September 29, 2012

Dave & Buster’s

Anyone who’s anyone in the Philadelphia area has heard of Dave & Buster’s. For those of you who haven’t, they are a pretty big chain of sports bars that offer food, drinks, and games for adults. Feel like playing pool or shuffleboard? How about a game of Pac-Man? They have it all. And, the best part is… You can be drunk while playing them, ’cause let’s face it, games are much more entertaining when you are only using half of your brain.

Dave & Buster’s restaurants are located in many large cities such as New York, San Diego, and Chicago, but my wife and I took a trip to our nearby Philly location to get some wings and have some fun. We sat down, grabbed a drink (or two), and looked over the menu to see what wingalicious treats they had for little ‘ol me.

They offer an 8 count topped with either an Original sauce or what they call Firehouse. I couldn’t resist trying both, so I ordered them tossed in Original with the Firehouse on the side. What I find rather humorous is the bartender asked me if I would prefer blue cheese or ranch, yet when the meal came out, neither one was on the plate. In fact nothing was on the plate except the wings. No celery or carrots, just a dish that looked more like a carrying vessel than a well thought out plating design. It reminded me of the skit with the short order cook slopping down the food quickly and saying “wings, pick it up” followed by the ding of a bell.

It’s a good thing I base my judging on what I eat and not so much what I see, so I picked one up and popped it in my mouth to take a good look from my taste buds’ point of view. And they were quite pleased at what they saw. The flavors were a bit more creative than just a typical wing sauce, and there was a nice sugary note that added a balance to the dish. The meat was exactly what you would expect to find: normal tenderness, not really large (even though the menu said Jumbo), and came out just above room temperature. So there wasn’t anything to brag about there, just a tasty sauce. But what of the Firehouse?

The name “Firehouse” made me feel like I would need to suck down water from a hose to extinguish the immense heat that I was about to endure. Unfortunately, …nnnotsamuch. The heat level was exactly the same as their Original, and it only offered a smokey flavor that wasn’t really too appealing. Maybe the fire was already put out before it hit my lips?

The wings here are just like any others that you would expect to find at most local bars, and are not going to make you want to take a special trip just to get them. Ultimately, Dave & Buster’s is a place where you go to be a kid again and the fact that they have wings, and decent wings at that, is just an added bonus. This is a place that can easily sell crap food and get away with it, but they choose not to… and that says a lot.

Dave & Buster’s
325 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19106