The new and bigger Dave & Buster’s arcade

Recently I took a friend and her three kids, ages 7-12, to the sprawling new Dave & Buster’s, located in a former movie theater spot near Walnut Hill and Central Expressway.

It is, essentially, Las Vegas for minors. Upon entrance, the bings, dings, rings and whirling lights emitting from the game area beckon, but we first veer left, to the restaurant portion. (There is more of a cocktail lounge-type eating area to the right).

The menu offers several opportunities to mix a meal with game credits — look for the Eat, Play, Win Combo. The kids ordered a range of items including burgers, chicken tenders and macaroni and cheese.

The food is a step up from the last time I visited D&B, in the old days, across the street. They’ve obviously put thought and creativity into the menu — pretzel dogs, heaping piles of nachos, mango citrus shrimp skewers …  I had a salad along with some other more-traditional appetizers. There also is a “Under 600” section with dishes under 600 calories.

The garlic potato balls, a new side item, were my favorite part of the visit. They are served in a cute mini fried-food strainer (collectively, the presentation was impressive) and include about 30 spheres of what seemed to be creamy mashed potatoes encased in a light, fried crust and topped with garlic spices. When I ordered them, I expected tater tots, but these things are to tater tots what a shiny new Audi is to a Chevy Chevette. No ketchup needed. Even as the games’ siren song distracted the children, they cleaned their plates, so I assume the food was palatable all around.

potato balls

Potato balls at Dave & Buster’s

We managed to get lunch for five and $20 in game credits for each of three children for under $100. Give me $20 at Harrah’s and I’ll lose it in 15 seconds. But the kids played for a good 45 minutes and returned with buckets full of tickets which they traded at the Winners Circle, a little toy shop aside the casino, for blocks of sugar and erasers shaped like cartoon characters.

For a limited time, they have half price games on Wednesdays.

9450 North Central Expressway
Phone: 214.361.5553