If you've never enjoyed board and card games at a restaurant, along with your food and drink, you should give it a try. One of the better-known places to combine games and food is Cafe Mox (5105 Leary Avenue NW; 523-2273; http://www.moxboardinghouse.com/ballard), attached to Card Kingdom in Ballard. There also is a newer, larger location in Bellevue (13310 Bell-Red Road; 425-326-3050) with a larger kitchen and more extensive menu.
Cafe Mox combines the game shop with a food and beverage environment that - we know this will be welcome news - includes beer and wine. The menu is surprisingly varied. A wide range of beverages is offered that runs from very affordable (Pabst Blue Ribbon) to fancier ales and ciders, and even mead. Similarly, the food runs the gamut from snack-type fare through fromage and charcuterie plates. The simple food is not so simple, as both the grilled cheese and PB&J are made with Macrina Artisan Bakery brioche.
Most of the food is appropriate for sharing with your game mates. We tried the grilled cheese bites and pineapple-bacon rumaki, both of which were very suitable for sharing, and we would have them again, except that the cheese bites were to be cycled off the menu at the end of May. Don't worry, the very popular, and rich, grilled cheese sandwich will still be on the menu.
We also tried a sandwich named Zartel with naan bread, chipotle-braised steak, bacon, prosciutto, pepper jack and more, and we found it quite spicy, even with the jalapeños held on the side. Cafe Mox has a very large lending library of games to borrow while dining (or in the gaming area outside of the dining room), and there is no pressure to buy. Dine and play-test as you wish.
In a similar vein, in West Seattle we checked out Meeples (3727 California Ave. SW, Suite 2B; 535-7896; http://meeplesgames.com/the-cafe). The cafe at Meeples prizes itself on stressing locally sourced bread and baked products. The oat bars are a favorite of those who frequent it.
Meeples also has a popular grilled cheese sandwich, and the various shareable plates (fruit and cheese, smoked salmon, or veggies and hummus, among others) are well suited for accompanying a board or card game at the tables. The menu is far more limited than Cafe Mox with more of a sandwich emphasis with vegan and vegetarian options, but the cafe does offer several beers among its beverage selection.
Meeples also has a lending library of games and a very active schedule of events, so that you can participate in tournaments or other challenges, depending upon the schedule.
Another popular gaming and food venue near West Seattle is Game Emporium (3845 Delridge Way SW; 933-9497; http://www.velvetfoam.com andhttps://www.facebook.com/uptownespressoseattle), attached to Uptown Espresso in the Youngstown neighborhood (just off of the West Seattle Bridge.
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