Here's a trend where everyone wins: bars with games. It seems like more and more spots are incorporating childlike diversions for adult audiences: from newcomers like Blazing Paddles, a Ping-Pong bar, to Brass Union, filled to the hilt with board games and arcade fun. We found some of our favorite spots to eat and play, including some long-standing places that were early adopters of this entertainment.
And since we're now in a playful spirit, we decided to turn this slide show into a game too. We want you to play along.
- Throughout the slide show are five questions, each related to a different featured restaurant. (Hint: The answers to each question can be found in past Zagat articles.)
- Follow @ZagatBoston on Twitter, and tweet us the answers. Use hashtag #ZagatGames. (You have to be a follower to play!)
- The first person to tweet us any two correct answers will win a 0 gift certificate to Somerville newcomer Brass Union. We'll accept submissions until 12 PM EST on Wednesday, July 29, when we'll announce the winner.
Ready? Set? Go!
- Photo by: Joel Benjamin
Play: You name it. The diversions include a tabletop arcade station that lets you challenge your date to Pac-Man, shuffleboard, oversized Jenga and cornhole on the patio. In addition, there is a lounge full of board games and toys from Yahtzee to Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.
Eat: Creative takes on American tavern fare from Chez Henri alum chef Jonathan Kopacz. Head here for a look at some menu highlights, including tasty cod cakes and a "Pac-Man lemon cake" gobbling berries.
Question: The main bar boasts a couple of carved wooden gargoyles. They're repurposed pieces that were originally found at a different restaurant. Which one?
70 Union Sq., Somerville; 617-623-9211
- Photo by: Michael Young
Play: Pinball, pool and table shuffleboard at this Southern spin-off from Hungry Mother. This hipster-friendly younger sibling, opened over the winter, is modeled after a dive bar and has plenty of small playful details, down to the wrestler action figures that are used as reserved-table markers.
Eat: The menu is inspired by chef-owner Barry Maiden's travels, many harking to plates found at restaurants across the U.S. One of the Best Things We Ate (So Far) This Year is the Memphis BBQ spaghetti, a nod to a similar dish served at Interstate Barbecue in Memphis. It's an bold heap of smoked pork shoulder, pasta and a 50/50 mix of housemade marinara and barbecue sauce.
Question: Much of the dive-bar decor in State Park comes from a now-closed watering hole that was a famous haunt for one of America's most notorious criminals. What was the name of the bar?
1 Kendall Sq., Cambridge; 617-848-8355
- Play: Lawn games on the expansive, grassy courtyard, including cornhole, lawn darts and bocce. Meanwhile its smaller Somerville sibling, A4 Pizza, has vintage Atari games like Tetris and Donkey Kong, and monthly Music Trivia nights on third Tuesdays at 9 PM.