Reviews and Such

Across the Board Game Cafe

I am re-reviewing Across the Board Game Café. I’ve been a couple of times since I last made a brief update about their new location. I must confess, that, despite visiting here several times, I have never once played any of the games.

Hot chocolate from Across the Board Game Cafe.

Nonetheless, Across the Board offers good food, and a really good place to be if you like to sit and read a book while you are eating (a favourite pastime of mine). It should be noted, that the game play cost is now $10, not $5 as when I originally reviewed. 

As far as the games go, I did run into an old acquaintance and her family. They were visiting for their son’s birthday. It’s an annual habit to visit for a meal and play some games. She also appreciates the fact that there are a large number of gluten-free items on the menu.

The place was about 40% full and all of those tables seemed to be enjoying the games they were playing. As ever, the staff do a great job of introducing and explaining new games to the customers. 

It was late afternoon, and I was feeling that I wanted a light meal. I ordered the King of Tokyo Noodle Soup Bowl, with a Hot Chocolate for beverage. Across the Board is one of those places that brings you a bottle of water from which to refill your glass.

Beef noodle soup
King of Tokyo Noodle Soup.

I really enjoyed the soup. There is a good mix of beef, noodles, and bits of vegetable. The broth is rich and it all makes for a satisfying meal.

Across the Board Sundae.
A Sundae to finish off my meal at Across the Board.

While the soup was satisfying, it didn’t leave me feeling overly full. So, as I continued reading I ordered an Ice Cream Sundae to finish off the meal. Between that and the hot chocolate I got in about a month’s worth of whipped cream. Both were enjoyable and worth every calorie.

As for the book, it is the latest Ian Rankin: A Heart Full of Headstones. I shall be reviewing it in the next couple of days. 

One of these days I need to return to Across the Board with some friends and try a few of the games. Of course, that will mean I need to make some friends.

Since I originally wrote about Across the Board, they have changed location. They are now located on Main Street on the first floor of the McKim Building. I have been since the move, and I find the food and service to be every bit as good as it was in the original location. 

I’m interrupting my Fringe reviews to post a restaurant one. Although, it does have a Fringe connection. Across the Board Game Cafe is a new restaurant located just off of Old Market Square. For many years the space was occupied by The Fyxx, and then by something else whose name I don’t remember. I used to go to The Fyxx whenever festivals were on, for their frozen teas. This year I decided to find out what Across the Board Game had to offer.

Across the Board games
A selection of the games available at the Original location of Across the Board Game Cafe

Across the Board Dining Options:

When you walk up the stairs into the restaurant one of the first things that strikes you is the number of shelves full of board games. This is not a place with a restaurant and a couple of old Monopoly sets around. They seem to have just about every board game imaginable. $5.00 will get you game play that is generally unlimited unless the place is really busy in which case they reserve the right to impose a three hour limit. Not sure what game to play, there are employees there to recommend and explain various options to you.

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I though, had come for the food. I had been into Across the Board once a few months ago, when I was looking for an evening coffee while in the Exchange. They offer a $2.00 Americano which makes for a good deal. It’s not the greatest Americano, but still pretty good, and at that price not a bad trade-off as far as quality goes.

Across the Board Americano
The Across the Board Americano

When I came the next time with the intent to order a meal, the place was relatively busy with a mix of games and diners. As I was going out to watch plays later, I decided I wanted something light but filling. So, I ordered the Salad Rolls and Soup.

The soup was good and fresh, but the salad rolls were the real star item. They contained a variety of vegetables that were both fresh and exceptionally crisp. Along with the rolls they offer a walnut vinaigrette that makes a pleasant change from the more traditional peanut sauce.

Across the Board Salad Rolls with sauce.
Across the Board Salad Rolls. A really great item.

The Soup part of the soup and salad rolls equation. Tasty, but not quite as good as the salad rolls.

The next time I went I didn’t end up staying because they were busy and I was told there would be a 45 minute to hour wait for seat. Pro Tip: Don’t go on your own at dinner time.

The day after that, I returned for an after dinner dessert visit. This time the restaurant was mainly empty. As it was early evening I decided to go with their Dice Bowl snack and a piece of Buttertart Square.

The Buttertart Square is brought in from Lilac Bakery. However the Across the Board finishes it with a little Berry Sauce around the edges. The Berry Sauce gave a nice flavour counterpoint to the square. The Dice Bowl is an in-house version of Nuts and Bolts that would be nice to enjoy if you were playing one of their games.

dice bowl.
The dice bowl, a selection of finger snacks.

buttertart square.
The buttertart square, provided by Lilac Bakery.

The service was good. The food servers were every bit as attentive as the game attendants. If you’re a fan of dinner and a movie, Across the Board Game Cafe would make a great change from routine with a dinner and game evening.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.