Visited the swanky (but, not so swanky it needs a dress code) and approachable lil' bowling alley, North Bowl, in Northern Liberties a while back for some bowling on Shabbas in the name of charity. Us do-gooders packed the house, but I hear a reservation is always a good idea at North Bowl, as is at any bowling alley, urban or suburban, during prime time.
Bowling is always a good time, but I don't take it seriously (my scores are in the gutter). I do take food seriously, even if it's junk food, and North Bowl takes their junk food -- tater tots, corn dogs, quesedillas, mac and cheese, wings, and burgers, just to name a few -- seriously. Or just about as seriously as you'd want while bowling drunk (full bar is in effect). Not drinking? Have a bowl of miso soup, or Ceasar salad. And end it all with an ice cream sandwich or funnel cake.
Oh, man, does this platter of perfectly fried, hand-dipped, vegetarian, mini-corn dogs, and crispy Tater Tots bring on flashbacks of summer lunches prepared by my brother when I was a young'un! Ketchup and yellow mustard! Perfection! As a note, before ordering the vegetarian corn dogs, a friend in the neighboring aisle leaned in to recommend the veggie corn dogs over the meat corn dogs, saying the veggie ones are less greasy.I'm a sucker for trying vegetarian wings or any faux facsimile of meat. It's fun, not weird, to me. North Bowl's toothsome seitan wings with overly sweet and salty Asian sauce (buffalo sauce is also available) killed it in the fun department by skewering the perfectly tapered wheat meat nuggets with short and stout wooden bones. Loved the wooden handle to hold onto as I tore into the wings. Best fake version of wings I've seen yet!
Hankerin' for some more Tater Tots we delved into the more creative Tater Tot concoction on the menu, and came out with the Spanish Tater Tots topped with fried hot peppers and onions, and paprika aioli. The paprika aioli was pretty tasteless and greasy, and the toppings were just a distraction from the Tots that were what we all really wanted. My suggestion: go straight up Tater Tots. It's classic!
Not pictured, but I also sampled a huge plate of cinnamon pretzel bites drizzled with a sweet glaze. It's a huge plate o' carbs best eaten while hot, not to come back to cold after you've bowled a few rounds.
Next game, it's mac and cheese time! How could I have been so remiss?
909 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19123
21 years and over after 9pm