Arcades have died out in American culture. The surviving entertainment complexes have required an extra gimmick. Dave & Busters (named after the chain's owners) offer American food with an open bar and full arcade to pull in customers. Yes, the food is similar to that of the other big chains, yet the draw of playing skeeball or a racing game draw in the customers. The customers are not just children.
The interior resembles a bar from the early twentieth century. The entire complex is well planned with restrooms and easy access to food and drink. It would be easy to rate the entertainment portion (including karaoke, virtual golf, many pool tables, and yes many arcade and video games), but the food is what I was after.
They offer the same medium-fare found at other chains (you know the ones), but many of the meals include credits to play their video games. This is seductive, but how does the food they offer with this combination stand up?
Prior to the meal, 'Philly-cheese-steak' eggrolls arrived. They served a basic deep fried eggroll filled with tender shaved steak and a light cheese. A cheese-dipping sauce accompanied the appetizer with a light garnish of diced tomatoes and pickled banana peppers. The eggrolls were tender and flavorful; a nice opener.0
One such entree is their grilled salmon fillet with citrus rice and sauteed haricot vert. The fillet was a nice portion and perfectly cooked (something some ocean-side restaurants often mess up with grilling). The sides were decent, though they provided a nice contrast to the salmon's flavors.
Another entree featured a nice sirloin steak with a loaded mashed potato. This is a common meal and there was nothing exceptional about it. The steak was a nice cut (though Outback still wins for best chain-restaurant steaks) and was cooked to temperature. The potato was basic, providing a good carbohydrate boost for later playing.
Desert was unique with a fondue sampler. It was nice to receive one of these with actual melted chocolate and a small tea light to maintain a nice warmth. Alongside the selection were sliced strawberries and bananas, pound cake, small brownie chunks and rice crispy treats. Not as good as Melting Pot's fondue, but Dave & Busters produced a nice desert for a romantic meal.
Dave & Busters is a venue best saved for adventurous dates filled with fun and games. The food is good for what it is, something other restaurants without pinball can often fail at. It produces a good date venue capable of entertaining children or breaking the ice on a blind date.