Bowling may have a lengthy international history, but it seems like the quintessential American sport.
After all, it's played a part in so much American pop culture, from Ralph Kramden and Fred Flintstone, to Uncle Buck and the characters in "The Big Lebowski."
The Yorkville bowling alley, known as Yorkville Bowl, has been around for decades, serving as a classic Midwestern bowling alley, but around five years ago new owners took it over and gave it a major modern upgrade. With that upgrade came Pinheadz Bar & Grill, located within Yorkville Bowl.
Pinheadz itself is an upgrade from the classic bowling alley fare of the past. It's no longer just nacho chips with day-glo orange cheese sauce and pickled jalapeños, or frozen pizza. Sure, you can get nachos or pizza at Pinheadz but the nachos are layered with taco meat or roasted chicken, tomato, onion, olives, and cheddar cheese, and the pizzas are available at 12-inch or 16-inch sizes with a variety of toppings. No Tombstone knock-offs here!
During a recent trip to Pinheadz, the Mystery Diner went with a classic appetizer, mozzarella sticks, and something a little different that isn't offered at a bowling alley - a grilled porkchop sandwich.
The mozzarella sticks at Pinheadz came fresh and hot, crispy batter on the outside and creamy cheese on the inside, with a side of marinara sauce. The porkchop sandwich was generously seasoned and tender, full of flavor, garnished with lettuce, tomato and pickle, and a side of mayo. The sandwich's bun was soft and delicious, a perfect compliment to the flavorful chop.
Pinheadz menu also has a variety of burgers, wraps, and salads as well as items like tacos, hot wings and chicken tenders.
The main dining room has a massive screen where patrons can watch the game, and has a variety of video games and other electronic entertainment.
For those ready for the summer, Pinheadz offers sand volleyball leagues and Monday night bags/cornhole. The establishment has an outdoor shelter to the north of the building, which is perfect for when the sun is shining and people are in the mood for a little friendly competition and some cold beverages.
Pinheadz offers a variety of special events every week, like open mic nights on Mondays, karaoke on Thursdays, and live music on Saturdays, according to its website.
It's an awesome spot to stop by for lunch or dinner, or to catch the game, and you can always bowl a few games before or after your meal. It's a one-stop entertainment shop right in the heart of Yorkville. I will definitely be back!
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Record Newspapers. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. The Mystery Diner is not intended to be a restaurant critic but does highlight the parts of a dining experience that he/she can recommend.