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DINING: Game on at food-and-play spot

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Dining - A&E
Allow me to make a Skee-Ball analogy: When you play Skee-ball and aim for the 100-point hole, you miss most of the time. However, if you aim for the 30, you have a much better chance of scoring. You might not get a high score, but you'll win enough tickets to want to play again.

How does that translate into my dining experience at the new Dave & Buster's (8350 Castleton Corner Drive, 572-2706)? Well, on my first visit, which was part of a special preview day, when the wait staff and the kitchen were working out the kinks, I aimed high. I tried stuff from the higher end of the menu, where steak and shrimp roam.

Since that wasn't an official open-for-business day, I'll refrain from comment—except to say that I was more cautious when I returned during open-for-regular business hours. I, figuratively, aimed for 30s instead of 100s. And I'm glad I did.

My two companions and I stuck largely to Dave & Buster's $15.99 Eat & Play deals. And why wouldn't we? These include a choice of eight entrees and a $10 game card. For customers who intend to hit the arcade (and why else would you be here), that makes a meal—sans drink—come in below the price of an average kid meal.

My dining trio found satisfaction in a massive double cheeseburger (which arrived with fries instead of the requested mashed potatoes), densely breaded but still meaty Goldfingers (what the management calls chicken strips) served with a side of gravy, and Black Jack BBQ Chicken. The latter featured a sizable pair of grilled chicken breasts glazed in Jack Daniel's sauce accompanied by bacon-speckled mashed potatoes and a sizable side of green beans.

An appetizer, Philly Steak Rolls ($7.99), arrived concurrent with the entrees, which is a pet peeve of mine. A passing manager noted our dismay and quickly offered to take it off the bill, insisting that we still keep it and try. Nice move.

Was it worth it? With cheese steak meat crammed into a deep fried shell, with chopped banana peppers, tomato,
sweet and spicy ketchup and cheese sauce for topping, yes, it was worth it—but better suited for heftier appetites.

Dessert choices included a massive Mug Sundae ($5.99) densely packed with vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce, candied pecans, and whipped
cream. We partnered it with a paper cone of hot Donut Holes ($6.39), accompanied by both the aforementioned chocolate sauce and strawberry sauce for dipping.

As fun as these orbs were, most of them went home. After all, we had game cards burning holes in our pockets. •

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Fourth in a month-long series of reviews of possessive restaurants. Follow us on Twitter at IBJDining.
 
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