Reviewed by Margaret Thompson
“Best day EVER!” That’s just what a working mom likes to hear when she takes her kids to work with her on a summer day.
Okay, on this particular day, my job was to sample the new menu at Uptown Alley, and let’s just say, this ain’t your momma’s bowling alley food (and this ain’t your momma’s bowling alley either, but more on that in a minute). Sure, they have a new hamburger on the menu, but here’s the description: Burger Bomb – crispy pastrami, 1000 Island, Swiss, slaw. That’s right, it’s a Reuben burger. Just yum! Chef Jeremy Burns is always thinkin’ back in that kitchen of his.
I can safely say that I will make the drive back over to this Midlothian paradise from my Hanover corner of the world just to get that Street Corn, a delectable ear of corn, skewered and slathered in Siracha aioli, then rolled in cotija cheese. The boys especially loved the avocado rolls and crab cakes, while I devoured the shishito peppers, oven-roasted, with sea salt and grilled lemon (the lemon totally changes the flavor of the peppers – be sure to try them before and after a good squeeze).
And here’s a great deal: Kids eat FREE on Monday nights AND they get a free $5 game play card too, with the purchase of an adult entree.
Once we ate our weight at Red Embers Bar & Grill, we headed to the game room, a massive arcade with all of the games kids these days know and love (yes, I do miss PacMan and Centipede, thank you very much). The boys were excited to discover that the 795 points they racked up on their handy game play cards (no tokens or quarters to deal with here) could be combined and traded in for some very cool prizes. “This game room is much better than those other ones we go to, Mom!” declared the boys.
Once our assault on the arcade was complete, we laced up our bowling shoes (shiny new ones too, not your typical “am I really putting these on my feet?” bowling shoes), and hit the lanes for two games (part of the Uptown Alley Summer Fun Pass that includes two games, shoe rentals, and a $5 game play card, all for just $7 – gor kids only, of course…I asked!) of bowling. As it turns out, I should have requested the gutter guards for myself, not just for the boys…and maybe one of those ramps to slide the ball down also. But by game two, I had hit my stride and came one pin from a turkey (that’s three strikes in a row for all you bowling rookies).
We had a fantastic family afternoon at Uptown Alley, and be sure to check it out for date night or girls’ or guys’ night out too. They have fabulous outdoor seating areas, a great stage and dance floor, and live music every Friday and Saturday night, followed by a late-night DJ for you night owls.
Birthday parties, corporate events, you name it, Uptown Alley has it. Visit www.uptownalleyrichmond.com for all the info!