I recently got a chance to check out King's Bowl, the retro-themed bowling mecca that's the first attraction to open at I-Drive Live on International Drive in Orlando. I ate, I drank, I bowled, I had a fantastic time.
This is not your local bowling alley. The place is gorgeous - the owners have spared no expense creating the ultimate bowling center. When I first stepped in the door I was blown away at how cool the place is with it's retro lounge/swingers look. It's throwback theme is carried throughout the enormous space, and it really does bring you back to the time when bowling was hip and fun for the whole family. And the food is way beyond nachos, pizza and hot dogs you're used to at your neighborhood lane. Well, maybe not the pizza.
We started with Buffalo Wontons ($8) and Southwestern Spring Rolls ($8). The wontons were fried to a nice crispness and filled with spicy buffalo chicken in a gooey sauce. The ranch dressing served for dipping was very creamy and helped to quench the heat. The spring rolls were just as crispy, but decidedly less spicy. There was a lot of attention to detail in the preparation and each roll was served on a beautiful green leaf of lettuce. I've never had something this pretty at a bowling alley.
According to the menu, Kings is famous for its rib eye steak tips, but I had also heard good things about the ribs. I decided to try both, ordering the Ribs and Steak Tips Combo ($19) with a side of cole slaw, fries and cornbread. Although I specified medium rare, the tips were nearly well done and a bit chewy for my taste. They did have a nice sear to them and in (rarer) spots a nice flavor. The ribs, however, were the kings of this plate. How else to describe great ribs but to say they fell right off the bone. They certainly did, and were very tender, and I enjoyed the complex, smoky taste of the meat. Obvious care and time was taken to ensure e these ribs worthy of a good smokehouse. I very much appreciated the work that went into the ribs.
Perhaps inspired by the youthful music, or just a simple mind, my bowling buddy ordered cheese pizza for his entre. The 4 Cheese Pizza ($11), made with "Kings homemade hand tossed dough" and pesto, seasoned tomatoes, Romano, Asiago, Mozzarella and Feta cheese arrived looking a little greasy and a little less cheesy than expected. I saw no visible signs of Feta nor Asiago cheese. There was definitely Mozzarella, and maybe some Romano cheese. After a piece or two, I asked if he would order the pizza again. "No" was his reply with a smirk. Like the music, the pizza is for kids.
For dessert, I ordered the Strawberry Shortcake Sundae. Our server said she would bring two spoons. Uh, she should have brought six spoons and four more people to the table. I've never seen a sundae this big - nor do I want to ever again. Never eat a giant bowl of ice cream and attempt to bowl afterward.
This is, of course, a food blog, but I should mention that I really enjoyed bowling at Kings. The lanes were well maintained, the equipment in perfect working order, the shoes new and fresh and the lane balls were top notch. I especially enjoyed the scoring system which displayed YouTube like clips of "fails" when you bowled a stinker. You can order the full food and drink menu right at your lane.
Some of the highlights of Kings:
- 30,000 square feet of entertainment
- Space for up to 800 guests
- Two private bowling rooms
- 22 ten-pin bowling lanes
- Four billiards tables
- Regulation shuffleboard table
- Full bocce ball court
- Two beer tab tables
- 60+ flat screens
- 25-foot sports ticker display
When I-Drive Live opens, this place is going to be packed. If you're a local, I say make a trip out to Kings now, while you have the place to yourself.
4 Pins out of 5
Note: I dined and bowled compliments of Kings.