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The Early Word on Mission Bowling Club in the Mission

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Photo: Aubrie Pick

Last year Mission Bowling Club owners Sommer Peterson and Molly Bradshaw set out to create a new kind of Mission business where patrons could eat food prepared by chef Anthony Myint in a space with a heavy focus on design, art and bowling. After jumpings some considerable city hurdles, there were still lots of questions: Will Myint's menu gain a reputation beyond the cult-inspiring Mission Burger? Will the lure of bowling and a bar get pseudo athletes to an untrafficked stretch of the Mission? Since its opening two months ago, the people have spoken and here’s what they have to say.

The Burger News: For many, this is the reason to go to MBC. SFist writes that the Mission Burger, served once upon a time at Duc Loi, “is admittedly pricey at 15 bucks, but it's clear Myint is going to be giving Nopa and Zuni a run for their money in the classy burger department.” Tasting Table explains how “the patties [are] made using a technique adapted from London chef Heston Blumenthal. It’s a righteous, juicy burger, almost too rich, generously anointed with caper aioli and Monterey Jack.” Joshua Lurie at Food GPS writes that, “the secret to this burger’s success wasn’t over the top condiments; it was pretty much the ideal ratio and balance of ingredients, and I can’t think of a better California burger at the moment.”

The Bowling News: Zagat’s Meesha Halm notes how “Unlike its flashier SoMa brethren, Lucky Strike, [MBC] looks like a bona fide city nightspot.” Grubstreet writes that, “They've only got half the lanes of the recently opened Lucky Strike, but is it too much to say they've got twice the heart? They've got twice the S.F. cred, anyway.” SFist informs us that the machines themselves “came from an old alley near Fort Bragg and have definitely chopped off a finger or two in their day.” Laura K. on Yelp reviews: “Just like maintaining and old car, these lanes need a lot of love. Each time I've been here the lane has broken down.”

The Corn Dog News: Lurie at Food GPS writes that “The stick for the Sausage Corn Dog jutted out of the platter like a dish you’d find at Alinea, which was a pretty hilarious sight gag” Tablehopper informs us that the corn dog’s platter is made “from a wood plate that was actually a piece of excess plank from the brand-new bowling lanes. It looks like an inappropriate, uh, meat rocket—and is sure to get comments.” Presentation aside, GPS says “this dog was state of the art, containing a loosely packed pork and fennel sausage from New York Sausage Company that was super juicy.” and SFist writes how it’s “some kind of evil genius material. It will probably ruin cornbread-wrapped mystery meat for you forever”

The Salad News: “Normally ordering a salad in a bowling alley would be like ordering the calamari in a strip club,” writes SFist. “But this fried chickpea number made the dish feel a little more snacky and a little less like you're the one eating a salad of a menu with corn dogs and burgers.” Tasting Table raves as well: “The seven-bean salad provides relief from richness, and is nothing like the church-basement version. Instead, it contains fresh haricots verts, black-eyed peas, fried chickpeas, lentils, sprouted mung beans and corona beans.”

The Bar News: Tablehopper reports that “The full bar has cocktails like the MBC Cooler, with rye whiskey, grapefruit, Dolin Blanc, soda, and allspice.” Jess Kelso at Mission Mission writes, “You seriously have to try the house cocktail, ‘TBD,’ a blend of mescal and jalapeno jam. I’ve never tasted anything like it (it made my nose itchy), and it will be named after the first person to score a perfect 300. Challenge accepted!” SFist writes that they make “one hell of a Blood & Sand” and Tasting Table “noticed the bartenders serving quite a few of The Dude’s favorite, the White Russian.”

The Pretzel News: SF Bay Guardian’s Virginia Miller writes that “Only a hard, small ‘everything pretzel’ disappointed.” Food GPS wasn’t crazy about it either: “This was a good pretzel, but it only sported poppy seeds, caraway and toasted black sesame. Technically, that’s not ‘everything.’”

The Dessert News: “The Buttermilk Panna Cotta was probably the most refined dish from our meal, with tangy, rich consistency, razor thin chamomile brittle and spring herbs like parsley, plus dots of mint oil.” writes Food GPS. But Thomas Nash on Chowhound reviews: “The profiterole, caramel and strawberry dessert (replacing the Tiramisu on the menu) was unfortunate.”

The Decor News: “Everything about the space made me smile,” writes The Bold Italic’s Kelly Malone. “From the silly graphics that pop up on the scoreboards to the giant wooden bowling ball and pin hanging from the ceiling. They’re even offering pom-pom socks at the rental counter” Tablehopper notes that “The outdoor patio has a bit of a country-rustic vibe to it, with clever touches like an overhead and gleaming bowling ball installation (by Winslow Warren) that is actually made of cat food cans, and a living wall full of plants.” Food GPS writes, “decor [is] just short of kitcschy” with a “played up bowling theme, with six mural’d [by Andrew Shoultz and Andres Guerrero] lanes, bowling pin and ball chandeliers.”

The Vibe News: “[MBC] is one badass bowling alley” writes Miller at SFBG. “There's no funky smell or dated dinginess in this brand new space.” SFist quotes a MCB patron who said, “It’s kind of like bowling in some rich person’s home.” and Malone at The Bold Italic writes that the “future league night, revolving art shows, bike parking, family hours, and a large patio” make for “an epic new hangout.”
--Chloe Schildhause

· All Mission Bowling Club Coverage [~ ESF ~]

Mission Bowling Club

3176 17th Street, San Francisco, CA