bingo are all part of the act, but it's chef Trish Eichelberger's food that steals the show. A champion of local ingredients, Eichelberger whips up Texas-accented grub like jalapeño-cheese cornbread, Dr Pepper-glazed ribs, and peanut oil-fried Dewberry Hills chicken.
Mission Bowling Club (San Francisco)
San Francisco foodlovers flock to the Mission for Commonwealth and local celeb chef Anthony Myint's Mission Chinese Food. So, when his newest project, Mission Bowling Club, opens there next spring, expect a queue at this six-lane bowling alley-cum-eatery. Rumor is Myint will be executing comfort classics including his famed Mission Burger.
Ron’s Gourmet Ice Cream & 20th Century Bowling (Hyde Park, MA)
Does it get more retro than bowling and ice cream? Ron's may evoke a simpler era with its two-pronged mission, but the roster of homemade ice cream flavors is decidedly modern. Along with classics like butter pecan and mint chip, offbeat selections such as frozen pudding and Irish coffee tempt. Ice cream cakes layered with fudge and cookies, will leave you hankering for a birthday to celebrate.