Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
Thank goodness summer is almost here, except for one thing: the competitive eating. Last week, in an event that I see no upside to, Jersey Shore’s Snooki hosted a Bridezillas Wedding Cake-Eating Contest. With their hands tied behind their backs, 10 dressed-up brides-to-be tried to take down their own seven-pound wedding cakes.
I’m happy to know that Joey Chestnut, the competitive eating world champion, might soon call it quits: “I’m turning 30 this year and am looking for an exit strategy,” he says. Maybe he could turn his competitive attention toward something less disgusting than crushing 60-plus hot dogs annually at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest each 4th of July. Something more like...Skee-Ball?
Skee-Ball: Penn Social - Washington, D.C
This two-level D.C. bar offers Skee-Ball and every other fun, booze-friendly game you can think of: Giant Connect Four, shuffleboard, Cornhole, pool, Foosball and even board games. It’s a dream come true for people who can’t decide if they want to drink or go to the arcade. (Both!)
Penn Social’s menu is a snack lover’s dream come true, including nachos with chicken, pulled pork and/or chili. And so Joey Chestnut feels at home, there’s a selection of hot dogs, including Ze German Dog, smothered with sauerkraut and pretzel sprinkles.
Giant Jenga: Kung Fu Saloon - Austin, Texas
Besides a life-size version of Jenga, Kung Fu features Foosball, Skee-Ball machines, Giant Connect Four and board games like Boggle, dominoes and Giant Checkers. And I almost forgot to mention their 14 vintage arcade games including NBA Jam, Street Fighter II, Ms. Pac-Man and - hooray! - Galaga. The bar is very proud of their nine varieties of sake bombs, like the Crain Kick: Pearl sake dropped into Blue Moon with a float of Stoli Vanilla.
Croquet: Brooklyn Athletic Club - Houston, Texas
It’s handy for this comfort food restaurant to put Brooklyn in their name, if for no other reason than it gives them the initials BAC. Which means their outdoor space is the BACyard.
In the BACyard: A mini croquet course, a lane for bocce, a pit for horseshoes and a place to play badminton. On the menu: sweet potato gnocchi with sage-parsley cream sauce; chef Jeff’s mac and cheese; and Porkobuco.
Pinball: 403Club - Kansas City, Kansas
Every Wednesday, the 403 Club holds pinball league tournaments; once a month there’s a First Saturday pinball tournament, endorsed by the International Flipper Pinball Association. There’s a choice of pinball machines here, ranging from Freddy to Creature to Apollo 13 (the 403 website offers in-depth descriptions on every game and lets you know the machines are serviced weekly). Plus there’s $2 PBR on tap and priced to move $2.50 well drinks.
Horseshoes: Montrose Saloon - Chicago, Illinois
This old-school neighborhood dive bar boasts a huge outdoor beer garden that in turn boasts a couple of horseshoe pits. In the winter, you can turn to indoor sports like pool and darts. Beers are $3. There is even a grill on the patio where you can cook burgers on a BYOM (meat) basis.
More from Food & Wine:
Best Burgers in the U.S.
Best Chicken Wings in the U.S.
America’s Best Lobster Rolls
Beautiful Summer Cocktails
Summer Grilling Recipes
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My husband used to drink while playing Mario Kart! Every lap they take a sip. They were done by the Star Cup. Dinking and playing
games is dangerous.
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Chuck E Cheese rules!
I know it's a chain, but Dave & Busters is good fun. Great food and drink, full arcade plus billiards and shuffleboard. Most have a separate fine (subjective) dining restaurant also. Sadly, there's none here in the Pacific Northwest.
Only thing I know of Dave and Busters I learned from Always Sunny In Philadelphia