Located under one of the railways arches a short walk from Oxford Road train station is Dog Bowl. It doesn't look like your typical brash, bold Americanised bowling joint, and restaurant standard food has seen it become as much of a dinner destination as a leisure one.
A large, well-stocked bar serves a selection of beers, spirits, wines and cocktails. The roasted pineapple margarita may not help you get a strike, but it’ll certainly kick your taste buds into gear.
The dining room is a self-consciously cool space, while the five bowling lanes at the rear are modern and stylish with gleaming floors. The menu is mainly Tex-Mex, with dishes including quesadillas, tacos and fajitas as well as chicken wings, ribs and steak. Starters include BBQ shrimp skewers and fried tortilla soup.
Elsewhere, there’s an extensive burger selection, which includes a few creative options. Among them is the Big Gun, a barbecued chicken breast with tomato salsa and chipotle sauce. The simple toppings allow the succulent, charred chicken to shine. Or for vegetarians there’s the Green Meany, a chickpea-based patty with juicy tomatoes, pickles and lashings of delicious paprika mayo. The signature DB burger is a meat feast of pulled pork, beef brisket and juicy beef patty, topped with maple crisp bacon in a brioche bun with onion rings on top.
Although you may not be totally bowled over by the food, Dog Bowl delivers a lot more than your average mainstream bowling chain. More importantly it’s a cool venue with great drinks, decent food and bags of fun.