Sure, The Alley has retro bowling: eight memory lanes of reclaimed hardwood. And sure, there’s the bar and vintage arcade, the colors and art stylishly aligned to the theme.
If you go
What: Home Team Kitchen at The Alley
Where: 131 Columbus St.
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily
Phone: 818-4080 or thealleycharleston.com
But as for the food, The Alley obliges with more than throwback fare, accounting for another shrewd move from operating partners Jimmy Poole and David Crowley.
The pair partnered with the fellas behind Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ to dream up a snazzy new kitchen, the Home Team Kitchen, for contemporary tastes.
Points to Home Team chieftains Aaron Siegel and Taylor Garrigan for crafting a menu chock-a-block with hearty dishes, including: green chili nachos ($9.95), French bread pizzas ($9.95-$10.95), braised pork belly ($9.95), burgers with house-cured bacon ($8.95) and a top-notch baked chicken sandwich with homemade gravy and Swiss cheese.
Call in the support team (a fork and knife) to take on the last one, a gooey, delicious treat.
But where The Alley and Home Team Kitchen really excel (besides their famous dry-rubbed and wet wings) relates to the Italian menu offerings.
The kitchen pieces together crisp, sauteed greens with slices of garlic cloves, and an addictive Italian sandwich ($9.95) that profits from mozzarella, a layering of artichokes, and a rustic pesto sauce of basil and olive oil.
Honestly, between the greens, Italian sandwich and meatballs, it wouldn’t be far-fetched for Fiery Ron to consider opening up an American-Italian version of Home Team.
It’s a fine arrangement, all told, allowing a pair of strong partners, The Alley and Home Team Kitchen, to roll out a killer combination of food and fun.