Amidst all the articles and blogs claiming we are the new Mecca of haute cuisine, I'm honored to review a grilled cheese at a smelly bowling alley in Lawrenceville.
If you haven't been to Arsenal Lanes, it is certainly worth the visit. Bowling alleys are increasingly harder to find in urban areas, particularly older lanes that are well maintained. Arsenal Lanes has many strange rules you ought to know about.
You can only purchase pitchers of beer if you are a league bowler. Roughly half the lanes are reserved for league bowlers, so don't just expect to waltz in and go bowling because the staff will treat you like garbage.
Smoking is no longer allowed. (I know that this is becoming increasingly common but it just doesn't feel like a bowling alley without the thick wafts of smoke.) If you start bowling at a particular time that does not please the staff you will be rushed out to make way for hoards of hipsters who are most likely doing designer drugs before cosmic bowling.
As for the bowling alley restaurant you have your choice of: hamburgers, pizza, chili, fried chicken, grilled cheese, appetizers and hot dogs. Although the food may not be featured in any magazine, the prices are a reminder of a simpler time when you were allowed to chain smoke Pall Malls in any bowling alley throughout these great United States. A hot dog will run you $2.95 and the grilled cheese is really priced to sell at $3.25.
My grilled cheese was absolutely drenched in butter and entirely delicious. The clever re-purposing of the hamburger bun stole the show. You could probably order every item on the Arsenal Bowling Lanes menu and spend less than dinner for two with drinks at a number of downtown eateries. Bon appetit!
Arsenal Bowling Lanes
Address: 212 44th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201