A BIG thank you to Alley V for the delicious food and amazing hospitality last night for my friend and I. All opinions from here on out are mine!
To quote a song my boys like, “I miss the good, old days.” Probably not in the way that you are thinking. I like the ages that my kids are at most of the time, and I like this new season. What I miss is the way that they used to do March Madness. (I promise – this paragraph, basketball. A few more mentions of hoops throughout the article, but there is more. Much more. Please read on.) I know that perhaps I am in the minority. Most people like the fact that you can watch one tourney game from start to finish. I miss when the coverage was only one channel and when they show 4 games simultaneously. That was exciting. Until last night, I thought that experience was gone forever.
Insert picture of 4 televisions mounted together where you can watch all four games at once. Except that there is no picture because at the time, I did not realize the fact was significant and could help me to capture that long ago basketball feeling. Insert other picture of television instead.
When I was asked if I wanted to attend a preview event for the Alley V “Mayhem of March” event, I decided that it was a good excuse to have some free food and actually get to watch some of the early tourney games. I did not know what to expect. Once we arrived, I knew instantly that we were in for a great evening. For one thing, do you see the size of that television? Perfect basketball viewing. Not only could you see that tv throughout, but there were televisions for viewing everywhere.
If you are looking for a quiet, romantic evening or place where you can actually have lingering, quiet conversation, you will have to look elsewhere. The music is a bit loud. (As you would expect from any sports bar/bowling alley atmosphere.) BUT … that being said, my friend and I still managed to talk a lot. No shouting or raised voices at all. This place is far bigger inside than I imagined and must have great acoustics. We were sitting fairly close to the bowling alley portion, and I only recall even noticing the alley noise once or twice. I kind of feel out-of-place at most sports bars, but this atmosphere felt different. Probably because they truly do have the family in mind. Twenty lanes of bowling is certainly a good start. Yet there is more.
The arcade. The section filled with all sorts of possibilities for children of all ages is off to the side. You can completely avoid the eating areas and just play games. You simply load up a card with a set amount of money, and the kids can pick what events they want to do. Each game seemed to cost around $.50-$1. With the exception of mini bowling. For $3, you can play ten frames of bowling using a mini ball. No shoes required. I think my kids will still love this game, but they would have really loved it when they were too little to hold an actual bowling ball. The games were a nice variety for all ages. Note: the climbing walls and laser tag have separate costs. (Thanks, Alley V, for the game cards, so that we can bring our “kids” back to try the arcade area!)
The food. Personally I have never gone to a bowling alley for the food. The prices are usually inflated, and the food is sub-par. That is definitely NOT the case at Alley V. We were given a sample of several popular appetizers (hot pretzels with cheese fondue, nacho stack and southwest rolls). All delicious. In fact, I hope that they get a sampler appetizer platter in the future because I would now have a tough time picking my favorite. We also had a mini pizza – their signature flavor of the month. Nacho pizza. Both my friend and I mentioned that we normally avoid the taco pizzas on a buffet, but this one I would 100% eat again. The crust was amazing, and the toppings blended together seamlessly. Who knew that nacho cheese chips could work on pizza? This pizza is only available through March. (Unless of course, we all order enough to possibly convince them otherwise?) I would totally return with my husband just for the dining part because the food was that delicious, and the prices were quite reasonable. (I would take my kids just to dine there as well, but I am not sure that they would let us get away without playing an activity or two! 🙂 )
I went to this event with my friend, Jonica. She has been one of my dear friends forever and is the one who first introduced me to the whole March Madness event in high school. (My parents didn’t watch a lot of sports. Then anyway …) Getting to actually sit and watch a game with her was so fun. We had been trying to get together for months. To be honest, I am not sure I would have picked a “sports bar” location. Yet Alley V ended up being the perfect spot. The food was delicious, and the atmosphere was lively. The staff is incredibly friendly and accommodating.
Jonica and I decided that we would both return again, with our families this time. As my kids are getting older, I am sensing that creating family nights is going to be a challenge. They want to be off doing their own thing. What I loved about Alley V is that we would be able to eat together, then be close by each other. Yet each person will be able to pick their own activity – what makes them excited. I would probably be perfectly content just watching basketball or other sporting events, yet some of my kids would probably get bored with that. What else impressed me was the prices? They always have some sort of special going on. If you are wanting an evening out that includes both food and activity, I am not sure that their prices can be beat. Especially not for food that actually tastes good and for providing options that all family members will like. They also have live music on Friday nights. The adults can enjoy a grown up experience while the kids can play nearby.
$49.99 for 4 people which includes …
- 1 game of bowling per person plus shoes
- $40 in game play value
- 1- one topping large pizza and 4 sodas
Not bad at all for an evening of fun! Definitely the perfect place to watch March Madness!
P.S. One thing that they are known for is their craft beers. A sampling was a part of the tasting experience. I thought I didn’t like beer at all. Instead I just discovered that I needed to try the right kind. (I am NOT a pale ale kind of gal!) I now have a bit of knowledge thanks to our server. Since this is a “family site,” I will not get to the point where I am promoting alcohol experiences. Yet if you are a person who enjoys drinking in moderation, this would also be the place for you. I have to admit that having a pizza with a bit of beer kind of made the event feel like one for grown-ups. My friend just stuck with the pop – that worked equally as well!