Food and entertainment go hand in hand. Watching a movie just isn’t the same without a bowl of popcorn to scarf down like an animal. Bowling is better if there’s something to munch on while teammates take their turns. A few local establishments in the business of fun have gone a step further, providing classic snack foods with a twist, as well as elaborate dishes you’d never think to find at gaming hub.
Enix Brewing Company
The craft beer trend has grown so quickly that its intersection with grown-up games was inevitable. Enix Brewing Company combines its hand-crafted beer with food from the owners’ native Spain. Empanadas, clam flatbread, and stewed oxtail can be combined with in-house stouts, IPAs, and light beer. Above the restaurant area is an eight-lane bowling alley, where bowlers can drink beer and eat from a limited menu. It’s fair to say that this is a step up from the Day-Glo nachos and cold fries of typical bowling alleys. 337 E. 8th Ave., Homestead. enix.beer
As the last remaining drive-in theater in the area, Dependable is a unique and nostalgic way to watch new movies. The Moon Township establishment also features one of the best websites in the area, possibly the state. Saunter over to the snack bar section and there are dancing hot dogs above a lineup of classic treats. Dependable has typical movie theater fare at a reasonable price, plus an array of carnival foods, including hoagies, deep-fried burgers, chili-cheese dogs, ice cream, funnel cake, and more. They’d probably make a hot dog dance if you asked. 549 Moon Clinton Rd., Moon. dependabledrivein.com
Kickback Pinball Café
Pinball requires lots of concentration and intense hand/arm gripping. It can work up a sweat if you’re serious enough. At Kickback, there are over a dozen pinball machines, with themes ranging from Aerosmith to Popeye. Once you’ve proved your athleticism, there’s a menu of hearty, cheesy sandwiches to refuel. The “Godmother” features pesto, tomatoes, mozzarella, and a balsamic glaze; the “Tony Pepperoni” has tomato sauce, pepperoni, and provolone; and the “Hipster” features jam, gouda, jalapeno, and bacon. This ain’t your grandmother’s pinball shop! For loading up on extra dairy, there are also milkshakes and floats. 4326 Butler St., Lawrenceville. kickbackpgh.com
This arcade blends old and new with classic and modern game consoles, tabletop games, pinball, and virtual reality. In addition to a comprehensive selection of arcade games, Victory Pointe offers a nice selection of ice cream and specialty drinks. Featuring locally made Betsy’s ice cream, their menu of treats includes floats, sundaes, splits, and shakes. There are even tiers of milkshakes, including basic, gourmet, and “top tier.” Basic starts with typical vanilla or chocolate. Gourmet includes Butterbeer, birthday cake, and a shake named after Princess Leia. The top tier shakes have names like “Smaug” and “Wasteland” and feature ingredients like matcha tea and cayenne pepper. They also serve an array of hot chocolates, coffee, and regular and specialty mixed sodas. 113 E. Carson St., South Side. victorypointe.com