First let me preface that all of the photos I took were done by my phone. Not even my new fancy phone, my old one that had a crack in the lens. In a place like Dave and Busters I really didn't feel safe bringing my camera camera so apologies for the slightly fuzzy and kinda crappy shots.
Plus lugging a high-end digital camera around while trying to balance a beer and steer on some Fast and Furious machine would totally suck. So there's that as well.
Anyway, Tucson finally got itself one of these mega-clusters of food, booze and games and its about time we say. Located in the Tucson Marketplace area just off of South Park Avenue and East Benson Highway, nestled between a movie theater and a god awful Asian buffet (that surprisingly serve decent quesadillas, go figure) Dave and Busters is the kind of family Petri dish of overly excited kids, bored teens, half drunk dads and cell-phone staring moms that you always dreamed about.
I think we've been to one, maybe, back in either California or Texas and, if blurry memory serves, it was kind of fun. So on a searingly hot day with convection oven winds, the Homeskillet crew rallied up and set out to eat, drink and get high score.
This is what went down.
|Full on Vegas mode with this place|
The way Dave and Busters works is this: If you wanna play games, which you totally do, you purchase a Power Card, which is a card that you 'power up' with cash and can 'recharge' once your credits get low. Like $30 gets you 200 credits, or something like that. Each game requires a certain amount of credits. For example, Skee-Ball is perhaps 2 credits but some surround sound IMAX 3-D type game will be, say, 12. You get the idea right? Most places like this have the exact same method to take your money. But...whatever.
We went on a Wednesday, which we highly recommend, because on Wednesdays all games are discounted. That 12 credit IMAX 3-D game is now 6 credits. Get it? Good. So we loaded up our Power Cards then went to the bar to get slightly loaded.
|So sweet, so unnecessary|
Note to all readers: Avoid any and all glow in the dark / snocone / anything that has gummy worms hanging from them drinks. They are pricey, they suck and most of all they are sugary frosted glops with a hint of booze. Just stick to your usual cocktail or beer. Trust here. In fact, the pours we got from the young bartender were actually kind of impressive. So stick with what you know.
As we were sipping away, we couldn't help but notice that the whole stretch of the room, equipped with a restaurant, sports bar, separate eating area and huge game space, looked and sounded a lot like a Las Vegas casino. With the exception of cigarette smoke (you can't even vape in D&B's, thank jeebus) we could have been at some bar in the Venetian, except the one armed bandits were replaced with Big Buck Hunters and Pac Man games with screens 10 feet high.
While we were surveying our afternoon territory, we were beginning to get a bit grumbly in yon tummy so a glance at their menu was in order.
The fare at Dave and Busters is kind of what you would expect. Pages of hot wings, "shareable" appetizers loaded with sliders and cheesy bacon covered fries, nachos, burgers, meat stuffed sandwiches and deep fried cheese.
What was kind of surprising was their selection of salads such as an apple pecan option, a baby kale Caesar and Thai chicken chopped. These actually didn't sound too horrible.
There's also a wide selection of pasta dishes, steaks, ribs, seafood and even a tomato feta soup. Not bad D&B, not bad.
Here's the thing: They put calorie counts on each dish so you know what you are getting into before ordering. No sodium count because if they did, no one would order any of this stuff. Or carbs, Or sugar or saturated fat. I'm thinking the food at D&B is loaded with unnecessary amounts of salt and sugar, enough to put any diet right into the dustbin.
It is absolutely rare here to find a dish under 1000 calories. There's a grilled salmon for about 800, most side salads and soups hover around 200...and that's about it. I mean, you're not coming to Dave and Busters for its farm-to-fork chef driven dishes, you're here to grub on some sloppy and slightly not bad food and play arcade games till your eyes bleed and your thumbs go numb. Right?
Taking a walk around the dining area, the food actually didn't look all that bad either. But between the 5 of us we opted to go for something called, yep, Fives All Around. This long plate came loaded with 5 pieces of chicken quesadilla, 5 pretzel dogs, 5 crispy shrimps, a bunch of dipping sauces and house cut crinkle chips. This monster app was over 3000 calories but, hey, between the 5 of us, for each, that's like, uh...let's see. Carry the 3 into...umm...
Oh forget it.
Anyway, the food wasn't horrible. So...there's that.
|Wait, did you wash that cube before...oh nevermind|
Then it was time to get down and play some games. This is what Dave and Busters is all about anyway.
We wont get into too much about this because, you know, this is a food blog, but we will say the games were new, clean, loud and fun. Most of the racing games came equipped with wind machines to give you that extra feeling of speed and vigorously shook as well. I spent a lot of time playing the Star Wars Battle Pod. Literally you are in an enclosed game egg and you get to fly X-Wings, Snow Speeders and Speeder Bikes. So many credits went bye-bye with this game. A must do for serious Star Wars nerds.
That and Mario Kart in which you can compete with three of your friends. A good hour was spent doing this one. So freakin' fun.
|Not even between the 5 of us, nope|
So there you have it: The Tucson Homeskillet does Dave and Busters. We had a great time, it was really hot out so we stayed cool and we were kind of impressed with the bar style family fare they served. I mean, we really didn't eat any because, well...why would you? I mean, the food here has to be better than the neighboring buffet (will not give its name but....you'll see when you get here, just don't...) but when we come back, which we so will because we still have a bunch of credits on our Power Cards, we might go nibble a bit here and there.
But we are going to share! Just don't trust the nutritional scree of caloric blood pressure infusers they serve up.
But they do have tot-chos. And if you know us, we love us some tot-chos.
Next time Dave and Busters.
|And you know what...it wasn't horrible|
Camera, Typing, Eating and Drinking
"Metal" Mark Whittaker
It's Too Hot Out, 2017